I commented several weeks ago during your deliberation of the proposed mining operation from Cougar Gold. Mr. Hazard’s recent proposal acquiescing to Cougar Gold’s request for the release (albeit a portion) of the Bodie WSA compels me to provide additional comment.
I respectfully offer the same point of view from my February 15, 2011 letter:
Cougar Gold should submit its plans to BLM and proceed like every other mining company, and not be granted special favors by Congress or the Board of Supervisors such as support for release of the Bodie Wilderness Study Area. Cougar Gold has grandfathered rights to conduct exploration within the WSA and should be willing to abide by the rules and regulations in place to protect this area while the company is conducting exploration. Without a full, detailed disclosure of the manner in which they plan to conduct actual mining operations, or whether they intend to sell the entitlements they are seeking to the highest bidder, Mono County should not do anything to grease the skids towards forever changing the wild aesthetic of Bodie.
In addition, the most important lesson all of us have learned during the spirited debates we participate in regarding Eastside affairs is the need to carefully consider the long-term, often-times irreversible consequences of decisions made in haste. Mr. Hazard has, in the past, demonstrated a willingness to bring all stakeholders to the table and provide genuine opportunities to review and reflect upon all points of view before any action is taken. This press for action is highly out of character; within his own proposal, he acknowledges displeasure with fast-tracking such a contentious issue.
I respectfully ask that all of our Supervisors not support a proposal that does not represent the best interests of Mono County, and will only set a precedent allowing seated or future Supervisors to fast-track equally contentious issues.
Thank you for your time in considering my input, and sincerely,
Access Art & Business Center
437 Old Mammoth Road, Suite C
P.O. Box 70
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546