June Lake residents oppose congressional bill on MMSA land exchange

june_mt.jpgJune Lake residents want to keep the heat on Mammoth Mountain and its land exchange to acquire the acreage at the Main Lodge. They say this is their only leverage to push Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory into a commitment to re-open June Mountain with major improvements and marketing.

Alice Suszynski  of the Committee for a Viable June Mountain said the Forest Service land exchange for Mammoth Mountain is related to the closure of June Mountain. She said, “Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is not a good steward of public land and not deserving of special attention by the Forest Service. They neglected public lands,” she’s said, “and it has affected June Lake.”

In recent days, Inyo-Mono Congressman Paul Cook and former Congressman for our area, Buck McKeon, introduced a bill to facilitate the Mammoth Mountain land exchange. June Lake people have fought the bill. Ms. Suszynski said citizens contacted Congressman Cook, who she said was “not responsive.”

She added, “We want him to know why its’ a bad deal for us. It’s our leverage to get Mammoth Mountain to act on June Mountain instead of putting a band aid on it.”

Citizens want Rusty Gregory to make a commitment in writing. Suszynski said they also want him to “no longer neglect improvements that are necessary to make it a viable ski area. We also want it promoted.” Residents want to see snow-making returned to June and an improved J-1.

Gregory has publicly stated he will re-open June Mountain next season, and letters to passholders for next season say the passes are good for June Mountain. Citizens say they want a lot more than that. More discussion is expected at an April 2nd Citizens Advisory Committee meeting in June Lake and April 9th at the Mono Supervisors’ meeting.

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13 Responses to June Lake residents oppose congressional bill on MMSA land exchange

  1. Thank You Benett March 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Thank you Benett for posting some great comments on this subject. I’m sure more to come over Easter weekend. Happy Easter. sierrawave.net staff!!

  2. alice March 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    ALSO…join us at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Mammoth on April 16, where we explain why MMSA shouldn’t get the Mammoth Base Land Trade because they are an exceedingly poor steward of public lands at least the ones to the north.

    I also wonder why anyone who owns lodging or a restaurant in Mammoth would support yet another huge development at MMSA.

    But what the heck do I know? I’m from June Lake.

  3. alice March 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    The letters from environmental groups are OLD STUFF. I’ve seen them. We’ve recently received several retractions which we will be making public when the time comes.

    Who cares how long the trade has been in the works? It still has to jump through tons of hoops and we’ll be there every step of the way.

    However, maybe someone in Mammoth will wise up and decide to do what is the right thing for everyone.

    And Kevin is correct, The Cunningham parcel did nothing to save the sensitive shoreline of Mono Lake.

    Help us oppose HR1241

    Write to the Committee on Natural Resources
    mailto:[email protected]

    It ain’t over til it’s over.

  4. wrong answers Sierra fan March 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Sierra fan, I’m glad you see the light of opening the Mammoth motocross track for more public use. FYI The supercross race series all over the world this season are packing stadiums with over 60,000 fans. 80 percent of the fans are families owning some kind of motorized toy. Not to be tooting my own horn, I will not quit raising awareness of this great asset in our area on public land in Mono County. You would be suprise of how many people don’t want the track open at all. These are Media, government officials on Council, and Mono County supervisors. The cost to run the track is very low.It’s already there, It’s dirt not snow. My green sticker registration money go into a fund for grants to sustain O.H.V activity just like your car registration goes to maintain roads. Jerry Brown grabbed 15m out of our fund this year for the General fund.There are ways to cut cost to operate the track.Kid/adult Volunteer programs, The insurance is about 1500.00 at the most to operate the track for 5 months. AMA sponsors free insurance as long as you have a facility. The water source is gravity fed from Sherwin Lake. No power needed.Never a death.The track operated itself fine without any maintance after the race.The area were the track sits today is an old mining dirt dump site area from the 40’s and will never restore itself,do to contaminated dirt full of dynamite and gun powder particles.TOML blew it by giving back the permit to Rusty.Dave Wilbrecht former Rec.Director forTOML wanted to operate it through the towns rec Dept.If He wouldn’t of left to become Mono County adminstrator the track would be open and operating for a fee to ride and ran like a business for the town. Honda was able to use our track over Memorial Holiday in 2012. No U.S.F.S procedures were followed just a hand shake with a Check$. The Honda commercial with kids riding minis is airing on tv today with Mount Morrison in the back ground. Don’t beleive what non MX/motorized users have to say.HELP OPEN THE TRACK FOR MORE PUBLIC USE IN 2013-14!! visit www. mammothmotocross.org for more up do date information. Thank you Benett for posting

  5. CIVIL RIGHTS DEPT IN WASH. DC March 29, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    The citizens of June Lake need to start A phone train and call the Civil Rights office in Washington D.C. I’ve called and filed complaints against Jon c Regelbrugge and Jon Kazmierski for ABUSE OF POWER. These 2 U.S.F.S district rangers for Mono County are just as much responseable helping Rusty’s Closing June M. Look at the Mammoth motocross track Closure? A 3-1 profit source that’s built on public land closed. If it’s not on Rusty’s property close it. Rusty wants everyone to be on his mountain with lifts and the village with stores and Restaraurants only. Here is a direct number and email who is waiting for your call and complaint. Robert Ragos in the civil rights deptartment for recreation on all forest land.c#202-329-1556 [email protected] and Chief of Forest service 202-205-1661. 3 hour difference in time Zone. June Lake comittee START HAMMERING WITH CALLS and file complaints against these 2 U.S.F.S Mono County Rangers. Bennett,Your welcome to make the call.

    • Benett Kessler March 29, 2013 at 7:30 am #

      I’m a news reporter. I don’t have any personal complaints about any of the above.

    • SierraFan March 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      Do you really think that Rusty doesn’t want the track open? Don’t you think with having the track operating would increase the mountain traffic? Sure, they might not receive lodging but mountain visits would go up in the summertime with the mountain biking, shops, etc. Many of the folks into dirt biking, mountain biking are also skiers and snowboarders. Simply, anything that bring people up here would benefit the local businesses as well as the mountain.

      I would think the insurance costs, operating costs, leasing, etc. would be the reason it’s not operating rather than just a random decision.

  6. Ken Warner March 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    You’re probably right that MMSA can out tough June Lake. But the land trade is bogus. The “sensitive areas” around Mono Lake is the Cunningham parcel but the part of that in the land swap is on the South side of 395. The part of the parcel that is on Mono Lake front is still up for development.

    Plus, the land swap, Airport Layout Plan and the Downtown Neighborhood Development plan are all prerequisites to MMSA/Starwood to let them “flip” MMSA to the next — even bigger, richer and more ruthless developer.

    When Starwood bought MMSA, Tusht was quoted in one or more of the local papers as saying, “…typically, these developers keep their property for 5 years…” It’s been more than 5 years and the value of MMSA keeps going down.

    Starwood needs the Land Swap, the ALP and the DNDP to fluff up the value of MMSA so they can sell it and get out from under crushing dept.

    There are some good Letters to the Editor in the Sheet this week about Starwood debt and the ALP.

    At least this is the way my fevered imagination sees the World — from a great distance. Probably all wrong but fun to be cynical.

  7. Thats The Plan? March 28, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Soooo, if I understand the June Lane mentality correctly, Mammoth Mountain closed June Mountain because it could not be run at a profit. This is largely due to the fact that there are not enough beds in the community to support a viable ski area.

    When money was flowing many of the people of June Jake sucessfully opposed building additional lodging facilities.

    Now the people of June Lane want to hold MMSA hostage by opposing a land trade that has been in the works for decades that even environmental groups support because MMSA purchased sensitive lands around Mono Lake for the trade.

    The people of June Lake think that this tough guy approach with MMSA will cause them to reopen June Mountain and lose more money.

    I am betting that MMSA can out tough guy June Lake and never open June Mountain.

    Bad idea.

    • Tom O. March 29, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Once again…you are wrong. The community reelected a supervisor who TWICE ran on the platform of developing the rodeo grounds. The only factor that preventing the project from moving forward is the when the economy tanked. and the fact that the county planners would not go for the variances [building heights] that Intrawest wanted for the project. Im so sick of outsiders who keep stating this false idea that the town stopped the development. The opponents of the rodeo grounds had a loud voice but no power. Look at the website they created, it s not been updated for yrs.[june lake advocates] One of the facts about June Mountain’s lack of visitors is NO MARKETING.June Mountain’s booth at the ski show in LA is a table w/ stickers on it……is that good marketing? MMSA has to much money invested in TOML[hotels,golf courses,new lifts ect] to put any money into June. That’s why they wont sell June.[there have been buyers interested] They dont want the skiers drawn away from Mammoth. MAMMOTH DON’T KEEP JUNE!

    • Don Morton March 30, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Sounds like you not only drank the Koolaid, but you liked it and want more!!!!! It makes no economic sense to build the beds, hoping MMSA/Starwood gets serious about running a successful ski area. I ask you, how many times in the past have the beds been fully occupied in June Lake? Hardly ever. You need a good ski area first. The beds will happen when it makes economic sense.

      Take another drink of Koolaid, then go back and check your “facts” about the sensitive Mono Lake shore lines. The groups you refer to are rescinding the ages old support you refer to.

      • Good blog/bad blog March 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

        Now, now Don. This blog is rapidly becoming a civil and respectful one.
        Some very good information and facts have been presented.
        No need for the insulting remarks “drink the Koolaid.” A thoughtful rebuttal will suffice.

        Nobody really wants (or needs) this blog to resemble the Rush Limbaugh Show.

        • alice March 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

          So maybe some clarification is needed…I think “drinking the Kool-Aid” refers to incorrect perceptions that get spread around and accepted as fact. We can also call them lies and falsehoods but maybe that’s too Limbaugh-ean for you.

          Here are several which appear in “that’s the plan?” s post.

          1) Soooo, if I understand the June Lane mentality correctly, Mammoth Mountain closed June Mountain because it could not be run at a profit.

          No, that’s the MMSA mentality. Starve a mountain, don’t improve or promote it, and then blame the town and the people for it not being successful. Kinda like Rusty blamed the gene pool in Mammoth

          2) This is largely due to the fact that there are not enough beds in the community to support a viable ski area.

          More BS. On the peer resort tour, the owner of Bromley, a very successful resort said their town has 2000 beds…June has 1800.

          3) June Lake people opposed building additional lodging.

          And there is more BS as Ken Warner pointed out up-thread.

          4) Now the people of June Lane want to hold MMSA hostage by opposing a land trade that has been in the works for decades that even environmental groups support because MMSA purchased sensitive lands around Mono Lake for the trade.

          Imagine that! the people of June Lake actually standing up to MMSA and voicing their opinion about what is done with public lands.

          5) I am betting that MMSA can out tough guy June Lake and never open June Mountain.

          I’ll take that bet. Rusty wants this land exchange real bad.


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