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

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.