Volume 21 No. 3 May 2001


The California Native Plant Society

The May meeting will be held at the Methodist Church in Independence on May 30. Sally Miller of The Wilderness Society and Paul McFarland of Friends of the Inyo will give a slide presentation on potential wilderness areas in the Eastern Sierra region. While the High Sierra mountains contain several million acres of designated wilderness, east of the crest there are over 1.5 million acres of unprotected, publicly-owned wildlands. Come learn about the natural and cultural history of our Eastside wildlands and how we can preserve them for future generations.


Tuesday, May 22th at 7:00 p.m. at the White Mountain Research Station. All chapter members are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Sierra Spring Sojourn

Our biannual Sierra Spring Sojourn featuring botanical trips throughout the eastern Sierra region will be held the weekend of June 1-3 at Camp Inyo, e.g. Bernasconi Center just as in previous years. For more information and a registration packet please send a self-addressed envelope to Sherryl Taylor, Sierra Spring Sojourn Registrar, P.O. Box 1638 Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 or Sherrylt76@aol.com.

Our Sojourn speaker for the evening of June 2nd will be Dieter Wilken whose illustrated talk titled "215 years of botanical exploration in California", will highlight the early expeditions and some of the plant collectors that have documented the flora of California

Dieter Wilken has a B.A. in Botany from Cal State University, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. from UC, Santa Barbara. He taught at Occidental College and Colorado State University before becoming Manager of the The Jepson Manual Project at Berkeley. He was a contributing author to the "Great Plains Flora", "The Jepson Manual", and "The Flora of China". He currently serves as Vice-President of Programs and Collections at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, where he also manages the Conservation Biology Program and the Central Coast Flora Database."


CNPS Bristlecone Chapter 2001 Spring Field Trip Schedule

It appears that with the rain and snow we've had since the new year it should be a good, perhaps very good, wildflower year in the Mojave Desert. Below are listed our spring trips, many more trips are in the works for the summer and fall, these will be listed in our next newsletter in May and on our new website (www.bristleconecnps.org) as soon as the trips are confirmed. Please join us.

May 12, Saturday. Eureka Valley and Eureka Dunes. Leader: Dana York, Death Valley NP Botanist. Meet at 8:00 am at the Glacier View Campground, junction of Hwy. 395 and 168 just north of Big Pine, or at 9:30 am at the northwest parking area at Eureka Dunes. We'll see the unique plants of the dunes and the surrounding sand flats and Dana will discuss the Park's new plans to move developed areas away from sensitive dune habitats. In the afternoon we'll drive a few miles over to the west side of the Last Chance Range to see some rare plants such as Gilman's cymopterus (C. gilmanii) and Gilman's buckwheat (Eriogonum gilmanii). East walking. Some of the roads are graded dirt, often wash-boarded, but a standard sedan will do fine. Contact Kathy Duvall at 872-1466 for more information.

May 19, Sunday. Swall Meadows wildflower walk. Leader: Karen Ferrell-Ingram. Meet at 9:00 am at the gravel pit on Sky Meadow Road in Swall Meadows. Call Karen at 760-387-2913 for directions.

June 1-3, Friday evening-Sunday. Sierra Spring Sojourn. Bernasconi Education Center, Big Pine. Join us for our fifth Sojourn - a wonderful weekend of Eastern Sierra plant enjoyment. Four trips will be offered on Sat. and four different ones on Sun., along with evening speakers. Plant lists, meals, dorms and camping facilities provided. Some trips, not all, require a high clearance 4-wd vehicle. Advance registration is required and there is a fee. For a registration packet contact Sherryl Taylor at 924-8742 or Sherrylt76@aol.com.

June 20, Wednesday. Silver Peak Range, Nevada. Leader: Scott Hetzler. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the White Mountain Research Station, 3000 East Line Street. Bishop. We will want to car pool from there as it takes about an hour and a half to our first stop just North of the Silver Peak Range. This range is just east of the White Mountains in Fish Lake Valley. High clearance vehicles needed but you do not need 4-wheel drive. Two years ago we saw lots of Penstemons in bloom and I think it's worth another look. Bring lots of water and a lunch. Very little hiking on this trip as most of the plants can be seen along the dirt roads.


Everyone is welcome, including non-members, but please no pets. Generally, day trips last most of the day while the overnight trips conclude early Sunday afternoon. 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 are a hand lens, plant books and floras. Often we are near the vehicles at lunch, but be prepared to carry your lunch on a hike. Trips 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. For more information contact Field Trip Chairperson Mark Bagley at 760-873-5326 or e-mail: markbagley@qnet.com.


Death Valley - April 7th

We met on a blustery morning at the Furnace Creek Visitors Center. We proceeded to go to Golden Canyon where we saw Gilmania luteola (golden carpet). This is a Death Valley endemic that lived up to it's common name as it carpeted the sides of a narrow wash. On the gravely fan below the wash other species included Phacelia calthifolia (round leaf phacelia) and Camissonia claviformis (brown-eyed primrose).

As we were blown to our next stop on the Beatty cutoff to Hell's Gate, our day was brightened by many Atrichoseris platyphylla (gravel ghost) that seemed to float in the air and Geraea canescens (desert sunflower) the staple Death Valley desert gold. Enhancing the yellow was Larria tridentata (Creosote bush) and Camissonia brevipes (yellow desert primrose).

We stopped several times to get good looks of bajada species. These included Monoptilon the beautiful desert star that you have to get down on your belly to see. Also blooming were Nama demissum (purple mat), Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris with it's lovely magenta bloom and Psathyrotes ramosissima (turtleback) whose leaves always remind me of African violets. Last years' skeletons of Chorizanthe rigida (rigid spine flower) reminded us to step carefully. The Scrophulariaceae, Mohavea breviflora (short-flower mohavea) brightened my day. It was also nice to see the silver of Atriplex hymemelytra (desert holly). Coming down from Hell's Gate we noted Malacothrix coulteri (snake's head) and Eremalche rotundifolia (desert five-spot).

Escaping the dust, we reached Titus Canyon for a warm, serene and scenic lunch surrounded by the endemics Salvia funerea (Death Valley Sage) and Anulocaulis annulatus (Death Valley stick ring). On our walk up the canyon, we also enjoyed Viguiera reticulata (Death Valley goldeneye), Xylorhiza tortifolia (Mohave aster), Eucnide urens (desert rocknettle or velcro plant), Sphaeralcea amigua (apricot mallow), Pleurocoronis pluriseta (arrow leaf) and Bebbia juncea var. aspera with the wonderful common name of chuckwalla's delight or sweetbush. At the end of our walk up the canyon, the sprawling plant that puzzled us all turned out to be Pterostegia drymarioides (wingbract pterostegia) in the Polygonaceae family.

We finished up the lovely day taking a walk up Mosaic Canyon, appreciating the polished marble walls and the sudden intrusions of aggregate. The wind had diminished to a soft breeze as we bid adieu to our old and new friends in Death Valley.

........Diane Payne


Learn About Rangeland Health in the Bodie Hills

The Bureau of Land Management is currently in the midst of a five year process to assess Rangeland Health on grazing allotments in the Eastern Sierra. The Assessments are qualitative evaluations by an inter-disciplinary team of resource specialists. This year Rangeland Health Assessments will be conducted on two of the Bodie Hills Allotments. The dates for the Assessments are:

Members of the Bodie Hills "Working Group", a group of

citizens who meet monthly to discuss management of public lands in the Bodie Hills will be attending. As the Bristlecone Chapter's representative to this group, I would like to invite any of our members who are interested in grazing issues or the Bodie Hills to join me on one or more of these days.

Please call or email me at 760-924-8742 or


........Sherryl Taylor

Note: Results of the 1999 and 2000 Rangeland Health Assessments are available in a Microsoft ACCESS database from the BLM Bishop Field Office - Contact Anne Halford at 872-4881 to set up a time to view these results.



America's Newest Land Trust

The Eastern Sierra Conservancy, a nonprofit, public benefit land trust, was formed in January, 2001. The Conservancy, the first land trust in the Eastern Sierra, will work to protect and conserve lands vital to Mono and Inyo counties, including those that affect the spectacular natural beauty of the area. Its mission is to "preserve, protect and enhance lands for their natural, scenic, historical, agricultural, botanical, or wildlife values."

The Conservancy will fulfill its mission in a variety of ways: by helping to preserve ranching and farming interests: by facilitating land exchanges to aid responsible development: by ownership of lands and easements that the Conservancy may purchase or be given: by good stewardship of all property in which the Conservancy has an interest.

The Conservancy is a volunteer organization: it is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and powered by volunteers. It is supported by its membership and by donations of land and money. It receives grants from foundations, corporations and public funds.

The Conservancy urgently seeks the community's involvement, its help and its direction. It needs committee members, advisors and Directors. Above all it needs the experience and talent of people who share its mission and who will work to keep the Conservancy healthy and functioning.

If you want to know more about the Conservancy or to become a member or to offer your support of time or money, please contact Ralph Haber, President, at 387-2458: haberhfc@telis.org or Laura Hinrichs, Secretary at 387-2901: klhin@schat.com.