August 19-23, 2024 | Eastern Sierra Broadwalk
The Wilderness Act marks its 60th anniversary in 2024, and what better way to celebrate this landmark conservation legislation than in the shadow of the most iconic wilderness areas in the nation—the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
Join Broads and the Eastern Sierra Broadband for the Eastern Sierra Wilderness Act Broadwalk, August 19–23, 2024, as we celebrate and explore the wilderness and wilderness study areas of the Eastern Sierra, including the Owens River Headwaters Wilderness, John Muir Wilderness, and the wilderness study areas in the Bodie Hills. These areas have been the focus of conservation and study for decades, but the continued exportation of water to Southern California, minerals exploration, and climate change make these landscapes, ecosystems, and the wildlife they support more at-risk than ever.
Day 1: Bodie Hills Car Caravan Tour. This dirt-road tour starts in the morning and makes several stops to view an old mine in the Masonic Mining District, sage grouse habitat, juniper/pinyon forest, and other flora and fauna. Bring your binoculars as there are birding and wildlife viewing opportunities for mountain bluebirds, towhees, hawks, vireo, sage grouse, and the pronghorn antelope. We’ll have a picnic lunch at the shady creek by the New York Mine. There are three Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in the Bodie Hills: the Bodie WSA, Bodie Mountain WSA, and Mt. Beideman WSA. The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership (BHCP) has a goal of obtaining permanent protection for the Bodie Hills. Optional afternoon activities include visiting the Bodie Hills State Park, birding at the Bridgeport reservoir, or visiting the Travertine Hot Springs. The Bodie Hills are the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute and Mono tribes.
Day 2: Our service activity is an invasive species “Mega-Pull” at the South Tufas in the Mono Basin National Scenic Area, Inyo National Forest. We will be pulling invasive species, especially Russian thistle, close to the shore of Mono Lake, which feature the area’s distinctive tufa geologic formations, osprey, brine shrimp, alkali flies, and a short self-guided nature walk. This incredible landscape provides the optional opportunity for plein air painting after lunch, further exploration around the lake, or stopping by the Mono Basin National Scenic Area or the Mono Lake Committee Visitor Centers in Lee Vining. These are the ancestral lands of the Kootzaduka’a, the southernmost band of the Numu People.
Day 3: Take the shuttle to Devils Postpile National Monument, established in 1911, and view the Postpile geologic formations. After that it’s a short drive to Minaret Summit for additional views of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Minarets and Ritter Range, the San Joaquin Valley, and the Owens River Headwaters Wilderness. This is the approximate divide where the water either flows east to the Owens River or west to the San Joaquin River. The area is abundant with mature and old-growth forests made up of Jeffery pines, red fir, ponderosa pine, Western white pine and whitebark pine. Devils Postpile sits at a cultural crossroads where the traditional territories of American Indian inhabitants of the east and west slopes of the Sierra Nevada intersect.
We will also have afternoon advocacy sessions to write letters or postcards to elected officials to provide support for the areas we visit. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, art, sightseeing, kayaking, and visits to the area’s hot springs. For the evening program in addition to the usual happy hour and superb dining fare, we have planned informal regional speakers knowledgeable about sage grouse, the Bodie Hills, Mono Lake, and the issues that they face.
But wait, there’s more! We will celebrate the Wilderness Act’s 60th with a toast and a moist and delicious chocolate cake!
This will be an old-school Broads trip (vault toilets and bring your own water), with camping at the Obsidian Flat Group Campground, located at 7,800 feet in the shadow of the Owens River Headwaters Wilderness surrounded by the Inyo National Forest. The weather in August is ideal for camping, with temperatures in the 80’s during the day and the high 40’s–low 50’s at night. A few RV spots are available.
And if camping isn’t your thing, there are plenty of lodging opportunities available in the nearby Town of Mammoth Lakes.
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You must be a member to attend this event.
For more information, contact Eastern Sierra Broadband Leader Kristine Green at EasternSierraBroads@GreatOldBroads.org