Welcome to Volume 1 of the Conglomerate Mesa Newsletter, your one-stop email for all things Conglomerate Mesa. I'm Bryan Hatchell, your newsletter author and the Desert Lands Organizer at Friends of the Inyo. This newsletter and the ones to follow will provide readers with pertinent news on the Conglomerate Mesa Protection Campaign, updates on Conglomerate Mesa Events & Outings, and the Site Highlights of Conglomerate Mesa. As always, please reach out to me with any and all questions you may have at email@example.com Thank you for tuning in.
Conglomerate Mesa: A Decision on the State Director's Review
Conglomerate Mesa is under threat of an open pit cyanide gold mine. Most recently, the BLM approved an environmental assessment allowing exploratory drilling via helicopter access on Conglomerate Mesa to determine the sites gold prospects. Due to a number of inadequacies in the project and EA, Friends of the Inyo and the Conglomerate Mesa Coalition filed for a review of the project by the California BLM State Director in November of 2018.
While we were initially supposed to hear a decision in 3 months, the BLM was delayed by the government shutdown. As of May 13th, we finally have an answer. The State Director has determined that the Perdito Project will stand and exploratory drilling can move forward.
The claimholders are still without a mining company to lease their claims to, but we suspect they will attempt to find another. If this happens, exploratory drilling can begin at a moments notice. Friends of the Inyo will continue to apply pressure to assure any company that considers joining this project that they will have a fight on their hands. We must stay unified, organized, and vocal to continue to drive companies away from this project as we search for permanent protection of Conglomerate Mesa.
Recent Conglomerate Mesa Events
3/31 - CSU Long Beach Field Trip
Bryan and Kyle from Friends of the Inyo led a group of students from Cal State Long Beach on a trip to Conglomerate Mesa. Many of the students are working on Conglomerate Mesa for a class project and all asked great questions. We look forward to next years trip. Read more here.
4/26 - Owens Lake Bird Festival Field Trip
Jora, Friends of the Inyo's Policy Director led an outing to Conglomerate Mesa as part of our annual Owen's Lake Bird Festival. A great addition to the festival!
5/11 - BioBlitz
Friends of the Inyo, along with California Native Plant Society, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and volunteers documented the flora and fauna of Conglomerate Mesa. We found the rare Inyo Rocky Daisy, California Desert Monkey Flower and more. See our Instagram for photos!
With summer approaching and temperatures rising, events and outings will slow down and pick back up come Fall. Stay tuned!
Photos: Evan Frost
Conglomerate Mesa Stickers!
Drop by the office, send us your address or attend a Friends of the Inyo event to get your brand new Conglomerate Mesa stickers!
Design: Neil Hubert
Site Highlight: Joshua Trees (yucca brevifolia)
As climate change begins to warm the earth, plant life is seeking cooler temperatures at higher elevations. This is no different for Joshua Trees. Conglomerate Mesa possesses an elevation range from 3,800 - 7,700 feet making the land a safe haven for growing and adult Joshua Trees. This BLM sensitive species is a driving force as to why we have two designated areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC) on the mesa. As we begin to lose these treasures at lower elevation locations such as Joshua Tree National Park, it is more critical now than ever to protect these species.
Hydroelectric Pumped Storage in Inyo County: "A Southern California company has submitted an application to build a hydroelectric complex in the Owens Valley to help the state meet its clean power goals. But the massive project threatens to disrupt a treasured mountain wilderness."
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This concludes Volume 1 of the Conglomerate Mesa Newsletter. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org about getting involved in the campaign. It is critical that we build a constituency of individuals, businesses, organizations, etc., who are ready at a moments notice to mobilize into action. We need your help to permanently protect this desert gem!