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The Mono-logue

Shop Mono Lake this holiday season

November 22nd, 2014 by Barbara, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

With Thanksgiving next week comes the kick-off to the holiday shopping season. The 2014 Fall Mono Lake Newsletter (and with it our holiday catalog) went out to 17,000 people earlier this month. We’ve stocked up—way up!—on shipping supplies. The Committee shopping elves are poised to answer the phone for your orders!

As you think about holiday giving, think about the ability to give twice. If you purchase a gift from the Mono Lake Committee, you’re not only giving that gift to your friend or relative. You’re also giving it back to Mono Lake by helping to support our work. … more »

Los Angeles and Great Basin Air Pollution Control District reach agreement about Owens Valley dust

November 15th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

After decades of negotiations over controlling dust storms at Owens Lake an agreement has been reached for how to proceed into the future.

The agreement will allow the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) to use a nearly waterless dust control method on Owens Lake, and it also provides DWP with certainty about how many acres of the dry lakebed will ever have to be controlled for dust. For the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District, the agreement offers a way forward that will ensure cleaner air for the people and the environment of the Eastern Sierra.

Read the LA Times‘ full article here: New dust-busting method ends LA’s longtime feud with Owens Valley

Dust-control methods at Owens Lake include shallow flooding, gravel spreading, and tilling up clods of clay. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Mono Lake @ 20: Articles and resources

November 14th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

On Monday, November 17th, the Mono Lake @ 20 Symposium in Sacramento will be a highlight in a year’s worth of celebrations of the 20th anniversary of State Water Board Decision 1631, more commonly known as the decision to save Mono Lake.

Photo by Sandra Noll.

We’ve given some thought to the importance and significance of the decision both at Mono Lake and beyond, and in the past as well as looking to the future. For those of you who are attending the Mono Lake @ 20 Symposium, or if you are generally interested in learning more, we’ve gathered some resources here: … more »

2016 Mono Lake Calendar: Last call for submissions!

November 14th, 2014 by Lily, Project Specialist

This is a final call for submissions for the 2016 Mono Lake Calendar…. The submission deadline, Friday, November 21, 2014 is fast approaching!

With the help of talented photographers, the Mono Lake Committee has created and published the Mono Lake Calendar each year since 1986. The calendar celebrates the awe-inspiring landscapes and ecological wonders of Mono Lake, and calendar sales help to fund our efforts to protect and restore the lake and its greater watershed.

The Mono Lake Calendar has been widely applauded for its artistic rigor, which is why we encourage you to submit high-quality photographs that you feel best capture the spirit of the Mono Basin’s geological and ecological wonders. To be selected for inclusion in the 2016 Mono Lake Calendar, images must depict subjects … more »

Tioga Pass closed again

November 13th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) and Highway 108 (Sonora Pass) have closed again temporarily due to snow. Keep an eye on the road conditions and weather forecasts—the roads could reopen if warm and sunny weather returns. And as always in this drought, take a moment to celebrate more precipitation for Mono Lake….

The IPCC Synthesis Report, record California temperatures and drought, and Mono Lake

November 7th, 2014 by Bartshé, Education Director

This last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest Synthesis Report (fifth report since 1990). It is a stark, sobering, and interesting read in context of the previous reports since scientific data and analysis support increasing certainty regarding climate warming, anthropogenic causes, strong and comprehensive impacts on natural systems, and “high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally” without urgent and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

California is currently experiencing it’s worst drought in history as the warmest year in history is about to be recorded. The long-term, increasing temperature trend for California, the ocean, and the rest of the world’s landmass is unequivocal.

October 2013 through September 2014 is the warmest 12-consecutive-month stretch in California history. January through December is 99% certain to be the warmest calendar year to date.

What does this mean for Mono Lake? The impacts this year are clear—the lake level dropped. Will this continue? Are the hydrologic models predicting future lake levels already out of date? Will climate change bring other, less obvious impacts? Are they underway now? Of the known changes, which ones can be mitigated? These are among the questions that the Mono Lake Committee is presently trying to answer.

What we do know is that there is no one else to take the lead. While US Forest Service and California State Parks may wish to be more responsive, their staffing and resources are strapped. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is only responsible for fixing the damage of past excessive water diversions. It will be up to all of us and the Mono Lake Committee to find solutions and to take action at Mono Lake as we cope with the impacts of climate change.

Greater Sage-Grouse forum in Lee Vining, November 13-14

November 1st, 2014 by Bartshé, Education Director

A simulcast of the International Forum on Sage-Grouse in Salt Lake City, Utah will be streamed live at the Lee Vining Community Center on November 13–14 from 7:00am onward. Greater Sage-Grouse will not be attending, but they will not be far away. These birds have been the focus of unprecedented conservation and management efforts, and our regional population of Sage-Grouse has been proposed for Threatened listing by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

The forum is free to everyone in Lee Vining, and will be particularly of note to those who are interested or have a stake in the conservation of these iconic birds. You can check out the forum schedule for more details (note that start times in Lee Vining will be one hour earlier due to Pacific Standard Time). Jeff Hunter and the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership are hosting the forum free for the public.

Tioga Pass closing for this weekend’s winter storm

October 31st, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

A winter storm is predicted to bring snow and rain to the Sierra Nevada and Eastern Sierra tonight and into tomorrow morning, resulting in the closure of several mountain passes today. Highway 89 (Monitor Pass) and Highway 108 (Sonora Pass) closed at noon today. Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) will close as 6:00pm tonight, and the National Park Service will evaluate the road for re-opening on Sunday, November 2.

As always when you travel, check road conditions, make sure you have tire chains if you need them, and drive safely. Also, don’t forget to celebrate some precipitation for Mono Lake during this drought!

Fall 2014 Mono Lake Newsletter now available online

October 29th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

On behalf of the entire Mono Lake Committee staff I’m excited to announce that the Fall 2014 edition of the Mono Lake Newsletter is now available online! Every time we ready the Newsletter to go to press I write a short letter from the editor that appears on page 2—it’s a welcome message, and an introduction to the issue. Here’s how it goes this time:

_______________________________

Recently my friend John Anderson came by for a visit and said a surprising thing: “The lake is so high!” It was the only time I heard that this year. As a member of the 1979 California Gull research crew when the lake level was 6373.4 feet above sea level, his comment makes more sense, and was a good reminder to keep things in perspective here at 6379.3. … more »

Mono Lake at 20 symposium in Sacramento

October 28th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

Water nerds unite! You’re not going to want to miss this opportunity: the Mono Lake at 20: Past, Present, and Future symposium on November 17, 2014 in Sacramento, California.

What: 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s landmark Decision 1631 to amend the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s water rights in order to protect Mono Lake and its tributary streams. So we have joined with UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Institute for Water Law & Policy and stakeholders in the Mono Lake cases to convene this symposium to discuss where things stand after 20 years, including: … more »

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