Tag Archives: Inyo National Forest

U.S. FOREST SERVICE GOING SOLAR

Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine switches to solar power.

By Seth Conners

According to Deb Schweizer at INF, The Inyo National forest is pleased to announce that the solar photovoltaic system at The Eastern Sierra Visitor center in Lone Pine was turned on in December.  This system should meet nearly 100% of the facility’s electrical demand.

“The solar photovoltaic system installation at the visitor center in Lone Pine exemplifies the Forest Service’s commitment to leading by example,” said Nora Gamino, Acting Forest Engineer.  “This is one of several projects underway on the Inyo National Forest that demonstrate our dedication to sustainable practices.”

This project directly supports energy reduction and net zero goals specified in the Energy Policy Act (2005), Energy Independence and Security Act (2007), and Executive Order 13693 (Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade).

The Forest Service has committed to achieving net zero energy, water, or waste at 30 facilities over 5,000 square feet by 2025.  Given that the system will offset nearly 100% of the facility’s electrical demand, the agency is now one facility closer to meeting its goal.

The agency’s Net Zero Network encourages projects at Visitor Centers, which are not only some of our largest energy-consuming facilities, but also provide educational opportunities for those recreating on National Forest System land.

Other notable projects on the Inyo National Forest include the installation of the PV systems at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitors Center and Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center, which is completely off the grid and received Gold Certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

LOCAL CONTROLLED BURNS

Pile burning continues in Inyo National Forest.

By Seth Conners

Photo courtesy of Inyo National Forest

Fire crews continued pile burning near Smokey Bear Flat on Tuesday.  According to Deb Sweizer at Inyo National Forest, crews were working with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District to take advantage of favorable wind dispersal.  Crews were expected to complete up to 51 acres.  Since this burn unit is close to Highway 395, motorist should plan to see smoke in the area and should slow down for firefighters along the road corridor.

Also, weather and air quality conditions permitting, fire crews plan pile burning near June Lake and Mammoth Lakes today and tomorrow.

In June Lake crews will burn up to 5 acres between Fern Lake Trailhead and over to the Double Eagle Lodge.  If condition remain favorable, crews will also be looking to complete 4 acres of piles near the Peterson Tract.

In Mammoth Lakes crews will burn up to 164 acres of piles over the next 2 days along Sherwin Creek Road near the Sherwin Creek Campground.  Expect to see smoke from both June Lake and Mammoth Lakes, as well as along major roadways including Highways 395, 158, and 203.

The piles were created as part of a fuels reduction plan to remove ladder fuels that could carry fire from the forest floor up to the canopy.  The main focus is community protection from wild fires.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Inyo National Forest Announces more fire restrictions due to start today

July 29th
by Seth Conners

The Inyo National Forest is expanding fire restrictions to include wilderness areas of the Inyo National Forest.  Beginning today (Friday July 29th) the following restrictions will be in effect.
No campfires, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas.  A list of designated campgrounds and recreation sites is available at visitor centers.  Persons with a valid California campfire permit (available free of charge at visitors centers) are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
It is also prohibited to possess or discharge any fireworks including “safe and sane” fireworks.
Also, no smoking is allowed except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences and other sites operated under a special use permit from the U.S. forest service may be exempt from the special orders, as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit.

Inyo National Forest, Fire Restrictions, Fire Permits, Wilderness Areas, U.S. Forest service, No Campires

Crews Monitor Ash Fire

Fire Crews Monitor Ash Fire

June, 15, 2016
submitted by Deb Schweizer, US Forest Service

The Ash Fire, a lightning-caused fire, was ignited and detected on June 12th. It is approximately two acres in size and is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness southeast of Mulkey Meadows.

Smoke may be visible along the Highway 395 corridor north of Olancha. Please do not report this fire.

There is currently no threat to life or property. The fire is burning is a mixture of mahogany, pinyon pine, and Jeffrey pine at 8,500 ft. The fire is burning in steep, rugged, and inaccessible terrain. Fire spread is primarily from rollouts; burning material that gets loosened, rolls down the steep slope, and ignites vegetation below.

Fire crews are monitoring the fire and using bucket drops from helicopter to help direct and slow the fire spread. The fire behavior is low intensity, burning the sparse dead and down vegetation in the area. Crews plan to use a confine/contain strategy to slow the fire’s spread towards Wormhole Canyon.

More than 300 lightning strikes occurred in the southern district of the forest. Crews will also continue to monitor the area for sleeper fires, which may have ignited during the storm, but will begin to show smoke as conditions get warmer and drier.

From air
Photo provided.
inyo national forest, ash fire, olancha area fire, lightning caused fire june 12, smoke on highway 395 inyo county

Work Begins to open Lakes Basin and Reds Meadow Roads

Crews being clearing Lakes Basin and Reds Meadow Roads

submitted by the Forest Service
April 21, 2016

The Inyo National Forest, in cooperation with the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Cal Trans, is beginning work to open the Lakes Basin and Reds Meadow roads.

These areas are popular recreation destination for visitors and locals alike and provides access to the Devils Postpile National Monument, trailheads that access the John Muir Trail and destinations such as Agnew Meadow, Thousand Island Lakes, Rainbow Falls, and the Minarets. Fishing, camping, horseback riding are also popular with visitors.

Work in the Lakes Basin will begin on April 25th. The walking and bike paths will remain closed while work is underway since there will be heavy equipment removing hazard trees for the next several weeks. This will create unsafe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists. Snow removal and routine maintenance (pothole repair, culvert clearing, etc.) will also be underway. The expected opening date is May 10th.

Work on the Reds Meadow Road will begin on May 10th. Similar maintenance work and hazard tree removal is also required on this road and the road will be closed to pedestrians and cyclists while this work is underway. It is anticipated that this road will open by mid-June.

“The opportunity to complete this important safety work now will allow providing safe public access throughout the summer,” said Jon Regelbrugge, Mammoth and Mono Lake District Ranger. “We appreciate your patience while this essential work is completed.”

Expect campground in the Lakes Basin to open in early June and campgrounds in the Reds Meadow Valley to open in mid-June.

Reds Meadow Valley, Mono County news, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Inyo National forest, Town of Mammoth Lakes

Special Fuelwood Sale at Whitney Portal

Inyo National Forest Announces Continuation of Special Fuelwood Sale for the Whitney Portal

 April 11, 2016

The Mount Whitney Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest is planning to continue a special personal use fuelwood sale in the Whitney Portal Area this season. A limited number of participants for this fuelwood event will be selected by lottery, since there is a very limited amount of wood available. There are only approximately 10 cords of wood available for the area.

Whitney Portal is normally closed to fuelwood gathering for personal use. One specific area within the drainage will be opened for fuelwood during this special event. A lottery will be used to determine who will be selected to gather wood in the area. Lottery entries will be accepted during the period of April 6, 2016 through April 25, 2016. 

Individuals may submit one lottery entry per person. Entries can be submitted in person or by phone at the Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine, (760) 876-6222. Lottery entrants must provide their name, address, and contact information. The only selection will occur on April 25, 2016.

Individuals will be randomly selected from the current pool of entries when wood becomes available. Selectees will be notified via the personal contact information they provide.  Selected individuals will be given a map of the specific locations where fuelwood can be gathered. Wood gathering will start May 1, 2016 and end Oct. 31, 2016 (or sooner if the wood runs out).

Selected entrants will only be allowed to collect fuelwood on set days determined when they are drawn, and must possess a valid personal use fuelwood permit along with identification. Participants may gather a maximum of two cords of wood, though the maximum amount is not guaranteed. Participants may gather down wood only. No falling of snags or trees will be permitted.

For questions or additional information, you may contact the project leader Rick Napoles, Division Chief 4, at 760-876-6205 or Patrol 41, Levi Ray, at 760-876-6221.

Inyo National Forest, Whitney Portal, mount whitney ranger district

Get Your Chainsaw Ready

Permits for Personal Fuelwood Issued Early

submitted by the Inyo National Forest
March 29, 2016

The Inyo National Forest is offering early sale of personal use fuelwood permits for the 2016 season. Because of staffing shortages, permit sales will begin earlier than normal to help alleviate lines at the visitor centers. Locals are encouraged to purchase early to avoid crowds in the visitor centers as spring visitation season begins.

Fuelwood collection season is scheduled to open May 1, 2016, as in years past. Maps showing areas open to cutting are available with a purchased fuelwood permit. Fuelwood permits are $15.00 per cord with a two cord minimum purchase.

The forest requests that fuelwood permits are purchased between the hours of 9:00 a.m-12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., April 11 through April 30, 2016, unless otherwise specified. Fuelwood permits may be obtained at the following locations:

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining; (760) 647-3044, Permits on sale, Thursday – Monday only.

Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes; (760) 924-5500,  Permits on sale, Friday – Tuesday only.

White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop; (760) 873-2500
Permits on sale, Monday – Friday only

Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine; (760) 876-6222
Permits on sale Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10 only.

Please call ahead to your local visitor center to confirm hours of operations.

The Fuelwood Strategy, developed with public participation in 1998, remains valid and will 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, Inyo National Forest Fuelwood program, white mountain ranger station, mammoth lakes welcome center

Inyo National Forest Cautions Snowmobilers

Inyo National Forest Cautions Snowmobilers of Off-Limit Use

submitted by the Inyo National Forest
February 3, 2016

Based upon reports from rangers and visitors alike, the Inyo National Forest is reminding snowmobilers to respect off-limit areas of the forest that are closed to snowmobiles.
Forest Service rangers are patrolling closed areas for illegal snowmobile activity; focusing on locations where these incursions are problematic. These areas include designated Wilderness and Research Natural Areas, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Devils Postpile National Monument, McGee Mountain, Obsidian Dome cross-country ski trails, Shady Rest cross-country ski trails, and the area west of the G-trail from June Lake Junction south to the Glass Creek Hill.
Pick up your free copy of the Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (a waterproof version is available for purchase as well), obtain it online, or download to your mobile device using the Avenza map app (www.pdf-maps.com). These maps inform recreationists of motorized restricted areas.
The nation’s federally designated Wilderness areas prohibit motorized use; making them off limits to snowmobiles. The closures are there to protect the Wilderness experience, but snowmobile tracks and public reports indicate that numerous riders venture into these closed areas each season.  Riding in a Wilderness or a winter motorized closure is a Federal and State offense carrying fines up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail, in addition to possible seizure of the snowmobiles used in the commission of the crime.

It is the rider’s responsibility to know where these closed or restricted areas are located and their boundaries.  Major winter trailheads and launching points have maps showing these restricted areas.  If in doubt, check with the local Ranger Station or visitor center.

There are miles of groomed snow trails and play areas that are safe and legal to snowmobilers in the Mammoth and Mono Lake areas. There are approximately 75,000 acres of open expanse east of Hwy. 395 with a variety of terrain from wide-open meadows to forested areas for beginners and experts.  Please refer to http://mammothweb.com/scripts/usfs/trailsreport.cfm
for the latest grooming report.

The Inyo National Forest provides a wide spectrum of winter recreational activities. Visitors and residents can vastly improve these recreational opportunities, reduce conflict, and protect the forest resources by practicing common courtesy and respecting others’ experiences.

inyo national forest,  snowmobiles on the inyo national forest, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Devils Postpile National Monument, McGee Mountain

Pile Burning at June Lake and Mammoth Lakes

Pile Burning set near June Lake and Mammoth Lakes

submitted by Deb Schweizer
Public Affairs Officer, Inyo National Forest

February 2, 2016

Crews will be pile burning in two locations today.  Firefighters hope to complete 17 acres of piles near the Double Eagle Resort in June Lake today.

Crews will also be burning near the Sherwin Creek Road and Sherwin Creek Campground in Mammoth Lakes in the next few days, where there are at total of 194 acres of piles.  In addition to taking advantage of the recent snow to safely complete the much needed fuel reduction, the crews are also using the favorable forecast for good smoke dispersal. Expect to see smoke near both towns and from Hwy 395.

Cover Photo, Inyo National Forest file photo.

june lake california, mammoth lakes california, inyo national forest, highway 395

Open House for OHV Grants

Open House for USFS and BLM 2016 Off-Highway Vehicle Grants Scheduled for February 11

submitted by the Inyo National Forest

BISHOP, Calif. – The Inyo National Forest and the Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management will hold an open house February 11 to gather public ideas for requesting off-highway vehicle grant funds.

The informal open house will run from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Forest Service/BLM office, 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop. 

The agencies plan to request grant funds from the State of California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division to enhance and manage motorized recreation in the area. Other non-profit organizations that partner with Forest Service and BLM may also have their representatives present to discuss their proposals for future grants.

Interested citizens are invited to drop in at any time during the open house.  Representatives from the two agencies will be available to answer questions about potential grants and to receive ideas about the types of projects and other opportunities to be funded through the grants. 

Preliminary grant applications will be submitted to the OHMVR Division by March 7. The public will be able to comment on the preliminary applications from March 8 to April 4. Final applications must be submitted by May 2. For more information about the state grant process and requirements, visit the OHMVR Division website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov

For more information, to submit your ideas through other means, or if you have special needs for accommodation to participate in this open house, call Forest Trails Coordinator Marty Hornick at (760) 873-2461; or BLM Supervisory Resource Manager Jeff Starosta at (760) 872-5046.

Inyo National Forest, BLM Bishop field office, Off Highway Vehicles