Community News

Road to Schulman Grove Open

The Road to Schulman Grove is open

According to the Forest Service, due to  the warm, dry winter, road crews have been able open the road to the Schulman Grove. It had been previously closed at Sierra View. The Visitor Center remains closed. The road is gated one-half mile beyond the Schulman Grove parking lot and substantial snow still exists along Patriarch Grove Road.

Visitors should still expect snow in the shaded slopes in the Schulman Grove. Currently, the Methuselah Trail is under snow; however the sun-exposed Discovery Trail is free of snow. Please expect limited services if you travel to the grove. Lastly, although California is experiencing a serious drought, light snow pack does not mean no snowpack. Please travel prepared for winter conditions at 10,000 ft.

The road will close again in the event of a winter storm.

us forest service, bristlecone pines, schulman grove, oldest living organism

Mono Controlled Burn

Prescribed Fire in Mono County

Crews plan to continue ignitions on the Aqueduct Prescribed Fire, weather and air quality conditions permitting, on Tuesday, March 17th. Ignitions should take one day to complete.

This 125-acre project in the Jeffrey pine forest is east of Highway 395 near Bald Mountain (northeast of Deadman Summit).

Smoke from this project will be visible from Highway 395, Highway 158, Highway 120 East, June Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and the Bald Mountain Road.

Prescribed fires are conducted when weather and fuel moisture conditions are within prescription to safely accomplish the project objectives. By prescribing the fire under optimum weather conditions, managers simulate the natural role of fire. This reduces forest competition, opens gaps in the forest canopy for sunlight to shine through, and recycles nutrients to the soil for re-growth. Fire was a frequent event in the Jeffrey pine forest, occurring naturally every 10-15 years.

mono county news, us forest service, mammoth lakes, june lake

Inyo Speech Contest Winners


Inyo County Superintendent of Schools is pleased to announce that Naiya Warren of Owens Valley School won first place at the 63rd Annual Inyo County Speech Contest held on March 12th at Jill Kinmont Booth School and sponsored by Coldwell Banker.
The second place winner was Steven Mather also of Owens Valley. Third place went to Arianna Pope from Home Street Middle School.
Each participating school held their own Speech Contest where one or two winning students were selected to compete in the Inyo County Speech Contest, open to students in grades 6-8. In addition to Mather and Warren, 8th grader Shawnau Johnson also represented Owens Valley. Estreya Federman, Taylor McCormick, and Haley Yarborough represented Round Valley. At the county speech contest, students were evaluated on speech content and delivery by a panel of three judges.  These seven students representing three schools in Inyo County presented thought provoking and well-prepared speeches. “Should the National Park Service be recruiting more visitorship?” was the topic for the evening. If students took the position in favor of increased visitorship, they were required to indicate what would
increase visits from his or her age group and families. In preparation for the contest, students recalled personal experiences with National Parks and conducted research on various aspects of the National Parks including visitor statistics. Participating students took varying stances on the issue – some believing that a cap
should be placed on certain overly accessed parks while others felt that in order to preserve such treasures as Denali, Yellowstone and Yosemite the next generation needs to become familiar with the parks. Deputy Superintendent and speech contest judge Pamela Jones shared her perspective on the evening: “I found what the students were able to discover about our National Parks enlightening.” Jones and the judges were impressed with the
students’ obvious preparation, composure and content of their speeches. “The quality of the speeches this year was exceptional.”
Inyo County Superintendent of Schools would like to offer special thanks to the judges for their time and expertise: Lo-Inyo middle school teacher Bob Heist; Deputy Superintendent Pamela Jones; and retired teacher and ICSOS board member Mary Kemp. ICSOS would also like to express their gratitude to the school
coaches for all the time, effort and support they provide to our students: Meghan Fuchs, Vivian Hanson, and Jennifer Morales.

(left to right): 3rd Place Arianna Pope (HSMS), 2nd Place Steven Mather (Owens Valley), and 1st place Naiya Warren (Owens Valley) with sponsor Jake Rasmuson of Coldwell Banker
(left to right): 3rd Place Arianna Pope (HSMS), 2nd Place Steven Mather (Owens Valley), and 1st place Naiya Warren (Owens Valley) with sponsor Jake Rasmuson of Coldwell Banker
1st place finisher Naiya Warren holding the winners plaque which has the names of the speech contest winners back to 1960. Owens Valley School will display the plaque until the 2016 speech contest
1st place finisher Naiya Warren holding the winners plaque which has the names of the speech contest winners back to 1960. Owens Valley School will display the plaque until the 2016 speech contest
inyo county speech contest, inyo county superintendent of schools, owens valley news, owens valley school

Yosemite Road Work

Three Transportation Projects Underway in Yosemite National Park

The effort includes work on the Tioga Road corridor.

Yosemite National Park initiates one transportation project and concludes two others that will improve parking, road conditions, and traffic flow in the park. The projects will provide additional parking in Yosemite Valley, improve restrooms and reorganize the Tuolumne Grove parking area, and repair and maintain portions of the Tioga Road.  The projects are slated to be completed by Memorial Day, 2015.

Improvements to the parking area at Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias began in September 2014.  Currently, the grove, trail, and parking lot are open to the public.  The project entails improvements to the restrooms, new interpretive signs, a designated bus drop-off location, an improved picnic area, and better organized parking.  

In June of 2014, the park began a multi-phased maintenance project to repair the Tioga Road corridor, the park’s east-to-west highway that connects Groveland and Lee Vining.  The primary rehabilitation work involved a 15 mile segment from the Crane Flat intersection to just east of the White Wolf Campground.  The construction work includes improvements to culverts, grading, pavement resurfacing, new signage, and road striping.

This month, the park will begin the first phase of improvements to the Yosemite Lodge parking area in Yosemite Valley.  The completed project will include an expanded parking area just west of Yosemite Lodge.  The additional spaces will help to improve traffic flow in Yosemite Valley by parking vehicles west of Lower Yosemite Falls.  A future phase will include the installation of permanent bathroom facilities.

COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, snow plow clearing Tioga road, file photo, clearly not this year…there is no snow this year.

mono county, yosemite, eastern sierra news

Missing Man found Dead

Inyo and Mono County Search and Rescue teams called into service

On March 14, 2015, shortly after midnight, the Inyo County Sheriff Department was dispatched to the Lower Gorge for a report of an overdue hiker.
The missing hiker, Scott Sederstorm age 44 of Bishop, was reported to be at the Lower Gorge earlier in the day doing some climbing. When Sederstorm did not return that evening, his fiancé drove to the lower gorge parking lot and located Sederstorm’s van and dog.
An Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy along with a Fish and Game Officer searched the area for Sederstorm but were unable to locate him.
At about 6:30AM the Inyo County Search and Rescue team was called.
About an hour after the Inyo SAR team began their search of the area, Sedestorm’s body was located by a family friend in the gorge. Once the body was identified, Deputy Degeorge of Mono County took over the investigation.
Several Inyo SAR members along with several Mono SAR members remained on scene to assist in the body recovery.

cover photo by Mono County Search and Rescue

inyo search and rescue, mono county search and rescue, inyo county sheriffs department

When the Game Stands Tall

Lone Pine Film History Museum showing “When the game stands tall”

The Museum will be hosting a special screening for the community of the movie, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, Saturday March 21 @ 3:00 PM. There is no charge for admittance.

Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. When the streak is broken, and tragedy strikes the team, Coach Lad must teach his players – and the entire town – that it’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up.

The screening is sponsored by Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo County.

lone pine film history museum, healthy communities of southern inyo county, lone pine

Disaster Assistance for Round Fire

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents Affected by the Round Fire

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by the Round Fire that occurred February 6 – 12, 2015, U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, on March 5, 2015.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Alpine, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mono and Tuolumne counties in California; and Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon and Mineral counties in Nevada.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s Fresno District Director Carlos G. Mendoza. “Beginning Thursday, March 12, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Mendoza continued. The center will be open on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary.

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Crowley Lake Community Center
58 Pearson Road
Crowley Lake, CA 93546

Opens Thursday, March 12
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closes Wednesday, March 25

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit

The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is May 11, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is December 11, 2015.

cover photo by Gary Young

round fire, sba, mono county news, eastern sierra news

Brown Arrested, 3 officers injured

Saturday Morning incident leads to Arrest, 3 injured officers

The Bishop Police department is reporting the arrest of 36-year old Kevin Curtis Brown.  According to Bishop Police department public information officer Katie Coffman, units were called to the 400th block of East line street early Saturday morning.  Just after 1:00am officers were sent to the area for a welfare check.  According to Coffman, Brown fled the scene on foot resulting in a foot pursuit conducted by the bishop police department with assistance from the Inyo County Sheriffs department.  Brown was apprehended and taken to Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital for a standard evaluation before being transported to Inyo County Jail.

While at Northern Inyo, Coffman indicates that Brown attempted to escape.  That effort resulted in three officers being injured.  Brown is facing a list of charges that include a violation of probation, domestic battery, obstructing an officer, battery causing serious injury and possession of a controlled substance.

Kevin Curtis Brown was booked into Inyo County Jail in Independence just after 5am Saturday.

Kevin Curtis Brown. Inyo County SO photo
Kevin Curtis Brown. Inyo County SO photo
bishop news, bishop police department, inyo county sheriffs department


World Water Day

World Water Day

Join the Bishop Paiute Tribe in celebrating water at this free community event. There will be water-related children activities, nature walks through the Conservation Open Space Area (COSA), presentations on water management by local organizations, snacks and raffle prizes!

The event will be held at the  Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center, 2300 West Line Street, Bishop.  Sunday, March 22 6:45 AM – 12 PM.


world water day, bishop paiute tribe, bishop news, owens valley news

Outdoor Youth Opportunity

Free Youth Outdoor Adventure Opportunity

The Rotary Club of Bishop, in conjunction with Eastside Sports, will be  taking 26 youth from the Eastern Sierra in to the back-country above Bishop in June to learn team building, leadership skills and land stewardship. This is a free program, funded in part by a grant from Columbia Sportswear, plus hundreds of volunteer hours from the local community.
Registrations are being accepted on a first come, first served basis.
go here for details
eastside sports, bishop rotary club