Since 2013 the Inyo National Forest has been working on a draft forest plan, as part of a process to update the 28-year-old forest plan that has been in effect since 1988. The updated, draft Forest Management Plan was released in late May, initiating a public comment period, which closes August 25, 2016.
We invite you to join us for a comment-letter-writing evening, this coming Wednesday, July 27 at 6:00pm,
location TBD (in the Lee Vining/Mono City area) at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. We will provide you with all the information and tools you need to write a comment letter to the Forest Service that will help improve the future of the Inyo National Forest. We’ll also provide food and refreshments!
Throughout this process the Mono Lake Committee has been (more…)
If you’re in the area on Monday, July 25, consider joining Mono Lake Committee staff and naturalist Ann Howald to help pull invasive plant species!
We’ll be spending the morning out in the field working to restore Mill Creek, one of Mono Lake’s important tributary streams. As a special treat, guest naturalist Ann Howald will be joining us. Ann is a retired consulting botanist who has taught popular Committee field seminars for over ten years, so she is certain to enrich the experience for all.
We are meeting at the Mono Lake Committee at 8:00am on Monday, July 25. The day’s adventure will include traversing through mixed sagebrush communities, willow lined riparian areas, and perhaps even in a cold stream! Please be sure to bring shoes that can get wet, sun protection, and plenty of water.
A picnic lunch will be provided so if you think you may be able to make it, please RSVP to me by email so we can plan accordingly. However, last minute drop-ins are also welcome! Contact me by email or at (760) 647-6595 with any questions.
On May 18, 2015 I wanted to assess the types and quantities of invasive plants that were present at Mill Creek. Melilotus albus (sweet clover) was quickly identified as the most prolific and abundant invasive plant species present along Mill Creek, which I documented with GPS points and photos. With the help of volunteers and school groups, we were able to remove over 730 pounds of sweet clover from Mill Creek in 2015 from mid-June to mid-August by manually pulling and clipping the invasive plants. Now in 2016 the difference is noticeable.
Areas of Mill Creek where we focused sweet clover removal efforts in 2015 are now showing native plants retaking the prized riparian habitat in 2016 (as demonstrated by the photo above), which is exactly what we want to be seeing.
Unfortunately, we can’t take all the credit. Seasonal variation has a big impact on what plants dominate a landscape year to year and compared to the last three years, we had much more snow this year. That snow probably helped a lot with inhibiting sweet clover growth and development. But I believe with continued efforts, we are giving the native plants a chance to secure their place along Mill Creek for years to come.
Special thanks to outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. for their support of the Mono Lake Committee’s restoration stewardship program.
It’s the early afternoon and I’m standing in Mill Creek on July 30, 2015. The sun is warm when you stand in its rays and the cool softly flowing water is refreshing and welcomed. Standing still I can see bees and butterflies dancing among violet pink, periwinkle blue, and bright yellow wildflowers. It’s hard to believe that two months ago, this particular stretch of Mill Creek was almost entirely dominated by invasive white sweet clover (Melilotus albus).
White sweet clover plants can live for 2–3 years before casting thousands of seeds and dying. The seeds are hard and light (ideal for stream transportation) and have been shown (more…)
The Mono Lake Volunteer program had a great 2015 season, with over 60 volunteers, the cooperation of a number of Mono Basin partners, and a generous grant from CalParks, all helping to make this long-standing program a successful one.
After such a great year, we are getting ready for the 2016 volunteer season! We are now recruiting volunteers for this (more…)
It’s time once again for the annual Christmas Bird Count! All skill levels are invited to participate in this important citizen-science effort sponsored by Eastern Sierra Audubon. Results from these counts show long-term population trends and shifting demographics; plus it’s great fun to get out and see the birds!
- Monday, December 14 — Mono Basin
- Saturday, December 19 — Bishop
RSVP to Chris Howard:
(Let him know if you prefer a specific area or teammate or if you’d prefer to be a feeder-watcher)
- Sunday, December 20 — Mammoth Lakes
Hope to see you out there!
Last week two Mono Lake Volunteers and two Mono Lake Committee staff members teamed up to pick up litter on the Committee’s adopted one-mile stretch of Highway 395 south of Lee Vining. It was a gorgeous morning to be working, with cool temperatures and snow-capped peaks rising above us. Wearing the requisite safety gear, including neon green safety vests and Adopt-A-Highway hard hats, the crew worked for about three hours and removed several bags of trash and recycling. Some unusual finds during the day included tire chains, playing cards, and a bag of kitty litter. Removing all of this debris helps protect wildlife that may mistake trash for food and ensures that this waste does not end up in Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Having a clean highway also enhances the visitor experience, allowing people to see the wild beauty of the Mono Basin unimpaired by trash.
Thank you so much to the wonderful volunteers who helped make this cleanup possible. If you are interested in volunteering at Mono Lake or participating in a future Adopt-A-Highway cleanup event, please contact Office Director Jessica Horn at (760) 647-6595.
Special thanks to the California State Parks Foundation for their support of the Mono Lake Volunteer program this year.
Last Sunday, September 13, 102 runners and walkers made their way up 12.4 miles of the grueling and scenic Tioga Pass, during the 35th annual Tioga Pass Run. They started in front of the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining and finished at the entrance to Yosemite National Park, gaining 3,165 feet in elevation along the way.
Patrick Parsel of South Lake Tahoe won overall with the time of 1:29:43, close to ten minutes faster than the fastest time last year. Jessica Francois, Lee Vining local and former Mono Lake Committee staff member, was the first female finisher, beating (more…)