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Canoe on Mono Lake this Labor Day weekend

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Julissa Rosales, 2017 Canoe Coordinator.

Even if you have been on a Mono Lake Committee canoe tour or a guided walking tour before, being on Mono Lake this year is unlike any other year prior.

Experience Mono Lake by canoe this holiday weekend—tours are offered at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Mono Lake has risen over three feet so far this year—come and experience the clarity and beauty of the waters off of South Tufa with visibility up to six feet deep. As you canoe on one of the oldest lakes on the continent you’ll be surrounded by views of the youngest mountain range in North America (the Mono Craters), the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, and majestic islands created by volcanic activity. We also share the importance of how (more…)

Seminar spotlight: Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierra

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Michael Morris, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

Fire has been shaping Eastern Sierra landscapes for centuries. Human interactions with fire in the Western United States have greatly influenced wildfire type, severity, and its effect on forest ecosystems, creating management challenges across the region. If you are interested in learning more about wildfire and its role in shaping forest ecosystems, you’re in luck! There are still spots available in Malcolm North’s Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierra field seminar, coming up September 9–10.

Smoke was visible at South Tufa in August 2016 as the Clark Fire burned south of the Mono Basin. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierra • September 9–10 • $155 per person/$140 for members • sign up here • view full itinerary here (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Tuolumne River ecology below Hetch Hetchy Reservoir with Jeff Holmquist

Saturday, August 26th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Molly Casey, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

When considering the ecological effects of the Hetchy Hetchy Reservoir, we tend to think of the initial flooding of Hetch Hetchy Valley. But are there also ongoing ecological consequences downstream of the dam?

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Photo by Noel Morata.

This week’s Refreshing ‘Ologist, Dr. Jeff Holmquist, will compare conditions below the dam, above the reservoir, and in reference sections of the Merced River to help answer that question. Along with the ongoing effects of the reservoir, he will also discuss river-wetland linkages and the ways in which river flows have been manipulated in order to mitigate effects on wetlands. (more…)

Still time to help with restoration at Mono Lake

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Michael Morris, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

The Mono Lake Committee’s invasive removal project has been running all summer long, and there is one more opportunity to get involved!

Committee Restoration Field Technician, Robbie, demonstrates how to identify white sweet clover during an invasive plant removal workday near Old Marina. Photo by Michael Morris.

Ava and I have been leading invasive plant removal workdays at Old Marina—focusing on removing invasive white sweet clover. Join us on Wednesday, August 30 from 9:00am to 12:00pm for the last restoration day of the season! We will meet at the Mono Lake Committee, then carpool to the location we’ll be weeding. Please bring close-toed shoes, sun protection, plenty of water, and a snack. And of course, be sure to stick around afterwards for a picnic lunch. (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Aquatic restoration & management with Colleen Kamoroff

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Molly Casey, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

Our refreshing ‘ologist for this week is researching techniques in parks to be used for monitoring and managing aquatic wildlife. Join us this Wednesday, August 23 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to hear about how scientist Colleen Kamoroff uses eDNA in water samples to learn more about an area and the species that occupy it.

A frog in the aquatic habitat Colleen is working to study and manage. Photo courtesy of Colleen Kamoroff.

DNA obtained from filtered water samples is often referred to as aquatic environmental DNA or eDNA. eDNA is a promising tool for monitoring (more…)

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Janet “JB” Barth

Friday, August 18th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Aviva North, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

While Mono Lake Volunteer Janet “JB” Barth might be new to living in the Mono Basin, she certainly is not new to volunteering, environmental activism, or her love for the Eastern Sierra.

JB taught in the Napa school system for more than 20 years before retiring and moving to Benton, California. Photo courtesy of JB.

In high school in Napa, California JB participated in a camping and outdoors club and their first-ever outing trip was to Mono Lake around 1970—that’s when she claims, “the first time I saw this place I knew this was where I wanted to be.” (more…)

2017 Great Sierra River Cleanup a success

Monday, August 14th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Charlotte Johnston-Carter, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

Each year millions of people visit the Mono Basin, and most leave only footprints, but some leave a bit more…. Litter is common throughout the basin, but Lee Vining Creek often gets the brunt of it since it’s one of Mono Lake’s most popular tributary streams for fishing and camping.

Volunteer Janet Barth picking up litter at the Lee Vining Creek diversion pond during the Great Sierra River Cleanup. Photo by Charlotte Johnston-Carter.

Every year the Mono Lake Committee helps clean up Lee Vining Creek as part of the Great Sierra River Cleanup, a Sierra-wide event organized by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (more…)

Explore Lundy Canyon with a guide during Saturday morning bird walks

Friday, August 11th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Jenny Rieke, 2017 Birding Intern.

We hope you can join us for one of the new Lundy Canyon bird walks this year—on Saturdays at 7:30am. There is so much to see in Lundy Canyon, it really is one of the gems of the Eastern Sierra. I’ve put together this collection of photos from the 2017 season so far, and hope it inspires you to join us!

Lundy Canyon is home to some of the Eastern Sierra’s best birds, wildflowers, and waterfalls along Mill Creek, which flows down the canyon and into Mono Lake.

White rein orchid (Plantanthera leucostachys) blooming along Mill Creek in Lundy Canyon. Photo by Jennifer Rieke.

Nestled in the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, Lundy Canyon is a high-elevation canyon rising from Lundy Lake at 7,858 feet above sea level to the 11,770-foot Black Mountain. (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Songbirds of Yosemite with Michelle Desrosiers

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Molly Casey, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

If you have ever wondered about how songbirds are studied and why, you should come to the Mono Lake Committee this Wednesday, August 16 at 4:00pm to hear from this week’s Refreshing ‘Ologist, Michelle Desrosiers.

This week’s Refreshing ‘Ologist Michelle Desrosiers studies songbirds in Yosemite. Photo courtesy of Chris McCreedy.

Scientists in the park have been monitoring the status of songbirds as well as collecting information about their natural history to better inform conservation and management decisions. Songbirds serve as indicators of functioning ecosystem processes due to their position in the food chain, their diverse habitat requirements as a taxonomic group, and their accessibility to study.

In Yosemite scientists use songbirds to (more…)

Mono Lake Volunteer spotlight: Jo Bacon

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Aviva North, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

“Volunteering has always been a part of my life, ever since I joined Girl Scouts,” says Mono Lake Volunteer Jo Bacon. Part of the original class of volunteers in 2004 and named Volunteer of the Year in 2011, Jo is a stalwart volunteer with a passion for engaging the public and protecting the Mono Basin.

Mono Lake Volunteer Jo Bacon, left, with Volunteer Coordinator Janet Carle. Photo by Rose Catron.

She originally discovered the wonders of the Eastern Sierra in the 1970s on a trip to cross country ski and eventually moved to Mammoth Lakes full-time in 2002 after more than 25 years in Riverside, California. Since her move, Jo has certainly made her mark on the Eastern Sierra community. She served on the Mammoth Lakes Town Council for eight years, including two as mayor, then another two on the planning commission, along with doing interpretive work for the Mammoth Ranger District and some naturalist work in the area.

She was drawn to the Mono Basin originally by (more…)

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