Mammoth Times Briefs


Wrangling between Mammoth and LADWP continues, judge chosen

The wrangling between Mammoth and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power continues but as of this week, a judge to arbitrate the legal dispute over who owns Mammoth Creek water rights has been agreed upon by both parties, said Greg Norby, Mammoth Community Water District general manager.

DWP’s insistence that it owns the creek’s water rights has also been taken up by state Rep. Kristin Olsen, who recently issued a letter to her colleagues in the Los Angeles area urging them to oppose the lawsuit.

A letter urging water district customers to take action and pressure Los Angeles to back off the lawsuit has been mailed by the water district to all Mammoth property owners and water customers. For more information on this, go to:  


No opening set for Red’s Meadow campgrounds

Currently the Forest Service has continued to suspend campground reservations in Red’s Meadow Valley as a result of last November’s wind-driven treefall, according to National Forest spokesperson Nancy Upham. “Wilderness reservations are still being taken for July and later in the summer, but at this time there are no predictions for dates that specific trails will be clear,” she said.

“The temporary freeze on wilderness reservations for trails accessed by Reds Meadow Road will be lifted as soon as the road is open for public access.

“Pacific Crest and John Muir Trail hikers planning to come out for re-supply through Reds Meadow are encouraged to visit the Inyo National Forest website for updates and trail status.”

Crews are hard at work in the area, said District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge. “Our crews are working as fast as they safely can, and our goal remains to open as much of Red’s Meadow Valley and the trails leading out of it as soon as is feasible.” 

The mild winter and spring have allowed crews and equipment to begin the clean-up work throughout the month of May, and substantial progress is being made in clearing down trees from trails and campgrounds, and repairing damaged roads,” he said.

Upham said many trails in a wide area were impacted by the windstorm including the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail, which were both obstructed north and south of Devils Postpile.  Other affected trails include Purple Lake, Fish Creek, Mammoth Pass, and the River, High and Shadow Creek Trails near Agnew Meadows.

In the Mammoth Lakes Basin, portions of which were also hit hard by the wind event, some trails still have minor obstacles. Other less affected areas of the Forest, including Whitney Portal, and the Paiute Pass trail out of North Lake in the Bishop Creek drainage, have been cleared and there should be no impacts to summer access.


Occupancy in 20-percentile range

Mammoth Tourism’s projected occupancy in Mammoth this weekend was 27 percent—a lull before the summer visitorship begins in earnest. Even so, that’s a six percent jump from this time a year ago.

However, a year ago at this time, the Tioga Pass was not yet open and it was a late-arriving spring.

Occupancy for the mid-week stood at a projected 21 percent, also a jump of six percentage points from last year at this time.


Human remains found near Benton

Human remains were found in Benton on Tuesday, May 29, according to the Mono County Sheriff’s department. After a search, identification belonging to Steven Craig Wisell were also found.

The remains were found after a skull was first found, the sheriff’s department report said. After the skull was positively identified as human, the sheriff’s department conducted a search, and more remains were found in the area.

The sheriff’s report did not conclusively identify the remains as belonging to Wisell—it only noted the remains and the identification were found close to each other.

The investigation of this case is ongoing. No other information about this case was available at press time.


Habitat for Humanity heads to Poland this year

Mammoth’s Dan Wright will be leading his 14th Habitat For Humanity International Build, this time to Gliwice, Poland. “Gliwice’s history dates back to the 13th century,” he said. “At the same time, it is a vibrant city full of young people and a large university center. 

“Gliwice has its modern-day fame, too.  It was here in 1939 that Nazi soldiers, dressed in Polish uniforms, captured the local radio station and broadcast a message in Polish. This message was used by German as a pretext for starting World War II a few days later.

“Of the existing housing stock, approximately one in eight do not have a kitchen, and almost one in ten share a toilet with an entire floor of apartments or have not indoor facility at all. Nearly 25 percent of all housing in Poland is substandard.”

Wright said he has eight local team members traveling with him, along with four others from as far away as New York.  He said there is room for four more. 

The “build” is from Sept. 21 through Oct. 5,he said. He said the crew would add extra days to visit the famous salt mine near Krakow, “and we will be visiting Warsaw, the Warsaw ghetto and Auschwitz.” For more information, call 760-914-2156 or send email to


Low-cost dog vaccinations, registrations June 9

It’s time to renew Town of Mammoth Lakes dog licenses for the upcoming fiscal year.

The annual license sale/vaccination clinic will be in the Police Department parking lot on Saturday, June 9, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. If your dog does not need a rabies vaccination update, you can just purchase a license for $13 if your animal is spayed/neutered, or $30 if it is not. You don’t need to bring your pet to the clinic unless it needs a vaccination update.

Dr. Gaylon TeSlaa and the staff of Alpen Veterinary clinic will be on hand with low cost vaccinations for both dogs and cats.


Vera Cruz Rotarians in Mammoth

The Mammoth Lakes Noon Rotary Club hosted a five-member Group Studies Exchange team from Vera Cruz, Mexico, on Wednesday, May 23 through Saturday, May 26.

The GSE program is a vocational/cultural exchange between Rotary districts of young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40. The GSE Team spent one month in the U.S., visiting Rotary clubs stretching from the San Fernando Valley to Mammoth. The team members stayed with local Rotarians and participated in a number of local events and meetings with their vocational equivalents. Byng and Joanne Hunt, Don and Jodi Sage, Jerry and Trish Dunlap, and Dan and Kathy Watson hosted the team members. 

While visiting Mammoth, the team members spent a day visiting Yosemite and Mono Lake, attended the Mammoth High School Interact Club Awards dinner, addressed the Noon Rotary Club at its weekly meeting, and did some hiking in the Lakes Basin. Each of them also spent a portion of a day with a local professional exchanging information and ideas. 


Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board to decide on $4.9 million in grants

Approximately $4.9 million in grant awards for work to restore Sierra Nevada forests and prevent damaging forest fires will be up for approval at the June 7 meeting of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s (SNC) Governing Board in Lone Pine.

The funding is from Proposition 84, passed by California voters in 2006. “For this round of funding we received nearly 200 initial requests, which we have painstakingly reduced to 26 recommendations to the board,” said SNC Executive Officer Jim Branham.

“The large number of requests is a result of the poor condition of many of our forests throughout the Sierra and the growing threat of catastrophic fire.” 

The 26 grant applications to be submitted for board approval include the following cross section of projects:

•  Fuels Reduction (12 projects, $2.5 million)

•  Forest Health/Restoration (seven projects, $1.48 million)

•  Meadow Restoration (four projects, $473,422)

•  Invasive Species Removal (two projects, $73,867)

•  Conservation Easement Acquisitions (one project, $350,000)