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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 September-October Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is October 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.

September 18, Thursday, 6-8pm: Public Scoping Workshop, Forest Plan Revision, Inyo National Forest

The Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the three forest plan revisions- Sierra, Sequoia, and Inyo - will be posted in the Federal Register on Friday (8/29). The comment period will be 30 days beginning 8/28/14. The NOI will inform the public of the Forest Service’s intent to prepare and develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will revise the forest plans. Our comments will be included and addressed in the NEPA process. The final resulting documents will be three individual Records of Decision for each respective forest’s management plan. Since management plans are typically in place for 15-20 years it is a very important step in the NEPA process – to voice our concerns.

The Inyo National Forest will hold a public scoping workshop 6:00-8:00pm — Thursday, September 18, Inyo National Forest, Tri-County Fairgrounds, Sierra Street & Fair Drive, Bishop, CA.
For more information and to review the planning documents go to:

September 18, Thursday: TJ/Barrett Lakes, Sierra Club Range of Light Group

September 18 (Thursday), TJ/Barrett Lakes. Loop trail starts at Lake George and swings around Lake Mary. 4 miles round-trip. Dogs OK. Meet at 5:30pm at the Mammoth Lakes Union Bank, Contact Sally (760-218-0083),

September 20, Saturday, 9am to noon: Great Sierra River Cleanup, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Bishop Paiute Tribe, and others!

Enjoy the river winding free; put trash where it's supposed to be!

The Great Sierra River Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort in the state to remove trash and debris from watersheds throughout the 400 mile Sierra Nevada range.

Hosted by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, partner organizations like the Eastern Sierra Land Trust and the Bishop Paiute Tribe, organize volunteers to work together to clean the rivers, streams and lakes that supply the State of California with over 60% of its water.  

Over the past five years, this event has hosted nearly 19,000 volunteers to clean up over 1,700 river miles in the Sierra Nevada range. Not to mention it has facilitated the removal of 600 tons of trash and recyclables, from cigarette butts to whole couches.

This year the event will be held Saturday, September 20th from 9am-12pm. Bring outdoor clothing, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat and water. Snacks will be provided.

To sign up, contact Bishop Paiute Tribe Watershed Project Coordinator and AmeriCorps member Brittni Brown at

September 21, Sunday: Ediza Lake, Sierra Club Range of Light Group

September 21 (Sunday), Ediza Lake from Agnew Meadows. 13.5 miles round-trip, 1225’ gain. Trail between Shadow Lake and Ediza is especially beautiful with several overlook areas above the creek. Please bring $7 (per adult) for shuttle bus. Dogs OK, a leash and muzzle are required for the shuttle bus. Meet at 8am at the Mammoth Lakes Union Bank. Contact Melissa (760-937-0499),

CNPS Event September 24, Wednesday, 7pm: CNPS Program: The River Runs Through It (and How That's Working Out), at the Water Department Conference Room, 135 S Jackson, Independence

Larry Freilich is the Mitigation Manager for the Inyo County Water Department. He oversees the implementation of the many Long-term Water Agreement mitigation projects, and others environmental projects throughout the Owens Valley; including revegetation projects, and the Lower Owens River Project (LORP).

Larry will be presenting background on the LORP and talk about project successes and the challenges of recreating a river ecosystem on the edge of the Great Basin desert. He will also entertain a discussion on other mitigation projects that would be of interest to CNPS members and others in attendance.

For more detail and photos, see our meetings page!

Note this program will be held in Independence at the Water Department Conference Room, 135 S Jackson (just behind Chevron/Subway)

September 25, Thursday, 7pm: Program: Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin, with Marie Read, Eastern Sierra Audubon

Eastern Sierra Audubon will have a special book event with author and photographer Marie Read on Thursday, September 25, at the U.S. Forest Service/BLM Building in Bishop on West Line Street, near the DMV. Spellbinder Books will be there with signed copies of her beautiful new book for sale. Note that this program is on a Thursday night rather than our usual Wednesday. Doors open at 6:30, with the presentation starting at 7:00pm.

Nationally known bird photographer, Marie Read, takes us on a journey exploring the birdlife of the Mono Lake Basin. Marie’s stunning photography, now featured in her newly released book Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin, reveals the fascinating lives of the birds that breed or migrate through this spectacular birding hotspot. You can see Marie’s work at

For more details, see the Eastern Sierra Audubon programs page. Contact Jenny Richardson (email or call 760-920-8541) with questions. Everyone is welcome to attend all programs!

September 25, Thursday: Mammoth Creek, Sierra Club Range of Light Group

September 25 (Thursday), Mammoth Creek. dogs OK. Meet at 5:30pm at the Mammoth Lakes Union Bank. Contact Sally (760-218-0083),

CNPS Event September 27, Saturday, CNPS Field Trip: Mollie Gibson area (White Mountains), Leader: Michèle Slaton

NOTE: Date changed to October 4th - see below!

September 27, Saturday: Pine Creek to Mosquito Flat, Sierra Club Range of Light Group

September 27 (Saturday), Hike from Pine Creek to Mosquito Flats with car shuttle, 12 miles, 3000’ elevation gain, strenuous, no dogs. Meet at 7am at the Mosquito Flats parking area. Contact Cindy (908-763-1708),

September 28, Sunday: Lyell Canyon in Yosemite National Park, Sierra Club Range of Light Group

September 28 (Sunday), Lyell Canyon in Yosemite National Park. This 14 mile round-trip hike along the John Muir Trail has a gentle grade. Start in Tuolumne Meadows, follow the JMT towards Donahue Pass, passing through meadows along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. At lunch, the hike leader will read excerpts from John Muir's work. Meet at 8am at the Mobil Station in Lee Vining. Look for Jeff's Toyota Tacoma. No dogs. Space limited to 15 hikers. Contact Jeff (423-322-7866),

September 29, Monday, 5:30pm: Conversation #80 of 100: Lessons and Tools Towards Unraveling Mono Basin's Last Ice Age Climate, Metabolic Studio

The Metabolic Studio is Hosting One Hundred Conversations About Water during the Centenary of the LA Owens River Aqueduct. Please Join Us for Conversation 80: Lessons and Tools Towards Unraveling Mono Basin's Last Ice Age Climate, with Guleed Ali, Columbia University. Ali will be extending his research to other western lake basins during the time period, so it will be great to compare his research with our recent talks on Owens Lake level fluctuations.

Join us on Monday, September 29 at 5:30 pm, at Metabolic Studio I.O.U. Garden, 238 N. North Main St (at Willow), Lone Pine. For more information call 510-468-7113.

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!

CNPS Event 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.

October 8

Sage Grouse

CNPS Event CANCELLED October 12, Sunday, 9:00am, CNPS Field Day: Highway clean-up, Leader: Scott Hetzler

Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 and Pine Creek Rd., west of 395, at 9.00 AM. We will try to be done by 1:00 PM. For more information contact Scott at (760) 873-8392.

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: or call (760) 920- 5287.

CNPS Event 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

CNPS Event November 20, 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, 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.

CNPS Event November 22, Saturday - 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 fall leaves and planting new plants into the garden. If you are interested in helping we will meet at 8:00 am in Bishop, on Mandich 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.

For more information, contact Katie Quinlan at or 760-873-8023

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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