Efforts to Protect Mammoth Lakes Area Continue in the Sierra Nevada
October 28, 2005
Mammoth Lakes, a remote area nestled just east of Yosemite National Park, has been spared for now from the environmental threats posed by sprawl and overdevelopment. At a Chamber of Commerce meeting in late October, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory announced that he will now modify plans for an airfield expansion at Mammoth Lakes and take the previous proposal out of consideration. During the announcement, Gregory said that he will draft a new proposal that would focus on handling smaller regional jets and commuter aircraft rather than on accommodating large 757s as originally proposed. He also expressed a desire to work with the FAA, airlines, and stakeholders including Sierra Club to create the new plan. Sierra Club has consistently expressed concerns over the proposed project, including potentially devastating impacts on the local environment stemming from increased visitors, traffic, and air and water pollution. Although the environmental impact statement for the project is still underway, Sierra Club is delighted to learn that the poorly planned project will be going back to the drawing board. On October 28, the Town Manager announced an upcoming summit with the FAA to reconsider the expansion plan. Stay tuned for updates!
October 4, 2004
The proposed expansion of the Mammoth Lakes airfield was dealt another setback on October 4 when the Federal Aviation Administration sent a rebuking letter to the town of Mammoth Lakes. In the letter (see below), the FAA outlines a series of problems with the expansion, including possible land-use violations and a proposed housing development on the land. The town now must respond to the charges outlined by FAA.
December 19, 2003
Following our court victory earlier this year, Sierra Club and our coalition partners have now submitted a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration highlighting key areas of concern that need to be addressed in any new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). With the letter, Sierra Club has asked the FAA to consider the impacts of development, increased traffic, noise levels, and additional visitors to the remote region. We have also requested that the FAA consider viable alternatives to the planned airport expansion, including use of the nearby Eastern Sierra Regional Airport at Bishop. Read the letter below and check back for future updates on the EIS.
April 11, 2003
The Sierra Club has won an important victory in a suit aimed at protecting the Mammoth Lakes area just east of Yosemite National Park from the environmental threats posed by sprawl and resort development. In late 2000, the Bush administration approved an expansion of the tiny Mammoth Lakes airfield in order to substantially increase the area's profile as a resort destination. However, the project, which would have turned the airfield into a full-fledged commercial airport, was approved without completing a full environmental impact statement. Sierra Club filed an initial suit in 2001 but had to wait until the administration issued a final decision on the project in 2002 before moving forward. In 2003 a federal court agreed with us and issued a ruling halting the project until the EIS is prepared. The remoteness of the area (one of its prime attractions for many) is safeguarded for now.
Details and Documents:
FAA letter to Mammoth Lakes
October 4, 2004
Environmental impact scoping letter
December 19, 2003, submitted by Sierra Club and Coalition Partners
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.