These have been a tough past few weeks. In addition to this pandemic and economic downturn, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd–only a few of many–Black victims of police brutality, were a sobering reminder of the racism that exists in this country. We as an organization have been forced to pause and reflect on our role as either part of the problem, or part of the solution. 

We are committed to being a part of the solution. Our first steps are beginning justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) training for our staff and board, as well as working to integrate JEDI goals and policies into our organization’s strategic plan. Read our full statement of support here

Meanwhile, threats to the Eastern Sierra have not slowed. This issue of the June Juniper is packed full. Read about what our 2020 Stewardship program will look like during this pandemic, updates on a few campaigns, get to know our Stewardship Director, Alex Ertaud, and so much more. We also plan to share many important updates on several campaigns very soon, so keep your eyes open for those as well. I hope you enjoy all of this month's issue of the Juniper.


Kyle Hamada
Communications Director


You helped us raise $17,340!

With your generous donations and with the match from our Board of Directors, we were able to raise $17,340 in the month of May alone. Your donations will go a long way in helping us continue our work. The need for diligent stewards of the land continues to be very important, especially as visitation in the Eastern Sierra begins to rise back to some level of normalcy. We are grateful for members like you. 

Thank you!


Summer Stewardship Shaping Up for 2020

Things have been touch and go as of late, with the pandemic throwing our plans into uncertainty since the beginning of March. Our plans have changed seemingly every couple of weeks or so, but now we've entered a welcome state of solid ground for what we can expect our work to look like this summer with regards to our stewardship program. Read Alex's Blog post to learn the latest on what stewardship and programmatic offerings will be this summer.


Bodie Hills Campaign Update

International mining company Radius Gold, the proponent seeking to explore the area for a potential industrial scale gold mine, continues to move forward. Earlier this spring, Radius submitted an application for a Conditional Use Permit to Mono County. The County found the application deficient and returned it to Radius Gold with instructions to provide more information. Friends of the Inyo will continue to engage in the application process to ensure that the health of the ecosystem in the Bodie Hills remains the County's number one priority.


Keep Long Valley Green Update

Having achieved a satisfactory commitment from LADWP regarding the amount and timing of irrigation in Long Valley for 2020, the diverse coalition working together to maintain ecologically critical water flows in southern Mono County is now focused on obtaining a long term water management agreement. Unfortunately, last week, LADWP sent correspondence to coalition members walking back its commitment to enter into such an agreement, a position it repeatedly confirmed to the coalition for approximately the last six months. In response to DWP's change of heart, the coalition campaign will begin organizing virtual public events, and engage in other grassroots organizing, to pressure DWP to end its unfair practices in Long Valley. 


Conglomerate Mesa Photo Tour Webinar

Watch the recording of the Conglomerate Mesa Photo Tour Webinar, led by Bryan Hatchell, Desert Lands Organizer at Friends of the Inyo. Learn about the flora, fauna, and vast expanse of the California Desert through the stunning photography work of campaign allies, like Patagonia photographer, Ken Etzel.

To learn more about Conglomerate Mesa, visit FriendsoftheInyo.org.


Returning to Public Lands During Covid-19

As restrictions are lifted in coming months and both residents and visitors alike begin to return to public lands to recreate, it is important to keep in mind some best practices to recreate responsibly. Here are a few resources to help inform you if and when you decide to recreate in the Eastern Sierra again:


First to be featured in this new series is Alex Ertaud our Stewardship Director. His job covers all things volunteer events, seasonal stewardship staff, and so much more. Around the office, we know Alex to be silly and fun to be around, truly dedicated to his work, and most likely to bring a box of Hing's donuts to share with the rest of us. Read on to learn more about Alex.

Kyle: Forever spring, summer, winter, or fall and why? Alex: I’m going to go with forever fall. It’s my favorite time of year, it’s romantic, and I like the leaves changing.

If next Monday were a holiday, what activity in the Eastern Sierra would you choose to do? I would probably try to go bikepacking, maybe into the White Mountains or Sweetwaters up near Bridgeport.

Choose one perfect fit: running/hiking shoes or ski/snowboard boots? Ski boots for sure.

All-time favorite book: "On The Loose” by Terry & Renny Russell.

Current favorite song:“Don’t Wanna” by HAIM.

Favorite donut: Well, Hing's [donuts], obviously. Cake donut with chocolate frosting and fruity pebbles!

Lightning round! Say the first word that comes to your mind: 

salsa - Delicious.
floppy disk - Useless.
superhero - Batman?
coffee - No thanks. 
Harry Potter - lightning bolt.

Parlez-vous français? Mais oui.



Conglomerate Mesa Botany Talk with Maria Jesus

Join me on a virtual tour through space and time to learn about the remarkable plant diversity of Conglomerate Mesa. Here, in the arid rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada, a wide variety of plants survive and thrive despite some very tough growing conditions.

I’ll introduce you to narrow endemics like the Inyo rockdaisy (Perityle inyoensis) and Jaeger’s hesperidanthus (Hesperidanthus jaegeri) that make their home in calcareous rock outcrops. We will also visit unusual wildflowers, like the tiny Inyo threadplant (Nemacladus inyoensis) whose flowers are barely visible to the naked eye. Of course, a visit to the desert would not be complete without appearances from cacti like the lovely Mojave fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus polyancistrus). 

To RSVP, email Bryan@friendsoftheinyo.org

About Maria:

Maria Jesus is a graduate student at California Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University where she is completing a catalogue of flora of the southern Inyo Mountains. Thanks to a chance encounter with a plant identification course during her undergraduate English studies, Maria abandoned plans to become a librarian and found her way to field botany. She has since completed several field seasons monitoring plants in the Chihuahuan Desert, Sonoran Desert, Southern Plains, Southern Cascades, and the Great Basin. Most recently, she managed a multi-agency vegetation monitoring program aimed at informing adaptive management of public lands. Maria is a Switzer Fellow (2019) and is passionate about advancing native plant conservation.


Get Outside Virtually with wôkNnature

Would you like an opportunity to enjoy the opportunity to get outside, virtually? wôkNnature, led by Desiree Romero leads guided, slow walks in nature. Desiree is offering a shorter, virtual version and of wôkNnature, calling it, "Pleasures of Presence."


"Take in your surroundings through your senses, with sensory opening “invitations.” No need to think or analyze, just relax and let your natural sense of enjoyment guide you. Immerse yourself, “allowing nature to nurture” deepening your connection to nature and self. This guided Forest Bathing walk, “wôkNnature” will boost your mental and physical being by reducing your stress levels, lowering your pulse and blood pressure, lifting you into a more positive you. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!"


On Friday, June 5th, President Trump undermined protections on the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in New England by allowing commercial fishing to resume.

This move sets up a false choice about America’s fishing industry and sets a new precedent to rollback management of national monuments to allow industrial commercial extraction.

Instead of focusing on these critical issues gripping our nation, the President is using this crisis to continue his assault on our communities and our environment for the benefit of big business and polluters. In fact, the President does not have the legal authority to eliminate or significantly alter national monuments, i.e., roll back core protections set out in the designation proclamation. This power is reserved for congress and his action is being challenged and will likely be overturned in court. 

Should the President allow commercial fishing in a marine national monument, it would set a new precedent to rollback management of national monuments to allow industrial commercial extraction. Furthermore, suggestions that allowing commercial fishing in a marine national monument may boost jobs or the fishing economy are false and disputed by facts. There is no lack of American seafood. The US landed $5.6 billion worth of seafood in 2018 and is already one of the largest seafood producers in the developed world. What are lacking right now are markets. 

There are several steps the federal government can and should be taking to provide immediate relief for the U.S. fishing community in New England instead, including providing direct relief, purchasing American seafood, and ending climate change denial.

Sign the petition to help raise support of healthy marine ecosystems.


Reminder: New Office Location!

I'd like to remind you that we have moved from our previous location on Barlow Lane to a new downtown office on West Line Street. Please also take a moment to update our address in your contact records so that all donations and correspondence will go to the right address. Thank you.

Friends of the Inyo
621 W. Line St., Suite 201
Bishop, CA 93514


Friends of the Inyo appreciates the following organizations and local businesses for their generous sponsorship of our programs:


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