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‘Seasonal Update’ Category

Tioga Inn project heads to Mono County Board of Supervisors for a late-June hearing date

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

The Mono County Board of Supervisors will consider the Tioga Inn project at the end of June. While the exact date is yet to be confirmed, the two possible dates are June 25–26 or June 29–30. The Board is considering possible two-day hearing dates to better accommodate expected public comment and to fully deliberate the project before making a final decision.

A view of the current Tioga Gas Mart, which is the site of the future proposed Tioga Inn development. Photo by Elin Ljung.

With to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in California and the Expanded Stage 2 phase of Mono County’s reopening plan, the Supervisors are hoping that a hybrid meeting format of a live, in-person meeting combined with (more…)

Roads opening in the Mono Lake region

Friday, May 15th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

As of today, several roads in the Mono Lake region have opened for the season:

The lower gate on the Tioga Road opened today; the gate at the Yosemite National Park boundary remains closed. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

  • Highway 120 West is open from the junction with Highway 395 to the gate at the Yosemite National Park boundary
  • Highway 270 is open to Bodie State Historic Park
  • Highway 108 (Sonora Pass) is open

Despite these roads opening, Yosemite National Park remains closed, Bodie State Historic Park remains closed, and non-essential travel is still prohibited under California’s “stay at home” order.

Tioga Inn likely to go before Mono County Board of Supervisors in June

Friday, May 1st, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

No date has yet been set for the Mono County Board of Supervisors to take up the Tioga Inn project, but it is likely to happen in June.

The Mono County Board of Supervisors is likely to address the Tioga Inn project in June. In September last year, the Planning Commissioners and members of the public visited the project site. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Following the disappointing Mono County Planning Commission meeting of April 16, at which the commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the project despite hundreds of public comments in opposition, the Supervisors discussed options for a Tioga Inn meeting at their April 21 regularly scheduled meeting. They expressed interest in (more…)

Mono Lake canoe tour program canceled this year

Thursday, April 30th, 2020 by Rose, Education Director

The Mono Lake Committee’s canoe tours have been a tradition in the Eastern Sierra for more than 35 years. Canoe tours offer a unique, immersive experience where one can weave through the tufa towers, glide among flocks of Wilson’s Phalaropes, and learn the Mono Lake story from trained interpretive guides.

Public canoe tours on Mono Lake will not take place this summer, due to COVID-19 and staffing decisions made because of it. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and our decision to not bring any seasonal staff to Lee Vining this summer, we must cancel the 2020 canoe tour program.

We will continue to (more…)

No Mono Lake Committee seasonal staff for 2020; summer programs evaluated week by week

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 by Claire, Office Manager

The Mono Lake Committee has made the difficult decision to not bring any of the summer seasonal staff we had hired to Lee Vining for 2020. Our whole team is disappointed to not be able to share the summer with what promised to be an incredible group of interns, but we all agree that it is the right decision for everyone involved.

The 2019 seasonal staff learning about Mono Lake’s ecology on the south shore last summer. Photo by Alison Kaplan.

Cancellation of the summer hiring does not mean that all summer programs are cancelled, but the uncertainty about when we might be able to offer tours and reopen the bookstore was a major reason for the decision.

Normally our intern training takes two full weeks at the beginning of June, and some of the summer staff arrive much earlier (more…)

This year’s Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is canceled

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

We are sorry to announce that we must cancel this year’s Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua due to COVID-19.

Red-breasted Nuthatch. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

The Chautauqua partners are committed to the health and safety of our participants, presenters, staff, and the broader community; therefore, we feel it would be irresponsible to hold an event of this size at this time. Moreover, with Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order and plans to reopen the state in stages—with large gatherings last on the list—as well as Mono County discouraging visitation to the Eastern Sierra, it’s clear that (more…)

Mono County Planning Commission disappoints; Board of Supervisors to vote soon on Tioga Inn project

Saturday, April 18th, 2020 by Geoff, Executive Director

Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, on Thursday the Mono County Planning Commission voted 4-0 to approve the Tioga Inn project with few modifications to the final plan and design.

Over 200 written and spoken comments were voiced to the Planning Commission regarding the Tioga Inn project and over 150 people attended the seven-hour-long meeting via Zoom video conference. Virtually every comment was in opposition to the permanent, damaging impacts of the project. Speakers ranged from local business owners and residents to the fire department and longtime visitors. After the large number of strong, clear, and respectful comments in opposition to the project—among the most the commission has ever seen—the commission deliberation and vote was a disappointment.

The Tioga Inn project now goes to the Mono County Board of Supervisors, which will make the final determination of whether the numerous adverse impacts of the project justify turning it down. The date of that meeting is yet to be confirmed, but is tentatively scheduled for May 19. Stay tuned here on the Mono-logue and in your email for more information regarding how to participate in this final round of public comment.

If you wrote in or spoke to express your concerns about the project—thank you! The outpouring of thoughtful, sincere comments was incredible to witness. A better result is still possible and public engagement will be critical to the final outcome.

Tioga Inn project goes before Planning Commission for decision on April 16, 2020

Saturday, April 11th, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the Mono County Planning Commission is moving forward with a public hearing and vote on the Tioga Inn Specific Plan Amendment & Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR).

A view of the site where the proposed Tioga Inn housing project would go, overlooking Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Lynn Boulton.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, April 16 at 9:00am. (more…)

Spring visitors at Mono Lake: Migrant birds

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

With our lives seemingly on hold, it can be hard to remember that the internal clock of all the nature around us keeps on ticking and spring is slowly but surely making its way to the Mono Basin.

A gorgeous Black-bellied Plover at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Ramona Robbins Clark.

The Red-winged Blackbirds arrived first and are singing their trademark “b-LEE-dle” song from the trees in town. Then the swallows, Tree first, then Violet-green, came swooping in. Hearing the grinding chirps of Violet-green Swallows on the wires in town is the official sound of spring to me. Yesterday evening at sunset near South Tufa, I heard Osprey calling and Sage Thrashers singing. (more…)

March Planning Commission meeting regarding the Tioga Inn is canceled

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

The March 23 Mono County Special Planning Commission meeting regarding the Tioga Inn is canceled.

The meeting has been rescheduled for April 16 at 9:00am. According to the Mono County Community Development Department, the meeting will be accessible remotely in a Zoom meeting online here and by telephone at 669-900-6833 (meeting ID# 760-924-1815), where members of the public shall have the right to observe and offer public comment.

As of the date of this post, the Mono County website has not yet been updated with the latest meeting information; the meeting will be re-noticed prior to April 16 along with a meeting agenda.

The Mono Lake Committee is concerned, given the background COVID-19 disruption affecting everyone’s lives, that (more…)

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