April 2020 • ESLT News
"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair." -Kahlil Gibran

Dear friend,

Our world is changing so dramatically and so quickly. It seems just as I start to get a wee bit of equilibrium, the ground moves again. (Literally, in some cases - we've had multiple small earthquakes up here lately!) Like you, I'm trying to find my center so I can be present for work and the people I care deeply about.

ESLT staff are now working from home, trying to be nimble and creative while still moving important projects towards completion. Not long ago, I needed to sign documents at our local title and escrow company, so I drove into Bishop for the first time since the #StayHomeStaySafe guidelines were put in place.

I was inspired and saddened. The normally-busy sidewalks and roads were mostly empty and there were handwritten signs on the windows of closed businesses saying, "Be Strong, Bishop" and, "We'll Be Back".

I started to cry. All of my worries and concerns for my community and our world seemed to hit me at once in that moment. I knew that I wasn't alone in feeling this way, and I also felt certain that together, in all of our communities, we'd find tangible ways to help.

One thing that helped me was figuring out a way to safely sign legal documents and get them notarized. I was working with a family-owned business that day, and they too were being impacted. But together we worked out a plan: with gloves, masks, and safe physical distancing, we took care of business on the front of my car.

And then we smiled through our masks and asked each other how we were doing, and how our families were doing. We connected.

I think it's fitting that today we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Half a century ago, students, politicians, artists, authors, scientists, and environmentalists united their individual efforts for real change. Earth Day is now recognized as the planet's largest civic event, and it led to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the U.S. including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the EPA.

As we fight to be safe and healthy through the COVID-19 pandemic, let's not forget that the impacts of climate change continue to grow, and that everyone has the right to a good education, clean air and water, sustainable food, and safe places to restore our souls.

So today on this very special Earth Day, I hope you find inspiration and peace, whether it's in your backyard, on your porch, or in the trees and sky. We've included our first weekly ESLT Nature Scavenger Hunt, Bird Call Bingo, and other fun tools to help you explore nature nearby - I hope you have fun!

Today, I'm going to look up and around more and I'm going to find solace in the fact that we're in this together, and together, we will navigate our way to restoration.

As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Please take care - when it's safe, we will get together and rejoice in the magic of this incredibly special place and the people who continue to come together to protect it. Until then, I hope the inspiration of Earth Day finds its way into your day.
With gratitude,

Kay Ogden
Executive Director, ESLT
760-873-4554, kay@eslt.org
Workshop #1: May 9th

Get ready to relish that hands-on connection with spring, and let's learn to create a blooming backyard or grow our own food! Guest speakers will discuss native plants, vegetables, and pollinator-friendly garden tips. Learn More .
The "Happy Place" ESLT Book Club

As we practice physical distancing, we can still collect in a powerful place - the magical landscapes of literature. Join our virtual "Happy Place" ESLT Book Club for fun, thought-provoking conversations online. Together we'll indulge in tales from the natural world. Email marie@eslt.org to join!

Our conservation community has something to celebrate! On March 30th, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is withdrawing a proposed rule to list the Bi-State sage-grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Read about why this is good news, reflecting the success of ongoing hard work by a diverse coalition of local folks. 

As we all continue to #StayHome, we can find grounding and gratitude in the changing seasons. Enjoy this list of seasonal signs along with virtual tools like our first weekly ESLT Nature Scavenger Hunt to help you and your family explore spring in depth. Stay strong, and may the healing power of nature nearby continue to bring you and your family peace.

Spring is here and so are the birds, so let's get outside and see how many we can hear. As you explore alone or with your little ones - can you get five squares across? What about down, or diagonal? Maybe over the course of a few days, can you find them all?

"The Eastern Sierra landscape drew us to this place 15 years ago. I am a devoted fan of moving water, so there are many creeks here to which I return again and again. But I'm not telling where they are!" Read about one of our longtime volunteers and committee members, and how much time and care he's given to our region. Thank you, Pete!
Community Resources // How To Help
Our team has found solace in helping locally. ESLT Education Coordinator and AmeriCorps Member Marie has been safely packing groceries alongside Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action. ESLT Philanthropy Manager Heather has been busy making masks for neighbors and friends. And ESLT Executive Director Kay is making phone calls around the community to make sure folks are connected to the resources they need.

How have you been helping? Feel free to reply with your inspiration or ideas, and feel free to share your stories with us on Facebook and Instagram too. We're working to spread the word about local resources and opportunities.
Thank you for being a part of the ESLT family. With the help of landowners, volunteers, members, and supporters like you, we're ensuring a bright future for the Eastern Sierra.

Kay, Amanda, Cami, Carissa, Heather, Kristen, Marie, Sara, Sus, and our Board of Directors