Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Degenhardt Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. When she's not in the office you might find her running with her dogs Dublin and Poco, volunteering with the Lee Vining Fire Department, listening to any music with a banjo in it, or willing the plants in her garden to grow. 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 (121) Contact Arya
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. In Storm 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…)
Sunday, October 12th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration SpecialistcloseAuthor: Greg, Information & Restoration SpecialistName: Greg Reis Title: Information & Restoration Specialist About: Since his Committee internship in 1995, Greg has been involved with Mono Basin stream restoration and with maintaining the Committee's computers, Websites, and Research Library, and researching and compiling information for our programs. His B.S. degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Forestry and Natural Resources with a concentration in Environmental Management and a Senior Project in Hydrology reflect his interests in natural resources management, watershed management, and habitat restoration. He is a member of the California Society for Ecological Restoration and he also works for the Rivers and Delta Program of The Bay Institute.See All Posts by Greg (157) Contact Greg
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 October 9, 2014 from the Mill Creek Webcam.
Friday, October 3rd, 2014 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 is an EMT on the Lee Vining Fire Department, loves sitting at Latte Da Coffee Cafe immersed in a good book, and watches English Premier League football (soccer) at any opportunity.See All Posts by Elin (192) Contact Elin
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…)
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…)
Friday, September 19th, 2014 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 is an EMT on the Lee Vining Fire Department, loves sitting at Latte Da Coffee Cafe immersed in a good book, and watches English Premier League football (soccer) at any opportunity.See All Posts by Elin (192) Contact Elin
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…)
Quaking Aspens between Grant Lake Reservoir and Silver Lake along the June Lake Loop are rapidly changing their leaves from a dark green to yellow color. These trees regularly grow in dense, unbroken stands, creating a stunning golden vista when their leaves fully change color in the fall. If you are headed to the Eastern Sierra, make sure to do this driving loop to see these beautiful seasonal changes.
Aspens along Highway 158 are starting to change to lime-green and yellow. Photo by Erica Stephens.
Willow leaves on the shore of Silver Lake look yellow due to a combination of fall color and a rust fungus. Photo by Erica Stephens.
As the evening wind whips through the Mono Basin it is becoming noticeably colder now. The summer season is coming to a close and this change brings beautiful new fall colors, migratory birds, and plants.
Animals are preparing for the winter ahead and can be seen gathering nesting materials and food supplies.
Pikas do not hibernate and gather grasses to get them through the winter. Photo by Erica Stephens.
A marmot sunbathing on a rock. Photo by Erica Stephens.
The birds of the Mono Basin are feeling and responding to seasonal changes as well. Spring and summer birds have raised their chicks and parents and fledglings alike have left for (more…)
Last Sunday, September 7, 113 runners and walkers made their way up 12.4 miles of the grueling and scenic Tioga Pass, during the 34th 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.
The Tioga Pass Run begins in front of the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining and climbs 3,165 feet over 12.4 miles, ending at the east entrance to Yosemite National Park. Photo by Rose Catron.
Reaching the finish line first was Dan Yarborough with the time of 1:39:34. Not far behind was the first-place woman, Jessica Francois (former Mono Lake Committee staff member!), with a time of 1:55:01. There were also ten participants who (more…)
Tioga Lake, located along Highway 120 west near the east entrance to Yosemite, will be drained one month earlier this year for necessary maintenance.
In compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Inyo National Forest conditions, Southern California Edison (SCE) began draining the lake on Tuesday in order to install a geomembrane liner on the main and auxiliary Tioga Lake dams.
It is expected to take two to three weeks to drain the lake and while there will still be some water in the lake, recreation will be limited.