Volume 25 No.3 May/June 2005

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora




Our next Board Meeting will be Wednesday May 4th at 7:00 PM, at the Forest Service Office in Bishop. Bristlecone Chapter


If you haven't already signed up to attend our chapter's 8th Sierra Spring Sojourn on May 13-15, do it now! The Sojourn is a weekend of field trips and programs focusing on native plants in and around the Owens Valley. And what a year to be out seeing the blooms! You may come for the whole weekend at Bernasconi Center in Big Pine or pick and choose trips and programs you'd like to attend. For all the information about this year's Sojourn go to our website www.bristleconecnps.org <http://www.bristleconecnps.orp/>. If you have further questions, call me at 760-924-8742.

And speaking of our website, please visit it to see all the changes that have been made. It's a lot easier now to find out about our programs and field trips. And then plan to join us for as many trips as you can this season. It doesn't get much better than this - does it?

........ Sherry1 Taylor


2005 Field Trip and Event Schedule

May 7, Saturday. Independence Wildflower Walk. Leader: Jerry Zatorski. This will be a morning walk to explore the spring bloom on the alluvial fan just west of Independence. We will meet at the Eastern California Museum in the back parking lot at 9:00 AM. Bring fluids, snacks, camera, etc.. . We should be done around noon. This field trip will coincide with the General Meeting at the Museum at 2:00 PM. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski, 872-38 18 or jemzat@yahoo.com.

May 13-15. Sierra Spring Sojourn. See President's Message announcement in this newsletter.

May 21, Saturday, Swall Meadows. area. We will meet at the gravel pit on Sky Meadow Road at 9:OO am, and will go nearby wherexer the flowers are best. Bring good walking shoes, water, and snacks. We will be back at the cars between 12 and 1 pm. Well-behaved dogs are OK.

June 4, Saturday. Take the Owens Valley Challenge -attend a field trip on the valley floor! Leader: Daniel Pritchett. Meet at the Laws Museum parking area at 8:30 AM. Learn about native alkali meadow vegetation; learn about relationships between vegetation and water table depth; learn about exempt wells and the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement and EIR! Not for the hint-hearted! 4x4 not required but high clearance will help. Temperatures may be high. Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, sense of humor, and capacity for outrage. Trip will end by noon. PS: we will see several CNPS-listed species including Owens Valley endemics Calochortus excavatus and Sidalcea covillei.

June 5, Sunday. Highway clean-up. Leader: Scott Hetzler. Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 ahd Pine Creek Rd., west of 395, at 9.00 AM. We will try to be done by 1 :00 PM. For more information, call Scott Hetzler at 873-8392.

June 10-12, American Penstemon Society Annual Meeting and field trips. The 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Penstemon will be held in Bishop over the weekend of June 10- 12,2005. One day will be spent botanizimg in the White Mountains and another in the Sierra in the vicinity of Rock Creek. Members of the Bristlecone Chapter will be helping out and you are invited to help with selecting the field trip locations, monitoring plant blooming and helping with the guiding. For more details or contact Karen at ingram@bishopwireless.netor 387-291 3 for more information.

June 18, Saturday. Meadows of Fish Slough. Leader: Jerry Zatorski. This area is known for its excellent assortment of alkali meadow species. We will explore some of the meadow habitats in Fish Slough, and see what we find. Bring snacks, plenty of fluids, and sun protection. We will meet at the Y at Highways 396 and 6 at 7:00 AM. We will be done by noon. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski, 872-38 18 or jerryzat@vahoo.com.
June 25, Saturday, Witcher Meadow Wildflowers and Weeding. Leaders: Karen Ferrell-Ingram and Stephen Ingram. We will drive to the edge of Witcher Meadow, situated at 7640' on the northeast slope of Wheeler Crest, where we will wander around the meadow to see what is blooming. We may see shooting stars, spike mallow, pussy-toes, orchids, monkey flowers, among many others. After botanizing for an hour or so, we will eradicate the invasive goat's beard, Tragopogon dubius,and other weeds we may find. Lunch at the meadow among Jeffrey pines, and return by early afternoon. Meet at the gravel pit on Sky Meadow Rd. in Swall Meadows at 9 am.We will carpool in 4WD vehicles from the gravel pit for the 15-minute drive up to the meadow. Well-behaved dogs also welcome. Please contact Stephen and Karen at ingram@bishopwireless.net or 387-2913 for more information.

July 16, Saturday. Silver Peak Range in Nevada. Leader Scott Hetzler. Meet at the Y in Bishop (intersection of highways 395 & 6) at 9:00 AM. Bring a lunch and fluids, we will be on our own all day. There will be very little hiking, and we will see most of the plants near the road. We hope to see some really cool Buckwheats. For more information, call Scott Hetzler at 873-8392.
July 30, Saturday. Tioga Pass Area. Leader: Cathy Rose. We'll hike via Bennettville to Crystal Pass by the Mine Creek Chain of Lakes, enjoying wonderful views, plants, abundance of bids, and geology. Bring lunch, water and a camera. Be sure you are ready for a high elevation ramble. Meet at 8:30 AM at Tom's Place for carpooling or at 9:30 AM at the junction of Tioga Pass Rd. (hwy 120) and Saddlebag Lake Rd., about two miles east of the entrance of Yosernite NP.

August 13, Saturday. Grunion Plateau. Leader: Denise Waterbury. Join Denise for a botanical exploration to an alpine meadow in the Coyote area. Starting at South Lake, the group will "hike the pipe" to get to Brown and Green Lakes. From Green Lake, a short, steep trail (with good flowers) leads up to a meadow in the sky, known as the Grunion Plateau. If the Grunion are running, the flowers will be stunning. If not, there are still spectacular views to be got! Meet at the South Lake parking lot at 8:30 AM. This is a moderate hike of about 8-9 miles with approximately 2,500 feet of elevation gain. Bring plenty of water and food, sunblock, and insect repellant. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your rain gear (just in case)! For more information call Denise at (760) 920-5204.

August 27, Saturday. White Mountains. Leader: Cathy Rose. We'll walk the new 3-mile Cabin Trail. Bring lunch, water and a camera. The walks are not difficult, but the elevation is all above 10,000 feet. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Edith Mendenhall Park in the north end of Big Pine on the Sierra side of the Highway 395. We'll carpool there to the trailhead at the Schuman Grove visitor center.

September 24, Saturday. Native Plant Sale. Locally grown grasses, perennials, and shrubs will be offered for sale. Check the website, future newsletters, or contact Karen at ingram@bishopwire1ess.net or 387-2913 for more information.

October 1, Saturday. Take the Owens Valley challenge -attend a field trip on the valley floor! Field trip leader: Daniel Pritchett. Meet at the Blackrock Fish Hatchery raceway parking lot at 8:30 AM. Learn about native alkali meadow vegetation; learn what trout have to do with dying meadows; learn about relationships between vegetation and water table depth, learn about exempt wells and the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement and EIR! Not for the faint-hearted! 4x4 not required but high clearance will help. Temperatures may be high. Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, sense of humor, and capacity for outrage. Trip will end by noon.

October 16, Saturday. Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden planting and cleaning. Leader: Jerry Zatorski. Fall is the best time to plant native plants, and we will be enhancing the Mary DeDecker Garden with some new plants. We will be planting and installing rabbit-proof cages around the new plantings. There will also be some general cleaning to do. We'll meet at the garden at the Eastern California Museum in Independence at 9:00 AM, bring garden gloves, trowels, hand pruners, fluids and snacks, and wear sturdy work clothes. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski at 872-3818 or jerryzat@yahoo.com.

October 23, Sunday. Highway clean-up. Leader: Scott Hetzler. Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 and Pine Creek Rd., west of 395, at 9.00 AM. We will try to be done by 1 :00 PM. For more information, call Scott Hetzler at 873-8392.

Field Trip Report

Death Valley, March 19-20, 2005

The world has heard of Death Valley's 2005 spring flower show. On March 19-20, Bristlecone Chapter field trip leaders, Mark Bagley and Scott Hetzler, led seventeen enthusiastic plant lovers along the byways of Death Valley, joining thousands of other seekers of desert color. Our line of cars stopped along the roadside, attracted others, though we were down on our bellies looking at the tiniest of the tiny plants, saving the profuse and showy Desert Gold for our last stop of a two day trip. Did we know something they did not? Perhaps our group lingered longer, but we were all part of an exodus from the city enjoying Death Valley's magic.

According to H.D. Harrington and L. W. Durrell in their 1957 book, How To Identify Plants, there are two ways to learn the names of plants. The easiest way to learn the names of plants is to "ask someone who knows." No problem. Mark, Scott, Jerry, Ann, Ingrid, Bob, Eve, Greg, Harry, and John.

.,......Ann Hoffman  


DWP 2005-2006 Pumping Plan Released

Springtime is here -birds sing, flowers bloom, and your conservation chair writes once again about DWP's annual pumping program! For runoff year 2005-2006, DWP has proposed to pump 95,000 af, an increase of 3000 af over last year's proposal. Last year's proposal was so excessive that Inyo County Supenisors authorized then-Water Department Director Greg James to initiate dispute resolution proceedings. Mr. James subsequently retired, and returned to work as an attorney for the county on a contract basis. Nothing has been heard, however, about any dispute resolution proceedings regarding the 2004-2005 pumping program, and at this point it seems unlikely that anything ever will.

Disagreements with DWP over annual pumping plans are symptoms of a much bigger problem i.e. DWP's fundamenta1 bad faith in implementation of the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement (LTWA). Instead of the cooperation promised by both Los Angeles Mayors Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan, we get groundwater mining in Big Pine and the Bishop Airport held hostage for increased pumping. According to DWP's own statistics, average annual pumping since 1987 (the year "cooperative" management began) actually exceeds average annual pumping in the preceding 17 years, when the impacts occurred which led to the LTWA.
When the current Inyo Supervisors took office in January 2005, they inherited many pressing problems and up to now it hasn't been reasonable to expect them to come up with a long term strategy for addressing our problems with DWP. But at some point the Board will have to deal with this enormous issue. Until the Board does, water tables will continue to decline, pumping impacts will become more evident, and mitigation projects will continue to be stalled, and/or re-designed to suit DWP's fancy.
........Daniel Pritchett, Conservation Chair

"Who's in a Name"

This is a "guest" 'Who's in a Name'. The author, A1 Schneider, wildflower enthusiast of the Four Comers area (nearly as nice as the Eastern Sierra!) is a retired college English teacher, trail designer, and backcountry guide, who, with his wife Betty, developed wildflower photo albums for the San Juan National Forest Visitor Information Services, and a wonderful website: http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/index.htm .

He has prepared a number of biographical sketches of botanists for his website. His sketch on the person behind the genus Gilia is reproduced below (with his permission). It may help folks decide how best to pronounce the genus name. I've heard and used "Jill-ee uh", "Gill-ee uh" (i.e., with a hard G), and considered "Heel-ee uh", the latter after readiig in Cronquist that it was named for a Spaniard. Mr. Schneider's sketch may convince you to go with "Gee-lee uh" (with a soft G). Lately, as one who likes to give all due credit to botany's historical characters, I've been trying to get my tongue accustomed to that one. Whatever, it's an interesting story!

.... Larry Blakely

Gilii, Filippo Luigii 1756-1821: Italian naturalist, clergyman, and Director of the Vatican Observatory. For twenty-one years Gilii made twice daily meteorological readings at the Observatory, and he had the meridian line and obelisk placed in front of St. Peter's for readings of the seasons. With the first Argentinean botanist, Gaspar Xuarez (1731-1804), Gilli co-authored the three volumes of Observazioni Fitologiche (1789, 1790, 1792) a work on the value of American (primarily South American) cultivated plants, their sexuality, form of reproduction, anatomy, etc. Most of the plants had been cultivated by the natives before the discovery of America and some were grown in the Vatican gardens.

Gilii met Xuarez in Italy: When he was seventeen, Xuarez became a member of the Company of Jesus which among other pursuits gathered information about the flora of Argentina. When the Company of Jesus was expelled from Argentina by King Carlos III of Spain, Xuarez went to Faenza, Italy until 1773 when the Company of Jesus was dissolved. Xuarez then moved to Rome where he founded the Vatican Orchard which cultivated exotic plants from the Americas. Either in Argentina or Italy, Xuarez met and learned from the Spanish botanists Ruiz Lopez and Jose Pavon who named the genus Gilia for Xuarez's friend, fellow botanist, and co-author Filippo Luigi Gilii.

Lopez and Pavon were Spanish and their dedication of the Gilia genus reads:

[Note: inserted here in Schneider's sketch is a graphics gif file of part of the original descripition by Ruiz and Pavon. It reads:
Genero dedicado á D. Felipe Gil, que con su compañero D. Gaspar Xuarez continúa en Roma publicando en italiano sus Observaciones fitológicas acerca de algunas plantas exótìcas, introducidas en aquella Capital. ...LB]
"The genus is dedicated to Felipe Gil, who with his co-worker Gaspar Xuarez of Rome, published (in Italian), Botanical Observations, about many exotic plants introduced [fiom South America] in Rome."

(The above reproduction from the original Ruiz and Pavon publication is from Gallica of the Bibliotheque nationale de France.)

Until I received an email from David Hollombe of California, I had assumed that such expert sources as Weber and Cronquist were correct in stating that the Gilia genus was named for a Felipe Luis Gil. Hollombe indicated that the genus was named for Gilii and my further on-line research summarized above proved Hollombe correct. I believe that botanist Felipe Luis Gil never existed. It was assumed by later botanists that since Ruiz and Pavon were Spanish and the dedication states that Gilia honors Felipe Gil, Gil must have been Spanish. Ruiz and Pavon could have averted the confusion by using the proper Italian spelling of Giliis name. Instead they used the Spanish spelling.

(A further confusion exists over Ruiz Lopez. His name is variously given as Hipolito Ruiz, Ruiz Lopez, and Hipolito Ruiz Lopez. Today all botanical names credited to him and Pavon are written as "Ruiz and Pavon".)

I think it is fair to Gilii to pronounce the name of the genus with an Italian soft "g", as the "J" in "Joe" is pronounced. The genus name is then: "Gee-lee uh".

.. . . . . ..A1 Schneider


The Mono Lake Committee, US Forest Service, and California State Parks are teaming up to sponsor a volunteer program at Mono Lake this summer. Volunteers will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and share their knowledge of the Eastern Sierra. Participants may staff information desks and/or rove and answer questions at the lakeshore. With additional training, volunteers may also get involved in guiding formal tours for groups.

Free training will be held during the last week of May and the first 2 weeks of June in the Mono Basin. Volunteers are required to attend six half-day training sessions and are asked to donate 8 hours per month from June through September. Participants must be at least 18 years old, and be able to walk short distances and stand for 2 hours.

Please contact Janet Carle at 760-647-6431 or Fran at frances@monolake.org for more information or to sign up. You will be sent details and a training schedule.

SNARL Lecture Series Begins May 12

The Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory is sponsoring the SNARL lecture series starting May 12 and running every other Thursday night through July 21. The lectures are given at 7:00 PM at the Green Church located at the comer of Hwy 395 and the Benton Crossing Road, The talks are free and open to the public. Each lecture lasts approximately 1 hour and we start promptly at 7:00.

Our first lecture will be given by Dr. Charles Goldman the Director of the Tahoe Research Group and a Distinguished Professor of Limnology at the University of California, Davis. He is giving the Second Annual Reserve Lecture in Conservation and Ecology sponsored this year by the Valentine Reserve Fund. His talk is titled Forty Years of Research and Conservation at Lake Tahoe.

Dr. Goldman's single most important and sustained contribution is his four decades of research on Lake Tahoe. He has pursued long-term ecological research simultaneously at Lake Tahoe and Castle Lake, California since 1958. He has successfully combined effective research and social action with his pioneering studies on the lakes. These have been directly applied to engineering solutions, social needs and legal decisions.

This work has recently included the development of artificial wetlands and research on alternatives to conventional road salt for de-icing highways. This relationship of basic science to political change has been of particular importance to the Lake Tahoe basin.

Dr. Goldman has been a professor at UC Davis for 44 years, published four books and well over 400 scientific articles and produced four documentary films which are in world wide distribution. He has served on many national and international committees and is frequently sought for consultation and research missions to foreign countries on major environmental problems.

For more information on the SNARL seminar series contact Leslie Dawson at 935-4356 or ldawson@msi.ucsb.edu


Thank you for all our many Bristlecone chapter renewals and a warm Eastern Sierra welcome to new members:

Shelly Ellis, Ridgecrest, California

Mr. & Mrs. Sprague, Bishop, California

Next Newsletter Deadline: June 28th.