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2016 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report

Saturday, January 7th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee’s 2016 Annual Report is now available online.

2016 Annual Report cover

Cover photo courtesy of Thomas Piekunka.

The report is full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and scientific research. It also has the Committee’s (more…)

January full moon photography workshop at Mono Lake

Saturday, December 17th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Start the year with a full moon photography seminar at the shore of Mono Lake!

The Forgotten Season • January 13–15, 2017 •

Early morning light sifts through bands of poconip ice fog at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.

Early morning light sifts through bands of poconip ice fog at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.

The towering snow-covered Sierra, frosted tufa towers, eerie poconip fog, and bright moonlight will make for unique photographic opportunities.

Experienced workshop instructor Joe Decker will be teaching the seminar, which will feature a special gourmet dinner from chef Linda Dore at her new restaurant, Epic Cafe. The combination of stunning winter scenery, expert instruction, and tasty food is not one to be missed.

To sign up, register online or call (760) 647-6595.

Mono Lake’s California Gulls in Audubon Magazine

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Mono Lake’s California Gulls and coyotes appear in the winter issue of Audubon Magazine, in an article by Jane Braxton Little: Amidst California Drought, Coyotes Creep Closer to Mono Lake’s Gull Colonies.

audubon-magazine-gull-article

Little spoke with Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin and local Point Blue Conservation Science researcher Kristie Nelson about plans to install a temporary electric fence across the emerging landbridge, intended to deter coyotes from reaching the gulls’ nesting islets. You can support the fence project here.

Little hit the nail on the head, writing, “Even if the fence thwarts the coyotes, the basic predicament at Mono Lake isn’t predators eating prey: It’s the loss of water.” So while we prepare to build the fence we’ll also be watching the weather closely for any sign of a break in this record-setting California drought.

It’s #GivingTuesday at Mono Lake too

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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givingtuesday-postcard

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#givingtuesday

Deadline: November 30 for 2018 Mono Lake Calendar submissions

Monday, November 28th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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If you’re planning to submit images to the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar, (and we hope you are) now is the time! The deadline of this Wednesday, November 30, 2016 is coming up fast. You can find the submission guidelines and forms here.

2017-mono-lake-calendar

November 30, 2016 is the deadline for the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar photo jury selection. Upload your submissions today!

We encourage you to submit high-quality photographs that you feel best capture the spirit of the Mono Basin’s geological and ecological wonders. To be selected for inclusion in the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar, images must depict subjects within the watershed boundary of Mono Lake. Possible subjects include (more…)

Overnight snow blankets the Mono Basin

Sunday, November 27th, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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Seven inches of snow fell overnight Saturday, blanketing everything in the Mono Basin with snow, including the islands. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Seven inches of snow fell overnight Saturday, blanketing everything in the Mono Basin with snow, including the islands. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

For days we have all been constantly checking the weather forecast, refreshing radar maps, and hoping that the predictions of an inch or two of snow would deliver. This morning, I pulled open my blinds and my jaw dropped. There was about half a foot of snow on the ground and I was thrilled. Having grown up in Georgia, any amount of snow is exciting for me, but this amount of snow—especially during this five-year drought—made me giddy. In my excitement, I actually took out my cross-country skis and skied along the road to the office before it was plowed! Along the Highway 395 corridor, between seven and 12 inches of snow fell overnight. (more…)

Resource damage below Tioga Lodge: Observations and photographs

Friday, November 18th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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In early November I ventured down to the shoreline of Mono Lake below the Tioga Lodge to use my former-biologist eyes to assess the damage done to State Park land and Post Office Creek.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

It was interesting to contrast the damage caused by the Marina Fire with the damage caused by heavy machinery; I’m sure the combination of the two events is even more detrimental. While I made observations and took photographs, I was especially concerned by two things—the bird habitat adjacent to the excavation and the wide swath of flood water rushing down from what used to be a creek channel that now spreads the water across the landscape haphazardly on it’s way to Mono Lake. (more…)

Agencies respond quickly to illegal work along Mono Lake’s shore

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Two weeks ago, we reported on illegal work happening near Mono Lake’s west shore across from the Tioga Lodge, and the agency response has moved quickly since then.

Equipment operators illegally clearing willows in the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, the boundary of which is delineated by the stakes in the foreground. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Equipment operators illegally clearing willows in the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, the boundary of which is delineated by the stakes in the foreground. Mono Lake Committee photo.

The illegal work being done included heavy equipment clearing three acres of willows and near-shore habitat on highly protected State Park land, even after State Park staff repeatedly advised the equipment operators of the park boundary, which was well marked. Quick action by Mono Lake Committee staff and multiple agencies halted the activity before more willows and wetland were disturbed, but the damage is alarming. Last week State Parks staff from the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Sacramento began a detailed assessment of the resource damage and will be pursuing appropriate penalties. (more…)

Illegal grading on Mono Lake’s shore

Thursday, October 20th, 2016 by Geoff, Executive Director
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If you’ve driven by Mono Lake on Highway 395 in the past few days, you probably saw a large excavator working down by the lakeshore across from the Tioga Lodge and wondered what was going on. We did too, and knowing that it’s a sensitive, and protected, area, we checked into it. What we found was disturbing.

2016-10-19-tioga-lodge-state-land-violations

A newly constructed dirt road departs the Tioga Lodge property and goes well into the shoreline area, which is protected as part of the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. The excavator was at work clearing willows and vegetation from approximately three acres of protected land. Needless to say, this kind of blatant violation is unacceptable and Mono Lake Committee staff jumped on the issue immediately.  (more…)

2018 Mono Lake Calendar call for submissions

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee invites you to submit photographs for the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar—we are seeking photographs of the highest caliber that capture the spirit and reflect the unique qualities of Mono Lake and the Mono Basin.

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Find the submission guidelines and forms here. Deadline: Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

We are looking for: images of scenes within the watershed boundary of Mono Lake, and possible subjects include, but are not limited to: plants, geologic features, streams, mountains, (more…)

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