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With 71% of Earth's Surface Being Water, Conservation Efforts Everywhere MUST Involve Life's Most Precious Resource 

Last month, I took a road trip to visit friends in the Port Ludlow/Port Townsend area of Washington, along Admiralty Inlet, between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. Just like I'm surrounded by mountains in the Eastern Sierra, there I was surrounded by water. Ubiquitously. Beautifully. Joyously.

Seeing and listening to so much water in a landscape rich with rivers, streams, lakes, marshes, estuaries, open sea, currents, waves, ebb, flow, rain and snow-covered peaks in the distance, was medicine to my soul. Wherever I went, I felt light, as if I was being carried by a warm, safe, gentle current.

But those soothing thoughts were constantly juxtaposed with anxiety and concern for our water-deprived Eastern Sierra: a region parched by climate change and California's prolonged drought, but especially by more than a century (a century!) of water extraction by the City of Los Angeles. What that has yielded is a desert-like Owens Lake, a drying-up Mono Lake, relentless dust, diminished streams, and changed weather patterns due to a lack of water that can evaporate into clouds—a failed water cycle. While thoroughly refreshed from my trip, this is the reality I came back to.  

Instead of discouraging me, however, this stark Coastal Washington-Eastern California contrast has helped me renew my commitment to the water justice work Friends of the Inyo and our partners are carrying out locally. The Eastern Sierra is a majestically stunning place despite the damage it has suffered through water extraction. And I believe our advocacy efforts can help restore it to the reality the Owens Valley Paiute knew and helped steward until not that long ago: Payahuunadu, "the land of flowing water."

The photos I share here give me hope.

I ran into this man and his crew in Port Townsend while they were unloading crab and shrimp traps from a boat and filling a flatbed trailer with them.  

He and his team were from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the traps they had collected were those that had come loose and were littering the Salish Sea. They had spent the day doing ocean stewardship work! 

That warmed my heart and made me think about Friends of the Inyo's work in the Eastern Sierra backcountry, where our staff, partners and volunteers spend days clearing out truckloads full of barbed wire from obsolete cattle fencing, and in Death Valley, where they work with hoses, buckets and brooms to lovingly and patiently restore delicate playas scarred by illegal off-roading. 

Stewards of nature and conservation are the same everywhere, whether on land or out at sea, I thought. And as long as each of us is caring for nature where we live, together we are helping our planet as a whole to heal. 

The U.S. Geological Survey tells us that of all the water on our planet, which covers close to three-quarters of Earth's surface, 96.54% is saline ocean water; the remaining 3.46% is made up of:

  • Ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow (1.74%);
  • Groundwater (1.69%), more than half of which is saline; and,
  • Believe it or not, the remaining 0.03% is the water in our lakes (some of which are saline), rivers, swamps, permafrost, soil moisture, and the atmosphere.

There is so little drinkable water on Earth, in fact, that every drop needs to be cherished like a pearl of great price.

And in this extremely, extremely precarious life-water balance that determines the fate of all living things—humans, animals, plants, funguses, one-celled organisms—to wantonly take water from one region, drying it up it in the process of benefiting another region hundreds of miles away, is simply...not right. It is not fair. 

The Eastern Sierra thirsts for water justice. Keep following us to learn how to join in the good fight. Opportunities are coming, beginning with our work on the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition and its Every Last Drop E-Newsletter, which you can become familiar with in the first news item below. Be sure to read it to learn how to get involved.

Above: This man and his team from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife filled a flatbed trailer with crab and shrimp traps that had come loose and were littering the Salish Sea. Salvageable traps get reused and those that are too damaged are recycled. Below: Friends of the Inyo staff and volunteers filled a pickup truck full of obsolete cattle exclosure barbed wire removed from the Cottonwood Wilderness this summer. Whether on land or out at sea, stewards of nature are the same everywhere. 

Also in this issue of The Juniper:

  • Find out what our Stewardship Team has been up to, and learn about the volunteering opportunities and FREE interpretive hikes we have scheduled through early October.
  • See photos of our Lone Pine Satellite Office Grand Opening AND learn about a NEW JOB OPPORTUNITY to help further our public land protection work in partnership with Southern Inyo Tribes. 
  • Help us spread the word to your Spanish-speaking friends and neighbors about wildfire readiness, by sharing a link to our contributed article in this week's issue of Spanish-language local paper El Sol de la Sierra (with a link to an English translation on our blog so the entire community can learn important information from CAL FIRE).  
  • See how what started as a cleanup of Travertine (Pamoo) Hot Springs turned into a history lesson and an opportunity for advocacy.
  • Did you know that you could make a Cryptocurrency donation to Friends of the Inyo? We'll tell you how!
  • And more! 

Remember that 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 message 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.  

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


Louis (Lou) Medina
Communications and Philanthropy Director


The latest issue of the official E-Newsletter of the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition, Every Last Drop, is out, and features a visually titillating new look.

Read it to get an in-depth look at carbon sequestration, and to learn about how this important natural process, which keeps carbon out of the atmosphere, is being compromised in the meadows and wetlands of Long Valley because of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's ongoing water extraction.

Also in this issue, learn where you can see the documentary film Without Water, featuring the voices of local water protectors, through the end of September (watch the trailer here). Without Water has been playing in film festivals throughout California and Nevada, and already has won the following awards:

  • “Honorable Mention” from the Independent Movie Awards Film Festival, and
  • “Best Long Form, Short Form Documentary” from the Environmental Film Festival.

Don’t miss a special screening of Without Water on Wednesday, October 5, at the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine. The evening will also feature a celebration of life for local activist Monty Bengochia. Stay tuned for details.

Click here to access all past issues of Every Last Drop.

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

Stewardship & Events

As you can see in this photo, we had a great volunteer turnout at our Onion Valley/Independence Trails Day August 27, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. 

There is lots of learning and bonding fun to be had at our many FREE events with our eager and knowledgeable Trail Ambassadors. Following is a recap of August stewardship activities, per the button immediately below this photo, and below that, an explanation of our rich event offering through early October so you can "find your passion" and join us in the Eastern Sierra's great outdoors!

There is just one month's worth of fun activities left on our Summer Events Calendar at FriendsoftheInyo.org/events! 
Sign up today!

Take your pick from among these activities available through early October, with a different offering each week:

  • Interpretive Hikes with this summer’s crew of Trail Ambassadors in four Ranger Districts throughout the Inyo National Forest (White Mountain, Mammoth, Mono Basin and Mt. Whitney Ranger Districts) and the Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest;
  • One final volunteering event, Bridgeport Trails Day, on Saturday, Sept. 17;
  • Nature-Based Yoga.

(Fall events will be added to our calendar as they come up.)

Most of our events have a limit of attendees to keep group sizes manageable and ensure a quality experience in nature while respecting habitat; therefore, early signup is encouraged.

All FOI summer events are FREE, but registrants are required to fill out our electronic "RSVP & Waiver Form" for safety reasons. Attendees under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian fill out the form on their behalf. The same web page containing information on any event includes the form for that event, as well as special instructions regarding recommended attire and supplies to bring, whether a 4WD vehicle is required, event lead contact information, etc. Use the button below to sign up for any of our events.
(Note: Friends of the Inyo volunteering and educational events may be cancelled or rescheduled based on weather and other factors, such as local smoke/fire conditions. In case of cancellation, everyone who has signed up will be contacted.)

Lone Pine Office


On August 19, Friends of the Inyo staff (right center photo) and board received a warm welcome from the Lone Pine community at the grand opening of our first-ever satellite office. Attendees came from Lone Pine, throughout Inyo and Mono Counties, Ridgecrest, Los Angeles, and even as far away as San Francisco!

Since the opening, we have had more community members stopping by to see the new office and to talk about the land protection work happening in Southern Inyo County. We are happy to say the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, another Southern Inyo nonprofit, will be using our office to host their monthly meetings. We welcome other nonprofit groups involved in public lands protection that may not have their own brick-and-mortar space, to reach out to us in case our facilities can be of use to them. Please contact kayla@friendsoftheinyo.org.

Finally...A JOB ANNOUNCEMENT! Friends of the Inyo is looking to hire a Southern Inyo County Tribal Organizer to work in the communities of Southern Inyo County to gather feedback from the indigenous community and develop support for the permanent protection of the Conglomerate Mesa area, a place of cultural significance to the Shoshone and Paiute People. Learn more and find out how to apply using the button below. 

Spanish Outreach


Burned debris from West Bishop's Fairview Fire on July 8, which destroyed nine homes.

ReadyforWildfire.org -
¡En Español!

The CAL FIRE website, ReadyforWildfire.org, has plenty of information in English and Spanish to help locals a) create a defensible space around their home, b) harden or strengthen their home against fire, and c) develop and emergency kit and evacuation plan that takes into account all family members and pets in the household in case an evacuation order should go into effect for their area.

Read about it in our column, Amigos de Nuestras Tierras ("Friends of Our Lands") in the Sept. 8 - 14 issue of local Spanish-Language weekly, El Sol de la Sierra, and an English translation of the article which can be accessed from our blog. 


Jora Fogg, Friends of the Inyo Policy Director & Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership Coordinator, shares how a cleanup of Travertine Hot Springs (Pamoo in Paiute) in late August turned into a priceless history lesson and an impetus for advocacy in support of local tribes in their ongoing struggle for the springs' permanent protection and the restoration of traditional ceremonial practices. 


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

Thank you for your generous support.

Other Ways to Give

Did you know that you can donate to Friends of the Inyo using Cryptocurrency? Look for "Cryptocurrency" under the Donate Menu on our website, friendsoftheinyo.org, or simply click here or on the image below. Thank you!

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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