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Last chance: Reserve your seat at the 2014 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner today

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

Join us for a delicious dinner in a spectacular setting in honor of Andrea Lawrence, Olympic double gold medalist and champion of the Eastern Sierra’s landscape and economy. We have just a few spots left for the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner so contact us right away! The dinner will be held this Saturday, April 26 at Mammoth Mountain’s Parallax Restaurant at 5:30pm. Contact me by email or at (760) 647-6595 to reserve your seat with a $65 donation.

This will be your view at the dinner: Mt. Andrea Lawrence! (The mountain in the center of the photo.) Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

Help the Mono Lake Committee with the 2014 Free Drawing

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

If you’ve been a longtime supporter of the Mono Lake Committee, you are probably quite familiar with our annual Free Drawing. The Free Drawing is our largest and most successful annual fundraiser and we love giving out prizes to our lucky winners each December.

Emma reads a winning ticket in the 2013 Free Drawing as Elina and Ellen wait to record the winner. Photo by Elin Ljung.

This fundraiser would not be possible without the continued support of the organizations, businesses, and people who generously donate prizes to us. And the formula is simple: The more enticing prizes we offer, the more people donate to enter themselves in the drawing, and the more funds we raise to help protect and restore Mono Lake!

This past year, the Mono Lake Committee was able to offer over 30 prizes, including vacation weekends in Mammoth Lakes and San Francisco, as well as a GoPro camera, a snowboard, and a shopping spree at our Information Center & Bookstore. This year, we want to continue offering great prizes that you will love—in order to do that, we’ll need your help! (more…)

Two Mono Lake Interns in the family

Friday, April 4th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Editor’s note: In the summer of 2013 the Committee had the first second-generation intern on staff. We asked Katie Quinlan to reflect on this full-circle connection with her son Bryce Tiernan.

Katie Quinlan as an intern at South Tufa in 1982. Photo courtesy of Katie Quinlan.

The summer of 1982 was my first summer as an intern in the Mono Basin. My memories of that summer are dotted with landmarks—Rush Creek was once again flowing into Mono Lake and the public trust doctrine was working its way through the courts.

The next summer I was hired as the first intern coordinator. One of my duties was to teach the interns how to do a South Tufa tour and then evaluate how they were doing. I was supposed to evaluate Emily Stuart, which was a little absurd because Emily and I had been interns together the year before and she was a theater major, so her tours were better than mine.

On the day I was to evaluate her tour she made me promise to stand in the back and be quiet. Things were going along just fine, but then I spotted a bird out on a tufa tower that I didn’t recognize (more…)

Will you volunteer for Mono Lake this year?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by Rosanne, Office Director

Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to your favorite place?

The 2013 Mono Lake Volunteers celebrate their graduation from volunteer training. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Each year, volunteers contribute hundreds of hours in the Mono Basin with the Mono Lake Volunteer Program. Whether conducting outreach to the public at South Tufa, pointing out birds with a scope at the State Reserve boardwalk, picking up trash, pulling invasive plants, or helping out at the Scenic Area Visitor Center, our volunteers (more…)

LA’s Mono Basin water license revision is underway

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Geoff, Executive Director

Last year, the Mono Lake Committee completed an innovative Stream Restoration Agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP), California Trout, and the Department of Fish & Wildlife that ensures a healthy future for Mono Lake’s tributary streams and their fisheries, wildlife, birds, and streamside forests (see Fall 2013 Mono Lake Newsletter).

After celebrating the Agreement last September atop the Grant Lake Reservoir Dam and along Rush Creek, the Committee turned immediately to the daunting list of tasks needed to actually implement the Agreement’s restoration actions.

Last fall DWP gathered core samples at the Grant Lake Reservoir spillway to begin geotechnical analysis for the new Grant Outlet. Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

First: revise the rules
The California State Water Resources Control Board is the ultimate authority controlling DWP’s water rights in the Mono Basin, and the Agreement is the outcome of a discussion process that it asked (more…)

A Mono Lake friend lost: Joe Sax 1936-2014

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Geoff, Executive Director

Professor Joseph Sax, who laid the legal foundation for the application of the Public Trust Doctrine to natural resource protection, passed away on Sunday. The public trust has been most notably applied at Mono Lake, where the protections from excessive water diversions that we celebrate today flow straight back to the 1983 California Supreme Court decision that was substantially informed by his visionary work.

Professor Joseph Sax speaks at last year's Defender of the Trust award ceremony, at which he was honored. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Last spring, the Mono Lake Committee awarded Professor Sax our Defender of the Trust Award. In a prior public speech on the public trust, he spoke of the need for continuing involvement by state agencies and the public in the stewardship and implementation of the public trust doctrine. Here at the Mono Lake Committee we will continue that effort every day, and we will do it with Professor Sax as inspiration.

From the Los Angeles Times: (more…)

Wild & Scenic Film Festival program preview

Monday, February 17th, 2014 by Julia, Project Specialist

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival–Los Angeles, to be held this year in El Segundo, is fast approaching! On Thursday, March 6th, we will celebrate our theme of “Watering the Future” with ten inspiring films exploring water-related issues and journeys. These previews will give you a taste of what to expect during the first segment of the festival.


Our night of film will open with I Am Red, a short film that celebrates the beauty and power of the Colorado River and laments the challenges faced by a river that no longer flows to the sea. This narrative film takes on the water’s perspective (more…)

Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles: Tickets now available

Saturday, January 25th, 2014 by Julia, Project Specialist

The Mono Lake Committee is once again bringing the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to Los Angeles, and tickets are on sale now.


The theme this year is “watering the future”—a timely subject considering California’s drought conditions. This year’s event will feature engaging environmental and adventure films with a focus on water issues. Seating is limited, so be sure to buy your tickets soon.

  • When: March 6, 2014, 7:00pm–10:00pm. Come early to catch the organ player! First 20 people in the door will receive a free stainless Mono Lake Committee cup.
  • Where: The Old Town Music Hall at 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, CA 90245. Free parking just next door to the theater off of Richmond Street.
  • Tickets: Festival Ticket: $10. Member deal ticket: $25 for new or renewed membership plus $1 ticket.

Be sure to check out our event website and follow the Wild & Scenic LA event on Facebook and Twitter for more information on the festival and the unique films. We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles on March 6!

Amazon for Mono Lake raised over $1,000 last year

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

By now, hopefully most of you know that shopping on Amazon using the link www.shopformonolake.org sends 5% of those sales back to the Mono Lake Committee, where we put those proceeds to hard work for Mono Lake. Last year, people using that link raised $1,380.08 for Mono Lake!


The Amazon program has been earning us steadily increasing amounts since we started it: $888.87 in 2012 and $450.58 in 2011. The bottom line? It works, and we’re grateful for every penny.

In 2014, how much could we raise for Mono Lake through the Amazon program? $2,000? More? Please bookmark the link and spread the word to your friends and family—with %5 of the purchases of just a fraction of our 16,000 Mono Lake Committee members, imagine what we could do.

Sign up for 2014 Field Seminars on February 1st

Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The complete list of all the Mono Lake Committee’s 2014 Field Seminars is now available online here. Registration opens at 9:00am on Saturday, February 1st.

Scanning high country slopes for pikas with instructor John Harris. Photo by Elin Ljung.

This year, field seminar topics include photography, botany, watercolors, geology, kayaking, birding, mammals, pastels, (more…)

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