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Wednesday
Jan072015

Letter to Editor: The Bodie Hills

The following LTE appears in the January 1, 2015 editon of the Mammoth Times.

To the Editor,

 The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership was formed in 2011 to protect and publicize the unique recreational, scenic, and habitat values of the Bodie Hills. Our vision for the Bodie Hills embraces Triple Bottom Line principles, which emphasize the three P’s: People, Profit & Planet.  Thus we are working to ensure that sustainable traditional uses of the Bodies, such as grazing, hunting and fishing, off-highway vehicle use, mountain biking, snowmobiling and other snow sports, and wildlife watching are conserved, that we expand tourism and recreational visitation to this remarkable area, and that local communities benefit from this visitation.

The Partnership is also helping to address the challenge of managing the Bodies for sage grouse. In 2014, more than 50 volunteers organized by the Partnership contributed nearly 300 volunteer hours restoring sage-grouse habitat and improving the visitor experience in and around the Bodie Hills. This includes a cleanup of the old shooting range at the Travertine Hot Springs (May 22), the removal of a 2-mile section of electric fence from along Bodie Creek (Aug 16), the removal of a half-mile section of barbed wire fence and the removal of hazardous fuels from in and around Bodie State Historic Park (Sept 27), planting of 400 sagebrush & bitterbrush plants in the footprint of the Indian Fire (Oct 18), and helping to plant 4000 sagebrush plants in the footprint of the Spring Peak fire (Nov 15).  We are grateful for all of our volunteers and partners who made this work possible.

Another highlight of a very productive year is our recent opening of an office in Bridgeport. We look forward to becoming more active in this community, working with local residents and businesses to promote visitation to this area and the public lands that we are blessed to have around us.

As 2014 ebbs, we’re looking forward to a productive 2015. We hope to double our volunteer numbers in the coming year, enabling us to do more work in the Bodies to restore and sustain the good habitat there for sage-grouse, mule deer and pronghorn antelope (among other critters). As they say, “What’s good for the bird, is good for the herd.” We also look forward to continuing the conversation with Mono County residents and officials about how we can best protect, enjoy, and profit from the Bodie Hills.

We’ll be staffing our Bridgeport office 2 days a week until later this spring, when we will expand our hours to 3 days a week. If you see the American flag flying outside our office at 158 Kingsley Street – Suite #1, please come in for some coffee and conversation.  Alternatively, you can call me at 760-935-3960 and schedule a meeting.

Happy New Year! 

Jeff Hunter

Director

Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership

 

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