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Bishop Visitor's Center

Protect. Preserve. Participate. Perpetuate.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and nature preservationist John Muir. Yosemite National Park.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and nature preservationist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, on Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. In the background: Upper and lower Yosemite Falls.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” ~ John Muir, 1901.

Do you know that spending time in nature improves your overall health? We all know that being in nature makes us feel good, but does it actually make us better? Numerous studies show that the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Each time we visit a natural environment we benefit as individuals. We have fun. We learn. We relax and de-stress. We get exercise. We get solitude and we can make positive social connections. And … study after study is showing that contact with nature actually improves our physical and mental health. Read more about some of the research here.

It’s proven. Nature is flat out good medicine!

We have a wonderful, wild, big backyard here in the Eastern Sierra and we’re committed to caring for it. Please join us! Be part of protecting and preserving our public lands.

Honestly, it’s easy! There are many fun and practical ways to get out into nature and use good habits that will protect and preserve our natural world. Let’s all participate together in learning, doing, and sharing good behaviors.

Our public lands are a great benefit to us all and together we can;

  • Protect our public lands like those who came before us,
  • Preserve our public lands for those who will come after us,
  • Participate in taking good care of our public lands for all of us to enjoy right now, and
  • Perpetuate the benefits by taking the pledge.

Take the Pledge

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and young boy. Bishop. CA

A young one among the old ones – Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Photo: @drbrookejune

We invite you to take Bishop’s Big Backyard Pledge here!

Pledge to learn and follow the 5 habits of good outdoor conduct, so that Bishop’s Big Backyard is protected, preserved, and conserved for us all – now and always.

1. Camp in designated campgrounds.

2. Practice good outdoor etiquette.

  • Leave No Trace.
  • Tread lightly and stay on trails.
  • Pack it in and pack it out.
  • Do not feed wild animals.
  • Take pictures not things.
  • Commit to the Climbers Pact.

3. Teach children and others the value of nature and our protected lands.

4. Give Back.

  • Participate in events.
  • Donate (time, money, skills, products, services.)
  • Pay it forward.

5. Use technology wisely.

  • Tag responsibly.

Then share your love with #loveBishop and #loveEasternSierra

Read more about each of these 5 habits of good outdoor conduct here.

Who Benefits?

Fishing in the High Sierra. Bishop. CA

Fishing in the High Sierra. Photo: Gigi de Jong

Everyone. Everywhere. Every time.

Whenever we visit and wherever we go there are some easy, practical steps to take to ensure we have an excellent experience and leave behind no trace. If we all share this simple responsibility, we could guarantee that each and every person could have a great experience, AND we would be protecting and preserving our public lands for the future.

Now that’s really great news. We can each feel better and perhaps get better. But how could one person’s individual contact with nature benefit others?

First, just by making us feel better, we might perform better. We might go back to families, friends, and jobs and participate in those socioeconomic settings in a more meaningful way.

Second, if we engage respectfully in nature with others – our family, friends, or colleagues – we learn good behaviors and we pass these on to others.

Third, and the one which we feel is most important within this context, our active and considerate participation in the natural world helps to sustain the availability of these accessible resources. By taking care of how we interact with nature we are helping to take care of it. Visiting parks, outdoor recreation facilities, public lands, and publicly accessible lands in a courteous and considerate manner we support the landowners, land managers, and local communities that facilitate continued access to these properties.

In simple terms, if we:

  • experience,
  • learn,
  • teach, and
  • practice good sustainable habits in the outdoors, and
  • share this caring message with others,

who in turn do the same, then together we can:

  • keep our lands public and accessible,
  • protect fauna, flora, and natural resources – especially threatened and endangered species, and
  • create sustainable natural landscapes for everyone to enjoy for the future – near and far.

Let’s do good, be good, and feel good.

Protect. Preserve. Participate. Perpetuate.

We’ve created an extensive resource page with tons of information. Learn about the history of our public lands, what science is finding out about the healing effects of nature, who benefits and how we can participate, get tons of links and things, learn about the 5 habits of good outdoor conduct, and take the pledge.

Then … Share the love.

#loveBishop #loveEasternSierra