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….
‘Seasonal Update’ Category
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!
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 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.
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.
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….”
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…)
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.
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…)
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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!
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.