Forest Planning

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Comprehensive River Management Plan – Owens River Headwaters and Cottonwood Creek | Coalition Comments

For the Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) to fulfill its protective purpose, it is essential that the plan go beyond a simple recitation of resources and issues and focus on current and future actions that could harm the free-flowing condition, outstandingly remarkable (OR) values, segment classification, and water quality of the protected river. Unfortunately, the draft CRMP for the Owens River Headwaters Wild and Scenic River (WSR) fails this test. In particular, the CRMP and accompanying Resource Assessment fail to provide crucial information about groundwater extraction from aquifers that contribute to the flow of the Owens River Headwaters WSR.

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Devils Postpile Wastewater Treatment System Comments

The plan for a wastewater treatment system in Devils Postpile National Monument represents proactive efforts of the National Parks Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to address the current failing wastewater system. This project as currently described will protect public lands and reduce the maintenance burden on management agencies. Specifically the proposed septic system will protect waterways from contamination by eliminating the need for aging mechanical force mains and lift stations. Removing the aging mechanical infrastructure will reduce danger of failure and accidental discharge, reduce the agency’s energy costs, and reduce maintenance needs.

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Kore Mining’s Long Valley Drilling Requires Environmental Assessment | Coalition Comments

Coalition Opposes Forest Service’s proposed Categorical Exclusion to Drill for Gold in the Long Valley Read the full letter here Background and Main Objections Kore Mining intends to proceed with exploratory drilling under a catagorical exclusion (CE) to, circumvent environmental review, from the Forest Service. Friends of the Inyo coauthored a 40 page with a powerful coalition of local, regional, and national groups.  argued wrote a 40 has long enjoyed serving and recreating in the Alabama Hills. This important document outlines how the plan does not meet Forest Service regulations for a categorical exclusion, and should require an environmental assessment…

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Solitude Canyon Comment Letter Submitted

Solitude Canyon Comment Letter Submitted Mammoth Lakes trail proponents are requesting approval of an entirely new trail in steep rugged Solitude Canyon without standard environmental review and comment periods through a “categorical exclusion.” We at Friends of the Inyo wrote a strong comment letter to the US Forest Service, detailing the reasons that use of a CE is inappropriate in this situation and urging the Forest Service to engage in appropriate studies and allow for public engagement regarding this controversial project. In our letter, along with six cosigners, we rejected the argument that this new trail qualified for an exemption…

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Action Alert: E-Bikes Comment Period

ACTION ALERT: E-Bikes Comment Period Times continue to be tough and the Trump Administration is advancing their most controversial ideas for our public lands. As we track their work, we took notice of their most recent move to propose allowing motorized mountain bikes, or e-bikes, on non-motorized trails–trails that human-powered recreationists such as mountain bikers, hikers, hunters, and equestrians have fought for years to keep non-motorized. This change threatens decades of hard work to designate quality non-motorized trail opportunities in communities across the West. Adding insult to injury, BLM proposes to enact these changes with no environmental analysis under NEPA–despite…

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Partner Profile: Adam Barnett, Inyo National Forest (full unedited verison)

In early March of 2020, Stewardship Director Alex Ertaud sat down with Adam Barnett, the Inyo National Forest’s Assistant Public Services Staff Officer. This conversation dives deep into the ins and outs of the two organization’s working relationship. It is always a pleasure to chat with Adam and I hope you enjoy! Alex Ertaud, Stewardship Director: I am here with Adam Barnett, of the Forest Service. Thank you for sitting down with me Adam. Just to start things off, when was the first time you came to the Eastern Sierra? And I guess in this case, the Inyo National Forest….

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Action Alert: Inyo County Road Maintenance and Motorized Mixed Use

Action Alert: Inyo County Road Maintenance and Motorized Mixed Use Comments are needed on Inyo County Road Maintenance and Motorized Mixed Use on National Forest Roads. On Jan 13, 2020 the Inyo National Forest provided notice that it is considering granting easements and special use permits to Inyo County for eight roads on the White Mountain and Mount Whitney Ranger Districts of the national forest. The roads considered for easements are portions of Death Valley, Onion Valley, County, and Foothill Roads. Roads considered for special use permits include Division Creek, McMurray Meadows, Coyote and Mazourka Canyon. This proposed action, if…

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Record Of Decision Inyo National Forest

Forest Supervisor signs Final Record of Decision Highlights from the Decision Document The revised plan closely represents Alternative B. Three wilderness areas included in the decision include the Adobe Hills, Huntoon, and South Huntoon areas. This decision designates no new wilderness in Inyo county. This plan adds 15 sections of river in the Mono Basin “as eligible for the wild and scenic river system” The final decision on the Inyo National Forest plan commits to beginning Over Snow Vehicle planning within one year among other details of the plan. Read more about the highlights from the final Forest Plan in…

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Inyo National Forest Plan Update

Inyo National Forest Plan Update The Inyo National Forest released their Final Environmental Impact Statement and a preview of the Final Plan on September 20, 2019. The Final Record of Decision is expected to be signed by the Forest Supervisor on or near October 21, 2019. After a 30 day waiting period the final plan will take effect. Implementation of the new plan will begin at this time with future planning processes such as Comprehensive River Management Plans for the Forest’s Wild and Scenic Rivers and winter travel management. Since 2012, Friends of the Inyo has worked to shape the new…

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Defend NEPA on Forest Service Lands

  Friends of the Inyo and conservation groups around the county are fighting back against a terrible rule change that would fundamentally undermine the Forest Service’s NEPA policies and practices. Specifically, the proposed changes would create loopholes to increase the speed and scale of resource extraction, including logging and mining, while eliminating public awareness and input on up to 93% of proposed projects. Additionally, the Forest Service has proposed several new “categorical exclusions” that would allow the agency to move project planning behind closed doors by excluding the public from the decision-making process and eliminating any science-based review of impacts to water, wildlife, and recreation. Read…