No More Loss of Private Property in Inyo County! sign now

The Inyo County General Plans GOAL GOV-3 states: To provide opportunities for the private ownership of land by maintaining (and expanding when possible) the amount of privately owned land available in the County.

However, this policy is not enforceable by ordinance, and Inyo County elected officials have not acted to defend it.

Case-in-point: The Inyo County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council have been passive as The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has proceeded to make a serious offer to acquire 100+ acres of privately-owned residentially-zoned property on Oak Creek Road, Independence.

The percentage of property privately-owned in Inyo County is extremely low, less than one-half of what DWP possesses. DWP owns 250,000+ acres in Inyo County, constituting approximately 25\% of the Owens Valley floor 100 miles from Lake Crowley to Haiwee Reservoir.

While many Inyo residents and visitors savor the open space maintained by this condition, the shortage of freely developable and affordable property undermines Owen Valleys economic independence and sustainability. The population of fewer than 20,000 (in an area larger than New Jersey) has remained virtually unchanged for over 30 years, but shifting increasingly toward Bishop and leaving Central to Southern Inyo to slowly decay.

Many observers believe there is not a critical mass of population and employment opportunities here, significantly due to the lack of available, affordable, and appropriately-zoned land for development. DWPs has no interest in new local development that uses water, when its mission is to minimize local use and increase water rights holdings so its primary customers in Los Angeles do not have to worry about conservation or higher rates.

If not for the tourist trade, the few consumer businesses on the 395 corridor from Olancha to Big Pine would likely be reduced to a hardscrabble minimum. Inyo has been called a ghetto County, as it does not produce enough goods and services to satisfy its own population, forcing it to outsource, often at inflated costs. Without commercial land in private control, even more businesses properties, such as three recently demolished by DWP in Lone Pine, are likely to be lost.

Under the Long Term Water Agreement of 1991, DWP agreed to put up some 75 acres for auction, but in eighteen years only a small fraction has been sold to private parties, primarily due to DWPs unrealistic auction prices and slow responsiveness.

There is a need for action here. The Owens Valley community is in a struggle for its livelihood and must not allow any further reduction in the amount of private property in the County. No net loss of privately-owned property is currently stated as a goal in Inyo Countys General Plan, which as such is not an enforceable law and does not protect the little existing private property.

Much more pressure must be put on Los Angeles and the other government bodies who control 98.3\% of Inyo County to help it grow enough to sustain a viable population and corresponding local economy. Inyo governments own plan for economic viability must be re-evaluated, and an objective economic analysis must be conducted with a corresponding sustainability plan to be devised and followed.

By signing this petition, on paper or online, you agree that:

Inyo County must not allow further reductions in private land ownership.
The City of Los Angeles must cease its pursuit of more Inyo County land and/or water rights.
Inyo County Government must champion economic viability and independence.
Owens Valley needs an objective sustainability plan in order to chart a viable path into the future.


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91 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 30 December 201591. Ross H
    I support this petition
  • 16 December 201590. Patrick R
    I support this petition
  • 24 September 201589. Eric K
    I support this petition
  • 10 September 201588. Martin Cn
    I support this petition
  • 13 August 201587. Clarissa C
    I support this petition
  • 10 August 201586. Amy R
    I support this petition
  • 07 June 201585. Jan Vh
    I support this petition
  • 04 June 201584. Tammy P
    I support this petition
  • 20 February 201583. Eric W
    Inyo County cannot afford to loose anymore private land I support this petition in order to preserve the uniqueness of the Owens valley and the possibility of enriching it.
  • 11 December 201482. Christina K
    I support this petition
  • 28 November 201481. Judith F
    I support this petition
  • 15 November 201480. David B
    I support this petition
  • 23 August 201479. Tracy M
    Hold on to what you have!
  • 04 August 201478. Karl Eb
    Keep Up the fight!
  • 25 May 201477. Chelsea G
    I support this petition
  • 08 May 201476. Leigh Annb
    I support this petition
  • 23 April 201475. Mary Anno
    DWP Won't be satisfied until the desert is dry.
  • 27 March 201474. Chuck M
    I support this petition
  • 12 January 201473. Sean T
    I support this petition
  • 09 January 201472. George W
    I support this petition
  • 23 December 201371. Nick Sallya
    My family has been fishing, hiking and camping the Lone Pine, Independence and Big Pine areas for over 25+ years. I do not want what is left of the area to be destroyed commercially, environmentally and economically by the DWP.
  • 16 December 201370. Olivia M
    What DWP has done to this Valley is unforgiveable the damage they caused can never ever be repaired, it is a shame to keep allowing them to take whatever they want, we must stop them and be the land's voice.
  • 11 December 201369. Virgil Vans
    Don't want the Owens valley destroyed by lack of water resources
  • 14 July 201368. Beate N
    No more stolen water! Look where it got you in the lake!
  • 08 July 201367. Andrea K
    I support this petition
  • 16 March 201366. Leslie Mm
    I support this petition
  • 18 February 201365. Judy N
    I grew up in the valley, and like all the other kids could not stay, no work,no homes,no opportunitys.stop DWP.

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Sasha WoodBy:
Petition target:
Inyo County Supervisors, Los Angeles Mayor & City Council


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