Tag Archives: Inyo County

COUNTY LIBRARY

Inyo County Free Library closed for automation

Posted by Seth Conners

Inyo County Free Library will be temporarily closing the branches in Big Pine, Bishop, Independence and Lone Pine from Thursday, March 23 through Thursday, March 30, 2017 in order to apply about 13,000 barcodes to books. Librarians will be moving from branch to branch to complete this work.

We regret the inconvenience to our Library patrons, and appreciate your patience during this necessary closure. Big Pine, Bishop and Lone Pine Branches will resume normal operating hours on Friday, March 31, 2017. The Central Library in Independence will reopen on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

HISTORY DAY CONTEST

ICSOS announces results for Inyo County History Day Contest

Posted by Seth Conners

Inyo County’s History Day Contest was held on Monday, March 13th, 2017. Students from Bishop Elementary, Home Street Middle School, Owens Valley Unified, and Round Valley Elementary participated. Thirteen individual posters, one website, and two group exhibits covering a variety of topics captured this year’s contest theme of Taking a Stand in History.

Students were judged on the historical quality, relation to theme, clarity of presentation, and compliance with rules. They also participated in interviews, explaining the process they used to create their projects. The following students will be advancing to the state competition in May:
Steve Mather, Fight against Railroad Monopolies (website)
Naiya Warren and Kylee Mullen, First Two Women in Space (exhibit)
Cora Vannest and Kaki Saulque, Alice Piper (exhibit)
Shealyn Ludwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (poster)
Blake Winzenread, Wangari Maathai (poster)
Luke Winzenread, John Muir (poster)

The following students were also recognized for their hard work on their poster presentations: Elias Downard with Wright Brothers, Brooklyn Garnder with Fannie Lou Hamer, Elizabeth Ellsworth with Annie Bidwell, Malaya Milazzo with Clara Shortridge Foltz, Alyssa Buchholz with Annie Oakley, Jodie Bedore with Malala’s Stand, Ty Arcularius with Don Haskins, Elan Boehme with Charles Darwin, Emma Dutton with Susan B. Anthony, and Claire Vetter with Elizabeth Blackwell.

Thank you to coaches Randee Arcularius, Billy and Shelly Daugherty, and Brian Mack for working with their students to prepare them for the competition. In addition, ICSOS would like to thank the local Altrusa Chapter for sponsoring the event.

Congratulations to all student participants!

OHV GRANT APPLICATIONS

USFS and BLM 2017 OHV Grant Applications are now available for public comment.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Deb Schweizer, The Inyo National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office (BLM) have submitted to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) preliminary applications for grant funds to enhance and manage motorized recreation. The agencies invite public comments on the preliminary grant applications.
These and all other applicants’ grant requests, as well as detailed instructions about the process and how to comment, can be viewed on the OHMVR website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/. Comments should be submitted directly through the division website and sent to the responsible agency anytime from March 7 to April 3, 2017.
The agencies also invite the public to come out to an informal open house happening from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at the U.S. Forest Service/BLM office, located behind the Department of Motor Vehicles, at 351 Pacu Lane in Bishop. Copies of the preliminary applications will be available at the open house. The public can come by at any time during the open house to review and discuss the grant applications.
Representatives from the two agencies, the Inyo County Public Works Department and others who are submitting grants for activities on USFS and BLM lands, will be on site to answer questions and receive or facilitate comments on changes, concerns and support for final grant applications, which will be submitted before May 1, 2017.

BUILDING PERMITS

Inyo County and The City of Bishop now issuing building permits from the same place.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Michelle Rhew at the City of Bishop, Earlier this year Inyo County and the City of Bishop consolidated the
building permit staff for each agency at one location at Bishop City Hall.
The consolidation was done to improve service and reduce cost.
Inyo County’s Building and Safety staff are now based in the Public Works
Office at Bishop City Hall, 377 West Line Street. The county staff now
perform building permitting and inspection for the city as well as the county.
Inyo County Building and Safety staff are available during regular City Hall
hours, 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding city holidays.
They can assist with building permitting throughout Inyo County including
the City of Bishop.
Although the county staff has moved to city offices, they can still be
reached at the usual county phone number 760-873-7857. For projects in
the city they can be reached at the city phone number, 760-873-8458. Their
mailing address is the same as City Hall, 377 West Line Street, Bishop,
California 93514.
Inyo County and City of Bishop have appreciated the public’s patience
during the move to City Hall and appreciate patience as details of the
consolidation are worked through in coming months. Comments and
suggestions on building permitting and the consolidation are always
welcome by both agencies.

LOCAL BOOK SIGNING

HISTORY PROGRAM AND BOOK SIGNING AT THE EASTERN CALIFORNIA MUSEUM IN INDEPENDENCE

Posted by Seth Conners

“On Saturday February 25th, The Eastern California Museum in Independence will be hosting a history program and book signing event with local authors and Owens Valley residents David and Gayle Woodruff introducing their new Eastern Sierra history book; Tales Along El Camino Sierra. The Woodruffs have lived, worked and vacationed in the Eastern Sierra for over 50 years. They have compiled historical photographs and documents through extensive research, using a variety of educational and informational resources to publish their 3rd book on Eastern California history.
According to David Woodruff, El Camino Sierra was the name first given to the original Highway 395 in Inyo and Mono Counties. In 1910, intent on getting their share of the first state highway construction bond measure, members of the Inyo Good Roads Club coined the name El Camino Sierra as a marketing tool to help draw the attention of the state decision makers in Sacramento, to this lightly populated area of the state. Their tireless and effective promotional efforts even brought the first sitting governor of the State of California to the land of Inyo and Mono.
Three-ninety-five…this magical ribbon of blacktop has been taking people on a sentimental journey for over 100 years. Rarely does a roadway invoke such nostalgic memories as “The Mountain Highway”. Tales Along El Camino Sierra is a collection of little known stories involving people, places and events that have taken place over the years, in the beautiful lands of the Eastern Sierra. These engaging and often amusing narratives bring to life the area’s rich human history, that has not only helped shape the social and cultural fabric of this cherished region but has often created an enduring impact upon the human psyche as well.
The history program and book-signing event will be held on Saturday February 25th at the Eastern California Museum in Independence from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the book signing, the Woodruff will have on display ephemera, photos and memorabilia from their personal collection. Light refreshments will also be served. For more information you can call 760 878-0258.

 

INYO COUNTY GRANTS

Inyo County approves grants to local non-profit groups for 2017

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Inyo County Museum Services Administrater Jon Klusmire, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors recently approved 10 grants to various local, non-profit community groups and organizations, for a total of $20,984.
The grant process is part of the county’s Community Project Sponsorship Program, which awards grants to projects and programs that will help promote the area to visitors, create events that attract local residents and visitors, or enhance the cultural life of residents. For 2017 the Board of Supervisors approved about 20 CPSP grants, with a total allocation of $95,000.
The board approved a new structure and process for the CPSP grants in the fall of 2016. In past years, all grant applications went through a competitive review and ranking process. In addition, the grant cycle was based on the county’s fiscal year, which meant each year a number of events, projects and programs were unable to apply for the CPSP grants due to the timing of the events.
Under the new system, programs and events that had received funds in nine of the past years were allocated funds without having to go through the competitive process. Those events included traditional fishing derbies and other well-known events and projects. Under the new formula, $35,000 was allocated to four fishing derbies and other longstanding fishing promotions, and $39,016 was allocated to other well-established projects and events.
That left $29,984 for the “competitive” grants for 2017.
Nine local non-profit groups submitted grant applications for 12 separate events or programs. The total requested was $57,785. A grant review panel made up of three residents scored each grant application and also worked collaboratively to award the total of $29,984 in available grant funding. The Board of Supervisors approved the grant award recommendations at its Feb. 14 meeting.
The following is a list of the projects, events and programs approved for CPSP grant awards in 2017.
Third Annual Owens Lake Bird Festival (Friends of the Inyo): This well-received event continues to highlight the birding and wildlife viewing opportunities on the Owens Dry Lake, which has become a notable, statewide birding destination. Grant Award: $3,000.
Death Valley ‘49er Encampment (Death Valley ‘49ers ): The ‘49er Encampment is a Death Valley tradition which began in 1949. This is the first year the group has sought CPSP grant funding. The grant funds will be used for expenses related to the event’s musical entertainment. Grant Award: $2,000.
Celebration of the Larry Pecham Engine House (Carson & Colorado Railway): Grant funds will be used for a community celebration to mark the completion of the Larry Pecham Engine House that will house the restored, operational Carson and Colorado #18 locomotive, on the grounds of the Eastern California Museum in Independence. The party is planned for July 3. This is the first CPSP grant awarded to the Carson and Colorado group. Grant Award: $2,500.
Music in the Courtyard (Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce): This popular event brings live music from local bands and musicians to Lone Pine on summer evenings, which is enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Grant Award: $3,000.
Second Annual Eastern Sierra Music Festival (Eastern Sierra Music Festival): This will be the second year for this ambitious musical event, after a successful debut. After covering costs, funds will be donated to the National Wounded Warrior Center planned for Mammoth Lakes. This is the first CPSP grant for this event. Grant Award: $2,000.
Eastern Sierra Vintage Film Festival (Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau): This is a new event that will feature an assortment of historic films and videos and home movies from various individuals, groups and businesses in Inyo County. Grant Award: $3,000.
Inyo County FAM Tours (Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau): This project helps educate front-line hospitality employees about the numerous attractions and events in Inyo County so they can provide useful, up-to-date information to visitors. Grant Award: $1,000.
Amargosa/Highway 127 Visitor Guide (Amargosa Conservancy): This brochure will highlight the various attractions in Southern Inyo, including the Shoshone Museum, China Ranch, Tecopa Hot Springs and numerous natural attractions. This is the first CPSP grant for the Amargosa Conservancy. Grant Award: $1,000.
Movie Tours Development Program (Museum of Western Film History): This ongoing program will refine and standardize tours of movie sites in Lone Pine and Inyo County. The tours are also enhanced by supporting elements, such as video, photos, etc. Grant Award: $1,000.
Lone Pine Film Festival Buses (Museum of Western Film History): Grant funds will be used to help defray the cost of buses for one of the festival’s most popular components, the nearly 20 unique, two-hour long movie location tours led by enthusiastic volunteers. Grant Award: $2,484.

 

INYO FLOOD TIPS

The county of Inyo wants the public to be prepared in case of flooding.

Posted by Seth Conners

MORE RAIN – CONTINUED FLOOD DANGER
The National Weather Service, Las Vegas, is forecasting another round of Pacific moisture spread across our region beginning Friday, February 9. Light to moderate rainfall amounts are expected across lower elevations. The main concern is that this will be a relatively warm rain event, with snow levels initially above 9,000 feet, when most of the precipitation falls. This may lead to accelerated snow melt concerns in the southern Sierra and flooding throughout the Owens Valley.

In preparation of possible flooding conditions due to heavy rains or snow melt-off, Inyo County residents are reminded that the Inyo County Office of Emergency Services, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and Inyo County Road Department have strategically staged sand piles at several locations throughout the Owens Valley. These sand piles are accessible anytime to all Inyo County residents for emergency preparedness and response, and will be replenished whenever possible.

BISHOP
Site 1: Back of the Bishop City Park near the Senior Center
Site 2: Bishop Fire Station 2 at West Line Street, west of Manor Market
Site 3: Bishop Fire Station 3 at SeeVee and U.S. Highway 395.
Site 4: Starlite Community Park
Site 5: Mustang Mesa-Mill Creek Road

BIG PINE
Big Pine Fire Station.

INDEPENDENCE
Inyo County Sheriff’s Facility on Clay Street
Inyo County Road Department on Mazourka Road

LONE PINE
Sand trap located on Whitney Portal Road West of the LA Aqueduct.

OLANCHA
Olancha Fire Department.
Sand bags for flood preparedness are available from many Inyo County merchants, including but is not limited to the following: Manor True Value, High Country Lumber, Home Lumber and Brown’s Supply in Bishop; Hi-Country Market in Big Pine; Gardner’s True Value in Lone Pine; and Home Depot in Pahrump.

Emergency sand bags are available from the following fire departments: Bishop Fire Station 1-Downtown Bishop, Big Pine Fire Station, Independence Fire Station, Lone Pine Fire Station, and Olancha Fire Station. Emergency sand bags will be distributed at the discretion of each fire department, and may be limited based on weather conditions, need and demand. Residents and businesses in known flood areas are urged to prepare ahead of time, utilizing the sand stockpiles listed above and sand bags purchased from local businesses.

To report flooding, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383. Be prepared to tell the Sheriff’s Dispatcher the exact location of the flooding and if the water threatens structures, animals, land, or roadways. If water threatens human life – dial 911. And always remember: If you see water crossing a roadway – Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Flooding is one of the many dangers of hazardous weather conditions that can compound in a hurry for those who find themselves unprepared, which sadly, can lead to emotional and/or financial devastation. Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take to better protect you, your family, your pets, and your property from the dangers of flooding:

1. Clean gutters before the first storm hits, and again afterwards.

2. Check all drainage devices and remove accumulated silt and debris. This will need to be done repeatedly throughout the rainy season.

3. Check all areas of your property to ensure that all drainage is directed away from your house.

4. Do not park in front, or on top of, storm drain inlets when parking along the street.

5. On trash pick-up days, set trash cans on the curb in your parkway instead of in the street gutter. This will prevent back-up of flowing debris as well as prevent your trash cans from being swept away by swift-moving storm water.

6. Purchase tools and emergency supply materials such as shovels, sandbags and plastic sheeting and keep them handy and accessible.

7. Does your family have a Disaster Plan and a Disaster Supply Kit for your home and each of your vehicles? Form an evacuation plan. The key to surviving a flood, or any disaster, is learning the safest route away from your home to a safe area, in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. Prepare a cache of emergency supplies including food, water, fresh batteries, flashlights and portable radios in good working order, matches, firewood, fuel, prescriptions and a first aid kit. Advice on what your Disaster Plan should look like and what to include in your Disaster Supply Kits can be found on the Inyo County-Office of Emergency Services webpage. Visit http://www.inyocounty.us/OES/emergency_planning_and_disaster_supplies.htm for more tips and information on Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies.

8. Do you know what the flood risk is for your property? Visit the following California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) webpage at
a. http://www.water.ca.gov/floodsafe/ca-flood-preparedness/fpw_home.cfm. Click on the link to enter your address location and find out what your risk level is.

9. Review your home insurance policy. Does it include flood insurance? Flood insurance is not always required, or typically included, in home policies. Read the fine print! Don’t wait until the last minute and the storm is bearing down on you. Most insurance companies have a 30 day waiting period before the flood policy will go into effect. Californians living in areas with any risk of flooding should purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) immediately. Learn more at https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/.

10. Make an itemized list of personal property which includes clothing, furnishings and valuables. Take photographs of your home, both inside and out, and store them in a safe place. This will help an insurance adjuster to settle any claims and to help prove uninsured losses. Don’t rely on federal disaster assistance to pay for damages. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) typically provides assistance in the form of low interest loans, not as compensation for losses. For more information on flood-related resources, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

11. And finally…..BE PROACTIVE AND BE INFORMED! Track predicted storms on the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website at http://www.noaa.gov/ and plan your travel and outdoor activities accordingly.

Remember, during emergency events such as severe storms and flooding, emergency workers may be responding to incidents all over the 10,000 square miles that make up Inyo County. It’s important that all residents and businesses take steps to be prepared and self-sufficient in the event of an emergency.

For more information on flooding risks and preparedness, check out the following link: http://www.ready.gov/floods.

Bishop Creek Sewage Update

Inyo County and Bishop Paiute Tribe release statement on Bishop Creek Sewage Spill

April 11, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Inyo County Environmental Health and the Bishop Paiute Tribe have issued a statement further detailing the sewage spill into Bishop Creek.  The unauthorized release of raw sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek started on March 14th and continued until it was discovered on March 24th.  Officials continue to monitor flows and note that people and their pets are still advised to refrain from body contact activities in Bishop Creek.

Inyo County Environmental Health, Bishop Paiute Tribe statement:

BISHOP CREEK SEWAGE SPILL – FOLLOW UP

On Friday, March 25, 2016 the Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Inyo County Environmental Health Department issued a media release notifying the public of an unauthorized release of raw sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek. Few details were available at the time and further information is now available.

A clog in the Bishop Paiute sewer system resulted in sewage backing up and discharging through an upstream manhole. The release traveled some 1500 feet over Tribal land before entering the South Fork of Bishop Creek. A review of the sewer systems’ flow records appear to indicate that the discharge began on March 14, 2016. The discharge was discovered the evening of March 24, 2016, and the clog was removed and the discharge stopped later that evening. Flow records indicate the discharge over the eleven day period averaged 68,000 gallons a day, and a total discharge of approximately 700,000 gallons. A significant portion of this flow percolated into the ground prior to reaching the Bishop Creek. Visual observations estimated the flow into the creek to be approximately 30 gallons per minute on the evening of March 24th. On March 25th, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power requested that the flow to the South Fork of Bishop Creek be increased in order to provide a flushing action that could assist in the remediation. The flows were increased by 7-8 cubic feet per second for a five hour duration.

Latest monitoring results show decreasing E. Coli bacteria levels in the section of stream downstream of where the discharge occurred. These levels still exceed the surface water standards set by the Bishop Tribe and the Lahontan RWQCB, but are lower than levels typically found in Bishop Creek during the summer. People, and their pets, are still advised to refrain from body contact activities in Bishop Creek at this time. This advisory applies to the South Fork of Bishop Creek near See Vee Lane and immediately downstream.

Bishop Creek, Inyo County, Bishop Paiute Tribe

Marijuana Grow Located

Large Marijuana Grow cleared

From Mono County District Attorney Tim Kendall.

On June 1, 2015 the Mono County DA’s Office conducted flight operations in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s marijuana eradication program. The purpose of the program is to locate large scale outdoor marijuana grows on public lands within Mono County. These flight operations resulted in the detection of several marijuana grows in rugged and remote locations in the southern Mono County area. The grow sites were very large in size and ran up to approximately seven miles in length.

As a result the Mono County DA’s Office, with the assistance of the Forest Service, initiated a two month investigation. The investigation was also aided with the assistance of the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department since some of the marijuana grows crossed over into Inyo County.

During the investigation, it was determined that the largest grow, which was located in Mono County, was typical of grows commonly operated by Mexican Drug Trade Organizations. Along with those characteristics, several Hispanic males were identified and were seen tending to the garden armed with rifles.

On August 11, 2015 Investigators with the Mono District Attorney’s Office, assisted by Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, Forrest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Guard and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, conducted a raid operation to arrest and detain any gardeners found in the site.

Due to unknown reasons, it was determined that the persons responsible for tending to the garden had fled, leaving the garden unattended. The heavy late July rains appeared to have damaged the marijuana plants within the garden and therefore that is suspected to be the reason that the garden was abandoned.

During eradication and reclamation efforts approximately 40,000 marijuana plants with a conservative street value of well over $2 million dollars were located and destroyed from this site. During reclamation efforts a total of 4,401 pounds of trash was removed. Some of that consisted of 10.82 miles of irrigation hose and 550 pounds of fertilizer.

Marijuana photo 2

Numerous other illegal and highly toxic pesticides were found being used in the garden and Hazmat crews later responded to recovered and removed those pesticides.
Large scale marijuana gardens on public lands creates a danger to the public and to our recreational users of these lands. Unfortunately, hunters, hikers and others that come across these types of gardens and the individuals who attend these gardens put themselves in great danger. Along with the public danger there are also serious environmental impacts that these marijuana gardens create. If you ever encounter a marijuana garden you should quickly and quietly remove yourself from the area. Do not continue on your path and do not make contact with anyone in the area. Immediately call the Mono County District Attorney or any other law enforcement agency as soon as you possibly can.

photos provided by the Mono County District Attorney

mono county district attorney, Tim Kendall, inyo county district attorney, mono county, inyo county, inyo county sheriffs department

Increase in Plague Activity

Inyo National Forest Advisory: Increase in Plague Activity in the Sierra Nevada

Based upon recent incidents of rodents with plague and a handful of cases where plague was contracted by people visiting nearby federal lands, the Inyo National Forest would like to advise recreationalists and residents to take the following steps as a matter of caution while visiting the Inyo National Forest.

  • Never feed squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents and never touch sick or dead rodents.
  • Avoid walking or camping near rodent burrows.
  • Wear long pants tucked into socks or boot tops to reduce exposure to fleas.
  • Spray insect repellent containing DEET on skin and clothing, especially socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas.
  • Keep wild rodents out of homes, trailers, and outbuildings and away from pets.

 If you notice dead rodents without obvious signs of injury while recreating, please contact your local health department (Mono County: 760-924-1830; Inyo County: 760-873-7868) or the California Department of Public Health’s Vector-Borne Disease Section at 916-552-9730. If possible, note the type of rodent (i.e. mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, etc.), location and date seen. If you are in a campground, please notify the campground host in addition to the health department.

 Early symptoms of plague may include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. People who develop these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and notify their health care provider that they have been camping or out in the wilderness and have been exposed to rodents and fleas.

Although the presence of plague has been confirmed in wild rodents over the past few weeks in nearby areas, the risk to human health remains low. In California, plague-infected animals are most likely to be found in the foothills and mountains.

 The California Department of Public Health has plague information, including precautions people can take to minimize their risk.

inyo national forest, plague, inyo county, mono county