Protecting Conglomerate Mesa
Conglomerate Mesa deserves to be permanently protected for its conservation values. This is our public land!
Acknowledgment of Ancestral Homelands
Conglomerate Mesa is the ancestral homeland of the Shoshone (Newe), Paiute (Numuu), and Timbisha Native Americans. To this day, Conglomerate Mesa and the surrounding region is utilized by Nuumu, Newe and Timbisha Tribal Nations from Payahuunadü or Panawe (commonly known as the Owens Valley) for exploration, hunting, and pinyon nut gathering. This acknowledgment is a recognition of the original inhabitants of the Eastern Sierra and California Desert, and is intended as a show of respect for Native peoples and to surface the often-suppressed colonial history of our country.
Conglomerate Mesa Coalition Purpose Statement
“We stand united against all mining activities on Conglomerate Mesa, including the Mojave Gold Project by K2 Gold & Mojave Precious Metals Inc. This coalition and our group of supporters believe that Conglomerate Mesa deserves to be permanently protected for current and future generations. We need your help to keep the impacts of mining from changing these landscapes forever.”
Why Protect Conglomerate Mesa?
“Nestled between Death Valley National Park, Malpais Mesa Wilderness, Inyo Mountains Wilderness, and the Owens Lake bed, is Conglomerate Mesa. These 22,500 acres of nearly roadless BLM terrain are unconfined, rugged, and brimming with rich desert life and cultural history. Conglomerate Mesa is part of the ancestral homeland of the contemporary Timbisha Shoshone Tribe and Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe and is still visited for pinyon nut harvesting. The mesa is home to numerous sensitive plant species, including the threatened Joshua trees and the rare Inyo rock daisy. Visitors enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, photography, stargazing and more in this intact desert landscape.
Where is Conglomerate Mesa?
Conglomerate Mesa is one mile northwest of Death Valley National Park and five miles east of the community of Keeler. Conglomerate Mesa is visible from a number of popular high points like Cerro Gordo Peak and Mt. Whitney! Most people visit the Mesa by traveling down Saline Valley Rd., past the Nelson Range, and then following a wash road that leads to ‘Toms Camp.
Conglomerate Mesa is surrounded by a network of protected public lands like Death Valley National Park, Inyo Mountains Wilderness, and Malpais Mesa Wilderness. Mining at Conglomerate Mesa has the potential to impact these surrounding landscapes that are beloved by many.
What Threatens Conglomerate Mesa?
Conglomerate Mesa has been threatened by gold mining activities since the 1980s. Today we have seen 10 different companies have pursued gold exploration at Conglomerate Mesa with varying levels of impact. Most notably, in the late 1990s, mining giant BHP plowed a road into Conglomerate Mesa and conducted the most extensive drilling in the area to date. Then in 2018, a company called Silver Standard Resources (SSR) obtained an approved helicopter access only exploration plan from the Bureau of Land Management Ridgecrest Field Office. But after gaining this approval, SSR abandoned the project.
In 2020 K2 Gold, a gold exploration company based in Vancouver, CN., became the 11th company to pursue mineral development at Conglomerate Mesa.