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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 November-December 2020 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is December 15th, 2020.

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 EventNovember 4, Wednesday, 7:00:Wildfire in California Landscapes, CNPS Mount Lassen Chapter Virtual Program

Understanding how wildfires behave is basic to understanding fire control, fire effects, the beneficial use of fire, and the nature of threats to property such as homes. Fire behavior is a key to understanding and addressing the “fire problem”. This overview will introduce you to how the fire environment affects fire behavior…the roles of humidity, solar heating, fuel type, seasonal drying, slope and wind.  We’ll consider typical fire rates-of-spread values, how fire will respond to changing conditions, and some common weather processes.  We’ll take a look at the role of fire behavior in such things as presumed “natural” fire levels and in fire line accidents.

Join Jim Bishop, a Cal Fire retiree who worked on wildland fire control and training. He is also trained as a Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN), has taught in several national fire-behavior courses, served on the FBAN steering committee, and has developed materials used in those courses. He developed and taught a simplified method for applying the standard fire-behavior model for use by firefighters on the fire line.

Details and Zoom meeting link at

Check out more virtual events hosted by other CNPS chapters and recorded past events at

CNPS EventNovember 14, Saturday, 5pm, Nature’s Best Hope, A talk by Doug Tallamy, Online Event, Hosted by CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Chapter

The general public is invited to watch on our YouTube channel starting at 5pm on November 14: Nature’s Best Hope, A talk by Doug Tallamy

Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current land management practices have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Doug Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can and must ̶ take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 103 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug’s new book, Nature’s Best Hope, released by Timber Press in February 2020, is a New York Times Best Seller.

November 17, 6:00-7:00 pm, Conservation Stories: A Virtual Lecture Series Featuring Maria Jesus, California Botanic Garden (formerly Santa Ana Botanic Garden)

Maria Jesus is a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University (at California Botanic Garden) where she is completing a vascular flora of the southern Inyo Mountains. She has completed several field seasons monitoring plants in the Chihuahuan Desert, Sonoran Desert, Southern Plains, Southern Cascades, and the Great Basin. Maria is a Switzer Fellow (2019) and is passionate about advancing native plant conservation through her floristic research and beyond.

Join online for this discussion of the Southern Inyo Mountains along with CalBG Director of Conservation Programs, Naomi Fraga. You must register online to receive the Zoom link. The suggested program fee is $10, but there will be an option to register for the talk free of charge.

CNPS EventNovember 17, Tuesday, 7:00-8:15 pm: Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change, by Rob Badger and Nita Winter, CNPS San Diego Chapter Virtual Program

Watch an online program on a 27-year wildflower journey with internationally acclaimed conservation photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter. While artistically documenting the wildflowers in the magnificent landscapes from locations such as the Mojave Desert and Death Valley, you’ll also hear about their non-traditional field approaches to achieve the photographs they published in their latest book.

More information and links to view the presentation is at:

CNPS Event November 17-19, 2020: Mitigation Measures & Monitoring With Emphasis on Botanical Resource Issues, Online on Zoom, State CNPS Workshop

California Native Plant Society plant science training workshops provide botanists, biologists, land managers, and ecologists the scientific skills and practical experience necessary to assess, manage, and protect native plants and lands in California and beyond. Pre-registration is required and many workshops sell out early. Sign up now and secure your spot for 2020 workshops!

In this workshop you will learn the framework for mitigation and mitigation monitoring, especially considering botanical resources, and how laws like CEQA can be leveraged to advocate for responsible mitigation measures that keep California’s natural habitat resources in mind. 3-day: $180, two days at $140, or a single workshop for $80; Capacity: 25 participants Last Day to Register: November 4, 2020 Go to the workshop page for details or to register.

CNPS Event Wednesday, November 18, 6:00 pm: Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting, ONLINE

All members are welcome to join this meeting by Zoom. Contact Kathleen Nelson at to join.

November 19, Thursday, 7:00 pm: Fuels management and forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada: the case for active forest management on the Valentine Reserve, Presented by Dr. Hugh Safford and Ashely Grupenhoff, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara Natural Reserve System Fall 2020 Virtual Seminar Series

Hugh Safford is Regional Ecologist for the US Forest Services (USFS) Pacific Southwest Region and a member of the research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, UC Davis. Safford manages a staff of ecologists that provide expertise in vegetation and fire ecology, inventory, monitoring, and general applied science to resource management on the National Forests in California. Safford is the director of the Sierra Nevada region of the California Fire Science Consortium and manager of the USFS Research Natural Area program in California.

Ashley Grupenhoff is a current graduate student pursuing a PhD in Ecology with Dr. Hugh Safford at UC Davis. Her research focus is on the effects of prescribed fire and fuels treatments on tree physiology, species composition, and fire behavior. At Valentine Reserve, she wishes to assess the impacts of fuels treatment on fire behavior and tree growth, mortality, and regeneration.

Please register to watch this presentation. Go to the webpage below and find the link to this and other seminar topics to be presented this month.

CNPS Event December, Date TBD: Bristlecone Chapter General Meeting/Annual Holiday (Zoom) Party

We are planning a joint virtual meeting with Eastern Sierra Audubon Society before end of the year. The program and other event details are still TBD. Check your email and our website for updates.

December 4-6, 2020: Mushrooms and Mycorrhizae of Mendocino, Matteo Garbelotto and Teresa Sholars, Albion Field Station and local field sites, Jepson Herbarium Workshop (Workshop is cancelled (due to COVID-19). This workshop will be offered again in 2021, registration details will be available in December 2020 on the Jepson Herbarium website.)

This workshop will provide techniques to identify some of the common edible, toxic, and ecologically important mushroom species on the Mendocino Coast. Each day will start with classroom presentations and the afternoons will be spent in Bishop pine and mixed redwood forests seeing species in the field. The following topics will be covered: identification and phylogeography of mushrooms, description, classification, and ecology of mycorrhizae, importance of mycorrhizae in forestry and the food industry, population genetics and mycorrhizae, the mycorrhizal community: factors affecting its composition, how disturbance affects mycorrhizae and forest age.

This workshop will be a combination of lecture, classroom activities, and discussion and will cover the basic principles of the methods described above. Examples will be given from the several floras from around the world including Australia, Chile, Norway, and Florida. The cost of this workshop also includes an evening event and reception where the instructor will give a presentation focused on recently published applications of these methods to the California flora.

Accommodations: Shared dormitories with bathrooms.
Meals: Dinner Friday through lunch Sunday included.
Transportation: Not provided. Personal vehicle or carpooling required to access field sites.
Hiking: Easy to moderate
Start/End: Friday 4:00 pm – Sunday 12:00 pm.
Course Fee: $400/$430
: This workshop has been approved for 6 Professional Development Credits by the California Consulting Botanist Board of Certification

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form

December 10 – 11, 2020: Poaceae I, J. Travis Columbus UC Berkeley and local field site, Jepson Herbarium Workshop (Hosted ONLINE)

Prominent in plant communities throughout California, the grass family, Poaceae, is the state’s second most diverse plant family (after Asteraceae). Its members include cool-season and warm-season species, annuals and perennials, natives and exotics, and widespread dominants and rare endemics. This workshop will provide a better understanding of this ubiquitous, species-rich family. Participants will be instructed in detail on the vegetative and reproductive features of grasses. Aspects of anatomy, physiology, and ecology will also be addressed. Most of our time will be spent learning to use the identification keys in the second edition of The Jepson Manual. Special attention will be given to difficult couplets and taxa. In addition, participants will learn how to identify common genera by using diagnostic characteristics. If conditions are favorable, we will go to the field on Friday afternoon; most of this class will take place in a lab classroom.

Experience required: Some previous plant identification.
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for possible field trip (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Easy
Start/End: Thursday, 8:30 am – Friday, 5:00 pm.
Course Fee: $350/380
: This workshop has been approved for 7 Professional Development Credits by the California Consulting Botanist Board of Certification

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form

December 12 – 13, 2020 : Poaceae II, J. Travis Columbus UC Berkeley and local field site, Jepson Herbarium Workshop (Hosted ONLINE)

For those who have taken the introductory workshop or have experience with grass identification, the advanced grasses workshop offers a greater variety of California genera and species for study, more practice with keying, and more genera to learn on sight. Completion of the introductory Poaceae workshop (Poaceae I), or equivalent prior experience, is highly recommended. Participants are encouraged to bring samples of grasses to share with the group.

Experience required: Working knowledge of grass morphology and previous plant identification experience, including keying grasses
Start/End: Saturday, 8:30 am – Sunday, 5:00 pm
Course Fee: $350/380
: This workshop has been approved for 7 Professional Development Credits by the California Consulting Botanist Board of Certification

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form

CNPS Event December 15, Saturday: January-February Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the January-February Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at Contact Elaine with any questions.

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

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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.

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