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Home » Santa Clarita News » McKeon On Mammoth Mountain Legislation

McKeon On Mammoth Mountain Legislation

BuckHeadshotCongressman Howard “Buck” McKeon took to the House floor Tuesday to speak on behalf of his legislation, H.R. 2157, which will ensure the continued economic vibrancy of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

Currently, Mammoth is operating on a Special Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service issued in 1953. The base area of the mountain is aging rapidly and is in need of renovation and redevelopment in order to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for visitors to Mammoth Mountain. However, these renovations are difficult to achieve under the terms of the Special Use Permit.


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Since 1998, Mammoth Mountain has been working with the Forest Service to complete a land exchange between their main base parcel and other desired Forest Service acquisitions. These acquisitions include high resource value lands in the Inyo, El Dorado, Stanislaus, and Plumas National Forests. The exchange would allow the main base to undergo significant and needed renovations.

H.R. 2157 passed by a vote of 376 to 2.

McKeon shared his comments from the floor:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of my legislation, H.R. 2157. I want to thank Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member Markey, as well as Subcommittee Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva for giving my legislation a fair hearing and moving the bill through the Committee.

“Mr. Speaker, the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is located in the northern half of my district, in the Eastern Sierra. Mammoth provides between ten and thirty percent of the total employment in Mono County and is a premier recreation destination for tourists all throughout California and the U.S. Each winter, Mammoth sees an average of 1.3 million visitors. These visitors pump vital money into the local economy by populating hotels, restaurants, and stores throughout the region. Tourism is the life-blood of the Eastern Sierra.

“Mammoth has operated on a Special Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service since 1953. The base area of the mountain is aging rapidly and is in need of renovation and redevelopment in order to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for visitors to Mammoth Mountain. However, these renovations are difficult to achieve under the terms of the Special Use Permit.

“Since 1998, Mammoth Mountain has been working with the Forest Service to complete a land exchange between their main base parcel and other desired Forest Service acquisitions. These acquisitions include high resource value lands in the Inyo, El Dorado, Stanislaus, and Plumas National Forests. The exchange would allow the main base to undergo significant and needed renovations.

“My legislation is meant to supplement and codify this agreement. It is needed for two reasons:

1) Two parcels that the Forest Service wants are outside Inyo National Forest boundaries. Both parcels are currently leased by the Inyo National Forest from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

2) There is more value in the Mammoth Mountain parcel than all the land parcels exchanged in total, so Mammoth needs legislation for permission to pay a cash equalization to the federal government that will be used for future forest acquisition.

“The agreement is widely supported by the local community because residents, business owners, and local governments understand the great value of having Mammoth Mountain in their community. Besides jobs and recreation, Mammoth supports a significant portion of the tax base, providing needed revenue throughout the region.

“We have received numerous letters of support from community members, including those from: Duane Hazard, Chair of the Mono County Board of Supervisors; Vikki Bauer, member of the Mono County Board of Supervisors; the Mono Lake Committee; the Eastern Sierra Land Trust; and the Mammoth Lakes Town Council.

“Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving my bill time on the floor. Mammoth Mountain has been a good steward of the environment, a solid partner in economic vitality for the region, and an honest party in negotiations with the Forest Service. This land exchange will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved and I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2157.”

McKeon On Mammoth Mountain Legislation

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