‘Mt. Andrea Lawrence’ one signature away


Congress passes bill, goes to Obama next

The peak in the Eastern Sierra that is to be named after the late Andrea Mead Lawrence is almost a designated peak.

The only thing it lacks is a sign-off by President Obama.

The Senate passed the Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2011 last year, and the House of Representatives signed off on it Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) praised the House for passing her legislation, which will name a mountain peak in Mono County “Mt. Andrea Lawrence” in honor and memory of Andrea Lawrence.

Lawrence, who died in 2009, burst to international stardom as an Olympic skier, and made her name locally as a conservationist and member of the Mono County Board of Supervisors.

“Andrea Lawrence was an Olympic champion who dedicated her life to protecting the treasures of the Eastern Sierra,” Boxer said.

“Her passion and achievements were larger than life, which is why I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to name this majestic peak in her honor.”

Lawrence was a three-time Olympian who remains the only American double Olympic gold medalist in alpine skiing. She was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1958 at the age of 25, and in 2002, sports writer and documentary filmmaker Bud Greenspan called her “the greatest Winter Olympian of all time.”

Lawrence was also a committed conservationist who worked to protect and restore Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, Bodie State Historic Park, and other important natural and cultural resources of the Eastern Sierra.

She served for 16 years on the Mono County Board of Supervisors as well as on the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District and in 2003 founded the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers to promote environmental protection and economic vitality in the region.

Peak 12,240, currently identified only by its elevation, is located in Mono County near the Tuolumne County border. It is on the border of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, just east of Yosemite National Park. The John Muir Trail passes close to the peak.

Sen. Boxer and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita)—who sponsored the identical House bill—first introduced the legislation during the last Congress.

Supporters of the bill include Andrea Lawrence’s family, the Mono County Board of Supervisors, the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, the Mono County Democratic Central Committee, the Mammoth Town Council, the Mono Lake Committee, the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, former Mammoth town councilmember Wendy Sugimura, and Mono County Supervisor Tim Alpers.