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Seasonal Update | The Mono-logue

‘Seasonal Update’ Category

Tioga Pass closed again

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) and Highway 108 (Sonora Pass) have closed again temporarily due to snow. Keep an eye on the road conditions and weather forecasts—the roads could reopen if warm and sunny weather returns. And as always in this drought, take a moment to celebrate more precipitation for Mono Lake….

Tioga Pass closing for this weekend’s winter storm

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

A winter storm is predicted to bring snow and rain to the Sierra Nevada and Eastern Sierra tonight and into tomorrow morning, resulting in the closure of several mountain passes today. Highway 89 (Monitor Pass) and Highway 108 (Sonora Pass) closed at noon today. Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) will close as 6:00pm tonight, and the National Park Service will evaluate the road for re-opening on Sunday, November 2.

As always when you travel, check road conditions, make sure you have tire chains if you need them, and drive safely. Also, don’t forget to celebrate some precipitation for Mono Lake during this drought!

Fall 2014 Mono Lake Newsletter now available online

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

On behalf of the entire Mono Lake Committee staff I’m excited to announce that the Fall 2014 edition of the Mono Lake Newsletter is now available online! Every time we ready the Newsletter to go to press I write a short letter from the editor that appears on page 2—it’s a welcome message, and an introduction to the issue. Here’s how it goes this time:


Recently my friend John Anderson came by for a visit and said a surprising thing: “The lake is so high!” It was the only time I heard that this year. As a member of the 1979 California Gull research crew when the lake level was 6373.4 feet above sea level, his comment makes more sense, and was a good reminder to keep things in perspective here at 6379.3. (more…)

Winter Photography field seminar: Register starting on November 1st

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Winter at Mono Lake is a very special season, complete with snowy Sierra peaks, poconip fog that coats tufa towers in rime ice, and bright bluebird days. Spend a weekend based in Lee Vining for the Mono Lake Committee’s annual winter photography field seminar to take advantage of the many photographic opportunities that winter provides.

A Jeffrey pine tree coated in rime ice in the poconip fog. Photo courtesy of Rick Knepp.

The Forgotten Season: Winter Photography in the Mono Basin
January 16–18, 2015
$225 per person / $200 for Mono Lake Committee members

Check the detailed itinerary to get a complete picture of the weekend as you make your plans. Registration will open on Saturday, November 1 for both Mono Lake Committee members and non-members. To sign up, call (760) 647-6595 or register online.

Instructor Rick Knepp is a former Mono Lake Committee staff member, popular seminar leader, and veteran of Mono winters. His experience will allow participants to take advantage of many winter photographic opportunities. Come prepared for cold winter weather. This seminar will take place regardless of weather or road conditions. There will be no refunds due to weather. Cost is for tuition only; participants must arrange their own accommodations. This seminar is limited to 15 participants.

Harrison “Hap” Dunning honored with 2014 Defender of the Trust Award

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Arya, Communications Director

The Mono Lake Committee has a celebrated tradition of honoring individuals who champion Mono Lake and advocate for the public trust with the Defender of the Trust Award. The California Supreme Court’s definition of the public trust doctrine in its landmark 1983 Mono Lake decision goes: “The public trust is an affirmation of the duty of the state to protect the people’s common heritage of streams, lakes, marshlands and tidelands….”

2014 Defender of the Trust awardee Hap Dunning, right, with Mono Lake Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin. Photo by Elin Ljung.

On September 27, 2014 the Committee honored Harrison “Hap” Dunning with the 2014 Defender of the Trust Award here in the Mono Basin. Hap accepted the award during a dinner in his honor. IStorm Over Mono, author John Hart wrote, “The notion that [the public trust doctrine] might be applied to curtail water rights was truly novel. There appears to have been just one other person in California in the mid-1970s who was aware of this possibility: Harrison C. Dunning, a law professor at the University of California at Davis….”

Since the 1970s, Hap has been a leading voice for California water law reform. (more…)

Fall color update: Mill Creek webcam shows peak color

Sunday, October 12th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

As the sun dips lower in the sky and we enter mid-October, the aspen, cottonwood, and willow trees of the Mono Basin, as well as other deciduous trees and plants, become more colorful at low elevations. You can track these changes from anywhere on our three webcams.

Mill Creek on 10/9/14 from the Mill Creek Webcam.

Mill Creek on October 9, 2014 from the Mill Creek Webcam.

The Mono Lake Webcam shows that Lee Vining Creek is very colorful near Mono Lake. The Lee Vining Webcam shows a lot of color in town. And the Mill Creek Webcam, looking down Mill Creek toward Mono Lake, has the best (more…)

Fall colors are beautiful and brilliant in the Mono Basin

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Despite a windstorm last week that stripped some aspen leaves from the trees in the Mono Basin, the color just keeps getting better and better. Groves in the Mono Basin still have lots of green leaves mixed in with yellow and a bit of orange, so there’s plenty of fall color yet to come in the next few weeks.

Looking west across Parker Lake, September 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Mary Ljung.

Today along the June Lake Loop, brilliant yellow trees really stood out against the mostly green (more…)

The 2014 Mono Lake Eared Grebe census is underway

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Lily, Project Specialist

Each fall Mono Lake abounds with Eared Grebes; aquatic birds that utilize the lake as a staging area during their southward migration. While staging on the lake the Eared Grebes undergo a molt of their flight feathers and double their weight by feasting on brine shrimp.

One of many Eared Grebes on Mono Lake during the census. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

For over a decade Canadian biologist Sean Boyd from the Pacific Wildlife Research Center has been conducting research on the Eared Grebe population of Mono Lake during the bird’s autumn staging period. The Eared Grebe lends itself to this type of research because at the end of their summer breeding season (more…)

Last week of fall hours at the Mono Lake Committee

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Barbara, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

As we watch it get dark earlier and earlier each evening, we also see the last days of our being open until 7:00pm passing by.

Starting September 26, the Mono Lake Committee will be open 9:00am--5:00pm every day. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open 9:00am–7:00pm this week, but starting on Friday, September 26, we will shift into our fall hours: open 9:00am–5:00pm every day. We hope to see you soon here at our Lee Vining store or online. Happy autumn and watch for the changing aspens!

Two Mono Basin wildfires in one week

Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

With two wildfires in one week, the Mono Basin is getting hit hard during this tinder-dry early autumn. After investigation, both of this week’s local fires were determined to be caused by accidents.

The June Fire late in the day on September 16. Photo courtesy of the Mono County Sheriff's Department.

The Conway Fire, which ignited on September 12, was caused by a tire blow-out on a vehicle headed south on Highway 395 at the base of Conway Summit. During that windy afternoon the (more…)

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