02 Apr: Help protect our Desert Lands!

The West Mojave Route Network Project (WEMO) Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and draft Land Use Plan Amendment was released on March 16, 2018. The plan aims to manage dispersed recreation visitation over an extensive area in the Mojave Desert. In the Eastern Sierra this includes BLM lands near Olancha, Keeler, Darwin and Owens Lake. The draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement evaluates routes in the planning area and proposes a comprehensive route network that attempts to balance access with the protection of sensitive resources. Unfortunately, the new draft plan falls short- designating a spaghetti network of 6,300 miles of OHV…

20 Mar: Proposed Federal Budget

In March, 2017 the Trump administration released its proposed budget, including substantial cuts to agencies that protect and manage public lands: Environmental Protection Agency (31%), Department of Agriculture, which includes the Forest Service (21%) and Department of the Interior (12%).

13 Mar: Executive Order 13781 Federal Agency Review

On March 13th 2017, the Trump administration signed Executive Order 13781 requiring development of a plan to reorganize the executive branch including recommending agencies, programs, and functions for elimination. Friends of the Inyo submitted detailed comments in support of maintaining or increasing funding for those agencies that manage and support our public lands, including the Forest Service, the Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.  

01 Mar: Your DRECP Comments Needed

Keep The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Intact! Comments Due March 22nd The Department of Interior issued a federal register notice opening a 45 day comment period “on increasing opportunities for increased renewable energy development, recreational and off-highway vehicle (OHV) access, mining access, and grazing” This amending of the DRECP is a slap in the face to eight years of collaborative work, research and public outreach to balance renewable energy and conservation in the California Desert and identify areas most suitable for development. The Department of Interior said in a press statement it is exploring changes to the plan at…

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…

mountain bike overlooking forest

20 Dec: HR 1349

HR 1349: The “Wheels Over Wilderness” bill, introduced by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA), carves a gaping loophole in the 1964 Wilderness Act. The bill would open America’s 110 million acres of wilderness areas to mountain bikes, an unprecedented assault on wilderness areas across the country. For five decades Congress has resisted efforts to undermine the Wilderness Act by opening wilderness areas to uses that are currently prohibited. These efforts have failed due to strong public support for wilderness. With less than 3% of the land in the continental United States designated as wilderness, there are plenty of lands— including public lands—that…

Board of Supervisors meeting Inyo County

15 Dec: Conglomerate Mesa Inyo County Supervisors Letter

Conglomerate Mesa On November 14th, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors discussed a letter to the Bureau of Land Managment regarding the Perdito exploratory drilling project at Conglomerate Mesa located in the southern Inyo Mountains north of Highway 190. Over 50 concerned citizens attended the meeting with 20 residents giving oral comments to the Board in opposition to the project. After discussion, the Board modified an existing letter to exclude any support of the project’s four alternatives and simply offered corrections to the BLM regarding omissions from the Environmental Assessment. The comment period for the project closed on Monday, November…

bears ears map

05 Dec: National Monuments

National Monuments update President Trump traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah on December 4th to announce and sign two proclamations shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. Grand Staircase was shrunk by 48 percent, with just 1 million acres remaining.  Bears Ears was decimated, its 1.35 million acres reduced by 83 percent to just 228,700 acres. Lawsuits followed immediately in the Federal District Court of DC. The following day Secretary Ryan Zinke’s report on the National Monument Review was finally released. The report recommended the reduction of Cascade Siskiyou National Monument however there are no specifics on the boundary…

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…

hr 3990 preview

15 Nov: HR 3990

HR 3990 This bill, sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) to gut the Antiquities Act, advanced out of the Natural Resources panel on a party-line vote in October. The bill will likely not go to the House floor for a vote until early 2018. Please continue reaching out to members of Congress to educate them about this bill and what it could mean for new and existing monuments. Read more about the bill on govtrack