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All 2018 Mono Lake Field Seminars posted online

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The complete list of all the Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Field Seminars is now available online hereRegistration opens at 9:00am on Thursday, February 1.

Summer and fall are wonderful seasons for exploring the Mono Basin on a Field Seminar. Photo courtesy of Andrew Aldrich.

This year’s slate of 40 Field Seminars includes one-day, half-day, and multi-day options, and spans many topics: astrophotography, botany, mining history, butterflies, oil painting, basketry, woodpeckers, geology, fire ecology, and more.

We have brought back several popular workshops: (more…)

New book: Naming Mt. Thoreau, and book reading in Berkeley

Saturday, January 13th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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We are excited to announce the release of a very special new book, Naming Mt. Thoreau, edited by Laurie Glover with contributions from Michael Blumlein, Dick Bryan, Darryl DeVinney, Hilary Gordon, Tom Killion, Paul Park, Kim Stanley Robinson, Carter Scholz, Gary Snyder, Christopher Woodcock, and David Robertson.

The cover of Artemisia Press’s newest release. Cover image: “Mt. Thoreau from Piute Pass” by Tom Killion (c) 2017.

In the fall of 2014 this notable group of friends gathered to summit USGS Sierra Nevada peak 12,691 with the idea of renaming it “Mt. Thoreau” in honor of naturalist, philosopher, transcendentalist, and author Henry David Thoreau. Actually going through the process to formally name a peak is a daunting task, and I’d be willing to guess that this thoughtful group felt that the act of getting together with a common purpose, climbing the peak, and then writing about it was a better—and more apt—path to the same goal.

Naming Mt. Thoreau is a beautiful and thoughtfully-crafted collection of essays, poems, and reflections. And it is also precisely not what you just imagined upon reading the previous sentence. I am willing to bet that readers will (1) think of this book the next time you climb a mountain in the Sierra, (2) discover something new and unexpected about Thoreau, and (3) feel less like you’re reading an account of someone else’s journey and more like you’re a member of the group.

When author Laurie Glover floated the idea of the Mono Lake Committee publishing Naming Mt. Thoreau we knew we had to figure out a way to make it happen. We are so glad we did—not only did the contributors donate their work in hopes that the sale of the book would raise funds for the Committee, but we are very happy to be able to offer this little gem of a book to the world.

There will be a book reading with the authors on Sunday, January 21 at 7:00pm at Moe’s Books in Berkeley with Committee board and staff members in addition to the authors and contributors. Please join us if you can.

Mono Lake’s visible rise, November to November

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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We didn’t know it in November 2016, but the severe drought that had plagued Mono Lake and California for five years was nearly over. After record-setting winter precipitation and subsequent record-setting runoff last summer, Mono Lake had risen 4.2 feet by November 2017.

That difference in lake level is clearly visible in these satellite photos from the folks at Planet, most notably on the landbridge near Negit Island and the white “bathtub ring” around the lake’s shore. After tracking and celebrating Mono Lake’s rise from up close last year, it’s fun to see it in a big-picture view! (more…)

Wild & Scenic Film Festival is coming to Los Angeles on March 8 & 10

Sunday, January 7th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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We are excited to announce the Mono Lake Committee’s seventh annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles. This year we will be showing films in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 8 and Sierra Madre on Saturday, March 10.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival features a selection of inspiring films about environmental conservation, outdoor adventure, and natural wonders and serves as a great way to meet with Mono Lake Committee staff and members at the southern end of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. All proceeds from the event go toward the Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs, which bring youth from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin for a week of outdoor experiences and learning about the source of their water.

Stay tuned for film program updates and information about ticket sales. We hope to see you there!

2018 Mono Lake calendar essay: Turning the Tide

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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This essay, written by Vern Gersh, appears in the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar.

“Least and Western sandpipers in Flight.” Photo courtesy of Alice Atwood.

“Never give up for that is the time and place that the tide will turn.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe

Forty years ago, in the Eastern Sierra, the tide was running. Like all tides it ran in one direction. Its flow must have seemed inexorable as the waters of life were sucked away.

Shakespeare referred to living in “the tide of times.” The tide that has been running strongest in my life is the stream of change. When I was born in 1955 there were half as many humans on the planet. Nothing human-made orbited the earth. There were fewer than 600 pizza parlors in the entire United States. The majority of Americans shared their phone line with a neighbor. You would dial that phone and were tethered to it with a cord. There was one Mexican restaurant in the city of half a million Americans where I was born.

Forty years ago, when the Mono Lake Committee was born (more…)

Every drop counts—make a 2017 donation now!

Friday, December 29th, 2017 by Geoff, Executive Director
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Photo courtesy of Matt Ludin.

As I look back on 2017, I see many reasons to celebrate Mono Lake’s recovery and the programs of the Mono Lake Committee, which you make possible. It was a truly remarkable year—complete with a record winter and Mono Lake rising over four feet!

From protecting the California Gull colony by putting up a temporary fence on the landbridge, to monitoring the streams during the biggest water year on record, to supporting aerial Eared Grebe surveys, to introducing thousands of students and visitors to Mono Lake and the inspiring lessons it offers, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Even as we celebrate progress made, new management challenges and protection issues are constantly arising. The Committee works year-round to protect and restore Mono Lake, its tributary streams, and your favorite places in the Mono Basin, and we need your support to keep going strong in the year ahead. We hope you will consider making a year-end donation to help these ongoing efforts.

Making a donation is quick and easy—click the button below or give us a call at (760) 647-6595. Thank you!

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Happy holidays from the Mono Lake Committee

Monday, December 25th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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Wishing you peace, joy, and atmospheric rivers’ worth of snow this holiday season…

…from our home near Mono Lake to you, wherever you are.

Mono Lake Committee seasonal job openings posted

Friday, December 22nd, 2017 by Jessica, Office Director
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The permanent staff here at the Mono Lake Committee are accustomed to several statements from members and visitors alike: “You live in the most beautiful place—you’re so lucky!” and “I’ve always wanted to be an intern here!”

Now is your chance: You can work at the Mono Lake Committee as one of our 11 seasonal staff members and live in the Mono Basin during the busiest and most activity-filled season. See all the job openings here.

Last year’s seasonal staff at the Grant Lake Reservoir spillway during the aqueduct tour training day. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

We accept applications from people of all ages, so whether you are looking for an internship between college semesters, or if it’s been a lifelong dream to lead South Tufa tours and canoe on Mono Lake every weekend, we would love to speak to you.

Hiring begins January 1, 2018, and positions fill quickly. To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to me, Office Director Jessica Horn, either by email or by mail to P.O. Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541.

Happy winter solstice from Mono Lake

Thursday, December 21st, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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As the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt back toward the sun, we welcome more light, longer days, and a new season. Everything is beginning to slow down—streams that were raging with record flows this year are beginning to freeze, the aspens have lost their leaves and gone dormant, the thousands of birds that used the Mono Basin to breed or stage their migration have mostly left for warmer climes, and visitation to the Information Center & Bookstore has slowed with the closing of Tioga Pass last month.

The banks of Lee Vining Creek are just beginning to freeze. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Although things have slowed, the Mono Basin never ceases to amaze. We’ve already awoken to several days of poconip ice fog (more…)

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore holiday hours

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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The holidays are here, and we hope you’ll stop in to explore our shop and ask us all of your Mono Lake questions as you travel along Highway 395. Please keep in mind that the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Christmas Day: Monday, December 25 and New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1 so that our staff can enjoy the holidays with their families and friends.

Photo from a few winters ago—we’re hoping for a snowy winter here at the Mono Lake Committee! Stop by and see us on your travels. Photo by Elin Ljung.

We hope to see you during your winter journeys to the Mono Basin. Happy holidays!

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