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Mono Lake Committee seasonal job openings posted

Friday, December 22nd, 2017 by Jessica, Office Director
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The permanent staff here at the Mono Lake Committee are accustomed to several statements from members and visitors alike: “You live in the most beautiful place—you’re so lucky!” and “I’ve always wanted to be an intern here!”

Now is your chance: You can work at the Mono Lake Committee as one of our 11 seasonal staff members and live in the Mono Basin during the busiest and most activity-filled season. See all the job openings here.

Last year’s seasonal staff at the Grant Lake Reservoir spillway during the aqueduct tour training day. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

We accept applications from people of all ages, so whether you are looking for an internship between college semesters, or if it’s been a lifelong dream to lead South Tufa tours and canoe on Mono Lake every weekend, we would love to speak to you.

Hiring begins January 1, 2018, and positions fill quickly. To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to me, Office Director Jessica Horn, either by email or by mail to P.O. Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541.

It’s Christmas Bird Count week!

Thursday, December 14th, 2017 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Whether you are a seasoned birder or new to the delightful joy of watching birds, you can help gather data for the Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest citizen science data sets in the world! Every December and January, thousands of bird enthusiasts across the world count individual birds in specific areas to get a general idea of the population shifts throughout the years.

An Audubon’s Warbler in winter plumage. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

The three local counts are coming up this weekend and next week:

Bishop CBC: Saturday, December 16
Contact Chris Howard by email.

Mammoth Lakes CBC: Sunday, December 17
Contact Santiago Escruceria by email.

Mono Lake CBC: Tuesday, December 19
Contact Kristie Nelson by email.

Do you want to volunteer where you live? The National Audubon Society has a stellar map to show you where all the count circles are and who to contact. If you’re not great at bird identification, you can help by taking notes and keeping track of numbers. You will be assigned to an experienced birder so you can learn a lot along the way.

The weather is looking cold and dry, so the counts will be accessible by hiking rather than snowshoes or cross country skis like in years past. Happy birding!

We’re thankful for all of you who love Mono Lake

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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This Thanksgiving Day, we are thankful for your generous donations, faithful support, visits to our Lee Vining headquarters, emails asking about our work, views of our website, comments on our Mono-logue posts, phone calls from far away, Facebook and Twitter comments, Instagram photos, and above all, for your love for this place. Together we are standing strong for Mono Lake. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

Your love for Mono Lake helps keep us standing strong on its behalf, for 39 years and counting—thank you. Photo courtesy of Andrew Aldrich.

Mono Lake Committee will be closed Thanksgiving Day

Monday, November 20th, 2017 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be closed Thanksgiving Day. On Friday we’ll resume our regular hours—open 9:00am to 5:00pm every day.


On Thanksgiving Day, we will be grateful for your generous donations, faithful support, visits to our Lee Vining headquarters, phone calls from far away, and most of all your love for Mono Lake. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

November hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

Friday, November 3rd, 2017 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 the month of November.

Next Wednesday, November 8, 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, November 9. Also, the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 23.

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

Leaving a legacy at Mono Lake

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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Last spring, I sat down with Mono Lake Committee members Vern Gersh and Terry McLaughlin just before their retirement and talked with them about what Mono Lake means to them and why they decided to put the Committee in their estate plans.

As I talked with them, I was inspired by their passion and love for this place. They shared with me stories from their years of living in Lee Vining and working at the Committee, from enjoying beautiful evening walks to see the sunset to getting stuck in “Mono muck” after their first time paddling a kayak on the lake.

Over the past few months, I’ve put together a short video featuring Terry and Vern’s story. In the video, you’ll hear them reflect on the sublime beauty of the Mono Basin, the remarkable ecological productivity of Mono Lake, and the important role the Mono Lake Committee plays to ensure that this place continues to be protected and restored.

Vern’s parting words at the end of the video still resonate with me: “It’s not necessarily leaving things to the people that are on the earth, but it’s also leaving a portion of the earth to the people who are still here.”

Tioga Pass temporarily closing tonight

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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Caltrans has announced that Tioga Pass (Highway 120) will temporarily close this evening at 5:00pm at the lower gate due to incoming inclement weather. The road will be reevaluated on Friday.

Additionally, State Route 108 (Sonora Pass) will close from Kennedy Meadows to the east side winter closure gate (west of Pickel Meadows) at 3:00pm today. State Route 4 (Ebbetts Pass) will close from Lake Alpine to gate #3 (west of Silver Creek campground) at 9:00pm today.

Tioga Pass will temporarily close today at 5:00pm due to an incoming storm. Photo from May 2017 by Bartshe Miller.

Always check current road conditions and weather before making a trip to the Eastern Sierra, and give us a call for the most current Tioga Pass information: (760) 647-6595.

Voices of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 by Rose, Outdoor Education Instructor
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After a year of preparation, student anticipation has been building. Questions, excitement, and a little anxiety about traveling far from home whirl in young minds.

OEC students from Sherman Oaks investigate Mono Lake’s salty, slippery water at the shoreline. Photo by Antonia Chihuahua.

These students make the decision to get in a van and drive over 300 miles; a drive into a journey of where their water comes from. This journey is one of emotional, physical, a mental challenges: the touch of snow, breathing clean air, feeling the elevation of the Mono Basin, seeing wildlife for the first time, submerging themselves in salty alkaline water, strolling the rim of a volcano, and building bonds with their communities, the natural world, and themselves.

It is a journey we will take you on with their voices; the voices of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center. What follows is an accumulation of thoughts and feelings—a poetic language—of the various students of the OEC. (more…)

Shorter store hours this Sunday & Monday

Friday, October 6th, 2017 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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This Sunday and Monday, October 8 and 9, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open for shorter hours as we celebrate a special event—a wedding for one of our staff! We will be open 9:00am–12:00noon on Sunday and 1:30–5:00pm on Monday.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

If you miss us and are in need of information, be sure to check out the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, open daily 8:00am–5:00pm. They are located at the north end of Lee Vining past the high school.

Closing dates for Mono Basin campgrounds

Friday, October 6th, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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As shorter days and colder weather descend on the Mono Basin, eight campgrounds are closing for the season this weekend.

Tioga Lake campground, which is closing for the season this Sunday, October 8. Photo courtesy of James Kaiser.

In Lee Vining Canyon, Aspen campground closes on Saturday, October 7, and Big Bend campground closes on Sunday, October 8, but Lower Lee Vining campground will remain open until October 31. The Tioga-area campgrounds will also close on Sunday, October 8: Ellery Lake, Tioga Lake, Junction, Sawmill Walk-in, Saddlebag Lake, and Saddlebag Trailhead Group Camp. Lundy Canyon campground will be open through mid-November depending on snow conditions. (more…)

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