Canadian company K2 Gold, through its subsidiary Mojave Precious Metals, has had its eye on the pristine “Island in the Sky” that is Conglomerate Mesa, a majestic Joshua Tree haven sacred to Tribal peoples in Southern Inyo County since before recorded time.
Previously, based on public concerns expressed in more than 23,000 comments submitted to the Bureau of Land Management in 2021, about the exploratory drilling K2 Gold proposed to do on Conglomerate Mesa, the BLM determined that a more thorough analysis of impacts was warranted.
This week, in an official news release, the Ridgecrest BLM Field Office announced the formal opening of a 60-day public comment period (beginning today, Aug. 16, and continuing through Oct. 16) on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for K2 Gold’s mining proposal “modification,” which would involve the building of 2.6 miles of brand-new roads and 1.1 miles of overland travel routes to access 30 different drill sites, and the drilling of 120 boreholes on Conglomerate Mesa. The total impact is estimated to be up to 15 acres, more than 60 times as much as K2 Gold’s previous exploration activities.
The open comment period on the EIS provides an excellent opportunity for you to let the BLM know that you do not want to see K2 Gold devastate Conglomerate Mesa simply to make a profit. Conglomerate Mesa is worth more than gold!
By commenting, the BLM says, you can “identify issues, suggest alternatives, or provide information for potential consideration in the environmental impact statement.”
What Can I Do?
Make your voice heard! If you love Conglomerate Mesa, don’t waste this pivotal moment to protect a truly irreplaceable Eastern Sierra desert landscape.
3 Easy Steps to Submitting Comments by the Oct. 16 Deadline:
1) Review our website to learn more about the unique and important values that make Conglomerate Mesa special.
2) Use this information to inspire your own written comments that advocate for protecting Conglomerate Mesa. Remember, introduce yourself, share your connection to the area, and advocate for conservation in your own words!
Some of the values you might want to highlight include:
Conglomerate Mesa is a Refuge for Sensitive and Rare Plants and Animals:
A large, thriving, Joshua Tree forest is successfully reproducing on and adjacent to the Mesa. Because of climate change, Joshua Trees will likely disappear from Joshua Tree National Park this century; therefore, the presence of hundreds of baby and juvenile Joshua Trees at the higher altitudes of Conglomerate Mesa provides hope.
Plants endemic to the area, such as the Inyo Rock Daisy, recently accepted for listing under the California Endangered Species Act, and the Badger Thread Plant, just discovered in 2019, are extremely vulnerable.
Mule deer, mountain lions, coyotes, roadrunners, raptors, and many other birds, rodents, and reptiles inhabit the Mesa. It is their home, their castle.
Geological Significance – The Mesa is a geological formation that preserves fossils dating back to the Permian Period (289.9 – 259.9 million years ago) and provides an unusually complete record that is key to unraveling the evolution of the continental edge of the Southwestern U.S.
3) Once you have drafted your comments, submit them to the Ridgecrest BLM in one of the following ways:
C) You may also mail or hand deliver comments in an envelope labeled:
“Mojave Precious Metals Exploratory Drilling Project EIS” to
Tamara Faust, Project Manager
BLM Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Rd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
D) Finally, you may fax comments to 760-384-5499
If you have any questions, use the same button for submitting comments via e-mail (B above – the actual e-mail address is BLM_CA_RI_MojavePMetals@blm.
Be sure to comment by the deadline of Monday, October 16!