February continues to be a busy month for Friends of the Inyo. In this month's Juniper, you will have the chance to read updates on a number of projects. We also have a wide variety of events happening in the next few weeks and months. In Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth, and Bridgeport, we have events throughout the Eastern Sierra and we hope to see you around.
And remember, early registration for the Owens Lake Bird Festival begins on February 15th and outings fill up fast. Open registration for non-members will begin on March 1st. So if you're not a member yet, become one today to get access to register early. I hope you enjoy this month's Juniper!
Kyle Hamada Communications Director
Haiwee Geothermal Development Update
In January 2020 the BLM released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for a project that will expand the Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area to 22,805 acres, almost tripling its size. Friends of the Inyo is pushing back against the rollback of conservation protections while showing support for the project only within the established Development Focus Area. Read the comments we submitted and more about this project in Bryan's blog post.
Panamint Valley Lithium Update & Monitoring Opportunity
Lithium exploration in Panamint Valley has been upheld through all levels of the NEPA process is set to move forward. 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. To learn more about hot to get involved, read Bryan's blog post.
The Keep Long Valley Green campaign has been very active in 2020 working to secure LADWP’s commitment to an adequate water supply for the area’s ecological, economic and recreational needs. Long Valley is a critical part of Eastern Sierra ranching operations, provides important habitat for the threatened sage grouse and other species, and is a popular recreation area for both locals and visitors. Settlement negotiations regarding the lawsuit filed by Mono County and the Sierra Club are ongoing. While we hope those negotiations secure a long-term commitment from LADWP to provide adequate water, the campaign is moving ahead to keep up the pressure on the Commissioners to ensure timely and adequate water by April 1, 2020. The campaign will reach out soon with more information on how you can help.
On behalf of Friends of the Inyo and the Xerces Society
Thank all of you who volunteered to count monarchs in Saline Valley
Photo courtesy of Xerces Society / Candace Fallon
"This year's Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count indicates that monarch numbers remain critically low. This year, fewer than 30,000 monarchs were counted for the second year in a row, so the population remains at a critical level." -Xerces Society
Action Alert: Inyo County Road Maintenance and Motorized Mixed Use
Last month, the Inyo National Forest provided notice that it is considering granting easements and special use permits to Inyo County for eight roads on the White Mountain and Mount Whitney Ranger Districts of the national forest. The INF is proposing to approve this project under a Categorical Exclusion, which will limit the opportunities for public comment and the environmental analysis the agency will be required to undertake.
We encourage our members and supporters to help us raise concerns regarding this proposal. Learn how to submit your comments by reading Jora's blog post.
February 15 from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm held at the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine
Enjoy a fantastic night of community interaction, local non-profit support, with a viewing of this year’s Teton Gravity research film, “Roadless.” Tickets can be bought online or at the door for $15.
Doors open at 5:30PM. Display tables will be hosted inside the lobby by the non-profit and business organizations supporting the event.
At 6:00PM a discussion on Risk and Risk Management will begin. The discussion will be facilitated by Jeff Montgomery, a retired 20 year Navy veteran, current Developmental Test Pilot and avid recreational ski touring Lone Pine local.
7:00PM film plays
Friends of the Inyo is is a supporting partner. All proceeds benefit Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.
February 22nd from 6-9pm held at the Inyo Council for the Arts in Bishop
Join photographer and author Andy Selters, and arctic guide and advocate Brennan Lagasse for an evening portrayal of this northeast corner of Alaska making headlines for both grandeur and proposed oil development.
Andy will share his pictures and tales from a north-south traverse through the Brooks Range, and Brennan will present his perspectives from many visits as a leader of expeditions and youth groups, including work with the native peoples and an overview of the threats from oil development and climate change.
Where: Meet at the High Sierra Bakery in Bridgeport at 9am What to Bring: Water, lunch, snacks, camera, and skis or snowshoes. If you don't have any, we will have snowshoes for you to borrow. Dress in warm clothing. We will provide details on conditions on March 12th. Please let us know if you need guidance on gear or what to bring.