Lend a Hand On the Land!
This post was written by ESLT’s Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member, Catherine Tao. For more about Catherine, Click Here.
With the weather warming up, it’s time to get a bit of dirt underneath our fingernails and grease up those elbow joints. Eastern Sierra Land Trust has been getting out on our protected lands lately, advancing our ongoing work to conserve and restore our beautiful Eastside — rain or shine, or… ice!. Now we need your help. This spring, lend a hand on the land during one of our upcoming Stewardship Workdays.
Stewardship is at the core of ESLT’s mission – but what does “stewardship” really mean? As frequently as I use this word when referencing our work, I recently realized that I could not come up with an exact definition. So I grabbed a dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster, stewardship is: “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
Here at Eastern Sierra Land Trust, our efforts to protect the Eastern Sierra’s wild and working lands really only begin when a project closes escrow. When we help landowners protect their land, we make a promise to carefully and responsibly manage the land that has been entrusted to us – and this commitment is forever.
I know you’ll agree that the Eastern Sierra is home to spectacular wildlife, awesome recreational opportunities, and some of the most unique and precious lands in the world. And whether you live here permanently or visit on occasion, it’s up to people like you and me – people who care about the future of this incredible place – to help protect its wonders by becoming stewards of the land we love.
There are so many different ways to be a responsible land steward, and one of them is by getting outdoors, rolling up our sleeves, and doing what needs to be done to make sure this region continues to thrive. ESLT will be leading a series of volunteer workdays on our protected lands in the coming months:
- Bitterbrush Meshing at Swall Wildlife Preserve: Thursday, March 24 — Bitterbrush is a key food source for the Round Valley mule deer herd, and little seedlings are already appearing in the Round Fire burn area. We’ll be installing mesh cages to protect them from damage.
- US 395 Highway Cleanup: Thursday, May 12 — Remove trash and debris from ESLT’s adopted section of Scenic Highway 395 along Sherwin Grade.
- Wooly Mullein Removal at Conway and Mattly Ranches: Thursday, May 19 — Join us as we pull Woolly Mullein, an invasive weed that chokes out the native plant species that wildlife need to thrive.
- Wetland Weed Removal at Conway Ranch: Thursday, June 2 — The natural wetlands on Conway Ranch provide critical habitat for birds and mammals. Help us prevent the weeds from taking over!
- Sage-Grouse Fence Flagging at Black Lake Preserve: Thursday, June 23 — Help ESLT create safer habitat for sage-grouse by flagging fences with reflective materials to make them more visible.
- Yednock Conservation Project Cleanup: Thursday, July 7 — Join our cleanup crew at this remote property northeast of Mono Lake that offers critical wildlife habitat, as well as stunning views of the Mono Basin.
- Benton Hot Springs Ranch Bulrush Transplant: Thursday, July 21 — Help us transplant bulrush to increase open water habitat and prepare the Benton Ponds for the re-introduction of a rare native fish, the Owens Speckled Dace.
- Green Creek Sign Installation and Cleanup: Thursday, August 4 — Join us as we clean up the Green Creek Powerhouse Preserve and install signs to mark the boundary of this protected property.
Are you interested in participating in these and/or future Stewardship Workdays? Please use the form below to submit your contact information, and you will be added to our Stewardship Volunteer List. You may also go ahead and sign up for specific workdays by selecting the appropriate check boxes (we’ll contact you before the workday to confirm your participation and share important information).
Not sure you’re available any of these days, but still want to participate in ESLT’s stewardship work? Please still submit your name and email, and we’ll notify you when we schedule additional Stewardship Workdays in the future!
All workday participants should plan to wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes and long pants, and are strongly encouraged to bring water, sunscreen, gloves, and a hat. Carpools from Bishop will always be available.
A big thank you for your hard work and dedication to this land you love! Please feel free to contact me, Catherine Tao, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 873-4554 with any questions. Looking forward to seeing you out there!