Alabama hills

What’s Happening

After a decade long effort to gain protection for the Alabama Hills, Friends of the Inyo alongside the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group (AHSG) and countless other partners, helped pass the John D. Dingell Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (The Dingell Act) which designated the Alabama Hills a National Scenic Area. With this victory comes the opportunity for the public to help decide the future of the Alabama Hills. The Dingell Act requires the Bishop BLM Field Office to build a management plan for the Alabama Hills that will “conserve, protect, and enhance the nationally significant scenic, cultural, geological, educational, biological, historical, recreational, cinematographic, and scientific resources of the Scenic Area.” This is where you get involved!

Why It Matters

These Alabama Hills continue to foster a unique relationship will all who visit. From the grand scale of the majestic Sierra Nevada to the smallest details of vibrant spring wildflowers, from the sudden power of the winter wind to the timeless processes of geology, the Alabama Hills draw people to wander, contemplate, experience solitude and enjoy an incredible range of discovery and activity.  

While visitation and multiple use by outdoor enthusiasts, sports lovers, artists, and visitors is increasing, the rocks, roads, hiking paths, creeks and flora remain scenic and unspoiled. Film industry use continues, but with a heightened sense of history for both the area and the films of Hollywood.

With the development of a new implementation plan comes the opportunity to strike the balance between conserving scenic values and existing recreational uses in the Alabama Hills. The Alabama Hills are under increased pressure from unchecked recreational use. We work alongside the AHSG to promote the long term vision, conservation, use, enhancement, and enjoyment of the Alabama Hills. 

What We’re Doing About It

In Nov. 2019, Bishop BLM initiated the scoping process for the new implementation plan. This allowed the public to provide initial ideas on future activities in the Alabama Hills such as camping, toilets, OHV roads, climbing, and much more. Friends of the Inyo submitted scoping comments which can be read here. This comment period closed December 23rd.

In the Spring, Bishop BLM will release a draft implementation plan. This will provide a great opportunity for the public to review the draft plan and submit comments suggesting changes and/or supporting elements of the plan. This will be a 30-day comment period. Stay tuned for an action alert from Friends of the Inyo once the draft plan is released. Alternatively, you can track the release of the document at the BLM E-Planning site linked here. Please contact our Desert Lands Organizer, Bryan Hatchell, with any questions you may have at bryan@friendsoftheinyo.org

Take Action

Send a Letter

Send a letter to the BLM encouraging
the timely completion of a management plan
for the newly designated
Alabama Hills National Scenic Area

Join the AHSG

Join the The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group,
a 501c3 non-profit.

Volunteer

Volunteer your time
in the Alabama Hills.

Updates

The Alabama Hills Management Plan Has Been Released

The Alabama Hills Management Plan Has Been Released The Bureau of Land Management released the comprehensive management plan for the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area on January 15th, 2021. you can read the BLM’s press release and management plan in their entireties online here. “The plan is designed to provide diverse, high-quality recreational opportunities while minimizing user conflicts, addressing human health and safety concerns, reducing recreational impacts, and enhancing other resources, values, and uses.” – Bureau of Land Management   Friends of the Inyo has written a memo highlighting the key points from the management plan. Click here to read our…

Alabama Hills Management Plan comments

Friends of the Inyo has long enjoyed serving and recreating in the Alabama Hills. We have seen this area drastically change over the years and are excited about the opportunity that this plan presents for the Alabama Hills. With this plan, we all have the opportunity to promote the long term conservation of this area as a unit in the National Conservation Lands system. We sincerely thank the Bishop BLM for the opportunity to comment on DOI-BLM-CA-C070-2020-0001-EA. Read more…

Submit Your Comments for the Alabama Hills Management Plan

Management of the Alabama hills is a topic near to our hearts. Join the conversation. Learn more about the proposal and maps here, and submit your comments below by August 7th. The most effective comments include details regarding management and provide rationale for the suggestion or concern: • Where do you have suggestions for change or specific management strategies – and why? • Where do you have concerns about specific resource values, uses or activities – and why? See this resource for more guidance on writing effective comments.

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Draft Plan Environmental Assessment

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Draft Plan Environmental Assessment Make your vision for the future of the Alabama Hills heard! On July 8th the Bishop BLM Field Office released the Alabama Hills Draft Plan Environmental Assessment (EA). We are now in an active 30-day comment period that ends August 8th, 2020. In the month of July, there will be two virtual meetings where those interested can ask questions about the EA and share their insights. The virtual meetings will be held on the following dates. Friends of the Inyo will attend these meetings and work the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group…

Action Alert: Alabama Hills Scoping

Action Alert: Alabama Hills Management Plan Scoping On the heels of the designation of the Alabama Hill National Scenic Area, the BLM will begin building out an Implementation Plan that will guide the future of this beloved piece of public land outside of Lone Pine. As stated in the legislation that designated the National Scenic Area in March of 2019, the BLM must “develop a comprehensive plan for the long-term management of the Scenic Area”. Management plan development under the National Environmental Policy Act begins with a process called “scoping.” Scoping allows the public and all interested parties to provide…

2019 Owens Lake Bird Festival Bird List

  Thanks to everyone who joined us for the 2019 Owens Lake Bird Festival! We hope to see you April 24-26th, 2020.  Here are the birds we saw at this year’s festival: American Wigeon Mallard Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Redhead Ring-necked Duck Lesser Scaup Bufflehead Ruddy Duck California Quail Chukar Common Loon Eared Grebe Western Grebe Clark’s Grebe American White Pelican Great Egret Snowy Egret Black-crowned Night-Heron White-faced Ibis Turkey Vulture Northern Harrier Cooper’s Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Virginia Rail American Coot Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Black-bellied Plover Snowy Plover Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper…

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Becomes Law

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Becomes Law On March 12th, 2019 the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was signed into law. Several areas were awarded a congressional designation by this bill. Among them are the Alabama Hills which were designated a National Scenic Area. This is the first instance of a California Desert National Conservation Land being awarded this designation. Click the link below to read the official press release by the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group to learn more. Alabama Hills Stewardship Group – Press Release    

DC Trip to Protect Public Lands

Desert Lands Focus of Washington Visit Last month, the Conservation Lands Foundation sent a coalition of public lands groups to Washington DC. I was fortunate to join, and meet with our congressional offices about public lands. Friends of the Inyo has a long history working to protect the California desert. With recent administrative attacks it was a perfect time to meet with congressional staff and touch on current threats and opportunities. From hearing rooms to hallways to cafeterias, our meetings took place just about everywhere. Our packed three-day agenda consisted of a visit to the Senate building to meet Feinstein…

The People of the Owens Lake Bird Festival

While the birds were the star of the festival, the people made it pretty great too:   Saturday started out cold (photo by David Carle)…   But we persisted, and had a great time (photo by Janet Carle).   It was a gorgeous day to search for birds (Gabby Guerrero).   We learned a lot from Bob Steele about the art of bird photography (Sam Dummer).   Dave Herbst led his always popular exploration of the microbiotic life of Owens Lake (Janet Carle).   (David Carle)   This year’s festival offered many excited trips off the lake. Here’s the group…

Final Product on the Alabama Hills Trail

Check out the finished work by Friends of the Inyo’s Stewardship Crew on the Alabama Hills Trail. The crew is done for the season. We really appreciate the fine work they did not only on the Alabama Hills Trail- a new trail that connects the town of Lone Pine to Whitney Portal by way of the Alabama Hills – but accross the Eastern Sierra, from the Golden Trout Wilderness to Black Canyon in the White Mountains, on up to the Bridgeport Area and everywhere in between. Check out below for more pictures of their great work.

Building the New Alabama Hills Trail

Friends of the Inyo’s Stewardship Crew is in their 4th week building part of the new Alabama Hills Trail. This multi-use trail (hiking, mountain bike, equestrian) will link the town of Lone Pine to Whitney Portal. This trail runs on BLM and Inyo National Forest Land through the Alabama Hills.  The Stew Crew came back tired last week. The work involved a LOT of heavy lifting and moving rocks to place as steps for the new trail. They built 22 steps in two days last week- incremental work. Check out some pictures of their great work (photos by Tristan Kadish):

Plenty of Preservation Issues in the Eastern Sierra – from mining to wind

There are lots of issues on BLM land currently underway in the Eastern Sierra. The BLM lands are sometimes put in the shadow of the vast expanses of US Forest Service and National Park lands like Death Valley, the John Muir Wilderness, and newly added White Mountains Wilderness, but they should not be overlooked. In the Eastern Sierra, they include the Bodie Hills, Granite Mountain and Owens Peak Wilderness (photo shown) areas, and the Alabama Hills, as well as many more extraordinary places that make up the East Side. Here are just some of the many preservation issues, on lands…