Eastern Sierra Land Trust   ◊   May 2019 E-Newsletter

Eastern Sierra Land Trust
The "World's largest non-motorized" parade.

Mules. There are mules and mule lovers everywhere in town this Memorial Day weekend: mules walking in the Starbucks drive- through, mules preening in their corrals as they await upcoming performances, and mules saddling up for the "World's largest non-motorized" parade on Saturday.
If you haven't guessed yet, it's the 50 th Anniversary of Mule Days here in Bishop. For almost an entire week, cowgirls and cowboys and their mules gather in town for fun contests, music, and art fairs. It fuels regional tourism and boosts our local economy. And as we remember and honor our service members this Memorial Day weekend, we are celebrating some of the history and heritage that they protect.
The annual Mule Days celebration is another symbol of what makes this region so unique and why our work here is so important. It's a reminder of our rural heritage that hearkens back to the days of the great American frontier. ESLT works in a 14,000 square-mile region, one that is rich in wildlife and natural beauty and steeped in the legacy of the old West.

Today, you help us keep this heritage alive by making sure critical Eastside lands and wildlife are healthy and thriving. The upcoming warmer weather marks the start of our stewardship season, when our staff gets outside to care for our protected lands. What a better way to bring in this season than Mule Days - a celebration of our region's history of hard work on the land.
Here's to all of the cowgirls, cowboys, and their mules who made history here in the Eastern Sierra. And here's to everyone who keeps that history alive.
Happy Mule Days, and thank you to the generations of service members who have given their lives for our freedom.

With joy,
Kay Ogden,  Executive Director

P.S. Monday, May 27 at 3 p.m. is the National Moment of Remembrance for those who have lost their lives in service.
Saturday, June 8, 9AM - 1PM.  
Locals across the Eastern Sierra have been hard at work creating beautiful pollinator-friendly gardens filled with flourishing native plants. During our Garden Tour, you can see some of these lovely gardens in bloom, learn more about pollinator-friendly gardening, and come away with buckets of inspiration for your garden! Questions? Learn more and RSVP by contacting Marie at marie@eslt.org or (760) 873-4554.

Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua 
Friday, June 14 through Sunday, June 16.  
Lee Vining, CA.
The Chautauqua offers over 90 field trips, workshops, and presentations with renowned bird guides, naturalists, and artists! Add live music and delicious food, and you've got yourself a fantastic long weekend in nature with friends. Make sure to register for the field trips hosted by own Executive Director Kay Ogden and by our Stewardship Manager Sara Kokkelenberg.

Lands & Legacy Celebration 
Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1.  
Join us for dinner on Friday of Labor Day weekend as we admire the spectacular view from Mammoth Mountain's Parallax restaurant, then stay for an inspiring weekend spent exploring and learning about the land you've saved. We'll soak in the magic of these Eastern Sierra Lands that are wide open and protected forever, thanks to you. More information and schedule to come. Follow our Facebook event for updates!
Protected Forever: Waterfalls, Canyon Walls, and Bighorn Sheep
We teamed up with Mono Lake Committee and The Wilderness Land Trust to permanently protect a critical piece of the iconic Lundy Canyon.
Risk of harmful development loomed in Lundy Canyon, a scenic and special Eastside place. Framing the upper entrance was  a 49.3-acre privately-held inholding entirely within the Inyo National Forest. The parcel neighbored Lundy Canyon Trail with its scenic waterfalls, and a portion of it lay in wilderness where  endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep live.  Development there would have posed a major threat to recreation, wildlife, and the watershed. 

Then the property went up for sale...
Helping the Herd                                            
Mule deer migrate through the Swall Meadows Wildlife Area twice every year.
A treacherous corridor. A missing puzzle piece. 
A shared solution.
Imagine that the year is 1999, and you just moved to a new home in Swall Meadows. Every day out your window, you begin to see the same thing. Mule deer! A lot of mule deer.  This experience led the community to take action towards protecting their local wildlife. They decided to found Eastern Sierra Land Trust. 

Today, our work in caring for this herd continues. After over a decade of working closely with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to improve the Swall Wildlife Preserve, we will be transferring the Preserve to the agency. We planned to pass ownership to CDFW from the start, as they own the surrounding Swall Meadows Wildlife Area. This no-cost transfer will connect public lands to one another like a missing puzzle piece, bringing the Swall Meadows Wildlife Area under unified ownership and coordinated care that benefits our deer.
ESLT is hiring a Seasonal Land Stewardship Associate 
Know someone who would be a great addition to our stewardship team? Help us spread the word!
As a supporter of our stewardship program, the Land Stewardship Associate will conduct a broad range of land management activities on ranches, wetlands, sagebrush steppe, and forest properties. They will assist the Stewardship Manager with responsibilities such as creating and updating Baseline Documentation Reports, inspecting conservation easements, preserves, and deed restrictions, and organizing and overseeing volunteer groups.
Remembering Two Passionate Eastside Advocates
A Dedicated Eastside Protector: Will Richmond
Will Richmond
Will Richmond fought hard for the Eastern Sierra throughout his influential law career and throughout his time volunteering on ESLT's Board of Directors. He was also a member of our Land's Committee, which provides expert vetting and guidance.

Will passed away in February of this year, and we will always remember him as a dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate advocate for our land conservation goals.

Assembling ESLT's Beginnings: Dr. Karl Hinrichs 
Swall Meadows in spring

Dr. Karl Hinrichs walked door to door in Swall Meadows in 2001, knocking and waiting for answers. He wanted to talk to his neighbors about a new organization that he was helping to found - Eastern Sierra Land Trust. He wanted everyone's input, and he wanted the neighborhood's support.

Karl Hinrichs and his wife Laura were among the first conservation leaders who started ESLT, alongside...

Join us for dinner on Friday as we admire the spectacular view from Mammoth Mountain's Parallax restaurant, then stay for an inspiring Labor Day weekend. We'll enjoy the magic of these wide-open Eastern Sierra Lands you've protected forever.

Tickets will be available soon. Stay tuned! You can watch our Facebook event page for updates.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to protect vital lands in the Eastern Sierra region for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historic, and watershed values.

250 N. Fowler Street, Bishop CA 93514

www.eslt.org  |  (760) 873-4554  |  info@eslt.org