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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 July-Aug 2016 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is August 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 August 3, Wednesday, 7pm: Rock Creek Wildflowers, Cathy Rose and Stephen Ingram, at Page Center at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL)

Bristlecone Chapter members, Cathy Rose and Stephen Ingram, will be giving a presentation on their new book, Rock Creek Wildflowers, on August 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Page Center at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL). This event is free and everyone is welcome.

CNPS Event August 13, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: East of Mono Lake, Anchorite Hills. Leader: Sue Weis

Last year we re-located populations of several CNPS listed species in the Anchorite Hills area, including Astragalus kentrophyta var. ungulatus, Mentzelia torreyi, and Eriogonum alexandrae, and also found that the area had an infestation of halogeton, which we pulled. We will be again pulling any halogeton we find while visiting this diverse corner of Mono County. Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 and Highway 167 at 9:00 am. Part of the trip is a few miles on a sandy bumpy road that needs 4WD and some clearance, with a short hike on sandy soil. Bring lunch, water, gloves, and sun protection. For questions, contact Sue Weis,, or 760-873-3485.

August 13-14: 2 Day Hands On Compost and Compost Tea Making Class, Bishop Paiute Tribe

Growing and maintaining healthy plants doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Adding compost and compost teas to your garden or indoor plants will provide nutrients to improve plant growth, and will also fight against plant diseases. Say goodbye to stunted or slow growing plants, detrimental leaf molds, and plant diseases! Whether you grow outdoors or indoors, you will actually enjoy building soil health and killing diseases after you learn how to make high quality compost and compost teas, using recipes specific to your plant. See flyer for more details.

Julie Fontaine, a local soil scientist, will be leading the class. For over 20 years she has specialized in habitat restoration and organic food production, with the focus on soil health. Be prepared to build and turn the pile, improve your understanding, and become a master compost tea maker in just 2 short days.

Class is offered by the Bishop Paiute Tribe Food Sovereignty Program Food Program, and will be held at their gardens at 50 Tu Su Lane in Bishop. Normally this two day class is $350, but it is being offered at discount of only $100 for the event. Scholarships are available. Contact Jen Schlaich for registration (760) 920-5254,, or message at
Class size is limited. We’ll see you there!

CNPS Event August 18, Thursday, 9am-5pm- Pre-Workshop Rare Plant Treasure Hunt - Tioga Pass Region - Yosemite National Park

The high-elevation Tioga pass region is home to many rare plants that only occur only in sub-alpine and alpine regions of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Targets include Lupinus gracilentus, two alpine willows and a rare alpine grass. Attendance in the workshop is not necessary to come on this trip! (email Steve Schoenig if you are interested)

CNPS Event August 19th Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm (with optional nearby field trips on the 18th & 20th), CNPS Field Botanical Collecting and Field Documentation Workshop In the Eastern Sierra

In partnership with the Jepson Herbarium, CNPS is offering this workshop to help develop the skills in making botanical collections, submitting rare plant occurances to The California Natural Diversity Database, and utilizing the electronic and digital resources that are becoming more rich and important to aid in finding and recognizing rare plant populations in the field.

These skills will be part of the new California Botanical Certification program, but this class is open to all: students, amateurs and professionals.


Collecting -- Basics
- history & importance
- terms & conditions
- tools & techniques (including keying & collecting in the field)

Collecting -- In-Depth
- developing targets for rare plant populations
- using electronic tools to get plant data (including California Consortium of Herbaria & California Natural Diversity DataBase)
- obtaining permits
- pressing plants, even the tricky ones

Includes information on:
- navigating with GPS & smartphone apps
- teaming with herbaria
- using the California Consortium of Herbaria
- history of Rare Plant Treasure Hunt
- using the California Natural Diversity DataBase

Where: Lee Vining Indian and Community Center - Lee Vining, CA (Mono Lake)
When: August 19th Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm with optional nearby field trips on the 18th & 20th
Instructors: David Magney, Aaron Sims & Steve Schoenig (CNPS Staff)
Accommodations: Hotels & Campgrounds in Lee Vining or Mammoth Lakes (18 mi south)
Food : Breakfast and lunch be provided and are included in registration.
Cost: $125 for CNPS members; $155 for non-members
Workshop Registration:

Day before and Day after Treasure Hunts: if you are interested in either trip email Steve Schoenig to reserve a spot and obtain meetup information.

For any questions about the workshop please email Steve Schoenig or go to the CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt website.

CNPS Event August 20, Saturday: Post-Workshop Rare Plant Treasure Hunt - Virginia and Red Lakes - north of Mono Lake

This rare plant hunting trip in sub-alpine lake basins of Virginia and Red lakes of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest will attempt to rediscover a number of rare plants that haven't been seen in over 25 years. These include a rare aquatic buttercup and an alpine Willow (Salix nivalis). Attendance in the workshop is not necessary to come on this trip! (email Steve Schoenig if you are interested)

CNPS Event August 23, Tuesday, 5-7pm: Special Plant Sale for ESLT Grant Recipients (not open to the public)

"Eastern Sierra Land Trust pollinator grant" recipients' Plant sale 5-7pm. This sale is for the Pollinator grant recipients only.

CNPS Event September 10, Saturday, 9-11am, CNPS Native Plant Sale - Bishop, White Mountain Research Station

This is the largest native plant sale of the year, and this year, we can accept credit cards! A wonderful array of native plants is offered every year.  A variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees adapted to our area will be for sale. Here's what's growing as of August 1st in 2016.

Prices: Plant prices are $5.00 for small tree pots, $8.00 for gallon pots, and $10 for large tree pots. If you have any of the black plastic pots from last year’s sale we would love to recycle them for you.

Proceeds from the annual native plant sales provide funding for our Mary DeDecker Botanical Grants. The grant program is a fitting way to remember Mary DeDecker’s many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra.

See our Plant Sale Page for more details!

CNPS Event September 22, Thursday, 7pm, Bristlecone Chapter Program: Tree species range shifts at and above treeline in the White Mountains and beyond: are we losing our alpine habitat and to what? with speaker Brian Smithers, DeDecker Grant Botanical Research Recipient. Location: White Mountain Research Center.

Brian Smithers is a graduate student at UC Davis pursuing his PhD in Ecology. His DeDecker Botanical Grant-supported work focuses on the effects of climate change on forests in the Great Basin. Brian’s work has shown that treeline in the Great Basin is moving upslope at a rapid pace and that the species making up that treeline advance isn’t what you might think! His work gets him into very photogenic places so the photos alone should be worth attendance.

His research has involved a combination of plot studies, experimental gardens, greenhouse experiments, genetic analysis, dendrochronology, and stable isotope analysis to examine what the winners and losers among mountain plants will be in rapidly changing climate. He has examined how genetic population structure differs between limber and bristlecone pine at the local and regional scales to look at differences in dispersal ability between the two species—an important aspect in adapting to climate change. His most recent work examines the role of very rare sub-alpine forest fire disturbance on shifting range limits among pinyon, limber, and bristlecone pines.

Come join the Bristlecone Chapter for this sure-to-be enlightening lecture with beautiful images and and learn what changes may be coming to our alpine environments in a changing climate.

CNPS Event No Bristlecone Chapter events planned for October yet - check back!
CNPS Event No Bristlecone Chapter events planned for November yet - check back!
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.

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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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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