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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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):
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…