Research Permits

WMRC researchers must obtain all necessary permits themselves. The WMRC Application form has some reminders, and we provide supplementary information here.

Our upper stations, Crooked Creek and Barcroft, and virtually all the mountain habitats in the region are in the jurisdiction of the Inyo National Forest. The INF has a web site describing their special use permit process:

–> It is important to note that they have implemented a requirement that permits be requested 6 months in advance, so plan ahead!

Their instructions say to submit the paperwork to the ranger station responsible for the lands in question: for our immediate area this would be the White Mountain Ranger Station on Main Street in Bishop 760-873-2500.

The White Mountains Wilderness Area was designated by the US Congress in 2009. The boundaries of this area have been “cherry stemmed” around most WMRC facilities, but if your studies will take you into wilderness there may be additional restrictions on your activities. The WM Wilderness web page shows wilderness boundaries in the vicinity of WMRC facilties and access roads.

West of the Sierra Nevada crest are lands administered by the National Park Service. Researchers who wish to work National Park lands should contact the administrative offices of the park in which they want to work.

Our Owens Valley Station is located on land owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), as is virtually all the open land in the flat bottom of the Owens Valley. Please contact DWP at 760-873-0370 if you wish to work or set up equipment on its land.

The “foothills” between the valley bottom and the mountains is often administered by the BLM. Please contact the Bishop BLM office at 760-872-5000 if you wish to work on BLM land.

Special research permits are also needed for work which involves handling and care of animals, collecting of animals and plants, and human subjects. Call our office if you have any questions about this. These permits include but are not limited to:

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife permits for collecting or handling vertebrate animals and game birds (most other birds require federal permits, see below). The CA DFW office in Bishop is at 760-872-1171
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service permits for collecting and handling wild birds. Call the Bishop USGS office at 760-873-5012 for information.
  • Protocols for research using human subjects must be approved by your home institution.
  • Protocols for care and handling of laboratory animals or vertebrate wild animals brought in to the lab must be approved by your home institution. These approved protocols must also be reviewed by the Loma Linda University (LLU) IACUC (the LLU IACUC acts for WMRC per an MOU with UCLA and WMRC).