31 July, 2013

Great Low Cost Trip for Rare Ecosystems in Eastern Sierra's - August 5th

Got this email but can not go:

Dear Interested Citizen,

Thanks to those of you who have RSVP’ed or let us know that you won’t be able to attend the trip. We’re looking forward to a great week in the field with those who are attending. As you know, the goal of the field trip is to view and discuss current vegetation and watershed conditions in the rest allotments on the Kern Plateau, Whitney and Templeton, and compare those with observations from the currently grazed allotments, Mulkey and Monache. Some of the participants on this trip also attended last year’s trip when we visited Mulkey Meadow and Horseshoe Meadow. We’ll be discussing these observations with watershed and fisheries resource specialists from the Inyo National Forest, including Todd Ellsworth the forest’s Watershed Program Manager and Lisa Sims, the forest’s Fisheries Biologist. These observations and discussion will help to inform participants’ comments when it comes time for the public to provide feedback during the NEPA process, which is slated to begin in 2014.

Below is the final trip itinerary. You can view all the trails and camp locations on the Inyo National Forest map or the Golden Trout Wilderness map.

Mon, Aug 5: Meet at the Cottonwood TH near Horseshoe Meadow Campground at 8am. We’ll do introductions and review final trip logistics. Then we’ll get on the trail and hike over Cottonwood Pass to Stokes Meadow and Big Whitney Meadow. We’ll view and discuss meadow conditions along the way. Set up camp on the dry “island” in the middle of Big Whitney. The trail passes right over this island.

Tues, Aug 6: Pack up camp. Hike through the rest of the Big Whitney Meadow on the way toward Tunnel Meadow. Set up camp at Tunnel Corrals and the snow survey cabin at the southern end of Tunnel Meadow.

Wed, Aug 7: Day hike to Salt Lick Meadow, Volcano Meadow and Groundhog Meadow, which are all part of the Whitney grazing allotment. Return to camp at Tunnel.

Thurs, Aug 8: Pack up camp. Hike through Ramshaw Meadow. Set up camp just south of Movie Stringer, at the southern end of Templeton Meadow. There may also be time to hike to Fat Cow Meadow or Strawberry Meadow, which are part of the Templeton allotment.

Fri, Aug 9: Hike through Templeton Meadow. If the group doesn’t get to Fat Cow/Strawberry on Thurs, there may be another opportunity to see it on this day. Return to camp at Movie Stringer. Heidi Hill Drum from the Center for Collaborative Policy will be joining the group in the evening for a debrief over dinner.

Sat, Aug 10: Pack up camp. Hike back to Horseshoe Meadow parking area via Mulkey Meadow and Trail Pass. Trip ends.

As a reminder, you will need to be self-sufficient on the trail, either carrying your own gear and food (including bear resistant containers) or providing/hiring packstock. The east side of the Sierras has received quite a bit of precipitation recently, so please make sure that you are prepared for inclement weather. If you’re interested in hiring a mule or two, Cottonwood Pack Station (Dennis and Tomi Winchester, 760-878-2015) is located near the trailhead and may have stock and packers available.

If you have any questions about the itinerary or other logistics, please let me know!


Lesley Yen
District Resource Staff Officer
White Mountain and Mt. Whitney Ranger Districts
Inyo National Forest
p: 760.873.2524
c: 760.258.5840

Posted on 31 July, 2013 00:02 by james5 james5 | 0 comments | Leave a comment