The Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, located in Lee Vining, will re-open to the public on Thursday, March 29. From March 29 through May 16, the visitor center will be open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Beginning Thursday, May 17, the visitor center will be open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Forest Service continues to explore partnerships and identify opportunities to help reduce costs and gain efficiencies in the operation of national forest visitor centers. For the first several weeks of operation of the Scenic Area Visitor Center, the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, or ESIA, will commit finanical and staff resources to the public services offered in the Mono Basin. It did the same thing last fall when the organization kept the visitor center open throughout the month of November. With support from ESIA and volunteers who are part of the Mono Basin Docent program, the operating season of the visitor center is able to be extended into the shoulder seasons. The Forest Service is working with ESIA and other partner organizations to further identify new roles and responsiblities that non-profit organizations can assist with in the operation of visitor centers throughout the Inyo National Forest.
With support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Forest Service installed a photovoltaic power system at the Scenic Area Visitor Center in 2011. Agreements with Southern California Edison on how to distribute the generated power have been reached and the solar system will soon be supplying the visitor center with more than 60% of its annual electricity needs.
For more information, please contact District Recreation Officer, Jon Kazmierski, at 760.924.5503. –Press Release