RAW: Forest Service considering proposal to expand reservation system to all Mammoth Area campsites


The U.S. Forest Service is considering a proposal from “Inyo Recreation," the concessionaire that manages Forest Service campgrounds in the Mammoth area that would increase the availability and quality of reservation services at these sites.

Inyo Recreation, a business owned and operated by “California Land Management,” has proposed that starting in the 2012 camping season, all campgrounds and 100 percent of all campsites under special use permit with Inyo Recreation on the Mammoth Ranger District would be available by reservation.

Under the new proposal, campsite fees at all Inyo Recreation managed campgrounds that are part of the new reservation system would increase by $3.00 per night. The $9.00 Internet and $10.00 telephone reservation fees currently assessed per reservation would be eliminated.

The campgrounds being considered in this proposal include Sherwin Creek, Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Coldwater Creek, Lake George, Pine City, New Shady, Old Shady, Pine Glen, Reds Meadow, Pumice Flat, Soda Springs, Minaret Falls, Pumice Flat Group, Agnew Meadows, Agnew Meadows Group, and Agnew Meadows Horse campgrounds.

The Oh! Ridge campground in June Lake was managed under this system in 2011 on a trial basis and is proposed to continue to be managed under the new system. Pending the District Ranger’s decision on this proposal, implementation of the reservation system would be delayed in the Reds Meadow Valley until the summer of 2013 due to damage in the Valley campgrounds from the extreme wind event last November 1.

This proposal also includes plans for Inyo Recreation staff to assist the Forest Service at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center in providing campground information, helping visitors check campsite availability, and managing campground reservations.

The reservation system will access the same web-based reservation system used by “Recreation.gov” and would allow Inyo Recreation, Forest Service, and Welcome Center staff to manage and update campsite information in real-time.

Campsites not reserved in advance through “Recreation.gov” will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hosts at the campgrounds and staff at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center will be able to use the reservation system to determine which sites are available, the number of nights each site is available, and provide other pertinent information (such as the length and width of the site, handicapped accessibility, etc).

The proposed system would allow staff to quickly be able to help campers arriving without a reservation to locate an available camp site that best meets the visitors’ interests and needs.

The proposed new reservation system will likely result in a reduction of vehicle traffic and improved pedestrian safety in the Mammoth area campgrounds. Visitors arriving without a reservation could potentially save time and money by eliminating the need to drive around looking for an available campsite that meets their needs.

The Forest Service is seeking public comments on this proposal that will help inform the District Ranger’s decision to accept, modify or deny this proposal from Inyo Recreation.

If you have concerns, have information that you feel the Forest Service may not be aware of, or have input that you would like to be considered, please take time to submit a comment by April 25.

Comments and further questions regarding this proposal can be directed to Jon Kazmierski, District Recreation Officer for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, at 760-924-5503 or jkazmierski@fs.fed.us, or by mail to: US Forest Service, Attn: Recreation Officer, Mammoth Ranger Station, PO Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546.