Reds Meadow Fee Changes
The Inyo National Forest will be has implemented a change in the fee program for Reds Meadow, effective Sept. 9. This fee change is the result of a proposal that received public comment in 2009 and was approved by the California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) and the U.S. Forest Service this summer. The “expanded amenity” fee that has been in place as a way to pay for costs of operating the mandatory shuttle bus will now be replaced with a “standard amenity” fee that will be used to make improvements to visitor facilities and services in the Valley. This is a significant change that will result in improved public services and enable the Forest Service to address critical maintenance needs in the Valley.
Per person fees for occupants of vehicles entering the valley will be eliminated as a result of this change and fees will now be collected on a per vehicle basis. Interagency Recreation Annual, Senior, and Access Passes will now be accepted for “exception vehicles” during the operation of the mandatory shuttle bus and for vehicles traveling to the Valley when the shuttle bus is not in operation.
For 30 years, the Inyo National Forest has charged Reds Meadow recreationists a transportation fee to help pay for the costs of the mandatory shuttle system. Since 2009, Eastern Sierra Transit has operated the shuttle system, allowing the Forest Service the opportunity to look at how to use recreation fees to enhance facilities and visitor services in the Reds Meadow Valley.
It is important to note that the Reds Meadow/Devils Postpile Shuttle will remain mandatory for most visitors and the fee change will not affect the transportation fare visitors pay to ride the shuttle. The fee change will only apply to the “exception vehicles” that are allowed to drive into Reds Meadow during shuttle operation, and will apply to all visitors during the times of the season when the shuttle is not in operation (early June and after Labor Day.) Information and a listing of “exception vehicles” can be found on the Inyo National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/inyo.
The expanded amenity fee of $7/adult and $4/child has now changed to a standard amenity fee of $10 per vehicle for a day pass. In addition to the day pass, the proposal includes a 3-day pass for $20 per vehicle and a season pass for $35 per vehicle. All three passes will also be accepted at the other Inyo National Forest day use fee sites: South Tufa in the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area and Schulman Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.
“We recognize how important the Reds Meadow Valley is to our local community and to those who recreate in the Valley. This fee change will help us return the day use sites to the level and quality people have come to expect, and to make new additions that will improve the visitor experience,” said Mike Schlafmann, Deputy District Ranger for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts.
Info/questions: contact Jon Kazmierski, Mammoth Lakes and Mono Lake Ranger Districts Recreation Officer, at 760.924.5503 or firstname.lastname@example.org. -Press Release
National Public Lands Day
Next week offers a wide variety of opportunities for the public to get involved and celebrate National Public Lands Day.
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., the focus will be on the Poleta target practice area in Bishop, a one-hour evening cleanup on BLM, INF and LA Dept. of Water and Power open lands. Directions: Five miles up East Line Street from U.S. 395 in Bishop past White Mountain Research Station. Look for the green parking cones.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., the effort shifts to Mammoth. Directions: 1.5 miles up Antelope Springs Road off Hwy 203 by the geothermal power plant. The area is on south side of road. Look for the green parking cones.
These are just two of many cleanuops scheduled. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome. Bring work gloves and wear work clothes, including long pants and closed toe shoes. Other supplies will be provided. For more information on all event dates, email email@example.com or call 760.873.2415.
CERT Training Academy
The Mammoth Lakes CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), is conducting FREE training to all members of the Mammoth Lakes community 18 years or older at the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department, Station 1 on Main Street, in the second floor training room. Training dates are Oct. 16, 23 & 30 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For additional information or to register please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tomlcert.com. This training will teach participants, among other skills:
Care of self, family, neighbors;
Basic survival skills;
Basic First Aid;
Basic fire suppression;
Participants will be encouraged to join the CERT team but joining is not a requirement to attend this training. The goal of this training is to help members of the community prepare for emergencies. Condo managers and HOA members are encouraged to attend so that they in turn can assist within their community.
CERT is a volunteer organization comprised of members of the community who are trained in basic emergency response and disaster preparedness.
CERT’s primary mission is to assist the community during a wide array of emergencies. In the event of an emergency, CERT volunteers may be activated to assist emergency first responders who may not be immediately available. CERT volunteers are utilized as a supplemental resource to provide basic care, stabilization and information until emergency responders can arrive on scene.
Husky Pup Fun Run
Mammoth Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization will once again sponsors the Annual Husky Pup Fun Run, now in its 22nd year, on Friday, Sept. 24. The event is the school’s largest fundraising event.
As a special treat this year, Olympians Deena Kastor, Anna Pierce and Nancy Fiddler, as well as members of the High Sierra Striders and Mammoth Track Club, will run along with the students.
“The mission of the High Sierra Striders is to support athletic and academic achievement and to promote lifelong health and fitness through running. What better way than to show kids that mature adults like us run for fun and health,” said Andrew Kastor, President and Founder of the High Sierra Striders.
Each child asks friends and families for donations either as a flat rate or on a per lap basis. Depending on the child’s grade, students run between 20 – 45 minutes around a 200 meter track. Funds generated from the event will pay for assemblies, after-school enrichment classes, classroom and teacher’s supplies, technology, library books, supplemental math and reading programs, the ski program, physical education and more.
Each student will get a high-quality, long-sleeved t-shirt professionally designed by Dave Titus Illustrations to be worn at the event, as well as spirit wear for the rest of the year. “If a Mammoth Elementary student asks you to sponsor their run, please do what you can to support them,” MES PTO President Pam Bold said. “Our school and community prosper when we all work together for a good cause.”
Canyon fire update
In case you’ve been wondering about all that smoke enveloping Bishop …
Following a request from the state of California, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Wednesday authorized the use of federal funds to help combat the Canyon Fire in Kern County.
This authorization makes Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire, as well as equipment, supplies and costs for emergency work including evacuations and shelters, police barricades and traffic control.
“With this wildfire threatening neighborhoods, our commitment to the people of Kern County is strong,” said FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 150 homes, 100 buildings, infrastructure, utilities, and equipment near Bodfish. At press time, the blaze’s size was in excess of 5,100 acres and has triggered mandatory and voluntary evacuations. Smoke from the fire has also had a notable impact on air quality in Inyo County and the greater Bishop area for the past several days.