Updates

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Friends of the Inyo Commends Decision to Protect the DRECP

Friends of the Inyo Commends Decision to Protect the DRECP [Press Release on DRECP] Friends of the Inyo Commends Biden Administration’s Decision to Protect the DRECP, California Desert National Conservation Lands In an announcement today, the Department of the Interior says it would put a stop to efforts by the previous administration to reopen the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). Proposed changes would have rolled back key conservation protections, putting 2.2 million acres set aside for conservation at risk. The following is a statement from Jora Fogg, Policy Director, Friends of the Inyo in response to this announcement: “Friends…

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Tribal Nations speak out on Conglomerate Mesa

Tribal Nations speak out on Conglomerate Mesa–Friends of the Inyo stands in support Friends of the Inyo stands in support as Tribal Nations call out K2 Gold for ignoring their consultation and request  to stop mining at Conglomerate Mesa. Read the Timbisha Shoshone and Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribes’ press release below.   “Mining Company Threatens Tribal Resources in California Desert” Click here to read the official press release.

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The Alabama Hills Management Plan Has Been Released

The Alabama Hills Management Plan Has Been Released The Bureau of Land Management released the comprehensive management plan for the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area on January 15th, 2021. you can read the BLM’s press release and management plan in their entireties online here. “The plan is designed to provide diverse, high-quality recreational opportunities while minimizing user conflicts, addressing human health and safety concerns, reducing recreational impacts, and enhancing other resources, values, and uses.” – Bureau of Land Management   Friends of the Inyo has written a memo highlighting the key points from the management plan. Click here to read our…

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Changes to Desert Plan by Trump administration threaten California Desert

Changes to Desert Plan by Trump administration threaten California Desert Proposed rollbacks to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan threaten 2.2 million acres of precious California Desert lands *UPDATE: Biden Administration Restores the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Protecting 2 million acres of National Conservation Land. Click here to read more in our press release.   “The Trump Administration continues its assault on public lands with an eleventh-hour attempt to gut the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). These egregious proposed changes to a balanced and comprehensive desert plan that was nearly ten years in the making will strip meaningful…

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New Legislation Seeks Federal Recognition for the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe

New Legislation Seeks Federal Recognition for the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe This Autumn, Congressman Paul Cook introduced legislation, H.R.8208, to recognize the tribal sovereignty of the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a tribe. In 2019, Friends of the Inyo submitted a letter of support urging him to move legislation forward recognizing the identity and history of his constituents. Cook’s press release outlines the decades-long struggle to gain recognition from the federal government. Rep. Cook said, “Federal recognition of the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe is long overdue, and it’s time we honor their tireless efforts in preserving their culture and history. I commend the…

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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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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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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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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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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…