Tag Archives: Mammoth Lakes

MAMMOTH COMMUNITY HOUSING

Mammoth Lakes set to address housing shortage.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Stuart Brown in Mammoth Lakes, a kick-off meeting for the Town of Mammoth Lakes Community Housing Action Plan: Live, Work, Thrive will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 beginning at 2:00pm in the Town/County Conference Room located at 437 Old Mammoth Road (Minaret Village Shopping Center) above Giovanni’s Restaurant. If you are interested in or are impacted by the workforce housing shortage in our community, please consider attending this kick-off meeting.

Mammoth Lakes Housing, in collaboration with Mammoth Mountain Ski Area have procured WSW Consulting to update the Town of Mammoth Lakes’ Housing Needs Assessment (2011) and develop a Community Housing Action Plan. The data collection component of this study will: identify and quantify workforce housing needs; evaluate the existing housing program accomplishments and available resources, opportunities and constraints to producing affordable housing; inventory the type and ownership of homes by zone and short-term rental inventory by zone; assess the impact of short-term rentals based on available information; and provide conclusions and recommendations.

The Community Housing Action Plan will utilize the compiled data to help the community identify housing goals and priorities, prioritize housing strategies, understand financing needs, assign responsibilities to carry out the housing plan, and identify a general timeline for achievement. This component will involve the public and “roll up your sleeves” work from the Housing Working Group.

For questions or additional information, please contact Jennifer or Patricia from Mammoth Lakes Housing at (760) 934-4740.

 

MAMMOTH MAYOR ON MOST RECENT STORM

Cleanup crews working overtime to keep roads clear.

By Seth Conners

A note from Mayor Richardson,

The Eastern Sierra is experiencing white-out conditions and our snow removal crews are working overtime to keep up with the extreme conditions. I would ask everyone who doesn’t absolutely need to be driving to please stay where you are and allow our snow removal crews (Town, private, CalTrans and MMSA) to do their jobs unhindered.

If you have to drive, make sure you have chains, drive slowly and heed to all posted no parking signs. Please note that chains may be required even on 4WD vehicles (R3 Chain restrictions).

Our Town employees are responding to a number of public and private concerns. We are requesting additional outside resources and have begun to pre-plan for the next series of storms.

To acknowledge all of the snow removal operators, police officers, fire department personnel and road crews for their exceptional efforts during these challenging times, give them a thumbs up sign when you see them driving by – it will make their day.

Thank you for looking out for each other, we as a community need to work together!

Sincerely,

Mayor, Shields Richardson

MONO COUNTY BLIZZARD

NASTY WEATHER CONTINUES TO BE THE TOP STORY IN MONO COUNTY.

By Seth Conners

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning in Mono County.  The warning has been issued due to heavy snow and strong winds that are expected to continue through Wednesday.

100 mile an hour winds are expected over the Sierra Ridge.  Snow will continue to fall indefinitely, with snow accumulation expected to be 1 to 3 feet along Highway 395.  Snow totals are expected to be in excess of 6 feet in some parts, West of Highway 395, above 7,500 feet.

This is a dangerous blizzard with conditions near zero visibility, and heavy snow on all Sierra roads.  Many of the areas local highways are being closed when visibility and high winds become a problem.

Local agencies are advising that you do not attempt to travel until the snow and wind have subsided, as first responders may not be able to rescue you in the event of an emergency.  Even a short walk could be a disaster if you become disoriented.

 

 

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.

MAMMOTH LAKES BREAKS GROUND ON NEW POLICE HEADQUARTERS

Mammoth Lakes Town Council breaks ground on Wednesday for new Police Headquarters.

by Seth Conners

The Mammoth Lakes Town Council  scheduled a special meeting for  July 27th at 9am.  That meeting  commenced at 280 Thompsons Way, adjacent to the courthouse.  The purpose of that meeting was for The Town Council of Mammoth Lakes to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Police Department Headquarters.

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Mammoth Elevates Water Restrictions

MCWD Increases Water Use Restrictions

Mammoth Pass snowpack 98 percent below normal conditions; District Expects to Rely Fully on Groundwater Wells to Meet Customer Needs

 

Mammoth Lakes, CA – The Mammoth Community Water District’s (MCWD) Board of Directors voted to raise the District’s water shortage conditions from Level 2 to Level 3 at a special meeting on April 1st. The Level 3 restrictions will go in to effect on April 10th.  In addition to the Level 3 irrigation restrictions, the District is also urging customers to reduce indoor water use by 30 percent.  The meeting was convened following the mechanical failure of two of the Water District’s groundwater production wells and a record low snow-pack water content measurement on Mammoth Pass, which found that conditions were 98 percent below normal conditions.

 The MCWD Board’s decision to increase the level of water restrictions coincided with Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement of first ever statewide mandatory water restrictions calling for a 25 percent reduction in water use. The Governor’s proclamation includes specific reduction measures, such as prohibiting irrigation of public street medians, replacing lawns and non-water efficient fixtures, and numerous additional requirements.

 “This is clearly a call to action to make the most efficient use of our water supplies during this severe drought.  Our intent in implementing Level 3 restrictions is to stretch out our resources and maintain a reliable water supply until we see a significant improvement in our water situation,” said MCWD General Manager Pat Hayes. “Reducing our water use is a partnership, and we urge MCWD customers to visit our website and take advantage of our water-efficient fixture rebate program and landscape classes.”

 Increasing the District’s water use restrictions to Level 3 will require increased conservation measures that will aid MCWD in achieving the Governor’s call for mandatory reductions. However, the level of water shortage in the Mammoth area has reached an extreme level, as illustrated by a March 30 LADWP report finding only 1.0 inch of water on Mammoth Pass. This measurement represents the lowest April 1st reading ever recorded since 1931 and is just 2 percent of average conditions.

 “MCWD relies on the area’s surface and ground water to provide our community with drinking water, but the recent reports showing record low water content, combined with the mechanical failure of two groundwater production wells, have placed increased strain on the District. It is likely that we will need to rely solely on the water produced by our groundwater wells this year,” Hayes added.

 During normal conditions, surface water provides about half of the water supplied to customers. But, due to drought conditions, MCWD has been forced to depend heavily on groundwater sources, which provided 94 percent of the water last month.

 “Our groundwater wells have been a crucial safety net as surface water supplies ran short during the drought, allowing us to continue to meet the supply needs of our region. However, with the recent well failures and the likely reality of sole reliance on groundwater in the months ahead, it’s more important than ever that we focus on conservation,” Hayes stated.

 Under Level 3 restrictions, irrigation will only be allowed two days a week during the hours of 10 pm to 9 am and golf courses, schools and publics parks are required to develop conservation plans.  MCWD is also relying on all customers to achieve indoor savings by carefully monitoring and reducing their water use.  Dropping demand by 30 percent under Level 3 Water Shortage Conditions will allow MCWD to ensure a reliable supply to the Mammoth Lakes community through the high water demand irrigation season.

 Under the increased restrictions, MCWD urges all customers to consider what they can do to increase conservation measures. MCWD is also incentivizing customers to save water by offering a rebate program for indoor and outdoor water fixtures, providing free efficient showerheads and actively engaging with irrigation customers to increase landscape irrigation efficiency.

 More information on water conservation are available from the MCWD website, www.mcwd.dst.ca.us.

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Mammoth Woodstove Replacement

Replacement program expands

Property owners in the Town of Mammoth Lakes who previously were not qualified for woodstove replacement subsidies may now

be eligible through the Town’s Woodstove Replacement Program. Properties purchased since 1990 and still relying on old, pre-1990
wood burning systems  (free-standing woodstoves, inserts, or open fireplaces)  may now qualify for  $500 toward the cost of a new, EPA-
compliant system (wood, pellet, or gas).  Woodstoves and open fireplaces older than 1990 do not comply with Town Code8.30.050
if used in properties that have sold since 1990.
Town Code 8.30.050 was adopted in 1990 and requires the replacement of pre-1990 wood burning systems with EPA-
compliant heating systems upon property sale.  Since 1990, many properties have been sold without replacing these old woodstoves and open fireplaces. The Town has  been working to identify and bring these non-compliant properties into compliance.  Toward that end, the Town is now funding this ‘amnesty program’ by providing $500 for every noncompliant wood burning system replaced with
a new, EPA -compliant system.   No penalties for past noncompliance will apply under this amnesty program.
Funding for this effort is available through the Town’s  ‘Environmental Public Benefit Funds,’ provided by the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District.  Implemented late last summer, the
Program funded upgrades only for properties in compliance with Town Code 8.30 and resulted in the replacement of over 90 wood burning systems to date.  With limited funds remaining, this amnesty program has been launched to encourage non-compliant property
owners to voluntarily come into compliance prior to enforcement
efforts.  This offer is available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis only while funds last.   All interested property owners are encouraged to immediately contact a participating business for more information.
Funding for compliant properties will continue to remain open while funds last. For more information and program participation, please contact one of the following participating businesses:
Alpine Stove & Mercantile (call 760/934-4416)
Angelo’s Stove & Chimney (call 760/937-0860)
Clean Sweep (call760/934-3453)
High Country Lumber (call 760/873-5874. Ask to speak with Kim Jones)
Batchelder Enterprises (call 760/873-3800) for kerosene heating systems only.
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Project at Old Shady Rest

Thinning Project at Old Shady Rest

The Inyo National Forest announces that a mechanical thinning project will begin this week in the Old Shady Rest Campground and surrounding area.

The project is designed to provide needed defensible space for the community of Mammoth Lakes in the event of a wildland fire.  Approximately thirty acres will be thinned in the Jeffrey pine forest. Generally, trees less than 20 inches dbh (diameter at breast height) will be removed to open the forest and to reduce ladder fuels that can help carry fire into the forest canopy. While the primary purpose of thinning is to create a zone of wildfire defensible space near private homes in the town of Mammoth Lakes, hazard trees may also be removed.

The thinning will restore the area to a more natural forest structure (age, size, trees per acre, and species distribution).

This project will help create a more resilient forest during this long-term drought by reducing competition for water, nutrients and sunlight. Many areas in California are seeing trees dying from bug kill and/or for lack of water. Thinning provides better opportunities for the survivors to be stronger and therefore more resistant to bug and fungal infestations that can target drought-stressed trees.

For safety reasons, the area will be closed while work is completed. While the campground is closed for the winter, the area is still popular for local recreationists.

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Mono Controlled Burn

Prescribed Fire in Mono County

Crews plan to continue ignitions on the Aqueduct Prescribed Fire, weather and air quality conditions permitting, on Tuesday, March 17th. Ignitions should take one day to complete.

This 125-acre project in the Jeffrey pine forest is east of Highway 395 near Bald Mountain (northeast of Deadman Summit).

Smoke from this project will be visible from Highway 395, Highway 158, Highway 120 East, June Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and the Bald Mountain Road.

Prescribed fires are conducted when weather and fuel moisture conditions are within prescription to safely accomplish the project objectives. By prescribing the fire under optimum weather conditions, managers simulate the natural role of fire. This reduces forest competition, opens gaps in the forest canopy for sunlight to shine through, and recycles nutrients to the soil for re-growth. Fire was a frequent event in the Jeffrey pine forest, occurring naturally every 10-15 years.

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Prescribed Burning

Prescribed Pile Burning

DATE 12/18/2014
Crews are targeting 11 acres of piles for treatment today.  Smoke may be visible from the Town of Mammoth and Mammoth Mt ski area.

DATE: 12/17/2014
Fire crews are burning piles in the Reds Meadow area today, taking advantage of the recent storms to safely achieve needed fuels reduction. Expect smoke visible from Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes, and Devils Postpile National Monument. This is part of a dedicated effort to reduce fuels after the tree blow down event of 2011.

DATE: 12/16/2014
The Inyo National Forest is conducting pile burning today east of Devils Postpile National Monument and West of Satcher Lake in the Red’s Meadow Area.  41 Acres  of piles are targeted for treatment today.   Smoke may be visible from the Mammoth Lakes area.

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