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Newsletter - Web Edition

Bristlecone Chapter

The California Native Plant Society

“Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora”

Volume 35, Number 4

July-August, 2014

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Events and Announcements

July 2014 President’s Message

There are 34 California Native Plant Society chapters throughout California and Baja. Four times a year representatives hold chapter council meetings to determine CNPS policies and conduct strategic planning for the political positions CNPS will hold.

This September 5-7, 2014, the Bristlecone Chapter is hosting the State Chapter Council meeting at the Sierra Adventure Center at Bernasconi Ranch near Big Pine. The last time we hosted the Chapter Council meeting was June 2006, when the meeting was held in Ridgecrest with the Kern County Chapter as a cohost. So we are overdue for showcasing the Eastern Sierra. The focus of the September meeting is conservation.

The Eastern Sierra is a great location for a conservation meeting since we have a long history of issues that have statewide and national implications. Among the most important are water conservation and habitat restoration from the Lower Owens River Project to Owens Lake, the push to put renewable solar and wind energy projects in the desert and rewriting the Inyo National Forest Plan.

The delegates will be meeting all of Saturday and half of Sunday but there is interest in a Friday field trip to the White Mountains for people who can get here early. For everyone, there is a happy hour before the catered dinner on Saturday, provided by Classy Cowgirls Caterers (we have a commitment but no contract yet). Jim Andre of the Granite Mountains Desert Research Center will be the after dinner speaker. Local chapter members can join on the field trip and may register for the Saturday evening dinner and talk. More details will be distributed as we get closer to the date.

We need local members to help greet the delegates when they arrive on Friday night, help serve on Saturday night and help clean up Sunday after lunch. If you would like to meet native plant lovers from the west side of the state and show them some eastside hospitality contact Katie Quinlan or Steve McLaughlin

— Katie Quinlan

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Upcoming CNPS Event Bristlecone Chapter and Other Events of Interest

There are many great events still coming up - many programs presented by other organizations may also be of special interest to our members - be sure to check our events page for the latest updates and more events, including other organizations’ events of interest.

July Events

July 5, Saturday, Noon to 6 pm: The 50th Anniversary of the Passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964 - Fifty Year Celebration of Wilderness, Mammoth Creek Park

Join Friends of the Inyo, the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and lots of other great organizations (including the CNPS Bristlecone Chapter) for a fun (and free) day in the park discovering Wilderness and celebrating the 50th birthday of the Act that created these special places for everyone to enjoy. There will be music, creek explorations, exhibits, and hourly guided walks at Mammoth Creek Park in Mammoth Lakes. Hope to see you there!

CNPS Event July 10, Deadline for submission of Abstracts for the 2015 California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference 2015, January 15-17, 2015 In San Jose, CA.

The California Native Plant Society encourages you to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation for the 2015 California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference 2015, January 15-17, 2015 In San Jose, CA. The program will focus on communicating the most recent and effective conservation science. The entire event will celebrate 50 years of progress in plant conservation and work toward mapping a promising future. More information about the conference here.

CNPS Event CANCELLED due to poor conditions - look for this trip to be offered earlier in the year in the future. July 12, Saturday, 7:00am, CNPS Field Trip: Wineduma Monument, Inyo Mountains, Leader: Jerry Zatorski

We all have gazed up at this pinnacle rising up from the saddle in the Inyo Mountains, and this trip is as much a destination as it is a field trip. The hike begins in Mojave flora and quickly turns to Great Basin as we ascend, and here shrubs will make up most of the flora. The Inyo Mountains also host outlying populations of some species that are usually found further south and east. The monument sits at 8,000 ft, but with no roads or established trail leading to it we will be mostly hiking cross country. Hiking cross country allows us to discover many plants that are not usually along the roadside.

Because we’ll begin hiking at 5200 ft. and go up from there for a round trip of about 10 miles, and the route is moderate to difficult, all participants should be in good hiking condition at high elevation. Bring plenty of fluids, food, sunscreen and appropriate clothing. We should be down by late afternoon. We will meet at the Citrus St. Park on the south side of Independence at 7:00 AM to carpool, high clearance vehicles and 4WD recommended. For more information contact Jerry at 760-387-2920 or

CNPS Event July 15, Early Registration opens for the 2015 California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference 2015, January 15-17, 2015 In San Jose, CA.

Join over 1,000 conservation and native plant enthusiasts in San Jose! Attendees include scientists, conservationists, university professors and students, policymakers, professional and amateur botanists, landscaping professionals, and land-use planners from California and beyond. More information about the conference here.

CNPS Event July 19, Saturday, 9:00am, CNPS Field Trip: Aspendell to North Lake, Leader: Michael Honer

This hike will travel along a vague stock trail from Aspendell to North Lake, stopping here-and-there to catch our breaths, note native plants, and take in big views of the Bishop Creek Canyon and Sierra divide. It'll be about an 800 ft. climb, but we can do it at a botanically-leisurely pace. Wear good hiking boots, dress for exposed sun (could get hot), bring a sack lunch and drinks.

First we'll explore a wet seep near Bishop Creek with Epipactis, Helenium, Arnica, and a "bunch-o-grasses-n-sedges." Then we'll climb an exposed south-facing rocky trail above Cardinal Village, passing through classic dry sagebrush vegetation including Purshia, Artemisia, Ribes, Caulanthus, Senecio, and even some Opuntia. Winding our way up Cercocarpus slopes we'll break-out into an Aspen woodland before stopping at North Lake, where we'll have lunch. Retracing our tracks back down, we'll pick-up a few additional species, and plan to get back to the cars around 3:00pm.

Depending on temperature, we also may just explore different shady meadow areas & slopes around Aspendell.

MEET at NE end of Cataract Road, Aspendell. 9:00 am. (Note time is later than originally advertised)
CONTACT: Michael Honer, 805-450-7608

CNPS Event July 26, Saturday, CNPS Native Plant Sale - Mammoth Lakes.

The second Mammoth region plant sale for the summer will be on Saturday, July 26th. For the latest information on what plants will be available and where to go, contact Mammoth Regional Plant Sale Coordinator Sherry Taylor at and ask to be added to her mailing list.

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August Events

CNPS Event August 16, Sunday, CNPS Field Day: Weed Day, Leader: Sue Weis

We will be working on an invasive type of Dietera (Macheranthera) canescens that has been introduced in wildflower mixes. Exact location to be determined. Contact Sue Weis at or 760-873-3485.

CNPS Event August 30, Sunday, CNPS Native Plant Sale - Mammoth Lakes.

The third and final Mammoth region plant sale for the summer will be on Sunday, August 30 (Labor Day weekend). For the latest information on what plants will be available and where to go, contact Mammoth Regional Plant Sale Coordinator Sherry Taylor at and ask to be added to her mailing list.

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September Events

CNPS Event September 13, Saturday, CNPS Native Plant Sale - Bishop, White Mountain Research Station

A wonderful array of native plants is offered every year.  We’ve been busy coaxing from seed dozens of  brittlebush, various buckwheats, penstemons, Mojave aster, lupine and many more favorites!! See our sortable database of species that have been available at our plant sales for ideas of what to expect.

Prices: Plant prices are $2.00 or 3 for $5.00 for Super Cells, $5.00 for small tree pots, $8.00 for gallon pots, and $10 for tall tree pots.

Proceeds from the annual native plant sales provide funding for our Mary DeDecker Botanical Grants. The grant program is a fitting way to remember Mary DeDecker’s many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra.

CNPS Event September 27, Saturday, CNPS Field Trip: Mollie Gibson area (White Mountains), Leader: Michèle Slaton

NOTE: Date changed to October 4th - see the Events Page!

Check the Events page for more!

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There are still several opportunities this summer to participate in California's GLORIA (Global Observation & Research Initiative in Alpine Environments) project.

2014 Summer Opportunities:

July 11-15: GLORIA Public Natural History Workshop / Field Trip in the White Mountains, Crooked Creek Station (GLORIA California)

For the second year, the California GLORIA field crew is holding an open-invitation field trip. Interested parties are encouraged to come join us and learn about the alpine environment (no experience needed). Educational walks, hiking tours, and lectures will be led by some of the scientists who know the White Mountains best. Accommodations (including meals) are at the UC White Mountain Research Center’s Crooked Creek Research Station, a lovely high elevation mountain lodge surrounded by ancient bristlecone pines. These 4 days are a fun field trip / workshop with scientists as your guides, as opposed to our “research weeks,” which are work (but still fun). Participant fees for this week will help fund the upcoming GLORIA field work in 2014 & 2015.

Please see the GLORIA California website 2014 White Mountain Public Trips page for details, or contact Adelia Barber

July 21-26: GLORIA Sierra Nevada Resurvey (GLORIA California)

This is a week of scientific survey work, attendees are volunteer botanists, students, research scientists or previous GLORIA workshop attendees. If you have high altitude experience, are a reasonably competent botanist, are familiar with GLORIA-style surveys, we would love to have you! The GLORIA Sierra Nevada Target Region consists of 4 summits. The Granite Lakes summit is located off Tioga Pass Rd, right at the edge of Yosemite National Park, and is closest to the Warren Forks campground. The other 3 summits are ~ 9 miles north, in the Dunderberg Peak area. We will be car camping at Silverpine Lake for the later half of the week to access the Dunderburg summits.

Since this is a camping survey, there is no charge as you are providing all of your own accommodations/food. We will be car camping at an undeveloped campground at Warren Fork Campground and Silverpine Lake. You will need to bring ALL other supplies for camping, including food, stoves, tents, sleeping bags, etc. Water is available but will need to be filtered or boiled. The access road to Silverpine Lake is 4WD, so if you do not have a 4WD vehicle, please let Adelia know, and we will arrange to shuttle you and your belongings to the campground. There is a developed campground about 3 miles away from Silverpine Lake (Trumball Lake Campground) and motels available in Lee Vining.

Please see the GLORIA California 2014 Sierra Re-Survey Page for details, or contact Adelia Barber

July 31- August 6: GLORIA White Mountain Resurvey, Crooked Creek Station (GLORIA California)

This is a week of scientific survey work, attendees are volunteer botanists, students, research scientists or previous GLORIA workshop attendees. If you have any qualms about survey work at high altitude, then this trip is not for you. BUT, if you have high altitude experience, are a reasonably competent botanist, are familiar with GLORIA-style surveys, or attended our workshop last year, then we would love to have you! Lodging is at White Mountain Research Center’s Crooked Creek Station, located at 10,200 ft in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (Inyo National Forest). There is a main dining area and common room, a lab space and a library. There are shared rooms and some private rooms, please email Adelia to ask about what rooms are available.

Email to ask about pricing, there is a nightly fee to stay at the research station, this includes your room and all meals. In times of more generous state budgets, this nightly fee was subsidized for volunteers, sadly this is no longer offered. We may have a very few discounted options for graduate students.

Please see the GLORIA California 2014 White Mountain Re-Survey Page for details, or contact Adelia Barber

For more details, visit
Email contact:

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Get Ready for the 2015 CNPS Conservation Conference:

Celebrating 50 Years of Progress and Promise, San Jose, California, January 13-17, 2015

We are planning the biggest and best of CNPS Conferences to kick off our 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2015. Help us celebrate with over 250 speakers, a poster session, 15 workshops, banquet, mixers, auctions, artwork, photography, and poetry. We expect more than 1000 attendees, with movers and shakers from the many disciplines and passions related to plant conservation. Register by October 31 for Early Registration Savings! More information about the conference here.

We proudly announce the opening of the CNPS 2015 Call for Abstracts and encourage you to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation. July 10 is the deadline for submission of abstracts. The program will focus on communicating the most recent and effective conservation science. The entire event will celebrate 50 years of progress in plant conservation and work toward mapping a promising future. Go to for further details. 

There are many opportunities to participate, as an attendee, presenter, exhibitor, or sponsor:

Go to to learn more about art exhibitions, photography, poetry sessions, student participation, and much much more – we look forward to seeing you at the conference next January!

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News, Updates, & Reports

Field Trip Reports:

Bodie Hills Field Trip with Jeff Hunter

Bodie Hills Field Trip attendees

The Crew
Photo by Julie Anne Hopkins

With a third consecutive drought year, expectations for a spectacular bloom were not high, but the group was treated to a pleasing spectacle of wildflowers and blooming shrubs. Our first stop of the day was near the Cheung Mine, and Indian Paintbrush was growing in great profusion in the Low Sagebrush (Artemesia arbuscula). Also blooming in this area was Western Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) and Desert Peach (Prunus andersonii).

We moved on to a nearby Aspen grove, and surprising found a wildflower not listed on Steve McLaughlin's Bodie Hills plant list. Blooming in the grove, we found several spectacular clumps of Brown's Peony (Paeonia brownii). We also saw a wide variety of Buckwheat and Phlox blooming in the hills.

Bodie Hills Field Trip Wildflower Treasure - Brown's Peony, Photo by Jeff Hunter

Brown's Peony
Photo by Jeff Hunter

We enjoyed a lunch in a hilltop grove of Mountain Mahogany (Cerocarpus intricatus) before we explored the ruins of the old stamp mill in Masonic. The weather cooperated, and all in attendance seemed to have a grand time. We closed the day by driving across the vast, windswept Sagebrush Steppe, exiting the Bodie Hills via Aurora Canyon Road.

For more information about the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership please visit or contact Jeff Hunter at 423-322-7866 or

— Jeff Hunter

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Pleasant Valley Meadow Field Trip Report, June 14, 2014

Jerry Zatorski shared his knowledge of alkali meadow natural history on an unseasonably mild Saturday morning. I particularly enjoyed this outing because most of my time in alkali meadows has been spent at Owens Lake, and it was quite a change to observe such meadows in Pleasant Valley with vegetation and flora in good ecological condition. The meadows probably benefitted from the March 2008 Bluff Fire and subsequent rest from grazing. Livestock utilization here appears to be moderate in contrast to many heavily grazed areas at Owens Lake. Palatable perennial grasses such as creeping wildrye (Elymus triticoides) and alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) dominate here with a subdominant component of the relatively unpalatable Mexican rush (Juncus mexicanus).

Jerry led us to some large populations of Owens Valley checkerbloom (Sidalcea covillei, CNPS list 1B.1), meadow hawksbeard (Crepis runcinata ssp. hallii, CNPS list 2.1), and alkali cordgrass (Spartina gracilis, CNPS list 4.2), all rare plants found only in alkali meadows. Also found was small-flowered stinkweed (Cleomella parviflora), one of relatively few annuals confined to alkali meadows, and plants of Nevada blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium halophilum) in fruit.

We walked back to our vehicles along the Owens River, where we spend some time identifying several of the submerged aquatic species. We found common waterweed (Elodea canadensis), water milfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum), horned pondweed (Zannichellia palustris), and a species of pondweed (Potamogeton sp.). Thanks, Jerry.

— Steve McLaughlin

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DeDecker Garden clean up

On May 16, Steve McLaughlin, Katie Quinlan and Richard Potashian arrived to do a spring clean up of the DeDecker Garden. Richard has been busily trimming back some of the over-grown sagebrush and clearing out dead wood from the larger shrubs. We loaded up Steve’s wonderful trailer twice and hauled all the brush to the dump. Due to time constraints (we all had other commitments in the afternoon) we were only able to tackle the brush piles and talk about plans for a larger clean up to take place in the fall. At that time we hope to remove the barbed wire fence that separates the garden from the parking lot and replace it with a split rail fence and plant many more plants to fill in places where old plants have died. We also talked about expanding the garden so there would be a trail that enters from the street, but our fall dreams will depend on how many people we can rustle up for a work day.

— Katie Quinlan

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News from the Greenhouse

“... seeds sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s darkness until someone among them is seized with the desire to awaken.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This spring has been a clear indication the secret desire of seeds to awaken. The late winter rains changed what we were all expecting to be a dry barren spring into an exciting wild flower season.

The secrets the seeds hold close to their hearts always amazes me. Some seeds I put in the refrigerator in December when their need for dark and cold is the greatest. Others, I directly sow into the soil in March. I have found that if the seeds of a given plant haven’t sprouted in March and new seeds are sown in mid April they often don’t sprout either. I wonder what secret key is embedded into these seeds that lets them know April is too late even when I am trying to trick them in the artificial environment of the green house.

Seedlings planted in March were transplanted into deep pots by the end of May and moved out to the shade house. The greenhouse is now shut down for the season. The shade house extension is up and running and I now have two more tables and much more flexibility with watering and locating plants in more optimal locations for their needs. Having a little more space has allowed me to plant more plants for the sale. Of course, what will be at the sale is still dependent on their “secret desire to awaken and grow.”

The Bishop Native Plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, September 13th at the White Mountain Research Center from 9:00-11:00am. Go to our plant sale page for updates, and updated lists of what plants Katie has growing for the sale. Check out the plants growing in our Greenhouse as of June: 2014 Plant List (so far), or look at our sortable table of sale plants.

— Katie Quinlan

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New Phone Apps for Plant Identification Available

New Yosemite Wildflowers App

Sierra Foothills CNPS Chapter members Judy and Barry Breckling have developed a wildflower identification app for Yosemite National Park. Sierra National Forest botanist Joanna Clines said, "There is a new iPhone (and Android) app called Yosemite Wildflowers and it's awesome!!! My friends Judy and Barry Breckling collaborated with High Country Apps and the Yosemite Conservancy to produce this nifty tool. I just downloaded it and I think it's great!"

To learn more about the app, visit You can buy the app for $7.99 at Amazon, Apple, and Google Play. For more information, contact Barry or Judy at or call 209-878-3041.

—Barry Breckling

Editor's note: Many photos by the Bristlecone Chapter's Steve Matson are in this application.

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Android Apps for California Wildflowers on the Google Play Store

Flora ID Northwest has developed new three new apps for California wildflowers in a "field friendly format" that is the culmination of nearly 20 years producing interactive keys. The apps are titled "2950 N. California Wildflowers," "3050 C. California Wildflowers," and "2800 S. California Wildflowers." They are much more comprehensive than the usual wildflower book or app, with many more species, with over 8500 to 9300 photos, and sophisticated interactive keys with all the functionality of the keys in our PC programs. The apps include around 85% of all the native and naturalized, non-grasslike flowering species in each region. Nomenclature is mostly consistent with Jepson 2nd ed, with synonyms included.

For more details, see our web site, or the web page for a specific app on Google Play Store (see above).

—Bruce Barnes, Flora ID Northwest, LLC

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Conservation Updates

Your Time to Comment on County Planning for Renewable Energy Plan Amendments (REGPA)Don't Miss the Deadline

Please read and prepare comments for the Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendments for submission by the July 10, 2014 deadline. If you need assistance you may contact Julie Anne Hopkins at 831-566-6012 and we can work this together – just don’t miss the deadline! All comments submitted for prior REGPA discussion should be re-submitted to be considered part of the legal record for the CEQA analysis (previous comments were submitted prior to initiation of CEQA and so won't be considered part of the CEQA record unless resubmitted during the CEQA process). Next meeting: West-Wide Energy Corridors workshop with Inyo County Board of Supervisors Tuesday July 15 in Independence, tentative start time 1:30 PM.

To see CNPS' Official Recommendations, see the REGPA article in the last newsletter or click here to read the CNPS letter in full.

— Julie Anne Hopkins

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Inyo National Forest Planning—Need for Change

The U.S. Forest Service is currently writing a new management plan for the Inyo National Forest. The new plan will shape the Inyo for the next 20 years and have a big impact on water, recreation, fish, wildlife, native plants and the forest’s special natural areas. A strong plan will safeguard the forest for current and future generations to come, but the Forest Service is facing many pressures and competing uses as it plans the Inyo’s future.

The Forest Service held a public workshop in Bishop on Thursday, June 19 and was attended by over 70 citizens. The agency heard responses from a wide array of interests including conservationists, recreationists, and ranchers to three fundamental questions:

  1. What do you want the forest to be like in the future?
  2. What do you think needs to change from the way the forest is managed now?
  3. What areas on the forest do you think are potentially suitable for protection as congressionally designated wilderness areas?

The responses to these questions will shape the new plan, the health of our ecosystems, and affect our ability to use and enjoy the Inyo in coming years.

In advance of this critical public meeting, the Sierra Club and Friends of the Inyo hosted a briefing for their members and others who care about the Inyo. Steve McLaughlin, Chapter Delegate, represented the CNPS Bristlecone Chapter. Participants discussed key background information about the importance of forest planning and how community engagement can affect the future of the Inyo National Forest on key issues including how the agency manages the Inyo in the face of climate change.

Over the course of the next few months, the Forest Service will continue its planning efforts and will make many critical decisions about our forest’s future between now and May of next year. The agency needs to hear from us. Even if you have only a few hours to spare in the coming months, your can help make a difference. Please contact Fran Hunt at or Julie Ann Hopkins at to learn how you can help.

— Frances Hunt, Sierra Club

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From the Editors

Next Newsletter Deadline: August 15, 2014

Send articles to:

If you still receive this newsletter via US Mail, please send your email address to the editor (email address above) so you can receive the electronic version. Please help the Bristlecone chapter save money, energy, and trees

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The California Native Plant Society is an organization of lay persons and professionals united by an interest in the plants of California. It is open to all. The society, working through its local chapters, seeks to increase the understanding of California’s native flora and to preserve this rich resource for future generations. Varied interests are represented.


Membership Application

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Bristlecone Chapter Directory

President: Katie Quinlan (760) 873-8023
Vice President: Michèle Slaton (760) 258-1464
Secretary: Rosemary Jarrett (760) 387-2782
Treasurer: Paul Satterthwaite (773) 208-7858
Past President: Yvonne Wood (760) 258-7949
Partnerships/Chapter Council Delegate:
Steve McLaughlin (760) 938-3140
Membership: Thomas Brill/Edie Trimmer (760) 920-3702
Newsletter Editors: Edie Trimmer/Thomas Brill (760) 920-3702
Conservation: Julie Anne Hopkins (831) 566-6012
Adopt-A-Highway: Scott Hetzler (760) 873-8392
Programs: Michèle Slaton (760) 258-1464
Field Trips: Sue Weis (760) 873-3485
DeDecker Native Plant Garden: Richard Potashin (760) 263-5022
DeDecker Grant Program: Michèle Slaton (760) 258-1464
Publicity: Kristen Luetkemeier (703) 862-4395
Historian: Kathy Duvall (760) 387-2122
Librarian: EvelynMae Nikolaus - (760) 878-2149
Rare Plant Committee Chair: OPEN - interested? Contact any board member!
Bishop Plant Sales: Katie Quinlan (760) 873-8023
Mammoth Plant Sales: Sherry Taylor (760) 934-2338
Book Sales: Sue Weis (760) 873-3485
Posters: Stephen Ingram (760) 937-9918
Creosote Ring Sub-Chapter Coordinator: Kathy LaShure (760) 377-4541
Webmaster: Maggie Wolfe Riley (760) 258-9694

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THE CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY ( Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter comes out bimonthly. It is free to chapter members. To subscribe to this newsletter without joining CNPS, please send $5.00 per year to CNPS, P.O. Box 364, Bishop, CA 93515-0364. ATTN: subscriptions. Send newsletter articles (not memberships) to our newsletter editors at

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