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Hills meeting set for Wednesday

November 30, 2010

Members of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group will update Lone Pine residents on efforts to federally designate the Hills as a National Scenic Area at a meeting on Wednesday at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History. File photo

Members of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group will be updating Lone Pine residents this week on the designation process that aims to generate federal money for maintenance in the Hills.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History.
Stewardship Group members are scheduled to give residents a progress report on the designation and discuss proposed volunteer projects in the Hills.
In a meeting with the Board of Supervisors earlier this month, representatives from the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group told county leaders that it is recommending the Hills be designated as a National Scenic Area so local officials can utilize federal money for maintenance and upkeep of the area.
In addition to federal funding for maintenance and clean-up that will be made available with the designation, the Stewardship Group said the designation will also help generate interest in the Hills and serve to draw more tourist dollars to the community.
“At the meeting, we’re going to discuss the fact that the supervisors gave approval to take designation legislation to its next step,” said Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathleen New.
Though a solid time line has not yet been laid out for the designation, members of the Stewardship Group hope to have draft legislation completed soon.
According to Stewardship Group Member Kevin Mazzu, Senator Dianne Feinstein has expressed interest in carrying the legislation for the group, but no formal commitments have been made.
“We have to have a formal meeting with her to move the project ahead,” Mazzu said. “I hope to have that meeting scheduled by Wednesday, so I won’t have more information until the meeting.”
New also said the Stewardship Group will be discussing the recent full-time appointment of Bureau of Land Management Steward Dave Kirk to the Alabama Hills.
Kirk has been active in management of the Hills for more than a year, but was recently given a permanent position as steward of the Alabama Hills.
“We look forward to another productive season with Dave Kirk back as the BLM’s Alabama Hills Steward,” said Chris Langley, Inyo County film commissioner and chair of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group.
Kirk’s job includes graffiti clean-up in the hills and working with the public.
New said that a major part of his position is educating citizens he comes across who are recreating in the Hills and providing information about recreational opportunities to interested visitors.

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