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MammothMC comments heard by NPS, and published!

posted Mar 7, 2012, 1:05 PM by Tony Burgess   [ updated Mar 9, 2012, 1:37 PM ]
The NPS is looking to give one of our favorite haunts, the Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls, a face-lift.  Your president couldn't help but comment...

And so what if this isn't a battle for motorized access, in today's times one must fight for access period!

After reading through the public comments I found that my opposition to restrictions was something many others had the same feelings for.  Nice!

(NPS Public Comment Summary)
(MammothMC President's Summary)
I didn't like any of the three.  I liked the baseline alternative of keeping things the way they are - alternative A.  However, if I had no option I would pick the alternative that allows more people enjoying themselves down in the monument.  For me it was hard to tell if it was connecting people with nature, or the focus on destinations.  The watershed option was totally extremist, after reading that one I thought the next alternative was going to say "close the valley until further notice".

Although I read the alternatives last week I'm not remembering anything about historical uses and access.  Those ideas are important because our past down there also makes the area interesting with mining, stock trains, trail building, monument building, cabins, etc.  All these past historical ventures give the human touch to the monument, and it's important to be able to see our works mesh with nature's.  Even if some don't turn out.

I'd prefer to mesh alternatives C and D, and throw B out the window.  I think I've explained why above for question #2.

Don't get too environmentally extreme when writing the plan.  Don't forget to balance in the human element.  Red's Meadow is becoming harder to enjoy as the restrictions mount up, unfortunate as it's a real gem and I miss it now.  Those free hot showers are the best.

Have a few comments:

The opening letter from the Super quickly gets into how 100 years ago the monument was going to be blasted and submerged.  It didn't happen, and it won't now so we don't have to set the tone of emergency.  Yes, it's true that visitors love it down there but the level of urgency isn't valid.  And, if you think it is please take a breath, relax, there's plenty of postpiles to go around for the next 100 years without expanding to a "watershed" alternative.

Next, please concentrate on your immediate boundary without dragging in the USFS - perhaps that would narrow down the tasks at hand and make it much easier. (planning scale #3)

Using the Minaret Vista as a staging/interpretive area is a bad idea.  It's the last place around to melt out and the environment is extreme, ever heard of Windy Flats?  Not a good place for a building, unless you have a bunker in mind.

Don't ever consider removing the stairs at the base of the falls.  Who's idea is it to get rid of our last bit of cooling off fun?  Seriously, you can email me back on that one.

Removing the monument's campground gives California Land Management (CLM) the monopoly on campsites and pricing.  Please hold out and keep the Devil's Postpile campground and river sites, don't ruin a good thing.

Everyone seems to have a mission to get rid of the ranger station, or relocate it.  Consider making it a historical structure and preserving it.  Don't ever get rid of the comfort stove inside, those things are great, we have one.

I can remember a good time down in the valley getting connected with nature: some leeches from Sotcher Lake were imbedded in my leg.  Made for a bloody extraction.

Your last picture shows a bunch of kids on a postpile with a ranger nearby, I can't see her ticket book - but at the very least I'm sure that they are being admonished for climbing around when the sign clearly states, keep off.

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September 21, 2011 05:03 PM Mountain Time

Bear in Corolla, keys in ignition, and .40 under the seat.
(Red's Meadow campground)