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The Mono-logue

2014 Mono Lake Committee higher education scholarship application is now open for local students

April 15th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

Each year the Mono Lake Committee supports local students pursuing higher education who display a personal connection with Mono Lake and the Mono Lake story with two $1,000 scholarships. Mono County resident high school seniors who have firm plans to attend a two- or four-year college within a year of graduation qualify.

If you are interested in applying, you can find the application here. The application deadline is: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 5:00pm. … more »

Help the Mono Lake Committee with the 2014 Free Drawing

April 15th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

If you’ve been a longtime supporter of the Mono Lake Committee, you are probably quite familiar with our annual Free Drawing. The Free Drawing is our largest and most successful annual fundraiser and we love giving out prizes to our lucky winners each December.

Emma reads a winning ticket in the 2013 Free Drawing as Elina and Ellen wait to record the winner. Photo by Elin Ljung.

This fundraiser would not be possible without the continued support of the organizations, businesses, and people who generously donate prizes to us. And the formula is simple: The more enticing prizes we offer, the more people donate to enter themselves in the drawing, and the more funds we raise to help protect and restore Mono Lake!

This past year, the Mono Lake Committee was able to offer over 30 prizes, including vacation weekends in Mammoth Lakes and San Francisco, as well as a GoPro camera, a snowboard, and a shopping spree at our Information Center & Bookstore. This year, we want to continue offering great prizes that you will love—in order to do that, we’ll need your help! … more »

Current Eastern Sierra road conditions

April 14th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

As Arya mentioned in her recent Mono-logue post, it’s now the time of year when everyone waits with bated breath and hopeful road trip plans to hear about road openings. Here is the most current information we have:

  • Tioga Pass (Hwy 120 west): Currently closed. Yosemite National Park will begin snow removal on April 16. However, a projected opening date has not been set.
  • Bodie Road (SR 270): Currently scheduled to open April 15 (weather-dependent)
  • Sonora Pass (Hwy 108): Projected opening date is April 20 (weather-dependent) … more »

Plowing of Tioga Pass set to begin April 15, 2014

April 10th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

It’s officially the I-wonder-when-Tioga-Pass-is-going-to-open time of year.

Rocks on the Tioga Pass road on March 30, 2014. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Here at the Mono Lake Committee we’re keeping our eyes and ears out for any information on Tioga Pass too, so bookmark our Tioga Pass Watch and we’ll keep it updated with the best, real information we’ve got. We also post it all on Facebook and Twitter with #tiogapass. So … here’s what we know right now:

Yosemite National Park will begin snow removal on the Tioga Pass Road on April 15. … more »

Mono Basin snowpack is the highest in the state

April 9th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

We have good news, and we have bad news. The good news is that for the Mono Basin, this year’s snowpack could have been worse. The bad news is that it is a another dry year—and in the Mono Basin, 2012–2014 looks like it will be the driest 3 consecutive years on record.

Late March at South Tufa, with a receding shoreline and the Sierra sparsely covered in snow. Photo by Rose Catron.

California’s April 1, 2014 snow surveys have been completed, and the statewide average snow water content is 25% of average. The lowest is the Scott River Basin at 7% of average. In the Mono Basin, it is … more »

Annual Mono Lake island closure and Osprey closure in effect

April 7th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

Everyone knows that Mono Lake is for the birds! And now is the time of year when that idea becomes a bit more literal. As of April 1st the Mono Lake island closure is in effect.

The island closure means that no one is allowed on or within one mile of the islands in Mono Lake. This closure is put into effect to protect the thousands of California Gulls that return to Mono Lake to nest on the islands year after year. The annual closure lifts on August 1st so until then, steer clear of the islands.

California Gulls nest on Mono Lake's islands each year. Photo courtesy of Justin Hite.

Additionally, the Osprey closure went into effect on April 1st. This closure prevents anyone from coming within 200 yards of … more »

Two Mono Lake Interns in the family

April 4th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Editor’s note: In the summer of 2013 the Committee had the first second-generation intern on staff. We asked Katie Quinlan to reflect on this full-circle connection with her son Bryce Tiernan.

Katie Quinlan as an intern at South Tufa in 1982. Photo courtesy of Katie Quinlan.

The summer of 1982 was my first summer as an intern in the Mono Basin. My memories of that summer are dotted with landmarks—Rush Creek was once again flowing into Mono Lake and the public trust doctrine was working its way through the courts.

The next summer I was hired as the first intern coordinator. One of my duties was to teach the interns how to do a South Tufa tour and then evaluate how they were doing. I was supposed to evaluate Emily Stuart, which was a little absurd because Emily and I had been interns together the year before and she was a theater major, so her tours were better than mine.

On the day I was to evaluate her tour she made me promise to stand in the back and be quiet. Things were going along just fine, but then I spotted a bird out on a tufa tower that I didn’t recognize … more »

Will you volunteer for Mono Lake this year?

April 3rd, 2014 by Rosanne, Office Director

Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to your favorite place?

The 2013 Mono Lake Volunteers celebrate their graduation from volunteer training. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Each year, volunteers contribute hundreds of hours in the Mono Basin with the Mono Lake Volunteer Program. Whether conducting outreach to the public at South Tufa, pointing out birds with a scope at the State Reserve boardwalk, picking up trash, pulling invasive plants, or helping out at the Scenic Area Visitor Center, our volunteers … more »

2012-2014 on track to be driest 3 consecutive years on record

April 2nd, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Yesterday marked the first day of the 2014 runoff year, and it is also time for adding up the total runoff from the 2013 runoff year.

Mono Lake Committee and DWP staff met to discuss Mono Lake's level on April 1, 2014. Photo by Elin Ljung.

A runoff year runs from April 1 to March 31, and enables tracking of stream runoff from the time of peak snowpack from one year to the next. Mono Basin runoff was about 54.5% of average between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. This is 17.4% less runoff than the 66% of average runoff forecasted one year ago, thanks to the very dry spring, fall, and winter (last summer, precipitation was above-average thanks to thunderstorms). It was the second-farthest-off runoff prediction since the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Decision 1631 in 1994, after 18.6% too much runoff was predicted in 2008. … more »

Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua registration: Tuesday, April 15

March 26th, 2014 by Bartshé, Education Director

Three weeks from now, registration for the 2014 Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua will open on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30am sharp.

This is the thirteenth year of this popular weekend, and many field trips fill within minutes of registration opening! Keep an eye on the site for the schedule—it will be posted within a week—and have your field trip and program choices prioritized for registration day. More updates will follow in the next week as well.

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