This year’s slate of 28 Field Seminars spans many topics: basketry, oil painting, woodpeckers, moonlight photography, geology, mining history, fire ecology, butterflies, and more. (more…)
It was interesting to contrast the damage caused by the Marina Fire with the damage caused by heavy machinery; I’m sure the combination of the two events is even more detrimental. While I made observations and took photographs, I was especially concerned by two things—the bird habitat adjacent to the excavation and the wide swath of flood water rushing down from what used to be a creek channel that now spreads the water across the landscape haphazardly on it’s way to Mono Lake. (more…)
The Owens River Fire has grown to 6,000 acres and is now 20% contained. Four uninhabited outbuildings have been destroyed.
Firefighters are working hard to protect additional structures and contain spot fires along the western flank. Today’s weather remains hot and dry with a chance of increased wind from the southwest. The Big Springs Campground and Clark (more…)
Just over a month since the Clark Fire, another fire has erupted in the area.
The Owens River Fire is burning north of and along Owens River Road and east of Highway 395 near Clark Canyon. The fire was detected yesterday afternoon and is thought to be human-caused. As of this morning the fire is about 4,500 acres and 10% contained; the Big Springs Campground, Clark Canyon, and surrounding ranches have been evacuated. Heavy smoke is (more…)
The Refreshing ‘Ologist series continues this Wednesday, September 7 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery.
Join us to to learn how fire affects California Spotted Owl habitat. Fire has long been a part of the Sierra Nevada forests, but many years of fire suppression have lead to an increase in stand-replacing fires. Yosemite National Park biologist Stephanie Eyes will discuss how these high-intensity fires affect California Spotted Owl habitat use, and are a potential cause of habitat loss. Stephanie used radio telemetry to monitor California Spotted Owls and determine if their foraging patterns showed preference different levels of burned forest.
The presence of wildfires has made me think about the seemingly contradictory aspects of destruction and rebirth a lot this summer.
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…)
Well, it’s definitely fire season in the Eastern Sierra.
The Clark Fire is burning near Bald Mountain, east of Highway 395 and north of Owens River Road. The fire was caused by lightning and was detected yesterday afternoon—it is currently estimated to be about 1,600 acres and is 10% contained. The smoke plume from the fire is visible from Mono Lake and Lee Vining.
The Wilson Fire north of Mono Lake, south of Highway 167, and three miles east of Highway 395 is mostly contained, with fire crews mopping-up and watching for flare-ups as winds pick up. It is suspected that this was a human-caused fire, though this is still being investigated. (more…)
A small wildfire is burning north of Mono Lake after igniting last night. From the Inyo National Forest press release:
“Fire crews are responding to the Wilson Fire. The fire is north of Mono Lake, along the south of Highway 167 and three miles east of Highway 395.
“The fire is 16 acres and 5% contained at this time and burning in sagebrush and grass. Fire crews have constructed an initial fire line around the Wilson Fire and (more…)
Previous fire restrictions for Inyo National Forest have been expanded to include all wilderness areas. These new fire restrictions took effect this past Friday July 29, and will stay in effect until the end of the season. Here’s what you need to know:
- No campfires, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas.
- With a valid California Campfire Permit you are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
- No fireworks.
- No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
Never leave fires unattended and always make sure to completely extinguish your campfire. A single spark can cause major damage, even in designated campgrounds or recreation areas. To learn more about fire safety or obtain a California Campfire Permit visit your local Forest Service visitor center or go online to Prevent Wildfire CA.
Since 2013 the Inyo National Forest has been working on a draft forest plan, as part of a process to update the 28-year-old forest plan that has been in effect since 1988. The updated, draft Forest Management Plan was released in late May, initiating a public comment period, which closes August 25, 2016.
We invite you to join us for a comment-letter-writing evening, this coming Wednesday, July 27 at 6:00pm,
location TBD (in the Lee Vining/Mono City area) at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. We will provide you with all the information and tools you need to write a comment letter to the Forest Service that will help improve the future of the Inyo National Forest. We’ll also provide food and refreshments!
Throughout this process the Mono Lake Committee has been (more…)