After 14 years of pushing and pulling, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area finally landed its Big Congressional Land Battle.
Congress on Tuesday approved a resolution granting MMSA permission to affect a land swap with the Forest Service in the Main Lodge area.
The measure, pushed through by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), means the ski area can refurbish the Main Lodge area.
At the centerpiece of the project is the construction of a high-altitude training facility for use by all athletes, whether snowsports athletes, or others, such as runners and cyclists.
The facility also is the centerpiece of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, which just two weeks ago raised about $500,000 for educational and athletic programs.
McKeon, who because of redistricting will no longer represent Mammoth after the upcoming elections, convinced the House of Representatives by saying, “Mammoth has operated on a Special Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service since 1953. The base area of the mountain is aging rapidly and is in need of renovation and redevelopment in order to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for visitors to Mammoth Mountain.
“However, these renovations are difficult to achieve under the terms of the Special Use Permit.
“Mammoth Mountain has been a good steward of the environment, a solid partner in economic vitality for the region, and an honest party in negotiations with the Forest Service,” he said. “This land exchange will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.”
The final vote on the legislation was 376 to 2.