Bryan Hatchell

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04 Oct: 25th Anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act

25th Anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act This October, Friends of the Inyo and folks across the California desert are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA), the act that established Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, and 69 wilderness areas. The CDPA created a collective of protected lands that draws millions of visitors from all over the world each year, driving local economies and creating jobs. These protected lands are the backbone of our tourism economy, provide military security, and make this region a great place to live and…

Panamint

27 Aug: Panamint Valley Lithium Mine Update

In April this year, Friends of the Inyo submitted comments on an Environmental Assessment proposing exploratory drilling for lithium in Panamint Valley. This project, lead by Battery Minerals Inc., proposes four drill sites north of Trona located off Ballarat Rd, Wingate Rd., and Indian Ranch Rd. In early August, much to the disappointment of Friends of the Inyo, the project was approved by the BLM. Battery Minerals Inc. can move forward with exploration operations. In our comments, we highlight a number of inadequacies in the environmental assessment. For example, it’s possible that the projects groundwater consumption will reduce water flows…

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22 Jul: New Company Interested in Mining Conglomerate Mesa

In April 2019, the BLM State Office upheld the Perdito Project environmental assessment that approves exploratory drilling via helicopter access at Conglomerate Mesa. This means exploratory drilling could begin anytime. While there is no company currently positioned to carry out the exploration, Friends of the Inyo recently learned that a company has visited the area and is interested in leasing the claims. That company is K2 Gold, based in Vancouver, Canada. K2 Gold is an exploration-focused mining company with many ongoing projects in the Yukon Territory and Alaska. They appear to have the resources to execute the Perdito Plan of…

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04 Jun: 2019 BioBlitz at Conglomerate Mesa

On the weekend of May 10th, Friends of the Inyo teamed up with the California Native Plant Society, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and volunteers to document the flora and fauna of Conglomerate Mesa. While preparing for the trip, the weather seemed to want to play their cards close to the vest and hide what was in store for the weekend. A changing forecast of rain, partly to fully clouded skies, to sunshine led us to question whether or not we would make it up to the rugged roads to the Mesa… To our surprise, when everyone arrived Saturday, the…

05 Apr: Action Alert: Lithium Mine in Panamint Valley

Proposed Lithium Mine in Panamint Valley What’s Happening? The BLM is considering allowing exploratory drilling project for lithium in Panamint Valley. Battery Mineral Resources, headquartered in Toronto, Canada proposes to drill four holes 2,000 feet deep on Panamint Lake just outside of the Surprise Canyon Wilderness. What Is Lithium? Lithium is used in a variety of renewable energy technologies such as the batteries that power electric vehicles. As the country begins to transition towards a more renewable and green economy, we need lithium to power the batteries that power our tech. Currently, the majority of the world’s lithium is produced…

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01 Mar: Success! Bodie Hills Winter Outing

On February 23rd, Friends of the Inyo staff and 21 eager guests set out for an adventure in the Bodie Hills. We convened at the bustling Virginia Creek Settlement for a hearty breakfast and great company. Nearly too full to function, our entourage of adventure seekers piled into cars and set out for the Bodie Hills. We soon arrived at the trailhead in Aurora Canyon and prepared ourselves for a trek in untouched snow. Snowshoers buckled up and skiers locked themselves in. Our Executive Director, Wendy Schnieder, quickly briefed the group on safety and best practices for a Bodie Hills…