Volume 3, No. 2 April 1984

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora




Peter Rowlands, BLM Botanist at the Ridgecrest Resource Area office, will speak and show slides on.an interesting subject, "Toxic Plants". The time and place will be announced in the local news media. Please mark the May 30 date on your calendar.

President's message:

The Bristlecone Chapter is now 2 years old, a healthy, robust youngster. Maturity in certain aspects will come, but we are pleased with our progress so far. Even though we are remote from the rest of the state, we enjoy being a part of the C.N.P.S. organization. It has brought inspiration and stimulation, and perhaps strength that we have desperately needed. The great distances with our area present a problem, but we are making an effort to distribute the field trips thoughout. In the meantime, we encourage communication and compare notes.

Our main focus at present is twofold. Much of our effort is in the educational phase. The object, of course, is to increase knowledge and appreciation of. native plants of Inyo-Mono and to develop an understanding of their requirements. The above objective leads to the next. This is to develop a well informed public interested in the preservation of native plants. The difference is becoming evident in public hearings, letters on issues, and public contacts in general.

A rewarding aspect is the great people who turn out for meetings and field trips. Much sharing of expertise is developing, along with camaraderie .

 ...... Mary DeDecker



This book would make an attractive gift for anyone, anywhere. It discusses the rare, endangered, and extinct plants on the federal lists, so applies to any part of the country. Thus, it is full of food for thought as well as being beautifully written and well designed. Mr. Mohlenbrock, the author of many books, is a professor at Southern Illinois University. He has been a member of our Bristlecone Chapter, C.N.P.S., almost since its beginning. The fine line

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drawings in the book were done by his son, Mark. There are also eight pages of color photographs illustrating 40 beautiful species, including the Eureka Dunes Evening Primrose. Three appendixes show the federally listed plants, those nominated for listing, and plants presumed to be extinct, each with appropriate data. The book is by Macmillan Publishers and sells for $15.95.

INTERMOUNTAIN FLORA, VOLUME FOUR by Arthur Cronquist, Arthur H. Holmgren, Noel H. Holmgren, James L. Reveal, and Patricia Holmgren.

This long awaited work is just off the press. It follows the previous Volumes One and Six. Three more, Volumes Two, Three and Five, are scheduled for release in 1989, 1986 and 1987, respectively. The first, Volume One, contains geological and botanical history, plant geography, vascular cryptogams, gymnosperms, and a glossary. Volume Six contains the monocotyledons. Now, Volume Four contains many of the dicotyledones, including Polemoniaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Boraginaceae, Lamiaceae, and Scrophulariaceae. There are keys and descriptions which include helpful discussions in problem areas. The book is fully illustrated with line drawings, including details of flowers and fruit, and often of surface texture. The intermountain area which is covered in this series reaches into California to take in the White Mountains and eastward to the Nevada line. A large percentage of Inyo-Mono species are covered.

Prices are: VOLUME: One $28.95 , Four 75.00 , Six 60.00

They may be ordered from: Scientific Publications Office,The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458

Prepay and save postage and handling fee.


David Trydahl, Resident Manager of the White Mountain Research Station, was speaker for our March 28 meeting. He brought us up to date on the wide range of activities at Line Street and on the mountain. Under the present administration research is being encouraged in numerous fields. It is truly a service to the scientific community. Living facilities are available at the East Line Street station and at Crooked Creek.

CORRECTION: It was only the wrong year! The WHITE/INYO AND HIGH ALTITUDE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM is to be held August 22-25, 1985, Thursday to Sunday. We mistakenly assumed it was to be this year. So you have a whole year more to look forward to this outstanding event. More information as the date nears.

DEATH VALLEY FIELD TRIP, March 10-11. By Mike Prather

Twenty adults and children spent a weekend driving the length of Death Valley to Saratoga Springs. Little or no rain since Christmas

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meant few annuals, but 400 miles of driving found the few that there were. Artist's Palette yielded splashes of heart-leaved primrose (Camissonia cardiophylla ssp. robusta) with pigmy cedar (Peucephyllum schottii) but only one 3 mm leaf of golden carpet (Gilmania luteola) was seen. Skeletons of Hoffmannbuckwheat (Eriogonum hoffmannii) lined the roadway. Blowsand areas around Ashford Mill gave us Spanish needle (Palafoxia arida), sand verbena (Abron.ia villosa) and globe mallow or five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia). It also stuck several of our vehicles on the way to Saratoga Springs, which helped build group spirit and unity (A hint for future leaders?).

Along with several sidewinders, rare pupfish and fine birding, we found Saratoga Springs to be a beautiful open-water spring surrounded by reeds (Phragmites australis), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), Parry saltbush (Atriplex parryi), alkali pink (Nitrophila occidentalis), Cooper rush (Juncus cooperi) and alkali weed (Cressa truxillensis).
Circling north to Shoshone, we found the rare member of the Caper Family, spiny caper (Oxystylis lutea) along the roadway. This was first collected by Fremont along the Amargosa River. Continuing northward to Death Valley Junction, we turned right to visit Carson Sink. There we located the little Amargosa nitrophyla (Nitrophila mojavensis) and copperweed (Iva acerosa) growing in the moist, alkali encrusted claybeds.

Small patches of bloom were found in Furnace Creek Wash near Twenty-Mule Team Canyon. These included caltha-leaved phacelia (Phacelia calthifolia ), purple mat (Mama demissuml. rosy-thorn ( Chorizanthe rigida), yellow cups (Camissonia brevipes), holly gilia (Gilia latifolia) and parachute plant (Atrichoseris platyphylla).

Beautiful weather and fine company made our trip a great success. Thanks to all.

SALINE VALLEY FIELD TRIP, April 7-8 By Mike Prather

The stark beauty of Saline Valley was enjoyed by 33 of us over the weekend of April 7-8. The occasion was a joint outing by members and friends of the Bristlecone Chapter, C.N.P.S., and the Eastern Sierra Chapter of the Audubon Society. A caravan of 14 vehicles made quite a show when we were parked in a long line to view botanical attractions or to scout out some spring bird visitors. The trip was under the general leadership of Mike Prather of Lone Pine, a member of both chapters.

Saturday was mostly botanically oriented. Mary DeDecker stopped the group at several selected sites. Since this year is very dry and not many plants were in bloom, she emphasized plant communities and how each was distinctive. Indicator plants can tell a lot about conditions at a given site. Communities vary with moisture, soils, elevation, exposure, etc., most of which can be modified by human activity.

Saturday night was spent at the mesquite grove near Saline Lake. Just as Saturday was most?;º botanical, Sunday was oriented more toward

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binding. Avid birders were up 'at 5:00 a.m. to find what aquatic and other birds were in and around the lake and associated marshes.- In all, 31 species were seen there. Another choice birding spot was an artesian well oasis in the middle of the valley where still more species were seen. The final treat was a visit to a fern grotto at the mouth of a canyon. Maidenhair fern and columbine provided a surefire treat in the desert)

Perhaps a botanical highlight was the finding of a hybrid mistletoe, a cross between Phoradendron bolleanum ssp. densum and Phoradendron juniperinum. The first one is leafy and the other has scales in lieu of leaves. Leaves on the hybrid are small, about halfway between those of the parent species. All occurred on Utah juniper. Among the birding highlights were the sighting of Wood Ducks and Phainopeplas, the two in different sites.

WE GIVE YOU MORE ON THE SAME TRIP, this one a news release for the local papers by Carolyn Gann.

Do you like to see Cedar Waxwings feeding in the top of a tree or find an orchid blooming by a spring? Thirty-three people on the California Native Plant Society and Eastern Sierra Audubon joint field trip enjoyed such sites on the April 7-8 weekend outing in Saline Valley.
With stops in Greasewood Scrub, Shadscale Scrub and high elevation Sagebrush communities, the group traveled into Saline Valley by the northern route. Leaders were Mike Prather and Mary DeDecker, and plant lists were available. This being a dry year, very few flowers were found. Lunch break was taken in the Pinyon-Juniper Forest Service reserve at Whippoorwill Flat.
Peter Rowlands, botanist of the Ridgecrest Area Office of BLM, gave a talk on this Area of Critical Environmental Concern, with reference to the impact.of the burro around the salt marsh in Saline Valley and the burro control program. The other conservation issue covered was the control of non-native tamarisk, the pink-flowered plant which is invasive and uses excessive amounts of water.

Both Sora and Virginia Rails were heard during the evening. A Common Yellowthroat sang from the reeds and a Roadrunner cooed in the distance. An early morning walk around the salt marsh produced occasional glimpses of Wood Ducks, which then circled for all to see. An obliging Snipe was closely viewed as he believed himself well camouflaged.
Winds created an "Inyo Wave" above the Inyo Mountains Sunday afternoon, when the group visited a lovely fern grotto and began to caravan out the southern road. Seventy species of birds were seen.


The burro control program in Death Valley National Monument has been concluded for this year with the removal of 2092 animals. The impact that so many agressive animals have had on the native fauna is contrary to the principles of good land management. The intent is to continue the program next year.

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May 12-13

EUREKA VALLEY. Camp at the Eureka Dunes Saturday night. Meet by the Triangle Campground at the road junction north of Big Pine at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. We will caravan by way of Fish Lake Valley to see the scenic area at the Cucomungo Narrows. Fourwheel-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.

June 30-July 1

MAMMOTH AREA. Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center Saturday, June 30. Camping will be at Pine Glen group site (behind the Visitor Center) Saturday night. Space 411. LEADERS: Mike Prather and Joe Madeiros, local expert.

PLEASE NOTE THAT A PLANT LIST FOR THE EUREKA DUNES AND THEIR BORDERS was published on page 3 of Vol. 2, No. 2, April 1983, of the Bristlecone Newsletter. You may want to zerox it to take on the trip.


There is to be a dedication ceremony at the Eureka Sand Dunes National Natural Landmark on Saturday, April 28. It will start at IO:CO a.m., then break for an early lunch, to be followed by an interpretive walk on the dunes led by Peter Rowlands and Mary DeDecker.

According to the announcement,

The official welcome and the invocation will be followed by several speakers--Gerald Hillier, District Manager, California Desert District; Louis Boll, former BLM Bakersfield District Manager; naturalist Mary DeDecker; and Johnny Johnson, the Inyo County Supervisor. Mr. Johnson will do the actual unveiling.

The Bureau of Land Management is planning the event to celebrate that the Eureka Sand Dunes has been nationally recognized for its significance to the American heritage.


Environmentalists lost an enthusiastic supporter with the death of Rollin Enfield of Bishop. His specialty was archeology, but he championed causes over a far broader field. He and his wife, Grace, were an effective team. Among other things, they gave strong support in the effort to gain protection for the Eureka Dunes.

Our condolences go to Grace, along with our appreciation for her own years of dedication.

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The signing of the "water pact" between Los Angeles and Owens Valley is being hailed by the news media as a harmonious settlement of the long standing water war. But in Owens Valley there is far from a harmonious feeling.

The people of Inyo were bypassed throughout the negotiation process, and any significant input from them after release of the agreement was rejected or ignored. The entire negotiation process was conducted in closed meetings and the terms were kept secret until it was considered the proper time for release. That time was the day that Benett Kessler, the penetrating news reporter, was put off the air in southern Inyo. Other news media were being beguiled by glowing reports of peace and harmony.

After reviewing the agreement, an analytical public was most concerned over the pumping table which would allow far greater extraction than had ever occurred or which had been considered the safe limit by the Inyo County Water Department's staff. Also, the people insisted that an EIR should be prepared before entering into the agreement. Reflecting lack of faith in the negotiation team, the organizations opposing the agreement requested that it include one whom they could support. Besides these major concerns, they saw numerous loopholes which would depend on whatever interpretation Los Angeles would choose to give them.

Inyo County officials would not yield on any of the major items of concern. Los Angeles would not consent to removing the pumping table, nor would they alter it. Inyo Supervisors naively accepted the statement by a certain Los Angeles official that they would never go to the pumping table. As for the EIR, the attorneys involved in the agreement cleverly changed the title to "Stipulations", referring to the court cases addressed. Thus, they claim that no EIR is required. If they can get away with this it would mean that CEQA requirements could be evaded in any case simply by filing suit and then agreeing to settle it without an EIR. Regardless of the feelings of the people, the present negotiation team is firmly entrenched. The attitude is that it would be betraying the City of Los Angeles to put anyone on the team who would not rubber-stamp the agreement.

The tragic outcome is that we are stuck with an agreement that is extremely dangerous as long as our officials are getting so much ego satisfaction out of catering to Los Angeles. A responsible watchdog is essential. The only hope for Inyo tocome out well would be to have an official team who would be responsive to the citizens of Owens Valley and show some sensitivity to its environmental values. As it is, there is a smoldering resentment among the people. They feel betrayed by their own officials.

Besides a large segment of individuals who have expressed themselves well in public statements, the agreement was strongly opposed by the Bristlecone Chapter, C.N.P.S., the League of Women Voters of the Eastern Sierra, the Eastern Sierra Audubon Chapter, the local Sierra Club group, and the Owens Valley Committee (OVC) recently incorporated to act as a coalition on environmental issues. All have displayed a positive attitude toward arriving at a sound agreement, but have considered this one unacceptable.

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BANDANAS are now available in black, green or royal blue ink on off-white, beige, gold, blue or lavender. The size is 21 inches square. The design shows the official C.N.P.S. emblem in the center with the bristlecone logo in the corners, as shown in the last newsletter. The price is $5.95, which will include handling and mailing if ordered during the month of May.

T-SHIRTS OR SWEATER SHIRTS of your choice may be printed with the Bristlecone logo in the ink colors given above. Bring your own shirt to Pat Crowther or to the May meeting--no later. A total of 20 will be required to make it pay, so discuss it with others. The shirt may be cotton, blends of acrylic, or cotton blends, and must be washed. They should not be nubby or very rough. Cost--$3.00 each.

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The California Native Plant Society is an organization of laypersons and professionals united by an interest in the plants of California. It is open to all. Its principal aims are to preserve the native flora and to add to the knowledge of its members and the public.

P.O. or Street
Phone ( )

Membership Category:
Life, Couple $400
Life, Single 350
Supporting 30
Family 18
Organization 18
Individual 12
Student 8
Retired 8
I wish to be affiliated with the following Chapter: Bristlecone, Other
Please mail application and check for dues to:
Membership Chairman California Native Plant Society 2380 Ellsworth St., Suite D Berkeley, CA. 94704

Name P.O. or Street
City State Zip Phone ( )
I will attend June 9-10 August 24-25 ($10.00 for each 2-day session)
(Make check payable to BRISTLECONE CHAPTER, C.N.P.S. Mail to: Buckwheat Field Class, Attention Mary DeDecker, P. 0. Box 506, Independence, CA. 93526.)

The following new members since the last newsletter are warmly welcomed:
Rhoda Brock 12015 Abingdon Street Norwalk, CA. 90650
Evelyn Callaway 477 Monte Vista Ave. Ridgecrest, CA. 93555
Lyle Guerts 386 May Street Bishop, CA. 93514
June Latting & Family 320 Maravilla Drive Riverside, CA. 92507
Dr. F. S. Martin 4700 Venturi Lane Fort Collins, C0. 80525
Maureen Pendleton P. 0. Box 891 Needles, CA. 92363
Nancy Zierenberg P. 0. Box 735 Durham, CA. 95938

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.