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

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…

Bodie Hills Stewardship Day

What a beautiful, interesting, and fun place to spend a day. Thanks to all of the volunteers who made the trek out to Bodie, and all of our partners: BLM Bishop, Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, Bodie State Park, and the Bodie Foundation. And of course, thanks so much to the Westin for an awesome lunch for everybody who helped. Check out some photos below.   The sun felt great on this cold, fall morning Casey Penn, the “Stewardship Guru,” shares some trailwork wisdom with the group. Volunteers worked to clear brush away from buildings to protect against wildfire. Volunteers of…

Action Alert: Save the Bodie Hills!

  America’s Wild Places Under Attack in Mono County    Tell the Mono County supervisors to oppose opening the Bodie Hills to gold mining and other development, and to oppose H.R. 1581, which threatens wild lands across the nation. What: On August 2, the Mono County Supervisors will consider a resolution to release the Bodie Wilderness Study Area, opening this pristine area to future development, including a proposed gold mine. The resolution would also endorse legislation that would eliminate existing protections for tens of millions of acres of American wildlands—including more than four million acres in California. Why the Bodie…

Bodie Hills Mono County Meeting

Preserve the Bodie Hills Meeting More Precious than Gold On February 15, 1:00 pm – the Mono County Board of Supervisors will hear Cougar Gold present its case to mine the Bodie Hills. Please send an email or write your supervisor. Please attend the meeting and speak for the protection of this Eastern Sierra natural treasure. Details on background information, talking points, and where to send comments, and carpooling are on our website http://nevada.sierraclub.org/rolgroup. More: MaryK., ROLG Conservation Chair, 760-934-0355, mkp@npgcable.com; Malcolm, ROLG Chair, 760-924-5639,wmalcolm.clark@gmail.com; Friends of the Inyo admin@friendsoftheinyo.org. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Bodie Hills: America’s Next National Monument?

Bodie Hills: America’s Next National Monument? The beauty of the Bodie Hills was not lost on LA Times writer/videographer Tim Shisler as he explored the area for a story on potential new National Monuments in California. Read the story and watch the video. If you are interested in learning more about the Bodie Hills, read about the important Wilderness Study Areas there, and head over to the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership website at www.bodiehills.org, to find out how you can help preserve this special place!

Springtime Skiing in the Bodie Hills

Potato Peak is kind of a cowpie shaped mountain in the northern end of the Bodie Hills, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). As part of a project FOI has currently embarked upon, which includes inventorying motorized routes in BLM Wilderness Study Areas (part of the National Landscape Conservation System), I drove east out of Bridgeport on the Aurora Canyon road up to a junction that turns down toward Bodie State Park. Excellent scenery of the Bridgeport Valley, the Eastern Sierra, and down into the Bodie Basin is provided just at the top of the road here. Not…