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Alabama Hills Day celebration expanded in 2014

March 25, 2014

Mike and DeEtte Johnston of Bishop were among those who enjoyed a film set tour in the Alabama Hills last year, led by film historian Chris Langley. Photo by Charles James

For the third year in a row, Eastside residents and visitors are invited to join in a celebration of one of the world’s most famous landscapes.
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group is gearing up for the rapidly approaching 2014 Alabama Hills Day, a festival devoted to appreciating and educating others about the beloved geologic area.
The all-day event – by all accounts a greatly expanded version of previous celebrations – is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 12.
Registration, exhibits, food and merchandise will be available at the Lone Pine Convention Center (AKA, “The Building”), 325 S. Main St. Lectures and movies will take place at the Lone Pine Film History Museum, 701 S. Main, and tours and field trips will be offered to the Alabama Hills themselves.
Over the past hundred years or more, the Hills have been permanently preserved in the background of thousands of movies, television shows, commercials and print ads; become the subject of numerous award-winning photographs; and drawn untold amounts of people in search of myriad recreational opportunities and the chance to marvel at their jaw-dropping beauty and geological wonders.
It is the goal of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, to protect the semi-primitive landscape with continued access for such diverse groups as hikers, motorists, photographers, rock climbers, campers and fishermen as well as allowing important economic activities like commercial filming, cattle grazing and hunting to continue.
“Balancing all these needs is what makes the Alabama Hills so special to so many people and necessitates its protection,” a spokesperson said.
Alabama Hills Day attendees will be able to learn more about the group’s mission and the activities that take place in the Hills.
Exhibitors at the convention center will include: Advocates for Access to Public Lands, the BLM, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Trout, Coso Heritage Society/Southern Inyo Museum, De La Coeur Ranch, Eastern California Museum, Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitors Center, Eastern Sierra Interpretive Center, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care, Eastern Sierra 4WD Club, Elevation (“Sierra Adventure Essentials”), Friends of the Inyo, Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo County, “High and Dry” – Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain, Inyo County Search and Rescue, Inyo National Forest, Jeanie Smith (artist), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, Lone Pine Economic Development Corporation, Lone Pine Farmers Market, Lone Pine Gem and Mineral Society, Lone Pine Film History Museum, Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Museum, Fifth District Inyo County Supervisor Matt Kingsley, Metabolic Studios and McGree Pack Station – “100 Mules Walking,” Michael Dorame (artist), Mount Whitney Hotel and Hostel, Owens Valley Committee, Peggy Hankin (wildlife photographer), Sierra Business Council, Sierra Mountain Center, Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
KIBS/KBOV Radio will also be there doing a live remote broadcast of the action.
Over at the Lone Pine Film History Museum, events inside the theatre include: a movie history discussion with film historian Chris Langley; a photography presentation; a discussion of classic commercials and TV shows with Museum Director and former Republic Studio head Bob Sigman; a presentation on Paiute-Shoshone cultural resources by Kathy Bancroft and Ray Hunter; and a presentation on the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group by its vice president, Kevin Mazzu.
Tours and field trips to the Hills include: all-day Sky Time helicopter tours; all-day rock climbing activities; a painting workshop; an Ansel Adams Photo Tour with Cat Kravitz; an Audubon bird tour of Diaz Lake with Mike Prather; a photography workshop with Osceola Refetoff; a mountain bike tour with Davey McCoy; a cattle branding demonstration at Anchor Ranch; a stewardship project and restoration work with the BLM; a map-reading/orientation workshop with Jon Turner; a natural history tour with Friends of the Inyo; rock-hounding and gold-panning with the Lone Pine Gem and Mineral Society; a geology tour of the Hills’ arches with BLM Steward Dave Kirk; an interpretive movie tour with Langley; and a native plant tour.
Capping off the festivities will be a post-event party at the Mount Whitney Hotel and Hostel.
Adults and children alike are welcome to Alabama Hills Day and attendance is free.
“Bring your family and friends and come out to show your support for the Alabama Hills and enjoy a unique learning experience,” the spokesperson said.
For more information, call Alabama Hills Stewardship Group President Chris Langley at (760) 937-1189 or Vice President Kevin Mazzu at (760) 784-5494, or go online at alabamahillsstewardshipgroup.org.

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