Congress approves bill for MMSA

mmsaIn a bi-partisan vote of 376 to 2, House Resolution 2157 passed in Congress Tuesday to formalize an agreement between the Forest Service and  Mammoth Mountain Ski Area toward a land exchange that involves close to 21 acres at the Main Lodge.  Congressman Buck McKeon carried the bill to Congress.

McKeon spoke on the floor of Congress, saying that Mammoth Mountain Ski Area provides “between ten and thirty percent of the total employment in Mono County” and hosts an average of 1.3 million visitors each year.  Visitors, McKeon told Congress, that drive the local economy.  He pointed to the Ski Area’s Forest Service Special Use Permit, first received in 1953.  McKeon said, “The base area of the mountain is aging rapidly and is in need of renovation and redevelopment.”  The Congressman said under the terms of the use permit, these renovations are tough to achieve.

To solve that problem, Mammoth Mountain and the Forest Service have worked on a land exchange for the past 14 years.  McKeon’s bill finalizes two steps toward a land exchange agreement in which Mammoth Mountain will provide more than 1,729 acres of land for the public within the Inyo, Plumas, Stanislaus, and Eldorado National Forests in California and money to equalize the values of the exchange.

In December of 2011, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory had testified before a Congressional Subcommittee that the non-federal lands the Ski Area was prepared to trade include the historic Mono Lake-Cunningham parcel.  Other lands include two parcels owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power just outside Forest boundaries in Lone Pine for the Interagency Visitors Center.  Gregory also testified that McKeon’s Bill would allow the Forest Service to accept funds necessary to complete an equal value exchange. The money would be used to acquire future forest lands.

Gregory testified that it is anticipated that the necessary equalization funds could exceed “25% of the value of the federal land to be exchanged.”  McKeon’s bill does not direct the Forest Service to complete the land exchange but, as McKeon said, codifies the payment of funds and the acceptance of LADWP land.

Mammoth Mountain and the Forest Service will still proceed through environmental processes to execute an exchange agreement for completion of the land exchange.  After that, Mammoth Mountain would move ahead with development plans and local planning approvals.

Gregory had earlier stated that carrying out the land exchange would make it possible to address inadequacies at Mammoth Mountain Inn, the Main Lodge building, better lift line situations, circulation, lack of on-site employee housing and other amenities.

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miffy.me
miffy.me
8 years ago

When a call comes into the KSU, the KSU acts like a multi-line phone
system that would be Cloud panasonic phone systems 6.0 PBX.
Furthermore since a cloud PBX is well known for delivering
business grade phone calls that are missed and all of the wrong things.

local skier
local skier
10 years ago

I don’t see how you could say this is a “gift” to greedy developers… the 25 acres are being traded for “more than 1,729 acres of land for the public within the Inyo, Plumas, Stanislaus, and Eldorado National Forests in California and money (millions!) to equalize the values of the… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  local skier

Well, good for the USFS and really bad for Mono County and in particular Mammoth Lakes residents. Do you have a map showing the exact locations and value of the acres being traded? !729 acres sounds great in blurbs like the one you must have been paid to distribute but… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  local skier

…and if all MMSA wants to do is upgrade the sewer system — great! Just don’t let out of state multi-national developers take possession of public land — my land, your land, everybody’s land. USFS should keep the land and give permission to develop as if the land was owned.… Read more »

alice
alice
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

inyo county is going to have lots to say about this. They are losing private land so that the FS can own its office space. The percentage of taxable private land in Inyo County is 2%. The question for us in June Lake is will the mountain be open next… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  alice

This will be interesting to watch Starwood and Fortress taking the money and running. Who will be the next owners? I’m betting on one of the Gulf Arab countries.

joe glotz
joe glotz
10 years ago

Ken your description of just collecting trash and dog s**t in Shady Rest Tract applies to nearly every street and trail in Mammoth. The dogs and dog owners have made taking a walk like negotiating a obstacle course.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  joe glotz

Tell me about it…. Did you know that another one of the wise things our community leaders did was eliminate the Animal Control Officer (aka dog catcher)?

Brilliant!

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

@sierragrl Do you have some links to the back story of the Shady Rest Tract? I’d like to know more about that. I live close to it and it looks like it should be a park rather than a bunch of crap condos. From what I understand, the developer is… Read more »

sierragrl
sierragrl
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I read the actual appraisals for the exchange, but didn’t make copies….with I had. I used to live on Shady Rest Lane…best street in Mammoth! and I was friends with Jeff Todd, who tried to watchdog the whole thing, may he rest in peace.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  sierragrl

Nice place to live. If Shady Rest Tract was made a real, maintained and cared for park, the property value of the whole area would double. All of Center St. and Manzanita and all the property on the South side of the tract all the way to Meridian would be… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 years ago

It’s boarderline coruption

esfotoguy
esfotoguy
10 years ago

oink oink

sierragrl
sierragrl
10 years ago

I hope this bill requires transparency on the part of the USFS….ie. I want to know the value assigned to the exchange parcels, each individually, not the ‘package’ amount….and the value of the USFS land to be exchanged. The Shady Rest Tract exchange was a joke as far as values… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago

Ken- corporate America wins again. Our opinion means squat .

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

The winners are not even corporate America. Fortress and Starwood are multi-national corporations that have offices all over the World and (no doubt) leave money they earn in the U.S. outside of the U.S. to evade taxes. They are smart people and they don’t give away money. If I was… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ooops! “…our Forest Service thinks is worth more than the land…” should read — :,,,our Forest Service thinks is worth less than the land…”

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Yeah Ken … it sure is .. the carpet bags are set up on the table .. being filled with yet more money ,, you got it!

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

You know that if and when development at Main Lodge happens, there will be no more public parking there and all those cars will try to park at Chair 2. That will be a fine mess. And how much do you think 25 acres at the Main Lodge area is… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

PLENTY OF NEW FEES