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Central California Public Affairs
Release Date: 05/01/09
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-3101  
News Release No. Ca-CC-09-62

BLM Releases EA on Proposed Bodie Hills Mineral Exploration

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated a 30-day public review and comment period for an environmental assessment (EA) on a proposed mineral exploration project in the Bodie Hills, Mono County, Calif.

Cougar Gold LLC, Denver, Colo., has submitted a proposal to conduct mineral exploration drilling activities on public lands near Paramount Mine in the Bodie Hills.  The proposed exploration project would occur in the Bodie Wilderness Study Area (WSA).  In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, BLM is preparing an EA to evaluate the environmental impacts of the company's proposal.

"The current proposal includes substantial changes from the original plan of operations submitted by the company based on comments received during the initial public scoping process," said Steve Nelson, acting field manager for the BLM Bishop Field Office.

In response to public comments, Cougar Gold LLC has scaled back the proposed drilling activities from 31 core holes at 27 sites to 11 core holes at eight sites.  The company has also eliminated any helicopter-based operations.  All drilling would be truck based and occur on existing routes within the WSA.  The BLM is evaluating the potential impacts of both 24-hour per-day operations and 12-hour per-day operations in the EA.

The EA is available for public review on the web at  Comments on the EA should be submitted to BLM by May 30, 2009.  Comments may be submitted by mail to the Bishop Field Office, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, Bishop, CA 93514, Attn: Cheryl Seath; or by email to

"We recognize that proposed mineral exploration activities in the Bodie WSA raises public concerns, and encourage the public to review both the EA and the legal requirements set by Congress," he said.  Official legal and policy documents are also available on the BLM website at

For further information, please contact Cheryl Seath, BLM geologist, at (760) 872-5024 or Joe Pollini, BLM supervisory resource management specialist, at (760) 872-5020.


Central California Public Affairs   5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762  

Last updated: 05-13-2009