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The High Sierra Unit started as "the High Sierra Stock Users"

Here's a brief history provided by Dick Cochran

In the Fall of 1980 Max Cochran was on a trip to Lion Meadow on the Little Kern with 3 experienced backcountry packers: Francis White from Woodlake, Howard Glover from Clovis and Rudy Rudholm of Fowler. Sitting around the campfire with Diane and David House of Taft, they talked about the possibility of forming a
horse association related to the interests and concerns of stock users in the Sierra that might meet with Forest and Park Service officials on Land Management Plans and User Policy.

On the way out they met Don Beddell at Grey Meadow, who was packing out a party at Soda Creek. They asked Don what he thought of such an organization that might support the interests of private and commercial packers.

After the first of the year, 1981, Max and Richard Cochran, Francis White, Don and Phyllis Beddell, Ray Banks, Bill Wylie, Ray and Eugene Kellog met at the Beddell’s home in Three Rivers for lunch. Max prepared some written objectives for an organization and these were reviewed. They each agreed to ask four or five other backcountry users to a meeting to be held at the State Foresters office. Ray Banks was asked to chair the meeting with Max to act as Secretary.

Over 60 people attended this preliminary session which encouraged the attendees to schedule the next meeting. A few weeks later, the first official meeting was held in Tulare where over 200 attended. Officers elected were Ray Banks, President, Ray Longley, Vice President; Everett Welch, Treasurer, and Max Cochran as Executive Secretary. Dick Cochran wrote the By-Laws and High Sierra Stock Users was the name chosen.