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Current Issues

Inyo Forest Plan Revision - updated July 4th 2016

The comment period for the Inyo's new forest plan, which closes August 25th, is going quickly. Make your concerns heard and your comments recorded – this is your chance to have a say in how the Inyo National Forest is managed into the future. Thank you for providing your timely comments on the Draft Plan to the INF. Be sure to include that include feedback that is specific to the Draft Plan land along with recommendations to help improve forest management. To comment, go online, or email.

Attacking The Plan

If you find the forest planning process daunting here is a recommended approach. Try starting with the overview. Next, read the summary, and then skim the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to get familiar with it. This explains the alternatives and their consequences, and it's broken into three topic sections: Ecological Integrity, Fire Management, and Sustainable Recreation. Look for subjects that you care about, and then read in detail. After this, check out the Draft Plan.

A Citizen’s Guide to the Forest Planning Process is linked HERE.

Conservation Updates June, 2016

For more information on these important conservation issues contact Julie Anne Hopkins:

Draft Inyo National Forest Plan Revision – Released May 27, 2016
Deadline for Comments – August 25th, 2016

The Forest Service has begun the 90-day public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement and draft forest plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests. During this time, public meetings, tribal forums and a webinar are being provided to engage with the public in discussions about these documents. The public is welcome to attend all of these events.

Now, the public can have its say and affect how the agency manages these publicly owned lands in the decades to come. Making the right science-based decisions has never been more critical. The forest planning underway for these three national forests, encompassing nearly 4.6 million acres, is the best opportunity to improve conservation of at-risk species and biological diversity at a landscape scale. It is also the means by which we can ensure preservation of the many other amenities, such as clean air, clean water, beauty, and healthful outdoor recreational opportunities.

Please take note of these updates!

Public Webinar Registration: If you plan to attend the public webinar scheduled for Tuesday, June 28th from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., you need to register on-line in advance of the webinar. You can do so via this link:

Species of Conservation Concern lists: Corrected species of conservation concern lists have been posted to the project website:

For more information about these forest plan revisions, visit the project website:

Public Meetings

Starting on June 13, the Forest Service will be hosting a series of public meetings to discuss the plan revisions with the public. The agency will be accepting verbal and written comments at these meetings as well. The following locations and times are subject to change; please be sure to check in with the agency beforehand if you are traveling to one of these. The contact person for the plans is Deb Whitall, 707-562-9121.
June 13th: Inyo National Forest Public Meeting, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 6 - 8 PM.
Mammoth Lakes Cerro Coso Community College
101 College Pkwy, Mammoth Lakes, CA

June 14th: Inyo National Forest Public Meeting, Bishop, CA, 6 - 8 PM Cerro Coso
Community College Eastern Sierra Campus
4090 W Line St, Bishop, CA

June 15th: Public Meeting, Porterville, CA, 6 - 8 PM.
Sequoia National Forest, Forest Supervisor's Office
1839 South Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA

June 16th: Public Meeting, Clovis, CA, 6 - 8 PM
Clovis Memorial Veterans Hall
808 4th Street, Clovis, CA

June 22nd: Public Meeting, CalState University Northridge, Northridge. 6 - 9 PM
California State University Northridge
University Student Union, Thousand Oaks Room
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA

June 28th: Public Webinar, on-line registration, 12 -1:30 PM.

June 29th: Public Meeting, Fort Mason, San Francisco, 6 - 9 PM.
Fort Mason, Gallery 308
2 Marina Blvd #308, San Francisco, CA

August 1st: Inyo National Forest Public Meeting, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 6 - 8 PM
Mammoth Lakes Cerro Coso Community College
101 College Pkwy, Mammoth Lakes, CA

August 2nd: Inyo National Forest Public Meeting, Bishop, CA, 6 - 8 PM
Cerro Coso Community College Eastern Sierra Campus
4090 W Line St, Bishop, CA

August 3rd: Public Meeting, Bakersfield, CA, 6 - 8 PM
Doubletree-Hilton (At junction of Hwy 178 and Hwy 99)
3100 Camino Del Rio Court, Bakersfield, CA

August 4th: Public Meeting, Clovis, CA, 6 - 8 PM
Clovis Memorial Veterans Hall
808 4th St, Clovis, CA

Comments from the public will be accepted until August 25, 2016.

Comments may also be submitted in writing to:

Planning Team Leader, Forest Plan Revision
1839 South Newcomb Street
Porterville, CA 93257

or via e-mail to

Now Available: Citizens' Guide to Protecting the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests

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Conservation Updates February, 2016

For more information on these important conservation issues contact Julie Anne Hopkins:

Inyo National Forest Plan Revision

The coalition of environmental groups focused on the plan revision for the three early adopter Sierra Nevada forests including CNPS, has submitted comment letters on the forest documents concerning potential wilderness area, species of conservation concern, and potential new Wild and Scenic River Segments. CNPS continues to work with Forests and the coalition on the Species of Conservation Concern (SCC) list because many species formerly listed as Forest Sensitive Species (FSS) have not been included in the Plan Revision SCC list. CNPS recommends all species included in the SCC list, and if excluded, an explanation and the criteria for exclusion needs to be provided.

In July 2015, the Forest Service shared the draft proposed for public review. In response to the feedback received then, the Forests are now sharing the screening criteria used to develop these lists. If you have questions, concerns or feedback about our draft proposed SCC lists or process please contact Joan Friedlander at 858-674-2962 or submit your input via Web-form at:

Renewable Energy

DRECP and BLM Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA)

The Record of Decision (ROD) on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is due to be released in March, 2016. CNPS has demonstrate our commitment to the goal of balancing renewable energy generation with conservation of large intact landscapes and species’ habitats, our organization continues to devote resources to the DRECP process, as we have since the initial science advisory and stakeholder meeting in 2010. We, CNPS together with Audubon California, submitted a letter of protest on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) protection of microphyll woodlands.

Microphyll woodlands are desert woodlands comprised of specific vegetation alliances typically associated with the desert wash systems that provide high quality habitat values for desert birds, mammals, and reptiles. The general term microphyll woodlands includes four vegetation alliances that occur across the Plan Area; Chilopsis linearis alliance (Desert willow), Prosopis glandulosa alliance (Mesquite), Psorothamnus spinosus alliance (Smoke tree), and Parkinsonia florida - Olneya tesota alliance (Blue palo verde - Ironwood). Desert willow, Mesquite, and Smoke tree are rare vegetation alliances.

Owens Valley Solar Study Public Meeting 3/1/16, Independence
Owens Valley Solar Energy Study

In January 2016, Inyo county Planning Department held a public meeting to present the OVSES findings regarding biological resources, visual resources, land use, and historical and cultural resources within the Owens Valley solar energy study area. This report is available for review at the Inyo County website:

Review of the OVSES will assist in developing comments Inyo County continues to develop the environmental analysis for photovoltaic solar projects in the Owens Valley. The Bristlecone Chapter will be reviewing this document and will provide more detail throughout the planning process.

To review updated mapping for the project: Under search for the “Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (OVSES)” Gallery (or follow this link

Ground Water Pumping

Owens Valley Checkerbloom and renaming capped wells 385 and 386.

Proposed drilling of new wells in Inyo County by LADWP remains a matter of contention due to concerns about further drawing down of groundwater levels and potential negative effect on a population of state endangered Owens Valley checkerbloom (Sidalcea covillei), alkali meadows, and failed required mitigation (revegetation) efforts. The LADWP proposal involves re-drilling of the closed shallow wells W385 and W386 in the 5 Bridges area (northern Owens Valley) as deep water wells, by renaming the wells to 385R and386R, and initiating an environmental analysis (CEQA). The Bristlecone Chapter will provide further information to members and will prepare comments on this highly controversial proposal.

Sidalcea covillei:
CNPS List 1B.1
Federal Species of Concern
State-listed Endangered
Endangered throughout its range
Endemic to Owens Valley

Learn more about the Owens Valley checkerbloom at:

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Conservation Updates, December 2015

Renewable Energy


On Nov. 10, federal and state officials released extensive revisions to the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan in an FEIS and Proposed Land Use Amendment. Following the protest (comment) period that ended on December 6, 2015, the plan will be finalized. We expect the Record of Decision (ROD) to be released early 2016.This is Phase I and covers only BLM public lands in the planning area. The plan designates areas where concentration of renewable energy projects is encouraged as well as those areas to be protected from renewable energy development. More:;;

Owens Valley Solar Study Area

As part of the Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) process Inyo County is evaluating the Owens Valley Study Area (OVSA) for appropriateness of solar photovoltaic facility development. To review updated mapping for this project:
Under search for the “Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (OVSES)” Gallery (or follow this link:

Forest Planning on Three Forests in the Southern Sierra

The Forest Service continues to develop revised plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests. We have been told that draft forest plans and a draft environmental impact statement may be available for public comments as early as February 2016. As the agency is preparing the draft plans and DEIS, they are inviting comments on specific aspects of the planning process. Most recently, the agency invited comments from stakeholders on their approach to addressing at-risk species and monitoring of the future plans. The Bristlecone Chapter, along with state CNPS continues to work with the Forest Legacy to help guide the Forest Service in their planning.

Conservation for at-risk species, under the national planning rule adopted in 2012, is addressed in part by the identification of "species of conservation concern" (SCC). These are a subset of at-risk species on a given national forest for which the Regional Forester judges that there is substantial concern about their persistence. At this point in the process, the Forest Service has provided a draft of list of SCC, but has yet to provide a rationale for why a species was included or excluded from this list. To insure that these and other imperiled species are conserved in the new forest plans, they must first be named as SCC and then standards and guidelines need to be included in the forest plan.

The Forest Service also released a draft monitoring program for public comment in October. A monitoring program, as directed by the planning rule adopted in 2012, is required for each national forest. The monitoring program is meant to evaluate the progress of the revised forest plans and to detect when, in the future, the forest plan should be revised or amended. The preliminary draft program that was circulated did not adequately address key resource issues and was even less than "bare-bones" in its approach. The Forest Legacy submitted detailed comments to the Planning Team and will be talking to the agency in the coming months about necessary improvements.

We expect that a report on monitoring of at-risk species developed by an independent team of scientists will be finalized before the end of the year. This team of experts, commissioned by Sierra Forest Legacy, the Forest Service and several other parties, was charged with providing a set of recommendations for monitoring wildlife that may be affected by forest management. One of the recommendations in the draft report is to create a bioregional monitoring strategy before developing forest-level or local-level sampling designs. Developing the bioregional strategy first is important because it allows for a systematic sampling approach to occur across the entire bioregion.
Additional websites:;

Owens Lake Master Project

The Bristlecone Chapter submitted scoping comments (Notice of Preparation—NOP) in August 2015, providing LADWP our environmental concerns regarding the development of the DEIR for the implementation of the Owens Lake Master Project (OLMP). The proposed OLMP modifies dust control methods to reduce emissions, while also reducing the amount of water used for dust suppression on the lakebed, in compliance with agreements with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter, Volume 36, Number 6, November-December 2015 2 (GBUAPCD). LADWP is evaluating the use of groundwater from beneath Owens Lake for dust suppression, which CNPS does not support. Expect the OLMP DEIR to be released soon in fall 2015. The Bristlecone Chapter will try to host a comment letter writing workshop during the comment period once the DEIR is released. Check our website for background information—

Bodie Hills

The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership is still seeking a new organizer. More:

Julieanne Hopkins, CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Conservation Chair

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Older/Ongoing Issues

Invasive species

Groundwater Pumping and the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement (LTWA)

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2009 CNPS Conservation Conference Proceedings

Strategies & Solutions, the 2009 CNPS Conservation Conference brought together hundreds of botanical experts, artists, amateurs, students, and policy-makers. The Conference Proceedings, just printed in November 2011, includes 51 papers on topics ranging from rare plant introduction, regional conservation planning, habitat restoration, and mapping the vegetation of California. The proceedings cost $65, and the complete table of contents may be viewed online at Proceedings of the 2009 CNPS Conservation Conference, Strategies and Solutions (table of contents). Bristlecone Chapter member Sally Manning has an article in the book:

"Managing groundwater pumping to conserve native alkali meadow in Owens Valley, California," p.131.

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"Managing Drought in Owens Valley" Parts 1 and 2

Videos of a case study presentation at the Ecological Society of America November 2009 Millenium Conference, "Water-Ecosystem Services, Drought, and Environmental Justice," presented by former Bristlecone Chapter Conservation Chair Daniel Pritchett and (then) Vice-President Sally Manning:

If you cannot see the videos above, you may need to install Adobe Flash Player

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