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It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season … now it’s open

October 23rd, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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Tioga Pass (Highway 120) has reopened after it was closed last week due to snow and rockfall. Use caution and be sure to check current road conditions and weather before your trip. Last year, Tioga Pass closed for the season on November 1.

Also be vigilant for migrating deer on the road this time of year. A reminder that all campgrounds along the Tioga Road are currently closed (except for Lower Lee Vining Campground) as are all commercial and visitor services in Tuolumne Meadows.

Check out this video, courtesy of Caltrans, showing how explosives were used to help clear the road last week.

Send in your 2016 Free Drawing tickets today!

October 22nd, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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If you haven’t yet sent in your tickets for the Mono Lake Committee’s 2016 Free Drawing fundraiser, there is still time. Enter today for the chance to win round-trip airfare for two on Southwest Airlines, a Cali4nia ski pass, a Mono Basin adventure vacation, and many more great prizes. Be sure to take a look at the complete prize list to see everything we are offering this year.

Photo by Elin Ljung.

Tickets must be received by December 10 to be eligible for the 2016 Free Drawing. Photo by Elin Ljung.

If you are already a member of the Mono Lake Committee, you should have already received your tickets. You will also receive ten tickets in the center of your fall Newsletter, arriving in … more »

Illegal grading on Mono Lake’s shore

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.

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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 »

Tioga Pass is temporarily closed

October 19th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Tioga Pass closed last Saturday night in anticipation of the storm that hit this area over the weekend, and remains closed due to large boulders that fell onto the roadway during the storm.

Large boulders must be cleared from the roadway on Tioga Pass before the road can open again. Photo courtesy of our friends at the Tioga Pass entrance station.

Large boulders must be cleared from the roadway on Tioga Pass before the road can open again. Photo courtesy of our friends at the Tioga Pass entrance station.

Caltrans is working to remove the rocks and reopen the road as soon as possible, but for now it is closed at the lower gate, three miles west of Highway 395.

2018 Mono Lake Calendar call for submissions

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 »

“The story of Mono Lake gives me hope”

October 12th, 2016 by Lisa, Outdoor Education Instructor
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The latest group that traveled to the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center from Los Angeles was Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). Aimed at empowering communities of color and low-income communities, CBE works on a myriad of environmental issues in neighborhoods to improve public health, air quality, and drinking water.

Members of CBE pause for a group photo after learning about the brine shrimp and the alkali fly. Photo by Antonia Chihuahua.

Members of CBE pause for a group photo after learning about the brine shrimp and the alkali fly. Photo by Antonia Chihuahua.

There were 15 participants, including staff, who came for a week of experiential education in the Mono Basin. Communities for a Better Environment was founded in the same year as the Mono Lake Committee, 1978. … more »

Fall color along Mono Lake’s tributary streams

October 9th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Mono Lake’s tributary streams are wondrous in every season. Right now their bright foliage runs like ribbons of fire from the folds of the Sierra all the way to the shores of Mono Lake.

Aspens are lighting up along Mono Lake's tributary streams. Photo from October 7, 2016 by Nora Livingston.

Aspens are lighting up along Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Photo from October 7, 2016 by Nora Livingston.

Dry for decades due to excessive water diversions by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Mono Basin streams were rewatered and brought back to life thanks to … more »

Seminar spotlight: Mono Basin Fall Photography

October 5th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Mono Lake and the surrounding basin is a magnet for nature photographers. Professionals and amateurs alike are drawn to the unique, otherworldly landscapes, striking canyons, and the dynamic light often present. The abundant opportunities provide the perfect outdoor classroom to learn the fine art of landscape photography.

Mono Basin Fall Photography • October 11–13 • $275 per person/$250 for members • sign up here

Lundy Canyon in autumn. Photo courtesy of Robb Hirsch.

Lundy Canyon in autumn. Photo courtesy of Robb Hirsch.

Join professional photographer Robb Hirsch as he teaches participants the process of creating the strongest possible images. Everybody has an individual perspective … more »

Guided fall color trips at Mono Lake

October 4th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Our Guided Trip program offers a Fall Color Foray trip—a half-day guided trip that emphasizes ecology and conservation of aspen during visits to beautiful groves in the peak of their color dance.

The Sierra Nevada in the background with a dusting of snow!

Fall color glows east of the Sierra Nevada. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Click on the dates to sign up: October 13, 3:00–7:00pm  October 15, 8:00am–12:00noon  October 18, 8:00am–12:00noon  October 19, 3:00–7:00pm

Each trip is $75 per person or $65 for members. The price of your ticket benefits Mono Lake! … more »

Fall colors are glorious at Mono Lake right now

September 29th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Fall is officially here! Crisp air, blue skies, and multicolored aspen groves bring visitors from all over to enjoy the Mono Basin and soak up the beauty of the area as the aspen trees turn from glittering green to gold, clementine, and crimson.

Green and golden aspens at Parker Lake, September 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mary Ljung.

Green and golden aspens at Parker Lake, September 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mary Ljung.

Why do leaves change color in fall? The short story is that after spending all summer photosynthesizing and storing sugars for new growth next spring, leaves eventually get blocked from transporting nutrients in and out towards the branches and buds, and the chlorophyll (the green pigment that is essential … more »

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