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04 Jun: Some Thoughts on Stoke and Conservation

Last month, High Country News published an article that posited an interesting thesis; that there might not be a link between outdoor recreation and conservation. Or, as the author titled it “Your stoke won’t save us”. The piece has created some waves in our little world at the intersect of environmental conservation and public lands, as well as the outdoor industry as a whole. The article landed in my e-mail inbox a total of six times, made the rounds of social media, and even prompted a dissenting follow up letter published in this month’s HCN. These pieces come at a time when our public…

Wetherbee and Michael CLF Rendezvous

04 Jun: Friends Rendezvous in Scottsdale

Wendy and Michael met new allies, presented strategies, and found new tools making the case for public lands. High profile friends groups including Friends of Gold Butte and Utah Diné Bikéyah (fighting for the Bears Ears National Monument) shared stories from their battles.  We attended workshops and spoke with charismatic lawyers and enthusiastic policy experts.  The Conservation Lands Foundation tailored the Grassroots Network to kindle the flame of conservation under the targeted attacks we face from mining, energy, and executive orders. Background – Friends Grassroots Network Our Friends Grassroots Network–made up of 63 community-based groups, mostly in the West–helps individual groups…

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31 May: Threats to California’s Mining Regulations

California’s State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) is under pressure from the mining industry to weaken regulations that could pave the way to expanded open pit mining—including industrial-scale cyanide heap leach mining at Conglomerate Mesa. Current California mining laws are some of the strongest in the nation and include stringent backfill requirements which result in many mining proposals being economically infeasible. The SMGB (which has no environmental representative), has issued a “Notice of Pre-Rulemaking Workshop and Public Comment period” to “review, and possibly revise, state policy pertaining to Performance Standards for Backfilling Excavations and Recontouring Lands Disturbed by Open Pit Surface Mining…

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31 May: Welcome our 2018 Seasonal Staff!

June is here, and we are very excited to have our Friends of the Inyo staff more than double in size! Say hello to our amazing summer staff. You’ll find them out on the trails, doing the on the ground work to keep your Eastern Sierra public lands in tip top shape. Stewardship Crew Astra Lincoln, Crew Leader Astra’s spent many seasons as a trail monkey up and down the intermountain west, harvesting plants, teaching antique tool use, and championing the silence of open spaces. She’s passionate about manual labor as a means of spiritual atonement and cultivating a sense of…

Press release perdito approval

19 May: Exploratory Drilling Approved – Conglomerate Mesa

Exploratory Drilling Approved at Conglomerate Mesa The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a decision allowing exploration for gold at conglomerate mesa, a remote and wild corner of Inyo county adjacent to Death Valley National Park. This decision endangers the area’s recreation- and tourism-based economy, delicate water supply, and uniquely important ecosystem and cultural resources. Click here to read our .pdf press release or see the text version below, and sign up on our mailing list to receive updates from us on Conglomerate Mesa and the Perdito project as they develop. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 18, 2018 Contact: Wendy Schneider, (310)…

Michael Julia and Wendy in the car

07 May: Wilderness First Aid Certification Trip

Exploration outings are safer than ever… …after Friends of the Inyo’s road trip to our nearest Wilderness First Aid course!  Join us on this photo voyage through a weekend that prepared us for a summer of Stewardship and Exploration events. I was initially hesitant about another First Aid course filled with rounds of CPR demonstrations on a rubber torso, and lots of sitting and listening to an instructor. But the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) took a different approach with simulated patients acting out real scenarios (one was even an overzealous birder, perfect for our bird festival!)  The course touched…

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06 May: Farm Bill HR2 Action Alert

Urge your Representative to Oppose the House Farm Bill H.R. 2 The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) is brimming with attacks on America’s bedrock environmental laws and our national forests. The House Farm Bill includes numerous Congressional exemptions for up to 6,000-acre forestry projects, including exemptions from public input and other critical environmental review. Such exemptions would prioritize logging over clean water, recreation, and wildlife. Please call your Representative and tell them you oppose H.R. 2 This bill promotes logging over other uses of public lands and creates backward incentives that would shift emphasis and funding from…

Round Valley Earth Day

04 May: Round Valley Earth Day

On Friday, April 20, the Horton Creek Campground was alive with archaeological artefacts, bighorn sheep skulls, stream macroinvertebrates, interesting rocks, Leave No Trace flash cards, Paiute words, and sixty-two children from Round Valley Elementary School. Led by Friends of the Inyo and the Bishop BLM, Round Valley Earth Day is a chance for the elementary school students to learn about many different aspects of the place where they live, from its indigenous history, to its plants and animals, to its recreational opportunities. The students arrived at the campground at 8:30am, and the clock began ticking. Eight educational stations were set…

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04 May: Support California Mining Regulations!

Please Attend the State Mining Board’s Workshop on May 9th in Riverside, CA to Support Responsible Mining Practices The State Mining and Geology Board is holding a public hearing on possible revisions to backfill regulations that require companies to backfill their open pit mines once a mine has closed. These regulations ensure companies complete reclamation. California currently has strict mining standards that place the responsibility for effective reclamation where it belongs:  on mining companies.   The mining industry would like to see these standards weakened or eliminated so it can expand industrial scale, open pit mines across the state, while avoiding expensive reclamation…

01 May: Birds spotted at the 2018 Owens Lake Bird Festival

Below are the birds we saw at the 2018 Owens Lake Bird Festival: Waterfowl Gadwall American Wigeon Mallard Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Redhead Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Ruddy Duck Rails/Crane Virginia Rail Sora American Coot Shorebirds Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Snowy Plover Semipalmated Plover Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Ruddy Turnstone Sanderling Dunlin Least Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Red Phalarope Towhees/Sparrows Chipping Sparrow Vesper Sparrow Lark Sparrow Black-throated Sparrow Sagebrush Sparrow Bell’s Sparrow Savannah Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Finches/Old World…