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The Range of Light Group is part of Sierra Club's Toiyabe Chapter and represents Sierra Club members in eastern California's Mono and Inyo Counties. Membership and participation in the Range of Light Group is open to all interested in enjoying, protecting, and exploring the Eastern Sierra. We are always looking for volunteers to help with outings, events, and conservation issues.
Here are some of our accomplishments and ongoing activities
- Hikes and outings in summer and cross-country ski and snowshoe outings in the winter for those who visit or live in the Eastern Sierra.
- Regular educational membership meetings with expert speakers on a large range of environmental and outdoor topics.
- Volunteer trash pick-ups along a two-mile stretch of Highway 395 through the Caltrans Adopt-a-Highway program for over 15 years.
- We restored the cross-country ski routes known as the "Blue Diamond" routes in the Mammoth area, at the Inyo Craters, and at Obsidian Dome. These trails offer a popular closer-to-nature winter experience. Free maps of these routes are available at the Mammoth Visitor Center.
- We have worked with diverse allies to prevent damaging and short-sighted mining in the Bodie Hills and Conglomerate Mesa.
- Advocated for the protection of precious water resources in the Eastern Sierra – including our fight to protect important water supplies for critical habitats and agricultural and recreation lands in Mono County as part of the Keep Long Valley Green Campaign.
- Monitored the post-fire regrowth in Bohler Canyon for four years following the Walker Fire in August 2015. We have tracked the area’s recovery with photos and iNaturalist entries.
- Initiated a Tangle Free Waters project to remove and recycle fishing line from local lakes and streams to prevent unnecessary drowning of birds, frogs, and fish. As a result of our work to organize local agencies, non-profits, and individuals, the project gained attention and is now being led by Mammoth Lakes Recreation.
- We successfully advocated for additional recognition and protection of important wildlands and streams in both Inyo and Mono County as Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers in the updated Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan released in 2019. The group was very active in the campaign for California wilderness areas that were incorporated into the 2009 Ominibus Public Land Management Act.
- When necessary, have led or joined lawsuits to protect critical lands and waters, for example, we were a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power that led to the “rewatering” of the lower Owens River in early 2007 and subsequent lawsuits to ensure LADWP live up to its commitments. The group helped initiate a lawsuit over the expansion of the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport in 2002.
- We were an original member of (since 2008) and continue to actively participate in the Inyo-Mono Regional Water Management Group (IRWM) which has secured more than $5 million in grants from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) for projects that have improved our region’s water supplies and environmental quality and provided clean safe drinking water for disadvantaged and tribal communities.