Mono County considers stretching its boundaries to include Reds Meadow, Devils Postpile
Mono County is contemplating both extending and shrinking its boundaries. If executed, the move could improve public safety and reward the County with additional property tax revenue. The County is proposing to fold the federal lands encompassed by Reds Meadow/Devil’s Postpile National Monument and portions of the Rock Creek recreation area into Mono County, while cutting County land loose near the community of Oasis (in the extreme southeastern portion of the County, near Fish Lake Valley).
There is a sliver of land, approximately 79 square miles, on the other side of Crestview and west of Mammoth Mountain, that includes Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls. The land is in Madera County, but Mono County is the agency that responds to Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in that area, of which there are many. According to a memorandum of understanding between Madera and Mono Counties, Madera agreed to reimburse Mono for those operations. In a December 4 interview (see “No Moriarty,” December 8), Undersheriff Michael Moriarty said Madera has not paid many, if any, of those bills.
The only access to the area by road is from Mono County and Mammoth Lakes. The closest access from Madera is via an unmaintained road that is actually an 18-mile hike. Supervisor Stacy Corless said in a memo to her fellow Mono County Supervisors that Reds Meadow and Devil’s Postpile National Monument are visited by thousands of visitors annually. Corless said the sites are such an economic engine for the area that the Town of Mammoth Lakes is shelling out $24 million to rehabilitate the deteriorating Reds Meadow Road. As The Sheet reported in October 2017, the Forest Service doesn’t have the money to do the necessary work to repair the Reds Meadow road, and the road will deteriorate if it is not fixed now.
There have been informal discussions between Mono and Madera Counties in the past, but now Mono County plans to pass a resolution to move forward with formal discussions.