Bodie Hills

What’s Happening

Friends of the Inyo is part of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, a coalition of organizations working toward the permanent protection of the Bodie Hills, an American treasure with exceptional scenic, historic and recreational values. We are working to create a healthy, sustainable future for the Bodie Hills that combines conservation and access, honors tradition and promotes the region’s scenic beauty. By preserving this special place for future generations, the surrounding communities will reap long-term benefits. Our efforts focus on proactive building of awareness of the place as well as defensive strategies to defeat perennial threats of industrial scale mining interests.

Why It Matters

The spectacular Bodie Hills are the scenic backdrop for local communities and national treasures, including Bodie State Park, the Mono Lake National Scenic Area and the Bridgeport Valley. The Bodie Hills contain outstanding natural and cultural values. The mountains are a transition zone between the Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin and thus harbor a diverse assemblage of plant and animal species. including pika, lodgepole pine, Sierra juniper and Utah juniper. Pronghorn antelope, rare in central eastern California, are numerous in the Bodie Hills. The Bodie Hills are one of the last strongholds for Bi-state Sage Grouse, a Distinct Population Segment of sage grouse with unique characteristics which is found in only a few counties along the central California-Nevada border. Pika, black bear, mountain lion, mule deer and many raptors including golden eagle, also inhabit the Bodie Hills.

The area contains two streams, Rough and Atastra Creeks, that were determined by BLM to be eligible for federal Wild and Scenic River status. These streams provide suitable recovery habitat for the Lahontan Cutthroat trout, a federally-listed Threatened species. The Bodie Hills also contain numerous riparian areas, including small wet meadows and aspen groves that provide critical wildlife habitat. Ephemeral wetlands attract migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in the spring.

What We’re Doing About It

The Bodie Hills are threatened by gold mining. Nearly a decade ago the Cougar Gold Mine proposal risked turning the Bodie Hills into a commercial scale gold mine and destroying much of the wilderness and wildlife habitat that makes Bodie its home. Today, there are two mining proposals in the Bodies, near the California and Nevada border, that we are currently working to defeat. 

The very heart of the Bodie Hills faces threats from large-scale gold mining interests if protections are lifted. Visitor access would be limited, and important habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn antelope and mule deer would be fragmented. Allowing places like the Bodie Hills to be opened up for development such as boom-and-bust gold mining is short-sighted and unwise. 

Take Action

Send a letter to your Rep

Write Congressman Paul Cook and
California Senators
Feinstein and Harris.
Ask them to oppose WSA release legislation
and to support special protection for the Bodie Hills.

Send a letter to Mono County

Send a letter to the Mono County Board of Supervisors
urging them to oppose opening the Bodie Hills
and instead vote to protect its natural areas, wildlife,
clean air, clean water, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

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Updates

Travertine (Pamoo) Hot Springs Cleanup Yields Important History Lessons

Travertine (Pamoo) Hot Springs Cleanup Yields Important History Lessons By Jora Fogg, Friends of the Inyo Policy Director & Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership Coordinator  On Saturday, August, 27, I and others from the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership attended a cleanup at Travertine Hot Springs (Pamoo in Paiute) with the Bridgeport Indian Colony and agency partners. The Bishop Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Office, Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF), the Intertribal Agriculture Council, Mono County Behavioral Health, and community members joined to clean up graffiti, pick up trash around the parking area and tub sites, and restore an old visitor-created road…

The Spring 2022 Issue of Friends of the Inyo’s Biannual Magazine, The Jeffrey Pine Journal, is Hot off the Press!

The latest issue of Friends of the Inyo’s Jeffrey Pine Journal, now in its twentieth year, features timely conservation-related topics such as fire management, wayward balloon litter in nature, the 30×30 Initiative to conserve 30 percent of our public lands and coastal waters by 2030, and more. Click on the image above or this link to access and download a pdf version. Happy reading! Please remember that you can get a hard copy of the Jeffrey Pine Journal delivered to your home twice a year, in Spring and Fall, as one of the perks of membership with Friends of the…

FOI Supports the “Worth More Than Gold Bike Tour” April 21 – 27

“Worth More Than Gold Bike Tour” April 21 – 27 By Emily Markstein and Amber Rassler: The dream for this bike tour began last winter when Amber and I spent our weekends biking the Eastern Sierra. As we wandered roads less traveled, we dreamed about integrating our love for biking with our passion for environmental advocacy and action. At the heart of our conversations was the desire to add extrinsic value and purpose to our intrinsic weekend activity. After months of conversation, we saw an opportunity to make our dreams a reality. In May of 2021, we discovered a foreign…

Hope for Temporary AND PERMANENT Protection for a Portion of the Bodie Hills

Hope for Temporary AND PERMANENT Protection for a Portion of the Bodie Hills By Jora Fogg, Friends of the Inyo Policy Director and Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership Campaign Coordinator (Photos/Graphics Top to Bottom: Downloadable Map – U.S. Geological Survey; Dry Lakes Plateau – Bob Wick, BLM; Dry Lakes Plateau – John Dittli)   There is good news on the ongoing effort to protect the Bodie Hills from perennial mining threats and to elevate the priorities of the native community in Bridgeport.  Short-Term Temporary Protection On February 25th the California State Lands Commission voted to authorize a temporary three-year moratorium on accepting…

FOI is on Board with CNRA’s Pathways to 30×30 Draft Report

The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has released the “Draft Pathways to 30×30 Report,” a commitment to protect 30% of our state’s land and waters by 2030 to counter catastrophic biodiversity loss and mitigate the impacts of climate change.  Friends of the Inyo’s goals align with those outlined in this report, and we are actively working to achieve those goals in our campaigns for Conglomerate Mesa and the Bodie Hills. We are sharing a Dec. 16 media release from a coalition of conservation partners statewide applauding the CNRA’s draft report.

Help Fight Multiple Threats of Harmful Mine Development

Three beautiful Eastern Sierra landscapes, Conglomerate Mesa, Long Valley and the Bodie Hills, are under threat from foreign mining companies whose proposed projects would generate profits for them at the expense of  destroying economically and ecologically important landscapes in Inyo and Mono counties. These projects threaten the scenic beauty of our landscapes with toxic contamination of soil and water, damage to the habitat of struggling species, dust, noise and light pollution, all conditions that are detrimental to our area’s recreational tourism and ranching economy. These proposals to destroy lands for profit also show great disrespect to the Eastern Sierra’s native…

Oceana Gold Begins Exploration at Spring Peak

One year ago the Forest Service approved drilling at the Spring Peak area under a categorical exemption After new communications with the Forest Service and a site visit in October, we learned that OceanaGold has begun improving roads and constructing drill pads at four locations while they await the arrival of their drilling equipment from Canada. The company has only one year to finish the project under the categorical exemption. Risk to Wildlife and Permit requirements The drilling area contains multiple seeps and springs which are critical seasonal habitat for sage grouse. BHCP and volunteers will be making regular trips…

Get out | Bodie Hills

The ease of simply wandering–walk this way, that way, over here, maybe over there–is one of the main things I love about the Great Basin desert. Largely lacking inpesky thickets of trees or impenetrable swamps, the low sagebrush steppe, clear-edged aspen groves, and open pinyon-juniper woodlands invite you to just wander. You can see where you’re going, you can see where you’ve been, and you can see for hundreds of miles to millions of other places you’ve loved and would love to visit.

Birds and Blossoms of Bodie Hills Video | FOI and Mono Lake Committee

In collaboration with the Mono Lake Committee, Friends of the Inyo created a video to highlight the plants and wildlife in the Bodie Hills. Although we can’t plan an in-person outing like we usually would, this video highlights some of the wonderful values we are seeking to protect in the Bodie Hills. This video features Friends of the Inyo’s Jora Fogg and Mono Lake Committee’s Nora Livingston.

Bi-State Sage Grouse Listing Update

Bi-State Sage Grouse Listing Update The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced on September 27, an extension on the final determination of whether to list the Bi-State Sage Grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. USFWS is extending their final determination based on substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency and accuracy of the available data relevant to the proposed listing, making it necessary to solicit additional information. Therefore, along with the announcement to extend the final determination, USFWS is also reopening the comment periods for the proposed rule to list the species and the proposed rule to designate critical…

Bodie Hills Mining Threat Returns

  Canadian based Radius Gold has filed a preliminary application to begin gold mining exploration in the heart of the Bodie Hills near the Dry Lakes Plateau and Rough Creek drainage. This new proposal was recently brought before the Mono County Land Development Technical Advisory Committee for consideration.  The proposed exploration site sits on a split parcel of state leased mineral rights land and private land used for cattle ranching. You can access the “pre-application” to Mono County click here. Access for the exploration is within the BLM managed Bodie Wilderness Study Area (WSA). The WSA is subject to restrictions…

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…