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Just north of the Mono Basin lies a wide golden valley with a glittering half-frozen reservoir edged up against a pinyon pine forest. Winter is a fantastic time to look for birds in Bridgeport, and this winter in particular has drawn in some rare birds. The reservoir is packed with ducks like Redheads, Northern Shovelers, and Common Goldeneyes.
In December, the reservoir was just beginning to freeze over and the ice edge provided a perch for gulls to stand, or nap, without bobbing up in down in the cold water. A rare Black-legged Kittiwake spent almost two weeks … more »
The federal government shutdown affects a large amount of public land in our area including the Inyo National Forest, Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, Yosemite National Park, and Bureau of Land Management lands. We have compiled the best current information we can gather.
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Old Marina is open. The Mono Lake County Park/State Natural Reserve boardwalk is open, however, there are no services at the Mono Lake County Park. Camping is not permitted at these sites any time of the year.
This year’s slate of 40 Field Seminars includes one-day, half-day, and multi-day options, and spans many topics: astrophotography, botany, mining history, butterflies, oil painting, basketry, woodpeckers, geology, fire ecology, and more.
We have brought back several popular workshops: … more »
We are excited to announce the release of a very special new book, Naming Mt. Thoreau, edited by Laurie Glover with contributions from Michael Blumlein, Dick Bryan, Darryl DeVinney, Hilary Gordon, Tom Killion, Paul Park, Kim Stanley Robinson, Carter Scholz, Gary Snyder, Christopher Woodcock, and David Robertson.
In the fall of 2014 this notable group of friends gathered to summit USGS Sierra Nevada peak 12,691 with the idea of renaming it “Mt. Thoreau” in honor of naturalist, philosopher, transcendentalist, and author Henry David Thoreau. Actually going through the process to formally name a peak is a daunting task, and I’d be willing to guess that this thoughtful group felt that the act of getting together with a common purpose, climbing the peak, and then writing about it was a better—and more apt—path to the same goal.
Naming Mt. Thoreau is a beautiful and thoughtfully-crafted collection of essays, poems, and reflections. And it is also precisely not what you just imagined upon reading the previous sentence. I am willing to bet that readers will (1) think of this book the next time you climb a mountain in the Sierra, (2) discover something new and unexpected about Thoreau, and (3) feel less like you’re reading an account of someone else’s journey and more like you’re a member of the group.
When author Laurie Glover floated the idea of the Mono Lake Committee publishing Naming Mt. Thoreau we knew we had to figure out a way to make it happen. We are so glad we did—not only did the contributors donate their work in hopes that the sale of the book would raise funds for the Committee, but we are very happy to be able to offer this little gem of a book to the world.
There will be a book reading with the authors on Sunday, January 21 at 7:00pm at Moe’s Books in Berkeley with Committee board and staff members in addition to the authors and contributors. Please join us if you can.
We didn’t know it in November 2016, but the severe drought that had plagued Mono Lake and California for five years was nearly over. After record-setting winter precipitation and subsequent record-setting runoff last summer, Mono Lake had risen 4.2 feet by November 2017.
That difference in lake level is clearly visible in these satellite photos from the folks at Planet, most notably on the landbridge near Negit Island and the white “bathtub ring” around the lake’s shore. After tracking and celebrating Mono Lake’s rise from up close last year, it’s fun to see it in a big-picture view! … more »
We are excited to announce the Mono Lake Committee’s seventh annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles. This year we will be showing films in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 8 and Sierra Madre on Saturday, March 10.
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival features a selection of inspiring films about environmental conservation, outdoor adventure, and natural wonders and serves as a great way to meet with Mono Lake Committee staff and members at the southern end of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. All proceeds from the event go toward the Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs, which bring youth from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin for a week of outdoor experiences and learning about the source of their water.
Stay tuned for film program updates and information about ticket sales. We hope to see you there!
This essay, written by Vern Gersh, appears in the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar.
“Never give up for that is the time and place that the tide will turn.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe
Forty years ago, in the Eastern Sierra, the tide was running. Like all tides it ran in one direction. Its flow must have seemed inexorable as the waters of life were sucked away.
Shakespeare referred to living in “the tide of times.” The tide that has been running strongest in my life is the stream of change. When I was born in 1955 there were half as many humans on the planet. Nothing human-made orbited the earth. There were fewer than 600 pizza parlors in the entire United States. The majority of Americans shared their phone line with a neighbor. You would dial that phone and were tethered to it with a cord. There was one Mexican restaurant in the city of half a million Americans where I was born.
Forty years ago, when the Mono Lake Committee was born … more »
As I look back on 2017, I see many reasons to celebrate Mono Lake’s recovery and the programs of the Mono Lake Committee, which you make possible. It was a truly remarkable year—complete with a record winter and Mono Lake rising over four feet!
From protecting the California Gull colony by putting up a temporary fence on the landbridge, to monitoring the streams during the biggest water year on record, to supporting aerial Eared Grebe surveys, to introducing thousands of students and visitors to Mono Lake and the inspiring lessons it offers, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Even as we celebrate progress made, new management challenges and protection issues are constantly arising. The Committee works year-round to protect and restore Mono Lake, its tributary streams, and your favorite places in the Mono Basin, and we need your support to keep going strong in the year ahead. We hope you will consider making a year-end donation to help these ongoing efforts.
Making a donation is quick and easy—click the button below or give us a call at (760) 647-6595. Thank you!