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Owens River Fire update: Monday morning

September 19th, 2016 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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The Owens River Fire has grown to 6,000 acres and is now 20% contained. Four uninhabited outbuildings have been destroyed.

Air crews work hard to contain the Owens River Fire. Photo by Justin Benttinen. Courtesy of InciWeb.

Air crews work hard to contain the Owens River Fire. Photo by Justin Benttinen, courtesy of InciWeb.

Firefighters are working hard to protect additional structures and contain spot fires along the western flank. Today’s weather remains hot and dry with a chance of increased wind from the southwest. The Big Springs Campground and Clark … more »

Owens River Fire

September 18th, 2016 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Just over a month since the Clark Fire, another fire has erupted in the area.

Smoke From the Owens River Fire on Saturday 9/17. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Smoke from the Owens River Fire on Saturday, September 17. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The Owens River Fire is burning north of and along Owens River Road and east of Highway 395 near Clark Canyon. The fire was detected yesterday afternoon and is thought to be human-caused. As of this morning the fire is about 4,500 acres and 10% contained; the Big Springs Campground, Clark Canyon, and surrounding ranches have been evacuated. Heavy smoke is … more »

Results are in for the 36th annual Tioga Pass Run

September 16th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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Last Sunday, September 11, 105 runners and 32 walkers made their way up the steep Tioga Pass, making this the largest Tioga Pass Run in the event’s 36-year history. The athletes started in front of the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining and finished at the entrance to Yosemite National Park, 12.4 miles and 3,165 feet of elevation later.

Athletes head up Tioga Pass last Sunday. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Athletes head up Tioga Pass last Sunday. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The first to cross the finish line for the second year in a row was Patrick Parsel of South Lake Tahoe with the time 1:27:18, two minutes faster than his time last year. For the third year in a row Jessica Francois, Lee Vining local and former Mono Lake Committee staff member, was the first female finisher with the time 1:44:19 … more »

Mono Lake Committee autumn and winter hours begin Sunday, September 18th

September 15th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

The Mono Lake Committee will be shifting to our fall/winter hours of 9:00am–5:00pm daily starting Sunday, September 18. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Starting Sunday, September 18, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be reducing its hours for the fall and winter season. Our new hours will be 9:00am–5:00pm daily. We hope you’ll stop in for tips on fall color viewing and to do a little holiday shopping. See you in Lee Vining!

Refreshing ‘Ologists: ENSO, atmospheric rivers, and changing midlatitude weather

September 12th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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Snow at Parker Lake in April 2016. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Snow on peaks surrounding Parker Lake in April 2016. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Join us for the last talk of the Refreshing ‘Ologist series this Wednesday, September 14 at 4:00pm in the gallery at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore.

This week avalanche forecaster Sue Burak will discuss how El Nino Southern Oscilliation (ENSO) affects—or doesn’t affect—above-average snowfall, and the hype behind last winter’s El Nino. She will also discuss how atmospheric rivers contribute to the amount of precipitation California receives in the cool season. Lastly, Sue will talk about how the melting Arctic is changing the weather at midlatitudes.

Many thanks to all of the wonderful presenters we’ve had throughout the summer, and thank you to everyone who has attended! Hope to see you all for our last presentation of the summer!

The 2016 Mono Lake guided bird walk season

September 7th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding Intern
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Hard to fathom that season of guided bird walks has come to an end. Erv and I led our last County Park bird walk yesterday and State Park ranger Dave Marquart led his last on Sunday. It seems we just arrived to serve our third summer as Mono Lake Committee Birding Interns!

An adult Osprey perches watchfully atop a tufa tower near its nest . Photo by Sandra Noll.

An adult Osprey perches atop a tufa tower near its nest . Photo by Sandra Noll.

It has been a great season of birds from “locals” and early spring migrants through the nesting season to, most recently, early fall migrants. These include large numbers of Eared Grebes and phalaropes beginning to stage on Mono Lake where they molt and gain weight for the final legs of their migrations to wintering areas further south. Mono Lake’s status as an internationally important bird area is especially apparent this time of year.

It has been a delight and privilege to introduce visitors from the US and around the world to this beautiful, bountiful place and the work of the Mono Lake Committee to protect, restore, and educate. And it is my pleasure to leave you with a few highlights!

… more »

Guiding you to the past at Mono Lake

September 6th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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The season is winding down, birds are heading south to their wintering grounds, and fall is just around the corner. Our next two months of guided trips will focus on catching up with those birds before they disappear and also turning our attention to the ghosts that never leave: the historic places and buildings that tell almost invisible tales of the Mono Basin that existed many years ago. Come explore the shores of Mono Lake with us and refocus your eyes towards the past to imagine what life here was like long before we were born.

The Bodie Jail, photo by Nora Livingston.

The Bodie jail. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Here’s a look at our guided trips in September: … more »

Autumn hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

September 5th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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It’s already September and as fall sneaks up, things begin to change around Lee Vining. For the Mono Lake Committee the end of summer means that the seasonal staff begin to depart and there are new hours in our Information Center & Bookstore.

Caption............. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Starting on Tuesday, September 6 the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open 8:00am–6:00pm every day. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Starting on Tuesday, September 6 the Information Center & Bookstore will be open 8:00am–6:00pm every day. We hope you’ll stop in during these last days of summer for information about Mono Lake, and get a jump start on your holiday shopping. This summer has been a whirlwind of activities and we are thrilled so many of you were able to experience Mono Lake with us!

Refreshing ‘Ologists: California Spotted Owls and fire

September 4th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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The Refreshing ‘Ologist series continues this Wednesday, September 7 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery.

A Spotted Owl in a redwood forest. Photo courtesy of Michel Nichols/National Geographic Creative.

A Spotted Owl in a redwood forest. Photo courtesy of Michel Nichols/National Geographic Creative.

Join us to to learn how fire affects California Spotted Owl habitat. Fire has long been a part of the Sierra Nevada forests, but many years of fire suppression have lead to an increase in stand-replacing fires. Yosemite National Park biologist Stephanie Eyes will discuss how these high-intensity fires affect California Spotted Owl habitat use, and are a potential cause of habitat loss. Stephanie used radio telemetry to monitor California Spotted Owls and determine if their foraging patterns showed preference different levels of burned forest.

Caltrans Hwy 395 rockfall project report #9

September 3rd, 2016 by Robbie, Project Specialist
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Caltrans-rockfall-update-graphic

Caltrans has released the ninth road report for the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project on Highway 395 along Mono Lake just north of Lee Vining.

Lee Vining Rockfall Safety project update #9

Capture 9a

… more »

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