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Valentine Reserve walks and talks for 2012: A rare treat for summer in Mammoth

February 21, 2012

Cabins at Valentine Reserve. File Photo
Among the many treasures of Mammoth is the Valentine Reserve, a patch of forest reserved for research by University of California, Santa Barbara, and visiting academics.
 
It’s normally closed to the public, but every now and then, the reserve opens its gates for entertaining walks and talks.
 
This season’s schedule was announced last week by Leslie Dawson, the education coordinator at the reserve.
 
Early Season Wildflowers of Valentine Reserve
July 6, 13, (same talk each day)
Sherryl Taylor, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; moderately strenuous hike 
 
Valentine Reserve changes colors throughout the wildflower season. This hike will allow you to see what is blooming early in the season. Depending on the year, hikers can expect to see arrays of forget-me-nots, Mariposa lilies, violets and fritillary lilies, which will be in seed later in the summer. This class is a wonderful opportunity to spend time walking around the Valentine Meadow. The hike is moderately strenuous, with a 500-foot elevation gain. Bring water, a hat, and sunscreen.
 
Living History—Los Angeles to Valentine Camp in the 1920s
July 7, 14 (same talk each day)
Old Timer Ken Irvine, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; easy hike
 
In the 1920s, some of the most influential men of Los Angeles left the city annually and came to Valentine Camp to hike and fish. Join Old Timer Ken Irvine as he talks about this period. Ken lives in the posh Alexandria Hotel and frequently lunches at the California Club with William Mulholland. He is acquainted with William Valentine (Robinson’s Department Store), Henry O’Melveney (law), William Kerchoff (Southern California Gas), and Joseph Sartori (Security Pacific Bank). Irvine was invited to be their guest in 1924 at Valentine Camp. He will tell stories about Los Angeles, Old Mammoth, and life with the rich and powerful at Valentine Camp. The group will walk via the Valentine entrance road and around the historic log cabins.
 
Introduction to Wildlife
July 3, 17, 24 (same talk each day)
Jo Bacon, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; moderate hike
 
Learn about the wildlife of Valentine Camp and its strategies for survival. This moderate hike will give an introduction on mule deer, black bears, coyotes, Aplodontia and Douglas tree squirrels. Sightings are not guaranteed.
 
Introduction to the Wildflowers of Valentine Reserve
July 20, 25, 27 (same talk each day)
Leslie Dawson, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; moderately strenuous hike
 
Every plant has a story, or a native use, and learning a plant’s story is often a key to helping remember its name. If you are looking for a fun way to learn many local wildflowers by common name, this is your class. The class will hike through five distinct plant communities, and the dominant species found in each community will be described. This class is a wonderful opportunity to spend time walking around the lovely Valentine Meadow. The hike is moderately strenuous, with a 500-foot elevation gain. Bring water, a hat, and sunscreen.
 
The Forest of Valentine Reserve
July 11, 18 (same talk each day)
Leslie Dawson, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; easy hike
 
Learn to identify the five most common species of conifers at Valentine Reserve by looking at cones, needles, bark and other features of each tree. On this easy walk, the importance of fire to the forest ecosystem will be discussed as well as the role Mountain Pine Beetles play in forest ecology. Bring water, a hat, and sunscreen.
 
Black Bears
July 12, 19, 26 (same talk each day)
Leslie Dawson, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; easy hike
 
While walking through Black Bear forest habitat you will see bear-scratched trees, a bear den and occasionally bear tracks. Learn how bears survive in the forest, and how Mammoth Lakes is managing its bear population. Children welcome.
 
To register, call Leslie Dawson (760) 935-4356 or send a check for $15.00 (suggested donation) per person made out to the UC Regents to Leslie Dawson, Education Coordinator P.O. Box 273, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.
 
Pre-registration is required. There will be no entrance at the gate without reservations. Group size is limited.
 
Payment by check only, no cash or credit cards. No dogs, no smoking allowed at the Reserve.
 
Donations are for the Outdoor Science Education Program to support science field trips to Valentine Reserve for the children of Inyo and Mono County.
 
For more information, email ldawson@msi.ucsb.edu.

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