In just two short weeks, registration for the 2013 Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua will open on Monday, April 15 at 6:30am sharp. This is the twelfth year of this popular weekend, and many field trips fill within minutes of registration opening! Make sure you take a look at the draft program and have your field trip and program choices prioritized for registration day. Keep your eye on the website for more updates in the next week.
Imagine 70 million gallons of pure water. This is the total amount of water being recycled each day in Orange County, California. Seventy million gallons of water is 215 acre feet of water a day. Production over a full year totals 72,000 acre feet, which in Mono Basin terms, roughly equals the total annual, average flow of Rush, Parker, and Walker creeks. In terms of supply value, this is enough water to sustain the domestic water needs of 600,000 Southern Californians.
Two weeks ago Mono Lake Committee staff had the opportunity to visit the largest water recycling facility in North America. The Groundwater Replenishment System facility (GWRS) is located in Fountain Valley and is a joint public project by the (more…)
We missed winter last year. There was little snow in the Mono Basin during the 2011/2012 season, and sometimes you forgot that it was winter. Hikers freely roamed the high country in December 2011, and Tioga Pass remained open well into January 2012. One year later: a week’s worth of winter storms have nearly erased our memory. Now there is snow to play in and a dramatic, new landscape to discover. If you drop everything to see Mono Lake and her snow-dressed mountains, don’t forget your skis, snowshoes, tire chains, and budget some extra time to get around. You will not be disappointed.
The temperature was maybe 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun, but the wind made it feel much colder. Students, used to much warmer temperatures, shook off the cold and hiked up one of the Mono Basin’s most dramatic classrooms: Panum Crater.
Hosted by the Mono Lake Committee and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), these 12 students came from Los Angeles for a week of programs and activities at the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC). After (more…)
The Mono Lake community grieves with the passing of Ranger Jim Pence. While at home on September 27, Jim died of heart attack. He was 49 years of age. Jim had recently retired in May as a California State Park Ranger after thirty years of service. He had served as a ranger for the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve since 2006.
Mono Lake Committee staff remember Jim for his constant smile and service on behalf of (more…)
This weekend, the Mono Basin Historical Society presents their annual fundraiser, the Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour, which focuses on the history of Lee Vining this year. To purchase tickets, visit the Mono Basin Historical Society online, stop by the Old Schoolhouse Museum in Hess Park, call (760) 647-6461, or email the museum curator.
The weekend’s itinerary includes: (more…)
Enjoy Yosemite National Park without the travel stress—use the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) and leave your car behind. September is the final month of 2012 YARTS bus service to the eastside. On weekends only, through September 30, you can ride to and from Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows, see more dramatic scenery, forget about parking, and enjoy the freedom that comes from being fully bipedal in Yosemite (save on gas too!). YARTS also links Yosemite with its westside communities. Cruise the YARTS website to check out bus fares, stops, and schedules.
Follow-up research on GFAJ-1, a Halomonas bacterium cultured from Mono Lake’s shallow marine sediments, is back in the news after two new, independent studies concluded that this strange bacterium does not incorporate arsenic into its biomolecular make-up. This new research runs counter to the claims of an original study by Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon that concluded that GFAJ-1 took up arsenic into its DNA, suggesting that the foundation of biochemistry was perhaps more flexible than was previously known. (more…)
As of Friday, April 20 there is no official date on when Tioga Pass will open, and there is no update on where the park crew is along the road. However, CalTrans has cleared all the way to the Tioga Pass gate, and there is 3–4 feet of snow along the road depending on where and how you measure. Much of the snow is from the recent, significant storm of April 12–13. We have not heard when the lower gate will be open, but today I saw several groups of skiers making the trek by foot up and down the road. The recent stretch of warm temperatures brings a unique Tioga Road experience: tree rrogs singing in a ditch just below the blue slide.
The Mono Lake Committee is one step closer to turning on the first commercial greywater project in the Eastern Sierra. As part of the Committee’s larger storefront remodel, the new greywater system will connect the public bathroom’s sink water to the surrounding landscaping potentially saving thousands of gallons of potable water each year. The irrigation is sub-surface, and when visitors and staff wash their hands, the water will drain through dedicated plumbing to underground mulch boxes. From there it will slowly (more…)