Nature & Science


An ancient Bristlecone Pine Inyo National Forest is home to the oldest living trees in the world and are recognized for their immense scientific, cultural and scenic importance. Natural History of Ancient Bristlecones and Recreation at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest


Contact Nolan Nitschke Photography for use of this image Mono Lake is one of the North America's oldest lakes at over 700,000 years old, with waters saltier than the oceans and as alkaline as household ammonia. Strange limestone spires of tufa rise from the lake. This vast inland sea is nestled between towering peaks and rolling  hills of sagebrush. Natural History of Mono Lake  and Recreation at Mono Basin Scenic Area.


Mt. Whitney as seen from Alabama Hills The tallest peak in the continental US is Mt. Whitney at 14,494 feet. The hut on the summit of Mt. Whitney was built more than 100 years ago by the Smithsonian Institution as an astrophysical observatory...more


American Beaver chewing down an Aspen tree, image by Dennis Garrison Busy as a Beaver.

No creature, other than humans, can so alter the landscape to suit their needs. You are more likely to see the signs of their work than the beavers themselves...more


Sphaeralcea ambigua In the spring, Inyo National Forest is home to an astounding variety of wildflowers.  From arid shrublands to conifer forests to mountain meadow, each plant community offers a different suite of colorful species for your enjoyment.

For a local guide, download the PDF,   Wildflower Hot Spots of the Eastern Sierra, also available at visitor centers throughout the region.


Mountain pine beetle infestation affects drought weakened trees.

What’s With All the Dead Trees?

Drought is a major factor which most likely contributed to the population explosion of mountain pine beetle.  This outbreak is estimated to have started in 2005 and still appears to be active.  Areas of Inyo National Forest, such as White Wing Mountain, June Mountain, Rock Creek-Hilton Lakes, and Gibbs Lake have been severely infested – some sites even losing up to 95% of overstory cover.   Groups of up to 50 trees were found to be completely infested and dead.   June Mountain appears the hardest hit, with beetle populations still moving east… more


Mammoth Mill Site is an 1870s-era former gold processing facility located in the town of Mammoth Lakes, within the Inyo National Forest, in Mono County, California. The site includes remnants of the Mammoth Mining Company’s stamp mill (including a large iron flywheel), five mill waste piles, recreational cabins and sheds, and a dry diversion trench that connects to an upstream tributary to Mammoth Creek. News Release -  Fact Sheet  FAQ  - Technical Memo PA/SI - FO - Action Memo



Nature Watch Logo The Forest Service NatureWatch program is for people to experience wildlife, fish, and flowers in their natural settings; to promote recreational viewing opportunities; facilitate learning about the environment; and to promote conservation efforts and wise use of natural resources.

Eyes on Wildlife, the Forest Service's Watchable Wildlife Program, is a recreation, education, and conservation program that was developed by the USDA Forest Service in 1988. Eyes on Wildlife facilitates habitat management and improvements for wildlife viewing on the Wayne National Forest. It provides enhanced opportunities for all people to experience wildlife; promotes learning about forest animals and plants and their habitat requirements; and develops broad public support of conservation that maintains healthy ecosystems for all plant and animal species.

Celebrating Wildflowers Logo The national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, grasslands, and millions of acres of public lands are truly America's wildflower gardens. Celebrating Wildflowers, a collaborative commemoration between the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service promotes the importance of conservation and management of native plants and plant habitats and emphasizes the aesthetic, recreational, biological, medicinal, and economic values of wildflowers.
"Celebrating Wildflowers - National Wildflower Week" is annually hosted during the month of May to feature the important role that the Nations public lands, over 630 million acres, play in providing diverse habitats for much of America's flora.

Climate Change Logo As a land management agency, the US Forest Service has a unique responsibility to address questions about climate change mitigation and adaptation involving the many issues that challenge forest and rangeland owners, managers, and users. The research and development (R&D) arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service works at the forefront of science to improve the health and use of our Nation's forests and grasslands.

Audubon Logo

The Audubon Society Science provides the scientific rigor, credibility, and guidance to Audubon’s conservation agenda and practices.