Recreation in the Eastern Sierra comes in many forms: hiking, mountain biking, climbing, skiing, OHV exploring, camping, fishing, etc. and the Eastern Sierra is a wonderful place to do all these activities. However, there are times when we love a place too much and need to remember that the forest and the desert are the home for many species of wildlife. It is a balance to share the forest and not impact wildlife to the extent that they can't thrive. Species are losing habitat and declining in population numbers so in our comments on recreation projects, we look for a balance between increasing recreational uses of public lands and protecting wildlife.
Mammoth Lakes Blue Diamond Nordic Routes
Get out your snowshoes and cross country skis and explore the Inyo Craters and Earthquake Dome! The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service partnered and reestablished the historic ungroomed Blue Diamond Nordic ski and snowshoe routes in the Inyo National Forest. Just look for these big blue diamonds on the trees. [Read more...]
Inyo County Road Easements on Four Roads
In January 2020 Inyo County requested easements on eight USFS road segments and special use permits on four others. The county wants to change the road use designation to mixed use so that OHVs could legally drive on them from local campgrounds, motels, etc. without having to trailer their vehicles to a trailhead. In May 2020 Inyo County changed their request asking for easements on only four road segments keeping the use the same for now. At first blush, this seems like a reasonable request, but it would bypass the analysis of significant environmental impacts. Read on...
USFS (INF-Mammoth Lakes) released a scoping document for public comment on June 12, 2020 for a multi-use trail (hikers, bikers, equestrians) between Heart Lake and the Motocross staging area that would go through a rugged, steep, undeveloped roadless area in Solitude Canyon. The trail would impact the seasonal deer migration, old growth mixed conifer forest, and possible endangered species. This project is being proposed under a categorical exclusion, which means no in-depth look at the environmental impacts of the project. Read on...
Tangle Free Waters
Tangle Free Waters’ (TFW) purpose is to establish a program dedicated to the reduction and removal of monofilament line from the waterways of Mono and Inyo Counties and to keep it out of landfills by means of recycling. Read on...
MMSA Snowmaking and Woolly's Adventure Summit Expansion
In 2011 Congress passed legislation that expands what a ski resort may do to convert to summertime activities to survive economically as winter seasons shorten. Ropes courses and zip lines are now allowed, but not water slides and water parks. Zip and mountain coasters aren't mentioned so many ski resorts have put them in. As ski resorts evolve into outdoor amusement/recreation parks, an overarching question is what business ventures best serve the general public and belong on public land?
In February 2020, MMSA asked the USFS to increase its snowmaking and to further develop Woolly's Adventure Summit to add a lodge and a zip and mountain coaster. Mammoth Mountain is critical to the local economy and offers the paying public wonderful recreational opportunities. Unfortunately our weather and our world are changing rapidly because of climate change. I Snowmaking is a necessary stopgap measure as MMSA transitions to summer recreation. Yet, how far should it go? Read on: Coasters at Woolly's, Additional Snowmaking