Policy

backpacking near meadow

29 Aug: Highlights of the Final Forest Plan

The long awaited Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan was released in late July. Since then, Friends of the Inyo has been reviewing the final plan and supporting documents to understand how the plan intends to care for 1.9 million acres of Forest service lands in the Eastern Sierra. The plan includes how to manage and plan for recreation, protect at risk species, and recommendations for Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers designations. We’re finding that the final plan is a mixed bag. We remain concerned about the level of protection the plan would provide for natural resources on the…

Jora Fog and CLF in Washington DC

02 Aug: DC Trip to Protect Public Lands

Desert Lands Focus of Washington Visit Last month, the Conservation Lands Foundation sent a coalition of public lands groups to Washington DC. I was fortunate to join, and meet with our congressional offices about public lands. Friends of the Inyo has a long history working to protect the California desert. With recent administrative attacks it was a perfect time to meet with congressional staff and touch on current threats and opportunities. From hearing rooms to hallways to cafeterias, our meetings took place just about everywhere. Our packed three-day agenda consisted of a visit to the Senate building to meet Feinstein…

hiking alpine meadow sierra nevada

09 Jul: Senate Passes Encouraging Farm Bill

On June 28 the Senate passed (86-11) a bipartisan Farm Bill that is free of attacks on the environment. The passage of a clean Senate bill is an important step forward, but we are not out of the woods yet as a conference committee still needs to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills. The Senate’s work has just begun, as they begin meeting with the House to come to a resolution. The bipartisan Senate bill rejected numerous attacks on our national forest and public lands that were present in the House Farm Bill. That bill narrowly passed just last…

Wetherbee and Michael CLF Rendezvous

04 Jun: Friends Rendezvous in Scottsdale

Wendy and Michael met new allies, presented strategies, and found new tools making the case for public lands. High profile friends groups including Friends of Gold Butte and Utah Diné Bikéyah (fighting for the Bears Ears National Monument) shared stories from their battles.  We attended workshops and spoke with charismatic lawyers and enthusiastic policy experts.  The Conservation Lands Foundation tailored the Grassroots Network to kindle the flame of conservation under the targeted attacks we face from mining, energy, and executive orders. Background – Friends Grassroots Network Our Friends Grassroots Network–made up of 63 community-based groups, mostly in the West–helps individual groups…

joshua trees near death valley

19 Feb: The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is Under Attack!

***New Development*** The Inyo County Board of Supervisors will be discussing their draft letter to the BLM regarding the re-opening of the DRECP. The Board is currently scheduled to discuss the topic on March 20, 2018 at their Board of Supervisors meeting. Here are some talking points to help you prepare for the meeting: 1. Thank the Board for its stance taken at the February 27 meeting to oppose re-opening the DRECP. 2. Remind them that they wanted to insure that their letter sent a clear signal and not mixed messages, and the current letter does not clearly oppose re-opening.  The draft’s…

Ben presenting programs

22 Nov: 1 Week in November

There’s an assumption that summer is our busy season, but in one week this past November, Friends of the Inyo’s staff illustrated how ambitious and inspiring we are at the following events: Presented about the connection between stewardship and advocacy at Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Lake Tahoe. Mobilized our members and the public to provide overwhelming opposition to the proposed gold mine at Conglomerate Mesa at the Inyo County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. Took 91 Mammoth Elementary students out for a Fall Field Day for SnowSchool to learn about watersheds and have fun in the Mammoth Lakes…

bighorn sheep kiosk

15 Aug: New Bighorn Sheep Kiosk in Pine Creek Climbing Area

Just outside of Bishop, Pine Creek Canyon offers some of the best rock climbing in the Eastern Sierra. It’s also critical habitat for a herd of about a hundred endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, for whom the steep walls provide protection from predators and a migration corridor between their summer and winter ranges. Today, representatives from Friends of the Inyo, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Access Fund, the Inyo National Forest, and the local climbing community met to install an informational kiosk at the canyon’s main climber parking lot. This sign will help teach visitors about the…

john muir wilderness

30 Nov: My Favorite Trees

My Favorite Trees: Reflections on a forest, the whitebark among us. Ben Wickham I think I first noticed the dying trees in 2010, but others had observed them before me. A friend pointed it out one day while skiing along the Tamarack Bench in Rock Creek. A ski tour can be a quiet endeavor through a forest that at times may seem to have little to say or show besides the hum of the winter wind or chickaree tracks running from one tree to another. We paused in the grove of dead trees, and, standing among the skeleton snags, we…

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30 Nov: High Sierra

High Sierra “You get to connect with others in a way that reminds you how good people are.”  By Ben Wickham My first job out of college was in the Yosemite Wilderness, and being from Idaho, I knew nothing about the Sierra Nevada. It never occurred to me that mountains existed in California. That summer at Merced Lake changed me, and I fell in love with the unique, spectacular characteristics of the Sierra Nevada High Country.          After reading that opening paragraph, you can probably connect the dots on how I ended up at Friends of the…