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Back to School, Google Earth Pro,
‘Big Blue Marble,’ and Earth Day Wishes

Involuntarily, my eyes got blurry, and my cheeks felt the warmth of my freely flowing tears.

I had just downloaded Google Earth Pro and fired it up for the first time to prepare for an assignment in a geology course I’m taking this semester at the Bishop Campus of Cerro Coso College.

On my laptop screen was a beautiful “Big Blue Marble,” like a TV program about our planet by that name, which I had loved as a kid in the 1970s. The show always opened with an image of Earth in space, like Google Earth Pro does, and for 30 minutes on Saturday mornings, it introduced young viewers to stories of other children and teens around the world, some of whom lived in rustic homes with thatched roofs, rode donkeys or camels, helped their fathers fish using nets, and enjoyed lives that to me felt enviable in their exoticism and simplicity.

“Big Blue Marble” inspired me to dream.

Growing up in Los Angeles, I would look at the palm tree silhouettes at the daydream hour of sunset and tell myself that someday, I, too, would experience life in faraway places. Eventually, after college, I ended up living in countries as different from my native El Salvador and my adopted United States as Japan, China, Spain, and England, and traveling to more than a dozen other countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America before returning to the U.S. in my late thirties.


In this issue of The Juniper:

  • Sign up for Friends of the Inyo events coming up through May, including desert wildflower viewing, the Owens Lake Bird Festival and our first Dark Desert Skies Campout this year; 

  • Find opportunities to give back to our planet during Earth Day Month, as there are lots of activities happening throughout the Eastern Sierra on or close to Earth Day, April 22; and consider participating in a citizen science multi-day volunteering opportunity with Death Valley National Park at any one of various times available throughout the month;

  • Learn about Manzanar National Historic Site and the upcoming Manzanar Pilgrimage scheduled for Saturday, April 29;

  • Get the scoop on all the outdoor Stewardship activities that have had to pivot creatively this winter because of severe weather;

  • Consider making a donation in support of our Lone Pine Satellite Office or becoming a business sponsor of Friends of the Inyo;

  • And more!

Remember: When scrolling through our newsletter, you might come across a message at the bottom that says [Message clipped] and/or the hyperlink "View Entire Message." Be sure to click on the link to keep reading, as more news will be displayed. This is done to prevent bandwidth issues in e-mail delivery. Thank you.  

Happy reading—and if you like what you read, happy sharing! 


Louis (Lou) Medina
Communications and Philanthropy Director

Upcoming FOI Events

FREE Wildflower Tour to Centennial Flat

March 25 Rescheduled to
Saturday, April 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It's a great year for wildflowers!

With the abundant precipitation we have been getting this year, we can expect great wildflower viewing in the California deserts this spring! 

On Saturday, April 15, from 9 AM to 1 PM (Rescheduled from March 25 because of the late bloom due to this winter's cold weather):

Friends of the Inyo will be leading a FREE Wildflower Tour to Centennial Flat. This sloping plateau sits at an elevation between 4,500 ft and 5,500 ft above sea level. Covered partly by an extensive and thriving Joshua Tree forest, one can see the Sierra Nevada range towering in the distance—a high clearance vehicle is recommended.

For additional details and to sign up, click on the button below. 

Get your tickets TODAY before they're all gone!

- Lots of variety in this year's tours -

On this Friday-Sunday weekend event, you will see films on Friday night, May 19, in Lone Pine, then have a chance to explore Conglomerate Mesa before surveying the nighttime skies and basking under the moon and stars with friends and kindred spirits on Saturday, May 20, and continue exploring the desert at Centennial Flat on Sunday, May 21. The outing will be led by Friends of the Inyo's Staff. Space is limited. 

Local Earth Day Events

Following is a list of Earth Day events in the Eastern Sierra not organized by Friends of the Inyo, but at which we might be present. We hope you can attend these events, celebrate our planet, and learn ways to help it heal from human-caused global warming and pollution. If we are there, please stop by our table and say hello. 

Saturday, April 22

  • Bishop Paiute Tribe's Earth Day and Spring Market at the Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center. Come to 2300 W. Line St., in Bishop on Earth Day morning at 8 for a first-come-first-served breakfast, and stick around to assist with a volunteer community trash clean-up focusing on beautifying Tribal roadways and common areas. The clean-up will end at 10:30. Then, visit environmental activity tables from various organizations from 10:30 am till 2 pm. Enjoy informational booths, a Spring Market, food, live music, raffles, the opportunity to win a free lunch, and more!
  • Earth Day Sierra and Community Art Day at Bishop City Park. Come and enjoy live music, children's activities, Native dances, artist and food booths, and other Earth Day activities from 10 am till 5 pm at Bishop City Park right on Main Street.  

Sunday, April 23

  • Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley's Big Earth Day Celebration. The event will begin with a roadside volunteer cleanup from 9 to 11 am, and will be followed  by an outreach/educational component from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Come visit information booths hosted by Tribal staff, FOI, Grid Alternatives and Owens Valley Indian Water Commission at the Alan Spoonhunter Memorial Gym located at 1050 Richards St., in Big Pine.

Saturday, April 29

  • Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe's 10th Annual Lone Pine Tribal Earth Day Celebration. This year’s theme is “Indigenous Wisdom to Face Modern Challenges.” Visit the FOI booth, as well as many other participating organizations' tables and displays at the Community Outreach Fair from 10 am to Noon at the Tribal Gymnasium, located at 1145 E-Sha Rd., in Lone Pine.

Manzanar Pilgrimage

Friends of the Inyo's "Friends of Our Lands" column, which appears monthly in local Spanish newspaper El Sol de la Sierra, and also sometimes in English translation in The Sierra Reader, was featured on the front page of both weeklies in late March. The subject was Manzanar National Historic Site, and its dark history as a detention center for Japanese Americans during World War II. Our submission includes information about the upcoming Manzanar Pilgrimage, which is returning this year on April 29, after a long hiatus due to COVID. Access the issue of both The Reader and El Sol in which our column appears by clicking in the button below. Happy reading...Happy sharing!

Volunteer at the Dunes!

National Park Service photo of Eureka Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, by Dan Kish.

Death Valley National Park needs hearty citizen science volunteers to help with annual monitoring of endemic plant species at the Eureka Dunes. This is a great activity for giving back to nature during Earth Day Month! Several opportunities available throughout April. 

Stewardship Roundup

This winter, lots of Friends of the Inyo's Stewardship Events, both those we arranged or assisted in, had to pivot at the last minute due to the season's hottest conversation topic: the weather. As Stewardship Director Lindsay Butcher explains,  the constant plan changing and pivoting has left her feeling like a dizzy ballerina!

But our volunteers and community partners have found creative ways to still hold stewardship events to give back to nature and the community. Lindsay highlights their efforts and a talks about a fun Earth Day Fair planned for the kids of Round Valley Elementary in her latest contribution to our blog. 


Get to know Lindsay!

As we announced in the last issue of the Juniper, Lindsay was scheduled to appear on KMMT's Arts, Culture & Entertainment Show on March 10. Her guest appearance was rescheduled to March 17 due to bad weather. If you missed listening to the show that day, just click on the KMMT logo to access a recording. It was Lindsay's first interview as Stewardship Director, and it provides a good way for our supporters to get to know her!


Despite strong community opposition, and an October 2021 lawsuit filed by Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Sierra Club Range of Light Group, and Friends of the Inyo to prevent the U.S. Forest Service from allowing KORE Mining to perform exploratory drilling near ecologically sensitive Hot Creek, the court last month sided with USFS and KORE. But FOI and our partners are appealing the decision. Read our media release and stay tuned for next-steps announcements in the weeks and months to come.



We’re in the calm before the storm – or rather, the snowmelt! How are we going to handle all the water stored in the Eastern Sierra snowpack, when we’ve already seen plenty of flooding, avalanches, roof cave-ins and other troubles? Better yet, how will the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power handle the bountiful mess? Plenty of thoughts on those issues from Allison Weber, Organizer for the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition (KLVG), and Friends of the Inyo's Water and Forest Campaign Manager. But if you don’t read the March issue of the KLVG Newsletter, Every Last Drop, you’ll never know!

Click here to access past issues of Every Last Drop.

Use the button below to subscribe to the newsletter. Help us spread the word!


BHCP Newsletter

Have you subscribed yet?

The second edition of the quarterly Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership E-Newsletter will be coming out this month! Be sure to keep up with all things Bodie Hills by signing up to receive it in your e-mail inbox FREE! Use the button below to sign up.

You can also now keep up with all things Bodie Hills on three different social media platforms in between newsletters: the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership (BHCP) has launched an Instagram, @bodiehills, this year to augment its social media following on Facebook and Twitter


Want to support Friends of the Inyo? Consider making a donation online today!
Or help us Grow Our Circle of Friends...of the Inyo! by purchasing a membership for a friend or loved one. Currently, we are asking for support for our Lone Pine Satellite Office. Click on the image below to read our appeal, then use the button beneath the image to make an online donation. 

Thank you for your generous support.

Other Ways to Give

Become a Friends of the Inyo Business Sponsor!  

If you love Friends of the Inyo and what we do for the Eastern Sierra, and you are a business owner, consider becoming a business sponsor to us!

Business sponsors commit to providing a yearly monetary gift to Friends of the Inyo that helps pay for our general operating costs. You become a partner with us in helping to fulfill our mission of protecting and caring for the beautiful public lands of the Eastern Sierra. 

In exchange, you receive lots of exposure by having your logo and link to your website featured on EVERY ISSUE of our Juniper E-Newsletter and our Jeffrey Pine Journal Biannual Magazine during your sponsorship year. See the logo wall of our current sponsors below. You'll be in great company! 

Every issue of the Juniper and the Jeffrey Pine Journal guarantees thousands of impressions for every one of our sponsors.  

To get started, just write to Louis@friendsoftheinyo.org and indicate "Business Sponsorship" in the subject line of your e-mail. 

Thank you!

We look forward to your partnership!


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


Inyo Mono Alpine County
Cattlemen’s Association


Remember to update the address to our new location:

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


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