Legislative Engagement Letters

Federal land management agencies work to implement projects on lands they manage on an ongoing basis. It is important that the public take a close look at such projects and make sure they undergo proper environmental review, adverse impacts to natural resources are considered, and when appropriate, projects are redesigned and/or mitigation measures are implemented. 

Land management agencies often seek to do the right things but need the public’s help to guide them. Without public engagement and comments to the agencies, public lands can succumb to unsustainable recreational use, industrial development, and misguided management. It is our responsibility to make sure our shared public lands are protected for generations to come.  

We track public lands projects, known as Proposed Actions, across public lands in Inyo and Mono Counties. This includes both small actions as well as landscape level decisions. Our policy team tracks notices from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and county governments.

You can view our engagement letters and applicable project files from the past by clicking on the links below.

Updates

Panamint Valley Lithium Mine Update

In April this year, Friends of the Inyo submitted comments on an Environmental Assessment proposing exploratory drilling for lithium in Panamint Valley. This project, lead by Battery Minerals Inc., proposes four drill sites north of Trona located off Ballarat Rd, Wingate Rd., and Indian Ranch Rd. In early August, much to the disappointment of Friends of the Inyo, the project was approved by the BLM. Battery Minerals Inc. can move forward with exploration operations. In our comments, we highlight a number of inadequacies in the environmental assessment. For example, it’s possible that the projects groundwater consumption will reduce water flows…

Bodie Hills Mining Threat Returns

  Canadian based Radius Gold has filed a preliminary application to begin gold mining exploration in the heart of the Bodie Hills near the Dry Lakes Plateau and Rough Creek drainage. This new proposal was recently brought before the Mono County Land Development Technical Advisory Committee for consideration.  The proposed exploration site sits on a split parcel of state leased mineral rights land and private land used for cattle ranching. You can access the “pre-application” to Mono County click here. Access for the exploration is within the BLM managed Bodie Wilderness Study Area (WSA). The WSA is subject to restrictions…

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…