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Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Charles Gessert

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 by Maureen, Membership Assistant
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There are so many ways to help Mono Lake! Recently a member from Minnesota used his particular passion to donate time and resources to Mono Lake.

Dr. Charles Gessert is a lifelong stamp collector and has been a Mono Lake Committee member since 1985. To build his stamp collection, Charles would buy entire collections at auctions. But this led to excess stamps, so a few years ago he started donating the stamps he didn’t need to local charities to (more…)

New seasonal hours for the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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On Friday, September 28, the Information Center & Bookstore will close at 5:00pm for a special event. We will resume our 9:00am–7:00pm hours for the weekend.

Starting on Monday, October 1, we be open 9:00am–5:00pm for the fall, winter, and spring. We will still be open seven days a week, so please stop in to say hello, get information on Mono Lake, find out where to see the best fall colors, and accomplish some early holiday shopping—we’d love to see you!

Fall colors appearing in the Mono Basin

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 by Max, Mono Lake Intern
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As we say goodbye to summer and hello to another autumn, so too do we welcome back the beautiful fall colors!

The beginning of fall colors season, as seen from Conway Summit on September 22, 2018. Photo by Max Price.

Most of the aspen leaves are still bright green, doing their best to absorb the sun’s energy for as long into the growing season as possible, however sightings of yellow patches have been reported. The intense patchwork of lime-green and lemon-yellow has left the aspen groves looking like the citrus bin in your local produce aisle.

The fall colors are still in the early stages of their season, but (more…)

Mono Lake webcam restored to life

Thursday, September 20th, 2018 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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High atop the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center resides the Mono Lake Committee’s webcam overlooking Mono Lake.

The author ascending into the upper story of the Scenic Area Visitor Center to retrieve the camera. Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

This camera offers a small glimpse into the magic that is the Mono Basin with stunning sunsets and sunrises, as well as seasonal fall colors that emerge along restored Lee Vining Creek. Sometime in February 2018, as the sun was setting and a beautiful glow surrounded the lake, the Mono Lake webcam stopped communicating with us.

Why had our beloved webcam abandoned us? We called out to it every way we knew how, using command prompt. (more…)

Book reading & signing for “Naming Mt. Thoreau” on September 30 in Lee Vining

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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Join us for a reading and book signing with Naming Mt. Thoreau editor Laurie Glover and contributors Gary Snyder, Tom Killion, Kim Stanley Robinson, and more!

• 2:00pm on Sunday, September 30, 2018
• at the Lee Vining Community Center
• free and open to the public
• books by the authors will be for sale, and all proceeds from the event support the Mono Lake Committee’s work

The new book, Naming Mt. Thoreau, is edited by Laurie with contributions from Michael Blumlein, Dick Bryan, Darryl DeVinney, Hilary Gordon, Tom Killion, Paul Park, Kim Stanley Robinson, Carter Scholz, Gary Snyder, Christopher Woodcock, and David Robertson. (more…)

Results are in for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run

Saturday, September 15th, 2018 by Nigel, Birding Intern
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Last Sunday, September 9, athletes from near and far joined us in the Eastern Sierra for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run.

Runners make their way up the Tioga Road just past the midpoint of the race. Photo by Dick Erb.

Starting outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, the grueling but beautiful 12.4-mile course follows the Tioga Road up Lee Vining Canyon to the eastern gate of Yosemite National Park, topping out at 9,943 feet above sea level. A total of 148 runners and walkers completed the race this year, a new record!

This year’s overall winner, finishing in a time of 1:40:16, was (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems with Connie Millar

Sunday, September 9th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist
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Join us on Wednesday, September 12 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Connie Millar, US Forest Service Senior Research Ecologist, will be here to discuss the effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems. If you can join us, register here for this free program!

A pika near Virginia Lakes. Connie will be discussing her research on pikas, which are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures. Photo courtesy of Ken Hickman.

Connie will provide an overview of her research into the responses of mountain ecosystems—in particular, pines and pikas—to changing climates. With information on how species responded to (more…)

Lee Vining Creek Trail repair work begins this month

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Ever since record high streamflows washed out a section of the Lee Vining Creek Trail in June 2017, the Mono Lake Committee has been working with several agencies and organizations to create a plan to fix the trail. We’re excited to announce that the trail repair work will begin this month!

Mammoth Lakes Trails Coordinator Joel Rathje and his crew check out the hillside where the rerouted portion of the Lee Vining Creek Trail will go. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

The trail will not be closed as the repair work takes place, but hikers may see trail crews and signs about the work happening. The trail damage was in a section of (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Insects & conservation with Kristie Nelson

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist
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Join us on Wednesday, September 5 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Kristie Nelson, Lead Scientist for Point Blue Conservation Science, will be here to discuss insects and their ability to conserve the planet.

A wasp and a Sierra Blue butterfly pollinating. Photo courtesy of Kristie Nelson.

Insects comprise over 80% of Earth’s organisms, yet relatively few people pay attention to them, and declining populations or localized extinctions risk not being noticed. For example (more…)

The story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator
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“Once upon a time, in a little mountain town on the edge of a big blue lake, a small group of people wanted to do something. They noticed that winter snows were less deep, and summer days were drier and hotter with forest fire smoke in the air. The group wanted to protect their beautiful lake, which depended on the snow to stay healthy.

“So the group decided to build a beautiful pavilion with a roof of solar panels, based on an idea from a town across the sea, to showcase how it is possible to have clean energy. It was a wonderful plan, but there was no money or knowledge to build something so grand.”

This is the beginning of the story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion that was dedicated on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Hess Park in Lee Vining.

Lee Vining’s Pioneer Solar Pavilion is a community-built gathering space that provides shade, electricity, wi-fi, shelter from wind, and information about local pioneer families. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The rest of the story is this: (more…)

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