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October 31: Mono Lake Calendar submission deadline

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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If you’re planning to submit images to the 2019 Mono Lake Calendar (and we hope you are), now is the time! The deadline is Tuesday, October 31, 2017, and you can find the submission guidelines and forms here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 is the deadline for submitting images to the 2019 Mono Lake Calendar. The 2018 Mono Lake Calendar is pictured here; photo by Dennis Flaherty.

We encourage you to submit high-quality photographs that you feel best capture the spirit of the Mono Basin’s geological and ecological wonders. To be selected for inclusion in the 2019 Mono Lake Calendar, images must depict subjects within the watershed boundary of Mono Lake. Possible subjects include (more…)

Huge runoff raises Mono Lake, reshapes streams

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 by Geoff, Executive Director
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Last year we were drought weary and went into winter with low expectations. Those expectations were proven wrong—very wrong. 2017 became the winter of storm after storm after storm that led to a spring and summer of genuine awe at the depth of the snowpack and magnitude of the runoff.

During peak flow season Mono Lake Committee staff and hydrology consultants spent days out along the streams, tracking—and reveling in—the incredible amounts of water. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

It is hard to fathom the scale of what happened. In three weeks in January, scientists note, more than the equivalent of the entire average annual flow of the Colorado River fell as snow onto the Sierra Nevada. And it didn’t stop there. By April the Mono Basin watershed had seen snowfall equivalent to four drought winters—2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015—all stacked on top of each other.

When longer days and warmer temperatures arrived, the snow began to melt and a remarkable runoff season began. The Mono Basin runoff forecast (more…)

Tioga Pass temporarily closing tonight

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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Caltrans has announced that Tioga Pass (Highway 120) will temporarily close this evening at 5:00pm at the lower gate due to incoming inclement weather. The road will be reevaluated on Friday.

Additionally, State Route 108 (Sonora Pass) will close from Kennedy Meadows to the east side winter closure gate (west of Pickel Meadows) at 3:00pm today. State Route 4 (Ebbetts Pass) will close from Lake Alpine to gate #3 (west of Silver Creek campground) at 9:00pm today.

Tioga Pass will temporarily close today at 5:00pm due to an incoming storm. Photo from May 2017 by Bartshe Miller.

Always check current road conditions and weather before making a trip to the Eastern Sierra, and give us a call for the most current Tioga Pass information: (760) 647-6595.

Fall 2017 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Just add water.

Sometimes I think of the Mono Basin as ready-made pancake mix—all you have to do is add water.

The Mono Lake Committee’s 16,000 members have been working on perfecting the mix since 1978. We envisioned a future with a healthy Mono Lake and streams, we fought for that future all the way to the California Supreme Court, worked with the State Water Board to set in place the rules that will make a healthy future a reality, and made sure the protections didn’t exist only on paper. Flour, baking soda, salt, sugar… And then, this year, we got to add the water!

So much water that (more…)

Timelapse video: Watch Mono Lake rise before your eyes

Friday, October 13th, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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So far in 2017, Mono Lake has risen an astounding 4.5 vertical feet before leveling off in the past month. About 3 feet of that total lake rise occurred from mid-May to mid-August. Watch below for a quick 20-second timelapse showing the incredible lake rise this summer, or scroll down and see the full two-and-half-minute timelapse video.

(more…)

Voices of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 by Rose, Outdoor Education Instructor
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After a year of preparation, student anticipation has been building. Questions, excitement, and a little anxiety about traveling far from home whirl in young minds.

OEC students from Sherman Oaks investigate Mono Lake’s salty, slippery water at the shoreline. Photo by Antonia Chihuahua.

These students make the decision to get in a van and drive over 300 miles; a drive into a journey of where their water comes from. This journey is one of emotional, physical, a mental challenges: the touch of snow, breathing clean air, feeling the elevation of the Mono Basin, seeing wildlife for the first time, submerging themselves in salty alkaline water, strolling the rim of a volcano, and building bonds with their communities, the natural world, and themselves.

It is a journey we will take you on with their voices; the voices of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center. What follows is an accumulation of thoughts and feelings—a poetic language—of the various students of the OEC. (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Water law plus geology with Craig Jones

Sunday, October 8th, 2017 by Molly, Mono Lake Intern
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This Wednesday, October 11 at 4:00pm is our last Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation of the year. Join us in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to hear from Craig Jones, a geologist at the University of Colorado, about the relationship between water law and geology at Mono Lake and how both have had significant effects on how the lake has evolved over time.

Geologist Craig Jones will talk about how the Sierra Nevada west of Mono Lake affect the climate in the Mono Basin. Photo by Ava Stavros.

Years ago, to acquire water exports from the Mono Basin, Los Angeles used California water laws that first emerged in the goldfields of the western Sierra. These laws allowed for (more…)

Shorter store hours this Sunday & Monday

Friday, October 6th, 2017 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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This Sunday and Monday, October 8 and 9, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open for shorter hours as we celebrate a special event—a wedding for one of our staff! We will be open 9:00am–12:00noon on Sunday and 1:30–5:00pm on Monday.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

If you miss us and are in need of information, be sure to check out the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, open daily 8:00am–5:00pm. They are located at the north end of Lee Vining past the high school.

Closing dates for Mono Basin campgrounds

Friday, October 6th, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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As shorter days and colder weather descend on the Mono Basin, eight campgrounds are closing for the season this weekend.

Tioga Lake campground, which is closing for the season this Sunday, October 8. Photo courtesy of James Kaiser.

In Lee Vining Canyon, Aspen campground closes on Saturday, October 7, and Big Bend campground closes on Sunday, October 8, but Lower Lee Vining campground will remain open until October 31. The Tioga-area campgrounds will also close on Sunday, October 8: Ellery Lake, Tioga Lake, Junction, Sawmill Walk-in, Saddlebag Lake, and Saddlebag Trailhead Group Camp. Lundy Canyon campground will be open through mid-November depending on snow conditions. (more…)

Early-bird Mono Lake Free Drawing winner, plus more chances to win

Thursday, October 5th, 2017 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Last week we drew the winner of the early-bird Free Drawing prize—congratulations to Orlene Kelting of Hawthorne, California, who won tickets to the Taste of Yosemite event!

I drew the winning name for this year’s early bird prize: a Taste of Yosemite Package for two! Photo by Maureen McGlinchy.

It’s not too late to get your tickets in for a chance to win as well—we’ll be drawing all the other winners in mid-December. This year you can win one of over two dozen incredible prizes including vacation packages, a Cali4nia ski pass, Patagonia gear, and much more. (more…)

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