On July 8th, Devils Postpile National Monument celebrated its centennial with special speakers, public events, and a series of special programs highlighting the monument’s history of preservation and partnerships.
The centennial event emphasized the relationships that created and have preserved the monument over the last 100 years. Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta spoke about the importance of the partnership between the U.S. Forest and the National Park Service. Originally established as a Forest Service monument in 1911, management of Devils Postpile was transferred to the National Parks Service in 1934. Both entities have shared responsibility for the Reds Meadow valley with great success for the past seventy years.
Mammoth Lakes Mayor Jo Bacon touched on the monument’s importance to the surrounding community through tourism and outreach to its youth through community-based programming. Mono County Supervisor Vicki Bauer discussed the great strides that have been made over the years, especially the longevity of the shuttle bus system and quality visitor access to the monument. And Dr. Constance Millar, research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service-Pacific Southwest Research Station, spoke to the valuable research and science partnerships that have been forged throughout the history of the monument and continue today.
Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz stated that the past century of the monument demonstrates a rich history of connecting people to public lands, conservation challenges and a foundation in partnerships while the next 100 years will present “unprecedented opportunities to search for innovative solutions, form creative partnerships, and find new ways to engage the public.”
The speakers were followed by a reception at the interagency visitor center in Mammoth Lakes and a series of special events at Devils Postpile. Visitors and invited guests were treated to a variety of special programs presented by monument partners such as USGS Senior Geologist Wes Hildreth, lead packer Michael Morse from the Inyo National Forest, and Yosemite National Park horse patrol rangers Billie Patrick and Steve Long.
Other events celebrating the preservation accomplished through partnerships include the July 7th celebration of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Eastern Sierra packers, and Governor Reagan and his Resources Secretary Ike Livermore to halt the decades-long struggle to halt the Trans-Sierra highway from Fresno to Mammoth that would have run next to the Monument forever, changing its value and character. On Friday evening, Lee Stetson performed as John Muir and described the efforts of the USFS and Sierra Club in preventing the destruction of Postpile through a dam proposal that resulted in the designation of the monument.
It was through partnerships that the monument was established and managed over the last 100 years and the centennial event was truly a collaboration and celebration of partnerships to move the monument into the next 100 years. Special programs and events will continue throughout the remainder of the summer at Devils Postpile.