This spring, when tens of thousands of California Gulls return to their island nesting ground at Mono Lake, they will be in danger of having their once-safe colony raided by coyotes. During the drought, Mono Lake dropped 7 vertical feet—exposing a landbridge to the gulls’ nesting islands. It’s hard to believe that all of this snow and rain we’re getting won’t fix the problem naturally. The lake is rising, but the snow we’ve gotten this winter won’t melt and raise the lake in time to protect them when they lay their eggs in April. Help us put up a fence to save the gulls before it’s too late!
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep agenda item postponed until the March 7 Mono County Board of Supervisors meetingFebruary 19th, 2017 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
Please note that Mono County has postponed the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep discussion until the March 7 Board of Supervisors meeting because of predicted bad weather. The new meeting will now occur in Bridgeport, not Mammoth.
While a live feed will be available in Mammoth, people are strongly encouraged to travel to Bridgeport to see the wildlife agencies’ bighorn sheep presentation live and give remarks to the Board of Supervisors in person. Also, if you have not yet sent your letter in support of the bighorn to the Supervisors, you have more time to get it in—please do write a letter. The Supervisors have been receiving letters and appreciate hearing from the public.
Visit the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation for more information including a summary of the issue, details on the meeting location and time, and addresses where you can submit letters. If you have any questions please contact me by email or call (760) 647-6595, extension 142.
Tickets for the annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles are on sale now! We are excited to have screenings at two locations this year; the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo on Thursday March 9 from 7:00-10:00pm and the Sierra Madre City Hall Council Chambers on Saturday, March 11 from 2-3pm for a matinee and from 7:00-10:00pm as well.
This year’s festival features ten beautiful and fun films about nature, conservation, and activism through the lens of skiing, surfing, mountaineering, photography, whitewater rafting, and more.
Tickets can be purchased here or by calling us at (760) 647-6595. For more information, including film lineups and parking information, check out the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles website. You can also follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
All proceeds from the event go to the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs that bring students from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin to learn about the source of their water through five days of life changing outdoor experiences.
See you there!
If you’ve ever seen an endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the wild, you know how amazing they are. Now is your chance to support these animals with a letter or a call to the Mono County Board of Supervisors.
Next Tuesday, February 21*, Mono County Supervisors will consider whether or not to renew expiring domestic sheep grazing leases for Conway Ranch, a property that is located close to bighorn sheep territory in Lundy Canyon. Domestic sheep and goats can transmit bacteria to the bighorn that causes pneumonia and eventually death (up to 90% of animals in a bighorn herd can die). The only reliable way to prevent disease transmission is by geographically separating the species. Currently, state and federal wildlife agencies have determined that the domestic sheep are too close to the Lundy bighorn herd. … more »
Even with all of this snow and rain, we still need to build a temporary fence to protect the gulls. Have questions? Stop by the open house on Wednesday—we’ve got answers, ways you can help, and cookies too.
- When: Wednesday, February 15, 5-7pm
- Where: Mono Lake Committee Bookstore
- What: Open house, presentation at 6pm
- Why: Because you love California Gulls (and Epic Cafe cookies)
February 1 snow surveys conducted over the past week revealed an approximately 200% of average snow water content in the Mono Basin. This puts the April 1 average at just over 120%.
It is still early in the season, but even with a dry February and March, it will be an above-average year, and with an average end to the season it will be a wet year. With a wet February and March, new April 1 records could be set!
Those who have been watching Mono Lake drop during the last five years of drought know that we here at the Mono Lake Committee have been preparing to protect nesting California Gulls from opportunistic coyotes with a temporary electric fence across the emerging landbridge.
And then this January happened! We got record amounts of snow and rain brought by atmospheric rivers—enough to see a visible rise in the level of Mono Lake. We started to hear the perceptive question: “Does this mean you don’t have to build the fence?”
We’re still going to build the fence. There are two main reasons…. … more »
The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Wednesday, February 8 for our annual inventory count.
We will resume our winter hours—open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily—on Thursday, February 9. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we hope to see you all after our inventory day is complete!
At the end of the wettest January in the 29-year record for Lee Vining, how do Mono Basin season totals for precipitation and snowfall compare to other years? The season precipitation total (since October) of approximately 15.84 inches of water is among the wettest years recorded since 1989. It is the second-wettest year to date (1997 was the wettest) that we’ve recorded in 29 years as of the end of January.
At Cain Ranch, five miles south of Lee Vining and more representative of the precipitation that falls on Mono Lake itself, the 2017 seasonal total of 9.44″ to date is sixth-wettest in 86 years. For both Cain Ranch and Lee Vining, these totals fall into the wettest 7% of years. … more »
This year’s slate of 28 Field Seminars spans many topics: basketry, oil painting, woodpeckers, moonlight photography, geology, mining history, fire ecology, butterflies, and more. … more »