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New Year’s resolution: read more poetry

December 18th, 2014 by Barbara, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

Mary Oliver has done it again with her latest book of poems, Blue Horses. Poems as beautiful, haunting and accessible as a view of Eastern Sierra mountains after new snow. Poems that light up your soul like a spectacular sunset at Mono Lake.

From What I Can Do, describing the bewilderment of technology, to The Wasp, which details a surprise encounter with one in her bed, Oliver’s poems are moving, accessible, thought-provoking, and at times hilarious. As I read, I would smile and find myself sometimes nodding with new understanding.

If you aren’t already a Mary Oliver fan, you can read one of her poems, August, on the Poetry Foundation’s … more »

Mono Lake Committee summer jobs posted

December 17th, 2014 by Jessica, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

Are you interested in tufa towers and brine shrimp? Do you want to explore the beautiful mountains and high desert of the Eastern Sierra? Does working for a successful non-profit for the summer sound like fun? Well, we have the perfect job opportunity for you!

The Mono Lake Committee’s summer 2015 seasonal jobs are now open for applications.

Hiring begins January 1, 2015 and positions are open until filled. If you are interested, make sure to apply early. If you have any questions regarding the positions, please read the job description for the appropriate person’s contact information.

New reports and studies on the Mono Basin

December 16th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

In recent months, additional resources have been added to the Mono Basin Clearinghouse. They include:

We are still working to add the 1993 Mono Basin EIR auxiliary reports we mentioned in an earlier update. We hope you enjoy these resources!

Last call for purchasing Mono Lake Committee holiday gifts!

December 12th, 2014 by Barbara, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

In 1860–61, the Pony Express was the fastest way to get mail to and from Lee Vining, California. It only took ten days for mail to travel from coast to coast at a gallop!

Over 150 years later, mail travels much faster, but mail leaving Lee Vining still isn’t as speedy as mail from, say, Los Angeles or the Bay Area. Therefore, we are now sending out our last call…. Place your orders by Monday, December 15 to ensure that they reach you by Christmas using standard shipping. Place your orders by Thursday, December 18 and select expedited shipping if you’re placing a last-minute order (added charges will apply). And once again, thank you so much for your support.

Mono Lake at 20 symposium footage now online

December 11th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

You can now watch the sessions from the Mono Lake @ 20 symposium online. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

If you weren’t able to attend the Mono Lake @ 20: Past, Present, Future symposium in Sacramento last month, you can now watch all the sessions online from the comfort of your own laptop. You can stream the video footage from the State Water Resources Control Board website.

The symposium was a thoughtful and inspiring day that showed how the public trust doctrine first applied at Mono Lake is influencing California water issues today and into the future. Watch for the Mono Lake Committee’s Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin and Board member Martha Davis in particular!

We miss you, Rick Knepp

December 10th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

Last week Mono Lake lost a dedicated admirer and tireless advocate with the passing of photographer Richard Knepp.

Mono Lake advocate and admirer Richard Knepp passed away this week. Photo courtesy of Barbara Hartford.

Rick fell in love with Mono Lake and began working for the Mono Lake Committee in 1992, helped the Committee through the renovation of the Information Center & Bookstore in 1993, worked to elevate the Mono Lake Calendar, and was the voice in the popular Mono Lake Story slideshow, but he is probably best known as a photography field seminar instructor. Rick’s photography students would follow him anywhere—from the icy shores of Mono Lake for sub-zero-degree sunrises, to the rocky waterfall embankments along Mono’s tributary streams, into the abandoned buildings at Bodie State Historical Park, and up to the Jeffrey pine forest shrouded in poconip fog. … more »

Holiday shopping: Mono Lake stocking stuffers

December 9th, 2014 by Lily, Project Specialist

The Mono Lake Committee online store is well stocked with a variety of small gifts that are perfect for stuffing stockings for kids and adults alike.

Badger Cocoa Butter lip balm is a great stocking stuffer for everyone. These 100% natural lip balms are very moisturizing and help keep chapped lips at bay during dry winter months. Choose from a variety of flavors including mint, pomegranate, orange, and cocoa.

If you are in need of a stocking stuffer for someone who likes to wear their love of Mono Lake on their sleeve, consider one of our Mono Lake patches. We also offer a variety of items featuring Artemia monica, Mono Lake’s endemic species of brine shrimp. Choose from zipper pulls, pins, ornaments, or earrings. … more »

Holiday shopping: For the kids

December 7th, 2014 by Robbie, Project Specialist

Season’s greetings from the Mono Lake Committee! What better way to treat the young ones in your life this holiday season than with a gift from the Committee’s online store? Our 2014 fall catalog offers several items for kids that are educational, fun, and help save Mono Lake:

-    A Partridge in a Pear Tree by Charley Harper is a playful rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and contains beautiful pastel sketches, humorous text, and a message of the value of giving.
-    Angry Birds: 50 True Stories of the Fed Up, Feathered, and Furious by Mel White reveals astonishing stories of real bird behavior.
-    BirdWingFeather by Siri Schillios contains vibrant bird paintings on one page and detailed abstracts on the next.
-    Stickeen by John Muir and illustrated by Carl Dennis Buell is an illustrated edition of an American adventure classic of John Muir and Stickeen the dog crossing a glacier during an ice storm. … more »

Mono Lake advocate Martin Litton passes away at age 97

December 5th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
1935 letter to L.A. Times

1935 letter to LA Times

Environmental activist, Colorado River guide, World War II pilot, former Sierra Club board member, and former Sunset Magazine travel editor Martin Litton passed away on Sunday at the age of 97. He was an outspoken and uncompromising advocate for protecting wild places, including Mono Lake. At the age of 18, he wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the Los Angeles Times on October 27, 1935:

To Save Mono Lake

     INGLEWOOD, Oct 21.—[To the Editor of The Times:] For the disappearance of Owens Lake there is some excuse. Los Angeles really needed the water. But when our City of the Angels will wantonly dry up beautiful, mysterious Mono Lake to selfishly add a few unnecessary gallons to an already adequate supply, things are going a little too far. The people of the Owens Valley region are already deeply resentful toward the great city which has made their once fertile and productive land into a barren desert waste. The people of the entire State should rise up against the destruction of Mono Lake. Mono Lake is a gem—among California’s greatest scenic attractions—a beautiful and historic landmark which must not be destroyed.


Martin Litton, president of Sequoia Forestkeeper, talking with Mono Lake Committee Board Member Andrea Lawrence and the Committee's then-Office Director Erika Obedzinski, at the 2008 Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference in King's Beach. Andrea passed away six months after this photo was taken, and Martin passed away this past Sunday. They both were a large part of many environmental victories during their inspirational and achievement-filled lives.

Martin Litton, president of Sequoia Forestkeeper, talking with Mono Lake Committee Board Member Andrea Lawrence and the Committee's then-Office Director Erika Obedzinski, at the 2008 Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference in King's Beach. Andrea passed away six months after this photo was taken, and Martin passed away this past Sunday. They both were a large part of many environmental victories during their inspirational and achievement-filled lives. Photo by Greg Reis.

Holiday shopping: Eco-friendly gift ideas

December 5th, 2014 by Lily, Project Specialist

Shopping at the Mono Lake Committee’s online store will provide you with many opportunities to buy eco-conscious products while supporting the protection and restoration of Mono Lake!

Books on water conservation such as Rainwater Harvesting for Dry Lands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster and Reimagining the California Lawn by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O’Brien make great gifts for desert dwellers and those interested in reducing the impact of their water usage. Within these covers you’ll find guidelines and ideas for how to improve your water efficiency with imaginative solutions.

The Committee online store also stocks a variety of waste reducing products from companies like ChicoBag and Klean Kanteen, so you can reduce your impact on the go! … more »

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