Owens Valley Reptiles

The Owens Valley, its bordering mountain ranges, and diversity of geologic features–some due to faulting; some to glaciation and erosion; some to volcanic activity–engender a number of transition zones between biological communities and varying habitat for at least 33 reptile species. Whereas desert horned lizards (Phrynosoma platyrhinos) tend to linger on warm, sandy flats on … Read more

Pumpback Station – Lower Owens River Project

Action: Write to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors or the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners. Urge Inyo County to reject a larger station and urge Los Angeles to abide by the terms of the Inyo-Los Angeles Water Agreement. Background: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has launched a lobbying … Read more

Owens Valley Mammals

Owens Valley mammals include species from several different biogeographic regions–including the Great Basin, Mojave Desert, White-Inyo mountains, and Sierra Nevada mountains–as well as species unique to the groundwater-dependent alkali meadows on the valley floor. The Owens Valley vole (Microtus Californicus vallicola), a nocturnal short-tailed vole, makes its home in groundwater-dependent meadows on the valley floor. … Read more

Mary DeDecker (1909-2000)

On September 5, 2000, Owens Valley botanist and conservationist Mary DeDecker passed away. She was 91 years old and had lived in Independence with her husband, Paul, for 65 years. Mary started the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society in 1982 and added immensely to our knowledge of the flora of eastern California. … Read more

Owens Valley Flora

By Daniel Pritchett, Conservation Chair of the local Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Skip to: Riparian forest and shrub communities Alkali meadow and shrub communities Upland xerophytic shrub communities Groundwater-dependent vegetation References Vegetation of the Owens Valley has been studied, classified, and described in many ways. Paiutes living in the Valley when the first … Read more

Owens Lake Birds

Historically, Owens Lake was one of the most important stopover sites for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds in the western United States for thousands of years. Joseph Grinnell, visiting the lake in 1917 from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Berkeley, reported, “ Great numbers of water birds are in sight along the lake shore–avocets, phalaropes, … Read more