Wednesday
Apr292015

Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership Open House May 2

 

Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership opens new office in Bridgeport, CA

Open House ceremony on May 2, 2015; public and press invited

BRIDGEPORT, Calif. – The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership (BHCP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting habitat, scenic, and historic values in the Bodie Hills and promoting sustainable economic growth in the region, has moved its headquarters to the Town of Bridgeport in northern Mono County, California.

 

The Partnership will host an Open House to celebrate its new offices on Saturday, May 2, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Public officials, media, and area residents are invited to attend to learn more about the mission of the BHCP and how designating the Bodie Hills as a national monument will permanently protect wildlife, traditional recreational uses, and ranching in the area as well as air and water quality and the scenic backdrop for the Bridgeport Valley.

 

WHO:                Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership - Jeff Hunter, Director

 

WHAT:              Open House to celebrate new headquarters

 

WHEN:              SATURDAY MAY 2, 2015 – 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

WHERE:             158 Kingsley Street, Suite #1, Bridgeport, CA  (corner S. Sinclair)

WHY:                    The BHCP is committed to protecting the extraordinary natural, scenic, and historic qualities of the Bodies and promoting the year-round recreational opportunities of these public lands. Because the BHCP emphasizes collaborative strategies and partnerships to achieve its mission, it makes sense for the Partnership to operate from Bridgeport, gateway to the Bodie Hills, the county seat, and the heart of northern Mono County (motto: Wild by Nature).

 

The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership (www.bodiehills.org) 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 and the three P’s: People, Profit & Planet. The Partnership works to ensure that sustainable traditional uses of the Bodies such as grazing, hunting, off-highway vehicle use, mountain biking, snowmobiling and other snow sports, and wildlife watching are conserved; to better manage the land for at-risk species such as the bi-state sage grouse; to grow tourism and recreational visitation to this remarkable area; and to help deliver sustainable economic growth for local communities.

 

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

 

Monday
Dec222014

Alternative Break Projects Slated For Summer 2015 in Bodie Hills

Wildflower blooms in the Bodie Hills can be spectacular!
In July 2015, we are planning two week-long projects in the Bodie Hills. These projects are designed for college students. The dates for those projects are July 13-17 and July 20-24. We are open to hosting a group in August if there is interest and availability during that time. 

 

The Bodie Hills are located in Mono County, California on the edge of the Eastern Sierra and the SW corner of the Great Basin.  This is 45 minutes northeast of Yosemite National Park. Approximately 188,000 acres of public lands are found in the Bodie Hills. These lands are managed by the BLM and the Forest Service. The projects will focus primarily on BLM lands in Sagebrush Steppe ecosystems. 

 

The area is home to pronghorn antelope, mule deer, golden eagle, black bear, mountain lion and sage-grouse. The Bi-State population of Greater Sage Grouse is found in the Bodie Hills. These birds are currently a candidate for a threatened listing under the Endangered Species Act. The area is also home to significant cultural resources including rock art. Our work will focus on sage-grouse habitat restoration that includes fence removal, invasive plant removal, converting fences to wildlife friendly "let-down" fencing, environmental monitoring, and participation in a yet-to-be-determined citizen science project. 

 

There is no cost to the students for participation in these stewardship projects. Participants will be camping on public lands during the project. Each student will need to provide a tent, sleeping bag & sleeping pad. Food will be provided, and showers will be available. We can accomodate vegan & vegetarians - with notice. 

 

There is a significant service-learning component to the project. Participants will learn about sage-grouse management from BLM wildlife specialists. They will also learn how to use a GPS, how to use a map & compass, and how to integrate GPS data into a GIS database.  At the conclusion of the week-long project, BLM & Bodie Hills staff will work with the students on incorporating this experience into their resume. 

 

On our off day, there will be an opportunity to explore Yosemite National Park,  the Ansel Adams Wilderness, or the Hoover Wilderness. 

 

To apply for this opportunity, please email a resume and cover letter to info@bodiehills.org. Please indicate which week you would like to participate in. Applicants are eligble to participate in both crews. 

 

Tuesday
Jul082014

Slate of Free Public Outings Planned for Bodie Hills this Summer & Fall

Volunteers are also sought for stewardship projects in Aug & Sept

Bridgeport, CA, July 8, 2014:  The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership is planning to lead a series of public outings and stewardship projects this summer and fall on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Bodie Hills. The outings vary in length and difficulty and are free and open to the public. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.

The summer series will kick off on July 12 with an outing to the Dry Lakes Plateau led by BLM Archaeologist Greg Haverstock.  There, participants will explore the unique sagebrush ecosystem and dry lakes beneath Beauty Peak, and learn about the rich cultural history of the area. Specifically, the use of this area during episodes of mid-Holocene drought will be discussed. The distribution of obsidian from both the Bodies Hills and Mt. Hicks will be detailed. The outing will include visits to several prehistoric sites in addition to two historic sites that detail the use of the area by Basque sheepherders. Registration is required and space is limited. The outing will involve 2-3 miles of walking. Four wheel drive vehicles are required to access this area. For more information or to register please contact Jeff Hunter at info@bodiehills.org or 423-322-7866.

Additional outings planned for 2014 are as follows;

•     Saturday July 19:  4~ mile hike in Monoville (Rattlesnake Gulch). Rated: Moderately Strenuous.

•     Sunday Aug 10:  Bodie Mountain & Potato Peak Hike with optional summit of Potato Peak. Rated: Very Strenuous

•     Saturday Aug 30:   8~ mile Dry Lakes Plateau hike (cross country – no trail) with optional Beauty Peak summit. Rated: Very Strenuous

•     Saturday Sept 13: Obsidian Quarry tour with BLM Archaeologist Greg Haverstock. Rated Easy.

•     Saturday October 25:  4-mile hike to summit of Mt. Biederman. Rated: Moderately Strenuous.

 

In addition to the above listed outings, volunteers are also sought for two stewardship projects planned for August 16 and September 27.

•    Sat/Sun Aug 16-17:   Stewardship project involving fence work, with optional overnight camp and hike on Sunday morning.

•    Sat Sept 27:  National Public Lands Day stewardship project. Project yet to be determined, but it will be fun!

According to Jeff Hunter of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, “We’re looking for volunteers to assist with projects that will enhance wildlife habitat and the visitor experience in the Bodie Hills. Volunteering is a great way to discover the Bodie Hills and leave a positive, lasting impact on this treasured landscape.” The August 16 project is being held in partnership with Friends of the Inyo and the BLM and will involve converting a barb wire fence to a wildlife friendly “let-down” fence. Some additional fence work is also planned during the day. An optional overnight campout will be held after the August 16 project, followed by a hike the following morning.

The September 27 project will be held on National Public Lands Day.  The scope of that project is still being identified at press time.

For more info about joining these outings and volunteer projects, please contact Jeff Hunter at info@bodiehills.org or 423-322-7866, or visit BodieHills.org.

 

###

Saturday
Aug062011

Mono County Supervisors Take No Action

Conservation has prevailed once more in Bridgeport! On August 2nd, 2011, the Mono Board decided not to support a resolution for Bodie Wilderness Study Area Release nor an endorsement for H.R. 1581. Thousands of letters and petition signatures over the last year have sent a strong message to the Board stating that the Bodie Hills are a special place worthy of protection, and inappropriate for industrial land use and development.

The threat of mining is still imminent in the Bodie Hills, however; a broader discussion involving all the stakeholders of the region is still needed to developed a shared vision for the Bodie Hills. You can still send a message, advocating for preservation, to the elected officials of Mono County and Congress here.