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Guided Trips in August: Volcanoes, natural history, birding, and more

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

It’s getting to be that time of summer when thunderstorms roll through in the afternoon and the clouds make for some lovely sunsets. It’s a great time to visit the Mono Basin! Spend your morning doing something fun (like a guided trip!) and spend your afternoons watching the storms sweep through from the window of a coffee shop or the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, then watch the tumultuous sky turn peach and gold and charcoal.

We have some fun guided trips for you to join in on, coming up in the next three weeks: (more…)

Comment-writing workshop on Wednesday for the Inyo National Forest draft forest management plan

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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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.

Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.

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…)

Mono Lake Committee’s ecological monitoring program at 38 years

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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Type the word “monitoring” into the Mono Lake Committee’s website search bar and 673 results appear. To say that scientific monitoring and environmental advocacy work go hand in hand for the Committee is an understatement.

The Committee collects streamf ow and water diversion data for Mono Basin streams monthly all year, and weekly in summer. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The Committee collects streamflow and water diversion data for Mono Basin streams monthly all year, and weekly in summer. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Ever since the Committee’s founders conducted the fundamental and pivotal ecological study of Mono Lake in 1976, scientific research and monitoring have been the basis for all of the work that has followed. In crafting policy positions, all aspects of an issue must be analyzed and understood, since arriving at a balanced (more…)

Mono Lake in another drought year

Sunday, June 19th, 2016 by Geoff, Executive Director
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When the California State Water Resources Control Board protected Mono Lake in 1994 by revising Los Angeles’ water rights in a landmark decision, it linked lake level and water exports together. The closer the lake is to its mandated ecologically sound level, the more water Los Angeles is authorized to export.

This approach, advocated by the Mono Lake Committee to protect Mono Lake and meet real water needs in the city, also works in reverse: the lower the lake, the less water can be exported.

Newsletter-Su-pull-quote

Last year, with the level of Mono Lake falling due to drought, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) reduced exports by 70%, as required by the State Water Board rules. This year, (more…)

Summer 2016 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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Newsletter-Su-coverA full moon canoe tour on Mono Lake should be on your bucket list. There’s nothing like it. With the cool salty air off the water, the moonglade, the tufa towers even more otherworldly, birds and bats skirting through the quiet open sky—it’s like floating in the middle of a giant unbelievable black and white photograph.

While you’ve got your bucket list out, I recommend turning to page 14 of this Newsletter. The full moon canoe tour is just the beginning—the Mono Lake Committee is offering a whole slew of new guided trips and tours in addition to our regular offerings. We’ve pulled together some of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and fun people around to guide folks who are curious and want to see, learn, and do more in the Mono Basin. (more…)

2016 Andrea Lawrence Award presented to Dan & Leslie Dawson

Saturday, May 21st, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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On May 13th community members, friends, and family of Andrea Mead Lawrence gathered at Mammoth Mountain’s Parallax Restaurant to commemorate Andrea’s life and those who embody her spirit of community and conservationism through the presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award.

Geoff McQuilkin and Quentin Lawrence with Leslie & Dan Dawson, recipients of the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Geoff McQuilkin and Quentin Lawrence with Leslie & Dan Dawson, recipients of the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Andrea was a visionary environmental leader, two-time Olympic gold medalist, mother of five, 16-year Mono County Supervisor, and Mono Lake Committee board member. Since her passing in 2009, the Mono Lake Committee has hosted the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner to celebrate her influential life and those who continue to improve and protect the Eastern Sierra through their passionate engagement with community and the land.

The 2016 award was presented to Dan & Leslie Dawson, who recently retired from the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, for their 37 years of tireless work improving upon and expanding both the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL) and Valentine Camp—together referred to as the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, which is part of the University of California Natural Reserve System. (more…)

“Those carpet squares were older than the State Water Board decision….”

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 by Ellen, Membership Coordinator
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Last November the 20-year-old carpet in the Mono Lake Committee ice house office building was replaced with low-VOC, durable carpet squares, thanks to the generosity and practical sense of Board Chair Sally Gaines. You can read more about it on page 26 in the 2016 Winter & Spring Mono Lake Newsletter.

The recarpeted, repainted, gallery with a new show from local artist Ann Piersall. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The re-carpeted, re-painted gallery with a new show from local artist Ann Piersall. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The carpet in the office and gallery in our main building was also 20 years old, but not quite as worn, so at first we had no plans to replace it. But, as often happens, the contrast between the new and the old made us realize that it was time to do so. Fortunately, (more…)

Reserve your seat for the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner

Thursday, April 7th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Each year the Andrea Lawrence Award is presented to organizations and individuals who demonstrate passionate engagement with community and the land. This year the award will be presented to Dan & Leslie Dawson to commemorate their influential work as Director and Education Coordinator at the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve.

Andrea Lawrence takes a break from skiing to drink from a stream. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.

Andrea Lawrence takes a break from skiing to drink from a stream. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.

Please join us for dinner, conversation, keynote remarks from Dr. John Melack, Faculty Advisor of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, and the presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award at the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner. The event will take place at Parallax Restaurant at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on Friday, May 13 at 5:30pm. You can reserve your seat online or by giving us a call at (760) 647-6595. We hope to see you there!

April 1 Mono Lake level close to critically low threshold

Friday, April 1st, 2016 by Geoff, Executive Director
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This morning Mono Lake Committee staff met with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) personnel to conduct the official annual April 1 reading of the lake level together. The consensus: Mono Lake stands at 6378.11 feet above sea level.

Mono Lake is now just 13 inches above the ecologically precipitous 6377-foot elevation at which the nesting islands become landbridged, lake salinity hits new highs, air quality problems worsen, and stream delta habitat conditions degrade.

Measuring Mono Lake's April 1 elevation

DWP’s Steve Rich and Robbie Di Paolo from the Mono Lake Committee read the lake level gauge together this morning. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

With those concerns in mind, the State Water Board rules are more nuanced this year for determining whether or not DWP can export water to Los Angeles. Not only does the lake have to be above 6377 feet for today’s measurement, it also has to be forecast to stay above 6377 every day of the coming year. (more…)

Announcing Mono Lake Guided Trips

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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We are excited to share our new Guided Trips program—a new way to visit the Mono Basin and the Eastern Sierra with an experienced guide to get the most out of this incredible place and fall in love with the region like we have, while also supporting Mono Lake.

Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston (third from left) leads a group of birders at the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston (third from left) leads a group of birders at the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Our new program has over 45 day-trips scheduled from May to October, ranging in focus from birds to volcanoes and everything in between. Walk with us and learn to identify wildflowers, butterflies, birds, and mammals. Transport your mind into the past while we visit historical Paiute, mining, and logging sites. Slip into the lake in a canoe as the full moon rises—serenity is waiting.

We also offer custom guided trips for an even more personalized visit. We will work with you to design (more…)

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