Former Island in Mono Lake Now Public Land
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR/BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California News Release: July 27, 2007 Contact: David Christy (916) 985-4474 CA-CC-07-58
Cedar Hill Is Now Public Land
Through a generous donation, the Bureau of Land Management has acquired nearly 4,000 acres in Mono County. Portions of these new public lands may be accessed from State Highway 167 via existing, primitive roads and on foot or horseback. Long ago an island in prehistoric Mono Lake, Cedar Hill is located northeast of Lee Vining and borders BLM-managed lands and wilderness study areas in the Bodie Hills and eastern Mono Basin. The west side of the property adjoins the Toiyabe National Forest. The Wilderness Land Trust acquired the 3,748-acre property from Mel Arthur in 2006 and recently donated it to the BLM, said Bill Dunkelberger, BLM Bishop Field Office manager. While Arthur had originally planned to develop the property, he was excited to find a solution to create a lasting legacy of conservation. “Cedar Hill is an integral part of a unique mountain range that contains important sagebrush steppe, riparian, and meadow habitats, supporting sage grouse, mule deer, pronghorn, waterfowl and other wildlife; and it is a critical part of the visual backdrop to the Mono Basin scenic area” Dunkelberger said. The entire area contains other high quality resources, including nationally significant historic and prehistoric cultural resources, and opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation opportunities. BLM’s management theme for the area, which now includes Cedar Hill, prescribes protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat and scenic values and providing opportunities for dispersed recreation. A public celebration of the acquisition will take place September 8, at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining.