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Harrison “Hap” Dunning honored with 2014 Defender of the Trust Award

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

The Mono Lake Committee has a celebrated tradition of honoring individuals who champion Mono Lake and advocate for the public trust with the Defender of the Trust Award. The California Supreme Court’s definition of the public trust doctrine in its landmark 1983 Mono Lake decision goes: “The public trust is an affirmation of the duty of the state to protect the people’s common heritage of streams, lakes, marshlands and tidelands….”

2014 Defender of the Trust awardee Hap Dunning, right, with Mono Lake Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin. Photo by Elin Ljung.

On September 27, 2014 the Committee honored Harrison “Hap” Dunning with the 2014 Defender of the Trust Award here in the Mono Basin. Hap accepted the award during a dinner in his honor. IStorm Over Mono, author John Hart wrote, “The notion that [the public trust doctrine] might be applied to curtail water rights was truly novel. There appears to have been just one other person in California in the mid-1970s who was aware of this possibility: Harrison C. Dunning, a law professor at the University of California at Davis….”

Since the 1970s, Hap has been a leading voice for California water law reform. (more…)

Call for photo submissions: 2016 Mono Lake Calendar

Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

Since 1986, the magnificent geological and ecological wonders of Mono Lake have been celebrated in the Mono Lake Calendar, published by the Mono Lake Committee. Sales of the calendar help to fund the efforts of our non-profit organization to protect and restore Mono Lake and its tributary streams.

The call for submissions for the 2016 Mono Lake Calendar is open until Friday, November 21, 2014.

We’ve simplified and streamlined the submission requirementscheck them out and send us your photos today!


Two Mono Lake anniversaries today, 20 and 30 years ago

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

September 28 is a day that figures large in the Mono Lake story. On this day in 1994 the California State Water Resources Control Board issued Decision 1631, often known as the decision to save Mono Lake. And on this day in 1984 the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area was created, at the time the only designation of its kind in the country.

The California State Water Resources Control Board on September 28, 1994, the day the Board voted unanimously to protect Mono Lake through Decision 1631. Mono Lake Committee archive photo.

In 1994, after 43 days of testimony about Mono Lake, the five-member State Water Board unanimously adopted Decision 1631, which set permanent streamflows for Mono Basin streams and a lake level of 6,392 feet to protect Mono Lake’s public trust values (more…)

Mono Lake Committee Adopt-a-Highway cleanup day

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Lily, Project Specialist

Calling all volunteers and good citizens in the Lee Vining area! Monday, September 22 is the date of the Mono Lake Committee’s Adopt-a-Highway cleanup event. Participants will meet at the Mono Lake Committee at 9:00am and work together to clean up a one-mile stretch of Highway 395 until noon.

Adopt-a-Highway volunteers are needed on Monday, September 22 for this year's cleanup! Photo by Rose Catron.

Fashionable neon vests, snacks, and water will be provided for volunteers; but the biggest reward is preventing trash and recycling from cluttering the road and polluting our waterways. Long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy shoes are a must; and a hat, sunscreen, and water bottle are highly recommended. If you want to help clean up a portion of Highway 395, or if you would like more information feel free to contact Lily at the Mono Lake Committee at (760)647-6595.

Summer 2014 Mono Lake Newsletter available online

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

Well, the forecasts, measurements, and calculations are in, and it looks like Mono Lake is going to drop somewhere in the ballpark of a foot and a half this summer. Ouch.

Here at the Mono Lake Committee we are collectors of lake level stories. They help us paint a picture of this place informed by more than just our own experiences. They’re benchmarks, data points of a different variety. Of course, we can crunch numbers and come up with an accurate answer to the question of what a drop of a foot and a half will look like, but in some ways, an exact measurement is not exactly what we’re looking for. (more…)

Seminar spotlight: Capturing the Mono Basin in Pastel

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

We’re lucky to have artist Ane Carla Rovetta’s brilliant pastel artwork on display in the Mono Lake Committee gallery, and this seminar, Capturing the Mono Basin in Pastel, will complement the show perfectly. There are a few spaces left in this seminar, so now is your chance to sign up!

Capturing the Mono Basin in Pastel • June 27–29 • $175 per person/$160 for members plus $40 materials fee • sign up here

Ane Carla guides pastel seminar participants in capturing the Mono Basin landscape. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Ane Carla is known for her realistic depiction of the golden western lands of the US, and her evocative pastel paintings capture the Mono Basin in all its moods and seasons. She designs the field (more…)

Seminar spotlight: South Shore Kayak

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The South Shore Kayak field seminar combines smooth paddling with spectacular scenery for a perfect day on the water. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The South Shore Kayak field seminar is a perennial favorite, and no wonder—there’s nothing quite like paddling smoothly along, buoyed by Mono’s salty water and surrounded by mountains and sky. Everyone should experience Mono Lake from the water, and with a few spaces left in this seminar, now is your chance.

South Shore Kayak • June 14 • $105 per person/$95 for members • sign up here (more…)

Major Stream Restoration Agreement flowing forward

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Geoff, Executive Director

The Mono Lake Committee recently completed an innovative Stream Restoration Agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) that promises a healthy future for 19 miles of Rush, Lee Vining, Parker, and Walker creeks and certainty about the restoration of their fisheries, streamside forests, birds, and wildlife.

The Agreement, negotiated jointly with California Trout and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, implements a comprehensive plan for streamflow delivery, monitoring, and adaptive management built on extensive scientific studies over the past 15 years. In short, the Agreement will make the most of the water allocated to the creeks and lake under Los Angeles’ Mono Basin water licenses. (more…)

Mono Lake Committee field seminars kick off in June … sign up now!

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Starting in June the Mono Lake Committee’s 2014 field seminar season kicks off, ushering in a summer of 20 exciting classes that offer the chance for participants to delve beyond a basic understanding of the Mono Basin’s natural and cultural history in a hands-on way.

South Shore Kayak field seminar participants get an up-close view of brine shrimp, underwater tufa towers, freshwater springs, and flocks of birds. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Our three June seminars include a class on the Mono Basin’s mining history, a guided Mono Lake kayaking tour, and a weekend of artistic exploration using brilliant pastel chalks. There’s still room in all three classes, so sign up before you miss your chance! (more…)

The Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner: Celebrating collaborative environmental work

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

Quentin Lawrence, Steve Parmenter, Nancee Murray, and Geoff McQuilkin with the Andrea Lawrence Award after the dinner. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

As the Mono Lake Committee says goodbye to winter and truly begins to gear up for the summer season, the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner serves as a marker for the turning of a new leaf. Before the dinner, our staff focuses on fundraisers such as the Wild & Scenic Film Festival–Los Angeles, and creates a beautiful Mono Lake calendar for the following year. After the dinner, the office is buzzing with news of the soon-to-be-arriving seasonal staff and plans for the Bird Chautauqua. The Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner is a bookend to winter and spring and when the event is finished, we get into full-on summer mode. (more…)

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