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2019 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship recipients

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

Since 2008, the Mono Lake Committee has supported local students by awarding two $1,000 scholarships to Mono County high school seniors. This year we asked applicants to get close to the shoreline of Mono Lake without distractions and jot down what they saw, heard, smelled, and felt around them. Then to reflect on the question: Why do places like Mono Lake matter?

The answers were quite moving from all applicants, but two essays rose to the top. We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients—Orion Ellis from Mammoth High School and Sophia McKee from Lee Vining High School.

Rose Nelson with scholarship recipients Orion Ellis and Sophia McKee. Photos by Rose Nelson.

(more…)

The Tioga Pass lower gate is open

Friday, May 31st, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

At noon today Caltrans opened the lower gate on Tioga Pass, which opens 13 miles of Highway 120, from Highway 395 to the Yosemite National Park boundary. The gate at the park boundary remains closed.

The Tioga Pass lower gate on February 7, 2019. The snow has melted and the gate opened today. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

With the lower gate open, people can access the high country near the park boundary—it remains almost completely snow-covered with wintry conditions and variable weather. Visitors planning to leave the road should be prepared for such conditions. Ellery Lake and Tioga Lake are still covered in ice and snow, and Saddlebag Lake Road is still closed, so there is no vehicle access to Saddlebag Lake. Tioga Pass Resort and Saddlebag Lake Resort remain closed.

There is still no estimated opening date for Tioga Pass; plowing updates can be found here and a list of previous opening dates here.

Summer 2019 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Friday, May 24th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Photo by David Gubernick.If you have arrived at Mono Lake and picked up this Newsletter, wondering “what is this place and who are these people,” you’re in good hands.

On page 16 you can find the Mono Lake story in a nutshell, and the essay on page 22 gives a brief history of this organization. There’s a map and things to do on pages 14–17. You can learn, like the students who come to the Outdoor Education Center, about the physical tie between Mono Lake and Los Angeles that is the Los Angeles Aqueduct. You can see the intricacies required to keep Mono Lake protected at an everyday, practical level—the comments we submitted on proposed fishing regulations (more…)

Lundy Canyon inholding heading toward permanent protection

Monday, April 22nd, 2019 by Arya, Communications Director

The Mono Lake Committee, The Wilderness Land Trust, and Eastern Sierra Land Trust are partnering to permanently protect a 49.3-acre inholding in Lundy Canyon.

The property frames the upper entrance of this iconic Eastern Sierra canyon, is entirely within the Inyo National Forest, and includes a portion within the Hoover Wilderness and a portion adjacent to the Wilderness boundary within sight of the Lundy Canyon trailhead. This dramatic and scenic location is (more…)

Winter & Spring 2019 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Thursday, March 14th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

When my husband and I were planning our courthouse wedding five years ago, we asked Judge Stan Eller to officiate. Judge Eller retired last year from a long, storied career that included preventing DWP from shutting off Rush Creek after a big flood returned water to it in the mid-1980s for the first time in decades (see page 11). I wanted to feel connected to Mono Lake on that very important day for us, and as Judge Eller pronounced us married, I did.

So many people feel connected to Mono Lake, and never more than during exciting periods of weather. This February has brought more days with snow than without, and we hear from (more…)

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be closed while the floor is refinished

Thursday, February 21st, 2019 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

If you’ve visited the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, then you’ve walked on our unique and lovely historic floor.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be closed from February 26 through March 13 so the floor, which is original to the 1930s-era building, can be refinished.

The wooden floor is original to the building, which was built in the 1930s and used as a dance hall where miners, ranchers, and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power employees used to party after long days of work extending the (more…)

Join the Mono Lake Volunteer team this summer

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 by Jessica, Office Director

The Mono Basin teems with visitors during summer months, and their experiences here are greatly enhanced when they meet one of the 70-plus Mono Lake Volunteers also out and about during the summer.

Volunteers learn about Mono Lake’s simple but productive food chain at South Tufa. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Volunteers introduce Mono Lake’s natural history to visitors by roving the high-use areas around the lake, leading patio talks at the Scenic Area Visitor Center, and helping with invasive species removal events. Volunteers also help with office tasks—such as putting together mailings—here at the Mono Lake Committee offices.

Not sure if you’re ready to teach visitors about Mono Lake? That’s okay! We have a great training for (more…)

Make your plans now for 2019 Mono Lake Field Seminars

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The complete list of all the Mono Lake Committee’s 2019 Field Seminars is now available online hereRegistration opens at 9:00am on Friday, February 1.

The Mono Lake Committee’s Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston will be leading 16 seminars this year, with topics ranging from birding to botany, history to geology. Photo courtesy of Bob Yates.

This year there are 38 Field Seminars to choose from, including one-day, half-day, and multi-day options. As always, the list spans many natural history, cultural history, art, and photography topics.

New seminars this year include Watercolors in the Wild in (more…)

Ringing in 2019: Long live Mono Lake!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

This essay, written by Frances Spivy-Weber, appears in the 2019 Mono Lake Calendar.

“Tufa and grasses, Mono Lake.” Photo by David J. Gubernick.

When I became Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee in January 1997, its Board of Directors had decided to reinvent the Committee and to renew the original mission to protect the lake at the same time—not an easy transition for its members or the staff. The Committee was founded to save Mono Lake, which, at first, meant fighting the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) creatively but tenaciously in order to secure more water for Mono Lake and its tributary streams.

Without breaking stride, the Committee needed to learn to (more…)

Every drop counts—make a 2018 donation now!

Saturday, December 29th, 2018 by Geoff, Executive Director

Photo courtesy of John Dittli.

The Mono Lake Committee celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. What started out as a handful of shaggy biologists has grown into the organization we are today—you, me, every single member, together.

Together we’ve been advocating for the Mono Lake ecosystem for more than half of the years that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power has been exporting water from the Mono Basin.

Together we’ve engaged in a full slate of restoration, protection, education, and science projects—building on the victories of the past and laying the foundation for a sustainable furture for Mono Lake.

We are only able to continue this work thanks to donations from each and every one of the Mono Lake Committee’s 16,000 members. I hope you will consider making a year-end donation to keep this work going strong. Making a donation is quick and easy—click below or give us a call at (760) 647-6595. Thank you!

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