Steve Searles: Back in the Fold

It’s been a long two years since Steve Searles took leave of the Town Wildlife Specialist position, but at the April 1 Town Council meeting the circle seemed to have finally come to a close.

Police Chief Randy Schienle got up to the podium and sang Searles’ praises, calling the whole debacle an “issue that has better identified the wildlife needs in the community.”

Mayor Wendy Sugimura then presented Searles with a badge, the item that much of the controversy had swirled around in the past years.

“I have always tried to share with the community that your services are very valuable,” Sugimura told Searles. “I look at this badge as a symbol of us moving forward in a positive way,” she added as she gave Searles a bear hug.

Councilman John Eastman then thanked Searles as well and stated for the community’s benefit that Searles is now, once again, officially the Wildlife Specialist for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

“So if you have bear issues, which should start coming up soon, call Steve,” Eastman added, referring to the spring conditions and the bears beginning to wake up.

Searles nodded, mumbled his thanks and then took his badge and walked toward the back of the room.

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