Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 by Aviva, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Aviva, Mono Lake InternName: Aviva North Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Ever since her first hike in the Eastern Sierra at three weeks old, Aviva has been in love with this spectacular part of the world! Fortunately her family just moved to Mammoth Lakes, which led her to making the Mono Lake Committee her home for the summer. Originally from Davis, California, Aviva currently studies Geography at Mount Holyoke College, a field that has fueled her passions for urban sustainability, planning, and conservation. In her free time you can catch Aviva trail running, quoting The Office, looking up pictures of Tom Brady, or playing with her two rambunctious labs.See All Posts by Aviva (4) Contact Aviva
Cathy & Rich Foye, left and center, with fellow Mono Lake Volunteer Rosemarie Willimann. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
If you have taken a Saturday canoe tour this summer you will probably recognize our awesome volunteer Cathy Foye, who, every weekend, is prepped with a scope set on an Osprey nest perfectly perched on a tufa tower in Mono Lake.
Born and raised in Southern California, Cathy had actually never explored the Eastern Sierra until her now husband, and fellow volunteer, Rich Foye, took her on vacation. Their favorite parts of visiting were the guided canoe tours and weekly star talks offered during the summer. During their 25 years together in Fullerton they became frequent visitors to the Eastern Sierra, initially attracted to Mammoth Lakes, where they permanently moved to in 2009. (more…)
Sunday, July 30th, 2017 by Ava, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Ava, Mono Lake InternName: Ava Stavros Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Born in Bishop and raised in Mammoth Lakes, Ava is thrilled to be back in the Sierra Nevada this summer to intern with the Mono Lake Committee. She has lived the last seven years on the verdant coast of Northern California, where she completed her bachelor's degree in English Writing Practices at Humboldt State. Since graduation in 2013, she has enjoyed volunteering at Redwood National Park, hiking the trails and beaches, riding and working on bicycles, reading about natural history, and creating art in various media. Ava gets excited about rocks, birds, books, being outside, and the intersection of art and science.See All Posts by Ava (3) Contact Ava
As July winds down and August approaches, we find ourselves faced with increasing quantities of a prolific invasive plant species in the Mono Basin. Dense patches of sweet white clover can be seen along streambeds, roadsides, edges of parking lots, and areas where soil has recently been disrupted, which softens the ground for the opportunistic and tenacious seeds. Unseen below the ground, its roots begin the process of nitrogen fixation, changing the chemical properties of the soil. Removing invasive plant species has been part of an ongoing restoration process to clear the ground so that native species may flourish.
Volunteers helping remove white sweet clover and other invasive plants along Mill Creek. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.
The Mono Lake Committee has been involved in removal projects for several years to reduce the amount of sweet white clover (Melilotus albus) growing in the Mono Basin. These efforts often entail taking groups of interns, volunteers, visiting students from the Outdoor Education Center, and interested community members into the field for some hands-on learning.
For those who are in town and willing to help (more…)
Saturday, May 13th, 2017 by Gabrielle, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Gabrielle, Project SpecialistName: Gabrielle Renteria Title: Project Specialist About: Gabby’s love for the Sierra Nevada started when she began visiting Yosemite National Park every year as a child. During her summer as a Mono Lake Intern she shared her passion for nature, Mono Lake, and the Sierra with visitors, and she's now staying through the winter as a Project Specialist. When she’s not working you can find her drinking yerba, hiking, fishing, or rolling around in the grass. Gabby hopes to become an Interpretive Ranger for the National Park Service so she can continue to share the great outdoors with others!See All Posts by Gabrielle (29) Contact Gabrielle
Yesterday Mono Lake Committee staff joined forces with three volunteers to help maintain the beauty of the Mono Basin on our Adopt-A-Highway cleanup.
Project Specialists Robbie and Gabby with safety gear and trash grabbers! Photo courtesy of John Warneke.
We met early and headed to our mile-long adopted section of Highway 395. It was a beautiful blustery day. Lucky for us (more…)
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 by Jessica, Office DirectorcloseAuthor: Jessica, Office DirectorName: Jessica Horn Title: Office Director About: Jess began working at the Mono Lake Committee in 2010, oversaw the bookstore for several years, and returned to the Mono Lake Committee in late 2014 as Office Director after working at a local resort and starting her own business. Jess creates the complicated office and bookstore schedule, oversees the intern and volunteer programs, and keeps the office functioning smoothly. If you have questions about job opportunities at the Mono Lake Committee, would like to volunteer at Mono Lake, or need any general information about the Mono Lake Committee, contact Jess.See All Posts by Jessica (41) Contact Jessica
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve Park Ranger Dave Marquart teaches volunteers at South Tufa. Photo courtesy of Karen Gardner.
The Mono Lake Volunteers play an increasingly essential role in educating people about Mono Lake. The group, which has grown to more than 60 people of all ages, contributes to visitors’ experiences at South Tufa and the State Reserve boardwalk at County Park. Each summer, volunteers spend thousands of hours in the Eastern Sierra giving Mono Lake tours to summer visitors from all over the world, helping with Mono Lake Committee membership mailings, pulling invasive plant species to help restore Mono Lake’s tributaries, and more.
This year, in an effort to make it easier for new volunteers to join, we have a new training schedule. (more…)
Friday, February 10th, 2017 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Harp Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (177) Contact Arya
Saturday, January 7th, 2017 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Harp Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (177) Contact Arya
Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California’s Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (306) Contact Elin
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.
Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.
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…)
Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee StaffcloseAuthor: Mono Lake Committee StaffName: Mono Lake Committee Staff Title: Mono Lake Committee Staff About: The Mono Lake Committee is a 16,000 member non-profit citizens' group dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mono Basin ecosystem, educating the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use, and promoting cooperative solutions that protect Mono Lake and meet real water needs without transferring environmental problems to other areas.See All Posts by Mono Lake Committee (471) Contact Mono Lake Committee
This post was written by Sara Matthews, 2015 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.
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!
Join us on Monday to help pull invasive plant species from along Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Photo by Julie Curtis.
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.
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field TechniciancloseAuthor: Robbie, Restoration Field TechnicianName: Robert Di Paolo Title: Restoration Field Technician About: A 2012 graduate from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Science, Robbie loves hiking, camping, and bike touring, all of which are great Eastern Sierra activities. He also likes to play music, primarily guitar and singing, but also flute and alto saxophone. If you're interested in volunteering with the Committee's restoration program or are interested in our social media efforts, contact Robbie.See All Posts by Robert (39) Contact Robert
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.
Image on the left shows an island in Mill Creek totally dominated by invasive sweet clover on May 18, 2015. The image on the right shows the same island on May 13, 2016 with only a small patch of sweet clover in the center of the island; the rest of the vegetation consists of native clovers, moss, grass, and willow saplings. Photos by Robbie Di Paolo.
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.
Friday, April 22nd, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field TechniciancloseAuthor: Robbie, Restoration Field TechnicianName: Robert Di Paolo Title: Restoration Field Technician About: A 2012 graduate from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Science, Robbie loves hiking, camping, and bike touring, all of which are great Eastern Sierra activities. He also likes to play music, primarily guitar and singing, but also flute and alto saxophone. If you're interested in volunteering with the Committee's restoration program or are interested in our social media efforts, contact Robbie.See All Posts by Robert (39) Contact Robert
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).
Wildflowers along Mill Creek. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.
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…)