Policy

Little Lakes Valley by Jan Arendtsz_header

01 Aug: 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…

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03 Jul: Bridgeport Ranger District seeks Public Comment on Grazing Proposal

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is considering reopening historic sheep allotments near Bridgeport, CA to cattle grazing. The project area covers roughly 20,000 acres of public land in the Cameron Canyon, Jordon Basin, Dunderburg, and Summer Meadows areas, west of highway 395 and south of the community of Bridgeport. Due to the listing of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in 1999 and the significant threat of disease transmission to wild sheep, domestic sheep grazing permits were cancelled in 2010 and 2014, respectively. After nearly a decade of recovery from grazing these meadows, uplands and riparian systems have been allowed to rest…

Fire-prescribed fire forest understory

16 Nov: Devils Postpile Fire Management Plan

After 18 years the Devils Postpile National Monument is updating their Fire Management Plan. Managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and designated by presidential proclamation in 1911, the Monument protects 800 acres surrounded by the Inyo National Forest. 687 acres of the Monument is federally designated Wilderness. A new fire management plan is needed because the current management direction mandates full suppression and does not allow natural ignitions to be managed for ecosystem benefit. It also restricts fuels treatment projects to the northeastern 15% of the Monument that is not federally-designated Wilderness. Prior to 18th century fire suppression, lightning-ignited fire occurrence…

02 Oct: AB-1819 Passes State Senate

On August 29, 2018, legislation that would establish The California Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation (CA AB 1918) passed the State Senate. The bill passed the State Assembly back in March, we are hopeful it will soon be signed into law by the governor. We believe the establishment of this office will increase the availability of much needed resources for the maintenance of our Eastern Sierra public lands.

land exchange notice

02 Oct: Mammoth Land Exchange

The Inyo National Forest released their Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Draft Record of Decision for the proposed Mammoth Base Land Exchange on August 28. The Forest Supervisor proposes to exchange 35.7 acres of National Forest System lands at the base of Mammoth Mountain for 1,213.2 acres of privately owned lands. Between scoping and the FEIS, federal lands were reduced by 104.9 acres due to the loss of a parcel in Lundy Canyon (20.6) and in Dexter Canyon (84.3 acres), while Mammoth Mountain’s acreage increased by 5.1 acres. Although the exchange would result in more environmentally sensitive lands coming under public ownership,…

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…

joshua tree sunrise conglomerate mesa

17 Jul: Join us to Protect Conglomerate Mesa

Support Conglomerate Mesa ***Update 8/2/2018: It seemed when SSR withdrew their application for exploratory drilling that we were in the clear. But  the mining claim holders have requested to transfer the approved plan of operation, and BLM granted the claimants 60 days to complete the transfer requirements. The fight continues! Help us protect Conglomerate Mesa by becoming a member today!*** Picture this: a gold mine on Conglomerate Mesa. A dusty cyanide heap-leach mine where there is now a quiet, culturally rich, open space filled with Joshua trees. All on Death Valley’s doorstep. It almost happened. In mid-May, Silver Standard Resources Inc. (SSR)…