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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!

Early-bird Mono Lake Free Drawing winner, plus more chances to win

Friday, October 12th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist
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Last week we drew the winner of the early bird prize for the 2018 Free Drawing—congratulations to Marta Beryt of Fresno, who won an iPad mini 4!

I got to pull Marta’s winning ticket for the early bird Free Drawing prize! Photo by Elin Ljung.

If you haven’t yet sent in your tickets for the Free Drawing, there is still time—we will be drawing all the winners in mid-December. Those who enter could win one of 26 fun-filled prizes that include ski passes, canoe trips, vacations and retreats in the Mono Basin, San Francisco, Mammoth Lakes, Hope Valley, Benton Hot Springs (more…)

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…)

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…)

Mono Lake Defender of the Trust Award Dinner, wine tasting, and silent auction

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee gives the Defender of the Trust Award to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to champion Mono Lake, its tributary streams, wetlands, and the public trust. The Mono Lake Defender of the Trust Award Dinner is a celebratory evening in the company of fellow champions of Mono Lake. This year the festivities will be held at The Mono Inn.

The evening begins with a wine tasting and silent auction hosted by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Dinner is accompanied by inspiring speakers, entertaining stories, and the presentation of the Defender of the Trust Award.

This year we will honor (more…)

September 2, 2018: Remembering Genny Smith, celebrating the Sierra

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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A memorial for Genny Smith is taking place on Sunday, September 2, 2018 from 12:30pm to dusk at the Hayden Cabin Museum in Mammoth Lakes.

The memorial will be a chance to remember Genny with her friends, family, and community members. Photos of Genny will be on display, as well as her copious notes from the conservation efforts she worked on during her life in Mammoth.

Starting at 1:00pm, representatives of organizations Genny supported—Mono Lake Committee, Friends of the Inyo, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Mammoth Public Library—will each speak, followed by friends of Genny. The speeches will last until 3:00 or 4:00pm, and there will be tables with more information on display about each organization.

Genny was a longtime local naturalist, conservationist, and environmental champion who passed away in March. Family, friends, readers, colleagues, fans, and people she inspired are welcome to come remember Genny and celebrate the Sierra. We hope to see you there.

Restoration work begins next to Mono Lake and Tioga Lodge

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 by Bartshé, Education Director
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If you have driven by Mono Lake in the last week, you might have seen trucks and heavy equipment working just east of Highway 395 below the Tioga Lodge.

Restoration work has begun just east of Highway 395 below the Tioga Lodge, on a site that was damaged by illegal work in October 2016. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Restoration work has started to rehabilitate the site from damage caused by illegal grading and rerouting a stream from its original channel in October 2016. (more…)

“The Longest Straw” showing at the Aquarium of the Bay

Thursday, July 19th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been hoping to see the film The Longest Straw but can’t make it to tomorrow’s screening here in Lee Vining, you’re in luck…

On Wednesday, August 8 at 6:00pm the Bay Institute will be hosting a screening at the Aquarium of the Bay! Film director and star Samantha Bode will be there, along with the Mono Lake Committee’s Information & Restoration Specialist Greg Reis, for a Q&A and discussion after the film. Tickets cost $15 and include access to the Aquarium, a reception with light refreshments, and the screening. For more information or to purchase tickets click here.

2018 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship recipients

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Since 2008, the Mono Lake Committee has supported local students by awarding two $1,000 scholarships to Mono County seniors. Each year we ask applicants to visit Mono Lake and write an essay answering the question, “Why are places like Mono Lake important?” We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients, Rosalie Burch and Isabel Calderon from Lee Vining High School. Both wrote thoughtful and inspiring essays.

Gabrielle and Rosalie at the 2018 LVHS graduation. Photo by Ellen King.

In her essay Rosalie wrote, “Everything on our planet is connected and we all rely on each other in order to thrive.” Rosalie will be attending the National University of Ireland this fall to study international business affairs.

Gabrielle and Isabel at the 2018 LVHS graduation. Photo by Ellen King.

 

Isabel plans to begin her studies locally at Cerro Coso Community College in Mammoth Lakes and aspires to become a medical social worker. In her essay she wrote, “One reason why places like Mono Lake matter is because they simply provide a place to escape the world of mankind and be able to connect with nature.”

All Mono County seniors with firm plans to attend a 2- or 4-year college within a year of graduation are eligible to apply for the Mono Lake Committee Scholarship. If you have any questions about the scholarship program or would like to donate to the fund please contact Arya Harp at (760) 647-6595 x111.

Reflections on 40 years: A current look at the Mono Lake Committee

Thursday, May 31st, 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.

Today the Mono Lake Committee is widely respected as a model environmental group. I attribute this to an incredible staff, now numbering 15, as well as 11 seasonal staff, plus a cohesive Board of Directors. The policy issues grow ever more complex, and drag on for years, if not decades. The longevity of our staff means we are forever reeducating new bureaucratic staff we work with.

Several bequests have stabilized our financial picture, enabling us to improve the front of our headquarters, still and forever in Lee Vining. We continue to have excellent information for visitors, a fitting selection of books, clothing, and gifts, as well as staff offices in back. We are never changing our name either. Photo by Arya Harp.

Scientific research continues; some is old: California Gulls, Eared Grebes, lake level, salinity, stream restoration. Newer topics (more…)

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