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The Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Annual Report

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Annual Report is now available!

2018 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report cover

The 2018 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available! Cover photo courtesy of Richard Erb.

The report is full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and scientific research. It also has the Committee’s (more…)

Learn more about the Bodie Hills, just north of Mono Lake

Monday, December 3rd, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The Bodie Hills form the northern boundary of the Mono Lake watershed—they’re full of wildlife like pronghorn and Greater Sage-Grouse, old mining sites including the ghost town of Bodie, and wide open spaces. The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership is working to get this incredible place protected—take five minutes to enjoy aerial views and learn more in this video:

Augie Hess, 1914–2018: What a wonderful life

Friday, November 30th, 2018 by Ellen, Membership Coordinator
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Augie Hess, 1914–2018. Photo courtesy of the Mono Basin Historical Society.

Augie Hess passed away on October 20, just five days shy of what would have been his 104th birthday. Even as a centenarian Augie lived an active lifestyle that was the envy of people many years younger. He traveled with his family, played golf as often as he could, and went to see his beloved San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park at the age of 102.

Augie & the Mono Lake Committee

Augie’s life intersected with the Mono Lake Committee on more than one occasion. Committee staff interviewed longtime local residents as part of a project to document conditions in the Mono Basin prior to the start of DWP water diversions in 1941. Augie sat down for an interview in 1991. He described meadows with grass fed by springs, ponds with thousands of ducks and geese, fish in all the streams. He recalled that Rush Creek always had water (more…)

Feeling thankful at Mono Lake

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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On Thanksgiving Day, we are thankful for your faithful support in shown in so many ways: visits to our Lee Vining headquarters, emails asking about our work, purchases in the bookstore, views of our website, phone calls from far away, Facebook and Twitter comments, Instagram photos, generous donations, and most of all—your love for Mono Lake.

The Mono Lake Committee staff looks out at our favorite lake. Photo by Arya Harp.

The Mono Lake Committee staff looks out at our favorite lake. Photo by Arya Harp.

As we celebrate 40 years of protecting and restoring Mono Lake, we look toward the next 40 with your support! Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

Tioga Pass, Sonora Pass closing this week

Monday, November 19th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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With the first winter storm in the forecast this week, the National Park Service has announced that Tioga Pass (Highway 120 west) will close at 6:00pm tomorrow, Tuesday, November 20.

Tioga Pass will close tomorrow evening at 6:00pm due to incoming winter weather. Photo by Bartshe Miller from February 15, 2018.

In addition, Caltrans has announced that Ebbetts Pass (Highway 4) will close at 3:00pm tomorrow and Sonora Pass (Highway 108) will close at noon on Wednesday, November 21. Both agencies have noted that these closures are not necessarily the long-term seasonal closures yet. There are no expected re-opening times for the roads; that is weather-dependent.

DWP takes unilateral land management action, causing litigation: Is dewatering of Long Valley meadows the first step in a new phase of water extraction?

Thursday, November 15th, 2018 by Geoff, Executive Director
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The Mono Lake Committee celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. That means the Committee has been advocating for Mono Lake and its tributary streams for more than half the years that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) has been in the business of exporting water from the Mono Basin.

The Mono Lake Committee and our expert consultants, network of partners, and 16,000 members are always alert to threats to Mono Lake, its tributary streams, and surrounding lands. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

DWP has changed in many ways over those 40 years, some internally generated and many, like the protection of Mono Lake, resulting from intense advocacy efforts and new rules imposed by outside authorities. Institutional change has often been due to the citizens of Los Angeles requiring greater environmental responsibility from DWP, both directly and through elected city council members and mayors who have worked together with groups like the Committee to reach that goal. As a result Los Angeles is a leader in building a more sustainable and reliable water supply through conservation, reclamation, groundwater cleanup, and local supply.

The famously contentious relationship between DWP and the Eastern Sierra has changed as well. (more…)

On to the future: 40 years and rising

Monday, November 12th, 2018 by Sally, Board of Directors
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Editor’s note: To celebrate the Mono Lake Committee’s 40th anniversary in the Newsletter, Sally Gaines, co-founder and Board Chair, is writing a series of reflections on the past, present, and future of the organization.

Even if I squint or put on my reading glasses, most aspects of the future are impossible to foresee, as if the crystal ball is clouded with brine shrimp like the aquarium in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore.

Everyday technology and style is already beyond my understanding. Genetic engineering on plants, animals, and humans is a big unknown as is artificial intelligence, for just a couple examples. What is clear to me is that everything the Mono Lake Committee does today is with the future in mind. (more…)

Book signing at the Mono Lake Committee on Friday, November 9–Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Photo of the editors courtesy of Dave & Ilyssa Kyu.

Join us this Friday, November 9, from 3:00–5:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore for a book reading and signing with editors Dave & Ilyssa Kyu, as they present their new compilation Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks.

Campfire Stories brings together tales about our national parks—some by well-known writers such as John Muir, Bill Bryson, and Terry Tempest Williams—with other essays from pioneer diaries and stories that have been passed down through generations of indigenous peoples.

Stop by on Friday to meet the authors, enjoy excerpts from their book, and pick up your own copy—we hope to see you there!

Mono Lake bookstore closed October 23 & 24; otherwise open

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Although there are fewer people traveling through Lee Vining during this time of year, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore remains open 9:00am–5:00pm seven days a week. However, we will have several temporary closures during October and November.

On Tuesday, October 23 and Wednesday, October 24 the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed for our annual staff working retreat. We will resume normal hours (open 9:00am–5:00pm) on Thursday, October 25. Next month the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 22.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and we hope to see you during your visit to the Mono Basin!

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center closed temporarily

Monday, October 15th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Effective Tuesday, October 16, the Mono Basin Visitor Center will be closed due to a wasp infestation that is affecting employee and visitor safety. The closure will be in place until the pest control can address this problem.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open 9:00am–5:00pm, every day. Please stop by to get information about the Eastern Sierra, fall color recommendations, Yosemite information, and to browse our selection of books, gifts, apparel, and art. You can also call us at (760) 647-6595 and we can answer your questions over the phone.

Update: As of November 1, 2018, the Visitor Center is closed for the season.

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The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.