New Recreation Trends Spark Changes

By Jon Klusmire
Special to the Times

Nothing is quick or easy when dealing with the state of California and federal land managers.

That reality is one of the reasons the latest effort to shape the future of “sustainable recreation” in the Eastern Sierra is going to take two years, dozens of public meetings and cost about $618,000.

The first of that string of meetings driving the Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Initiative (SRTI) took place Sept. 26 and drew nearly a full house to the Tallman Pavilion at Bishop’s Tri-County Fairgrounds. The project’s goal is to engage the public in a process that will eventually create a list of concrete projects that will enhance or improve the recreation experience in the Eastern Sierra, stretching from Bridgeport to Olancha. The initiative will utilize “a regional approach through a local mindset” to arrive at priorities, goals and values that will eventually be translated into projects to “enhance recreational assets in the Eastern Sierra over the long haul,” according to the project’s professional facilitator Michael Ward.

Ultimately, the initiative could allow Eastern Sierra residents, businesses, governments and the area’s federal land managers to create a partnership that “will shape the values and cultures of the region, and not just come up with a list of projects,” said Carl Ribaudo, of SMG Consulting, which has also been brought on to help facilitate the planning process.

While the entire effort will take two years, members of the public are encouraged to start sending in project ideas and other insights to to get the work started.

For more on this story, pick of the print version the Mammoth Times today.