Forest Service reveals ‘Wilderness’ areas

By Deb Murphy

The public got a sneak peak at six areas in the White and Sierra Nevada mountains that may be recommended as Wilderness areas Tuesday evening at the Inyo National Forest offices in Bishop.

Those six areas include:

Wilderness 002

Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta

  • Two additions to the White Mountain Wilderness Area, 7,570 acres in two sections that extend into Inyo County, including the Blanco Mountain roadless area for the western section and the Boundary Peak roadless area for the eastern section;
  • Deep Springs South, 11,840 acres, an L-shaped portion of the Soldier Canyon roadless area;
  • Deep Springs North, 16,830 acres in the eastern portion of the Birch Creek roadless area;
  • South Sierra Wilderness addition, 18,150 acres, bisected by Haiwee Pass with Tunawee Canyon near its southern border and
  • Glass Mountains, 17,440 acres, a large portion of the Glass Mountains roadless area.

The event was described as an open house with no official public comment period. However, following Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta’s presentation, the approximately 30 in attendance had a chance to review maps and question Forest Service staff.

“The staff looked objectively at the Forest,” Armenta said, noting that Wilderness designations can be an emotional topic. Armenta outlined what constituted “Wilderness character:” untrammeled, natural, undeveloped ecosystems without evidence of human development, offering solitude and having unique qualities.

The process also included filtering out areas that would present issues if managed as Wilderness. One of those filters was the presence of endangered or threatened species. Armenta explained that sage grouse habitat was not included because of the extensive management efforts within that habitat.

The same applied to wild horse herd areas in the White Mountains. Herd management would require activities banned within Wilderness. “We don’t want to tie our hands,” he said. Other filters included the presence of motorized trails and past activities, like mining, that had degraded Wilderness qualities.

As part of the Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule, the office was required to identify areas that would qualify as Wilderness. The next step is the development of a Draft Environmental Impact Study expected to be published this fall. The DEIS will include a 90-day comment period. Details on the proposed acreage are on the Inyo National Forest website at

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33 Responses to Forest Service reveals ‘Wilderness’ areas

  1. John June 18, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    After the way the NPS handled themselves during the gov shutdown they’ve been on the top of my S_ list ever since.

    Canceling the bike event in DV was also BS.

  2. Trouble June 18, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    Low-inyo What does Obama got against our dogs?

    I love my guns, money , unions and anything fast. What’s that make me?

  3. Low-Inyo June 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    I just now read an article about a company called Aramark Corp. taking over the services and concession stands at Yosemite National Park,taking it over from Delaware North Corp….but when I began reading into the comments being written,maybe some are right about Yosemite….One or two people making comments on the site were saying it’s actually our current Administration attempting to close down the park…so now it’s not only trying to take our guns,public land and our dogs away from us,but also trying to take away our enjoyment of visiting National and State Parks by closing them down !!

    • Ken Warner June 17, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

      Silly; groundless Republican propaganda that only the gullible or like minded will accept as fact.

  4. Low-Inyo June 15, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    erik simpson….Your site to visit contradicts what you say in your post….dogs ARE allowed in campgrounds….dogs ARE allowed in the most popular area people choose to visit,Yosemite Valley….dogs ARE allowed in the developed areas…..common sense tells you domesticated animals shouldn’t be allowed to run free and possibly spread diseases to wildlife in the way-off trails and wilderness areas…or in group campgrounds.Common sense tells you that it wouldn’t be a good idea to take your dog on those steep rock-climbs where the thousands of visitors a day use the ropes to go up and down the cliff faces… I’ve been to Yosemite a few times and NEVER have I been to an area where signs are posted stating “no dogs allowed”or had a park ranger tell me I couldn’t be where I’m at because of my dog…albiet,the places I’ve gone weren’t the steep,far-off trails or all-day hike areas….Let’s not try to “spin it” and say the Government and NPS,if they had their way,dogs wouldn’t be allowed into the majority of the areas in the park or not allowed in the park at all….No none is trying to take ones rights away to vacation with their dogs if they choose…

  5. Low-Inyo June 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    wagonrd….P.S……ANOTHER clearing-up of your blanket-statement stating “National Parks are closed to dogs”……not true…most National Parks allow dogs on trails, including Yosemite and other near-by National Parks…with restrictions on certain trails,probably those with heavy foot-use and family-friendly easy access trails….not ALL trails,and certainly not closed to people that happen to own dogs,as your post suggests…I have two dogs,and have been to National Parks more than a few times in my life,and never once have I been turned away at entrance-gates when the gate ranger notices my pets in the front seat….or asked if I happen to own dogs, even if they aren’t with me at the time,and then turned away even if they’re not with me at the time.Now if I get to my campsite or hiking trail or fishing spot and let my dogs run off-leash,maybe a good chance a Ranger,would remind me of the leash-law….but doubt he’d tell me to leave the park.But that would never happen,cause I follow the leash-laws,not only in National Parks but anywhere else in the United States….except for fenced-in dog-parks……just sayin’.

    • erik simpson June 15, 2015 at 8:14 am #

      Before anybody gets disappointed when they arrive in Yosemite and expect to be able to walk any trails with their dog(s), be advised that Low-inyo’s information above is very wrong. There are a FEW places where you can have a dog on leash in Yosemite, but they are very few. The NPS is generally negative about the presence of dogs, with a few exceptions in newer parks with historical precedence for dogs. Yosemite in particular, and most other California parks (including most state parks) is NOT dog friendly. Check online before you visit.

      • Joe June 15, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

        I was just walking around Bodie (State Park) with my dog. There were at least three other dogs too and the rangers said nothing. Come to think of it, I’ve had a dog in tow at a number of other state parks along the coast with zero problems from employees. There are a lot more jerk humans out there that need attention more than a few hairy companions.

        • Low-Inyo June 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

          Joe….Do you mean your trying to tell us our NPS and Government AREN’T trying to take our rights away by not allowing dogs in Bodie ? ….what ?……Actually,what you say is very true….I’ve been to Bodie State Park with my Cocker Spaniol named “Chloeno” a couple times without a problem of being arrested or told I couldn’t have her there.I think what might be happening is people are getting confused and thinking their “rights” to have an UNLEASHED dog running wild and free is what can be frowned upon by Park Officials….or maybe just ANOTHER way to try and bash our Administration and President Obama…maybe trying to state they want to take our DOGS away at the same time they’re taking our GUNS away …killing two birds with one stone.

  6. Low-Inyo June 14, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    wagonrd…..Think your being sarcastic there,but if not,NO ONE is talking about closing all public land to everyone.(again,FOX NEWS talk,but not the truth)…..just trying to protect the few remaining true Wilderness areas from the ORV’ers destructive,abusive,trashy,me,me,me and no one else matters,man or animal, attitude and nature…..which isn’t “a few” of them,but a majority of them,especially those coming up from SoCal.

  7. wagonrd June 14, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    It’s always the few who abuse the priviledge of using public land who, by their actions, force closure to the many. Every where you go there will be a motorcycle rut going straight up a hill, campsites will be littered with trash and trailer holding tanks dumped on the ground. The few with vicious dogs….and their refusal to pick up dog poop..have closed national parks to us dog owners with friendly dogs. Any cabin in the National forest gets vandalized and shot up. Hunters with 30 round bannana clips in their Ruger 22’s slaughter the Chukkars and Sage Grouse. The only solution is to close public lands to everyone. And this inexorable march is going on and will continue.

  8. Erich June 13, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    The forest service is designating wilderness areas, not taking them away from anyone. If you look at the maps, you’ll see that the areas designated have few if any roads and are characterized by lack of development. Roads are not being removed here..and there are several roads that are carved out of the areas to maintain access to the areas being considered. And at the end, it will be congress that approves it all.

  9. Ken Warner June 13, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    I think we could use fewer people on the planet. However that happens it will be messy.

    As for Agenda 21 — it’s little more than an academic exercise:

    Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.[1] It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st Century. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.

  10. Badfinger39 June 13, 2015 at 5:55 am #

    “Agenda 21” what’s next, Depopulation with the looming IranWar, China(Sprattly Islands War) american kids will be shipped off to be blood sacrificed in the Wars, All so the Elite can get more and more power and Control “Never Let a Good Crisis go to waste” Hahahaha

  11. wagonrd June 13, 2015 at 5:37 am #

    It is the goal of the conservationists to make it a felony to drive off the pavement. They have been successful in this endeavor and will never cease. But, that’s OK, we hikers can trek in the fringes of the wilderness, and there’s akways the Mall

    • Low-Inyo June 13, 2015 at 11:00 am #

      wagonrd…What you say might be seen on FOX NEWS and friends,but it’s FAR from the truth.No organization wants or demands no driving on the designated dirt roads.The problem is most ORV’ers NOT wanting to stay on the already-there passages and roads.And as far as “hiking on the fringes of the wilderness”,Again,might be said and seen on “Hannity” when he’s trying his best to say our current Administration is trying to take away everyones rights to public land,but AGAIN,not true…..You can hike anywhere you want,whenever and where-ever,for as long as you want in the wilderness areas..just pick up your own trash and not expect others to do it for you..and leave your motorized “boy-toys”in your “man-cave” back home when your doing it..that’s all we’re asking.Is that too much to ask ?

  12. Sean June 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    Does making an area wilderness impact what hunting can be done in that area? Lets hear what some local hunters think about these area designations. I think hunters use these areas more than anyone.

    IMO making roadless areas wilderness is not a problem as long as it in no way restricts current uses (like hunting). Making areas wilderness just to keep Friends of the Inyo employed pushing rocks around hillsides is poor governing and a waste of money.

    • Low-Inyo June 13, 2015 at 4:38 am #

      Sean….Closing areas to ORV destruction IMPROVES the hunting areas,unless your one of the lazy “hunters” that like to drive around looking for their game.If you hunt the old-fashion way,and the way hunting is supposed to be…on foot,without a vehicle and a 12 pack of Bud,hunters should love having their hunting grounds closed to reckless,destructive off roaders and their “boy-toys”.

      • Sean June 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

        @Low-Inyo – So you can hunt in wilderness areas? What exactly do you hunt? How do you pack out your meat?

        • Low-Inyo June 14, 2015 at 4:41 am #

          Sean…I’m no longer a hunter,but when I was,even though I had access to dirt roads,I didn’t ORV into the area….or out.1986 bagged a deer behind Volcanic Butte near Devil’s Gate north of Bridgeport and packed it out….the way your supposed to do it,unless you got a horse to help out,which I didn’t..not like this day and age where the Inyo “hunters” seem to either “hunt” outside the alfalfa gates waiting in their trucks for their game to arrive to THEM,sneak around behind a church after hearing an Elk bugle the previous night,then when it appears the following night,poach it,or ,if unable to fill out a tag,just fill it out in your back yard when a game animal might appear that’s been in the area for years….sadly,those are ALL things there that happened within miles of where I live in the past year or two…

        • easystrider June 14, 2015 at 6:35 am #

          Hunting has been a continual process in “the wilderness” in this region for over 12,000 years. For the first 11,850 years without motorized vehicles.

    • John Barton June 14, 2015 at 5:52 am #

      Sean- I hunt wilderness areas mostly in Wyoming but have several times here on the east side. In Wyoming I use pack stock to haul everything in and out. For an elk this is necessary because unlike a deer, elk would require lots of trips in and out on foot or you have some good friends with you to help. Two years ago I backpacked in over Paiute Pass to hunt D7 and harvested a decent buck. I boned it out and hauled out about 40 lbs of meat on my back. The fewer the people usually means more and bigger animals. Wilderness provides game and non-game animals alike a safer place to grow and reproduce so that when they migrate there are more of them for people unwilling or unable to get into the wilderness to hunt. I guess you can label me a redneck who appreciates wilderness.

  13. Tinner June 11, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Too bad the few always ruin it for the rest of us, always have, always will. In this case its, I think, its SOME of those (meatheads) in their monster trucks and motorcycles having no respect for the damage they do to the land.

    • Mr. Casper June 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

      Tinner, this isn’t about the OHV meatheads, as they wouldn’t be able to find these wilderness areas on an engraved map. Monster trucks usually don’t venture far from the camp cooler and are prone to breaking down in remote areas. Any motorcyclists passing through are locals with the knowledge and en route to further destinations.

      This is about the many (city meatheads) ruining it for a few.

      How would one calculate the environmental damage of a city like Los Angeles, or San Fransisco compared to a town like Bishop? You might find there is no comparison. But the end result is lets close down more Inyo mountains and forests to save the environment. We demand quiet spaces! Mr. Casper

  14. Josh Rhodes June 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    I have lived in the Owens valley all my life. I went to the roadless meeting a few years ago trying to stop the friends of the inyo from taking all the roads out of our public lands. It’s funny they call them public lands but if you are not able to hike in you are out of luck. My step father had emphysema and could not walk but a few feet at a time so every road that got closed was one more place he could not go see. I wonder why the ADA does not step in here?? Mr. Armenta what about all the people you are stopping from seeing there public lands.

    • Neighborhood Snitch June 11, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

      Wilderness is a precious resource regardless of one’s ability to hike in. Emphysema is a terrible condition, but often a result of a poor life choice: smoking. If we make everything available to everyone who have made a poor life choices, there would be little left for those of us who have lived healthy lives. Does that make sense?

      • with in reason June 12, 2015 at 11:11 am #

        hey snitch,
        You are kidding yes! So with your thinking we should but this guys father in a pasture and forget about him.

        The FS as well as the wilderness folks are taking the wilderness too far in this region. They keep taking more land. before you know it wilderness will back up to city limits.

      • Josh Rhodes June 12, 2015 at 11:39 am #

        God for bid that something does not happen to you so you can’t walk. Maybe you could feel for people that can’t no matter what caused there inability to be able the hije in to public land that is only public to folks that can walk.

        • Low-Inyo June 12, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

          Josh Rhodes…..In such a case there should be exceptions made for them and their families…kinda like handicap stickers in vehicle windows…but problem is,if Wilderness areas aren’t designated to protect the land and wildlife,the ones that abuse the most will find ways to get their feet in the door,much like with the prop that allowed medical marijuana to those chronically ill but was abused by those with asthma and hang-nails to be able to purchase….Some ALWAYS find ways to do what they please.We used to call them “slicksters”……always finding a way to get their way ……As with this one,some finding ways to ORV wherever they want to ORV.

    • Mr. Casper June 11, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks Josh for trying. It is hard to compete when the road closers are paid (by tax dollars) to go out and persuade the USFS to close it off.

      Because the lands are public no one cares about the locals who chose to live here or those with mobility issues. Instead, it’s about the greater good, set aside more wilderness and close roads so city dwellers can sleep better at night knowing they’ve restricted something.

      At least the road closers are passionate, they care about what they accomplish. It is tough to measure what the expense is. In the meantime, get in shape, hike, bike, and get those who can’t into rigs to enjoy what is left. Mr. Casper

  15. Low-Inyo June 11, 2015 at 6:33 am #

    Who will be the first to say not only is the current administration trying to take EVERYONES guns away,but now also trying to take all the forest land away too.

    • Mark June 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

      No me, designating land as wilderness is an excellent way to protect it.

      However guns are the best why to protect your home.

    • Trouble June 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

      McDonalds and Starbuck’s will be the only place our grand kids will be allowed to go someday. Hey, at least they’ll be allowed to smoke a joint on the way!


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