POLICY 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

Comprehensive River Management Plan – Owens River Headwaters and Cottonwood Creek | Coalition Comments

For the Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) to fulfill its protective purpose, it is essential that the plan go beyond a simple recitation of resources and issues and focus on current and future actions that could harm the free-flowing condition, outstandingly remarkable (OR) values, segment classification, and water quality of the protected river. Unfortunately, the draft CRMP for the Owens River Headwaters Wild and Scenic River (WSR) fails this test. In particular, the CRMP and accompanying Resource Assessment fail to provide crucial information about groundwater extraction from aquifers that contribute to the flow of the Owens River Headwaters WSR.

Devils Postpile Wastewater Treatment System Comments

The plan for a wastewater treatment system in Devils Postpile National Monument represents proactive efforts of the National Parks Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to address the current failing wastewater system. This project as currently described will protect public lands and reduce the maintenance burden on management agencies. Specifically the proposed septic system will protect waterways from contamination by eliminating the need for aging mechanical force mains and lift stations. Removing the aging mechanical infrastructure will reduce danger of failure and accidental discharge, reduce the agency’s energy costs, and reduce maintenance needs.

Amargosa River Management Plan Must Focus on Groundwater | Coalition Comments

The Amargosa River is one of the crown jewels of the desert southwest, providing a globally important resource for biodiversity, hydrology, and recreation. It is also one of the most fragile ecosystems in North America, and must be managed with the highest possible level of conservation. Water and protection of flows The Amargosa River is unique among the Wild and Scenic River system in that it is entirely reliant on groundwater discharge for its flows. Essentially all of the ORVs for which the Amargosa Wild and Scenic River was designated depend on sustained groundwater flows for their survival. As such,…

Kore Mining’s Long Valley Drilling Requires Environmental Assessment | Coalition Comments

Coalition Opposes Forest Service’s proposed Categorical Exclusion to Drill for Gold in the Long Valley Read the full letter here Background and Main Objections Kore Mining intends to proceed with exploratory drilling under a catagorical exclusion (CE) to, circumvent environmental review, from the Forest Service. Friends of the Inyo coauthored a 40 page with a powerful coalition of local, regional, and national groups.  argued wrote a 40 has long enjoyed serving and recreating in the Alabama Hills. This important document outlines how the plan does not meet Forest Service regulations for a categorical exclusion, and should require an environmental assessment…

Groundwater Pumping at Owens Lake by LADWP Comments

LADWP is attempting to increase its extraction of water supplies from the Owens Valley by developing a program of consumptive groundwater use from the Owens Lakebed. We are not in agreement that groundwater pumping from beneath Owens Lake can be done in an environmentally sustainable manner, even for a limited period of time. LADWP has improperly piecemealed review of the incremental steps it is taking to achieve increased water withdrawals from the Owens Valley. It has done so without adequate disclosure or analysis of the cumulative and adverse impacts, both past and future, of LADWP’s extractions, the interactive role of…

Stop Rodenticide poisoning in California – Call for Letters

Protect Wildlife and Stop the Use of Harmful Rodenticides Friends of the Inyo joined with many other environmental groups in sending letters encouraging Governor Newsom (CA) to protect mountain lions, raptors, and other animals from being poisoned. 2014 California banned the sale of second generation anticoagulant rodenticides to consumers. Poisoning of mountain lions, raptors, and other apex predators continues as documented by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. AB 1788 was introduced by California State Assembly member Richard Bloom to place a moratorium on the use of these poisons by licensed applicators until review is completed by state agencies. The…