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Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sierra Nevada glaciers

Sunday, August 14th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

Much of Yosemite National Park’s most iconic landforms, such as the granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley and the rounded domes of Tuolumne Meadows, were shaped by glaciers. These glaciers were ubiquitous to the Sierra Nevada landscape for millions of years. More recently, however, we’re starting to see these glaciers vanish due to climate change.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

A photograph of the Lyell Glacier taken in 1883 by Israel Russel contrasts sharply with the extent of the glacier in 2013. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Join us this Wednesday, August 17 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to learn more about the fate of Sierra Nevada glaciers. Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock will discuss the Sierra Nevada glacial history and how modern-day climate change is affecting these glaciers.

Canoe Mono Lake before the season ends

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Matt Rice, 2015 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Mono Lake from the water? Why not join one of our famous canoe tours? Canoe tours have been an exciting part of the Mono Lake Committee since the beginning. One of our founders, David Gaines, used to take visitors out in his canoe in order to show off the wonders of Mono Lake up close and it is a tradition that is still very popular to this day.

Join our seasoned guides as we wind our way through (more…)

Destruction and renewal

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sandra Noll, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

The presence of wildfires has made me think about the seemingly contradictory aspects of destruction and rebirth a lot this summer.

smoldering Marina fire

The Marina Fire’s smoldering aftermath on the west side of Highway 395 evidences stark contrast to the unaffected trees, grasses and shrubs east of the highway. All photos by Sandra Noll.

June’s Marina Fire came uncomfortably close to Mono Lake Committee headquarters in Lee Vining. It was the nearest I have personally been to wildfire and, while awed and inspired by the response of firefighters from multiple agencies and the impressive accuracy of helicopter and aircraft pilots dropping water and fire retardant in turbulent winds and updrafts, I was also fearful with a dramatic new awareness of fire’s destructive capacity. This fire’s aftermath, still quite visible from (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: What the heck is a land trust?

Sunday, August 7th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “what the heck is a land trust?”‘ we’ve got the answer in this week’s Refreshing ‘Ologist lecture. Come to the Mono Lake Committee gallery this Wednesday, August 3 at 4:00pm to have all your questions answered!

The Mono Basin has several parcels of land that have easements with the Eastern Sierra Land Trust. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The Mono Basin has several parcels of land that have easements with the Eastern Sierra Land Trust. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The Eastern Sierra is a beautiful region with fascinating natural and cultural history. This area has drawn people in for generations for countless reasons—wildlife, ranching, and agriculture, to name a few. The Eastern Sierra Land Trust‘s Executive Director, Kay Odgen, will explain land trusts and how they can help protect critical habitats as well as help owners maintain their land.

In the flowers: The Mono Basin in full bloom

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Adam Dalton, 2014 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

When I signed the Mono Lake intern employment contract early this summer, I noticed the document stated I was obliged to, “complete other tasks as necessary.” Never did I imagine that a “necessary task” would comprise of hiking through beautiful high-elevation meadows, conifer-flanked streams, and the Californian high desert in search of wildflowers!

The high elevations of the Mono Basin are in bloom right now. Come for a visit and check them out! Photo by Adam Dalton.

The high elevations of the Mono Basin are in bloom right now. Come for a visit and check them out! Photo by Adam Dalton.

Although sometimes overlooked in favor of birds, fish, trees, or other aspects of the natural environment, the Eastern Sierra’s small-yet-wonderful wildflowers (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sierra Nevada rain shadow

Sunday, July 31st, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

Curious about what makes the east side of the Sierra Nevada so much drier than the west side? Join us this Wednesday, August 3 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to learn more, in the latest Refreshing ‘Ologist lecture….

Photo by Andrew Youssef.

The Mono Basin lies on the drier, eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Benjamin Hatchett, a research scientist at the Desert Research Institute, will discuss what creates a stronger or weaker rain shadow effect during storms. He will also talk about how changes in the rain shadow affect streamflow on the dry side of mountains. Similarly, terminal lakes such as Mono Lake can act as rain gauges that rise and fall due to precipitation that falls within the rain shadow. Hope to see you there!

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

Monday, July 25th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by John Warneke, 2016 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant.

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 ‘Ologists: Peregrines return to Yosemite National Park

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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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.

This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

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!

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

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sara Matthews, 2015 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

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.

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep

Sunday, July 17th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

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!

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