Letters to the Editor 8.26.17
Hold Rusty accountable
I am against the Mammoth Base Land Exchange because the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area enterprise has proven itself to be a dishonest broker and poor steward of public lands. I believe these two things disqualify it from being worthy of the privilege of purchasing public lands from the people of the United States.
Rusty Gregory, then CEO of Mammoth Mountain, closed a smaller ski area in the region, June Mountain for the summer and winter 2012–2013 season. He did this in non-compliance with the Forest Service permit. As a protest, residents of June Lake mounted a movement against HR 2157, the bill to facilitate the land exchange, on the grounds that MMSA is a poor steward of public lands. The movement achieved some success when Congressman Cook wrote that he would support the effort and slow down the passing of the bill until MMSA rectified what it had done to June Mountain.
Because he was desperate to have HR 2157 pass, Mr. Gregory appeared before the Mono County Board of Supervisors and made numerous promises in exchange for their support of the bill. He promised to reopen June and install snow making capability. He also promised to replace the antiquated and extremely slow J1 ski lift. He gave a detailed plan of when these things would be accomplished. He was praised by the supervisors and a letter was written to Congressman Cook in support of the land exchange facilitation.
Many years have passed since the completion dates Gregory promised and absolutely nothing has been done. In addition, the supervisors requested that he give regular updates about the progress of these projects…no updates were provided.
It is very clear the Mr. Gregory never intended to improve June Mountain and the promises he proffered were only meant to achieve his goal of the land exchange. It may be naïve to assume a company should be honest and forthright in its dealings with the public and our elected officials but when it resoundingly has proven not to be, there should be consequences. In this case it should be the refusal of the land exchange.