CNPS Bristlecone Chapter

The Bristlecone Chapter covers the region from Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County northward through Owens Valley to the northern boundary of Mono County. This area includes the northern Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Eastern Sierra Nevada – with a diverse and fascinating palette of native plants. Our Chapter area encompasses extreme geographical and environmental diversity. This environment has put intense adaptive pressures on the region’s native plants, resulting in many rare and endemic species. Inhabiting ancient sand dunes and alkali flats below sea level to alpine rock gardens, our native plants are unique and wonderful.

Co-founded by Mary Dedecker, we are governed by an elected Executive Board, along with several Committee Chairs.  While our chapter is located primarily in Inyo and Mono counties, our chapter members hail from all over the state and beyond.  They all share an appreciation for our region’s spectacularly diverse flora.

The Bristlecone Chapter has the privilege of working to preserve our invaluable native plant resources.  To this end we hold native plant sales, award the Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant, offer field trips and presentations, follow local conservation issues, and maintain the Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden in Independence.

You Can Help!

Our chapter area is sparsely populated with humans, but densely populated with opportunities to care for, enjoy, and promote native plants.  We could use your help!  See below for opportunities to get involved and help us meet our native plant conservation mission.

Bristlecone Governing Board opportunities and needs

We currently have several vacancies on our governing board.  Most urgently, we are in need of a President and Vice President.  Click here to see how you can help fill the gap.

Field trips

Interested in leading a field trip?  With several thousand feet of elevation difference, field trips can start as early as March and continue right into September, or even October for a fall colors tour.  We have plenty of plant lists ready to make it easier on trip leaders and can create more at your request.  Visit our Events page to learn about upcoming field trips, and take a look at our currently available plant lists.

Native Plant Sales

We hold an annual native plant sale, as well as provide native plants for purchase at our local annual Pollinator Garden Fest.  Growing and selling thousands of plants takes many hands!  Visit our Gardening and Plant Sales page and watch for upcoming opportunities on our News and Events page.

Native Plant Demonstration Gardens

Our chapter maintains the Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden in Independence.  We occasionally host work days as needed at the garden in Independence.  Learn more about the DeDecker Garden here, and watch for work day announcements on our News and Events page or our Facebook page.


Have an expertise to share?  An interesting botanical topic to explore?  A good collection of photos??  We are always looking for speakers to present at our chapter meetings, in person or remote if needed.  Contact a board member if interested.  We’re a friendly audience!

More Volunteer Opportunities

See more ways to get involved on our Volunteer Opportunities page!


Recommended Books and other Resources for anyone visiting the Eastern Sierra region:

General Natural History | Floras | Trees | Conservation | Gardening | Where to Buy

General Natural History

Return to Top

Plant Guides and Keys

Return to Top


History and Conservation Issues

Native Plant Gardening

Places to find these and other books locally

Return to Top

Each of the following links will open an external website. Should you find a broken link, please email us at so we can resolve the problem.

Local Organizations | Nearby CNPS Chapters | Research Facilities | Botanical | Miscellaneous

Local Organizations:

Nearby CNPS Chapters (organized south to north):

Return to Top

Research Facilities:

Return to Top


Return to Top

Miscellaneous Regional Organizations:

More About Us

Our Roots

Closeup, DeDecker's clover
DeDecker’s clover (Trifolium kingii ssp. dedeckerae), Shepherd Pass trail. Photo: Kathleen Nelson

Learn more about our founder, Mary DeDecker.

Chapter Governance

Sky pilot among granite boulders
Sky pilot (Polemonium eximium), Mt. Whitney. Photo: Kathleen Nelson

Meet the Executive Board and Committee Chairs

Volunteer Opportunities

Kathleen, Jerry, and Kelly at the 2024 garden clean up
Kathleen, Jerry, and Kelly at the 2024 garden clean up

As a small, volunteer-run organization, we can always use help – check out our Volunteer Opportunities page to learn more.

Mono penstemon, Sierra Nevada in background
Mono penstemon (Penstemon monoensis), White Mountains. Photo: Kathleen Nelson