Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society
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 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.
The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is December 15th.
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.
- October 1, Wednesday, 12-1pm: High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain, Eastern Sierra Land Trust (176 Home St., Bishop)
On the first Wednesday of every month between May and October, join us from 12 to 1pm for this fun and free event. This year, our theme is "People and Places: Exploring the Eastern Sierra," and we're inviting adventurous locals to share their stories about what makes the Eastern Sierra so special.
On October 1st, Christopher Langley and Osceola Refetoff will join us for “High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain.” Writer & Historian Chris and Photographer Osceola have combined forces for their work on High & Dry, an exhibition of thought-provoking photographs that document the many faces of California’s magnificent deserts and the people who live there. They hope to engage the public with compelling images and stories of an extraordinary region they hold dear to their hearts - the California desert.
All are invited to attend, and are encouraged to bring their own lunch. In case of inclement weather, this event will be held indoors. Hope to see you there!
- October 4, Saturday, CNPS Field Trip: Mollie Gibson area (White Mountains), Leader: Michèle Slaton
We will walk along an old dirt road to "Prospect X," an abandoned silver mine on the east side of Westgard Pass. The walk begins in the desert wash of Payson Canyon, rises into the black sagebrush-big sagebrush of the Campito formation, then transects Deep Springs limestone and drops into the winding narrows of Reed dolomite below Prospect X. The prize is a population of rare Nevada ninebark (Physocarpus) on the canyon walls, high above views of Deep Springs Valley. We will pass giant canyon-clinging mats of mat rock spirea (Petrophyton), and see little-leaf mountain mahogany, Nevada greasewood, wild crab apple (Peraphyllum), rose heath (Chaetopappa), cactus, and plenty of perennials.
The hike ranges between elevations of 6600 to 7200’. The walk will be 5 miles round trip, with the last ¼ mi. in a steep, but walkable canyon. Bring good footwear, layered clothing, water, lunch, and other items for an all-day outing. We will meet at the corner of Highways 395 and 168 at 8:30 am, and carpool as much as possible on pavement about 16 miles east, over Westgard Pass to the trailhead.
The plant list from the trip can be found on our Checklists Page, under Payson to Prospect X, Mollie Gibson Area, White Mountains.
- October 13, Saturday, 8:30am: Monthly COSA Bird Walk & Census, Eastern Sierra Audubon
Audubon volunteers lead monthly bird walks on the second Saturday of each month (unless otherwise indicated). We meet at 8:30am (7:30 am in June, July, August, and September) at the trailhead behind the BLM/Forest Service Building on West Line Street, and walk from there to the Bishop Paiute Tribe's Conservation Open Space Area. We are keeping species lists and observing behavior as well as identifying birds, for the purpose of creating bird lists for the site. We hope to see you there!
All are welcome - these walks are for birders of ALL LEVELS, beginners included! We will bring extra binoculars and field guides to share. Please meet at 8:30am at the BLM/Forest Service Building on West Line Street in Bishop. Contact Hillary Behr for more information: Hillary.firstname.lastname@example.org or call (760) 920- 5287.
- October 18, Saturday, 9:30am: Bitterbrush Planting/Indian Fire Rehab. Leaders: Martin Oliver (BLM), Julie Anne Hopkins
NEW: On Saturday October 18, 2014, the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will team up with BLM Botanist Martin Oliver and the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership for a bitterbrush and sagebrush planting in the footprint of the Indian Fire - south of Mono Lake in beautiful Mono County, California. Martin has several hundred young bitterbrush, and a few grasses – many our Prez, Katie Quinlan grew from seed - to be placed and planted. Join in on this opportunity to help with this post-fire restoration project.
This project will help restore habitat for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse in the Indian Fire which burned in 2012. The Bi-State DPS is proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Sagebrush can take decades to recover after fire, so planting sagebrush after the fire can help speed this recovery.
We'll be meeting at Mono Mills off Hwy 120 at 9:30am.
Contact: Julie Anne Hopkins, Conservation Chair (831) 566-6012
- November 5-7: The Next Steppe: Sage-Grouse and Rangeland Wildfire in the Great Basin, Boise, Idaho - also available live-streamed online!
It's no secret that sagebrush-steppe habitat in the Great Basin is in trouble. There are a number of contributing factors but chief among them are wildfire and invasive species. Over time, we have seen a repeating cycle of fire followed by the spread of dominating and highly flammable invasive annual grass which leads to more fire, greater spread of invasives over an ever larger area, more fire and so on. The adverse effects on the vegetative landscape have been cumulative and severe. This conference aims to bring together the science and operations needed to provide a foundation for a strategy to interrupt the fire-invasives cycle and begin to restore critical sage-steppe ecosystems and habitat.
This conference is being live-streamed so even if you can't run off to Idaho in the next day or two, you can attend virtually if you are interested. Read more about the conference on their website, and learn how to attend the conference online.
- November 12, Wednesday, 7pm: CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting, USFS/BLM Office Conference Room
Conference Room, Interagency Building, 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop. All members are welcome.
- November 12, Wednesday, 5:30pm: Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative (ESRC) Meeting, Cerro Coso Community College, Bishop
The Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative (ESRC) has been hosting professionally facilitated public meetings in October and November 2014 in support of the Inyo National Forest Management Plan Revision process. The final meeting of this series will take place November 12, 2014 at the Cerro Coso Community College in Bishop, CA starting at 5:30 PM. For more information, see the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative website.
- November 13, Thursday: CNPS Annual Potluck and Special Program: The CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt: understanding the California flora through citizen science, with Danny Slakey, at White Mountain Research Center, 3000 E. Line St, Bishop.
The annual Bristlecone Chapter potluck begins at 6 PM. Bring food, drink and conversation to share, bring utensils and plates for yourself. Members and non-members welcome - click here for directions. We'll follow the potluck with Chapter Elections at, 7 PM, including an important vote on the new Chapter Guidelines, followed immediately by the Chapter Program at 7:15 PM, described below.
Since the publication of the First Edition of the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants in 1974, the CNPS Rare Plant Program has been committed to tracking California’s rarest and most threatened native plants. In 2010, the program expanded to include the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, providing volunteers with a way to make valuable contributions to the Rare Plant Program by searching for rare plants and reporting their observations. In this evening’s program, Danny will provide an overview of the rare plants from the Bristlecone Chapter Region, highlighting in particular some species for which CNPS urgently needs updated data. Danny will also cover the various ways that volunteers can participate in the program and learn rare plant survey methods. This exciting program is a great way for volunteers to learn more about the California flora while helping to ensure that California’s unique flora is preserved well into the future.
Danny Slakey works for CNPS as a coordinator for the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt project and also as assistant botanist for the CNPS Rare Plant Program. Before working for CNPS, he studied plant invasion ecology for his master’s and worked several seasonal botany jobs throughout the West.
- November 13-14 (Thursday-Friday): International Sage-Grouse Forum to be Live Streamed in Lee Vining
On Thursday November 13 and Friday November 14, the International Sage-Grouse Forum being held in Salt Lake City, Utah will be live streamed at the Lee Vining Community Center located at 296 Mattly Ave, in Lee Vining, CA. The event will begin at 7am each day and is free and open to the public.
The forum will feature a session on sage-grouse conservation efforts focused on the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of Greater Sage-Grouse, which are found locally in Mono & Inyo County, and adjacent Mineral County, Nevada. That session will take place on Nov 13 at 9:30am.
Coffee, water and snacks will be provided free of charge. If you would like to attend all or part of the program, please email email@example.com or call Jeff at 760-935-3960.
- November 14-16 (Friday-Sunday): Re-vegetation project for Spring Peak Fire burned area, on the Nevada side
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) are planning to host a major re-vegetation project in the footprint of 2013’s Spring Peak Fire which burned more than 14,000 acres of sage-grouse and mule deer habitat in California and Nevada in August of 2013. That project hopes to plant 24,000 sagebrush & bitterbrush seedlings in the burn area over the weekend of Nov 14-16.
Contact Sherri Lisius at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.
- November 22, Saturday, 9am - CNPS Work Day: DeDecker Garden Clean Up, DeDecker garden at the Eastern Sierra Museum in Independence.
On Saturday November 22nd we will be cleaning up the DeDecker Native Plant Garden in Independence. We are hoping to take out a barbed wire fence and replace it with split rail, replant a bunch of plants and do a general raking and fall clean up of the garden. If you are interested in helping we will meet at 8:00 am in Bishop, at the end of S. Fowler across from the DWP building, where people can share rides if desired. If you are coming from the south, we will meet in the parking lot of the Eastern Sierra Museum at 155 N. Grant Street in Independence at 9:00am. Bring rakes, gloves, water and hats. We will have a picnic lunch afterward.
Please contact Katie Quinlan at email@example.com or 760-873-8023 to let her know if you are coming so she can have a sense of how many helpers there will be.
- December 2, 5:30-7:00pm – Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) Public Meeting, Bishop
Remember the REGPA? The Bristlecone Chapter and CNPS State submitted our scoping comments and we are still waiting for the Draft Environmental Impact Report to be released. The Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) was released on November 5th, Comment period closes on
December 19, 2014**the County approved a request for an extended comment period. The new deadline is January 14, 2015 – COB. A public meeting is scheduled on December 2nd, 2014 from 5:30-7:00 at Bishop City Hall Council Chambers, 301 West Line Street, Bishop. For updates, check the County website at http://www.inyoplanning.org
- December 3, 10:00am – Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) Public Hearing, Independence
A Public Hearing is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday December 3, 2014, beginning at 10:00am, during the regular Planning Commission meeting held in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 224 Edwards Street, Independence. The Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) was released on November 5th, Comment period closes on December 19, 2014. The public meetings and hearing will provide the public the opportunity to comment on General Plan Amendment 2013-02 (REGPA). For updates, check the County website at http://www.inyoplanning.org.
The deadline for written comments is presently December 19. A number of groups have asked for an extension of the comment deadline into the new year (most groups asked for 45 days to bring the comment period to a total of 90 days). Staff say they are under their own deadline pressures but we should ask for more time nonetheless, given that the document is 800+ pages and addresses a complex topic. CNPS scoping comments available here.
Please attend the Planning Commission hearing if you can. If you have not had time to review the document, please at a minimum ask for a meaningful extension of time so that everyone can enjoy their holidays and submit well-considered comments in the new year.
- December 3, 5:00-6:30pm – Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) Public Meeting, Lone Pine
Remember the REGPA? The Bristlecone Chapter and CNPS State submitted our scoping comments and we are still waiting for the Draft Environmental Impact Report to be released. The Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) was released on November 5th, Comment period closes on December 19, 2014. A public meeting is scheduled on December 3rd, 2014 from 5:00-6:30 at Statham Hall, Lone Pine, 138 Jackson Street, Lone Pine. For updates, check the County website at http://www.inyoplanning.org.
- December 4, 5:00-6:30pm – Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) Public Meeting, Tecopa
Remember the REGPA? The Bristlecone Chapter and CNPS State submitted our scoping comments and we are still waiting for the Draft Environmental Impact Report to be released. The Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) was released on November 5th, Comment period closes on December 19, 2014. A public meeting is scheduled on December 4th, 2014 from 5:00-6:30 at Tecopa Community Center, 405 Tecopa Hot Springs Road, Tecopa. For updates, check the County website at http://www.inyoplanning.org.
- December 5, 2014 – 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 for the 2014 grants is December 5th. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by the end of the following January. More information and application: http://bristleconecnps.org/dedecker/grant/index.php
- December 5, 7pm– Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2014, Mammoth Lakes, Friends of the Inyo
Friends of the Inyo is bringing the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to the East Side again in 2014! Our Mammoth Lakes showing will be on Friday, December 5th at the Edison Theatre (with a different program from our Bishop (12/6) and Lone Pine (12/12) showings). The programs promise a wonderful lineup of light-hearted, interesting, adventure-filled, conservation-oriented and just plain fun movies! Doors open at 6:15pm, show starts at 7pm.
- December 6, 7pm – Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2014, Bishop, Friends of the Inyo
Friends of the Inyo is bringing the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to the East Side again in 2014! Our Bishop showing will be on Saturday, December 6th at Cerro Coso Community College (with a different program from our Mammoth showing on 12/5). The programs promise a wonderful lineup of light-hearted, interesting, adventure-filled, conservation-oriented and just plain fun movies! Doors open at 6:15pm, show starts at 7pm.
- December 7 (and 14, 21, 28), 9am – Antelope Valley Bird Walks, Eastern Sierra Audubon
Local Coleville resident and seasoned birder Elena Espinosa will be leading bird walks in the Antelope Valley area on Sundays, beginning December 7th. We will look for birds along the shoreline of Topaz Lake and explore riparian habitat and open fields for permanent and migrant species such as Loons, Mergansers, Golden Eagles and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. The walks should last 2-3 hours.
Meet: Parking lot of Walker Country Store (107700 Hwy 395) at 9am on Sundays, beginning December 7, 2014. Bathrooms are in the store along with hot/cold drinks and snacks.
Bring: Binoculars and spotting scopes, field guides, snacks and water. Wear warm and layered clothing.
Contact Elena for more information: 928-300-8088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- December 10 – Holiday potluck dinner (6pm) and program (7pm): Dancing Birds in the Sagebrush Sea of the Eastern Sierra, the Bi-State Distinct Population of Greater Sage-Grouse, Eastern Sierra Audubon
Join us at White Mountain Research Center, Owens Valley Station, on Wednesday December 10th, 2014, for our annual holiday candle-light potluck dinner (6pm), followed by a special presentation by Sherri Lisius, BLM Wildlife Biologist working with our local Greater Sage-Grouse populations (7pm). This talk will discuss the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse, recently proposed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The talk will include an a discussion of the life cycle of the bird, an update on the status of the species, and an overview of actions the Local Area Working Group are doing to conserve the grouse and its habitat.
- December 12, 7pm – Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2014, Lone Pine, Friends of the Inyo
Friends of the Inyo is bringing the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to the East Side again in 2014! Our Lone Pine showing will be on Friday, December 12th at the Lone Pine Film History Museum (same program as in Bishop on December 6th, but different from Mammoth on December 5th). The programs promise a wonderful lineup of light-hearted, interesting, adventure-filled, conservation-oriented and just plain fun movies! Doors open at 6:15pm, show starts at 7pm.
- December 14 – Bishop Christmas Bird Count, Eastern Sierra Audubon
Eastern Sierra Audubon sponsors the Bishop Christmas Bird Count. The 33rd annual Bishop Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is Sunday, December 14th, 2014. All skill levels are invited to participate. The CBC is an important citizen-science effort to census all birds in the Bishop area. Results show long term population trends and shifting demographics. Plus, it's a lot of fun!
Please RSVP as soon as possible to Chris Howard at email@example.com, (760) 873-7422 (home), or (760) 920-2845 (cell), to join a team and let him know if you prefer a specific area or team-mate. He'd like to assign areas well in advance to give you a chance to scout. If you'd prefer to be a feeder-watcher, as opposed to covering an area, please let him know.
- December 14 – Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge Christmas Bird Count
For more information, contact Will Thomas, phone 775-372-5435.
- December 18 – Mono Basin Christmas Bird Count
For more information, contact Kristie Nelson, phone 760-709-1670
December 19 – DEADLINE: Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) Comment Period Closes- extended to January 14, 2015!
Remember the REGPA? The Bristlecone Chapter and CNPS State submitted our scoping comments and we are still waiting for the Draft Environmental Impact Report to be released. The Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) was released on November 5th, Comment period closes on December 19, 2014**the County approved a request for an extended comment period. The new deadline is January 14, 2015 – COB. For more information, check the County website at http://www.inyoplanning.org
- December 20 – Mammoth Lakes Christmas Bird Count
For more information, contact Bill Taylor, phone 760-709-6964
For more events, including some from other organizations, see the Bristlecone Chapter Events Page
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!
Like us on Facebook!
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!
But Wait! There's More:
- Check out the Latest Chapter Newsletter for more news, articles and updates.
- Watch for our Annual Native Plant Sale in September!
- Check the events page for more Field Trips and other events of interest. You may also subscribe to our Google calendar for automatic updates.
- Find out when the next Chapter Meetings will be and what topics will be presented.
- Apply for a Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant: Deadline is in December of each year.
- Get your Bristlecone Chapter T-Shirts – available at Spellbinder Books in downtown Bishop.
- For more native plant news, see the State California Native Plant Society website.