Newsletter Archive

Southwest Landscape 4                                 Patrick Dengate (oil on panel, 20″ x 16″)

July 23, 2011

Dear CalUWild friends —

Summer is moving along quickly, though it is coming slowly to the higher elevations of the West. There is high runoff from the snowmelt, and there have been a number of fatalities in Yosemite and elsewhere, so if you’re out and about, please exercise extra caution. Remember: It’s wild out there!

Congress is still in session and the budget battles rage on. House Republicans continue their assault on the environment, both by trying to cut funding and introducing legislation. We need to make sure that the Senate doesn’t approve any bad legislation from the House and that the White House doesn’t sign anything that might make its way there that sets back protection for the environment.

There’s not a lot to share this month, but there are a few things to be aware of this, so please take a moment to write a letter or make a phone call.

The artwork for this month’s Update was just painted by Pat Dengate, an artist in the Detroit area and one of the founders of Michigan Friends of Redrock Wilderness, part of the network of Utah state activist groups. The Cubist-influenced view is looking south from the Green River Overlook in Canyonlands National Park, the same view as in May’s Update photo. Pat’s work has appeared in SUWA’s Redrock Wilderness, Wild Earth, and in other publications and books. Visit his website at

As always, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by email, phone (415-752-3911) or US Mail (P.O. Box 210474, San Francisco, CA  94121-0474).

Thanks for your continued interest and efforts!

1.   Redrock Bill Cosponsor Update
           (ACTION ITEM)

2.   Bodie Hills Update
           (ACTION ITEM)

3.   Wilderness Study Area Release
           Hearing in Congress on Tuesday
           (ACTION ITEM)


1.   Redrock Bill Cosponsor Update
           (ACTION ITEM)

There was good news on the Utah cosponsor front this month, as we added four California House members to the roster:

          Doris Matsui (D-5)
          Barbara Lee (D-9)
          Judy Chu (D-32)
          Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-34)

They join the following from California:

          Mike Thompson (D-01)
          Lynn Woolsey (D-06)
          George Miller (D-07)
          Jerry McNerney (D-11)
          Jackie Speier (D-12)
          Pete Stark (D-13)
          Mike Honda (D-15)
          Zoe Lofgren (D-16)
          Sam Farr (D-17)
          Lois Capps (D-23)
          Howard Berman (D-28)
          Adam Schiff (D-29)
          Laura Richardson (D-37)
          Grace Napolitano (D-38)
          Bob Filner (D-51)

          Sen. Barbara Boxer (D)

Please send a note of thanks to your representative if he or she is on the list above.

The list of those we’d still like to see sign on is getting shorter. If your representative is on the following list, please contact him or her, asking them to cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.:

          John Garamendi (D-10)
          Anna Eshoo (D-14)
          Brad Sherman (D-27)
          Henry Waxman (D-30)
          Xavier Becerra (D-31)
          Karen Bass (D-33)
          Maxine Waters (D-35)
          Linda Sanchez (D-39)
          Loretta Sanchez (D-47)
          Susan Davis (D-53)

Contact information may be found on representatives’ pages at

2.   Bodie Hills Update
           (ACTION ITEM)

Efforts are continuing to preserve the Bodie Hills, east of Yosemite and north of Mono Lake. The BLM has designated several Wilderness Study Areas in the Hills, and Bodie State Park, California’s most famous ghost town is located there. The area is rich in wildlife and wildflowers and scenic beauty.

The Bodie Hills have also been long sought after for their potential mineral wealth. Proposals for new gold mines have cropped up several times over the years, and there is a proposal now, as we’ve been reporting for the last year or so. The closest town, Bridgeport, does not have a well-developed tourist industry, although hunters and anglers have long used it as a base. The economy is struggling, and a gold mine looks attractive to many. The Bodie Hills, however, are more important for their ecological and recreational values than for minerals.

Last year the local congressman, Buck McKeon (R-25), introduced legislation that would have released the Bodie WSA from its protected status. In September the Mono County Board of Supervisors considered a resolution in support of Rep. McKeon’s bill, but it failed to get a majority of the votes. Rep. McKeon’s bill did not to pass the House.

Now there is new legislation in Congress affecting the Bodie Hills. This time the bill is H.R. 1581, the huge WSA release bill (see ITEM 3), introduced by California Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-22), and about which we wrote last month.

On Tuesday August 2, the Mono County supervisors will be considering two resolutions, one supporting the McCarthy bill and a second supporting the release of the Bodie WSA.

In September, the supervisors received hundreds of letters from concerned citizens opposed to the gold mine proposal and to release of the WSA. The supervisors now need to hear from friends of the area again.

Please send a letter asking them to oppose the resolution supporting the Bodie WSA release as well as oppose the resolution supporting H.R. 1581. Make your letters as personal as possible. If you have visited the area, let them know that. Tell them what was special to you.

More background information can be found on the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership’s website.

Letters should be sent to:

          Mono County Board of Supervisors
          P.O. Box 715
          Bridgeport, CA  93517

          fax:   760-932-5531

If you happen to be in the Eastern Sierra on August 2, or just need an excuse to visit, please attend the supervisors meeting in the historic courthouse. The meeting time has not been announced yet. Contact Drew at Friends of the Inyo for details as the time gets closer.

As mentioned last month the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, of which CalUWild is a member, is hosting various hikes throughout the Bodie Hills in the Eastern Sierra. The dates are:

          July 31, August 7, & September 4.

All trips will meet at 8 a.m. at the parking lot in front of the Forest Service Visitor Center to carpool. These will be all day hikes. Visit Friends of the Inyo’s website or for specific information on trips, or contact for more info on the trips.

On July 24 and August 14, there will be public presentations discussing the issues facing the Bodie Hills, so if you happen to be in the area on one of those dates, you might attend. Programs will take place at the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining, on the main street (U.S. 395), starting at 5 p.m. both days.

Contact Drew Foster at Friends of the Inyo in Lee Vining for more information on any of the above.

          phone:   805-405-7577

3.   Wilderness Study Area Release
           Hearing in Congress on Tuesday
           (ACTION ITEM)

There will be a hearing on Tuesday, July 26, of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests & Public Lands of the House Natural Resources Committee on H.R. 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011. We mentioned the bill and its Senate companion, S. 1087, by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in last month’s Update. The bill would take away interim protections for more than 60 million acres of wildlands around the country, including more than 1.3 million acres of BLM lands in Utah, and 4.4 million acres in California, managed by the Forest Service or BLM. It is one of the biggest wholesale attacks on the nation’s wildlands since the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964.

Please contact your representatives and senators and ask them to oppose the bill.

Only one representative from California sits on the subcommittee, John Garamendi (D-10). If you live in his district, please call his office right away, urging him to attend the hearing and oppose the bill.

          phone:    202-225-1880 (DC)
                           925-932-8899 (Walnut Creek)