Breaking News!!! ESLT Preserves Historic Property South of Bridgeport
ESLT has some exciting news to share with you! In the final days of 2013, ESLT received a very generous gift: the David and Elva Sinai Foundation donated an important conservation property located in the hills south of Bridgeport. For many months, our staff has been working to negotiate the preservation of this historic 40-acre property along Green Creek, and now it’s official!
Kay Ogden, our Executive Director, is pleased to bring this exciting news to our community. “ESLT is deeply grateful to the Sinai Foundation for their donation. We are committed to protecting this spectacular place by ensuring that future land uses are compatible with its historical and natural values. Thanks to the enormous generosity of the Sinai Foundation, this parcel’s stunning scenery, historic significance, and its wealth of vital resources will be preserved for public enjoyment for generations to come.”
Following a long family tradition of charitable giving, John Sinai and his son David Sinai – both prominent Nevada lawyers – laid the cornerstone years ago for the David and Elva Sinai Foundation. The foundation’s goal was to place certain historic Mono County mining properties into the public domain. Since David Sinai’s death in 2006, the current trustees of the Sinai Foundation, Theodore J. Schroeder and David J. Reese, have worked with their colleagues Elaine Alexander, Greg James, Patrick Mooney, James Pace, Laure’l Santos, and Aline Sinai to transfer the historic Sinai Green Creek 40-acre site to ESLT.
Mr. Reese was particularly interested in the site because of his avid love of the outdoors, and Mr. Schroeder (who was raised in Lone Pine) wanted to ensure the public’s enjoyment of this beautiful and historic property.
Protecting the Green Creek site – along with its historical values, water resources, and the important habitat it contains – has long been a priority for ESLT. Entirely surrounded by public lands managed by the BLM, the landscape is home to a number of ecologically-significant native plants, and is dominated by aspen groves, Jeffrey and pinion pine woodlands, and sagebrush scrub. Various animals can be frequently seen there, such as mule deer, black bear, and beaver, as well as several notable bird species, including the northern goshawk and the Bi-State greater sage grouse.
As the site of one of the earliest hydroelectric power plants in the United States, the parcel’s historic significance makes the preservation of this property particularly significant. The power plant operated from 1893 until 1941, and supplied electricity over a 13-mile line to power the stamp mill at the Bodie mines, and later further north to mines in the Patterson District. The property still contains the cement foundation for the generators, which are now located in the Mono County Museum in Bridgeport, CA. As stated by ESLT Lands Director Aaron Johnson, “The recreational and educational opportunities at this site are remarkable. With the completion of this project, we can ensure that the property’s important natural and historical qualities continue to be available to the public.”
Funding in support of this project has been provided by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, an agency of the State of California.