Volume 19 No. 2 March 1999

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora




The March meeting will be on Wednesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. at the Big Pine Methodist Church. Our speaker will be Brian Cashore, the Salt Cedar Control Project Coordinator for Inyo County. His talk, "Tamarisk Control in the Owens Valley," will describe the problematic tamarisk and the strategies and techniques Brian's crew uses for the removal of this noxious weed. Bishop and Big Pine members, please bring refreshments to share.


Tuesday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the White Mountain Research Station. All chapter members and other interested individuals are welcome and encouraged to attend. Members, please bring a goodie to share.


For all of you who were wondering if old El Presidente would return from his trip to Costa Rica the answer is..... I did!!! And we didn't spend any of the money we "borrowed" from the chapter’s treasury. Does that mean I have to give it back? If you want to know what green is then you should take a trip to Costa Rica. The forests we visited were dripping with green.

You couldn't see the forest because of the trees, and you couldn't see the trees because of all the stuff growing on them! I was absolutely amazed at how much, and how many different kinds of plants were growing up in those trees. You could spend days just looking at all the different kinds of plants growing on just one branch of a tree. Ask Steve and Karen, they have.

I know this is not the Audubon news letter but if you like bird watching then you must take a trip to Costa Rica. The birds there are not just colorful, they are outrageous! Sometimes we were so overwhelmed with trying to see and identify all the different birds we were seeing in a single tree. I've only been home a little over a week but I am ready to head right back there. A big "thank you" to my friends that I traveled with. They were wonderful traveling companions and I'm already thinking about the next trip I hope we can take together.

Sometime this year at one of our general meetings we will be showing our slides and pictures of our trip. I hope to see you there.

I am happy to announce that two of our chairperson vacancies have been filled. Heidi Hopkins volunteered to be our Publicity Chairperson and Mark Bagley will continue to be our Field Trip Chair. Two down and two to go. Now I'll stop writing and go sit by my phone knowing that you all are rushing to your phones ready to volunteer to help any way you can.

……..Scott Hetzler



Mary DeDecker Honored by the

Sierra Club

One of our esteemed founding members, Mary DeDecker, was honored at the regular meeting held in January. Sierra Club representative, Wilma Wheeler, presented Mary with the Andrea Lawrence Lifetime Achievement Award for her long career promoting and protecting the plants of the desert and the Eastern Sierra. Wilma noted Mary's numerous plant discoveries and her conservation work. Congratulations and thank you for all you've done, Mary!




Annual Sierra Spring Sojourn

This popular event will be held on May 14-16, Friday night through Sunday afternoon at the Bernasconi Education Center in Big Pine. This will be our fourth annual Sojourn and again we’ll offer a wonderful weekend of desert plant enjoyment. Several trips will be offered on Saturday and Sunday along with evening speakers. Plants lists, meals, dorms and camping facilities provided. Advance registration is required and there is a fee. For a registration packet contact Kathy Duvall at 760-387-2626.

Sierra Spring Sojourn

Evening Programs

The Sierra Spring Sojourn will feature two evening programs. On Friday night, May 14, local botanists will welcome guests with a slide show highlighting flowers, floral displays, and other interesting botanical aspects of the eastern Sierra.

The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served. Then, at 8 p.m. Saturday evening, following the banquet, geographer Dr. Doug Powell will present an entertaining, beautifully-photographed overview of east side geography. A popular professor of geography, Dr Powell has over 45 years experience exploring, studying, teaching, and working (for example as a snow surveyor) in the ranges and valleys of eastern California. He has a wealth of experiences, observations and insights to share.

……..Sally Manning - Program Chair.



2nd Edition of Mary DeDecker’s Flora of the Northern Mojave

We have begun work on a second edition of Mary DeDecker's Flora of the Northern Mojave Desert to be published by CNPS. Thanks to the work of Steve Hartman and others, names have been updated and plant species added to Mary's original flora, which was published in 1984 and is now out of print. At least eight Bristlecone members and other botanists have volunteered to write profiles of approximately 15 places of botanical interest in the northern Mojave. We hope to incorporate some of Mary's field notes and personal anecdotes with the descriptions of these places.

We also hope to have some color photos in the second edition. Dr. Bruce Pavlik has volunteered to write two short essays on sand dunes and limestone as important plant habitats in the northern Mojave. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project.

……..Steve Ingram - Project Coordinator




Please mark your calendars for this year's plant sale which is scheduled for Saturday, September 11. Tell your friends and schedule your vacations accordingly! There will be several work parties and seed

collecting trips before then that will need the support of Bristlecone Chapter members if we are to have a successful sale. There are lots of jobs available, large and small, so please call Karen Ferrell-Ingram at 387-2913, if you can help.


CNPS Bristlecone Chapter 1999 Spring Field Trip Schedule

In contrast to El Nino, it appears that La Nina is going to bring us one of the driest years throughout most of the Mojave Desert. However, the Owens Valley may not be so bad; we've had snow in the valley and enough rain so far to be encouraged that we'll have some wildflowers. We've had plenty of snow and rain in the Sierra, Inyo White mountains and even the Coso Range to produce a good bloom later in the season. Please join us as we venture forth this spring to look for some of the living gems of the desert.

For all field trips, be sure to bring plenty of water, lunch, good walking shoes or boots, and appropriate clothing for hot sun or inclement weather. Also useful would be a hand lens, binoculars, camera, floras, and plant lists. Trips will leave at the time announced, so please arrive at the meeting sites a few minutes early. Unless indicated, the average car should do fine. Car pooling is encouraged. Everyone is welcome, but please no pets. If you need more information contact Field Trip Chairperson Mark Bagley at 760-873-5326 or e-mail: markbagley@qnet.com.

March 13, Saturday. Red Rock Canyon, Mono Co. Leader: Anne Halford. In 1996 a revegetation effort was initiated by BLM at the Red Rock Canyon petroglyph site in the Volcanic Tablelands to rehabilitate a closed road and help protect the outstanding archaeological resources of the area. On March 13th we will be planting more locally grown plants from the area that we still have extra of. Please meet at 8:00 am in Bishop at the "Y" behind the Texaco Station at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 395 and Hwy. 6.

Bring gardening gloves, knee pad, lunch, water and any other field trip items. Call Anne at 873-6714 if you have any questions.

March 27, Saturday. Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kern Co. Leaders: Mark Faull and Mark Bagley. Meet at 10:00 am at the State Park Visitor's Center, west of Hwy. 14 (about 15-20 minutes south of Inyokern). We'll take a walk with Mark Bagley in the morning, then have a lunch break and meet with Park Ranger Mark Faull at the Visitor's Center at 12:30 for an afternoon tour. There may not be many wildflowers this year, but Red Rock is an extremely interesting and beautiful desert landscape at any time.

April 10, Saturday. Cactus Flat, Western Coso Mountains. Leader: Mark Bagley. Meet at 9:00 am in the parking area at the Olancha Post Office, on Hwy. 395 just southeast of its junction with Hwy. 190. We will drive up Cactus Flat Road into the Joshua tree woodlands on the west slope of the Coso Mountains. It looks like this area received some rain this winter and is likely to have some interesting wildflowers. Hopefully we will find Ripley's cymopterus (Cymopterus ripleyi) a rare plant on the CNPS inventory list 2.

April 24, Saturday. Haiwee Pass. Leader: Anne Halford. Meet at 8:00 am at the Lone Pine Interagency Visitor’s Station south of Lone Pine. From here we will car pool to the Haiwee Pass Trailhead about 30 minutes from Lone Pine - just due west from Haiwee Reservoir. This will be a moderate to strenuous hike up towards Haiwee Pass on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada. We will hike through diverse riparian and oak woodland communities that represent a wonderful mix of both east and west slope species.

May 1, Saturday. Manzanar National Historic Site, Owens Valley. Leader: Richard Potashin. Meet at 9:00 am at the entrance to Manzanar near the stone sentry hut, on the west side of Hwy. 395 just south of the old green auditorium (the former County road yard), about 5 miles south of Independence. Manzanar, with Indian, pioneer and Japanese-American habitations over the last 150 years, has a juxtaposition of introduced and native floras. We will see how the desert is reclaiming the site, assist in compiling a plant list for the Park Service, and visit several cultural sites within Manzanar.

May 14-16, Fri. night-Sun. Sierra Spring Sojourn. Bernasconi Education Center, Big Pine. Our fourth annual Sojourn - a wonderful weekend of desert plant enjoyment. Several trips will be offered on Saturday and Sunday along with evening speakers. Plants lists, meals, dorms and camping facilities provided. Advance registration is required and there is a fee. For a registration packet contact Kathy Duvall at 760-387-2626.

Late May. Saturday. Last Chance Mountains, Death Valley National Park. Leaders: Karen Ferrell-Ingram, Steve Ingram, and Derham Giuliani. Date to be announced in the May newsletter. Derham has been studying insects which frequent plants that occur on limestone substrates. We will be helping him with identification of these interesting plants. Derham will be taking us to a population of Dedeckera eurekensis that was recently discovered on the east side of the Last Chance Mountains. This will be an "unstructured" field trip, i.e. no trails, no plant list. Four wheel drive vehicle will probably be necessary. Overnight optional. More info to follow in the May newsletter!

Jepson Herbarium 1999 Weekend Workshops on Botanical Subjects


March 17-21

Jon Rebmann

Northern Vernal Pools

April 2-4

Bob Holland and Virginia Dains

Plant Insect Relationships

April 10 & 11

Jerry Powell

Fort Hunter Liggett Flora

April 16-19

Elizabeth Painter and Elizabeth Neese

Floristic Diversity of the East Mojave Desert

April 23-25

Jim Andre and Claudia Luke

The classes are limited to 20 participants and enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early! For further information contact the Jepson Herbarium, (510) 643-7008.



Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee (RPSAC)

On February 14th, RPSAC members Anne Halford and Kathleen Nelson joined other California botanists in Berkeley to discuss procedures and the timetable for the upcoming 6th edition of the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory. Thanks to all our Eastern Sierra Rare Plant Working Groups members input into inventory additions, changes, etc., we are a bit ahead of schedule since other regional working groups still need to be formed across the state.

Dave Tibor and Roxanne Bittman are working long and hard in compiling all this input and many of you are, and still will be, receiving email queries from Dave regarding final species input. Please respond if you still have not provided information and check those personal plant databases ASAP.

By late March/early April Dave will send out final Regional Reports and we will once again do a final review. In May, Kathleen Nelson our new Eastern Sierra Rare Plant Working Group Chair, will arrange a meeting that Dave and Roxanne will attend to receive our final "blessing" of inventory input specific to our eastside region. All of us need to make sure we do the final review well before May so that the meeting will not be bogged down by lengthy decision-making discussions. Please contact Kathleen if you have any questions.

The input and support from all of you has been greatly appreciated. Thanks again!!

……..Anne Halford



I want to thank those who responded to my request in the last edition of this newsletter and notified me they would write letters regarding the proposed siting of telescopes at Upper Harkless Flat in the Inyo Mountains. Since the last newsletter was printed no word has been received from either the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) or the Inyo National Forest regarding this misguided proposal and I believe OVRO has yet to apply for the Special Use Permit (SUP) needed to initiate the project. While it is premature to assume the proposal is dead, it has fallen well behind the schedule mentioned by OVRO last fall which is certainly good news. If anyone else would consider writing (should OVRO apply for the SUP and attempt to proceed with the proposal) please contact me at Skypilots@telis.org or PO Box 1411, Bishop, CA 93515..

……..Daniel Pritchett



Plant Projects for Parks and Wildlife

Four different park and wildlife bond acts have been introduced into the California legislature - (AB 18-Keeley; SB 2-Chesboro; SB 57-Hayden; SB 74-Murray) . CNPS is looking for specific project ideas that emphasize the conservation of native plants across the state. These projects could be used as amendments to the bills. If anyone would like more information, call Kathy Duvall at (760) 387-2626 or e-mail kduvall@telis.org

Executive Order on Invasive Species

On February 3, 1999, President Clinton made an executive order on invasive species. This order will prevent invasive species introduction, provide for their control and will minimize the economic, ecological and human health impacts that they cause. Besides prevention, detection and monitoring, restoration of native species and habitat conditions in invaded ecosystems will be addressed. (This is all based on the availability of appropriations.)

There will be an Invasive Species Council established to coordinate activities, encourage planning and promote actions at the local, tribal, state, regional and ecosystem-based levels.


The Council will also issue a National Invasive Species Management Plan within 18 months.

……..Kathy Duvall

Local Noxious Weed Group Helps Meet Invasive Species Executive Order Goals

The establishment of the Eastern Sierra Weed Management Area Working Group by Memorandum of Understanding in August 1998, represents a consortium of local county, state and federal agencies that will initiate coordinated noxious weed control, monitoring and education efforts.

A $47,000 grant submitted by the group was recently awarded by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation to assist the group in implementing an extensive noxious weed education/outreach program, a tamarisk biocontrol study and continued implementation of Integrated Pest Management programs for noxious weed populations in the valley. If you would like more information about the group and are interested in helping out with some of the outreach efforts please contact Anne Halford at 872-4881 wk. or 873-6714 hm.

Note: Excellent recent article in Ecological Monographs 69(1). Stohlgren et. al. 1999. Exotic Plant Species Invade Hot Spots of Native Plant Diversity.



Native Plant Gardening Notes

The large white evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa ssp. marginata) is a beautiful addition to the native plant garden, especially by moonlight. Its flowers seem almost extravagant in this high desert climate best known for lean and thrifty plants.

Glowing voluptuously, these fragrant flowers open at dusk to be visited and pollinated by Sphinx moths and other night-flying creatures.

Found throughout the west up to about 7500', the large white evening primrose usually inhabits dry and gravelly places. It can be seen locally as an abundant roadside decoration along Westgard Pass. The plants are 12" high rosettes that spread by sprouts from lateral roots and by seed. The variably toothed leaves are long and dark green with the flowers emerging from the base of the plant.

The large white evening primrose is an easy to grow native only requiring full sun, good draining soil, water at the appropriate time, and much fanfare and glory when in flower!

Connoisseurs of the evening primrose have been known to find twilight entertainment in watching the fast unfurling of the flowers. This little gem can be a showy groundcover when planted in mass in front of taller growing plants. Its seeds are fun to collect as they are held in the woody seedpods which slowly crack open to release the seeds inside. Give them several months of moist, cold stratification in the refrigerator and pot up. Plants may bloom the first summer.

This year, if all goes well, we will also be offering Oenothera californica ssp. avita at the plant sale. It is spreading and delicate and will probably make a wonderful groundcover.

……..Karen Ferrell-Ingram



Next Newsletter Deadline: April 28th. This is a true deadline - please try and get me your excellent contributions by this date. Thanks!