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Inyo National Forest

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#1
Does anyone know how the Inyo NF works their system? Everything I can find on the INF is missing some Tx info, and mainly, it has no repeater information. Do they use somebody else's repeaters or something?

Thanks in advance.
 
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#2
Are you monitoring them on their listed 168.125 Forest Repeater Net? I'm not close enough to hear them.

Their listed Service Repeater Net is 171.500 MHz.
 
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#3
I'm not monitoring them at the moment. I live too far away. However, I do visit the INF from time to time. I'm always curious how the USFS chooses to deal with the logistical hurdles they face in a particular forest. The INF has Mt. Whitney and several other very high peaks that would make forest-wide communication a challenge. They have to be using a repeater net, but I'm not sure what it is or why no one has any information on it.

If I were to speculate, I would guess they would set a couple up on the front range of the White Mountains on the other side of the valley. That would let you have line of sight to almost all of the INF from those repeater sites. I just don't know if it would work with mobiles very well.
 
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#4
You have the repeater frqs now at least.

Here are the sites they use for Forest Repeater Net (168.125):

Sweetwater
Mt. Warren
Walker Canyon
June Mtn.
Mammoth Mtn.
Glass Mtn.
Silver Peak
Coyote Peak
Cerro Gordo
Olancha Peak
Piper Peak

For Service Repeater Net (171.50):
June Mtn.
Bald Mtn.
Silver Peak
Mazourka Peah

jbaker6953 said:
I'm not monitoring them at the moment. I live too far away. However, I do visit the INF from time to time. I'm always curious how the USFS chooses to deal with the logistical hurdles they face in a particular forest. The INF has Mt. Whitney and several other very high peaks that would make forest-wide communication a challenge. They have to be using a repeater net, but I'm not sure what it is or why no one has any information on it.

If I were to speculate, I would guess they would set a couple up on the front range of the White Mountains on the other side of the valley. That would let you have line of sight to almost all of the INF from those repeater sites. I just don't know if it would work with mobiles very well.
 
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#5
Just wait until Exsmokey gets a hold of this thread. He worked (IIRC) in the Inyo for years, if not still, and knows more than most folks would have the chance to forget.

Got a question, he'll be able to answer it . . .

And now you're on Exsmokey . . . ;)
 
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#6
Mick said:
You have the repeater frqs now at least.

Here are the sites they use for Forest Repeater Net (168.125):

...

For Service Repeater Net (171.50):

...
Thanks. I know Region 5 forest usually use the standard set of tones:

1. 110.9
2. 123.0
3. 131.8
4. 136.5
5. 146.2
...

and so on. Do you know how those repeater sites are numbered?
 
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#7
Thanks for the introduction Michael. Given that I worked on the Inyo National Forest for 11 years in a field supervisor position, on the Bridgeport Ranger District of the Toiyabe National Forest to the north, and lived in the eastern Sierra for 26 years has given me a lot of time to understand the radio systems here. With that, the challenge here is not to make this post too long.

The Inyo has three radio nets and the Bureau of Land Management, Bishop Field Office, has one. They are both dispatched by "Inyo", located in the Forest Supervisor's/Field Office building (they are co-located in one building) on West Line Street in Bishop. The hub for these nets is located near Silver Peak, about 12 miles northeast of Bishop in the White Mountains. This site is not linked via microwave but by UHF (409-417 MHz range). Although the field radio program frequencies are the same for the entire Forest, there is a north and south split. Using different UHF frequencies and CTCSS tones allows the dispatcher to receive and transmit on the southern Forest repeaters while "tuning out" the north end and vice versa. When workload requires there are two dispatchers working two consoles so each can work a net.

The three nets for the Inyo are:

Forest Net 168.125 Output and 173.800 input
Admin Net 168.725 Output and 173.8375 input
Service Net 171.500 Output and 172.400 input

The BLM's net was recently changed and is:

166.875 Output and 169.7125 input.

Now the repeaters and tones for each.

Forest:

Mt. Warren NW of Mono Lake - Tone 1 (110.9)
Covers the Tioga Pass area, Inyo portion of the Hoover Wilderness, and Lundy Canyon. Provides a link into the Inyo's system in the Bridgeport area by Toiyabe units.
Mammoth Mountain - Tone 2 (123.0)
Covers the Mammoth backcountry, Reds Meadow, and Mammoth Lakes Basin
Glass Mtn. northeast of Mammoth Lakes - Tone 3 (131.8)
Great coverage of most canyons from Rock Creek to Lee Vining Creek and much of the Mono Lake Basin as well as the west side of the White Mountains and the Benton, Hamill, and Chalfant Valleys
Mazourka Peak northeast of Independence - Tone 4 (136.5)
Covers Sierra Canyons from Oak Creek to almost Whitney Portal and the Inyo Mountains
Cerro Gordo northeast of Owens Lake - Tone 5 (146.2)
Covers Whitney Portal and most of the Mt. Whitney high country
Olancha Peak west of Olancha - Tone 6 (156.7)
Covers the Kern Plateau and can be keyed up with a mobile north of Cajon Pass!
Piper Peak east of Dyer, NV and the White Mtns. - Tone 7 (167.9)
Covers the east side of the White Mountains
Silver Peak northeast of Bishop - Tone 8 (103.5)
Covers the top of the White's, Bishop Creek and Big Pine Canyons along with much of the Owens Valley.
June Mtn. southwest of June Lake - Tone 9 (100.0)
Covers the June Lake Loop and the Rush Creek backcountry
Sweetwater northwest of Bridgeport - Tone 10 (107.2)
Covers the Walker Canyon and Antelope Valley area (northern Mono County), mostly because the BLM land in northern Mono County is managed by the Bishop Field Office

The Admin net is not fully implemented and was supposed to have repeaters the above locations above but the UHF linking is not complete for dispatch to work it all. I can only verify that the Mammoth and Glass Mtn. repeaters are up and working. Since dispatch can't work it yet (as of fall 2007) field units don't use it much at all. Budget cuts and some other political maneuvering by the present presidential administration have prevented implementation. It's a long story.

The Service net has repeaters on Bald Mtn. on Tone 3 (northwest of Glass Mtn), June Mtn on Tone 9, Silver Peak on Tone 8 and Mazourka on Tone 4. I can't verify it but Olancha Peak was to be added about 3-4 years ago and would be on Tone 6.

The BLM has repeaters on

Potato Peak east of Bridgeport - Tone 4 (136.5)
Covers the Bodie Hills and Mono Lake Basin
Silver Peak NE of Bishop - Tone 8 (103.5)
Covers the northern Owens Valley, the Volcanic Tablelands north of Bishop, and the area south of the Glass Mountain range.
Cerro Gordo NE of the Owens Lake - Tone 6 (156.7)
Covers the southern Owens Valley

The BLM net has been in a state of disrepair for years as all the dispatching of BLM units is on Forest Net anyway. The switch to the new frequency pair just occurred late last fall so maybe the equipment has been upgraded as well. It can be used as a second command net in addition to the Forest Net when fire or other activity is heave. The Admin Net could serve a similar purpose but we won't hold our breath.

Unit numbering for the Inyo follows geography from north to south. The Mono Lake District is 1, Mammoth District 2, White Mountain District 3 (they have the White Mtns. and the Sierra from McGee Canyon to Division Creek), and the Mt. Whitney District 4 (the rest of the Sierra from Division Creek south and the Inyo Mountains). Forest Supervisor Office personnel use 5. The Inyo uses the functional callsign system like the southern California Forests do, i.e., Recreation, Timber, Resources, Lands, etc. Engineering and facility maintenance use "Utility" plus consecutive numbers starting with 1 no matter where they are assigned on the Forest.

The Inyo National Forest is very heavily used. It consistently ranks in the top five National Forests in recreation use annually. The use of its developed recreation sites (campgrounds, picnic areas, interpretive sites, visitor centers, and such) is the highest in the National Forest system and usually ranks at or more than twice the number two Forest. Since half or more of the developed site use occurs on the Mammoth Ranger District, that district,by itself, outranks the rest of the FORESTS in the National Forest system. Since I was the Frontcountry Recreation Supervisor at Mammoth I really had a rattlesnake by the tail! Best job I had in my career!

The wilderness use is very high also. East side access into the wilderness of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks and Yosemite National Park is very high. The use of the east sides of the John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness areas is about as high as you will find on a visitor day per acre basis in the nation. The Forest has 4 major visitor centers: Mono Lake National Scenic Area, Mammoth, Schuleman Grove (bristlecone pines in the Whites), and the Interagency Visitor Center on the south side of Lone Pine. These four visitor centers plus the White Mth. Visitor Center on 395 in Bishop receive about 3/4 of a million visitors per year. Mammoth/June Mountain ski areas rank near the top in skier days in the nation. It has the world's oldest tree (a bristlecone) in the White Mountains. The highest point in the lower 48 is Mt. Whitney and the management of that area is the most complex for any chunk of wilderness in the country.

The fire workload is at or below average for a Region 5 (California) Forest, but has included some major ragers that have threatened whole towns such as Big Pine, Independence, Lee Vining, and Mammoth Lakes. The Tom's Place, Sunny Slopes, and Crowley Lake residential areas get threatened now and again also. The need for fuel modification is very high, especially around Mammoth Lakes. Timber management consists mainly of thinning with the product being used for commercial firewood, mostly in the town of Mammoth Lakes. The Forest has some wide open rangeland mostly east of Mono Lake and on the Kern Plateau. Sheep grazing occurs along the Sierra front, but is being reduced as time goes on due to conflicts with the California Bighorn Sheep, and fisheries and watershed concerns.

The wildlife and fisheries resources are among the best in the state. The big recreation draw to the Forest, besides the hiking, camping, and scenery, is the fishing. The record brown trout for California came out of an eastern Sierra Lake.

Increasingly the big draw to the Mammoth Lakes area is all the phoo, phoo restaurants and shops as well as luxury lodging. The Governator keeps a Hummer at the airport with a second home in town and Brad and Angelina were up skiing a couple of weeks ago with all the kids. I didn't plan on staying here this long as it seems like a pit of pretentiousness surrounded by more normalcy and some great down to earth people. The only thing holding my wife and I here is her job seniority and her retirement, then we plan to move to the Owens Valley somewhere. Then again, we are also thinking of moving to northern Arizona, closer to family, where this tour started a long time ago.

I'm very partial to the scenery of the Forest as well. I just can't seem to leave. My plans to work 6-8 Ranger Districts in my career ended up only being 4, because I just couldn't seem to leave the eastern Sierra after arriving in Bridgeport in October, 1981. I picked up one of the easist transfers between two Forest Service Regions when I moved 55 miles down to Mammoth Lakes in 1988. I had the chance to transfer to anywhere between the Alaska Panhandle and Florida, and southern California to Maine and much of it between. I could have picked Forests along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, Midwest and eastern Forests, the South, and in the Pacific Northwest, but I seemed to lose interest after a few years in the Sierra. I definitely wanted to go to more remote areas with much smaller towns than the one I'm living in now, preferably one where the Ranger Station was at least 50 miles from any town. I only intended to stay 5 years on the Mammoth Ranger District but my duties and the land I worked were extremely interesting. The Inyo also allowed me to develop many ancillary duties such as being an R5 personnel misconduct investigator, a claims/accident investigator, and to accept a lot of interesting fire assignments along with picking up a couple more Incident Command System positions as well.

Well, I did not meet the challenge of keeping this short did I?
 
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#8
Exsmokey said:
Thanks for the introduction Michael.
You're quite welcome, and thanks for the info from me also. I love the Bridgeport Valley area, one of my favorite locations in the whole state. We also camp, occasionally, at Brown's on the Owen's River off Benton's Crossing. The info will aid in keeping abreast of what is happening in the area while I am up there.

Gotta move up there someday - probably in my retirement.
 
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#9
I had to run out for a couple of hours and didn't get a chance to proof read my post. It sure needed it! Anyone who comes up this way is invited to PM me so we can meet while you are here. I missed the last person I made that promise to when I came down with some illnesses for about a month. I hadn't been sick for a couple of years so I wanted to get it out of the way all at once!

I loved the Bridgeport Valley as well. I had a house just south of town, about a 1/2 mile from the Ranger Station. The view from my windows and from the open door of my garage/shop was incredible! The big meadow of the East Walker River and the Sawtooth Range was about as good as it gets. I loved the minus 30 or more temps in the winter as well- ever park a car outside overnight, start it up, then put the car in nuetral and have car start moving when you let the clutch out. That 90 weight in the transmission becomes about 250 weight at that temperature and the gears become engaged whether you want them to or not!

And now back to the programming of the PSR-600. Do you know they have a capacity of 36,640 slots for a combination of frequencies or talk groups in 20 different files of 1832 each? I will be programming long after I'm dead!
 
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