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This issue of the Juniper is packed full of virtual events that we'll be hosting this month and next. From our campaign to protect Conglomerate Mesa, to our Stewardship work in Death Valley National Park, to our virtual 2021 Owens Lake Bird Festival, there is something for everyone to be excited about. We hope you'll sign up and join us at any or all of our virtual events!

In this issue, you'll also find an update on our snow-user surveying work written by Trail Ambassador Lindsay. We also share with you an article in the LA Times covering the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Paiute tribe's continued fight for federal recognition. And finally, download and share a free coloring book, Doris the Water Molecule, written by 2020 Trail Ambassador, Julia Tawney. We hope you enjoy this month's issue of the Juniper!


Kyle Hamada
Communications Director


Snow-User Survey Update

For the past few months Friends of the Inyo has been collecting winter recreation data at Rock Creek Sno-Park. Data collection will conclude March 28th and we will provide a final report to Winter Wildlands Alliance and the Inyo National Forest. The data collected will help FOI make informed comments on the Inyo National Forest’s Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV) planning process which is set to kick off next year. If you would like to learn more about the OSV planning by the Inyo National Forest, you can find more information here

This season was not necessarily the best indication of current and future trends in snow recreation, considering pandemic-caused resort occupancy restrictions (driving people into the backcountry to earn their turns) and the low snowpack (currently at 61% yearly average). Despite the below-average snow coverage this season, people have been getting out and getting after it. We’ve been running into skiers, boarders, snowshoers, and sledders every weekend. So if you see us out there these last few weekends in March, be sure to say hi as you shred your way up/down the road. 


We stand in support of Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Paiute tribe's continued fight for federal recognition

Read the LA Times article on the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Paiute tribe's continued fight for federal recognition. In 2019, then-Congressman Paul Cook introduced legislation to recognize the tribal sovereignty of the tribe. FOI submitted a letter of support urging him to move legislation forward. Now, it is uncertain if Cook's successor, Jay Obernolte, will resubmit the bill. FOI will continue to support the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Paiute tribe in achieving their deserved and long-overdue federal recognition status.


Doris the Water Molecule, a free coloring book!

In partnership between Friends of the Inyo, Mono County Libraries Makerspace, and the River Network, 2020 Trail Ambassador Julia Tawney created a "do-it-yourself" coloring storybook exploring the Owens River Headwaters. In response to the pandemic, Mono County Libraries Makerspace is offering free maker kits "to-go" at its six branches, with take-home art activities for all ages to learn new skills and engage with the natural world.


Tuesday, March 16th at 6:00 PM

Explore Conglomerate Mesa and discover why it's worth fighting for.

Join Friends of the Inyo and Sierra Club as we virtually explore Conglomerate Mesa and refresh ourselves on why we work so hard to protect this beautiful landscape. This event will be hosted by Bryan Hatchell from Friends of the Inyo and Kris Hohag from Sierra Club. They will show a recent flyover tour video of Conglomerate Mesa and then dive into the recent threats to this landscape. We look forward to sharing this time with you!


Tuesday, March 23rd at 6:00 PM

Look behind the scenes at the work to erase vehicle trespass on the delicate dry lake beds of Death Valley National Park.

Join Friends of the Inyo Stewardship Director Alex Ertaud, Trail Ambassador Lindsay Butcher, and OHV Restoration Lead Matthew Ferlicchi, as they share with us their experience working in Death Valley National Park effacing vehicle trespass on the delicate desert playas. Because of the unique geography and climate of Death Valley, tire tracks left by travelers who decided to drive off the designated road scar the landscape. In partnership with the National Park Service, our Trail Ambassadors work to remove these scars to restore the beautiful landscapes as well as prevent others from following those tracks and further damaging the lake bed. This work is one of a kind experience. Learn about the techniques, triumphs, and challenges of working in remote Death Valley National Park.


April 24th & 25th

The 2021 Owens Lake Bird Festival Goes Virtual!

Over the past six years, the Owens Lake Bird Festival has grown to become a premier event in Owens Valley for birders and naturalists. The incredible offerings of the Eastern Sierra make for world-class experiences for the thousand-plus attendees who have participated. We look forward to the time when we can once again host these in-person gatherings. But until then, we are excited to bring together our community virtually for the 2021 Owens Lake Bird Festival!

We hope you will join us this year for our offering of unique virtual events on Friday and Saturday evenings. One benefit of a virtual event over an in-person event is that our expert presenters can share information via their screens in a way that this event has never offered. Plus, you can join the event from the comfort of your own home. Barriers including traveling, lodging, and access are no longer a hurdle–simply sign up and join us from your device. Plus, you won't miss your favorite event because it's filled up! We hope to see you in April!


The Virtual Presentations

Owens Lake Habitat Management: It’s for the Birds
Presented by Collette Gaal & Jeff Nordin
Friday, April 23rd at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Photographing Birds in Inyo County
Presented by Martin Powell
Saturday, April 24th at 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Owens Lake’s Importance in Western Hemisphere Bird Migration
Presented by Mike Prather
Saturday, April 24th at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


Click the link below to learn more and to purchase tickets


INYO350 Presents a Discussion with new Inyo National Forest Supervisor Lesley Yen

March 15, 2021  6:30pm on Zoom

INYO350 is hosting a special interactive evening event, via Zoom, with new Inyo National Forest Supervisor Lesley Yen, on Monday, March 15 at 6:30 PM. Lesley will provide an update on the Inyo’s current status and discuss our National Forest’s future, including anticipated challenges, stewardship and recreation improvement projects, and much-needed funding opportunities.

This event also offers an opportunity for local folks to get to know Lesley better. When she came to town last fall, Lesley said, “I’m looking forward to connecting and reconnecting with these amazing landscapes as well as the people, tribes, and partners who make this area and these communities so special.” While the pandemic has likely prevented many of us from meeting her in person since she arrived, Lesley is, fortunately, no stranger to our area. She and her husband Eric, a former employee with BLM’s Bishop Field Office, met and married in the Eastern Sierra and think of this area as their home.

Following her presentation, participants will have an opportunity to ask Lesley questions. Please attend this special event on Monday, March 15 at 6:30 PM to learn more about important recreation, wildlife, resource, and stewardship matters affecting the Inyo National Forest and our local communities.

To join the event on March 15th, please click on this Zoom link: https://tinyurl.com/43ucc7aj

For more information and the Zoom link please visit the INYO350 website by clicking the button below.

For more info call 760-937-8081.


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. 

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

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
Cattlemen's Association


Friends of the Inyo
621 W Line St Suite 201  | Bishop, California 93514
(760) 873-6500 | info@friendsoftheinyo.org

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