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Town Council adopts trails master plan

October 21, 2011

The Mammoth Lakes Town Council adopted the Town of Mammoth Lakes Trail System Master Plan and certified the Trail System Master Plan EIR at Wednesday’s town council meeting.

If there had been any opposition to the new trails plan, the public had one last chance at the meeting to speak up.

With all the public meetings held over the past several years about generating a new and improved trails system plan, it was apparent that all had been said and done.

If there was room, John Wentworth might have done a few cartwheels in Suite Z after the Mammoth Lakes Town Council passed the resolution to adopt the plan 5-0.

The process hasn’t always been easy.

The issue of how to get around the Town of Mammoth Lakes and surrounding area had been a sticking point with the town for years and it finally came to a head in late fall, 2005, and into winter, 2006.

“There was a fracas with the homeowners down on Ranch Road,” Wentworth said. “Snowboarders and skiers wanted access to the Sherwin Range and had to go through the neighborhood down on Ranch Road to get there.”

The homeowners had an issue with the parking and with folks traipsing around their neighborhood.
In a recent press release from MLTPA, it stated in December 2005 the Mammoth Lakes Town Council voted to cede the public right-of-way on Ranch Road in support of a private gate erected to prevent non-homeowners from driving into the neighborhood. That didn’t go over to well and in response to a 796-signature petition requesting that the public be re-granted safe egress from the Sherwins via Ranch Road, the council voted unanimously to rescind the road’s vacation from people wanting to get to and from the Sherwins as safely as possible.

And so the trails project began.

Within its time-line (available at MLTPA.org), the MLTPA stated the process and in July 2006, members of MLTPA presented their 125-page “Mobility Plan Resources Report” to a joint meeting of the town’s Tourism and Recreation and Planning and Public Arts Commissions. The report underscored the need for comprehensive regional recreation data and supplied examples of successful trail-system partnerships in peer North American resort communities.

By the time October 2007 came around the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, MLTPA, and the Inyo National Forest signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that addressed cooperative local trails and public-access planning efforts.

Grants were awarded, meetings were held, CEQA had its moment in the spotlight and by October 2011, “...the MOU had also been signed by Caltrans, Friends of the Inyo, Mammoth Community Water District, Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District, Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Mono County, bringing the total signatories to 10.”

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