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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…