Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet. Contact Nora if you would like to set up a custom guided field trip, or if you have questions about the Chautauqua.See All Posts by Nora (10) Contact Nora
A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.
It’s getting to be that time of summer when thunderstorms roll through in the afternoon and the clouds make for some lovely sunsets. It’s a great time to visit the Mono Basin! Spend your morning doing something fun (like a guided trip!) and spend your afternoons watching the storms sweep through from the window of a coffee shop or the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, then watch the tumultuous sky turn peach and gold and charcoal.
We have some fun guided trips for you to join in on, coming up in the next three weeks: (more…)
Monday, July 25th, 2016 by John, Information Center & Bookstore AssistantcloseAuthor: John, Information Center & Bookstore AssistantName: John Warneke Title: Information Center & Bookstore Assistant About: While growing up, countless trips to places in the Mono Basin and Death Valley developed within John a love and respect for the natural world, a want to understand what draws people to often rugged landscapes, and an interest in sharing knowledge with others. Forging ahead, he trained as a cultural anthropologist and historian of India, and is currently a PhD candidate in Education and Sikh & Punjab Studies at UC Santa Barbara. In spare moments, John enjoys exploring wilderness, composing, and playing music, spending time in the company of cats, and sleeping.See All Posts by John (1) Contact John
Heading to Tuolumne Meadows from Lee Vining this summer? Have you heard about YARTS?
Providing public transit, YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) offers a great alternative during the busy summer months.
Park your car or RV, bring your bicycle along, and catch a comfortable, air-conditioned bus to your destination.
• Spend less time driving and more time enjoying the sights of Yosemite
• Avoid congestion and the hassle of searching for parking
• Save on the cost of gas and entrance fees
There are three spots where YARTS picks up in Lee Vining: (more…)
Sunday, June 26th, 2016 by Adam, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Adam, Mono Lake InternName: Adam Dalton Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Adam is a recent Grinnell College graduate (Economics and Chinese Studies) from Mason City, Iowa. He is happy to be back in the Mono Basin for a second summer internship before heading to the University of Utah in the fall to pursue a Master’s degree in Community and Metropolitan Planning with a focus on environmental planning. Outside of work he can be found running, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and playing electric guitar.See All Posts by Adam (1) Contact Adam
Summer is officially here! With the passing of the summer solstice, many of the Mono Basin’s unique interpretive programs have begun. Whether you are a birder, astronomer, geologist, or traveling with a family, there is a Mono Basin interpretive program for you.
Join us every Saturday and Sunday morning for canoe tours on Mono Lake. Photo by Sandra Noll.
South Tufa tours:10:00am, 1:00pm, and 6:00pm every day Discover the mystery of Mono Lake’s strange water, unique wildlife, and dynamic geology. Tours begin from the South Tufa kiosk and last 1 to 1.5 hours. Free!
Bird walks:8:00am on Fridays and Sundays Join a naturalist on an easy stroll through Mono Lake County Park to discover the birds of the Mono Basin. If possible, please bring binoculars for this 1.5–2 hour walk. Free! (more…)
Friday, June 24th, 2016 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 and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. 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 (157) Contact Arya
As of 9:00pm tonight (Friday, June 24) the Marina Fire is still burning just north of Lee Vining along Hwy 395. At this time an evacuation warning has been issued for Lee Vining and Mono City. The Tioga Lodge and the Mono Inn have been evacuated. At this time Hwy 395 is closed.
The Marina Fire as seen from the north at around 8pm Friday, June 24, 2016. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
A press release from the Inyo National Forest reports that the fire has grown to about 600 acres. There are approximately 300 personnel on the fire, and the fire has been determined to be human-caused and remains under investigation at this time. (more…)
Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 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 grew up in on California’s Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (252) Contact Elin
The bookstore is busy all summer long—stop by any day, 8:00am to 9:00pm Photo by Erv Nichols.
Stop by to get information about what to do in the area, find out where to stay or camp, learn about Mono Lake’s fascinating history, or pick up the newest field guide or a T-shirt. Watch the 30-minute Mono Lake Story film, enjoy paintings and prints in the gallery by local artist Ann Piersall, and enjoy the view of Mono Lake from the front patio.
Our helpful seasonal staff is here with lots of advice to make your trip as fun as possible—stop by! Photo by Erv Nichols.
Saturday, June 4th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Sandra, Birding InternName: Sandra Noll Title: Birding Intern About: Sandra Noll and her partner Erv Nichols travel extensively as volunteers for nature. The retired couple exchanges their skills as naturalists, photographers, and interpretive guides for an RV hook-up or lodging at a wide variety of National and State Parks, Fish & Wildlife Service Refuges, Audubon Centers, and now the Mono Lake Committee for a third summer. Whether from an information desk, viewing deck, or lecture hall, leading bird walks, night hikes, or canoe excursions, their passion connects people with our nation's special landscapes and wildlife.See All Posts by Sandra (19) Contact Sandra
Not far from the Mono Lake Committee headquarters and bookstore, the Lee Vining Creek trail offers multi-sensory delights this time of year. Early morning and late evening are best for birding but anytime of day is great for wildflowers.
Yellows predominate from the profuse tiny blossoms of bitterbrush and buckwheat to the stately single stems of western wallflower and from button-like rayless daisies to sunflower-like blossoms within the long fuzzy leaves of woolly mule’s ears.
The Lee Vining Creek trail flanked by yellow bitterbrush and sagebrush. Photo by Sandra Noll.
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 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 and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. 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 (157) Contact Arya
While you’ve got your bucket list out, I recommend turning to page 14 of this Newsletter. The full moon canoe tour is just the beginning—the Mono Lake Committee is offering a whole slew of new guided trips and tours in addition to our regular offerings. We’ve pulled together some of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and fun people around to guide folks who are curious and want to see, learn, and do more in the Mono Basin. (more…)
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagercloseAuthor: Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagerName: Lily Pastel Title: Information Center & Bookstore Manager About: Lily stocks the store with educational, handmade, local, and ecologically friendly merchandise and keeps operations functioning efficiently. She graduated from Humboldt State University in May 2014, where she majored in Environmental Science. Contact Lily with questions or feedback about the items we carry, if you would like to place an order for Mono Lake Committee merchandise, if you have questions about an existing order, if you have questions about or need assistance with our online store, or if you are a vendor or artisan who would like us to carry your work.See All Posts by Lily (30) Contact Lily
Spring and California Gulls are in the air, and the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be extending its hours for Memorial Day weekend. From Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30 we will be open from 8:00am to 6:00pm to accommodate holiday travelers.
Stop by during Memorial Day weekend! Photo by Jessica Horn.
We will return to our normal hours (9:00am–5:00pm) on Tuesday, May 31. We hope to see you here soon!
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 by Robbie, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Robbie, Project SpecialistName: Robert Di Paolo Title: Project Specialist About: A 2012 graduate from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Science, Robbie loves hiking, camping, and bike touring, all of which are great Eastern Sierra activities. He also likes to play music, primarily guitar and singing, but also flute and alto saxophone. If you're interested in volunteering with the Committee's restoration program or are interested in our social media efforts, contact Robbie.See All Posts by Robert (33) Contact Robert
On May 18, 2015 I wanted to assess the types and quantities of invasive plants that were present at Mill Creek. Melilotus albus (sweet clover) was quickly identified as the most prolific and abundant invasive plant species present along Mill Creek, which I documented with GPS points and photos. With the help of volunteers and school groups, we were able to remove over 730 pounds of sweet clover from Mill Creek in 2015 from mid-June to mid-August by manually pulling and clipping the invasive plants. Now in 2016 the difference is noticeable.
Image on the left shows an island in Mill Creek totally dominated by invasive sweet clover on May 18, 2015. The image on the right shows the same island on May 13, 2016 with only a small patch of sweet clover in the center of the island; the rest of the vegetation consists of native clovers, moss, grass, and willow saplings. Photos by Robbie Di Paolo.
Areas of Mill Creek where we focused sweet clover removal efforts in 2015 are now showing native plants retaking the prized riparian habitat in 2016 (as demonstrated by the photo above), which is exactly what we want to be seeing.
Unfortunately, we can’t take all the credit. Seasonal variation has a big impact on what plants dominate a landscape year to year and compared to the last three years, we had much more snow this year. That snow probably helped a lot with inhibiting sweet clover growth and development. But I believe with continued efforts, we are giving the native plants a chance to secure their place along Mill Creek for years to come.
Special thanks to outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. for their support of the Mono Lake Committee’s restoration stewardship program.
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Sandra, Birding InternName: Sandra Noll Title: Birding Intern About: Sandra Noll and her partner Erv Nichols travel extensively as volunteers for nature. The retired couple exchanges their skills as naturalists, photographers, and interpretive guides for an RV hook-up or lodging at a wide variety of National and State Parks, Fish & Wildlife Service Refuges, Audubon Centers, and now the Mono Lake Committee for a third summer. Whether from an information desk, viewing deck, or lecture hall, leading bird walks, night hikes, or canoe excursions, their passion connects people with our nation's special landscapes and wildlife.See All Posts by Sandra (19) Contact Sandra
Several events mark the beginning of the Mono Lake Committee’s summer season. One of them is the start of weekend bird-walks at Mono Lake County Park, a joint program with California State Parks.
A Western Tanager in its brilliant breeding plumage. Photo by Sandra Noll.
You are invited to join experienced guides every Friday and Sunday at 8:00am (meet at the County Park parking lot) for a two-hour guided walk through a variety of habitats including an aging woodland with dead snags, sagebrush scrub, grassland, riparian oasis, and the shore of Mono Lake. As you can imagine, this variety of habitats supports a wide variety of birds.
These following photos of a few of the species seen on a preview walk earlier this week are (more…)