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"Blue Mirror" - Avocets on Owens Lake by James Hendon

One of the Best Things About the Owens Lake Bird Festival? How it Helps to Stimulate the Local Economy!

On Earth Day Weekend Saturday, April 23, close to 100 attendees enjoyed the comeback of a live Friends of the Inyo's Owens Lake Bird Festival for the first time since 2019. They birded and explored on the lake, at Cartago Springs, the Alabama Hills, Cerro Gordo and Conglomerate Mesa. 

As the coordinator of festival logistics that day, I didn't have time to go on any of the outings, so as soon as I sent off the afternoon groups and their experienced leaders from the parking lot of the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine, I went dining and shopping!

I had the best time enjoying a healthy avocado and salmon toast at Vibras Juice Bar and a beer at Jake's Saloon. I picked up some myrrh incense at the Native Trading Post (always wanted to know what that gift of the magi smelled like); got a couple of knick-knacks for next to nothing at the Lone Pine Thrift Store up the street; I even bought a cat tree for my three spoiled felines at Wye Road Feed and Supply, for pickup at their store in Bishop! I also went to check out the Historic Dow Hotel, which I will surely recommend to out-of-area friends who are planning to visit the Eastern Sierra later this year. All in the few hours before I had to go back to the Western Film Museum to help set up for a barbecue dinner catered by Big W BBQ with beer donated by Bishop's Mountain Rambler Brewery to top off the Bird Festival.

Judging from just my activities, and multiplying that by 100, I would say the Lone Pine economy got plenty stimulated as a result of Friends of the Inyo's Owens Lake Bird Festival.

One possibly little-known fact about California's nonprofit sector is how much so-called "charitable" organizations do for our state's economy.

According to the California Association of Nonprofits' (CalNonprofits.org) latest Causes Count report on the economic power of California’s nonprofit sector, nonprofits:

  • Account for approximately 15 percent of California’s gross state product through their economic activity;
  • Generate close to $274 billion in annual revenue and bring in more than $40 billion each year from out-of-state sources;
  • Are responsible for 7 percent of all California employment, with one in every 14 jobs in our state being at a nonprofit; and
  • Effectively engage volunteers, who contribute $16.6 billion in unpaid labor each year — the equivalent of 331,058 full-time jobs.

And, as illustrated above through our example of the Owens Lake Bird Festival, events hosted by nonprofits have a tremendous positive economic impact on the communities where they are held.

So, the next time you donate to or volunteer with Friends of the Inyo, or any nonprofit for that matter, or purchase a ticket to a charitable event, you can rest assured that your money or time and talent is not just supporting a good cause, but also helping to drive California's economy forward. 

Following are lots of ideas about — to use CalNonprofits' language — "causes that count."

Field Biologist Russell Kokx led a "Birding and Botany in the Alabama Hills" Tour as part of Friends of the Inyo's Owens Lake Bird Festival. In this photo taken by Jean Redle, who joined his tour together with a friend, he is pointing to a Parish's Larkspur. 

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


Louis (Lou) Medina
Communications and Philanthropy Director

PLEASE NOTE: As Friends of the Inyo's work grows, so does our Juniper Newsletter. It is possible that as you are scrolling, you will come across a message at the bottom that says [Message clipped] and/or the hyperlink "View Entire Message." Be sure to click on the hyperlink to keep reading, as more news will be displayed once you click on the link. This is done to prevent bandwidth issues in e-mail delivery. Thank you. 

Earth Day Highlights


Friends of the Inyo's booth at the Earth Day Sierra Celebration in Bishop's City Park on April 23, drew a steady stream of visitors. All of them were invited to sample Black Sheep Coffee Roasters' Fat Trout brand coffee. The day before, on Earth Day, Black Sheep Coffee presented Friends of the Inyo with a check from proceeds of Fat Trout coffee sales in 2021. And we continue to be their charity of choice in 2022!  So remember: Every time you buy Fat Trout brand coffee through the end of this year, part of the proceeds from sales benefits Friends of the Inyo.

Thank you, Black Sheep Coffee Friends! 


Friends of the Inyo cosponsored a BBQ dinner during a gathering at the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Community Center the evening of Monday, April 25, as part of activists Emily Markstein and Amber Rassler's "Worth More Than Gold" Bike Tour (standing L-R in the tall photo). Between April 21 and 26, they and others cycled to three different pubic lands that are under threat of mining: Bodie Hills and Hot Creek in Mono County, and Conglomerate Mesa in Inyo County. They rode all those miles to raise awareness about the importance of protecting public lands in the Eastern Sierra. We applaud their and their team's efforts. For more information, please visit NoHotCreekMine.com.


On the last day of Earth Month, Friends of the Inyo participated in the 9th Annual Lone Pine Tribal Earth Day Celebration & Community Outreach Fair at the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Gymnasium. The theme this year was "Honoring Our Connection to the Land." It was encouraging to see the participation of many children and youth in the day's activities, which included a litter cleanup. 

Upcoming Events

Join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA), a member of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, of which Friends of the Inyo is also a member, for two events coming up Saturday, May 7.

Stewardship Event in the Morning

Join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) for a day of stewardship with California Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Nick Buckmaster. Meet at 10 a.m. in Bridgeport at the intersection of Highways 395 & 182. We will be rehabilitating and repairing CDFW's Eastern Sierra Angler Survey Boxes. These boxes allow CDFW to collect self-reported data on individual anglers' fishing experiences at some of our most popular fishing destinations. The work will include removing stickers and graffiti from boxes, repairing boxes that are damaged, and repainting boxes as needed. Bring work gloves, water and appropriate clothing (e.g. sun shirt, jacket, hat, etc.).

Eastern Sierra Wild Trout Water Management Presentation Over Drinks at
Mammoth Brewing
 Company in the Evening

Join BHA at Mammoth Brewing Company, 18 Lake Mary Road in Mammoth Lakes, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for a raffle and discussion on local fisheries with CDFW Biologist Nick Buckmaster and BHA Board Member/Volunteer Regional Director, Jonathan Fusaro. Nick Buckmaster will discuss various fast-action and trophy trout fisheries in Inyo and Mono Counties. Trout stream management goals, and the use of fishing regulations, habitat restoration, and flow management to get more fish in local trout streams will be looked at. All fundraising proceeds will go towards BHA's wildfire restoration efforts. For more information, click on the button below. Questions? Write to Jonathan Fusaro at california@backcountryhunters.org.

The campout portion of this event is full, but you can still join Friends of the Inyo Friday evening, May 20, starting at 5 p.m., at the Museum of Western Film History at 701 S. Main Street in Lone Pine, for a free screening of short films related to the protection of Conglomerate Mesa, as well as some tasty barbecue treats. This event is free, but we need to know if you will be joining us. Please RSVP to Kayla@friendsoftheinyo.org no later than May 13, and indicate whether you are coming to watch the films only, or would also like to join us for dinner. We can accommodate a maximum of 75 attendees. 


Public Lands Protection 

Get Involved in 30x30:
Helping to Conserve
30 Percent of California's Lands and
Coastal Waters by 2030

Friends of the Inyo's Policy Director Jora Fogg, who has been closely involved in the 30x30 Sierra Nevada Working Group, will tell you what you can do and share lots of valuable resources. Click on the button below to read her blog post. Also, you can get a quick overview of 30x30 by downloading a one-page flyer. Just click on the 30x30 flyer image that goes with this news item. 



Find news and updates from the latest issue as well as all past issues of Every Last Drop, the official newsletter of the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition, here.

Use the button below to subscribe to the newsletter so you can stay up to date with all coalition news and developments. 


Want to support Friends of the Inyo? Consider making a donation online today!

Thank you for your generous support.

Other Ways to Give

Friends of the Inyo recently received two dozen copies of renowned local photographer Claude Fiddler's breathtaking new book of 55 Heaven-on-Earth photographs, Inside the High Sierra. Here is a recent story about Fiddler and his work that appeared in The Sheet.

This handsome coffee table book makes for a great Mother's Day, Father's Day or Graduation gift for a loved one. There are various ways to purchase it, including online and at local book merchants in Bishop, Mammoth and Lee Vining. But if you want to swing by Friends of the Inyo's office at 621 W. Line Street, Suite 201, in Downtown Bishop, you can buy a copy for the $100 retail price and not have to worry about paying for tax and shipping, plus your purchase will turn into a contribution toward the fulfilment of our mission to protect and care for the public lands of the Eastern Sierra: the very public lands Fiddler photographs so masterfully.

Just call ahead (760.873.6500) M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to let us know when you'll be stopping by. The book includes a card signed by the author, plus information on how to purchase individual prints. 

Thank you!

Friends of the Inyo appreciates the following organizations and local businesses for their generous 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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