Winter & Spring 2016 Mono Lake Newsletter now onlineMarch 1st, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
It is often said that hope is not a strategy. At the Mono Lake Committee we take that to heart. Hope plays an important role, but it’s not a strategy. Balancing hope for a “big winter” with a dedication to tracking the sometimes-sobering realities of what the weather patterns are actually delivering is a challenge—especially after four drought years and in the flurry of excitement about and promise of the current El Niño.
Don’t get me wrong, Committee staff are the first to rejoice in any snowfall that comes our way. On any given day you might find Bartshe skiing up Tioga Pass at lunch; Jess finding new lines off of June Mountain; Robbie, Lily, Andrew, and Nora laying fresh tracks by moonlight; Lisa out checking on trout while walking Tucker; Elin telemarking with friends; or Geoff with his not-yet-two-year-old on her first set of skis.
And at the same time we’re also tracking the Mono Basin’s high country snowpack numbers, measuring the water content of each snowfall, checking weather stations, measuring the lake level, and analyzing the big picture situation with watershed model runs as new data comes in. This is not even a hyperactive fascination with the weather—knowing if Mono Lake will rise or fall in the year ahead is critical on many fronts. As we go to print, there’s a storm on the horizon that could potentially bump the February snowpack numbers up, but by our best analysis, the results of the winter are still too close to call.
In the meantime, we’re busy tracking the things affected by these numbers—the effectiveness of the moat around the gull colony, the fish and flows in the streams below low reservoirs, and of course, the lake level and what it means for the amount of water diversions this year. For some, these things might seem less exciting than playing in the snow. For us, it’s all part of the same package. It’s where hope meets strategy.
So, that is what you’ll find in this issue of the Mono Lake Newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together for you.