Inyo News Briefs: The River, Energy and Mosquitoes

Not just an environmental project. That’s what Supervisor Jim Bilyeu had to say about the Lower Owens River. His comment grew from a discussion over a grant to help pay for recreation plan for the river. The Board did accept the Sierra Nevada Conservancy grant of $95,350 with the warning that it will take much more money to finish the job.

The plan includes something like 14 public workshops. County officials said they want lots of input from citizens over the river recreation plan. Board Chair Linda Arcularius said that the need for a river recreation plan is very, very important.

Supervisor Richard Cervantes said there is a lot of excitement and interest in Southern Inyo over this.

The County bureaucracy will be required to pitch in and work on this plan. Supervisor Bilyeu said if there isn’t a recreation plan, the river might become a single purpose environmental project. Its not a nature preserve for people who walk the banks and look at birds, said Bilyeu, although he said they’re welcome to do that. He pushed for a multi-use recreation plan.

Saving energy one light bulb at a time. The High Sierra Energy Foundation, which came to life in Mammoth Lakes, has drawn in the entire Eastern Sierra now. Executive Director of the Foundation, Rick Phelps, talked to the Inyo Supervisors at their last meeting and asked for a resolution to support the idea of their program to retrofit public buildings for energy savings.

Board members seemed favorable. Phelps did not ask for money, but did request a member of the county staff attend meetings. Up for public use a $650,000 grant through Edison. Phelps said hes talking to DWP about participating too.

For Mosquito Abatement, the Lower Owens River will be a challenge. That’s what Agricultural Commissioner George Milovich told the Supervisors. Milovich said Mosquito Control crews are fogging, particularly the Southern Inyo area where mosquitos have flown into town from the newly re-watered river area.

Milovich said he believes his department has enough money for now. LADWP does pay a large percentage of the mosquito tax and has provided other funding for mosquito control.

 
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