Happy New Year! Here's hoping everyone is rested and recharged after the holidays.
Since this was my first holiday season as a local Eastern Sierra resident, I took time to get acquainted with Bishop's cultural offerings, including the Holiday Market that took place December 18-19 at the Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center and Museum on West Line Street.
While there was traditional food, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, decorative items and more to enjoy (and purchase!), what drew my attention the most were the displays inside the museum depicting the traditional life of the local Paiute and Shoshone (Nüümü and Newe) people. And I found a serendipitous connection with Friends of the Inyo.
It turns out that the tree that is the namesake of this newsletter, the Juniper, holds an important place in Nüümü culture.
According to a museum display, the wap' (Juniper) hardwood is prized above mahogany, oak, mesquite and willow for making edu (bows).
"Traditionally, men use a stone ax to harvest linear planks from a living tree, taking only aged wood from the dead tissue. This ensures future generations will be able to harvest bow wood from the same tree," the display says, adding that many "bow stave trees" can still be found throughout the White and Inyo Mountains today.
Harvesting trees for their wood without chopping them down: That is pretty brilliant natural resource management, if you ask me! And that brings me to my recurring New Year's Resolution as a lifetime learner: to always, with a humble heart and an open mind, strive to learn from the original inhabitants of any lands I happen to live in or visit. (Photo of bow stave Juniper in the Bodie Hills.)
- In this issue of The Juniper, learn about:
- The "Draft Pathways to 30x30" document prepared by the California Natural Resources Agency, and available for public comment through Feb. 15, in commitment to the goal of conserving 30 percent of our state lands and coastal waters by 2030;
- Friends of the Inyo's participation as a presenter in the GreenLatinos 2021-2022 Winter National Summit Jan. 18 - 20;
- Our upcoming Bodie Hills Winter Outing (with new date of February 5);
- Save the Date for Women of Winter: Skiing the Sierra Backcountry 1930-1990, an engaging virtual fundraiser coming up Feb. 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.;
- The departure from Friends of the Inyo (Sniff!) of Desert Policy Associate and #ProtectConglomerateMesa Campaign Champion Bryan Hatchell, who has chosen to pursue other endeavors in Washington State;
- And if you read till the very end, you'll find out about an opportunity to be featured in the Spring 2022 issue of our biannual magazine, the Jeffrey Pine Journal, simply by sharing how Friends of the Inyo has enhanced your experience in the outdoors and conservation endeavors.
Happy reading—and if you like what you read, happy sharing!
Louis (Lou) Medina
Communications and Philanthropy Director
A BIG THANKS to our generous supporters for all the year-end donations we have received in response to Friends of the Inyo's 2021 Fourth-Quarter Appeal, including matching gifts in the amount of $11,500 from two donor angels, which ensured we would raise at least $23,000 as long as that match was met. Well, we are pleased to report that that amount has been met AND exceeded! As of this writing, monetary gifts total $50,661, which is better than 84% of our $60,000 goal! And we are likely to still meet and possibly even surpass that goal, as donations continue to arrive in the mail every day in the New Year.
If you have not yet given in response to our year-end appeal and would like to do so, please use the "Last Chance" button below.
To understand the impact of your giving, click here to read our End-of-Year Appeal letter, which highlights our accomplishments in 2021. Thank you in advance for your support!
In mid-December, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released the Draft Pathways to 30×30 Report, a commitment to protect 30% of our state’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 to counter catastrophic biodiversity loss and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Friends of the Inyo’s goals align with those in the report, and we are actively working to achieve those goals (respecting tribal sovereignty, interconnecting people with natural areas, protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, etc.) in our campaigns for Conglomerate Mesa and the Bodie Hills.
The original comment period for the public to review the draft plan and provide feedback was 45 days, ending on Jan. 28. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of dozens of organizations, including Friends of the Inyo, the comment period has been extended to 60 days, ending Feb. 15.
Please visit californianature.ca.gov to review the Draft Pathways to 30x30 Report and provide your comments online, via e-mail, voice mail, or taditional mail. Thank you!
Don't forget to read our monthly column, Amigos de Nuestras Tierras (Friends of Our Lands) in this week's (Jan. 6) issue of Mono and Inyo Counties' sole Spanish-language weekly, El Sol de la Sierra. It features an explanation (¡En español!) of the 30 x 30 plan for conserving 30 percent of California's lands and coastal waters by 2030. Read it online using the link above, or pick up a paper copy, as El Sol de la Sierra is distributed FREE on racks in businesses throughout Mono and Inyo Counties.
This photo of the Owens River beneath the Volcanic Tableland near Bishop illustrates the types of irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures - as there are petroglyphs nearby - that we must work to conserve under 30x30.
Louis (Lou) Medina
FOI Communications and Philanthropy Director
For three days starting Jan. 18, the GreenLatinos 2021-2022 Winter National Summit will virtually bring together hundreds of national Latino environmental and conservation champions from across the country for relationship building, development of partnerships and collaborations, education, and professional training. Friends of the Inyo’s Director of Communications and Philanthropy, Louis (Lou) Medina, has been invited to present at the summit on Culturally-Sensitive, Multilingual Engagement of Immigrants in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process on Jan. 19, from 1 to 1:50 p.m. Pacific Time. Through NEPA, the public is invited to submit comments to prevent dangerous, rushed or poorly planned federal projects, but the submission of comments in languages other than English is not particularly encouraged or facilitated. Click here to learn more and to register. Registration is open to all and while there is a suggested attendance fee, ability-to-pay options are also available. Closer to the summit, GreenLatinos will provide the schedule of this event's offerings, including breakout sessions, professional education workshops, afternoon social functions and networking, high-level administration and congressional speakers, Latino artists and more.
GreenLatinos.org is a national nonprofit organization that convenes a broad coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States.
GreenLatinos provides an inclusive table at which its members establish collaborative partnerships and networks to improve the environment; protect and promote conservation of land and other natural resources; amplify the voices of low-income and tribal communities; and train, mentor, and promote the current and future generations of Latino environmental leaders for the benefit of the Latino community and beyond.
Bye, Bryan Hatchell (Sniff!)
A Farewell in Bryan's Own Words
It’s bittersweet to say, but after three years with Friends of the Inyo, today I bid farewell. It’s been an absolute honor to serve the Eastern Sierra and California Desert over these years and I’m forever grateful to FOI for providing me the space to explore who I am and lay the foundations for who I want to become. I now live in Washington State and will be taking a little time off to live simply and recharge my activism batteries. Though my role will be slightly different, best believe you’ll see me raising Cain to #ProtectConglomerateMesa in the years to come. I’m an email away, so if you need anything, feel free to give me a holler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to all who have been a part of my time with FOI!
Bryan Thomas Hatchell
Best of luck to you, Bryan!
Bodie Hills Winter Outing, 9am - 3pm Sat., Feb. 5, 2022
Join us for a fun outing in the snow as we explore the Bodie Hills. Bring your skis or snowshoes (or borrow ours) for a fun day of trekking. All ages and skill levels are welcome. You must RSVP through the corresponding Event page on our website using the button below. Multiple people from the same party or household must register individually.
Women of Winter: Skiing the Sierra Backcountry 1930 -1990
Join Board Member Sydney Quinn, Executive Director Wendy Schneider, and others, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 11, for a fun and historically enlightening Virtual Fundraising Event on Zoom to benefit Friends of the Inyo. Sydney will take us through vintage black-and-white and color photos of backcountry mavens who skiied in woolen knickers, used the same equipment for touring and downhill skiing, and sometimes even skiied for 36 hours straight without shelter or food--hearty women who persevered for the love of the sport and the local backcountry.
Mark your calendar. Join us. Get inspired. And learn how your giving can help Friends of the Inyo continue to protect and care for the public lands of the Eastern Sierra so that today's girls can become the next generation of "Women of Winter." More information to follow in the coming weeks.
(Photo is of Ruth Mendenhall, a skier and writer who joined the Sierra Ski Club Moluntaineers in 1937.)
In partnership with, and thanks to the generous support of Winter Wildlands Alliance, FOI is doing another season of Winter Recreation User Data surveys this year. We will be in Rock Creek Canyon (weekends) and at Obsidian Dome (two weekdays per week), taking snow depth, tallying user numbers and type (walking, skiing, snowmobiling, etc.), and acting as an informational resource for users from January 8 to March 31.
New this year: A way for everyone who wants to help us gather data on how people are recreating anywhere in the Inyo National Forest thanks to a new downloadable app.
This data will help our Policy Team as they get ready to begin working on Over Snow Vehicle (OSV) planning on the Inyo National Forest later this year.
Want to learn more? Read all about it on our blog by clicking here. You can also write to Alex@friendsoftheinyo.org.
Let Us Know What FOI Has Done For You!
Won't you help us tell Friends of the Inyo's story from YOUR perspective?
- Allowed you to learn about the Eastern Sierra through one of our many free interpretive hikes or outings?
- Empowered you to advocate for the protection of public lands in Inyo and Mono Counties through one of our campaigns (Keep Long Valley Green, Protect Conglomerate Mesa, etc.)?
- Encouraged you to raise your voice by submitting public comments about an environmental or conservation issue of which we made you aware?
- Helped you learn about the native inhabitants of the Eastern Sierra, and instilled in you the importance of acknowledging that these lands were theirs originally and should be respected?
- Made you a more engaged and appreciative conservationist, recreationist, or lover of wildlife and the outdoors?
- Motivated you to become a monetary supporter of conservation causes?
Please submit a 100-words-or-less testimonial about what Friends of the Inyo has done for you, together with a headshot or selfie by 5 p.m. Friday, January 28, to Louis@friendsoftheinyo.org. We will review submissions and feature some of the best in the Spring 2022 issue of our biannual magazine, the Jeffrey Pine Journal. We look forward to receiving lots of testimonials!
Want to support Friends of the Inyo? Consider making a donation online today!
Thank you for your generous support.
Friends of the Inyo appreciates the following organizations and local businesses for their generous sponsorship of our programs:
Inyo Mono Alpine County
Remember to update the address to our new location:
Friends of the Inyo
621 W. Line St., Suite 201
Bishop, CA 93514