‘Stream Restoration’ Category
On August 3 the Inyo National Forest released its revised land management plan and draft record of decision.
Also known as the Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan, this new plan, when final, will replace the 1988 plan that the Inyo has been following. Once the new plan is approved it will provide management guidance for the Inyo’s two million acres over the next two decades.
Since 2014 the Mono Lake Committee has been involved in the public plan revision process, attending meetings, analyzing information, and commenting on the plan revision. Specifically, the Committee has evaluated (more…)
Ross Taylor, State Water Board-appointed Lead Fisheries Scientist, will be here to discuss fisheries monitoring and development of flow recommendations for Mono Basin streams. If you can join us, register here for this free program! (more…)
If you are free this Saturday, meet us outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining. From there we will carpool to the DWP diversion site on Lee Vining Creek. Make sure to bring sturdy footwear, a water bottle, and sun protection. We’ll provide work gloves as well as a light snack.
This event is coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy with the help of California Coastal Cleanup. For the past ten years, volunteers across the Sierra Nevada have banded together to help clean up rivers and (more…)
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.
Almost a year after the epic 2017 winter and resulting record Mono Basin runoff, positive effects from the high flows can still be seen on all of Mono Lake’s tributary streams—including, notably, the beleaguered floodplain of the Mill Creek bottomlands.
Last summer, long-dry side channels in the bottomlands carried water when Lundy Lake Reservoir spilled for almost the entire summer. Some of these rewatered channels are still flowing despite low-flow early springtime conditions, and evidence of lasting restoration benefits is abundant. Back eddies and ponded areas well away from flowing channels continue to hold water. Below the surface, recharged groundwater is once again available for vegetation, and fine sediment deposited across floodplain cobble is primed for new seedlings to grow. All of this is a glimpse into Mill Creek’s bright future. (more…)
What will happen to the Sierra Nevada’s snowpack as climate change impacts accumulate through the 21st century? This question is vital to both the ecological health of the Range of Light and to water delivery systems throughout California. And, it matters a great deal to Mono Lake and its many miles of tributary streams, which depend on Sierra runoff for their vitality.
Forecasts of the future rely on complex climate modeling, and I talked with Dr. Alex Hall, Professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences at UCLA, about the work he and his team have been conducting to produce actionable climate science. Dr. Hall heads the Center for Climate Science, where they have developed cutting-edge downscaling techniques to create geographically detailed climate projections for the Los Angeles area and the Sierra Nevada.
Geoff: Thanks for taking time to talk, Alex. You have just released a major report, Climate Change in the Sierra Nevada: California’s Water Future. What are the big takeaway messages?
Alex: Temperatures across the Sierra Nevada are warming (more…)
Peak snowmelt runoff on Mono Lake’s tributary streams is occurring!
Lundy Lake Reservoir is spilling, and the Rush Creek peak flow of 380 cubic feet per second (cfs) below Grant Lake Reservoir is being released over the next five days. So far, snowmelt runoff above the aqueduct has peaked at 272 cfs on Rush Creek, 238 cfs on Lee Vining Creek, 46 cfs on Parker Creek, and 23 cfs on Walker Creek. The flows should begin to subside soon given the rapid melting and limited snowpack. (more…)
Mill Creek return ditch passes test: Possible solution to returning diverted water back to the creekThursday, April 5th, 2018 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
In an effort to explore ways to return water to Mill Creek and therefore satisfy its legal obligations, Southern California Edison (SCE) released water from the Lundy hydroelectric plant into the Mill Creek return ditch last September, successfully returning water to the creek (see Fall 2017 Mono Lake Newsletter). The return ditch has been part of the hydropower system for a century. SCE was motivated to do this flow test because of the languishing problem of how to comply with Mill Creek water rights.
Prior to releasing water into the ditch, SCE evaluated the system and did routine maintenance to stabilize the earthen banks. SCE staff were on site during (more…)
The Mono Lake Committee is serious about protecting and restoring Mono Lake, its tributary streams, and surrounding lands. That means being on constant alert as a watchdog, and recent months have provided some interesting examples of what that requires.
Sometimes the Committee chases issues that have lengthy histories and require continuous pressure to move toward resolution—the 2013 Stream Restoration Agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) is one example. Years of work (more…)