Policy

 Our Policy program ensures the preservation of the public lands legacy, freedom, and wildness of the Eastern Sierra for future generations.

Friends of the Inyo’s Important Role

Friends of the Inyo works to engage the people who live, work, and play across Eastern Sierra. We advocate meaningful, science-based, and collaborative conservation for our public lands. Our Policy program ensures the preservation of the public lands legacy, freedom, and wildness of the Eastern Sierra for future generations.

Take Action

Direct Action Team

Join our team of dedicated volunteers who help by writing letters and attending events to speak for the land. Learn how to join the Direct Action Team.

Tell us about your issue

Contact our policy team by emailing policy@friendsoftheinyo.org

Comment Letters

Read our comment letters on Legislation and Management Issues.

Policy Updates

‘Haaland’s mining justice moment’: Must-read opinion piece from Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribal Leader in the 9/2/2021 Inyo Register

By Kathy Bancroft Lone Pine, California, the town where I was born and have lived all my life, sits in the valley by Conglomerate Mesa a mile from Death Valley National Park. I call the place Payahuunadü, meaning “land of flowing water.” The Mesa hosts a vibrant, beautiful and productive ecosystem of rare and unique desert plants, as well as culturally sensitive and archeologically significant artifacts. Returning to the Mesa, I am thrown back to my childhood, gathering pinyon nuts, listening to my relatives share our stories, and performing traditional rituals. Conglomerate Mesa is the traditional homeland of my people,…

A Win for the Sierra Nevada Red Fox

By Jora Fogg, Friends of the Inyo Policy Director Sometime soon, National Forest access and smoke conditions permitting, I will head on a multi-day excursion into the High Sierra backcountry to an area where the elusive and rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) has been sighted. I’m especially excited because on September 3rd the Sierra Nevada Red Fox will receive protection under the Federal Endangered Species Act. In 2018 the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released a Species Status Assessment (SSA) Report for the Sierra Nevada Distinct Population Segment. The SSA team represented USFWS biologists, in consultation…

Action Alert: Comment by Aug. 30th to Protect Conglomerate Mesa from Foreign Drilling!

In their next phase of destructive gold exploration, Canadian company K2 Gold, through its subsidiary Mojave Precious Metals, LLC, is proposing to build 2.6 miles of brand new roads and 1.1 miles of overlanding routes to access 30 different drill sites and drill 120 holes on Conglomerate Mesa. The total impact is estimated to be 12.2 acres, more than 61 times as much as K2 Gold’s previous exploration activities. The Ridgecrest Bureau of Land Management has opened up its 30-day public scoping comment period through August 30th. If you love Conglomerate Mesa and want to protect it, participate now!

Action Alert – DEADLINE EXTENSION: Comment on Two Long Overdue River Management Plans by Aug. 6!

Friends of the Inyo was actively involved in the designation of the Owens River Headwaters (ORHW) and Cottonwood Creek as Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR) in 2009. We worked for years to Congressionally protect these free-flowing rivers and the water they supply to humans and wildlife. The development of river management plans is a fundamental provision of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act; such plans are intended to be completed within three years of designation. Now, after 12 years of inaction, and thanks to litigation, the U.S. Forest Service is finally completing this task. Last year, Resource Assessments were completed for…

Action Alert: Comment by July 23 on Two Long Overdue River Management Plans

Friends of the Inyo was actively involved in the designation of the Owens River Headwaters (ORHW) and Cottonwood Creek as Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR) in 2009. We worked for years to Congressionally protect these free-flowing rivers and the water they supply to humans and wildlife. The development of river management plans is a fundamental provision of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act; such plans are intended to be completed within three years of designation. Now, after 12 years of inaction, and thanks to litigation, the U.S. Forest Service is finally completing this task. Last year, Resource Assessments were completed for…

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.