Letter to Editor: Bodie WSA

bodiehillsWe are at a crossroads here my friends in the Eastern Sierra.  A vote on the Bodie Hills WSA (Widerness Study Area) reversal could set a precedent that could reverberate through all of time.

Why?  Because a reversal on that one Wilderness Study Area could open up things such as energy farms on other WSA’s like the Volcanic Tablelands, Fish Slough, and Crater Mountain where I live in Inyo County.  It could threaten all the WSA’s across the entire nation.

I hope that the Mono County supervisors take into consideration that what they decide to do has an effect on all of us.

– David McNeill

 

41 Responses to Letter to Editor: Bodie WSA

  1. esfotoguy July 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Amazing!! We are constantly told how we need to be green….AS LONG AS THE ENERGY SOURCE IS NOWHERE NEAR MY HOUSE……stop complaining about oil prices and energy costs as long as you have the “not in my backyard syndrome”.

     
  2. Mark Heckman July 27, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    I believe that these frivolous WSA’s that are throughout this area and country need to either be designated as official Wilderness or removed from the books altogether. The Amargosa WSA was present for over 20 years and many parts of the WSA weren’t included in the final designation. How long does a WSA need to be “studied” before becoming Wilderness or not?
    Additionally, within the past six years the Eastern Sierra has been hit hard with two Wilderness designations by outsiders, with the repeated justification that (sic) “Wilderness creates jobs and increases tourism” yet years later the local economy shows no more improvement now than in years prior to the designation.
    The opposition to Bodie WSA is a veiled attempt to stop a mining proposal in an area of the Bodie Hills that few people visit. The constant rhetoric that its “foraging grounds for pronghorn, mule deer, and sage grouse” is absolutely silly, none of these animals are threatened or endangered. Most of the locals prefer jobs and access over wilderness…..hopefully, the vocal minority of eastisde residents doesn’t win this fight.

     
    • Wayne Deja July 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      Here we go again….If that mining operation is to go in the Bodie Hills,not only will it screw up the wildlife,but also destroy the land where it takes place…….AND it will not mean jobs for the town of Bridgeport…This operation will bring in their own experienced people….with their heavy equipment not far behind….and,more than likely the employees will set up their own “tent city”close to the operation…screwing up the land by doing that even more so,by living there,dumping their trash and waste.And then,here comes the week-end!!!…..All the rowdy miners getting together to” PARTY!!!!!!” in the quiet little towns of Lee Vining and Bridgeport getting drunk and raising hell,and causing trouble.And when the operation is through making their “fortune”for some CEO in the big city,they will clear out and it would leave others to clean up the big mess that was made.

       
  3. Joann Lijek July 27, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    When your “studies” consist of doing nothing over a long period of time, it can take you 20 years. The WSA should be made into wilderness or opened back up. Who says the animals can’t forage next to a mine? Not so pretty for the NIMBYS, even though so many of the roads and trails we use for recreation around here started out as mine roads. We have enough open space out here to have wilderness and non-wilderness. Why would Crater Mountain be turned into a wilderness area? How bogus!

     
  4. Bodie_Forever July 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Complain about NIMBYism all you want–but is the isolated Eastern Sierra really the right place for large-scale industrial development? True, some of our trails started as mining roads, which were abandoned because mines were not successful. Now the money rolls in to businesses that cater to visitors who love the wild places, unobstructed views and recreation opportunities this region provides. Tourism/recreation is the basis of the economy here, followed by agriculture–why not cultivate what’s already growing?
    Just releasing the WSAs without a plan could be disastrous in terms of management. What needs to happen is planning–where what type of use and development can and should take place. The reason that hasn’t happened is because it’s hard work. We need to decide the fate of WSAs case-by-case.
    As part of the last wilderness bill, 3 WSAs were released. One was turned into wilderness. That’s how it ought to work.
    There is no veil across the attempt to oppose large-scale gold mining in the Bodie Hills and elsewhere in this area. Many people, locally and beyond, don’t want to see the boom-and-bust gold mining get any special favors, which is exactly what release of the Bodie WSA would do.
    Bottom line: Gold mining and WSA release threaten our lifestyle here, and don’t offer long-term benefits. If you want gold mining, move to Winnemucca and Elko (they’re doing great now, but 20 years ago? 20 years from now?). That’s not the legacy I want to leave for my kids and grandkids.

     
    • Rob July 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

      Unless your grandkids are trust fund babies they’re going to need to work somewhere.

       
  5. hisierragal July 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    @Mr. Heckman,

    Wilderness designations by” outsiders?” Well, this land is owned by more than just the residents of the 395 corridor even though I know many of these residents were quite active in obtaining said wilderness status. Outsiders? Minority?” Hard Hit”? Yeah. In case you haven’t noticed the whole fricken country has been “Hard Hit”. And “access”? Ya’ think ya’ are gonna have any access to an open pit mine? Ya’ lookin’ forward to truckloads of cyanide rollin’ down the highway past your house and occasionally crashing into the waterways? The Bodie Hills are visited by a huge number of people each summer and you may want to check your facts on the “threatened” and “endangered” status of all the animals you listed. It is quite clear that you have no idea what you are talking about. I would also suggest that Ms Lijek might want to learn a little more about modern mining practices. It is called cyanide heap leaching and I’ll bet you wouldn’t want it in your backyard.

     
    • Wayne Deja July 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      hisierragal………I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!….Thank You!!!!!!!

       
  6. Wayne Deja July 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Rob…The way young people are now-a-days,do you really think many of them would head up to Bodie,looking for work,or staying at the job very long in that type of seclusion ,or dealing with the type of elements in that area….IF that mining operation does go through….which it won’t?The only type of work any locals would get out of it…if it happens…which it won’t…would be the minimum-wage bottom of the barrel type of jobs nobody wants.

     
    • Rob July 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

      I won’t agrue about our young people Wayne 😉

      But the pay is pretty good at the mine down in Trona. I would figure pay scales would be about the same if the new mine is also a union job.

      and talk about minimum-wage bottom of the barrel type of jobs nobody wants. We have plenty of those already. It’s called tourism.

      take care Wayne.

       
      • Wayne Deja July 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

        I sure don’t want the Bodie Hills looking anything like that operation they got going on in Trona…Wouldn’t that be a nice,scenic 13 mile drive to the ghost town?

         
    • Ken Warner July 29, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

      “…would be the minimum-wage bottom of the barrel type of jobs nobody wants.”

      Which is code for immigrant labor, legal and otherwise. The myth of job creation demands that one buy the premise that there are many unemployed local people in the area that would rush to take those jobs. When what really happens is that people from other countries come to work crappy jobs for less than a living wage.

      Have you ever driven by a construction site and noticed out of state license plates and out of country flags decorating the back windows of the parked vehicles?

       
      • Wayne Deja July 30, 2011 at 9:07 am #

        Ken…This seems to be a topic on some wanting to remove Wilderness restrictions in an area that should be left alone,and not allowing any out of state mining companies trying to get their foot in the door in an attempt to profit and destroy the land.Let’s not turn it into an immigration issue….Have you ever driven through Lone Pine,anytime of day or night,and seen who are the ones working the jobs,and who are the ones “hanging out”in front of the market,on the benchs,doing nothing?Or when there are job openings at the “low paying jobs” who are waiting in line to try to get them,and who aren’t?

         
  7. tm July 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    Dave, I don’t think the Mono County Supervisors really care about what any of us ‘little guys’ think about this situation. Would you agree?

     
  8. Home girl July 29, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    TM, clap, clap, clap, I agree 100% Our supervisors don’t care about anything but how they will look and what they can get out of it. They sit on their thrones and rule us dumb hill billy’s and maybe we are for allowing them to continue to reign.

     
  9. Mark Heckman July 29, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    @hisierragal:
    Your comments are fraught with inaccuracies and assumptions……not a single company has proposed ANYTHING yet. The ONLY proposal on the books is removal of the WSA designation in the Bodie Hills; in fact the “Letter to the Editor” that everyone here is commenting upon only discusses the WSA, not mining…..so how can you assume cyanide mining when there isn’t a single mine proposal on the table? And if you know of one, please share…..
    And what about SMARA law that is required in California? If (and that’s a big if) there is a mine placed in the Bodie’s they will have to comply with SMARA law……let me guess, you don’t even know what that is?
    Also , I was VERY active in the Wilderness meetings and if you were at the Charles Brown building at the Tri-County Fair when the public meeting occurred there were close to 600 people at the meeting, with Bishop’s populations ~3,500 people, that constitutes 15% of the town’s pop was present and mostly in opposition to it.
    Also I work in the environmental field- I’m a Biologist (16 years total, but locally for over 10 years) and I KNOW EXACTLY what I’m talking about….pronghorn, mule deer, and sage grouse ARE NOT listed as endangered… do you really think Fish and Game would be issuing hunting permits for deer if they were endangered?
    You say, “it’s quite clear I don’t know what I’m talking about” yet, if what you write in your post is supposed to be considered “fact” then it’s readily apparent that you TRULY don’t know what you’re talking about.

     
    • Rob July 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      Mark Heckman –

      Although the sage grouse isn’t on the endangered species list you should have mention that the bird is among species that are candidates for federal protection. These species are assigned a priority number between one and twelve. The sage grouse has been given an eight, putting it two thirds of the way down the scale as a priority for federal protection.

      Thanks for being active in local issues.

       
  10. Wayne Deja July 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Mike Heckman…..Back in February of this year,Cougar Gold,was pushing to remove Wilderness designation in the Bodie Hills,and trying to get rights to open up an operation up there.From what I remember,the CEO of the company is the same person that worked with Sarah Palin in her failed campaign in 2008.He also stated something like if there is any problems with water contamination,Mono County has nothing to worry about,because the contaminants will dump into Nevada,and not in our area.From what I can remember with the story,he also made threats to the supervisors,stating if they don’t act in a swift and positive manner,he will pursue his operations in another area,or state.So PLEASE don’t try to spin this saying there are no mining plans or proposals for this area.

     
  11. hisierragal July 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    @Mr. Heckman,

    Kinda funny that you accuse me of having “inaccuracies and assumptions”. But of course, you KNOW EXACTLY what you are talking about. Or so you think.

    I want to start by saying that one of the issues you apparently do not wish to discuss is the fact that public land is owned by…………wait for it………..THE PUBLIC. In the case of federal land the idea that any citizen of the United States is an “outsider” in the case of land use designation is nothing but a rather distasteful form of provincialism.

    You also chose to ignore my mention of the general state of our economy. It seems you want to blame wilderness designation for the decline of tourists but you really don’t offer anything to back that up.

    I was not at any meeting in Bishop because I live in Mono county. We had plenty of meetings to attend up here. You claim that most were in “opposition” but I don’t see the slightest attempt on your part to back up your words in that case either. I would also like to ask a question: do you believe that the only opinions that matter are expressed by “locals” when it comes to federally owned land?

    Apparently you are not aware that exploration at a particular mine site in the Bodie Hills has been going on for a couple of years now.They want to continue exploration. Would they be doing that just for the sake of curiosity? I think it is pretty clear that a mine would be the next logical step provided they find what they must have reason to believe exists. They claim to have spent millions of dollars already but are more than a little short on any thing more than words. Hey – that is just like you! Please look up Cougar Gold and the Paramount MIne – okay?

    Perhaps you are not aware that nearly all of the gold mining being done today is cyanide heap leaching. I think now is a fine time to start saying no to open pit cyanide heap leach mining. Early and often. Why should we wait for a “proposal” to be made? Just because you said so? And yes – I do know what the SURFACE MINING AND RECLAMATION ACT is so you might want to get off that high horse before you fall down go boom………

    I did not ever say that any of the animals you mentioned were listed as endangered – I just suggested that you may want to check some of the facts. Julie MacDonald. Political appointee to the Dept. of Interior. Intimidating and overruling the scientific studies that would have listed the sage grouse. Resigned after her antics were repeated enough times to catch the attention of several people including a federal judge. Are you remembering any of this? I think it also bears mentioning that pronghorn have disappeared from all but a fraction of their original range here in the Eastern Sierra and a great deal of effort has been made to increase their numbers in the Bodie Hills and elsewhere in the region. Should we have to wait for the corrupt agencies that play politics with these species to label them as nearly gone?

    I am curious – what kind of “biologist” are you? Who pays your salary?

     
    • Mark July 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      @HiSierraGal:
      Responses to your thorough statement:

      #1) You are correct, Federal land is for everyone however; that also includes mining companies. The BLM’s mission statement is “To sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the USE and enjoyment of present and future generations.” Please note, USE is the first component of their statement and did you know that the primary source of revenue for the BLM nationwide is oil and gas leases on federal land? Do you know that MOST of the local mining claims around the E Sierra are on Federal/BLM lands and you’re not aware of how many already exist in wilderness areas? That when Death Valley NP was created, Congress specifically EXCLUDED and cherry stemmed in existing mining rights that are current and valid in perpetuity despite the status of the Park? Are you expecting that the U.S. continue to mine other nations, employing their nationals, and send more American money oversees when this nation has an extraordinary amount of mineral wealth that is untapped? If so, that is the quintential definition of NIMBY. And DESPITE the noticeable LOCAL oppostion to the wilderness act, it was still approved by NON-LOCALS in Congress and Southern California, those who AREN’T directly affected. Non-locals telling locals how to use their backyards?…..the wilderness land grab is very similiar to the ownership of local land by the City of LA and telling locals that the water that’s in their backyards ISN’T theirs and that an outside agency regulates our local lives. That being the case, if a Federal agency (by the people) has decided to lift the Bodie’s WSA designation that is a decision by the public….yet the Friends of the Inyo have specifically stated regarding this exact topic that the Bodie Hills WSA designation should be handled at the local level, now I’m confused…..Wilderness designations should be decided upon by the people of the US, unless it’s regarding its elimination? And that should be at the local level? You can’t have it both ways.

      #2) I’m NOT chosing to ignore the “general state of the economy” and never once did, what I stated was that the vocal minority of pro wilderness advocacy’s primary rationale for wilderness was the arguement that wilderness creates tourism and jobs. In this area where tourism is the primary industry there is no proof that wilderness has created a boom in the local economy since its designation; that’s all I stated. I never once tied that to the current economic climate, you did.

      #3) I never realized I needed to “document” the opposition that was readily apparent at the wilderness meetings in Bishop, that you didn’t attend. If I knew five years ago I would be typing this on my computer to you I would’ve have taken pictures of the meeting attendees and taken recordings and emailed them to you. I’m sure Congressman McKeon has those…..but wait, I suppose that the City of Bishop’s and the Inyo County Supervisors resolutions OPPOSING the designations should suffice? Or are you expecting testimonials of the 300+ people who actually stood up at the microphone voicing their opposition for close to 5 hours? Again, you can contact McKeon’s office or find the City and County resolutions opposing them too.

      #4) I’m very aware of the number of exploratory holes being tested within and around the Bodie hills, I’ve seen them myself and they were done in a very environmentally sound fashion.

      #5) You know what SMARA is and that’s great; so then you know that not only will the County be inspecting the site on an annual basis (minimally) but also the CA Office of Mine Reclamation too? And that if a mine is established there will have to be a bond put in place with the County to ensure that reclamation occurs even if the company goes out of business?

      #6) You definitely implied that I was incorrect by stating I might want to “check my facts” and “It is quite clear that you have no idea what you are talking about.” Yet I do know what I’m talking about and I am correct; none of the species you listed earlier are endangered; in fact, numerous groups have attempted to list species as such (Sage Grouse 3 times now) and the evidence is not there….check the USFWS Federal Register notices to see the proof. Additionally, I’ve processed evidence for the Federal Register on T & E species and the sage grouse, pronghorn, and mule deer are alive and well throughout the Great Basin which is a huge gegraphic region and one of the largest deserts in the world. Still all of the species you mentioned are currently hunted under either DFG of USFWS permit.

      #7) I’m a field biologist with a two minors one in Botany and the other in Biotechnology. For the past 10 years I’ve worked strictly as a Field biologist; prior to that I was employed as a biochemist and a chemist. It’s not relevant how I’m paid, but I believe it’s readily apparent I know and have direct experience and therefore standing upon which to make the statements I do.

      Again, Ms. HiSierraGal; until there is a MINING proposal there is nothing to argue and anything regarding gold mining is specious at best. The Letter to the Editor is regarding the status of the WSA of the Bodie Hills, and that’s it. My point is that the WSA has been in place long enough and that the agency tasked with the WSA needs to make a decision, it’s either wilderness or it’s not. The time has come for a decision to be rendered by the BLM and after all the years of its WSA status there should be enough evidence either for or against it.
      Respectfully.

       
  12. hisierragal July 30, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Lot’s of red herrings you are throwing in there. I am quite aware of the issues concerning mining claims on public land even in wilderness. You spend a lot of time trying to tell me things that I already know but you won’t answer a real simple question. But it becomes more and more clear that you believe that “locals” should be the only ones making the decisions as if they were the only owners of the surrounding public land. So you don’t want wilderness in your backyard. Who’s the NIMBY now?

    I am not sure but I believe you may be misrepresenting what has been said by Friends of the Inyo. I believe it was said that WSA designations should be done on a case by case basis rather than a blanket conversion of all WSA lands to extraction and other habitat damaging “use”. If FOI does believe that only “locals” should make the decision I disagree with them too. I also think you may be twisting words and meaning concerning the “wilderness creates jobs” argument. For many years people have come here for the wild places. So, okay – turn those wild places over to more destructive use and the few jobs that may be created (for locals? who knows…) and lose the jobs associated with the wild lands. Will there be any gain? And what about when all the minerals have been extracted?

    I am aware of the facets of the SMARA that you have mentioned. And I have seen a “reclaimed” site. It was very, very quiet. It was different. It was dead. My argument against mining that has not been, in your words, “proposed” is not specious. I think the word “proactive” is more appropriate. I observe. I read. I listen. I learn. Sorry that is so offensive to you and the extractive industries.

    I remember something said by the poet Gary Snyder; “They call us NIMBYs but I say it should not be in anybody’s back yard”.

    Use less. Think more.

    Pronghorn, Sage Grouse and even Mule Deer numbers have declined in the Eastern Sierra. Hunting tags for Sage Grouse and Pronghorn are very, very limited. You can hunt for Sage Grouse for one weekend if you make the draw. Pronghorn are not hunted in Mono County. Tags for the Mule Deer in the X zones are distributed by a lottery. I never, ever claimed that they were listed endangered even though you want to continue to argue that point. But I also noticed that you did not address the political corruption concerning the listing of endangered species that became apparent in the Julie MacDonald case.

    Which brings me to one last point. In this day and age science is all too often being bought and sold. Who pays you is relevant.

     
  13. Mark July 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    I already have wilderness in my backyard……statiscally, California has THE MOST wilderness in the lower 48. DVNP is 98% wilderness and 95% of Inyo County is publicly owned property that will never be developed and Mono County is ~88% publicly owned too. So to say that I don’t want wilderness in my backyard when its all around me (and growing) is just plain wrong.

    Just last week I spoke with a representative from the FOI and they did state exactly that, which is the “Locals” should decide the fate of the Bodie WSA, and not a Congressmen out of Bakersfield (McCarthy?) thus the reason for their website making the case that people should attend the Mono Board of Supervisors meeting on 8/2 when they (supposedly) will vote on a resolution either supporting/opposing the WSA. Also wilderness, while being a tourist draw in general, it doesn’t provide the income and financial stability in terms of employment to create a sustainable economy. Too many people will be employed in menial service oriented positions that won’t significantly boost the areas economy. Mining will provide higher paying jobs to a greater number of locals. Not sure if you were here when Union Carbide closed down in Pine Creek back in 1990 or when Verizon’s service center left to Palmdale two years later, but when both of those companies left town you could walk down the center of Main Street in Bishop on a weekend night because there were so few people in Bishop. The possibility of a gold mine opening (Which has yet to be proposed) will provide the necessary employment for people around Bridgeport and Lee Vining.

    Regarding the T & E species issue, you stated, “I need to check my facts;” when I stated they weren’t listed…..just because a species may no longer be abundant in a specific area doesn’t mean that it needs to mitigated nor that its threatened or endangered; animals move and a given species density and richness may not be present every year in the same area. The latest arguement by those opposed to the WSA is just that, it’ll disrupt the already T and E species of etc, etc…… my point is they aren’t listed and quiet abundant throughout the Western US. The Sage Grouse issue has developed with the Centers for Biological Diversity trying (and Failing) to get it listed; then the attempt was made to have it listed as it own “Distinct species.” DNA analysis was conducted on grouse populations in the Western States and it didn’t meet that test either. Almost every time I’m in the Mono Basin I see a grouse; I’ve even seen them off of Owens River Rd. They are quiet abundant.

    Regarding “politcal corruption” and McDonald; she was only in the FWS for 3 years and it still doesn’t taint the standing of the USFWS.

    Unless you’re a scientist (which I doubt) your statement that science is bought and sold is hearsay and suspect. Especially when it comes to matters regarding public policy.

    respectfully.

    Again, my first paragraph explains how much wilderness is

     
    • hisierragal July 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      Ya know what – I just went to the Friends of the Inyo website and yes, they are encouraging folks to come to the meeting but there is absolutely no statement being made that only “locals” should able to influence this decision.

      And it really is a shame that Mr. Heckman made an incorrect assumption about the meaning of my suggestion that he check his facts on the wildlife issue and he just does not seem to be able to get over it.

       
  14. Mark July 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    The only “Red Hering” here are your comments regarding a mine proposal that has yet to be proposed……the Letter to the Editor is regarding the Bodie Hills WSA and whether or not there should be a vote on its reversal. Such an inordinate amount of time has been spent by you on arguing a non-exsistant mine proposal, until a proposal is made there is nothing to discuss regarding mining, only the legitimacy of whether the Bodie Hills constitute WSA

     
    • hisierragal July 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      While I’m at it I would also like to point out that Mr. Heckman’s alleged conversation with a representative from Friends of the Inyo is also quite clearly “hearsay and suspect”.

       
      • Mark August 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

        Do I really need to document everything I do or say?….however, for giggles I will…..the representative for the FOI was at the Mobil Mart on Thursday July 21, 2011 for the “Buster Blue” show which started at 6pm, the show ended at 9:30PM. This person was carrying a petition and got the band to announce a signing of a petition against the removal of the WSA for the Bodie Hills and wanted attendees to either sign the petition or attend the Mono County BOS meeting on August 2.
        Does that suffice for you? Or do I actually need photographs and a signed declaration?

         
  15. Wayne Deja July 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Mark….Trying to figure out YOUR agenda to why you seem so against protecting the Bodie Hills,and the ghost town of Bodie….because they accually are one in the same.

     
    • Mark July 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      Bodie State Park is not part of the area covered by the WSA. Please examine the aforementioned website as to the actual location of the WSA vs. the State Park.

       
      • Wayne Deja August 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

        Gosh,Mark…I didn’t mean it literally…..When I,and many others are heading up HWY.395,and make that turn to head up to Bodie,many of us want that whole area,including the 13 mile drive into the ghost town left alone.No heavy equiptment to avoid along the way,no fenced-in destructive mining operation to have to look at and deal with.But you know what,it’s all a mute point anyway…..judging from most of these posts….cause it ain’t gonna happen…I don’t think some out of state big-shot company and CEO is gonna come into Mono County,and into one of the most beautiful,prestine areas in the Country and turn things upside-down for a maybe quick-hit profit,and then abandon the mess they would no doubt leave that would scar the area for years to come.It just ain’t gonna happen…

         
  16. hisierragal July 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Mr. Heckman’s statement that “Mining will provide higher paying jobs to a greater number of locals.” is hearsay and suspect. To use an interesting vernacular: it sounds like he has been drinking the kool-aide.

    If the mining is such a non-issue why is he arguing so vehemently in favor of mining?

    And the “local” thing……..I get the impression he lives in Inyo County. If we go by his rules he has no say in what happens to public land in Mono County anyway.

    As to the wildlife issue – it seems he believes it is okay to eliminate a species from one location since it exists somewhere else. I disagree.

    I have not seen any rules to tell me I am limited to discussing only exactly what was in the letter to the editor. His ongoing attempt to dictate what I should be talking about comes across as something other than open discourse and points in the direction of a vested interest.

    I have a degree in Biology. I am a former teacher. I taught life science. I still think that horse he is on may be a little bit high for him.

     
    • Mark August 2, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      Actually, I’m not arguing in favor or against, all I’ve said is that until a proposal is proposed, there is nothing to discuss regarding mining issues.
      I commend your dedication to teaching the next generation, but having a degree in a particular field is one thing and being a teacher was your profession; not a field biologist dealing with T & E species, mitigation measures, Federal and State permitting, and incidental take permits as is currently mine. I’m well versed in the nuances of habitat destruction, mitigation, and wildlife issues in the Eastern Sierra.

      “The rules” you reference are regarding logic and not throwing in “red herrings;” again I reiterate…..the only red herring is your assumption that mining will occur if the WSA is removed, when no such proposal has been made. You, along with others are making a blanket assumption that removal of the WSA will automatically trigger mining in the Bodie Hills when there is nothing on record that indicates that. The topic at hand is the status of the Bodie Hills WSA, not mining.

      Wilderness is not the panacea that this area needs considering there is already an inordinate amount of wilderness in the Eastern Sierra. Wilderness only excludes access to citizens and makes it such that only a select few can venture into a specific area.

      Additionally, I NEVER said that it’s OK to eliminate a species; I said because wildlife is mobile, a given species’ richness and density may not be present in the same location every year and that doesn’t mean it’s threatened or endangered.

      What this discussion has shown me is that having a logical fact-based discussion on the legitimacy of the WSA of the Bodie hills is virtually impossible with advocates of wilderness. You’ve made erroneous and brash assumptions; illogical arguments, and continued to distort every word I’ve written while adding in venomous vitriol. The one thing that I have learned from this is that the Wilderness advocates in the Eastern Sierra will stop at nothing to force the public into accepting more wilderness into already overburdened system by distorting facts and utilizing every scare tactic in their tool chest. Thank you “hisierragal” you’ve just galvanized me into action, where I was once a sideline viewer who really didn’t care one way or another regarding wilderness, you have forced my hand and I will now vehemently oppose any wilderness designation and WSA in the Eastern Sierra. Thank you.

       
  17. HH August 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Are they upgrading the road to Bodie in order to support the mining trucks?

     
    • Wayne Deja August 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Oh,yea…And while they’re at it,let’s add a couple stop lights,and cross-walks….maybe a gas station and a quick stop market along the way….and a sporting goods store.

       
  18. HH August 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    sorry to disagree, hisierragal, but Heckman isn’t drinking the KoolAid, he’s the one trying to pass it out and get US to drink it.

     
  19. esfotoguy August 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    No- its long needed maintenance.

     
    • Wayne Deja August 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      The tough road getting there is all part of it…especially the last 3 miles….How it is supposed to be….kinda adding to the mystic of the “olden days”,don’t you think?

       
      • Mark August 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

        The dirt road section of 270 is actually within the State Park boundaries and was purposely not paved for that reason.

         
  20. Martin Prince August 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    It depends on your statistics. California does indeed have a lot of wilderness, but we also have a huge population. In fact, as a ratio of acres of wilderness to people, California has the least amount of wilderness of all the mountain west states, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Utah all beat our ratio of .4 acres per person. If we doubled our wilderness to over 30 million acres, we would approach New Mexico’s ratio.  We would need to more than triple the acreage to over 47 million acres to reach Nevada’s ratio.  If every Californian was crammed onto 1 acre, and every other acre was designated wilderness, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska would still have more wilderness acres per person.  If California was as large as the entire United States, including Alaska and all recognized territories, and all but one acre was designated wilderness, that would be a state with 99.9999999996% wilderness, we still would have a per person wilderness ratio only about 75% what Alaska has today.  “Statistically” our wilderness areas don’t compare to our massive population.
     
    Do the math yourself, all my numbers came from Wikipedia and the Wilderness Information Network.

     
    • Mark August 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

      …..but California still has the most wilderness in the U.S., outside of Alaska.

       
      • Wayne Deja August 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

        And that is a good thing…..

         
  21. HH August 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    My comment about the road upgrade for mining trucks was meant to be facetious and cynical yet somewhat questioning in a conspiracy nut kind of way.

     

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