SOUTHERN INYO WEIGHS IN ON SUSTAINABLE RECREATION PROJECTS

 

The Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Project, the brain child of Mammoth resident
John Wentworth, held its final Inyo County workshop in this initial series, last Thursday in Lone
Pine.

Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access (MLTPA) CEO John Wentworth addresses the crowd at the celebration of Recovery Act projects and the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Mammoth Lakes Trail System.

Wentworth will take the show on the road, covering all of Mono County and finishing up
in Bishop late this year.
The goal of the workshops: develop up to eight recreational projects through the
environmental process and grant applications for funding, projects that increase or enhance the
tourist experience while still following the “leave no trace” philosophy.
The series is funded through a $618,750 grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy with
Prop. 68 monies.
The first two workshops were held in Bishop, drawing participation from northern Inyo
and Mammoth Lakes. The Southern Inyo version was uniquely Southern Inyo, starting with
Supervisor Matt Kingsley’s practical statement “what we need is infrastructure, like potable
water at County campgrounds.”
That practicality was echoed through the eight tables around which the roughly 60
participants gathered. Bathrooms headed up the list of challenges for the yellow table, followed
by trash, signage, ignorance (a recurring theme), accountability and multiple user groups.
Wentworth’s table went so far as to come up with an acronym, PLOP: people love our
potties.
The untapped opportunities included a host program, a vibrant tribal culture, the
Adventure Trails, but the recurring theme was education.
One opportunity that seems obvious but never came up in the first two workshops,
focused on the expansion of equestrian use.

While the Bishop workshop suggestions followed a fuzzy, warm theme, Lone Pine folks
are highly practical. One suggestion that wasn’t exposed to the public involved permits to climb
Mount Whitney: charge $5,000 for a permit. The monies would be refunded if the climbers
managed to make it back down under their own steam, not requiring emergency extrication.
The workshop series now heads north with the final meeting in Bishop, November 19.

 

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