Volume 22 No. 4 July/August 2002

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora




Tuesday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Steve and Karen's residence. All chapter members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please call Steve or Karen at 3872913 for directions

President's Message:

The state CNPS Board meetings we hosted at Bernasconi Center on the weekend of May 31-June 2 were a great success. CNPS staff members from Sacramento and southern California and chapter representatives from all around the state were in attendance. These quarterly meetings are a great way to learn about the important issues our society is involved in. We heard from numerous committees about such topics as working towards an online atlas of the California Flora, the usefulness of conducting vegetation rapid assessments on field trips, ways to increase membership and satisfaction of local chapter members, the status of a variety of CNPS publications, and stories illustrating the urgent need for rare plant protection across the state. We were also able to share some of the Bristlecone Chapter's local conservation concerns. There was also talk of forming a Desert Issues Committee with Bristlecone, L.A./Santa Monica Mountains, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties, San Diego and Mojave Desert Chapters. If you want to learn more about any of these topics, please let me know.
I have heard from many attendees about how enjoyable the weekend was, and how much they appreciated the wonderful job we did as the host chapter. So thank you to all who were involved - your work combined with the backdrop of the Eastern Sierra really made a great impression on the CNPS visitors.

And mark your calendars for our Annual Native Plant sale to be held September 28, and for our semi-annual Summer Banquet ,which will be on July 22. More information on these upcoming events is inside the newsletter. Come on El Nino!

........ Stephen Ingram


Bristlecone Chapter Banquet

Our semi-annual summer banquet will be held at Whiskey Creek in Bishop on Monday, July 22, and will feature Dr. Connie Millar with a talk entitled "Climate Changes as an Ecosytem Architect: implications for rare plant ecology, conservation and restoration." Connie Millar is a Research Geneticist with the USFS at the Sierra Nevada Research Center in Albany, California, and is a popular speaker on issues involving climate change. Again this year there will be a door prizes of Plant Sale plants.

The gathering will begin at 6:00 p.m. with no host cocktails. Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m, followed by Dr. Millar's Aide presentation. This year's banquet menu offers a choice A Mushroom Ravioli, Honey-Dijon Half Chicken, and Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip. All meals include salad, bread, coffee or iced tea, and dessert. The price with tax and tip is $20.00.
Reservations must be made by Tuesday, July 16. To reserve, please send your check payable to "CNPS, Bristlecone Chapter" along with your choice of entree to Sherryl Taylor, P.O. Box 1638, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. You may also bring your check to the May Meeting.

Native Plants in the Garden

Sierra Club Range of Light group is sponsoring a talk entitled 'Eastern Sierra Native Plants for the Garden" given by Karen Ferrell-Ingram and illustrated by slides by Stephen Ingram. The talk will be at the Range of Light's monthly meeting on August 20 at the Crowley Lake Community Center. There will be a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share and nondisposable dishes) at 6:30pm with the talk starting at about 7:30. Call Nancy at 934-1767 for more information.

Plant Sale 2002

The Preview for our 6th annual plant sale is scheduled for September 18 in the new classroom at White Mountain research Station in Bishop at 7pm. As before, we will review the plants that will be available at the plant sale, with he help of Stephen Ingram's slides, and we will share stories about our efforts at gardening with natives. You can always count on some tasty refreshments and free raffle of plants. At the risk of jinxing ourselves, this year's sale is looking good. We'll have a wide range of shrubs, grasses and showy perennials. We will have the old dependable stuff like coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), purple sage (Salvia dorrii) and bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) along with some fun new species such as winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) and bee plant (Schrophularia californica). So far, we have a good selection and supply of the always popular ons growing well. As usual, I have to mention the native grasses, which no garden should be without. We have the beautiful Desert needlegrass (Achnatherum speciosum) and needle and thread grass (Hesperostipa comata) in abundance this year. I counted 50 plus different species growing faithfully at our Propagation Center but as Wall Street says, "Past growth is no guarantee of future success." Come see on September 18 what we will have!

Summer 2002 Bristlecone Chapter Field Trips

Below is our one currently scheduled mid-summer field trip. Hopefully there will be more inspired leaders coming forth with other trips this summer. Keep posted on any additional trips by visiting our website (www.bristleconecnps.org). For general questions or interest in leading future trips please contact Field Trip Chair, Alisa Ellsworth at (760) 387-2081.

To volunteer for the 2002 Plant Sale Team, please call Karen at (760) 387-2913 or e-mail to ingram@telis.org. The team will be on call to help periodically with propagation, maintenance of the nursery and plants, seed collecting, plant sale and preview planning, and with the plant sale.

July 12-14. Eastern Sierra Audubon Society and CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Big Pine Creek Basin Overnight July 12-14. Leaders: Jerry Zatorski, Kathy Duvall. A joint backpack trip with Eastern Sierra Audubon Society up into the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. Prolific breath-taking wildflower displays and excellent summer montane birds in full breeding plumage. We'll botanize and bird the scenic Big Pine Lakes Loop and visit the Sixth and Seventh Lake . recovering mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) population with biologist Phill Kiddoo. All participants are responsible for their own backpacking needs including a wilderness permit (reservations suggested). From the trailhead, expect a steep climb (2000') for 3.5 miles to the base camp below Third Falls. Saturday's hike will include additional elevation gain to -Sixth, Seventh and "Eighth" Lake at 11,100'. Please, no beginning backpackers. Limit to 10 people. Call Jerry Zatorski at 872-3818 or Kathy Duvall at 872-1466 by July 7th. For those who love the Sierra Nevada high mountain ecosystem, this is a trip you will not want to miss.


"Pine Creek Communities" Draft EIR Released

Inyo County Planing Department has released the Draft EIR for the proposed 355 home subdivision in Round Valley. It is a weighty document, with an approximate 300 page summary and an even bigger Appendix with biological, cultural, and other reports. The document finds that even with mitigation there will be significant and unavoidable impacts to the Round Valley deer herd, who winter on the development site. There are about 7 other impacts that remain significant despite mitigation. There are approximately 48 mitigation measures that will require much, planning, implementation and monitoring by Inyo County. The Draft EIR is available on CDROM, at the public libraries and county office, or online. Call Jan Larsen at Inyo County Planning Department at 872-2706 or 878-0263 to see the documents. The comment period is scheduled to end on July I5. People who care about the deer herd, wetlands, and good planning should write a letter and send a copy to your County Supervisor if you live in Inyo County. Call Karen Ferrell-Ingram at 3872913 or at ingram@telis.org for more information.

Field Trip Reports

Exploring the Tungsten Hills- Saturday, May 11, 2002

Taking turns riding in Jack and Marilyn Ferrell's 1929 truck (Vehiculus fordus v. amodelus) was only the beginning of a great day exploring the Tungsten Hills just west of Bishop. Jack and daughter, Karen, led the way meandering among wonderful rock formations and along a gentle willow lined stream. Because of an extremely dry winter, we were warned we may not see much in bloom, but no one was disappointed in the day's sights.

Jacks familiarity with the land (not only is it virtually his back yard, but at one time he had dreams of living there) afforded us the chance to become acquainted with some hidden spots. For our first stop, Jack guided us to a spring with a lush setting where we saw huge Purshia tridentata v. glandulosa (desert bitterbrush) and Forestiera pubescens (desert olive tree) among the thick vegetation.

With the exception of a meandering streambed where we saw Smilacina stellata (false Solomon's seal) and the ubiquitous Phragmites australis (common reed), the site is mostly sloping, sandy, granite hills with great boulders of fascinating shapes and balances: There are also an abundant variety of shrubs. Many were in bloom and offered us a credible comparison between many similar looking bushes. We appreciated Karen and Steve's helpful hints in identifying (and hopefully remembering) the differences between plant families, genus, species, and gender! Although past years have been showier, there was enough there to help guide us in this task. Psorothamnus arborescens v. minutifolius (indigo bush) stood out against the sandy terrain with its deep purple plumage. Showing off their pretty yellows were Ericameria coopers (Cooper goldenbush) and Tetradymia axillaris v. axillaris (cotton-thorn), the Polygonaceae (Buckwheat) family was represented by Eriogonum kennedyii and E. fasciculatum. Weenjoyed learning about the Chenopodiaceae family including the always lovely, subtle coloring of Grayia spinosa (spiny hopsage), interesting Atriplex canescens ssp. canescens (four wing saltbush) and the wooly Krascheninnikovia lanata (winter fat)."
When you have a "dearth of flowers" year, the ones you happen upon are truly adored and admired We found this time and time again with a hidden gem here and a jewel tucked there. Set against a rock was a single, bright yellow Eriophyllum lanatum (wooly daisy). Another bright one was a lone Eschscholzia minutifora (little gold poppy). Rounding a corner, we were dazzled by the hot pink blooms on an Opuntia basilaris 'v. basilaris (beavertail cactus). Although it certainly isn't an attention-getter, who could help but covet the teeny tiny Cryptantha circumscissa (capped cryptantha)?

During the day, we stripped off layers of clothing and enjoyed nearly perfect temperatures for this trek. A true highlight of the day was being able to take our lunches back to the Ferrell's magnificent house and garden and picnic on their porch watching a dozen bummers, rehashing the day, and sharing snacks and stories. Strolling through their paradise of a yard is an amazing adventure. Among the different groupings of heavenly blooms, they have created niches for native plants: Giant Sphaeralcea ambigua ssp. ambigua (Apricot globe mallow), Stanleya pinnata (Prince's plume), and Lupines excubitus (Inyo bush lupine) were real showstoppers for my eyes. It is such a treat to see and experience other people's passions and to gain insight into their skills and knowledge. Thank you, Ferrells, for a marvelous day and sharing your expertise (and the ride in the truck!).

 ........ Lynn Peterson

New Members Thank you to all members who renewed their memberships and a warm welcome to new members:
Denise Waterbury - Carson City, NV
Cheryl Beyer - Las Vegas, NV
Lois Alexander - Bishop, CA

Next Newsletter Deadline: August 28th