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June Mtn. wants to drill test wells for future snowmaking

May 21, 2014

June Mountain mascot Bucky atop a run this past winter. June is hoping to be able to extend its season by blowing more man-made snow. But before that can happen, the resort must drill test wells to see if there is enough groundwater. Photo courtesy June Mountain

Officials at June Mountain are hoping to extend the season by accessing groundwater under the ski resort.
The Inyo National Forest has received a proposal from June Mountain Ski Area to drill three or four test wells to see if the mountain has enough water in the ground to blow more snow next season.
“The purpose of this initial phase of the project is to drill test wells with the objective of locating groundwater in sufficient quantity to support additional snowmaking at mid-elevation and upper mountain ski trails,” a press release from the Forest Service states. “This initial phase of the project only involves drilling the test wells and performing pump tests.”
Three of the test wells are located near the base of chair lifts 4 and 7. A fourth test well would be located near the base area building and parking lot.
If sufficient water is located to justify a production well a National Environmental Protection Act analysis would begin. According to the Forest Service, that analysis would include an additional opportunity to provide comments. That analysis would include a new hydrologic analysis to be contracted by the proponent.
Anyone who is interested in this proposal and would like to learn more about the project, or if they would like to provide input for the “test well” project analysis, is asked to submit comments to project lead Rod Wilson by June 15.
Those who comment will be included on a project mailing list and will receive future information related to this project.
Contact Wilson by email at rmwilson@fs.fed.us, by phone at (760) 924-5518, or send comments by mail to Rod Wilson, Mammoth Ranger District, Inyo National Forest, P.O. Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.

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