Local News

Blood Donors Needed to Save Lives and Honor Moms

BISHOP, CA. (May 1, 2024) — Every year, about 219,000 units of blood and platelets are needed to help patients experiencing women’s health issues, including about 1 of every 83 births. Leading up to and after this Mother’s Day, nonprofit Vitalant is highlighting that need. Donate blood to save moms and keep families together.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are vital to always maintain a robust blood supply for patients, from emergencies to ongoing medical treatments.

Hillary Ray, from Reno, welcomed her third child with great difficulty and great joy. Diagnosed with a life-threatening pregnancy complication, Hillary delivered her baby prematurely at 30 weeks and was whisked into a five-and-a-half hour surgery where she required six pints of blood, more than half her blood supply. “To all the unknown heroes whose blood I received, thank you for saving my life and allowing me to be able to watch my children grow,” said Hillary.

Learn all the ways you can get involved and make an appointment to donate at vitalant.org, download and use the Vitalant app or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

Upcoming Blood Drives
Donate May 24-31 to receive a Givin’ is Groovy T-shirt – the first in Vitalant’s 2024 “Decades” collectible T-shirt series. Cool, man! Redeemable by email.* While supplies last.

Visit vitalant.org to schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code or Blood Drive code in the search box or schedule at another mobile blood drive or regional Vitalant donation center. Thank you!

Date Blood Drive Location and Time Zip Code Blood Drive Code
Wed. May 29 Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Fire Station Bay
Mammoth Lakes, CA
10AM – 6PM
93546 N1400
Thurs. May 30 Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Fire Station Bay
Mammoth Lakes, CA
8:30AM – 12:30PM 93546 N1400

About Vitalant
Vitalant (Vye-TAL-ent) is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit blood and biotherapies healthcare organizations, providing hospitals and patients across the U.S. a safe blood supply, specialized laboratory services, transfusion medicine expertise and world-renowned research. Individuals generously donating blood, volunteering and giving financially are essential to our lifesaving mission. Learn more at vitalant.org.

Solicitation for Bids Now Open for Rock Creek Boat Launch Rehab Project

Construction on the facility may start as soon as this summer

 

Bishop, Calif., May 2, 2024— Inyo National Forest is announcing the solicitation of bids for a contract to rehabilitate the Rock Creek Lake Boat Launch facility, thanks to a grant from the State of California, Division of Boating and Waterways and supplemental funding from the Great American Outdoors Act.

Photo Courtesy of INF Rock Creek

The project will address safety and visitor access related issues, including improvements to the launch ramp itself, designation of ADA vehicle parking spots, new vault restrooms and an ADA-accessible path between these areas.

“The Rock Creek boat launch has had ongoing deferred maintenance issues that the Forest has not been able to address due to funding and staffing limitations,” said White Mountain District Ranger Taro Pusina.

“Thanks to this grant funding we can now move forward to conduct these much-needed access improvements for Rock Creek Lake visitors.”

Photo Courtesy of INF Rock Creek

During construction, the entire facility of the boat launch and restrooms would be closed, resulting in restricted access to both the boat ramp and Rock Creek Lake Group Campground. A more detailed schedule will be shared once it is available for the public.

Link to project construction solicitation: https://sam.gov/opp/fa6d3c6eb09a4bb786a218c8e37d476d/view

Depending on the bids received for this project, construction may not start until the summer of 2025.

 

55th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage Uplifts Struggles for Peace, Justice and Defense of Democracy

 

Banner photo credit Jon Klusmire

Advocates Highlight the Need for Black Reparations, Peace in Gaza, and Protecting Democratic Rights to 1,600 Attendees

On Saturday April 25th 2024, the Manzanar Committee successfully hosted its 55th Annual Pilgrimage centered on the theme of Peace, Justice and Defense of Democracy. The day program featured educational speeches, cultural performances, and an interfaith ceremony to commemorate all of those buried at the cemetery. More than 1,600 people attended the pilgrimage and visited the site.

The Manzanar at Dusk program, in its 26th year, was also a huge success with more than 300 participants including college students from seven different Nikkei Student Union chapters from across California, community members, and survivors from WWII Japanese American confinement sites who joined together in an intergenerational exchange.

Glen Kitayama, a longtime community activist and Manzanar Committee member, welcomed the crowd by sharing, “We are all here with each other in fellowship to remember that the lessons of the Japanese American incarceration are part of an ongoing struggle for peace and democracy.”

Keynote speaker Don Tamaki explained the historic and current intersections between advocacy efforts for reparations within the Japanese-American and Black-American communities: “We can learn from the leaders of this Pilgrimage, who know that reparations is a justice issue, about holding the nation to its professed ideals. We can walk in the footsteps of Black leaders who supported Japanese American reparations, including the Congressional Black Caucus,” Tamaki explained. “[The Congressional Black Caucus] could have turned their backs on us. Instead, they embraced us when we most needed their support. They lived the words of Martin Luther King: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality – tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Tamaki served as co-counsel on the landmark coram nobis court case in which he successfully overturned the 1944 conviction of Fred Korematsu for violating EO 9066. He also served on the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans. Don Tamaki continued, “So let’s not be complicit with centuries’ long unacknowledged and continuing wrongs. As with our struggle for justice, let’s take part in making history instead of being its bystanders. Learning from our own fight for justice, let’s remember each time America has owned-up to its wrongs, repaired them and become more inclusive, more faithful to its ideals and more just.”

In addition to reflecting on historical wrongdoings, the Manzanar Pilgrimage serves as an important place to examine current conflicts. Professor and Manzanar Committee member Wendi Yamashita reminded the audience, “Every year we come here, to this place. We remember what happened to Japanese-Americans during World War II. And those memories challenge us, they inspire us, and they push us to action in this moment to fight for what is right and just.”

This call to action was especially salient given the devastating and heartbreaking violence in Gaza that has escalated over the last 6 months. Omar Altamimi, Senior Policy and Advocacy Coordinator of CAIR CA shared, “Almost 100 years ago the silence of good Americans – not the bad ones, the good ones – their silence led to the devastating injustice against Japanese American communities. Silence is complicity. Silence empowers, abusers and wrongdoers. Today we are called upon to break that silence as we witness a genocide that has taken the lives of 34,000 People, 14,000 children.”

Recent events in the United States have also underscored how fragile American democracy is. Bruce Embrey, Co-Chair of the Manzanar Committee, shared with the audience, “Today, as we gather at the Ireito, we worry about the future of our country because of an reenergized white nationalist movement that threatens our democratic rights.” Embrey highlighted the parallels between nativist attacks on the Nikkei community in 1942 that stripped Japanese and Japanese Americans of their democratic rights and freedoms with the current vitriol against communities based on their race, religion, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Pilgrimage opened with a land acknowledgement and welcome from Jeremiah Joseph of the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe, whose land Manzanar is located on, and was followed by comments from Acting Superintendent Gavin Gardner who acknowledged the Manzanar Committee’s critical role in the founding of the National Historic Site. The program opened and closed with a procession of banners to honor incarcerees of the ten concentration camps, Crystal City Family Internment Camp and the Tuna Canyon Detention Center, as well as the military service of those from the all Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment / 100th Battalion / MIS. An interfaith service was conducted by Buddhist and Christian ministers with many Muslim and Jewish participants in the cemetery to commemorate those who had passed.

The program also included a student speaker, Maiya Kuida-Osumi, who recently participated in Katari: Keeping Japanese American Stories Alive – the Manzanar Committee’s joint educational project with the National Park Service. The Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award was presented to Ron Wakabayashi thanks to his leadership advancing justice for the Japanese American community and defending human rights for all. There were also cultural performances by Kyodo Taiko of UCLABonbu Stories, and Ken Koshio. Participants joined in an ondo dance to celebrate collective resilience and Japanese cultural heritage.

The Manzanar Committee extends its thanks to all who attended this year’s pilgrimage – both in-person and online. “We return to Manzanar because we believe it is our duty to honor our families and to say that what happened here must never be forgotten and must never happen to anyone anywhere,” explained Bruce Embrey, Manzanar Committee Co-Chair.

Banner photo credit Jon Klusmire

# # #

The Manzanar Committee, sponsor of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk program, the youth education project, Katari: Keeping Japanese American Stories Alive, and the Sue Kunitomi Student Awards Program, is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. For more information, check out our website at https://manzanarcommittee.org, call us at (323) 662-5102, or e-mail us at info@manzanarcommittee.org. You can also follow the Manzanar Committee on Facebook, on Instagram, and on YouTube.

Owens Pupfish Release Ceremony-Bishop Paiute Tribe

Bishop Paiute Tribe and partners celebrate establishment of new endangered Owens pupfish sanctuary on Bishop Paiute Indian Reservation
On April 21, in an event coordinated with the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Annual Earth Day Event, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council along with Tribal Staff, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) released endangered Owens pupfish into the newly established Owens Pupfish Refuge within the Tribe’s Conservation Open Space Area.

Due to a variety of reasons, the fish has become extremely rare and is now listed under both the federal Endangered Species Act and California Endangered Species Act.
“Establishing the Owens pupfish on tribal lands is a real reason to celebrate. The fish have played such an important part of our cultural history. We are so happy that we have finally arrived at this point where we have worked through the logistical and legal hurdles involved and found the means to contribute to the protection and recovery of the fish both on and potentially off-reservation,” said Meryl Picard, Tribal Chairwoman.
Once widespread up and down the Owens Valley in the network of ponds and sloughs that make up the Owens River watershed, the Owens pupfish was once a staple food item for the local Paiute, who caught fish by the hundreds and dried them for storage and later eating. Implementation of this project is an important milestone in a 15-year journey for the Bishop Paiute Tribe, taking a proactive approach to the conservation of a local protected species.

Another milestone on this journey was the passing of California Assembly Bill 2001, Owens Pupfish Protection Act, a bill sponsored by California State Assembly member Devon Mathis of the 33rd District in 2016. Under the California Fish and Wildlife Code 5515, Owens pupfish are a fully protected species, meaning that without the passage of this bill, the Tribe would not have been able to complete the project because a fully protected species cannot be “taken or possessed” except under certain circumstances. The bill authorizes projects like this to move forward if they are authorized under a state Safe Harbor Agreement.

“The resulting language of AB2001 in 2016 allows a landowner to harbor a California state endangered, fully protected species like Owens pupfish,” said Brian Adkins, the Tribe’s Environmental Director. “This project is the first time a fully protected fish species has been covered under a Safe Harbor Agreement.” In 2024, the Tribe signed a federal Safe Harbor Agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service, supported by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to establish the new population of Owens pupfish.

“Safe Harbor Agreements are an important tool for endangered species recovery, and we are so honored to be a partner to this historic moment for the Tribe and for Owens pupfish,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest regional director Paul Souza “The Tribe’s efforts to see this project through speak to their inherent dedication to the stewardship of the land, and the fish, wildlife and plants within.”
The Safe Harbor Agreement allowed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue a consistency determination with the permit, providing the Tribe with the appropriate protections to move forward with the project. The Tribe and CDFW were also able to extend these protections to neighboring landowners, including LADWP, whose land is hydrologically connected to the Tribe’s.

Russell Black, CDFW program manager gives more details, “The Department has been working with the Tribe for two decades on this project. To see it finally be implemented as a successful conservation action is really exciting. We’re grateful for the Tribe and all their efforts on this project. A lot of entities worked together over many years to see this fish be reintroduced to Tribal land and we’re happy to have a part in this story.”
In preparation for the release ceremony, partners gathered pupfish from five populations across the Owens Valley, which will ensure genetic diversity and assist with the success of the new Bishop Paiute Tribe population.

“We would like to thank all the tribes, individuals, agencies, organizations, and elected officials that participated and supported us in this effort”, said the Chairwoman. “We now invite Valley land managers and neighboring landowners to join us in this effort to identify new homes for the pupfish using this newly available Safe Harbor Act as a tool. Working together we can increase their number in the Valley and bring the fish back”.

The Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Environmental Management Office Department will continue to monitor the success of the population and are hopeful this is the first of other such efforts for the species. For more information, please contact Brian Adkins, Environmental Director, Bishop Paiute Tribe Environmental Management Office 760-873-3584.
# # #

Lady Broncos Defeat Rosamond

Bishop traveled to Rosamond Tuesday and came away with the win 17 to 2 in 5 innings.

Baileigh Momberg pitched all 5 innings allowing 4 hits, 1 walk and 9 strike outs.

Offensively
Katya Fierro was 3 for 4, 1 walk, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored
Sienna Fuller had a sacrifice fly and 1 RBI
Kris Sorensen was 1 for 4, reached 1st on an error, 1 run scored
Ginger Lowden was 2 for 4 (with a double) reached 1st on an error, 1 stolen base, 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored
Faye Spoonhunter had 2 walks, reached 1st on an error, 1 stolen base and 3 runs scored
Cambrie Lanphear was 2 for 2, 1 stolen base, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored
Tannyr Ludwick was 1 for 1, 1 walk and 1 run scored
Braydee Momberg was 1 for 4, reached 1st twice by errors, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored
Shea Ludwick was 2 for 2, 1 RBI and 1 run scored

Bishop batted 11 batters in both the 1st and 4th innings, scoring 6 runs in each inning.

Bishop Bronco Golf Team Captures HDL Title/Goes Undefeated

The Bishop Broncos Golf Team played their final HDL match of the season Tuesday afternoon at the Bishop Country Club. The Broncos capped off their season with another HDL win and finished undefeated for the year. 8-0 in HDL match play, 24-0 vs HDL teams and 10-0 in total match play and 26-0 overall.

Coach Carrington said, “I’m very proud of the entire team this year. They set goals for the year and not only did we achieve those goals, we exceeded them. Finishing 5 of the 8 league matches under 400 for team score and every match under 440. These young men are playing at a very high level right now, posting Division 1 scores and they keep on rolling. We hope to keep this momentum heading into the CIF Central Section Playoffs.”

Tuesdays match was the qualifying match for placement into the up coming playoffs.

The Broncos finished with a Team Score of 404, securing their spot in the Division 2 playoffs. Desert finished 2nd with a team score of 531, Cal City with a 573 in 3rd and Kern Valley shooting a 680 coming in 4th.

Individually for the Broncos,
Adam Kalk finished the season strong with a team best 77, Kobe Carpenter posted a 78, Cj Carrington with a 79, Garin Pritchard shot an 82, Cooper Beard logging a 87 and Corde Peek with a 95.
Along with the team qualifying for the playoffs, we had 4 golfers qualify for individual state playoffs. Adam Kalk, Kobe Carpenter, CJ Carrington and Garin Pritchard will be competing in the Division 2 Individual Playoffs. Very excited and proud of this accomplishment.

“I’ve said this many times, we have several very strong golfers and the great thing about our team is, any one of them can finish first through 6th in any order. It changes week to week. If one or two of them are struggling, the others pick them up. The next week, it changes again. It’s the ideal team matrix. Our next goal is to bring home the Division 2 State Championship. It’s going to be tough, on a very difficult course, but I know if these young men put it together all at the same time, it is a very realistic goal! The great thing is we have seen this course in week 1 of this year when we played in the Lemoore Tournament. We were early in the season and did not post great scores, now we are playing our best and feel we are ready. The guys are excited and want another crack at shooting a lower team score this time around, ” continued Coach Carrington.

Next up for the Broncos is the Division 2 Playoffs, Monday May 6th in Lemoore, CA.

Man Dies While Hiking Mosaic Canyon Trail

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – A 66-year-old man from Gig Harbor, Washington died while hiking with his wife in Death Valley National Park on April 5. The man was about one mile up Mosaic Canyon Trail when he appears to have suffered an acute medical event.

 

Other hikers used the satellite SOS function on their iPhone to call for help at 9:45 am. A registered nurse and nurse practitioner who were also hiking in the area attempted to revive the man. Park rangers arrived around 10:30 and joined the ongoing resuscitation efforts. The man was declared dead at 11:04 am.

 

The deceased man was carried to the trailhead by a National Park Service SAR team and transferred to the care of the Inyo County Coroner.

NPS photo National Park Service and Inyo County responders’ vehicles at Mosaic Canyon trailhead.

Devils Hole Pupfish Spring Population at 25-year high

AMARGOSA VALLEY, Nevada – Agency biologists are excited to report increased numbers of one of the world’s rarest fishes. Scientists counted 191 Devils Hole pupfish, which is the most fish observed during annual spring season counts in 25 years. This is good news for the critically endangered fish living in Death Valley National Park.

 

Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) live in the smallest habitat of any vertebrate species on the planet. Devils Hole is a deep, water-filled cavern located near Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nye CoMunty, Nevada. The fish live in the upper 80 feet of the cave and depend on the11-foot by 16-feet sun-lit shallow shelf at the cavern’s entrance for food and spawning.

 

The remnants of Hurricane Hilary affected Devils Hole in August 2023. Flooding can have negative effects on the fish in the short-term. However, Hilary mostly benefited the fishes’ ecosystem by adding nutrients that washed off the surrounding land surface in a fine layer of clay and silt.

 

Devils Hole pupfish are counted every spring and fall, using standard protocols. This year’s spring count was done April 6 and 7. Scientists used SCUBA to dive as deep as 100 feet to count fish. As the same time, other scientists count fish on the shallow shelf at the water surface.

 

Before the mid-1990s, scientists counted about 200-250 Devils Hole pupfish each spring. For about 20 years, the population dropped to an average of around 90 fish, with an all-time low of 35 fish in 2013.

 

Population counts in recent years have been higher. 191 observable pupfish were counted in April 2024, which is the highest spring count recorded since March 1999.

 

Michael Schwemm, Senior Fish Biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, states “It’s exciting to see an increasing trend, especially in this highly variable population. Increasing numbers allow the managing agencies to consider research that may not have been possible in the past, when even slight perturbations of habitat or fish had to be completely avoided. We’re excited about the future directions with respect managing this species.”

 

A return to higher numbers of pupfish this time of year could signal important changes in the ecosystem. Kevin Wilson, Aquatic Ecologist for Death Valley National Park, states “recent high spring and fall counts show the importance of maintaining long-term data as we work to find out what’s changed.”

Brandon Senger, Supervising Fisheries Biologist for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, has been conducting SCUBA-counts at Devils Hole since 2014 and noted, “It was really encouraging to see such a large number of young fish during these spring dives. Conditions within Devils Ho le looked healthy, so we have hopes of high recruitment over the coming months that will lead to a large population in the fall.”

 

Other biologists on-site noted fish appeared in remarkable condition and were very active. Many courting and spawning pairs of pupfish were seen during the count.

 

Devils Hole pupfish are jointly managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and National Park Service staff.

 

The next pupfish count occurs in fall 2024.

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/O. Feuerbacher Pupfish counters ascending from Devils Hole.

 

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/O. Feuerbacher Devils Hole pupfish

 

www.nps.gov/deva-

100 Women Who Care Make a Splash at Whiskey Creek – Good Times While Giving Back

[Bishop, CA] – It’s not just any Tuesday; it’s an evening of generosity, laughter, and a community coming together to make a real difference. The group known as 100 Women Who Care is set to meet at Whiskey Creek on May 14th, at 5:30 pm.  Whiskey Creek is not just opening its doors but its heart, offering the perfect backdrop for an event that promises to blend fun, philanthropy, and cocktails.

Whiskey Creek isn’t just hosting; they’re a beacon of generosity, offering their space freely to ensure every penny raised goes directly to the winning charity. This partnership highlights the spirit of community and the difference local businesses and individuals can make when they come together for a cause.

“We’re so grateful to Whiskey Creek for this special event,” says Darlene Schuetz], a founding member of 100 Women Who Care. “Their generosity amplifies our efforts, allowing us to focus on what we do best: supporting impactful local charities. It’s community support like this that truly makes a difference.”

From 5:00 pm, attendees will have the chance to unwind at the cash bar, engaging in lively conversations and strengthening bonds within the community. As the clock strikes 5:30, the event will shift gears to the heart of the evening: giving back. Three lucky nominations will be drawn, and the representatives will each have their moment in the spotlight to champion their cause. Following a spirited Q&A session, the ballots will be cast, and one organization will emerge as the evening’s beneficiary.

After the excitement of the vote and the anticipation of the announcement, the meeting will adjourn at 6:30 pm. However, the night is young, and members are encouraged to stay, enjoy the venue, and continue making connections.

100 Women Who Care invites the community and media to join them at Whiskey Creek to witness this unique blend of philanthropy and fellowship. It’s an opportunity to see firsthand the impact of collective giving and to celebrate the generosity of local businesses like Whiskey Creek that go above and beyond to support their community.

Event Details:

 

For more information about 100 Women Who Care and the event, please contact:

Darlene Schuetz/Karine Croft

info@100wwces.org

Join us for an unforgettable evening where community, charity, and cheers come together for a cause. Together, we’re not just making donations; we’re making a difference.

Inyo National Forest Proposes New Permit Program for Christmas Trees

 

Bishop, Calif., April 29, 2024 — The Inyo National Forest (Forest) is proposing a new special recreation permit fee system for harvesting Christmas Trees across the forest, with a public comment period open from May 1 through July 1, 2024.

After the fee proposal process is complete, this program will allow up to one, $20 tree per household purchased online at recreation.gov between November 1 through December 31. The forest will use this money to print maps, staff offices after hours/weekends to provide information to the public, fund silviculture staff to monitor cutting areas, and provide patrols in cutting areas for visitor safety and compliance.

“For many families, bringing home a Christmas tree from their local national forest is a cherished tradition carried on for generations,” said Inyo National Forest Supervisor Lesley Yen.

“For families creating new traditions, a trip to their local national forest to cut their own Christmas tree may be a thrilling experience as they discover the joy of hiking through the forest in search of the perfect holiday centerpiece. Inyo National Forest is considering allowing Christmas Tree cutting, and we want to hear your thoughts.”

This new fee will be reviewed by a citizen’s advisory committee, who will submit their recommendation to the Regional Forester for final decision. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new fees.

How to submit comments

Please submit comments no later than close of business on July 1, 2024 to:

  • By email: sm.fs.INFXmasTrees@usda.gov
  • By mail:
    Inyo Forest Service, Attn: Andrew Kennedy
    351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop CA 93514
  • Submit online through this story map: https://arcg.is/iXXmz
    Directions: click on the map area for Inyo National Forest, and a comment box will pop up on the right side. Click on the small green comment bubble to write in your comment.
  • Oral comments: Please call Andrew Kennedy during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) at 760-920-3522 and indicate you would like to provide comments on the proposed recreation fee changes.

Background

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve these sites. At least 80 percent of the revenue from recreation fees remains on the forests to operate, maintain, and improve facilities. Recreation fees help provide quality recreation opportunities that meet the modern expectations of visitors and creates a more financial sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations.

Caltrans is Increasing Safety on U.S. 6 in Inyo County

BISHOP – Caltrans is making changes to U.S. 6 in Bishop to improve the driver experience and increase safety. On Monday, April 22, Caltrans maintenance crews installed K-Rail through the no-parking zone along the southbound side of U.S. 6 and the westbound shoulder of Wye Road.

Maintenance crews will install more K-Rail along U.S. 6 in the coming weeks as further changes go into effect. Caltrans, in cooperation with the City of Bishop, will remove the temporary portable restrooms and trash cans along U.S. 6 between Wye Road and North Fork Bishop Creek. By removing these facilities, Caltrans is aiming to reduce the amount of illegal dumping that has occurred since they were installed.

Tractor-trailers and other large vehicles are encouraged to use facilities further south in Inyo County that can properly handle truck traffic. This includes the Coso Junction Safety Roadside Rest Area, the TA Express Travel Centers of America truck stop at Coso Junction, and the Division Creek Safety Roadside Rest Area north of Independence.

Further changes are in store that will revitalize the highway and provide more equitable transportation options. Caltrans is currently designing a bike line for the southbound shoulder between North Fork Bishop Creek and Wye Road. The goal is to eventually add bike lanes to both sides of the highway that extend to Dixon Lane.

These improvements are just one example of Caltrans’s commitment toward creating a forward-thinking transportation system that is safer and cleaner for the traveling public.

 

For those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats (i.e. Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc.) and those needing information in a language other than English, please contact Bob Gossman at 760-874-8332 or TTY 711.

Dark Sky Festival was a success – Largest attendance in thirteen-year history of the event

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Clear skies, telescopes, and engaging speakers combined for a stellar experience at this year’s Dark Sky Festival in Death Valley National Park. The programs had a total attendance of 5,568. Many people stayed for all three days and enjoyed multiple programs.

The Dark Sky Festival included auditorium talks, field trips, astrophotography workshops, night sky tours and other presentations held from February 10 through 12.  Over 1,500 people looked through telescopes hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society.

“It was exciting to see so many people travel to Death Valley to enjoy the night sky,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “This was a special opportunity for the public to interact directly with top scientists studying the planets and stars. And Death Valley National Park is an ideal place for this, because the park has supported a lot of planetary science research.”

The event’s partners included the Ames Research Center, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Death Valley Natural History Association, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Las Vegas Astronomical Society, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).

The festival is an annual celebration of space and planetary science in one of the darkest locations in the United States. Dates for the 2024 Dark Sky Festival have not been set yet.

www.nps.gov/deva-  

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at www.nps.gov/deva.  

(Photo Below: Ralph Lorenz, from the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, talks about the exploration of Venus. NPS photo by J. Hallett)

(Photo below: Michael Tuite from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory leads a guided field program at Mars Hill in Death Valley. NPS photo by J. Hallett )