"Devils Postpile" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Devils Postpile

Guide 2016

brochure Devils Postpile - Guide 2016
Visitor Guide to Devils Postpile and the Reds Meadow Valley 2016-2017 National Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior The Post Devils Postpile Formation Photo: B. Blackburn The National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years! How will you celebrate the Centennial year of the National Park Service in 2016? Five years after celebrating the 100th anniversary of the designation of Devils Postpile National Monument, we celebrate another milestone: the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. As the National Park Service embarks on its second century, we are inviting the next generation to create new memories in special places that belong to all of us as Americans. On August 25th, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act, establishing a single agency to manage protection of 35 national parks and monuments. One hundred years later, Devils Postpile National Monument celebrates sharing America’s special places with over 400 national park units from across the country. These special places, according to the mission of the National Park Service, preserve our most outstanding scenery, wildlife, and habitat, and honor our most important historic events and people for enjoyment, education, and inspiration of visitors today and tomorrow. Over the last 100 years, the notion of a national park has transformed. The establishment of the National Park Service was intended to preserve the landscape of the American West. However, in 2016, national park units span across the United States, from the American Samoa to Puerto Rico, and encompass a wide variety of special places and stories. Visitors can engage with stories related to civil rights, such as desegregation at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas. Women’s Rights National Historic Park in New York commemorates the first women’s rights convention. National Park Service sites across the nation honor important historic events and people, as well as protect and share the natural world. This idea of a national park continues to change. For some, a “park” is more than just a place; it may be a feeling of community, challenge, or inspiration. Perhaps it is a chance for reflection in a museum or beside a river. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to change the world for a better future—one step, or helping hand, at a time. The next 100 years of the National Park Service will come with its own set of challenges. One of the greatest challenges, climate change, will continue to affect national parks, the resources they protect, and impact the experiences of visitors. National parks help us gain a better understanding of how our planet is changing and help us find ways to mitigate our impacts and conserve parks for future generations. Across the parks, clear and concise reports on the “State of the Park” will communicate in-depth assessments, challenges, and opportunities of key resources and values. The report series is part of “Park Pulse,” an action goal in A Call to Action: Preparing for a Second Century of Stewardship and Engagement, the National Park Service priorities for its second century. The Devils Postpile National Monument State of the Park report is located at our website’s management section. In order to be relevant in the second century, the National Park Service will need to reach new audiences, tell stories that represent our nation’s diverse history, and cultivate a workforce that reflects the American population. With visitation increasing to record numbers, park managers face the challenge to protect these special places and stories and provide great experiences for all visitors to enjoy their national parks. The challenges facing parks across the nation, including Devils Postpile National Monument, reveal the importance of collaboration between the National Park Service, our partners, our supportive communities, and our visitors to help protect these special places. As we enter our second century, how will the National Park Service be inspired by the next generation of visitors? To usher in the next 100 years, we invite you to make meaningful connections and create memories in your parks and public lands, like Devils Postpile National Monument. Then share what speaks to you at FindYourPark.com. Deanna M. Dulen Superintendent, Devils Postpile National Monument Jon C. Regelbrugge District Ranger Mammoth Ranger District Inyo National Forest What’s Inside Shuttle Bus Information.................. 2 Information and Services................ 3 Area Map...................................... 4-5 Hiking............................................... 6 Every Kid in a Park and Junior Rangers......................... 7 Citizen Science, Wildlife and Bookstores and Partners................ 8 Park the Car and Ride the Bus! Shuttle Bus and Fee Information The bus is mandatory for most visitors. See the chart below for prices. Tickets can be purchased at the Adventure Center, located at the main gondola building at Mammoth Mountain. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Devils Postpile National Monument Mailing Address P.O. Box 3999 Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 Phone: (760) 934-2289 Fax: (760) 934-4780 Web site: www.nps.gov/depo National Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture Mammoth Ranger District Inyo National Forest Mailing Address P.O. Box 148 Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 Phone: (760) 924-5500 Fax: (760) 924-5547 Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/inyo Parking for the shuttle bus is along the roadside near Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge. Leashed and muzzled dogs are welcome on buses. Please be careful walking along the roadside from the parking areas to the Adventure Center to purchase bus tickets. The trip into the valley takes about 30 minutes. Be prepared for a variety of conditions. Hiking shoes, sunscreen, water, and food are recommended. If you are one of the following, you qualify as an exception to the bus system and will be allowed to drive into the valley, and must pay a fee at the Minaret Vista Station. • Visitors displaying a disabled persons parking placard or plate • Visitors with an inflated float tube or non-motorized vessel for use on valley lakes • Visitors staying in a designated campground in the valley (backpackers must use the shuttle) • Visitors towing livestock trailers • Overnight guests of Reds Meadow Resort • Visitors entering the valley when the bus is not running • Hunters transporting weapons or game Fees for exception vehicles: • One Day Pass: $10/vehicle • Three-day pass: $20/vehicle (Good for three of five consecutive days) • Campers: $10/vehicle for the duration of stay. • Season pass: $35/vehicle. Schedule From the Village at Mammoth: • 7:15 a.m. • 8:00 a.m. • 8:45 a.m. • 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. every 30 minutes From 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., visitors will board the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park Shuttle to get to the Adventure Center (free for hikers). From the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center: • 7:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. every 45 minutes • 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. every 20 minutes • 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. every 30–45 minutes The Need for a Shuttle System The shuttle has allowed the valley to recover from intense use that occurred throughout the 1970’s. It has protected the area from degradation caused by high visitation and limited parking. Whether riding the shuttle or driving into the valley in an exception vehicle, everyone enjoys a safer experience as a result of the shuttle operation. 2 Devils Postpile and Reds Meadow Guide Food and Bottled Water...... Wildflower Walk................. Shadow Lake/River Trail....... Ranger Station, Programs.... Devils Postpile Trail.............. Starkweather Lake.............. Sotcher Lake....................... Rainbow Falls Trail............... Bookstore/Souvenirs....... Payphones................. First Aid/Emergency Care..... Adventure Center Area Map To Mammoth Lakes & 395 Shuttle Parking Caution: Please be careful while walking alongside the road The Yodler Climbing Wall Mammoth Mountain Inn Three-day and season passes for exception vehicles are accepted at Mono Lake South Tufa and Schullman Grove Day use Areas. Interagency Annual, Military, Senior, and Access Passes are only accepted for vehicles that are exceptions to the shuttle bus. Interagency passes are not valid for shuttle bus tickets. At which stop will I find... Shuttle Boarding Statue Zip-line Area u c Ro ceni S ( d a o M i n a re t R To Minaret Vista and Devils Postpile Adventure Center te 20 Main Lodge 3) North Gondola to top of Mammoth Mountain 11053ft 3369m 0 0 100 Meters 100 Feet Shuttle Bus Passes COST PASSES $7 per adult, $4 per child (aged 3-15), children 2 and under are free. Day Pass Wilderness Hikers $7 per adult, $4 per child (aged 3-15), children 2 and under are free. One time fee for the duration of stay in the valley, based on permit or reservation. $14 per adult, $8 per child (aged 3-15), children 2 and under are free. Three-day Pass $35 per adult, $20 per child (aged 3-15), children 2 and under are free. Season Pass Information and Services EMERGENCIES In an emergency, dial 911. Cell phone coverage is limited. Pay phones are located at Devils Postpile, Reds Meadow Resort and Pumice Flat campground. VISITOR CENTERS Devils Postpile The Devils Postpile Ranger Station is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from late-June through Labor Day. It will be open in September and October as staffing permits. Maps, backcountry permits, and other information is available. There is also a bookstore on site. Inyo National Forest The Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center serves the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the Inyo National Forest, and the National Park Service year-round. A bookstore and permits are available. Hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily (760-924-5505). CAMPING Devils Postpile Devils Postpile has a 20 site first-come, first-served campground for tents and RVs up to 37 feet in length. Current fees can be found on the website or by calling 760-934-2289. Inyo National Forest There are seven Forest Service campgrounds in Reds Meadow Valley. Five campgrounds are first-come, firstserved. Current fees for all Inyo campgrounds (including group and horse) can be found on the Inyo National Forest Website or by calling 760-924-5500. Two group campgrounds are available by reservation. Agnew Campground has three equestrian campsites and are also by reservation only. Special Campground Information At the time of printing, exact opening dates for campgrounds in the Reds Meadow Valley were unknown. Please call ahead to ensure that the campground in which you wish to stay will be open. Campgrounds in the Agnew Meadow area were closed at the time of printing. The Inyo National Forest is working to open these sites as soon as possible. Please call ahead for the most current information. Campground Closing Dates All campgrounds in the Reds Meadow Valley close on or before October 15, depending on weather. Call ahead for exact dates. Typically, campgrounds are open through the Labor Day weekend and some stay open into early October. There is no overnight parking in the valley after October 14. SHOWERS The Reds Meadow hot spring fed showers will not open this season. The tub will be locked for safety reasons. Showers will be available at the Reds Meadow Resort and Packstation. Showers are $7.00. Towels are available for $1.00. FOOD SERVICES Food service is available at the Reds Meadow Resort. A store and a restaurant are open from June through September. Camping supplies and groceries are also available. PETS Devils Postpile Pets are allowed on trails and in the campground at the monument and must be on a leash at all times. Inyo National Forest Pets are allowed on trails in the Inyo National Forest as long as they are on leash or under voice control, and near the owner. Pets must be on leash in all National Forest campgrounds and developed sites including parking lots, trailheads, and day use areas. On the Shuttle Bus Leashed and muzzled pets are permitted on the shuttle buses. Muzzles can be purchased at pet stores in Mammoth Lakes or at the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center. FISHING A fishing license is required for adults ages 16 and older. Regulations can be found in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Freshwater Sport Fishing Book available online or where fishing licenses are sold. HUNTING AND FIREARMS Devils Postpile Hunting is prohibited within the boundaries of the monument. Inyo National Forest Hunting is permitted in designated areas within the Inyo National Forest with a valid license. Contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 559-243-4005 ext. 151 for more information. Regulation booklets are available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center. Firearms Regulations Federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in Devils Postpile National Monument and on the Inyo National Forest. It is the responsibility Length Limits on the Postpile Road of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering the monument or forest. For information on California regulations, visit http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/. Federal law prohibits firearms in all federal facilities including the Devils Postpile Ranger Station and the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, unless specifically authorized (18 USC 930(a)). STOCK USE Devils Postpile Stock are allowed on monument trails with the exception of the Devils Postpile Trail and a short section of trail near Rainbow Falls. Ask for a detailed map at the Ranger Station. Stock should enter the monument via the Rainbow Falls Trailhead. Parking and maneuvering in valley parking lots can be very challenging for large vehicles and trailers. Please use caution on the narrow Reds Meadow Road and in parking lots. Off-trail stock use is prohibited. River crossing is only permitted at the designated stock bridge located in on the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trails within the monument. The Soda Springs Bridge is not designed for stock use. Grazing is prohibited and weed free feed is recommended. Inyo National Forest Stock are allowed on most National Forest trails. Several trailheads are suitable for stock loading and unloading including Agnew Meadows and Rainbow Falls. To decrease risks and provide for the safety of all visitors traveling on the narrow road accessing Devils Postpile National Monument, Devils Postpile has restricted the length of vehicles on the section of road in the monument to 37 feet. This does not apply to the entire road. This only applies to the short section of road that spurs off the Reds Meadow Road and enters the national monument. Commercial vehicles longer than 37 feet should contact Eastern Sierra Transit Authority (www.estransit. com) for information on entrance into Devils Postpile. Recreational vehicles longer than 37 feet are advised to use Forest Service campgrounds that will accommodate 37 foot vehicles and utilize the Reds Meadow Shuttle bus if visiting Devils Postpile. The shuttle bus is free between Agnew Meadows and Reds Meadow Resort. Groups eligible for an educational fee waiver traveling in buses longer than 37 feet should contact Devils Postpile National Monument for information pertaining to special use permits. The road is narrow and visibility is limited. All vehicles should use caution on both the Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile roads. Group size is limited to 15 people and 25 stock. Stock must be kept 200 feet from all lake shores. Pellets, cubes, or grain must be used where feed is limited or grazing is not allowed. Weed free feed is recommended. Remove excess pellets or cubes and remove or scatter manure. Use hitchlines or hobbles to constrain stock in backcountry campsites. Highlines are preferred in many areas to reduce impacts. Camps must be set up 200 feet from water or any trails. Watering of stock should be done away from marshy areas, ponds, lakes, and other places susceptible to bank erosion. Established fords or low, rocky spots in the bank should be used. Photo: J. Rees Taking a break at Rainbow Falls. Devils Postpile and Reds Meadow Guide 3 Area Map Note: The trip into the Reds Meadow Valley and to Devils Postpile takes visitors 1,500 feet downhill from the Minaret Vista. Deer Mountain 8,786' What to Do in the Area? RE ST NA IL Ri dg High Trail e Agnew Meadows River Tra RA in Agnew Meadows Group qu CT . 1 il I N Y O Agnew Wildflower Meadows Walk PAC IFI CR Joa qu NA TI O NA L EN in R IC T AI L er R iv Take a hike! 2 Starkweather Lake ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS Photo: NPS San Joaquin Ridge Trail/4WD Road Minaret . Vista Upper Soda Springs Pumice Flat 9,175' 3 . Nature Trail BOARD SHUTTLE BUS AT ADVENTURE CENTER 4 . Main Lodge FEE REQUIRED BEYOND THIS POINT O PAN Pumice Group G R AM 5 O OND AG Minaret Falls Reds Lake LA Minaret Falls Devils Postpile 6 . . See Devils Postpile. ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS No wheeled / mechanical devices 9 Mammoth Pass Trail Rainbow Falls Trail Bou nda ry Mammoth Pass Mammoth Pass Trailhead McLeod Lake ee k IC Stamp Mill Panorama Dome Trail NO RR Bike Trail Twin Lakes Twin Lakes Upper Twin Mammoth City . Twin Falls CO2 GAS HAZARD AREA EN Cr Mill City Perimeter of hazardous area posted with red signs 10 Mont Cristo M Lake Mamie Horseshoe Lake Crystal Lake Trail . Crystal Lake Red Cones Crater Meadow Crystal Crag 10,377' JOHN MUIR WILDERNESS Upper Crater Meadow Pine City Lake Mary Lake Mary . Lake Lake .. George George T Lower Falls H Valentine Reserve Mammoth Mountain 11,053' IL dle Fork San Joaquin River Reds Meadow 8 N A T I O N A L RA 6 Devils Postpile and Reds Meadow Guide 7,560' C Cast your line. Sotcher Lake . Devils Postpile Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Bike Park % LS Photo: NPS . NA Rainbow Falls Nature Trail PACIFIC CREST N A T I O DE VIL S P OS TPILE NATIONAL MONUMEN T Photo: NPS 7 Earthquake Fault Climbing Wall Starkweather Lake Trailhead NO RR . No wheeled mechanical devices Attend a Ranger Program. 0 SC Photo: M. Finnerty EST 3S3 Deadman Pass C Sa n Inyo Craters Trail oa NI nJ AL Sa IO N S CE G Inyo Crater Lakes T E MA CC I FI L AK P AC Barrett Lake TJ Lake . C TUNNEL CE NI C P ROA D LOO MOT HS 0 3S 8 L E G E N D AM . I LL CUTOF F AD RO M SAWM Smokey Bear Flat Paved Roads . Campground Unpaved Roads . Private Campground Hiking Trail . Wilderness Areas–closed to bicycles, motorized vehicles and all wheeled mechanical devices . RV Park . Hiking Trailhead G Winter Road Closure Group Campground Footbridge Information/Visitor Center Ranger Station Horseback Riding/ Pack Station Picnic Area Resort Public Phone Shuttle Bus Stop . NOTE: All picnic areas and trailheads have restrooms except where noted (NO RR) Shady Rest Park Y A RO MI NA 0 1 MILE Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and Ranger Station THE TOWN OF MAMMOTH LAKES D 1 Geothermal Plant RV Park R Hot Creek Fish Hatchery D Mammoth Creek Park ot h H M Mamm OT Creek M O LD M A R OA D 3S09 Cr 4S08 Snowcreek Golf Course e Mamm Mammoth Museum Sierra Meadows Ranch NO RR ee k ot h Sherwin Creek SH NO RR C e re ERWIN C RE EK te Mine 8 NO RR YMCA Camp Laurel Mammoth Rock 4S0 ek NO RR RO Cre 4S19 Mammoth Rock Trail Sherwin Lakes Trail HOT C k AD Sherwin RO A MERIDIAN BLVD. Sierra Star Golf Course Camp High Sierra 2 MILES t M A I N S T. New Shady Rest Pine Glen Group ET M AR The Village Post Office Old Shady Rest Ho G Community Center Park SCALE: 1.5 INCHES = 1 MILE 4S8 6 Sherwin Lakes Ro F O R E S T e y ug C h4 Interpretive Trail Ro . WD Coldwater ad Mammoth Consolidated Mine Heart Lake Trail Heart Lake moth . ee k w Cold ate r Arrowhead Lake Emerald WILDERNESS No wheeled mechanical devices Devils Postpile and Reds Meadow Guide 7 Cr Duck Pass Trailhead Mam Emerald Lake Trail JOHN MUIR Convi Lake Hiking Hiking in the Sierra leads to many types of adventures. Everything from meandering wildflower walks to steep scrambles up glacially scoured peaks awaits. Lake Ediza Photo: D. Scott Along the King Creek Trail Sotcher Lake Photo: M. Finnerty Permits Wilderness permits are required for overnight travel into the Ansel Adams Wilderness year round. Reservations may be made up to six months in advance for trips during the quota season which is May 1 through November 1. A $5 per person reservation fee plus a $6 per reservation transaction fee is charged at the time you reserve with www.recreation.gov. No fee is charged for walk-in permits. Permits and maps are available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and at the Devils Postpile Ranger Station; however, the Devils Postpile Ranger Station can only issue permits for trips originating in the Reds Meadow Valley. For trips originating in the Inyo National Forest, call (760) 873-2483 or visit the Inyo National Forest web site. For hikes starting in Sequoia, Kings Canyon or Yosemite National Parks, permits must be acquired through those parks and will be valid for the duration of your trip. For trips originating in Sequoia or Kings Canyon, please call (559) 565-3341 or visit www.nps.gov/ seki. For trips originating in Yosemite call (209) 372-0826 (summer only) or visit www.nps.gov/yose. 10 Devils Postpile and Reds Meadow Guide Be Prepared Weather in the mountains changes in an instant. Extreme temperatures, violent storms, and unexpected changes are not uncommon. Dress in layers and bring plenty of water on any hike. Do not drink water directly from streams or lakes without filtering or boiling it before consumption. Sensitive Areas Cross country travel is permitted in most areas, but please observe posted signs. Sub-alpine meadows like the ones found in the Reds Meadow Valley and areas of alpine tundra are sensitive and may take many years to recover from “social” or unofficial trails. If traveling off-trail, travel on durable surfaces such as rock or snow. Backcountry Fires Fires are allowed in some backcountry areas. It is your responsibility to know where fires are and are not allowed. Keep in mind that this information may change during severe fire seasons. Visit the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center or Devils Postpile Ranger Station for the most current information. Food Storage Approved bear canisters are required in all backcountry areas. Photo: M. Finnerty Select Hiking Trails (Numbers correspond to shuttle stops on Devils Postpile park map) Destination Trailhead Shuttle One Way Stop (mi / km) Description Moderate/Strenuous Follow switchbacks through an open hillside to spectacular views of the Sierra. Lake Ediza Agnew Meadows 1 6mi / 9.7km Shadow Lake Agnew Meadows 1 3mi / 4.8km Moderate Rolling trail takes hikers through open meadows and lodgepole forests to the shores of Shadow Lake. Great mountain views at the lake. Wildflower Trail Agnew 1 Meadows 2mi / 3.2km Easy Self guided wildflower walk. Late June to the middle of July tend to be the best times for the flowers, but bring bug spray. Devils Postpile Devils Postpile 6 0.4mi / 0.6km Easy Wide, level trail through shaded lodgepole forest. Moderate, steep hike to the top of the Postpile. Minaret Falls Devils Postpile 6 1.5mi / 2.3km Easy Rolling trail through the forest travels by natural springs to the falls. Best in early summer. Rainbow Falls Devils Postpile 6 2.5mi / 4km Moderate Rolling terrain through forest and open burn area from the 1992 Rainbow Fire. Great views in open area. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Minaret Lake Devils Postpile 6 8mi / 12.9km Strenuous This can be done as a long day hike or overnight trip. 2,700 foot elevation gain brings hikers to an emerald lake at the base of the Minarets. Sotcher Lake Nature Trail Sotcher Lake 7 2mi / 3.2km Easy/Moderate Self guided nature trail loops around Sotcher Lake. Hikers pass springs and waterfalls along the way. Rainbow Falls Rainbow Falls 9 1.3mi / 1.2km Moderate Slightly shorter than the trail to the falls from Devils Postpile, the terrain is similar. Bring plenty of water on this hike. Let’s Get Every Kid in a Park! “Oh the places you’ll go, Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!” Dr. Suess’ rhyming and rallying charge captures the spirit of the Every Kid in a Park initiative, launched by the White House and Federal Land Management Agencies. In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, fourth graders can obtain a pass that provides free access to students to all federally managed lands and waters. By introducing America’s youth at an early age to public lands, near and far, this program is a call to action to get all children to experience breathtaking places and meaningful stories throughout the nation. Fourth graders can start the adventure by visiting: www.everykidinapark.gov. To visit the Reds Meadow Valley and Devils Postpile National Monument, fourth grade students with plastic Interagency Fourth Grade Annual Pass can ride the Reds Meadow Shuttle bus for free. Those travelling with the student will need to pay for a bus ticket. This pass cannot be used to discount camping fees. In other federal public lands where an entrance fee is charged per vehicle, anyone in a vehicle with a 4th grade student that has a pass will be admitted for free. With millions of acres of federal lands across the nation, there might be a place for students to explore right in their own backyard! Public lands provide opportunities for youth to be active, spend time with friends and family, and learn in outdoor classrooms and where history was made. Through these experiences, the initiative hopes to inspire the next generation of stewards, motivated to protect our public lands for future generations. The Every Kid in a Park initiative has also provided additional opportunities for youth to explore the federal public lands throughout this area. In partnership with the Bishop Paiute environmental education program, Firstbloom, Devils Postpile National Monument is one of 186 federal sites to receive an Every Kid in a Park field trip grant from After playing an online game, the student can print a voucher which can be exchanged for a durable plastic Interagency Fourth Grade Annual Pass at federal lands centers that issue passes, such as the Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes. This pass is good for the 2015-2016 school year and summer. Be a Junior Ranger! Want to learn more about Devils Postpile or the U.S. Forest Service? The Devils Postpile Junior Ranger and the National Junior Forest Ranger Programs are great ways to do it. Activities for all ages are included in the booklets, available free of charge at the Devils Postpile Ranger Station or at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center. Ever wondered if there’s an online program? To become a National Park Service Web Ranger, visit www.nps.gov/webrangers. These programs are open to any age. the National Park Foundation. This summer, Firstbloom participants will be engaged stewards of public lands— learning and volunteering to help protect public lands while exploring the Inyo National Forest, Devils Postpile National Monument, and Yosemite National Park. Whether you’re in fourth grade, or a fourth grader at heart, public lands are for us to explore, so get on your way! Protecting Special Places Visitors to the Reds Meadow Valley are the area’s most important guardians. The valley has more than one hundred thousand people visiting each year. If all of those people watched over the plants, animals, geology, historic and archeological sites, imagine how wellprotected these resources could be! Unfortunately, there are people who either intentionally or unknowingly harm resources. Please contact a park official if you see any of the following: • feeding or approaching wildlife • hunting animals • collecting reptiles or butterflies • collecting plants or pine cones • taking archeological/historic items • carrying or using metal detectors to locate/collect historic objects Do your part. Recycle. Recycling facilities are located at all valley trailheads. Glass, plastic, and aluminum are all recyclable. Cardboard can be recycled in the Devils Postpile Campground. • • • driving vehicles into sensitive meadows and off roadways camping outside of designated campgrounds using weapons Outside of the monument boundaries, the following is prohibited: • feeding or approaching wildlife • driving vehicles into sensitive meadows and off roadways • camping outside of designated campgrounds except with a valid wilderness permit. If you see activities that could harm people or resources, write descriptions or a vehicle license plate number and call (760) 934-2289. If someone’s life is in danger, call 911. Citizen Science in Your Hands You probably use a very valuable science tool every single day. You might even have one with you right now. A smartphone. With just the tap of a button, a single picture from a smartphone’s camera—which automatically records the date, time and location—can provide valuable data for scientists. An image can show the life stage and visual habitat conditions of a plant or animal at a specific location by recording GPS coordinates. Smartphone apps, like iNaturalist, provide an opportunity for science to “crowdsource” data collection. These data can then be used to detect changes in an ecosystem over time—from the shifting migration patterns of birds to earlier flowering dates. But you don’t need a smartphone to be a citizen scientist! Many national parks recruit volunteers to help collect data in the field. At Devils Postpile, volunteers have made major contributions towards documenting the diversity of plants and animals. Some of these contributions have helped managers to better understand and protect the area’s biodiversity. For example, volunteers compiled the first formal report on nesting and breeding birds within the monument. This report provided the justification to receive funding for additional monitoring. These volunteers also documented nesting sites of sensitive bird species within the meadow that led to increased measures to reduce social trails and protect habitat. Additionally, volunteers conducted the first snow surveys at Devils Postpile to better understand snowpack at the monument. This information was so valuable that the California Department of Water Resources decided to include the monument in the statewide snow survey database and now manage and conduct the measurements. During the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, national parks across the nation will be hosting Bioblitz events where visitors, as citizen scientists, can help scientists observe animals and record plants during a day-long event. (respecting nature, of course!). Afterwards, upload your photos to iNaturalist. Don’t know what your observation is? Don’t worry—other iNaturalist users may be able to identify it! You can also see what other users have observed by searching by location. Every observation is helpful, so get out there and explore! Besides data collection, citizen science raises awareness of the natural world and encourages participants to continue to explore and observe what they see around them—whether it’s in their neighborhood park or during a vacation to a national park. Citizen science can also help document the impacts of global issues such as climate change and invasive species. Want to help? Download and create an account with iNaturalist. While you’re out on your adventures, take photos of plants and animals that you see Photo: NPS Citizen science apps, like iNaturalist, allow users to share their observations of the natural world. Keeping Wildlife Wil

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