Volume 24 No. 6 November/December 2004

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora


The November meeting will be our annual Potluck and Slide Show on Wednesday, November 17 at the Methodist Church on School Street in Big Pine. The potluck set-up will begin at 6:00 with dinner at 6:30 pm. Please bring your own table setting, a dish to share, and some slides or digital images on CD of plants and/or adventures during the past year.


I'm watching it snow out my window and thinking about all the moisture this early winter storm is bringing to the Eastern Sierra and to all of the native plants that were grown in our propagation center this year. Many of those plants went home with customers at our very successful September plant sale, some were planted at our Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden in Independence and the rest were used in revegetation projects on public lands. Wherever they are, they must love this rain and snow!

Our chapter is fortunate to have two excellent ways to tell folks about our many activities - our newsletter and our website. And we are lucky to have volunteers who make them happen. Thanks, Anne, for a decade plus of preparing our chapter newsletter. And thanks to Phil1 Kiddoo for getting our website up and running and maintaining it from the start. We now have a new webmaster! Welcome, Jo! We appreciate your taking on our website.

Please plan to join us for our annual potluck and slide show. This is time to catch up with friends and share what you've been up to this year.

........ Sherry1 Taylor


November 7, Sunday. Bristlecone Chapter Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup. Leader: Scott Hetzler. Please join the intrepid "trash busters" for a half-day trip to keep our Scenic Byway scenic. Meet at 9:00 am at the Round Valley/Paradise turn-off off of U.S. Hwy. 395.

Field Trip Policies

For all field trips, be sure to bring plenty of water, good walking shoes or boots, hat, 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 listed, so please arrive at the meeting site a few minutes early. Carpooling is encouraged. Everyone is welcome, but please no pets unless otherwise indicated. Do not hesitate to contact the trip leader for more details about each trip. If you would like to lead a field trip please contact Karen Ferrell-Ingram at 387-2913 or ingram@telis.org.

Nominations for 2005 Bristlecone Chapter Officers

The nominating committee is pleased to propose the following slate for 2005 chapter officers:

President: Sherry1 Taylor
Vice President: Sue Weis
Treasurer: Rosanne Higley  
Secretary: Denise Waterbury

The floor will be open for any additional nominations at the November 17, 2004, general meeting (and potluck). Voting will follow. New terms begin January 1. Thanks to everyone who volunteers and helps us carry out our diverse and interesting activities.

........The Nominating Commitee (Ann Fulton, Sally Manning, and Jerry Zatorski)

Plant Sale News

Thanks to all the chapter volunteers who helped with the Plant Sale and our great customers, we had a fun and gratifying event. We sold about 2,500 plants, many books and t-shirts, and also signed up several new members. Our main goal is to share the beauty and utility of native plants with the many gardeners in our area but we also enjoy using the proceeds to fund our educational and horticultural projects. Thanks again to everyone who helped with or attended the sale! We plan to schedule the annual seed cleaning work party at the November potluck in Big Pine (see details for potluck elsewhere in this newsletter). Please contact Karen at ingram@telis.org or 387-2913 for more information or to volunteer to help with future seed collecting or plant propagation.

Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant Program

The Bristlecone Chapter is requesting applications for its small grants program in memory of renowned local botanist, Mary DeDecker. This program is a fitting way to remember Mary's many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra. The program will award up to two grants of not more than $500 each.

The purpose of these grants is to facilitate research and projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of our region's native flora and ecosystems. There are a wide range of appropriate possible subjects for funding, from basic taxonomic or ecological research to a school garden featuring native plants and their pollinators. The only requirement is that the project be relevant to the native plants of the northern Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, and Great Basin portions of eastern California.

The deadline for submission of grant proposals is December 10, 2004. To receive guidelines for the grant application or for more information, contact Karen Ferrell-Ingram at (760) 387-2913 or at ingram@telis.org.


Last chance to protect inventoried Roadless Areas

The Bush administration has worked hard these past 4 years to devise a strategy to strip inventoried roadless areas of the protection they were given under the Clinton Administration. The fruits of the Bush administration's efforts take the form of proposed revisions to the "Roadless Rule" which would effectively eviscerate it. The deadline for commenting on the proposed changes is November 15, 2004. If you read this article on or before November 15, please consider sending a comment. For information about the proposed changes go to www.americanlands.org [Note: americanlands.org fell victim to the economy and closed in early 2009].

A good example of the importance of the Roadless Rule can be found right here in Inyo County. Proponents of the CARMA observatory project originally sought to build their observatory at Upper Harkless Flat in the Inyo Mountains. Upper Harkless Flat is in an inventoried roadless area protected by the Roadless Rule. The existence of this policy was an important factor in our efforts to persuade the CARMA's proponents to abandon their efforts to build at Upper Harkless Flat. If you value our remaining un-roaded areas on public land, please educate yourself about Bush's proposed changes and send comments before it is too late.

........Daniel Pritchett, Bristlecone Chapter Conservation Chair


Alkali Meadow Fieidtrip, Saturday, September 11, 2004

Five participants met trip leader Daniel Pritchett and Sally Manning at Black Rock Fish Hatchery. Daniel's handouts included a plant list of the Owens Valley alkali meadow and alkali sink species, a color map of the valley floor in 1912 showing vegetation patterns and springs, a conceptual illustration of the Owens Valley aquifer system, and various graphs of water levels and plant cover for specific well/pump sites that we visited in the area. Through observation and discussion we learned that the alkali meadow species survive with a ground water depth down to 2 meters. Then down to 4 meters ground water dependent shrubs survive. When the water level drops below that, surface water dependent vegetation invades. Alkali meadow habitat has been greatly reduced since 1912 in the Owens Valley mainly due to water export. Ground water pumping has had devastating effects. The morning ended with a visit to the Independence spring field to observe the DWP mitigation projects since the destruction of that area due to ground water pumping. Mitigation seems slow and inadequate. The fun part of the morning was learning to use Sally Manning's water level testing instrument that makes a soft hooting noise when it is lowered down a vertical pipe and hits water level. It is called a "hooter."

........Nancy Prather

DeDecker Native Plant Garden, October 16, 2004

Another successful Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden Fa11 planting event occurred recently. I'd like give a special thank you to the volunteers who took time out of their Saturday helping make the fall planting on October 16 an outstanding event. We planted over 70 new plants in two new areas and filled in some older areas, and we installed rabbit-proof cages on all new plantings. There were new species added to the garden's diversity as well as some old favorites. I'd like to also thank Karen Ferrell-Ingram for growing the plants that we used in the planting, and Kathy Duvall and Scott Hetzler who helped install new irrigation lines prior to planting day. With a little help from Mother Nature from a rain the week following the planting, the new plants all look excellent, and we look forward to next spring.

........Jerry Zatorski


The Bristlecone Chapter thanks our members who have recently renewed, and warmly welcomes the following new members:

Bob And Phoebe McFarland, Greenwood Village, CO

Ellen Holmes, Aptos

Roberta Lagomarsini, Bishop

Beverly Vander Wall, Lone Pine

Leonord Mizrahi, Bishop

Kay Hunter, Bishop

Spike Jackson, Chalfant Valley

Imelda Nee, Ridgecrest

Peter Epanchin, Davis

Elizabeth Wenk, Bishop

D. Tucker-LaPlount, Bishop

Next Newsletter Deadline: December 28th