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Lee Vining to Tuolumne Meadows: Let YARTS do the driving for you

July 25th, 2016 by John, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant
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Heading to Tuolumne Meadows from Lee Vining this summer? Have you heard about YARTS?

YARTS-bus-cropped

Providing public transit, YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) offers a great alternative during the busy summer months.

Park your car or RV, bring your bicycle along, and catch a comfortable, air-conditioned bus to your destination.
• Spend less time driving and more time enjoying the sights of Yosemite
• Avoid congestion and the hassle of searching for parking
• Save on the cost of gas and entrance fees

There are three spots where YARTS picks up in Lee Vining: … more »

Refreshing ‘Olgists: Peregrines return to Yosemite National Park

July 24th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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A Perigrine Falcon eyrie. Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

A Peregrine Falcon eyrie. Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Refreshing ‘Ologist series continues this Wednesday, July 27 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Gallery.

Ever wonder why certain climbing routes in Yosemite National Park close in summer for nesting birds? Come learn about the amazing recovery the American Peregrine Falcon has made in Yosemite National Park with Crystal Barnes, Yosemite’s raptor monitor. Crystal will discuss what lead to the falcon’s population decline and how ongoing monitoring projects paired with improved management practices have lead to the peregrine’s removal from California’s endangered species list and its current success in Yosemite. See you on Wednesday!

Comment-writing workshop on Wednesday for the Inyo National Forest draft forest management plan

July 22nd, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Since 2013 the Inyo National Forest has been working on a draft forest plan, as part of a process to update the 28-year-old forest plan that has been in effect since 1988. The updated, draft Forest Management Plan was released in late May, initiating a public comment period, which closes August 25, 2016.

Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.

We invite you to join us for a comment-letter-writing evening, this coming Wednesday, July 27 at 6:00pm, location TBD (in the Lee Vining/Mono City area) at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. We will provide you with all the information and tools you need to write a comment letter to the Forest Service that will help improve the future of the Inyo National Forest. We’ll also provide food and refreshments!

Throughout this process the Mono Lake Committee has been … more »

Healing Mono Lake’s tributary streams: Come help us remove invasive plants

July 21st, 2016 by Sara, Mono Lake Intern
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If you’re in the area on Monday, July 25, consider joining Mono Lake Committee staff and naturalist Ann Howald to help pull invasive plant species!

Join us on Monday to help pull invasive plant species from along Mono Lake's tributary streams. Photo by Julie Curtis.

Join us on Monday to help pull invasive plant species from along Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Photo by Julie Curtis.

We’ll be spending the morning out in the field working to restore Mill Creek, one of Mono Lake’s important tributary streams. As a special treat, guest naturalist Ann Howald will be joining us. Ann is a retired consulting botanist who has taught popular Committee field seminars for over ten years, so she is certain to enrich the experience for all.

We are meeting at the Mono Lake Committee at 8:00am on Monday, July 25. The day’s adventure will include traversing through mixed sagebrush communities, willow lined riparian areas, and perhaps even in a cold stream! Please be sure to bring shoes that can get wet, sun protection, and plenty of water.

A picnic lunch will be provided so if you think you may be able to make it, please RSVP to me by email so we can plan accordingly. However, last minute drop-ins are also welcome! Contact me by email or at (760) 647-6595 with any questions.

Upcoming guided trips July 21–31

July 18th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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It’s amazing how many different plants, animals, and insects you can see when you are paying attention to your surroundings. Just focusing your gaze beyond one aspect of nature can bring you almost endless new things to see.

2016-07-16 Rattlesnake gulch lizards, chipmunks, butterflies, birds NL (56)

Juvenile Green-tailed Towhee snagging a meal. Photo by Nora Livingston.

For instance, you see a bird perched on a branch and identify it as a Green-tailed Towhee. A lot of times, it is easy to stop there, saying “I identified the bird! Yay me!” But what if you asked, “what kind of tree is it perched on?” … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep

July 17th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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Join us for the second of our Refreshing ‘Ologist presentations on Wednesday, July 20 at 5:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Gallery.

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep spotted at high elevation in the Mono Basin. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep spotted at high elevation in the Mono Basin. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

This ‘Ologist presentation will cover the current status of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s current projects to monitor the endangered, charismatic animal. We will hear from Lacey Greene, an environmental scientist who works for the agency on the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program. Hope to see you there!

Caltrans quickly shifts gears from Rockfall Project to addressing Marina Fire impacts

July 14th, 2016 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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Caltrans-rockfall-update-graphic

Phase 2 of the Lee Vining Rockfall Project was originally scheduled to begin this past Monday but now Caltrans must stabilize the areas affected by the Marina Fire before the Rockfall Project can begin. Emergency funds, work plan, and a contractor have been secured and work is scheduled to begin within days as soon as materials arrive.

Caltrans crews are working to make motorists on Highway 395 safe from falling rocks and debris after the Marina Fire. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Caltrans crews are working to make motorists on Highway 395 safe from falling rocks and debris after the Marina Fire. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Key components of the emergency plan include: … more »

Mono Basin high country in bloom

July 13th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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A Hermit Thrush is perched low and well hidden in a Western Hemlock, singing his ethereal sonata that is simultaneously uplifting and sad. His song echoes through the pines, drifts out over Tioga Lake, and wafts up towards Mt. Dana.

Mountain heather, Phyllodoce breweri, and granite. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Mountain heather, Phyllodoce breweri, and granite. Photo by Nora Livingston.

… more »

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists: Native herptiles in Yosemite

July 10th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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Join us this Wednesday, July 13 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Gallery for the first of our Refreshing ‘Ologist series: Recovery and Conservation of Native Herptiles in Yosemite.

Yellow-legged frog. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog. Photo by Nora Livingston.

In this summer’s first lecture we will hear from Yosemite Wildlife Biologists Ninette Daniele and Molly Thompson. They will discuss the current conservation strategies being used to protect native herptiles, like the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Yosemite toad, and other herptiles in Yosemite National Park. They will also discuss how well these strategies are working and what types of recoveries they are seeing. Join us to learn more!

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists at the Mono Lake Committee

July 8th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists is a summer lecture series with local scientists presenting their current work in the region.

Join local researchers on Wednesday afternoons for short talks about their scientific work. Plus, refreshments! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Join local researchers on Wednesday afternoons for short talks about their scientific work. Plus, refreshments! Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Presentations will be hosted in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore gallery, and last about one hour. Light refreshments will be served. All presentations begin at 4:00pm. This summer’s schedule is:

● July 13: Amphibians in Yosemite with biologist Ninette Daniele
● July 20: Bighorn sheep migration with Lacey Greene of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife**
● July 27: Peregrine Falcons in Yosemite National Park with raptor monitor Crystal Barnes
● August 3: Climate change with Benjamin Hatchett, Department of Geography, University of Nevada Reno
● August 10: Land management with Kay Ogden of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust
● August 17: Mono Basin geology with Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock
● August 31: Bird and bat population dynamics with biologist Breeanne Jackson
● September 7: The California spotted owl with biologist Stephanie Eyes
● September 14: El Niño winters in the Sierra with avalanche forecaster Sue Burak

**This presentation starts at 5:00pm, NOT 4:00pm.

Check back for weekly posts with more details about each lecture. We hope to see you here on Wednesday afternoons for these talks!

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