The Sherwins Working Group draft trails plan is done, and now it’s the public’s turn to weigh in with feedback. SWG members Maggie Palchak and Hans Ludwig, along with John Wentworth from convening partner Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access agree it’s hugely important the public at large to review the draft plan and maps and get involved.
This feedback will be used to revise the document before turning it over the U.S. Forest Service in advance of the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process, that will include another more formal round of public comment later on.
The SWG began with some field trips last winter, and has its origins in the Trails Master Plan.The Sherwins Area Trails Special Study inspired the Forest Service to institute the unique, unprecedented collaborative process. A diverse group volunteers, which numbered as many 40, worked on issues and interests presented by birders and mountain bikers to motorized users and groups such as Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra.
All historic, current and potential uses have been considered, at least up to this point. “The only thing required now is that people show up and let the group know what they think,” Wentworth and Palchak said.
Feedback can be made through Oct. 1 at MLTPA’s offices (and on www.mltpa.org), or at any of the following area locations: Mammoth Lakes Library, Mammoth Powersports (in the industrial park), Footloose Sports, Snowcreek Athletic Club, Mammoth Pet Shop, the Town’s Tourism & Recreation department on Main Street near the Ranger Station.
Walking tours can be scheduled, and Wentworth and Palchak said they’re encouraged. “We WANT to take you out. In an hour you can get a really good idea of what’s happening,” they said.
“Every time something’s come up, a group thinks it’s being left out, but that’s not the case,” said Ludwig. “We can’t sit back and hope Dave McCoy will solve the problems anymore. The Eastern Sierra has been historically reactionary. This is an opportunity for us as a community to be proactive, take control of our own destiny. We’re doing that with whole south side of town.”