Category Archives: Local News

inyo forest

Got Wood?

Inyo National Forest Announces Firewood Season

The Inyo National Forest announces that the opening of personal use fuelwood season starts Friday, May 1st. Fuelwood permits will soon go on sale at local U.S. Forest Service Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers beginning Wednesday, April 29th.

Maps showing areas open to cutting are available with a purchased fuelwood permit. Fuelwood permits are still $15.00 per cord with a two cord minimum purchase.

Initial supplies of firewood can be found at Hartley and Reversed Peak Forest Management Areas located on the fuelwood map. Other areas may be opened later this season.

To better serve visitors, the U.S. Forest Service is requesting those persons interested in purchasing fuelwood permits do so between the hours of 8:00 am-11:30 am and 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Fuelwood permits may be obtained at the following locations: 

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center (SAVC) in Lee Vining, (760) 647-3044

Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes, (760) 924-5500

White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop, (760) 873-2500

Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine, (760) 876-6222

Mono Basin SAVC will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until May 17th. The White Mountain Visitor Center, currently under remodel, is expected to re-open by April 29th. Please call ahead to your local visitor center to confirm hours of operations.

Permit holders are advised to check in with their local U.S. Forest Service Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers for current conditions and accessibility. The Inyo National Forest will institute shut down days (for chainsaw use) based upon daily Project Activity Level. Permit holders can call (760) 873-2555 for information on activity levels.

The Fuelwood Strategy, developed with public participation in 1998, continues to be implemented this year.  Large ends of all downed logs (those portions greater than 30 inches in diameter) are required to remain on the forest floor for wildlife habitat and recycling of soil nutrients.  The majority of funds collected from permit sales are directly returned to the forest for continued implementation of this program.  Comments on this Strategy and Fuelwood program are always welcome. For further information on the fuelwood program, contact your local Ranger Station or Visitor Center.

inyo national forest, fire wood, eastern sierra news, bishop news, mammoth news
petty

NASCAR Legends Heading to Tonopah

Kyle Petty and Friends coming to Tonopah

Annual motorcycle tour that benefits children with chronic illnesses will travel from Santa Cruz, Calif. to Branson, Mo., with a stop in Tonopah, Sunday May 3rd.

Tune in to KIBS/KBOV for interviews and details.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. March 2, 2015 – The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America has announced the route for its 21st Anniversary motorcycle trek, taking place May 2-8, 2015. NBC Sports NASCAR analyst and former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty will lead 200 motorcyclists along the 2,500 mile-route, stretching from Santa Cruz, Calif. to Branson, Mo., to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction – a camp created to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

“Each year, we select a route that’s full of breathtaking scenery, while also allowing us to spread the word and build excitement around our mission along the way,” said Petty. “Year after year, the Ride creates lasting memories for our riders, most importantly, it provides life-changing opportunities for children at Victory Junction.”

Spectators, visitors and locals along the 2015 route are encouraged to attend one of the Ride’s eight overnight stops or daily fuel stops to greet Petty and the riders, purchase Ride memorabilia or make a donation to Victory Junction.

The 2015 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Schedule:

  • Day 1, Saturday, May 2 – Santa Cruz, Calif. to Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Day 2, Sunday, May 3 – Bakersfield, Calif. to Tonopah, Nev.
  • Day 3, Monday, May 4 – Tonopah, Nev. to Bryce Canyon, Utah
  • Day 4, Tuesday, May 5 – Bryce Canyon, Utah to Moab, Utah
  • Day 5, Wednesday, May 6 – Moab, Utah to Colorado Springs, CO.
  • Day 6, Thursday, May 7 – CO. Springs, CO. to Hutchinson,KS.
  • Day 7, Friday, May 8 – Hutchinson, Kan. to Branson, Mo.

As a result of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, 7,815 children have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families. The camp has served as the Ride’s primary beneficiary since its establishment by Kyle Petty in 2004 in honor of his late son, Adam.

This year, many celebrities plan to participate in all or part of the 21st Anniversary Ride, including: NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven time champion Richard Petty; NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth; NASCAR legends Harry Gant and Donnie Allison; former NFL great Herschel Walker; Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich; NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Rick Allen; co-host of History Channel’s Top Gear America and NASCAR personality Rutledge Wood.

“When Kyle started this Ride 21 years ago, I don’t think any of us realized just how special it would become,” said Kyle’s father Richard Petty. “Riding across our beautiful country on two wheels with great friends and family is incredible, but knowing you’re doing it to help others makes it the ride of a lifetime.”

The 2015 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America is made possible by presenting sponsor Manheim, as well as Coca-Cola, Dodge, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Racing Electronics, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, WinCraft Racing, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the Petty Family Foundation, Headbands of Hope, Original Bike Spirits and the Beef Jerky Outlet.

To follow Kyle Petty and the riders live, visit www.facebook.com/KPCharityRide, or on Twitter and Instagram, @KPCharityRide.

About the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America (KPCRAA)
Led by former NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty, the KPCRAA is an annual cross-country motorcycle trek that raises funds and awareness for Victory Junction. The KPCRAA is one of the most successful and popular charity events in the country. Now in its 21st year, more than 7,500 riders have logged 11.1 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised more than $16 million for Victory Junction and other children’s charities.

About Victory Junction
Victory Junction is a year-round camping environment for children, ages six to 16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Co-founded by Kyle Petty family, in honor of his, son Adam Petty, the camp is located in Randleman, N.C. Victory Junction exists to provide life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment, always free of charge. As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations to provide this experience at no charge to children and their families. Since the camp’s inception, more than 21,500 children and families have received not only a circle of support but experiences thought to only be possible by healthy children. Victory Junction is a member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network of Camps founded by Paul Newman, and is accredited by the rigorous guidelines of the American Camping Association. To learn more, please visit victoryjunction.org.

tonopah news, kyle petty, eastern sierra news
20150415_153318

Manzanar Recruiting Youth Corps Members

MANZANAR RECRUITING YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS MEMBERS

Manzanar National Historic Site will sponsor an 8-week long Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program this summer. Youths 15 to 18 are encouraged to apply, provided they do not reach their 19th birthday before August 8, 2015.

YCC team members will work June 15, 2015 through August 7, 2015, earning the Federal minimum wage of $9.00 per hour. The YCC team will work at Manzanar National Historic Site under the supervision of National Park Service (NPS) staff Monday to Friday from 8:15 to 4:45 p.m. Those selected will need to provide their own transportation to work and will need to have their own checking or savings account before they begin. A background investigation may be required prior to employment.

“We have had YCC crews since 2002 and have given local youth an opportunity to learn about American history and to participate in preserving resources associated with this part of the Owens Valley,” said Superintendent Bernadette Johnson. “Last summer, the crew included members from Bishop, Big Pine and Lone Pine, so I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s applications.”

The YCC team will focus on the preservation of resources associated with the internment of Japanese American during World War II, the Manzanar orchard community and the Owens Valley Paiute. The crew will have opportunities to visit other historically significant areas in the valley, to gain a more complete understanding of Owens Valley history and the issues facing the protection of these resources in the future.

Applications may be obtained from the Manzanar National Historic Site Visitor Center, 5001 Highway 395, six miles South of Independence. The completed application must be received at Manzanar no later than Thursday, April 30, 2015 to:
Manzanar National Historic Site
Attn: Human Resources
PO Box 426
Independence, CA 93526

The participants and alternates for the 2015 program will be notified by May 11, 2015. For more information, please contact Facility Manager Troy Strawn at 760-878-2194 ext. 3337.

manzanar, eastern sierra news, lone pine news, independence news
IMG_9980

Warren Street Update

Warren Street in the home stretch

Paving operations are expected next week on the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project. Paving is expected to start first thing Monday morning, April 27th and continue 2 or 3 days. With the completion of paving work, the most disruptive part
of the project will be over. This week, old street pavement was ground up, mixed with cement, compacted, and graded as base for the new pavement. This operation closed most of the roads affected
by the project and limited access to public parking lots in the area.
Next week’s paving operation is expected to involve similar closures and similar inconvenience. In addition to pavement work on North Warren between Line and Pine streets and on Church, Academy, and Pine between Main and Warren, work is now underway to reconstruct a city parking lot on South Warren. The pavement in this parking lot was ground this week and the lot will be repaved next week.
In addition to the pavement rehabilitation work, concrete work has continued on the project. Next week, concrete work is expected to move to South Warren Street.
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
hanta

Annual Hantavirus Warning

‘Tis The Season for Hantavirus

From the desk of Inyo and Mono county Public Heath officer Dr. Richard Johnson:
Although mice carry the hantavirus all year, this is the start of the season when humans typically begin activities that put them at risk of being exposed to the hantavirus. Spring cleaning activities, such as opening up closed buildings that have been unused overwinter, often provide habitats for deer mice and become sites for human exposure to the hantavirus. Although hantavirus infections are relatively rare, it is not unusual for us to have several cases per year in the Eastern Sierra. The risk of death is significant. Individuals cleaning areas where the mice may be present are well advised to heed the recommendations below in order to avoid exposure.
Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice, and especially the deer mouse, pictured above. Infected rodents shed the virus in their urine, droppings, and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people when infected mouse urine, saliva, droppings, or nesting materials are stirred up, temporarily aerosolizing the virus, which can be breathed in by humans.

We recommend the following precautions:
seal openings that may allow mice to enter homes and workplaces;
remove brush, woodpiles, trash, and other items that may attract mice;
tightly close garbage cans, pet food containers, and other food
sources;
wear protective gloves to handle dead mice or to clean up nesting areas, urine, or droppings;
before cleaning up nests or droppings found inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the area for at least 30 minutes;
do not stir up nests by sweeping or vacuuming. Dampen areas before clean-up;
use a disinfectant or 1-to-10 bleach-water mixture to clean up dead
rodents, nests, urine, and droppings.
Early symptoms of hantavirus infection include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. These symptoms may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Later symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. If hantavirus is suspected, people should contact their health care provider immediately. Remember, infections with hantavirus may feel like the “flu”; however, it is no longer flu season!

For more information, including a map of surveillance activities, go to: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/HantavirusPulmonarySyndrome.aspx

mono county news, inyo county news, eastern sierra news
solar paint

Bishop Solar Project

Bishop Invites Comments on Solar Project

The City of Bishop invites comments on the environmental study for its Well and Sewer Plant Solar project. The $600,000 project will add solar arrays at two city well sites and at the city sewage treatment plant. These arrays would provide most of the power used by the wells and sewage plant, would save the city about $60,000 per year in electricity costs, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 470,000 pounds per year.

One 5,000 square foot solar array would be constructed at the city’s Well 2 site near the Tri-county Fairgrounds, one 11,000 square foot solar array would be constructed at the city’s Well 4 site on West Line Street near Mummy Lane, and two arrays with a combined
area of about 12,500 square feet would be constructed at the sewage treatment plant about 1/2 mile east of the Bishop Creek Canal. An environmental document called an Initial Study has been prepared for the project. The document describes the project in detail and is available on the City of Bishop website. This document identifies and evaluates potential environmental impacts of the project and suggests the project will not have a significant adverse environmental impact.

The study was released for public review March 31st and comments are due May 1st. The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the study at its regular meeting April 27th and is expected to adopt the environmental document at their meeting May 11th. Construction of the project is expected in the fall of 2015. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at City Hall or publicworks@ca-bishop.us or 760-873-8458 for more information or to provide comment on the project or environmental document.

city of bishop, solar project, bishop news, eastern sierra news
checkpoint 2

Come for Vacation, don’t leave on Probation

CHP and CDFW conducting checkpoints

The California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be holding checkpoints this weekend. The CHP sobriety checkpoint is Saturday, April 25th on highway 395 at the south end of Bishop. The DFW checkpoint is scheduled for Monday, April 27th on highway 108, north of Bridgeport.

In recent years, Fish and Wildlife has conducted a similar checkpoint south of Bishop, however this year they are shifting their focus to Mono County. According to CDFW officials their checkpoint will, “Promote safety, education and compliance with laws and regulations. The wildlife checkpoint is being conducted to protect and conserve fish and wildlife, and to encourage safety and sportsmanship by promoting voluntary compliance with laws, rules and regulations through education, preventative patrol and enforcement. All anglers and hunters will be required to stop and submit to an inspection. CDFW officers will also be providing informative literature about the invasive quagga mussel and New Zealand Mudsnail.”

The Saturday CHP checkpoint will be staffed by officers who are trained in the detection of alcohol and or drug impaired drivers. Officers will be on site providing on the spot assessments of drivers suspected of drug use. Officers will be equipped with state of the art hand held breath testing devices with provide an accurate measure of blood alcohol concentrations of suspected drunk drivers.

Funding for the CHP checkpoint is provided to the CHP by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the national highway traffic safety administration.

chp, cdfw, eastern sierra news, bishop news, mono county
photo by blm

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
Michener

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

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