The Eastern Sierra attracts a certain type of person
This person loves the outdoors, doesn’t mind sweat soaking up clothes, and enjoys the soreness that comes with hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and running on local trails.
On Feb. 1, 2012, the Mammoth Lakes Town Council will consider a resolution to commit to the development, funding and sustainability of the Mammoth Lakes Trail System (MLTS) by pursuing a formal, cooperative partnership between the Town, the Inyo National Forest and the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access (MLTPA) nonprofit organization.
Measure R funds will fund some of this new trail system and that’s as it should be.
When it is completed, the new trail system will provide a year-round, fully integrated trail system for the first time in Mammoth’s history.
Equally important, information about that system will be right at visitor’s fingertips. No longer will visitors (or locals) have to hunt through dozens of books and websites or track down in the know just to find something to do in and around Mammoth.
Instead, everything outdoors, from a cross country ski on a groomed trail, hiking, backpacking and/or where to take an easy stroll (regardless of the weather) will be available in digital form.
It will be the first time a “big picture” vision for the area, already vetted by dozens and dozens of public meetings and studies over the course of many years, has actually made it past the talk and to the implementation stage.
It’s a step in the right direction as Mammoth struggles to give its extravagantly abundant natural beauty and recreational opportunities the visibility and access they deserve.
And it’s been a long time coming.
The coordination betweeen the two governement agencies and MLTPA opens up unique opportunities that would not be available to any of them acting on their own, including opportunities to leverage Measure R funds with federal resources and grants.
The new partnership also encourages long-lasting collaboration that could well lead to even more for identification and development of recreation facilities on public lands surrounding the town.
Oversight of the Measure R funds is a serious undertaking. Depsite some recent controversy over how the funds are being used, we are confident the Town, the public, the Forest Service and MLTPA can continue to work this process out.
It’s worth the effort.