Photo of the Week

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

President Barack Obama got up close and personal with the Eastern Sierra this past weekend when he visited nearby Yosemite National Park on June 18. Mammoth is considered to be one of the park's Gateway communities, along with Lee Vining and June Lake. The President was in Yosemite to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service this year and to talk about the challenges facing the park and the planet due to climate change. Although Yosemite Valley still looks much like it always has, the forested land surrounding the valley has been devastated by an epic tree die-off, with as much as 80 percent mortality in large areas and which many scientists attribute to California's extreme five-year drought and the abnormal heat of the past five winters and summers.