Community News

Mono Praises Sage Grouse Decision

Mono County Praises Grouse Decision

Bridgeport, CA – On April 21st, 2015 the United States Department of the Interior hosted a multi-agency event announcing that the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-grouse will not be listed as threatened. Mono County hailed this action as a step forward in achieving species preservation and ensuring that new regulatory burdens were not imposed on private and public land owners of the Eastern Sierra.

Mono County Board of Supervisors Chair Tim Fesko, representing Mono County at the announcement event, commented, “A listing would have been devastating to Mono County. The proposed critical habitat blanketed 82% of private lands in Mono County, and would have been a regulatory burden that would have deeply damaged our fragile rural economy. Today’s action by the Department of the Interior shows that Mono County’s ongoing commitment to resolving this issue through participation paid off for our communities and for the species. Mono County had a choice when the proposed listing was issued: Commit to the conservation effort based on the understanding that the Sage Grouse should not be listed for scientifically verifiable reasons, or fight the listing. Mono County chose conservation and the power of partnerships and collaboration over political grandstanding.”

Mono County has been involved since the early days of the Local Area Working Group (LAWG) in 2000 and was at the table for the 2004 Bi-State Action Plan, participated in the 2012 update, and regularly attended the LAWG meetings. Mono County has taken a local government leadership role and helped to:
1. Develop a summary report of conservation actions and future agency commitments for the entire Bi-State.
2. Support and host outreach and education forums on topics such as pinyon-juniper management and critical habitat.
3. Encourage and enhance inter-agency communication and coordination.
4. Work with private landowners to mitigate impacts, follow best practices, and secure resources for conservation work; and count leks with agency biologists to assist with population monitoring.

If the Grouse had been listed, Mono County would have been forced out of a conservation role and into a regulatory role, directing Landowners to obtain clearance/permits from Federal agencies. Mono County commends the USFWS for its decision to not list the species, and its recognition and support of the tremendous efforts of federal, state and local agencies, conservation entities and local landowners in the collaborative planning and implementation of the Bi-State Action Plan. Congratulations also to Steve Nelson, BLM Area Manager, on receiving the STAR Award from Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell for his grouse preservation leadership during Tuesday’s announcement.

WASHINGTON – Tuesday, Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) released the following statement after the United States Department of the Interior announced it will not list the sage grouse found in California and Nevada as an endangered species:
Cook said, “Today’s announcement by Secretary Jewell is recognition of the hard-work done by state and local governments to protect sage grouse habitat. Because of this effort, the sage grouse habitat has been stabilized and draconian federal regulations will not be implemented. This is a victory for my constituents who would have faced economic harm if the sage grouse was listed as an endangered species.”

mono sage
Center, BLM’s Steve Nelson. Photo provided by Mono County.

cover photo by BLM

sage grouse, mono county news, eastern sierra news, paul cook

Former Inyo Supervisor Passes

Former Inyo Supervisor and Mono official passes away

Robert E. (Bob) Michener 1924-2015

Bob Michener passed away at his home on Saturday, April 18. He was 91 years old. Bob was born on January 23, 1924, to Robert Ezra and Elizabeth Mae Michener. He attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles and graduated in 1942. Bob proudly enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 during World War II. He served until 1946, when he was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. He then attended Graceland Junior College in Iowa, where he met the love of his life, Wilma Hartschen. The two graduated Graceland in 1947 and got married. They decided to move back to California, where Bob then attended the University of Southern California. He graduated in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration. Bob then joined the LA County Sherriff’s Department in 1951, and served until 1963. At that time, he and Wilma had decided they had enough of LA. They moved to Mammoth Lakes, a spot they frequently visited, to raise their 3 young children, Robin, Scott, and Jon. Bob, with his outgoing personality, was always interested in public service. While living in Mammoth, Bob served on the Mono County Planning Commission as well as the Mono County Board of Education for many years. Bob and Wilma then moved to Bishop in 1979. While living in Inyo County, he served on the Inyo County Planning Commission, the Inyo County Grand Jury, as well as a term as 3rd District Supervisor. Bob is survived by his wife of 68 years, Wilma. Daughter, Robin Fernandez, of Bishop. Son, Scott Michener and his wife Sharon, of Orangevalle, CA. Son, Jon Michener and his wife Vicki, of Bishop. Brother David of Los Angeles, and Sister Peggy, of Oregon. As well as Grandchildren, Kristen, Jackie, Torey, Garrett and Jake. Great Grandchildren, Mason, Sadie, Taryn and Dylan. A service will be held Saturday, May 2nd, at 11:00 am at the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints at 725 Keough St. in Bishop. A luncheon will be held immediately afterwards at the church.

Michener

bob michener, inyo supervisor, eastern sierra news, bishop news, mammoth news

Alpers Talks Fish

Mono Supervisor Tim Alpers is ready for fishing season

Talking to Mono County Supervisor Tim Alpers may be the best way to gear up for the fishing season.  While retired from raising the legendary trophy trout, Alpers still speaks passionately about fishing industry.  A quick visit from Alpers is all one needs to shake off any doubts about the pending fishing seasons.

Alpers bio on his website, timalpers.com indicates, “I graduated from Bishop High School and the University of Nevada-Reno, then spent the 1970s teaching and coaching on the high school and collegiate level. In 1979, my wife, Pam, and I returned to the eastern Sierra to live in Mono County. My life has been blessed over the years by having had the opportunity to operate the Alpers Ranch/Resort, develop the legendary Alpers Trout, and serve 4 terms on the Mono County Board of Supervisors. There is no place on earth like California’s Eastern Sierra.”  Visit timalpers.com for more.

Alpers is a great champion for Mono County and the entire eastern high sierra.

cover photo from timalpers.com

tim alpers, eastern sierra news, mono county, fishing season

Daniel McRoberts

Daniel McRoberts 1957-2015

Daniel Gale McRoberts, 57 years old of Lone Pine, CA. passed away on Wednesday April 1st 2015 in Keeler, CA.

Danny was born June 16, 1957 in Yreka CA to Thelma Brumley and Bailey McRoberts. Danny spent much of his childhood with his brother Bailey McRoberts camping, fishing, and hunting. They liked to ride their motorcycles on the back roads. They would explore the old mines and hunt for old bottles.

Danny attended Bishop High school where he was on the wrestling team and won many awards. Danny had many different jobs but was more known for being a cook. In his later years Danny spent much of his time fishing, mining for silver, and exploring the desert with his dog Rosie. Danny had the ability to make everyone love him; he had many friends who loved him like family and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Danny is preceded in death by his Mother, Thelma McRoberts, and Father Bailey “Scooter” McRoberts and is survived by Daughter Sarah Wilson of Burleson Texas, Daughter Kelly Green and son in-law James Green of Rio Linda, CA. Grandchildren: Ariel Green, Michael Cronan, Danielle Cronan, Bailey Green, Kylie Green, Kiely Green, Tristin Wilson, Jaden Wilson and his Brother Bailey Lee McRoberts. A celebration of life will be held on June 20th at 2:00 p.m. at the V.F.W. in Lone Pine, CA.

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daniel mcroberts, lone pine

Phantom Lakes of the Desert and their Fish

Desert Lakes and Fish presentation

Come to the free slideshow, “Phantom Lakes of the Desert and their Fishes,” by retired Fish & Wildlife biologist Phil Pister, at the Monday, May 4 meeting of the Mono Basin Historical Society.  His personal history and knowledge of the Owens Valley pupfish, the ancient expanse of regional lakes, and our few native fishes will make for a memorable evening.  The program begins at 7 PM at the Lee Vining Community Center; arrive then or at 6 PM for a potluck dinner and business meeting.  All are welcome!
The Lee Vining Community Center is on Mattly Avenue, down the street from the Mono Basin History Museum/Old Schoolhouse and world famous Upside Down House, which are operated from May through October by the non-profit Historical Society. The Society meets the first Monday of each month, with programs open to the general public.

Phil Pister
Phil Pister
fish and wildlife, phil pister, eastern sierra news

Bishop Creek ready for the Opener

Trout Season Opens Saturday

The general trout opener will commence on Saturday, April 25th, one hour before sunrise.  California Department of fish and wildlife indicates that they are, “Making every effort to stock trout in all accessible waters approved for planting prior to the season opener.  This years unprecedented drought could play a major role in determining how many rivers, creeks, lakes and reservoirs can be stocked before April 25th.

Lake Sabrina
Lake Sabrina
bridge to North Lake
bridge to North Lake
Intake 2
Intake 2

Mandatory Boat inspections remain at Crowley

As Opening of Fishing Season approaches, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will be hosting Quagga and Zebra Mussel inspections for trailered watercraft from April 22 through April 24, 2015. The Department reminds local boaters that all motorized vessels planning to launch at Crowley Lake must be inspected prior to launch.

Boat inspections will be held at the Vons/Kmart parking lot in Bishop and at the Crowley Lake Fish Camp.  Vons/Kmart inspections will be held April 22 and 23 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Friday, April 24 from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Crowley Fish Camp inspections will be held April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 23 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and April 24 from 7 a.m. to dark.

On Opening Day, April 25, boats can also be inspected from sunrise until sunset but, due to high demand, waiting until Opening day is not recommended. Boat inspections at Crowley will continue throughout the fishing season.

Boats showing signs of contamination with invasive mussels, or found to contain any water or debris that could harbor invasive mussels, will not be allowed to launch into Crowley Lake.

Pre-inspected boats may use the pre-paid line at the main gate at South Landing of Crowley Lake to expedite entry. If you are planning on launching a boat into Crowley Lake please keep the following in mind:

–All boats and trailers must be CLEAN and DRY or they will be denied access.

–If the owner of the vessel chooses not to clean the vessel they will not be allowed to launch.

–All drain plugs must be removed prior to boat transport.

–All vehicles towing boats will be required to have a visible Inspection Certification during boat launching at Crowley Lake.

–Boat owners should be aware there may be an extended wait to enter Crowley Lake Reservoir due to these important protective measures.

Inspections are required for the protection of the fishery at Crowley Lake and in order to keep the reservoir open to recreational boating. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Crowley Lake Fish Camp appreciate the cooperation of boat owners and will work to expedite the inspection and certification process.

For more information contact LADWP at (760) 873-0409 or www.LADWP.com/mussels or Crowley Lake Fish Camp at (760) 935-4043.

eastern sierra news, bishop creek, fishing opener, ladwp, crowley lake

photos by Arnie Palu

OVC Annual Event Set

Owens Valley Committee Annual Event

The Owens Valley Committee invites you to its annual social event, lecture, and fundraiser on Sunday, April 26, 2015. The gathering will take place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Mountain Light Gallery, 106 Main Street in Bishop.
Special guest Bruce Embrey of the Manzanar Committee will be speaking on this year’s theme, “Partnering to Protect Owens Valley.” The event will include live music, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. There will also be a silent auction featuring artwork and crafts by local artists and artisans and much more. A suggested donation of $10 at the door is appreciated.
The Owens Valley Committee is a non-profit organization dedicated to seeking just and sustainable management of Owens Valley land and water resources. OVC envisions a valley in which existing open space is protected, historic uses sustained, and depleted ground water reserves and surface water flows are restored as Los Angeles phases out its dependence on Owens Valley water.
Please join the OVC for an evening of conversation, music, and partnership, set amidst Galen and Barbara Rowell’s stunning photographs of the Owens Valley and beyond.

owens valley committee, ladwp, owens valley news, eastern sierra news

Forest Campgrounds Opening

Inyo National Forest Campgrounds, Schulman Grove Visitor Center Scheduled to Open

The Inyo National Forest is planning to open recreation facilities on the White Mountain and Mt. Whitney Ranger Districts in the upcoming weeks.

On the White Mountain District, Grandview Campground in the White Mountains is currently open; this is a dry campground with no water. The Schulman Grove Visitor Center is scheduled to open on April 24th and will be open four days a week, Friday – Monday. The summer schedule, open seven days a week, is expected to start in mid-May.

In the Big Pine drainage, Sage Flat, Upper Sage Flat, and Big Pine campgrounds are scheduled to open by April 22nd.

In Bishop Creek, the Bitterbrush Campground is open and the Bishop Park, Forks, Intake 2, Big Trees, and Four Jeffrey campgrounds are scheduled to open by April 22nd.  The Sabrina, Table Mountain, Mountain Glenn, Willow, and North Lake campgrounds are scheduled to open at a later date, dependent on weather.

Along Rock Creek, the Holiday Campground (a winter service campground) is open, but will close on April 23rd when French Camp and Tuff campgrounds open. Iris and Big Meadow Campgrounds are projected to open on May 8th, East Fork is projected to open on May 15th, and Upper and Lower Pine Grove and Rock Creek Lake campgrounds are projected to open on May 22nd. Please be aware that there is road construction going on the Rock Creek Road; expect 30 minute delays and limited parking. The McGee Campground will be open by April 23rd.

On the Mt. Whitney District, Upper and Lower Grays Meadow and Lone Pine campgrounds are currently open. Whitney Portal Campground is working to open April 18th, but will definitely be open by April 23rd. Onion Valley Campground will open by April 23rd as well. The Horseshoe Meadow Road and the Horseshoe Meadow campgrounds will open on April 24th. Please note that fishing will not be open in Cottonwood Creek until July 1st.

Forest Service campgrounds can be reserved at www.recreation.gov. Many other camping opportunities exist in Bureau of Land Management campgrounds and various Inyo County, Mono County and private campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra.

inyo national forest, eastern sierra news, eastern sierra campgrounds, eastern sierra camping

Manzanar opens Barracks Exhibits

MANZANAR OPENS LONG-AWAITED
BARRACKS EXHIBITS

During World War II, more than 10,000 Japanese Americans coped with spartan living conditions at Manzanar. They were from cities and farms, young and old, rich and poor, extended families and single people. All were forced from their pre-war homes to live in crowded apartments in identical barracks in Manzanar.
Visitors now have the opportunity to learn more about the personal experiences of individuals, families, and communities incarcerated at Manzanar through new permanent exhibits installed in two reconstructed barracks. The exhibits feature extensive photos, documents, and quotes illustrating the challenges and changes people faced at Manzanar. Six audio stations and one video station feature a total of 42 oral history clips.
Exhibits in barracks 1 focus on the early days of Manzanar, when thousands of people arrived to an unfinished camp. Barracks 1 also includes a Block Manager’s office, featuring the papers of Block Manager Chokichi Nakano. Barracks 8 features an “improved” apartment with linoleum and wall board. A second room explores the Loyalty Questionnaire and its profound long-lasting impacts.

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“We’re happy to have the new exhibits installed in time for next weekend’s annual Pilgrimage,” said Superintendent Bernadette Johnson. “The Pilgrimage is a time when people come together to share stories. The new exhibits make it possible to experience the living conditions and create personal connections for our visitors as they tour the barracks and hear stories told by incarcerees.”

Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. Admission is free. For further information, please call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit their website at www.nps.gov/manz, or explore their page at www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite.

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manzanar, owens valley news, manzanar national historic site

Paving Begins on Bishop’s Warren Street

Warren Street Construction Update

Pavement rehabilitation work is expected to start next week on the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project. This work will last about two weeks and will be especially disruptive because of extensive street and intersection closures.  Pavement rehabilitation will start early Monday, 20 April, with grinding and pulverizing
existing pavement on North Warren, Church, Academy, West Pine, and the city parking lot east of South Warren.
After that, the ground up pavement will be treated with cement
and graded to provide a base for the new asphalt concrete pavement. This grinding and grading work is expected to take about a week. The following week, new pavement is expected to be placed on the streets that were ground and graded the previous week. Paving is expected to take about a week.
While pavement rehabilitation work is underway, concrete work will continue on the project. Concrete work is expected to focus on South Warren and in city parking lots for the next two or three weeks. Street light installation is also expected to continue.
Although the next two weeks of work on the Warren Street project will be especially disruptive, once it is complete, inconveniences due to the remaining construction will be significantly less than it has for several months. All work on the project is expected to be complete in mid May.  Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden hazards require attention, even when work is not underway. When signs say a road is closed, please don’t drive on it. The contract or on the project normally works 7 am to 5
pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off.
For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at publicworks@ca-bishop.us or 760-873-8458.
city of bishop, warren street, bishop california news