We’ve been so busy pointing fingers at the people who caused the MLLA crisis here in Mammoth that we have hardly touched a couple of central questions.
What would it feel like to put a town of 7,000 people at risk? How does a person sleep comfortably, knowing that a little, small town in the mountains would have to reduce its resources to below bare-bones levels?
With the settlement of the MLLA lawsuit all but done, Mammoth enters into a new phase.
Now we all get to see who walks the walk.
Since 1997, the year Terry Ballas proposed his idiotic airport condo project, our people have talked and talked. Then they talked some more. Along with all that talk-the-talk there were extended periods of finger pointing and blame gaming.
All that comes to an end right now, and over the course of the next three months.
Weâ€™d like to think we live in a fishbowl hereâ€”that everyone in California (and beyond) is paying attention to us.
We are a small town in one of the most remote, inaccessible areas this side of the Pakistan/Afghan border.
We all signed up for that, for a variety of reasons. But for those who may wish for thoughtful attention from Sacramento or L.A., not to mention Washington, D.C., it is best to get used to how small our fishbowl really is.
Mammoth finally settled its lawsuit with Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition this week. Our immediate response was a sense of relief, and we werenâ€™t alone.
All over town, our citizens talked it up, not knowing, really, what the terms of the settlement actually are. We donâ€™t know either, but we know enough to sense that it is not a victory.
Rather, the settlement is wrapped in the clothing of defeat. Our battle flags in this matter now are furled, never again to be unfurled. The settlement and its complicated aftermath represent a sorry chapter in our little townâ€™s short, little history.
It hurts to write it; it hurts even worse to witness the impending bear die-off this summer, and do nothing.
Yet the best way to deal with Mammothâ€™s starving bears is to let nature take its amoral, cruel course. As painful as it might be, the very best thing for the bears is to let them die in their own way.
Starvation is nasty business, but itâ€™s better than putting bullets in their brains. Certainly it is better than to keep them on the razorâ€™s edge of life by handing them freebies, only to watch them become problem bears later.