Mammoth Council Endorses Wilderness Bill

In what was likely the most calm Wilderness discussion yet in the Eastern Sierra, Bob Haueter with Congressman Buck McKeons Office briefed the Mammoth Town Council Wednesday night on recent changes to the Boxer-McKeon Bill.
Stressing how local input influenced this Wilderness bill, Haueter explained the various changes that have been made since the bill was introduced to the Senate natural resources committee.

Roads have been cherry stemmed, Wilderness areas have been taken out near Mammoth and at McGee Mountain, and new areas in the White and Table Mountain have been added.

Hauter says that 40 amendments and changes have been made so far. Some smaller changes affect many popular forms of recreation in the Eastern Sierra. The Wilderness boundary was moved back in Pine Creek and Rock Creek due to rock climber concerns. A boundary was changed near Piute Crags and North Lake for the Pack Station there. Mountain bike trails were accommodated, snowmobiles were taken into consideration near the Sherwin Lakes, and hang glider take off access roads were left out as well.

With a topic that usually leaves partisans on both sides seeing red, Bob Haueter and other appeared surprised when no one from the audience got up to speak on this divisive issue.

The Council did decide to put a letter of support on their consent agenda at their next meeting. Perhaps tired of the hours of mudslinging that usually accompany wilderness discussions, this is the same tactic used by the Mono Supervisors. By putting the letter of support on the consent agenda, it can be voted on by the board or council without any public discussion.

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