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Seasonal Update | The Mono-logue

‘Seasonal Update’ Category

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…)

Fall colors are emerging in the Mono Basin

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Erica, Mono Lake Intern

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.

(more…)

Seasonal changes in the Mono Basin

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Erica, Mono Lake Intern

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…)

34th annual Tioga Pass Run: The results are in!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Lily, Project Specialist

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 being drained for maintenance work

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Robbie, Project Specialist

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.

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