After we reported that unhappy citizens had begun to tear out Forest Service barricades on dirt roads in many areas, we received comments on our website expressing more concern.
The Mammoth Motorcycle Club wrote that they believe the Forest Service has refused to go out into the Forest to validate public concerns expressed over closed roads. The Club representative spoke of feeling disheartened. He said, “The signage, barricades, and blocked historical access to lost destinations and camping have gone too far….”
Another man said he drove to the Bachar Boulders area across from June Lake Junction and suddenly came upon a barrier on the road he had used for decades. He said, “I nearly hit it.” This man wanted to know why the Forest Service had closed a “benign, well-established road.”
Others have expressed concern about the two-foot high timbers that now block about 400 roads in Mono County and 200 in Inyo. Some asked what will happen this winter when snow covers the timbers and snowmobiles try to travel.
Forest Officials maintain that the “tremendous growth in off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands” led to the decisions to close roads and re-arrange travel on forest lands.
With summer recreation time underway, locals who have traditionally used dirt roads to reach camping and hiking areas report that their long-familiar roadways are blocked by timbers.
Marty Hornick, trails coordinator for the Forest Service said he and others welcome call and contacts from citizens with concerns over what is called the new Travel Management Plan. See Forest officials’ names and contacts below:
Jon Kazmierski, Recreation Officer for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, 760-924-5503, firstname.lastname@example.org, PO Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Nick Ettema, OHV Leader for White Mountain and Mt. Whitney Ranger Districts, 760-876-6211, email@example.com, PO Box 8, Lone Pine, CA, 93545
Marty Hornick, Trails Program Manager for the Inyo National Forest Service, 760-873-2461, firstname.lastname@example.org, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514