Fifth District Supervisor Matt Kingsley has a way of getting to the heart of an issue. At last Tuesday’s Supervisors’ meeting, the heart of the issue of participation in the Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Project was “Inyo’s a lot different than Mono County.”

The Project, organized by Eastern Sierra Council of Governments, is the brainchild of Mammoth Councilmember John Wentworth. Mammoth and Mono County sit in the middle of Forest Service land while Inyo has Bureau of Land Management and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lands as a buffer. Wentworth confirms projects should be recommended that involve BLM lands.

ESCOG has a funding grant for the planning sessions through the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

The first ESSRP meeting was an introduction. The following meetings, starting with Thursday’s session at Tallman Pavilion, will start to see project suggestions. Over the next two years, Wentworth’s intent is to hold a total of 12 meetings in Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties. All those project suggestions will be evaluated with up to eight selected for future development.

Inyo CAO Clint Quilter had a firm grip on the process. “If we join,” he said, “we can talk about things important to us. There’s an advantage to being at the table.”

The question of who picks the final projects came up. According to Wentworth, that detail hasn’t been finalized yet.

Basically, it’s up to Inyo County entities and individuals to come up with projects that will either enhance existing tourist experiences or add to the list of experiences.

The next meeting will be held  Thursday October 17th  at Tallman Pavilion starting at 6:30 p.m.

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  1. Jeff Putman October 18, 2019 at 7:38 pm #

    Don’t fund anything new until you can pay for the existing. Projects that need “enhancing” are the damages caused by existing recreation. Some examples: 1) the Jeffrey pine forest on either side of 395 between Mammoth and June, due to motos, ATVs, and wooding; 2) Alabama Hills vegetation and rocks within 1/4 mile of Movie Road between Whitney Portal Road and Moffat Ranch, caused by RVs, 5th wheels, campers, and climbers; 3) Diaz Lake no bathrooms and no drinking water, caused by county underfunding or inattention; 4) Whitney Portal pond and roadend, damaged by Ma Nature, lack of rangers to control parking, and inattention by the USFS; 5) Tungsten Hills vegetation, caused by motos creating new trails and ATVs following behind to widen, and underfunding by the BLM. At this rate, tourists eventually won’t like what they see.

  2. Michael Prather October 15, 2019 at 8:29 am #

    “…projects that will either enhance existing tourist experiences or add to the list of experiences.”

    The title of this program contains the word ‘sustainable’, therefore, vigilance is needed in clearly comprehending how ‘enhance’ and ‘add to’ translate into ‘sustainable. There is clear evidence that our landscapes show negative impacts from recreation. I suggest that we heal/restore those areas with projects before enhancing and adding to any additional uses. It is a word of caution and seemingly common sense.The resource must always come first.


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