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Contact: Jon Kazmierski (Inyo National Forest), 760-924-5503
Contact: Maureen Finnerty, 760-924-5505
*Note: This press release is courtesy of our partners at the Inyo National Forest.
MAMMOTH LAKES, CA.The US Forest Service, National Park Service, and several partners are making rapid progress in the cleanup and repair of facilities and infrastructure in the Reds Meadow Valley that were affected by an extreme wind storm that occurred on November 30, 2011. The US Forest Service has not yet set an opening date for the Reds Meadow Road but is optimistic that all necessary repairs and cleanup will be completed before the 4th of July holiday. The road will open as soon as the work is completed. Unexpected delays and problems are still possible. The public is encouraged to visit the Inyo National Forest website for the most up-to-date information and progress reports (http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/Inyo/Blowdown).
Road repairs and tree removal continue to occur on a daily basis. Due to the complications and hazards associated with roadside cleanup and repair of the road, pedestrian and bicycle access on the Reds Meadow Road past the Minaret Vista Station is currently prohibited. The closure is in effect for the entire Reds Meadow Road and all developed recreation areas and campgrounds accessed by the road. The temporary closure will be lifted when the road opens to motor vehicles. The Forest Service is asking that the public cooperate and respect this necessary closure to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of the crews working in the area. Anyone entering the closed area may be issued a citation. The closure is in effect to allow completion of cleanup and repair work so that the area can be opened as quickly as possible for normal summer recreation activities. While the road is closed, wilderness trails through the valley are open and can be accessed from alternate trailheads outside the Reds Meadow Valley. See the Work Progress Reports on the website for the latest information on trail conditions.
Upon opening of the Reds Meadow Road, the public will be able to access most area trails and primary destinations in the Valley, including Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls. The Forest Service and National Park Service will also have some campgrounds open providing approximately half of the normal camping capacity normally found in the Valley.
The Forest Service is making every effort to clear recognizable and identifiable hazards from developed recreation sites (roads, non-wilderness trails, campgrounds, trailheads, etc.). Hazards will continue to be present in the general forest areas and in a small number of developed recreation sites, including Upper Soda Springs and Agnew campgrounds. Developed recreation sites not cleared of hazards will remain closed to public entry. Numerous and varied hazards exist in wilderness and other undeveloped forest areas. Visitors to these areas should understand the risks and know how to identify and avoid potential hazards.
For more information about conditions in the Reds Meadow Valley, please call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at (760) 924-5500 or visit the Welcome Center at 2510 Hwy 203 next to the Mammoth Ranger Station.