The last two months have provided a renewed spotlight on the Bodie Hills. Hundreds of letters were written to the Mono County Board of Supervisors as well as Congressional representatives, and the Board chamber was packed twice over by locally concerned citizens in February and March. The end result is that there is no change in the status of the Bodie WSA, which means there is plenty of time to get out and explore this unique area.
To recap: this past September, Howard “Buck” McKeon introduced a bill proposing the release of the Bodie WSA, seemingly to promote mining interests. Six days later, in a three-hour meeting in the county seat of Bridgeport (packed with local stakeholders), the Mono County Board of Supervisors took no action to support the resolution, and it died at the end of the last Congressional session. The supervisors were upset by the lack of community input in the legislation, and asked for more information from the mining company
This February they got it—sort of. Cougar Gold gave a presentation to the supervisors and hosted an evening town hall meeting in Bridgeport. Mark Wallace, President of Tigris Financial Group (which controls Electrum Ltd, of which Cougar Gold LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary) failed to disclose any findings from Cougar’s exploration efforts, or any specifics regarding future proposals beyond a demand for WSA release. The supervisors again took no action to support WSA release; once again, the board called for stakeholder involvement in this important public land use issue.
Two weeks later, on March 8, the Board met again to discuss the issue of mining and WSA release. With four members present, they took no action to support the proposal.
No change in WSA status gives all stakeholders time to plan and discuss. And explore: here are more things that haven’t changed about the Bodie Hills – they’re still a great place to hike, hunt, camp, botanize, and recreate; they are still a great place to experience solitude, discover natural and cultural history. Want to get to know the Bodie Hills a little bit better? Look forward this spring and summer to events and outings in the Bodie Hills by various groups in the Eastern Sierra.