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The Bristlecone Chapter is small relative to other chapters of the California Native Plant Society elsewhere in the state, but we have a big impact! If you are an interested, environmentally-conscious person living and working in Inyo and Mono counties, we invite you to join us. You can join online through the State CNPS website, but to ensure your membership is associated with the Bristlecone chapter, you can also download a membership form below:

Membership Application (pdf)

Some ways to get involved:

Organization and History

The Chapter is lead by a board of directors (see directory). Volunteers take charge of sales of books, t-shirts and posters. We also have a webmaster and someone responsible for publicity for our many programs and field trips. The board meets every other month and members are welcome to attend. Officers are nominated by a nominating committee, elected by the membership, and serve one-year, renewable terms.

Board meeting schedule

Bristlecones high in the White Mountains

Pinus longaeva — the Bristlecone Pine, our chapter's namesake

Originally formed in 1965, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide non-profit organization of amateurs and professional with a common interest in California's native plants. The Society, working through its 32 local chapters, seeks to increase understanding of California's native flora and to preserve this rich resource for future generations.

For years, the establishment of a local eastern Sierra chapter of CNPS had been a vision in the mind of Mary DeDecker, noted botanist and conservationist for Independence. Two major factors for establishing a local chapter of CNPS included the unique floristic environment of the "other side" of the Sierra and the need to protect the Owens Valley from the loss of vegetation due to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's groundwater pumping activities. With enough environmentally-conscious, interested people living and working in inyo and Mono counties, the time seemed ripe in 1982 to start a new CNPS Chapter. Consequently, on March 31, 1982, the Bristlecone Chapter was formed. This chapter was unanimously named Bristlecone in honor of the famous bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva, nature's oldest living tree found in the high desert mountains of Inyo and Mono counties.

Bristlecone Chapter Operating Guidelines