Paul McFarland, head of Friends of the Inyo for a number of years, will step down to move to Santa Cruz with his family in June. He assures that he will come back to the East Side in just over a year.
McFarland was the first staff member of the now growing organization that engages year-round with public lands. He has directed the group for 10 years. McFarland said his wife, Yvette Garcia, will attend school at UC Santa Cruz for her Masters in Education. McFarland will move with her and their two children, 6 months and two years old. He anticipates an absence of 16 months and then back to the mountains.
The McFarlands have a home in Lee Vining and Paul says this is where they want to raise their children. They will leave the area in mid-June. Meanwhile, applications to fill the executive director role have closed and the Board is reviewing them. McFarland expects selection of a new director before he leaves.
McFarland assured that Friends of the Inyo is not about one person and will continue with its work. He said there are now 17 staff positions with most recently the creation of a Conservation Corp for local kids. McFarland himself very recently worked with Mono County’s Dan Lyster and others to help facilitate the clearing of Eastern Sierra waters for trout plants. He helped connect qualified biologists with those doing the work here to make sure tasks were carried out.