Join Bear Yuba Land Trust and Inn Town Campground around the campfire this summer for the popular community series – Fireside Chats. Set against a beautiful backdrop of towering ponderosa pines at the Inn Town Campground, the series explores current conservation issues – trail access, land use, and wildlife biodiversity – in a unique outdoor round table storytelling/conversational format, with the goal to entertain, increase a deeper knowledge of the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains, and foster collaboration.
Now in its third season, Fireside Chats kicks off, Thursday, June 27 with special guest speaker John Wentworth, Mayor of Mammoth Lakes and founder of Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access (MLTPA). In 2005, Wentworth founded the MLTPA, whose initial aims were in resolving trail access issues —a battle that pitted backcountry enthusiasts with residents of the exclusive neighborhoods that stood in the way. When MLTPA was first created, the popular belief was that no real collaboration could ever possibly exist between the Town of Mammoth Lakes and governmental agencies like the United States Forest Service.
“MLTPA has done it all through partnerships,” says Wentworth, “identifying common interests and then negotiating who will be responsible for the various tasks … and I think we’ve been pretty successful, bringing trails into a single system.”
MLTPA has played a role in more than sixty successful multi-partnered efforts on behalf of the Mammoth Lakes Trail System. These efforts include: establishing a Trail System Master Plan, the successful passage of two ballot measures to raise funds for local trails, the launch of Mammothtrails.org website, and much more. In 2012, the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the United States Forest Service, and MLTPA celebrated the grand opening of the Mammoth Lakes Trail System and the completion of projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Close to $20,000,000 has been invested in the Mammoth Lakes Trail System by the federal government, the state of California, the Town, and the community of Mammoth Lakes.
“These Fireside Chats cover some really fascinating topics for not only outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists, but for those who care about building a resilient community,” says Erika Seward, Co-Executive Director of Bear Yuba Land Trust. “We are so excited to hear and learn from John about the amazing successes he has had in Mammoth Lakes, and see how we can apply that in our own community.”
Fireside Chats are open to the public, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Attendees will need to park off site on New Mohawk Road and walk across the street to the campground. Save the Date!
The next Fireside Chat will be, July 18 and cover the topic of What is still Wild in the American West?