Dick Noles not only had a lot of good ideas, ideas that enhanced recreation in the Eastern Sierra as well as the lives of people who live here. But, he also had the ability to get ‘em done.
Earlier this year, his friends, those he met for lunch at Carl’s Jr. on Wednesdays in a booth identified as “Dick’s Office,” picked up where Noles left off. They kept meeting at Dick’s Office and figured out a fitting memorial to the life and times of their friend, who passed away last November, was a memorial that flowed into the pond in City Park, a pond that was one of Noles’ good ideas.
They went to the City with the idea, pooled their money and got Todd O’Banion to design the rock structure. The official ceremony at the memorial fountain will be held Saturday, June 18th at 10 a.m.
His job with Southern California Edison brought Noles and his family to Bishop in 1966. Over the next 50 years, he helped found Advocates for Access to Public Lands, worked with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to rehabilitate Buckley and Rawson ponds, opening up both areas for anglers, then he and the Lions Club built handicapped access decks.
He was involved in the American Mule Museum, a big part of the Water for Wildlife project that introduced water sources in the mountains and the go-to guy to bring volunteers together to monitor radio collars on the Buttermilk deer herd. He was the driving force behind the Adventure Trails Project which, after a long crusade, was approved by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors as a pilot project.
There are undoubtedly more, smaller Nole-isms. When water stopped flowing in the West Bishop area a few years ago, folks brought their fish to Noles’ ponds where they figured the trout had the best chance of survival. He touted what amounted to a quick-release hook for catch-and-release anglers that returned the trout to the stream with the least possible trauma.
He was the voice of reason when the world seemed to go nuts. He was an Eastern Sierra treasure.