Tag Archives: Mono County

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

Drone Reported near walker fire

Fire Officials spot Drone near Walker fire

Lee Vining, CA: Drones are becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity on forest land and throughout the country. However, drones flying near wildland fires pose a serious and immediate threat to the safety of aircraft crews involved in fire response.

Individuals and organizations that fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as drones, for hobby or recreational purposes may not operate them in areas of National Forest System lands that have Temporary Flight Restrictions in place, such as wildfires, without prior approval from the U.S. Forest Service.

The Federal Aviation Administration has regulatory authority over all airspace, including recreational use of airspace by model aircraft .Individuals and organizations that fly drones on National Forest System lands must follow  FAA guidance – FAA guidance stipulates that UAS not interfere with manned aircraft, be flown within sight of the operator and be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.  The FAA also requires model aircraft operators flying UAS within five miles of an airport to notify the airport operator and air traffic control tower.  For more information, watch the “Know Before You Fly” video
and visit the Know Before You Fly Website at http://www.knowbeforeyoufly.org/

 Please, for the safety of our firefighters and for an effective fire response, please keep drones away from the Walker Fire and near heliports.

walker fire, federal aviation administration, drones, mono county

Walker Fire Update

Thursday Walker Fire Update

Significant progress continues with containment lines on Walker Fire burning approximately two miles southwest of Lee Vining the Walker Fire remains at 3,715 acres. This is a human-caused fire that is still under investigation.

Crews will continue to improve containment lines as well as mop up, which includes extinguishing hot spots to ensure that the fire does not re-ignite. Mitigation efforts also continue on the 65-acre spot fire.

Tioga Pass (Highway120) is open without an escort. However, there will be no stopping along the eastern four miles of the road. This will be strictly enforced. The fire remains active to the south of the road and this is essential for firefighter and public safety.

The fire is burning in mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining areas and along Highway 395.

For the safety of our firefighters, effective air operations and continued containment efforts, please keep drones away from the Walker Fire and near heliports.

Closures and Evacuations:
⦁ Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.
A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.
⦁ Campgrounds in the Lower Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, and Big Bend Campgrounds.
⦁ The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.

Approximately 477 firefighters are on scene as well as numerous aircraft, dozers, and engines. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, neighboring forests, BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned.  For more information on the Walker Fire you can go to the following sites: Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4515/

Date Started: 8/14/2015
Cause: Human Total Personnel: 477
Injuries/Illnesses to Date: 0
Size: 3,715 acres Structures Threatened: 235
Percent Contained: 45%
Resources: 3 Helicopters, 0 Seats, 0 Air Tankers
34, Engines Crews, 6 Water Tenders, 2 Dozers Structures Lost: 0
Estimated Containment: 8/23/2015

walker fire, drought 2015, cal fire, us forest service, mono county

Quilts for Kids

Quilt and Craft retreat benefits Children

Submitted by Wild Iris.


Inyo and Mono Counties, CA: Quilters and crafters are generous, giving people by nature. If you happen to be a quilter or crafter the CASA of the Eastern Sierra’s first annual Quilters’ and Crafters’ Retreat is a great opportunity for you to benefit abused and neglected children while enjoying the fellowship of like-minded friends, the beauty of the Eastern Sierra, and taking time to complete some of those projects begging to be finished.
CASA of the Eastern Sierra is a non-profit collaboration and partnership between Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center and the Superior Court of California, for the Counties of Inyo and Mono. The retreat will be Friday, August 21st through Sunday, August 23rd and is being held at the Sierra Adventure Center in Big Pine. Registration includes lodging, meals, snacks, an outdoor evening reception, beautiful hiking, quality time with friends, and classrooms to sew, craft, scrapbook, create and take photos.

Imagine being a child removed from your parents and placed in the home of a stranger. It’s likely you are confused, frightened, and uncertain as to what the future holds. The Eastern Sierra needs CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers who are trained to identify the needs of children such as these. By building a relationship with the child, as well as teachers, therapists, and others involved, CASA volunteers become a consistent and trusted adult in the child’s life. A CASA is trained to provide the child with a sense of security, as well as serving in the critical role of being an independent voice for the best interest of abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Inyo and Mono Counties.
Please join us at the 1st Annual Quilt and Craft Retreat to benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Eastern Sierra. Cost for the entire weekend is $225.00. For more information or to register please call Ginnie Bird or Lisa Reel @ Wild Iris, 760-873-6601, gbird@wild-iris.org, or visit the Wild Iris website www.wild-iris.org to complete a registration form.

cover photo, Wild Iris Executive Director Lisa Reel

wild iris, casa of the eastern sierra, inyo county, mono county, eastern sierra news

Mono on Display at the State Fair


At the California State Fair County Exhibit Awards Presentation on Friday, July 10th, Mono County was honored with three different ribbons  — a Gold Award,  Best Use of Produce, Products, Artifacts, and a Best of Division award for “Professionally Built” exhibits.

Alicia Vennos, Economic Development Director for Mono County, attended the event and accepted the Gold Award and the ribbon for Best Use of Products, Produce, Artifacts on behalf of the county.  She explains, “We were thrilled to win two ribbons but when our name was announced for the third time for the Best of Division for Professionally Built exhibits, it was perfect that our builder, John Quierolo, was there to accept this prestigious recognition.”  Mr. Quierolo has created Mono County’s exhibit for several years now and his hard work, building skills, and vast collection of Gold Rush era antiquities and artifacts, have earned many awards for the Mono County exhibit over the years.

Mono County’s exhibit this year features a street corner in Bodie, complete with four separate false store fronts, a boardwalk, an authentic hearse carriage, and a mining car piled high with ore in front of  a mine shaft.  The biggest draw, however, seems to be the two-seater outhouse which has fair-goers lined up for humorous photos. Once again, this year, the Blue Canyon Gang — a Western Action Drama Group — has volunteered to dress up in period costume and staff the exhibit.  The County Exhibit theme this year is “Festival & Events” and the county’s list of events is available for folks to take away.

Mono County Supervisor and Chair of the Board, Tim Fesko, commented that “Almost a million people attend the State Fair every year, and the exhibit is a tremendous way for Mono County to reach the Northern California visitor market.  We are very pleased to be honored with three awards this year and we deeply appreciate the participation of the Blue Canyon Gang for bringing wonderful animation to our exhibit.”

The California State Fair runs from July 10-26 at the Cal Expo grounds in Sacramento




mono county, bodie, california state fair

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

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

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

The Inyo-Mono Master Gardeners to Host Workshop this Month


Date: For Immediate Release, Nov. 1, 2014

Cacti and Succulent Workshop

The Inyo-Mono Master Gardeners would like to invite the general public to attend a workshop on cacti and succulents on Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. It will be held at the U.S. Forest Service Building on West Line Street in Bishop.


Have you thought of using succulents in a bridal bouquet? How about using pumpkins and succulents for a Thanksgiving centerpiece? Is a Christmas cactus a staple in your house?

Cactus and succulents are perfect for the busy gardener as they require less maintenance and water in the garden and in the home. These plants are used in the home landscape, container gardening and indoor terrariums. They can be sculptural in the garden or used for the shape and color of their leaves.

Join the Inyo-Mono Master Gardeners, and learn about cacti and succulents. Sherry Cosgrove of Keeler Beach Farm and the Inyo Mono Master Gardener Program present a workshop on Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2PM-3PM at the US Forest Service Building, W. Line St. Bishop.

Learn about cacti and succulents from around the world. Propagation, soils and care and feeding of these unusual and exotic plants will be highlighted as we see many varieties on display. Attendees receive free cuttings and some plants will be for sale.

Questions to Susan Flaherty, Master Gardener Coordinator, 760 873-3179.


Bishop / Eastern Sierra / Inyo County / Mono County / Inyo-Mono Master Gardeners / Community / Workshop / Cacti & Succulents