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Mono Lake Committee seasonal staff are here and summer is in full swing

June 12th, 2016 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Summer is here! With the warm weather comes many changes; deer and birds are migrating, bears have woken from hibernation, and the Mono Lake Committee’s flock of seasonal staff has finally arrived. Training began June 1 and we’ve been busy from day one, excitedly preparing for the months ahead.

Andrew, Sara, and Grace paddle the route that Mono Lake Committee canoe tours take during the summer months. Photo by Gabby Renteria.

Our first day was filled with the usual: introductions, paperwork, and an awesome talk from Mike Hogan who is working hard to make sure the Caltrans Rockfall Project not only solves the issue of falling rocks but also leaves the hills on the west side of Mono Lake beautiful and habitable for the many animals here in the Mono Basin.

After that we wasted no time and jumped straight in with two days of canoe training. The first day was spent practicing paddling techniques and canoe safety. On day two Lily and Andrew did a walk-through of what our tours will look like. By the end of day two we were all exhausted, but the perspective you get from being out on the lake rather than on the shore is incredible and worth the effort.

The rest of the week was just as busy. We worked on our interpretive skills, went on tours of South Tufa, Lee Vining and the wider Mono Basin, and learned about everything from birds, brine shrimp, and flies to the ecology and geology of the Mono Basin. Our brains are stuffed with new, fascinating information and we cannot wait to start educating visitors about this wonderful place.

2016-06-08 intern training South Tufa & north basin EN_5173

Former State Park ranger and Volunteer Coordinator Janet Carle, right, teaches seasonal staff members and volunteers how to lead a South Tufa tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

This week we’ll finish up training with a few more tours, but the busyness doesn’t stop there. The office is buzzing as we prepare for the annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua coming up this weekend and the interpretive tour season begins after that with South Tufa tours, bird walks, and canoe tours.

If you find yourself in the basin this summer we’d love to see you! Stop by the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore to get information about the area and things to do. Bird walks at County Park have already started, Fridays and Sundays at 8:00am; daily South Tufa tours begin on June 20 and start at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 6:00pm; our first canoe tours start on June 25 and are every Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am (space is limited, be sure to make a reservation online or call us at (760) 647-6595). See you soon!

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