There is no denying that California is facing a serious water problem due to three consecutive years of drought. Curious about a hydrologist’s thoughts on the matter? Join us at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore this Wednesday, July 23 at 4:00pm for an hour with Sue Burak, local resident and recent graduate of the Hydrologic Science department at the University of Nevada, Reno, to find out.
Satellite view of snow cover over Sierra Nevada mountain range, January 2013 vs. January 2014. Photos courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Sue is currently working on drought issues with the Desert Research Institute and come winter she gathers snow and avalanche information from snowpits and studies avalanche formation all while closely tracking the weather. During her presentation Sue will explain the impacts of the drought, primarily on the streamflow of the Upper Owens River and Big Springs. She will also talk about how to define drought in order to get the root of common drought misconceptions. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Meet in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstorein the Theater & Gallery at 4:00pm to join in on the fun. I look forward to seeing you there!
For those times when I’m exploring the Sierra Nevada without my favorite Yosemite park ranger (or, come to think of it, even when I’m with her since she swears by this book), a necessity almost as crucial as sunblock is John Muir Laws’ The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada.
A modest-sized paperback, small enough to fit in your backpack on top of rain gear or snacks, this is the source to answer all of your “what is this?!?” quandaries. And since I recently moved here from the East Coast, I have a lot of those quandaries. For example, on some recent hikes, I encountered the following:
Pussypaws. Photo by Barbara Ball.
From The Laws Field Guide, I find that this is pussypaws—very common—a cushion plant: Calyptridium monospermum if you enjoy learning the scientific names.
Over the years the Mono Lake Committee has attracted hundreds of young, passionate environmentalists looking for involvement in Mono Lake’s story. Whether in college, fresh out of school or like this year’s two Birding Interns, retired folks looking to help out, the seasonal staff plays a huge role in keeping the Mono Lake Committee a well-oiled machine during the summer months. I am not alone in feeling that what I have given the Committee cannot compare to what the people, experiences, and natural world in the Eastern Sierra has given me. The incredible Mono Lake story is infectious and continues to inspire me as I head further into the field of environmental studies.
The departures of seasonal staff occurs in two waves each year—in the end of August and the beginning of November. Once departed, it largely becomes a mystery where these individuals full of fun Mono Lake facts end up. Luckily, many keep in touch. One retired intern in particular is pretty much forced into keeping in touch with me. My sister Lisa Curtis was a Mono Lake Intern seven years ago … more »
July 14th, 2014 by Bartshé, Education DirectorcloseAuthor: Bartshé, Education DirectorName: Bartshé Miller Title: Education Director About: Bartshé directs the Committee's Outdoor Experiences Program, Canoe Program, and Interpretive Programs, and manages the Mono Basin Field Station. He has been an Eastern Sierra resident since 1993.See All Posts by Bartshé (38) Contact Bartshé
If you’re a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) residential customer and you have a lawn, now is your chance to cash in and conserve water. Currently, DWP is offering $3 per square foot of lawn if you replace your thirsty grass with California friendly plants.
DWP’s “Cash In Your Lawn” incentive is the largest for any major US city, and is twice the amount that Las Vegas offers its customers. There is no competition here—both cities are serious about water conservation and recycling and have a track record of moving in the right direction when it comes to urban water efficiency. However, three dollars a square foot (up from two dollars) demonstrates a new level of commitment that DWP is willing to go to further for conservation after three very dry years. … more »
July 13th, 2014 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin is an EMT on the Lee Vining Fire Department, loves sitting at Latte Da Coffee Cafe immersed in a good book, and watches English Premier League football (soccer) at any opportunity.See All Posts by Elin (184) Contact Elin
Join us for this year’s Introduction to High Country Plants & Habitats field seminar, held annually in the Mono Basin’s high-elevation meadows at the peak of their summer bloom! Plants, animals, insects, geology, and weather all interact quickly during the short growing season, and this seminar is a guide to it all.
Introduction to High Country Plants & Habitats • August 1–3 • $165 per person/$150 for members • sign up here
Instructor Ann Howald has a clear and enthusiastic teaching style that brings participants back year after year. Photo by Elin Ljung.
Instructor Ann Howald is a retired consulting botanist who specializes in rare plant and conservation issues. Her engaging way of … more »
July 12th, 2014 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin is an EMT on the Lee Vining Fire Department, loves sitting at Latte Da Coffee Cafe immersed in a good book, and watches English Premier League football (soccer) at any opportunity.See All Posts by Elin (184) Contact Elin
Small mammals like squirrels, chipmunks, kangaroo rats, and mice scurry around us humans all day and night here in the Mono Basin, but how often do you actually get to really see them? If you’re interested in seeing the Mono Basin’s mammals up close (you might even get to hold one!), you’re in luck—there are a few spaces left in the Mono Basin Mammals field seminar coming up in a couple of weeks.
Mono Basin Mammals • July 25–27 • $155 per person/$140 for members • sign up here
The field seminar instructor is biologist John Harris, who has studied the Mono Basin's mammals since the 1970s. Photo by Elin Ljung.
Instructor John Harris has studied the Mono Basin’s mammals for decades, and has led many popular field seminars for the Mono Lake Committee and at the annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. John catches the mammals in live traps, thereby … more »
This is a unique place where animals like the tiny pika and lazy marmot dwell in rocky habitats. It is a place where visitors enjoy gazing at the tufa towers as they hike along Mono Lake’s shore. Glaciers and volcanic activity have been powerful forces shaping the landscape over time. Recreational activities in the Mono Basin include everything from hiking and mountaineering to fishing and birding.
A stunning view of Mono Lake from Mt. Dana. Photo by Erica Stephens.
Thanks to dedicated people of the past like David Gaines, who took initial action to protect Mono Lake and helped found the Mono Lake Committee, we all have the opportunity to enjoy this amazing area. As Gaines said, “The birds and the animals, trees, grasses and rocks; water and wind are our allies. They awaken our senses, arouse our passions, renew our spirits, and fill us with vision, courage and joy. We are Mono Lake.”
Here are a variety of perspectives from friends, coworkers and people I met along trails who are inspired and … more »
July 10th, 2014 by Emma, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Emma, Project SpecialistName: Emma Oschrin Title: Project Specialist About: Emma graduated from Whitman College in Washington in May 2013, where she majored in Environmental Studies–Biology and minored in History. She is originally from Bishop, California and has been coming to Mono Lake since she was a kid. In her free time, Emma likes to play volleyball, go on walks, read, and play cards.See All Posts by Emma (23) Contact Emma
If you frequent the Mono-logue, you’re probably invested in helping Mono Lake and its tributary streams recover. As always, donations and member support are welcome and necessary aspects of protecting and restoring Mono Lake. But if you’re looking to help Mono Lake in a more hands-on way, consider joining us on Wednesday, July 16 or Wednesday, July 23 for a restoration field day!
The Mono Lake Committee seasonal staff after pulling invasive sweet clover on Mill Creek. Photo by Emma Oschrin.
For our restoration field days, volunteers help with various projects at Mono Lake and along the streams. This July, we’ll be having two restoration days along Mill Creek. Volunteers and Mono Lake Committee staff will be lending a helping hand to the streams by removing invasive plant species that are currently taking up space in streamside habitat. … more »
July 9th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration SpecialistcloseAuthor: Greg, Information & Restoration SpecialistName: Greg Reis Title: Information & Restoration Specialist About: Since his Committee internship in 1995, Greg has been involved with Mono Basin stream restoration and with maintaining the Committee's computers, Websites, and Research Library, and researching and compiling information for our programs. His B.S. degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Forestry and Natural Resources with a concentration in Environmental Management and a Senior Project in Hydrology reflect his interests in natural resources management, watershed management, and habitat restoration. He is a member of the California Society for Ecological Restoration and he also works for the Rivers and Delta Program of The Bay Institute.See All Posts by Greg (154) Contact Greg
Watch part 1 and part 2 of Elden Vestal's 1993 deposition, in which he discusses the remarkable historical habitat conditions and wildlife in the Mono Basin.
Former State Water Board staff member Jim Canaday had a copy of the missing video, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife digitized it, and the Committee has posted it online. Both YouTube videos (part 1 and part 2) can be found on our Historical Interviews page on the Mono Basin Clearinghouse. … more »
Arrowleaf balsmroot blooms high above Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Bristlecone Media.
The 27-minute film, The Mono Lake Story, plays in our theater and gallery all day long—it’s a wonderful way to learn about Mono Lake’s natural and political history, and it inspires many visitors to join in our efforts to protect and restore Mono Lake. The brilliant cinematography will leave you speechless and the commentary from those who have dedicated their lives to Mono Lake will leave you motivated to make a difference. Come join us during our open hours, 8:00am to 9:00pm, to experience an unforgettable film.