Updates

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10 Sep: K2 Gold is here in Inyo County

K2 Gold is here in Inyo County and renting office space in Lone Pine While here, the CEO of the company is going to try to gain support for mining Conglomerate Mesa. As local residents and businesses, we need to continue to send the same message that we have been for decades: this land should be protected from mining and protected for its conservation values. Get a Conglomerate Mesa poster or yard sign today! Pick a poster with a message that you like best and we can send it to you. Email bryan@friendsoftheinyo to request a poster or yard sign.

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30 Mar: Premium Energy Granted Preliminary Permit for Haiwee Pumped Storage Project

FERC Issues Premium Energy A Preliminary Permit for Haiwee Pumped Storage Project In the time of COVID-19, there are still development threats on public lands trying to inch forward. On March 19th, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued LA-based company, Premium Energy a 2-year preliminary permit for a pumped storage project in the Haiwee area.  The preliminary permit gives Premium Energy priority placement in any future Haiwee Pumped storage project proposals for the duration of the permit. This allows Premium Energy to invest time and resources into feasibility studies and consultation with interested parties without the concern of another…

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04 Mar: Conglomerate Mesa and K2 Gold’s Lingering Exploration Interest

Conglomerate Mesa and K2 Gold’s Lingering Exploration Interest Since the approval of the environmental assessment that allows for helicopter access exploratory drilling at Conglomerate Mesa, Friends of the Inyo and the environmental community have closely monitored mining company’s interest in pursuing this project. In June 2019, Friends of the Inyo learned that a company called K2 Gold met with Inyo County and Conglomerate Mesa claimholders, Noel Cousins and Steven Van Ert to discuss possible exploration. In the months after this meeting, we did not receive any additional intel about K2 Gold and their exploration interests.  Things at the Mesa remained…

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03 Feb: Haiwee Geothermal Development Update

Haiwee Geothermal Development Update In January 2020 the BLM released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for a project that will expand the Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area to 22,805 acres, almost triple in size. With this growth, BLM will change the management provisions of National Conservation Lands and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern to allow for geothermal energy production, infringing on Mojave ground squirrel populations, sacred tribal sites, desert tortoise land and more. Part of the leasing area is proposed to expand into a Development Focus Area (DFA) which was established by the DRECP. Friends of the Inyo is pushing…

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03 Feb: Panamint Valley Lithium Update & Monitoring Opportunity

Panamint Valley Lithium Update & Monitoring Opportunity Update Lithium exploration in Panamint Valley has been upheld through all levels of the NEPA process is set to move forward. All the proponent, Battery Minerals Inc., has to do is put a bond down with the BLM and they can begin drilling. It is tough to know when they will initiate exploration but in the meantime, we have a great opportunity for motivated environmentalists and volunteers to help us monitor the Panamint Valley project site. What is monitoring? In this case, monitoring is as simple as taking pictures of the drill sites…

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.

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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,…

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31 May: Threats to California’s Mining Regulations

California’s State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) is under pressure from the mining industry to weaken regulations that could pave the way to expanded open pit mining—including industrial-scale cyanide heap leach mining at Conglomerate Mesa. Current California mining laws are some of the strongest in the nation and include stringent backfill requirements which result in many mining proposals being economically infeasible. The SMGB (which has no environmental representative), has issued a “Notice of Pre-Rulemaking Workshop and Public Comment period” to “review, and possibly revise, state policy pertaining to Performance Standards for Backfilling Excavations and Recontouring Lands Disturbed by Open Pit Surface Mining…

Press release perdito approval

19 May: Exploratory Drilling Approved – Conglomerate Mesa

Exploratory Drilling Approved at Conglomerate Mesa The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a decision allowing exploration for gold at conglomerate mesa, a remote and wild corner of Inyo county adjacent to Death Valley National Park. This decision endangers the area’s recreation- and tourism-based economy, delicate water supply, and uniquely important ecosystem and cultural resources. Click here to read our .pdf press release or see the text version below, and sign up on our mailing list to receive updates from us on Conglomerate Mesa and the Perdito project as they develop. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 18, 2018 Contact: Wendy Schneider, (310)…