Volume 3, No. 1 February 1984

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora



Vol. 3, No. 1 February 1984


March 28, 7:30 p.m., at the County Schools building in Independence, 135 South Jackson Street. 1 block east of Highway 395. See calendar in this issue.

President's message:

A glimmer of hope is showing through the discouraging setbacks in the environmental fields. Enough progress had been made that we assumed the basic principles of environmental good health were well established as a way of life in this enlightened country. Great strides had been made in water quality, air pollution control, land use planning, understanding of ecological relationships, and concern for species diversity. Perhaps we were naive to expect this trend to continue in a country so rich in natural resources that they have seemed unlimited. We should have realized that those who benefited from unlimited exploitation would find a way to gain control eventually. To them it matters not that man is a unit in the chain of life and that he and his progeny will be the ultimate victims of bad environmental practices. The fast buck will have been gained and spent well before the day of reckoning.

The shock of the abrupt change in governmental attitudes caught us unprepared. With great dismay we saw hard won gains decimated. In too many cases, departments concerned with environmental protection were headed by people critical of those objectives. Funds have been withheld for vital programs. This reversal quickly swept through all levels of government. It was happily adopted by any local officials who had resented environmental constraints. It was as if they now had license to abuse the land. We have been forced into a defensive position, trying to hold the line. It has been a discouraging time, when even procedural safeguards have been ignored. Those who raised questions have been treated as enemies.

Now, however, there are increasing indications of deep swells developing from public awareness. Among them is a push for a Biological Survey of the entire United States (BISUS). The February 2, 1984 issue of SCIENCE contains an article by Michael Kosztarab, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg 24061, telling of the proposal. He states:

"The program would (i) establish a survey to describe the plants and animals of the United States, (ii) fund basic taxanomic research on the biota, and (iii) produce identification manuals, species catalogs, atlases of biotic surveys, group classification systems, and other Publications."

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In conclusion he says:

"It is clear that agencies concerned with agriculture, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, and parks would benefit from BISUS. The public, science, and conservation programs would all be well served by such an important program."

The strong support this has received indicates a push for better decisions effecting the land and its resources. A proposal to initiate BISUS is now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. We can all help persuade our Senators and Congressmen that a nationwide biological study is long overdue in this country.

Other publications, as well as the daily mail, bring information of well organized movements which call for sound decisions by officials on all levels of government, along with more concern for future consequences. It is encouraging to think that valiant efforts on local issues may be reinforced eventually by a strong new wave of public insistence. Let us hang in there!

..... Mary DeDecker


Here is an opportunity to give very personal support to rare and endangered species. The income tax form provides a check-off for this purpose. Such contributions will be transferred by the Franchise Tax Hoard to a special account in the California Fish and Game Preservation Fund. The program will be dropped in 1987, however, unless the income each year covers the costs of administration. So let's make it a habit.


A special meeting to review a draft of the third edition of the C.N.P.S. Rare Plant Inventory was held at Davis on February 11. The all day session was attended by 20 people, including Peter Rowlands and Mary DeDecker of this chapter, who are members of the C.N.P.S. Rare Plant Committee. It was a day of concentrated effort in weighing the degrees of rarity, endangerment, and distribution so that each species under consideration would end up on the most appropriate of five lists. The new INVENTORY should be out this spring.

We are asked by Ann Pinzl of the Nevada State Museum to announce a similar conference in Nevada. This is a workshop, open to all.

Time: Friday, March 2, 1984, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Place: College Inn, 1001 N. Virginia St., Reno, Nevada, across from UNR. Conference room is on the first floor.

Any questions? Please write or call Ann Pinzl, Nevada State Museum, Capitol Complex, Carson City, Nevada 89710. (702) 885-4810. Contact her for information on parking.

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March 10-11. Field Trip. The southern end of Death Valley and Saratoga Springs. Dry camp outside the D.V.N.M.'s south end. Return via Shoshone. Meet in front of the Visitor's Center at Furnace Creek at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. LEADER: Mike Prather.

March 7. Meeting with Eastern Sierra Audubon Society. Speakers from the League of Women Voters of the Eastern Sierra will give an update on the Inyo/Los Angeles DWP legal controversy, from the historical background to the terms of the proposed agreement. The place is Ticor Title Insurance Building, 163 East May St., Bishop, at 7:30 p.m.

March 28. Meeting. David Trydahl, Resident Manager of the White Mountain Research Station, will speak to us about the ongoing programs there. The place is the Supt. of Schools building in Independence, 7:30 p.m. See Page 1.

April 7-8. Joint Field Trip with Audubon. Saline Valley. Meet at road junction north of Big Pine by the Triangle Campground at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. Dry camp near the marsh. Return via the south end of the valley to Lone Pine. LEADER: Mike Prather.

May 12-13. Field Trip. Eureka Valley. Camp at the Eureka Dunes Saturday night. Meet as above by the Triangle Camp ground at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. We will caravan by way of Fish Lake Valley to see the scenic area at the Cucomungo Narrows. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are not required to reach the dunes, but those who have them are urged to bring them. If there are enough to car pool we can visit Dedeckera Canyon and its many endemics. LEADERS: Paul and Mary DeDecker.
May 30. Meeting. The speaker and place will be announced in the April newsletter.
June 9-10. Field Class. Meet at DeDecker residence at Pavilion and Washington in Independence, 9:00 a.m. See infor mation on another page.

June 30-July 1. Field Trip. Devil's Postpile. Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Minaret Summit kiosk. Camp Saturday night at an Agnew Meadow group site. LEADERS: Mike Prather and local expert Joe Madeiros.

July 14-15. Field Trip. Glass Mountain, Mono County. Drive up to Sawmill Meadow for a high elevation floristic experi ence. Details later. LEADERS: Doris Fredendall and Ray Mosher.

PLEASE NOTE that we have switched dates for this trip and the one below.

August 18-19. Field Trip. Ramshaw Meadow on the Kern Plateau. We will be cooperating with the Inyo National Forest in making a field inventory of the rare alpine sand verbena, Abronia alpina. The meadow is an 8 to 9 mile hike via Mulkey Pass. Flights to nearby Tunnel Meadow can be arranged through Eastern Sierra Flying Service

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in Lone Pine. The Cottonwood Pack Station (Phone (619) 764-2225) can pack in your gear is you want to go light on the trail. Any other information will appear in a later newsletter.
LEADERS: Carroll Albert, U.S.F.S., and Mary DeDecker.

August 24-25. Field Class. Details to be announced later.

September 8-9. Field Trip. Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Lake. This may include a boat trip the length of the lake to the glaciated winderness area beyond. Details later.

The above meetings and field trips have been planned to provide a most informative and fun year. Because of distances involved, many overnight trips are scheduled. One-day stays are feasible in some cases. You are reminded that distances are long, so be sure to start out with gasoline tanks full. We repeat from the last newsletter that desert camping calls for plenty of water, refreshing liquids, insect repellant (There may be gnats.) sunscreen, and a hat and dark glasses. Carry a hand lens, of course, and the usual camera, binoculars, and whatever hand books that apply. Remember that even summer nights on the desert may be cool.


The Bristlecone Chapter has adopted two fund raising projects. The first to be launched is a bandana designed and produced by artist members Patricia Crowther and Frances Cholewa. (We appreciate the assistance of Gary Lake, art teacher at Bishop High School.) To the left is a preview of the design, much reduced. Actual size of the bandanas is 21 in. square. They are in black or green ink on off-white, beige or gold. They are now on sale for $5.95 each.
Other colors may be available later.

The other project will be two weekend fieid classes on buckwheats and their close relatives. It will be taught by Mary DeDecker. This has been urged for some time, so has been adopted as a chapter activity. The abundance of species, including some rare ones, and the broad range of its forms in this region make this group worthy of special attention. As many species. as possible will be covered in the two sessions. The June weekend will focus on the early bloomers, and the August dates will find still others. The cost will be $10.00 per weekend. See enrollment form elsewhere.

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Changing business trends which encourage nonconsumptive forms of recreation and the appreciation of natural values are to be commended. Parcher's Resort at 9280 feet on the South Fork of Bishop Creek is changing its focus from fishing to such subjects as wildflowers and photography. The new owners will begin the series with a Tour/Workshop from July 31 to August 5. The subject, "Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra" is to be taught by Glenn Keator, botanist and Director of Education at the Strybing Arboretum Society in San Francisco. The workshop is intended for beginners who want to learn about plants and their habitats. This appealing package includes "six nights lodging in clean, comfortable cabins and seventeen delicious meals in a delightful setting." For reservations write or telephone to Glenn Keator Workshop, c/o Parcher's Resort. Address inquiries to:

Before May 1: P. O. Box 204, Ross, CA. 94957. (415) 453-1521
After May 1: P. 0. Box 1658, Bishop, CA. 93514 (619) 873-4177


A WHITE/INYO AND HIGH ALTITUDE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM has just been announced. The dates given are August 22 - 25, Thursday - Sunday. Since these dates and days do not match, please include Sunday when you mark it on your calendar. This will be cleared up later. Detailed planning is now underway. It sounds too good to miss!

An unexpected treat in mid-January was the finding of the charming little rock midget, Mimulus rupicola, in bloom on south-facing cliffs in the Last Chance Mountains. Obviously, it is a perennial, not an annual as was first supposed. The extra precipitation in the fall and early winter must have encouraged the precocious development.

PLEASE NOTE that we have back issues of the BRISTLECONE NEWSLETTER and FREMONTIA, the CNPS quarterly magazine. Newsletters are 75¢ each, plus 20¢ postage if mailed, and copies of FREMONTIA are $1.00 each, plus postage if mailed. Send orders to P. 0. Box 506, Independence, CA. 93526.
I wish to enroll in the Buckwheat Field Class sponsored by the InyoMono Bristlecone Chapter, C.N.P.S.
I will attend both sessions June 9-10 August 24-25
Enclosed is my payment $ ($10.00 for each 2-day session)
(Make check payable to Bristlecone Chapter, C.N.P.S. Mail to: Buckwheat Field Class, Att'n Mary DeDecker, P. 0. Box 506, Independence CA. 93526)

We are happy to welcome the following new members, and we hope that many of them can participate in our activities.

James S. Holland P. O.Box 1984 Page, AZ. 86040
George E. Moncsko 218 Primrose Street Ridgecrest, CA. 93555
Trudy Saxton P. O. Box 827 Lone Pine, CA. 93545
Susan Skakel P. O. Box 7586 Bend, OR. 97708
Rodney D. Sutherland 2291 Mariposa Street Pomona, CA. 91767
Lee A. Thompson 345 62nd Street Oakland, CA. 94618
Katie Wilkinson 160 North 2nd St., Apt. H Bishop, CA. 93514

The Bristlecone Newsletter comes out bimonthly. It is mailed free to members of the Bristlecone Chapter, C.N.P.S. For non-members the subscription rate is $5.00 per year.