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Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Spring Flower - Mojave Woodyaster

Mojave Woodyaster, Black Canyon,
Photo by Larry Blakely

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a state-wide 501(c)3 non-profit organization of lay persons and professionals who share an interest in California’s native plants. The Society, working through its local chapters, seeks to increase the understanding of California’s native flora and to preserve this rich resource for future generations. Membership is open to all.

The Bristlecone Chapter covers all of Mono and Inyo Counties and northeastern Kern County, an area that includes the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, the Northern Mojave Desert, the Inyo and White Mountains, and the Owens Valley. The southern end of the Bristlecone Chapter’s geographically large territory, in and around the Indian Wells Valley, has its own sub-chapter, Creosote Ring.


The November-December 2016 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is December 15th.

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Upcoming CNPS Events

Field Trips, Meetings, and other events of interest scheduled for the next month or so – for more events, including non-CNPS events which may be of interest to our members, see our Events Page.

CNPS Event November 10, Thursday, 9am-12pm (or so): DeDecker Garden Fall Clean-up

Come help Clean up the DeDecker Native Plant Garden at the Eastern California Museum in Independence. We will be pruning, planting, weeding and hauling away garden debris. Bring gloves, hats, water, lunch or snacks, trowels, pitchforks, pruners. For more info: Contact Richard Potashin at 760-263-5022.

CNPS Event December 7, Wednesday, 5:30pm: CNPS Annual Potluck followed at 7pm by a Special Program: California Botany and Botanists of the Inyo Region, with Bruce Baldwin, Curator of the Jepson Herbarium. Location: Bishop United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, 205 N Fowler, Bishop.

The annual Bristlecone Chapter potluck will begin at 5:30 PM. Bring food, drink and conversation to share, bring utensils and plates for yourself. Members and non-members welcome. We'll follow the potluck with Chapter Elections at, 6:45 PM, followed immediately by the Chapter Program at 7:00 PM.

A celebration of Inyo County’s 150th anniversary simply would not be complete without a tribute to the diversity of natural resources that have drawn worldwide acclaim from recreationists, explorers, and scientists alike. Much of what we know about plant diversification has come from studies of California's world-famous flora. Plant collectors have long been essential to those efforts and are responsible for much of our basic understanding of patterns of geographic distribution and trait variation within and across species. Field exploration of the Inyo County region has been an important part of that progress and has a fascinating history involving many notable and colorful figures in the history of botany. From salt flats and sand dunes, to ancient bristlecones and alpine wildflowers, the diversity of plants here has attracted a notable and colorful array of plant collectors. Their impact continues to be felt in part through the use of specimens they collected in herbaria, but also through their inspiration to both young and experienced plant-lovers and scientists. Following in the footsteps of renowned Inyo County botanists, like Mary DeDecker, Willis Jepson, and Frederick Coville, we can discover both the colorful history of innovative explorers, and also learn about hotspots of diversity and if and how these places are changing.

Bruce Baldwin is W. L. Jepson Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Curator of the Jepson Herbarium. He is Convening Editor of the Jepson Flora Project, which produced The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California and The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California, and which maintains the Jepson eFlora online. The Jepson Herbarium was named for pioneer Californian botanist Willis Linn Jepson (1867–1946), who produced the first comprehensive treatment of the vascular flora of California, in 1925, and made extensive plant collections across Inyo County from 1900 to 1940.

CNPS Event January 20, 2017: Deadline for Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant Applications

Grants for research and projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of native plants and ecosystems in the Eastern Sierra are available to graduate students, college students, and primary and secondary students (K-12). Research projects need not be academic or scholarly but must be relevant to the native plants of the northern Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, and Great Basin portions of eastern California. Applications must include written support from a major advisor or teacher.

Grant recipients receive up to $1,000 each for expenses and are asked to present their results to the Bristlecone Chapter either at a regular meeting or in the chapter newsletter. The deadline for the 2017 Grant is January 20, 2017. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by early March, 2017. More information and application:

For more events, including some from other organizations, see the Bristlecone Chapter Events Page

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Conservation Updates

See our Conservation pages for updates on current issues relating to native plants and their habitats, such as Inyo National Forest Plan Revisions and Invasive Species. We will start up the Conservation Alerts emails again soon, if you signed up previously or wish to sign up - check back to the Conservation page!

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Like us on Facebook!

Facebook Page

The Bristlecone Chapter now has a Facebook Page! If you are on Facebook, head on over and "like" us (or click "like" in the box at left) to get updates in your Facebook newsfeed. While you are there, post a message on our wall, share photos or links of interest, let us know what you think!

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