GOAL 9. Protect and enhance Bodie Hills Planning Area resources that complement the Bodie Experience.
Protect the visual characteristics of the Bodie Hills that contribute to the Bodie Experience, and ensure that any development allowed is compatible with the existing rural and historic landscape.
Policy 9.A.1. Structures proposed on private lands within the Bodie Hills Planning Area shall be constructed in accordance with the minimum development standards found in the Mono County General Plan Visual Resource Policies.
Action 9.A.1.a. Develop design guidelines for residential, commercial, and industrial development projects. At a minimum, the following development standards (from the Visual Resource Policies) shall apply:
- Projects should not dominate the natural environment, and should complement existing community character; the scale, design, and siting of a project should be appropriate for the setting;
- Building mass should be varied and should be appropriate for the surrounding community or area. Facades in commercial districts should be varied;
- Project siting and structural design should be sensitive to the climate, topography, and lighting of the surrounding environment;
- The design, color, and building materials for structures, fences, and signs shall be compatible with the natural environment and/or surrounding community;
- Visually offensive land uses shall be adequately screened through the use of landscaping, fencing, contour grading, or other appropriate measures;
- The visual impacts of parking areas shall be minimized through the use of landscaping, covered parking, siting that screens the parking from view, or other appropriate measures;
- Signs shall comply with the county Sign Regulations;
- Standardized commercial structures, designs, and materials shall not be allowed (e.g., a "McDonald’s" shall be designed with materials and finishes that harmonize with the surrounding area);
- Industrial areas shall be as compact as possible;
- Exterior lighting shall be shielded and indirect and shall be minimized to that necessary for security and safety;
- All new utilities shall be installed underground, in conformance to applicable provisions of the Land Development Regulations (LDR);
- Existing roads shall be utilized whenever possible. Construction of new roads should be avoided except where essential for health and safety;
- Earthwork, grading, and vegetative removals shall be minimized; and
- All site disturbances shall be revegetated with a mix of indigenous species native to the site (based upon a pre-project species survey). A landscaping plan shall be submitted and approved for all projects.
BLM Resource Management Plan Decision:
Manage the main travel corridors into the Bodie Bowl to conform to Visual Resource Management (VRM) II standards.
Maximize fire protection within the Bodie Hills Planning Area, including both prevention and suppression.
Policy 9.B.1. Actively support fire prevention efforts on public and private lands.
Action 9.B.1.a. BLM shall install and maintain Fire Danger Rating signs on SR 270 and on Cottonwood Canyon Road. State Parks shall change the fire rating as needed.
Action 9.B.1.b. All campfires within the Bodie Hills Planning Area (including the ACEC) shall require a valid campfire permit issued by BLM, USFS, Cal Fire or State Parks. All campfires shall be in accordance with existing fire restrictions during the summer fire season.
Action 9.B.1.c. Require new development to comply with the Mono County Fire Safe Regulations (Chapter 22).
BLM RMP Decision:
Employ full fire-suppression techniques against all wildfires.
Provide for the health and safety of visitors and the environment including reducing vandalism within the Bodie Hills Planning Area.
Policy 9.C.1. Recognize and support visitor education as the primary deterrent to vandalism. To help reduce vandalism, the BLM, State Parks and the County should continue to educate the public about the cultural, historic, and natural values of Bodie SHP and the Bodie Hills.
Action 9.C.1.a. The BLM shall work with State Parks to develop interpretive kiosks or panels along the roads into Bodie to foster a better appreciation of the cultural, historic, and natural values of the Bodie Hills. The verbiage shall be positive and include references to respecting private lands within the area.
Action 9.C.1.b. Appropriate agencies shall patrol the Bodie Hills during special permitted events and times of high visitor use, such as hunting season, making visitor contacts and establishing a presence in the area.
Maintain a high level of air quality in the Bodie Hills Planning Area.
Policy 9.D.1. Activities permitted in the Bodie Hills Planning Area shall meet ambient air quality standards.
Action 9.D.1.a. The proponent of any project that may adversely impact air quality shall obtain an air quality permit or clearance from the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District.
Action 9.D.1.b. Any project that may generate excessive levels of dust shall be required to use dust control measures approved by Great Basin APCD.
Action 9.D.1.c. Future development projects shall comply with the public health and safety policies of the Mono County General Plan, including requirements for future development projects to avoid impacts to air quality or mitigate impacts to a level of non-significance, unless a statement of overriding considerations is made through the EIR process (Conservation/Open Space Element, Public Health & Safety Policies, Goal I, Objective A, Policy 3). In addition, future development projects with the potential to significantly impact air quality shall assess potential impacts prior to project approval in conformance to the requirements of public health and safety policies (Conservation/Open Space Element, Public Health & Safety Policies, Goal I, Objective A, Action 3.1).
Policy 9.D.2. Mono County and State Parks shall continue to seek and implement methods to reduce the dust from the County roads within the Bodie Hills Planning Area approaching the ACEC.
Action 9.D.2.a. Work with Caltrans, State Parks, GBUAPCD and the BLM in ongoing maintenance and improvements to SR 270 and Cottonwood Canyon Road.
Action 9.D.2.b. Consider paving or other road improvement/dust mitigation efforts for Cottonwood Canyon Road.
Recreational uses that do not interfere with the Bodie Experience may be permitted.
Policy 9.E.1. Permit development of visitor services outside the ACEC to accommodate visitors to the Park. This development should be consistent with, and not threaten, the historic resources at Bodie.
Action 9.E.1.a. To provide for visitor service development that facilitates the Bodie Experience and provides dispersed recreational activities Mono County may assign Rural Resort land use designations to appropriate private property.
Action 9.E.1.b. The BLM shall designate lands suitable for a visitor center and associated services.
Policy 9.E.2. Special and recreational events (trail rides, cattle drives, bike rides, filming, etc.) on public lands in the Bodie Hills Planning Area shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. Events shall be monitored so that they do not detract from the Bodie Experience.
BLM RMP Decision:
Enhance dispersed recreation opportunities such as off-highway vehicle touring, primitive camping, mountain biking, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing, sightseeing and environmental interpretation.
Provide services that will enhance the Bodie Experience.
Policy 9.F.1. Interpretive, directional, and other signing within the Bodie Hills Planning Area should be provided to educate and inform visitors. The number of signs should be kept to a minimum. Signs should be strategically placed to avoid detracting from the scenic values of the Bodie Hills Planning Area and the Bodie Experience. The messages should be stated in positive terms and address public and private lands.
Action 9.F.1.a. The BLM should work with State Parks to develop interpretive kiosks or panels along the roads into Bodie to foster a better appreciation of the area's values, and thereby lessen the threat of vandalism. The verbiage should be of a positive nature (e.g., "Bodie is a Special Area . . .").
Action 9.F.1.b. Caltrans and Mono County should develop scenic turnouts on SR 270 and Cottonwood Canyon Road. Some interpretive information should be provided, with multi-lingual information or use of international symbols.
Action 9.F.1.c. BLM shall place signs on all secondary routes within the Bodie Hills Planning Area. Signs should describe the routes, particularly those crossing both public and private lands, and highlight the need for the public to respect private property.
BLM RMP Decision:
Develop an activity plan for recreational use in the area. Incorporate an interpretive element to highlight wildlife, geologic and cultural values.
Any economic and resource development projects on public lands shall be conducted in a manner that protects the historic and scenic values in the Bodie Hills Planning Area, and that does not detract from the Bodie Experience.
Policy 9.G.1. Any commercial or concessionaire development on public lands should complement or enhance the Bodie Experience.
Policy 9.G.2. Concessionaires may be considered for solving transportation problems associated with the State Park, such as providing shuttle services or alternative access such as horses.
Policy 9.G.3. Grazing on public lands within the Bodie Hills shall be guided by the BLM Bishop RMP and the Coordinated Resource Management Plans (CRMPs).
BLM RMP Decisions:
Use the existing Coordinated Resource Management Planning (CRMP) process to identify and implement vehicle route closures to protect sensitive plants or deer or sage grouse habitats; to manage grazing; and to attain DPC and stream improvement goals.
Stabilize and restore selected stream reaches throughout the Bodie Hills to improve riparian and aquatic habitat quality. Monitor water quality to determine the impacts of recreation, grazing and mining activities.
Enhance wildlife habitat and watershed conditions, and attain Desired Plant Community prescriptions.
Policy 9.G.4. Wildlife habitat management on public lands shall be guided by the BLM's Bishop RMP and the CRMPs.
Policy 9.G.5. Mining on valid, existing claims on public lands shall be allowed, subject to existing law.
Policy 9.G.6. On public lands (where existing BLM policy allows) project proponents shall pay for administrative, study, monitoring and reclamation costs of projects.
Policy 9.G.7. An economic or fiscal impact analysis should be completed and utilized in the decision-making process along with the NEPA document for any major project proposal on public lands.
Allow for agriculture, resource management activities, and rural resort uses on private lands in the Bodie Hills Planning Area that do not detract from the Bodie Experience.
Policy 9.H.1. Grazing on private lands within the Bodie Hills Planning Area is an historic use. Mono County supports the continued agricultural use of private lands within the Bodie Hills.
Action 9.H.1.a. Assign Agricultural land use designations to private property in the Bodie Hills Planning Area.
Action 9.H.1.b. Continue to implement the Development Credits program as described in Chapter 12 of this Element.
Policy 9.H.2. Wildlife management on private land shall be guided by the provisions of the Mono County Land Use Designation, the Mono County Land Development Regulations, and the policies of the Mono County General Plan.
Policy 9.H.3. Mineral resource activities on private lands may be permitted subject to established laws.
Action 9.H.3.a. Mineral Resource extraction or exploration projects shall comply with requirements of the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA); the Mineral Resource Policies of the Mono County General Plan; the Resource Extraction District, Reclamation Ordinance, and Mining Operations Ordinance of the Mono County Code; and applicable environmental requirements, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Policy 9.H.4. Proponents shall bear the costs for project environmental studies, mitigation monitoring, permit processing and reclamation, in accordance with the Mono County General Plan, Mono County Environmental Handbook, and implementing ordinances and resolutions.
Policy 9.H.5. An economic or fiscal impact analysis may be required for projects having potential adverse fiscal impacts.
Action 9.H.5.a. Require applicable development projects to comply with Mono County General Plan Land Use policies that require assessments of the economic costs and benefits of a project (Land Use Element, Objective H, Policy 2 and Action 2.1).