One of Mono County’s fiercest defenders of the environment, Andrea Mead Lawrence, will likely have a nearby mountain named after her.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon introduced on Monday the Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2011, which would name a mountain peak in Mono County “Mt. Andrea Lawrence” in honor and memory of Andrea Lawrence – a conservationist, three-time Olympian and former member of the Mono County Board of Supervisors who passed away in 2009.
Senator Boxer said, “Andrea Lawrence was an Olympic champion and Alpine skiing enthusiast who turned her passion for the outdoors into a lifelong commitment to protecting the treasures of the Eastern Sierra. Her spirit and accomplishments were larger than life, which is why it is so fitting that we name this majestic peak in her beloved Mono County after her.”
Representative McKeon said, “By naming a peak for Andrea Lawrence, we will celebrate her accomplishments as an Olympian and honor her service as an advocate for conservation in the Eastern Sierra. Andrea had the true Olympic spirit and worked tirelessly to protect Mono Lake and then expanded her mission to confront challenges to the entire Eastern Sierra.”
Andrea Mead Lawrence remains the only American double Olympic gold medalist in alpine skiing. She was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1958 at the age of 25, and in 2002, sportswriter and documentary filmmaker Bud Greenspan called her “the greatest Winter Olympian of all time.”
Lawrence was also a committed conservationist who worked to protect and restore Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, Bodie State Historic Park and other important natural and cultural resources of the Eastern Sierra. She served for 16 years on the Mono County Board of Supervisors as well as on the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District and in 2003 founded the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers to promote environmental protection and economic vitality in the region.
Peak 12,240, currently identified only by its elevation, is located in Mono County near the Tuolumne County border. It is on the border of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, just east of Yosemite National Park. The John Muir trail passes close to the peak.