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Tioga Pass rumors

April 16th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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At this point, with the National Park Service beginning plowing only yesterday, there is no way anyone can know what the opening date will be this spring. But we are getting lots of calls and emails, so we figured it was worth posting what we do know.

The average opening date is at the end of May, and this April’s snowpack water content is slightly above average at 112% at Tioga Pass, 96% in Dana Meadows, 102% in Tuolumne Meadows, 92% at Tenaya Lake, and 134% at Gin Flat. Plowing typically begins … more »

Mono Cone: A sign of spring

April 16th, 2010 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Here in Lee Vining we wait for calling California Gulls, melting snows, and warming temperatures to tell us that spring has arrived each year. But there are other signs of spring as well, and among the most eagerly-awaited is opening day at the Mono Cone!

Arya, Lisa, Greg, and Erika bask in the warm sprintime sun after a big Mono Cone meal! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Arya, Lisa, Greg, and Erika bask in the warm sprintime sun after a big Mono Cone meal! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is this weekend!

April 15th, 2010 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Yellow-headed Blackbird. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Yellow-headed Blackbird. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Calling all birders, explorers, naturalists, artists, and lovers of Mono Lake … registration for the ninth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is now open!

The Chautauqua weekend (June 18–20) is jam-packed full of field trips, workshops, and presentations that will take you all over the Mono Basin and beyond. So check the weekend’s schedule, pick out your favorite programs, and sign up as soon as you can!

If you don’t check-in you may lose your spot. The check-in area will be located at the Lee Vining Community Center Friday and Saturday beginning at 6:00 AM. On Thursday, June 17 you will be able to check in at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center and Bookstore from 3:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

Walk-in registration will be offered concurrently with check-in throughout the event.

Mono Lake Committee comments on stream report

April 13th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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The Mono Lake Committee submitted the 51-pages of comments below on March 30th to the State Water Resources Control board. The comments are regarding the draft “Synthesis Report” which was released … more »

Revised winter flow recommendations for Rush Creek

April 13th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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The draft “Synthesis Report” included winter flow recommendations for Rush Creek that had not been adjusted for gains and losses below the release point (the MGORD- Mono Gate One Return Ditch). The Stream Scientists today released the revised … more »

Mono Basin ready for fishing opener: April 24, 2010

April 12th, 2010 by Geoff, Executive Director
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Fishing opener April 24, is a busy time for Lee Vining and the region, but this year there’s quite a bit of local concern about whether streams and lakes will be stocked with fish. The Department of Fish & Game (DFG) has announced a new pre-stocking evaluation process that is causing quite a bit of consternation because it is holding up stocking efforts. The process requires reviewing each water for conflicts between trout and resident sensitive species.

Fishing opener is April 24 and Mono Basin streams are being stocked. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Fishing opener is April 24 and Mono Basin streams are being stocked. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Here in the Mono Basin, most routinely-stocked lakes and streams have already been cleared to be stocked, including Rush, Lee Vining, and Mill creeks; Lundy Lake; Grant Lake, and … more »

Two dozen bluebirds

April 1st, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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Date of sighting: 3/28/10

On Sunday there were two dozen feathered epiphanies (see Gaines, 1988 for one of the most beautiful passages about a bird ever written) on the south shore between Navy Beach and Castle Tufa.

Yesterday at the end of Lee Vining Creek there were two meadowlarks, a Black Phoebe, a killdeer, and more.

On the lake there are lots of Ruddy Ducks and Eared Grebes. And the occasional Canada Goose at its soggy edges.

Mono Basin streamflow report online

March 28th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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The Committee’s policy team is pretty much working around the clock to compile comments on the draft synthesis report. If you’re curious to see what the report entails you can download the PDF report (4.8 MB) and appendices (70.4 MB), or read the report below. You can also visit the State Water Board’s website for more background information. The Mono Lake Committee has been reviewing the documents and will be submitting our comments to the State Water Board on Tuesday.

What is the synthesis report? Check out Geoff’s recent post for some background information on this important Mono Lake milestone. And be sure to visit the Streamflow Center for updates. … more »

Mono Lake Committee honored on World Water Day

March 28th, 2010 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Metropolitan Water District World Water Day certificate of appreciation awardees.

The Metropolitan Water District World Water Day certificate of appreciation awardees.

In celebration of World Water Day, the Metropolitan Water District and the Friends of the United Nations partnered to honor non-profit environmental groups and relief organizations for their leadership and work on providing clean and safe drinking water around the world. The Mono Lake Committee was acknowledged, along with an impressive list of organizations, at a ceremony at the MWD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. … more »

National Geographic’s water issue: a great read

March 28th, 2010 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Shasta Lake, shrunk to 60 percent of its long-term level by three years of drought. Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

Shasta Lake, shrunk to 60 percent of its long-term level by three years of drought. Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

Today I sat down to my lunch with the April 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine in front of me, fresh from my mailbox. This month’s magazine is devoted to water—it’s beauty, life-sustaining power, spiritual force, and most importantly, its shortages. If you don’t already subscribe, find a copy at your nearest bookstore or browse the issue online. It’s well worth the read.

National Geographic takes a global approach to water in this issue, focusing on shrinking Himalayan glaciers, East African drought, a 20-acre swimming pool in Chile, and California’s heavily plumbed and piped … more »

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