Between now and August 25th, we have a historic opportunity to help protect the iconic landscapes of California’s Southern Sierra Nevada and the broad range of recreation experiences they offer, and to weigh in on how these public lands will be managed for decades to come.
Together, the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests cover nearly 4.6 million acres of public land in the Southern Sierra, including Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States, the Kern River, the Needles climbing area, the Buttermilks, and some of the wildest, most dramatic sections of the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail. These three forests offer some of the best alpine climbing, bouldering, backcountry skiing, whitewater boating, mountain biking, trail running, and backpacking in the world, all within a short drive of the largest and fastest-growing population centers in the West.
The Forest Service is now in the final stages of planning for how it will manage these areas for the next 20-30 years. At stake are things like recreation access, infrastructure development and maintenance, trails, scenic viewsheds, permitting for guides, outfitters and educational groups, wilderness designations, and the possibility of new scenarios for stewardship and forest partnerships.
As “early-adopters” in this new planning process, these forests will set the tone and framework for upcoming planning on other forests in California and across the country. Now is the time to be sure our voices are heard!
Winter Wildlands Alliance is working on these forest plans with local partners Friends of the Inyo, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (MLTPA), the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative and others, as well as our national coalition partners at Outdoor Alliance. But we need your help to make sure that the interests of human-powered recreationists—skiers, climbers, mountain bikers, paddlers, hikers—are well represented as these plans move toward final drafts and, ultimately, toward implementation.
For more information on how to comment visit our Southern Sierra Planning Page.