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

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…