May 22nd, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
Date of sighting: May 22
Both birds have been hanging out in the back yard of the El Mono all day today. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is brightly colored male. The Gray-headed Junco showed up yesterday afternoon. The bird seems as if it might be an integrade between the Red-backed race and the Gray-headed race. The upper mandible is darker on top, but depending on the light is sometimes uniformly light-colored. The bird rarely remains still and we can’t get a certain look at it’s bill. My wife spotted both birds.
May 21st, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
The lower Tioga Road gate on Highway 120, four miles from Highway 395, is open and the road is accessible as far as the Yosemite National Park entrance 12 miles up the road. As of Friday evening, Caltrans didn’t even have its Website updated yet—it was last updated for this highway on May 13th. See it here on monolake.org first!
The snow at the pass is very firm, and averages 5-10 feet deep. Watch for rocks on the road. It has newly painted lines as far as Blue Slide.
The road is still closed within the park, however efforts are being made to open it by Memorial Day weekend.
May 18th, 2010 by Geoff, Executive Director
The Chronicle has an article on state parks following the Governor’s mid-May budget revision.
Don’t miss our posting in The Mono-logue as well.
San Francisco Chronicle: Budget proposal gives state parks hope
May 18th, 2010 by Geoff, Executive Director
Governor Schwarzenegger has released his mid-May revised budget proposal. Somewhat unexpectedly, it included some funding for the State Park system. Previously the Governor had proposed zeroing out the budget for parks and providing funding through offshore oil lease revenues. However, he no longer supports such drilling.
The proposal provides funding at levels similar to 2008–2009, raising hopes that park closures and major cutbacks to parks are not in the cards for the year ahead. That would be good for parks and for California since state park visitation is a major tourism activity that produces net revenue for the state.
But … more »
May 14th, 2010 by Geoff, Executive Director
Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to release his state budget proposal for 2010-2011 later today. The budget is expected to extensively cut many state programs in light of a $20 billion deficit.
We’re watching to see what the funding proposal is for the Department of Parks and Recreation, with a specific interest in the state parks at Mono Lake and Bodie. The state park system is a net revenue generator for the state of California but last year the governor proposed closing the large majority of the system.
May 13th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
This is the first big update that we’ve had a chance to do since October 2008. We’ve got quite a backlog of updates to get through, and in this update we’ve gone back as far as October 2009. One major change since our last update is that the internet has so many more resources on it now. We used to be able to keep a pretty good handle on what Mono Basin resources were out there on the internet, but now every time we do a Google search we find new and valuable sources of information that we did not know about. This explosion of Mono Basin content means that … more »
May 12th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Rumors (and at least one Yosemite blogger) are saying that the Tioga Road is open from the east to the top. Not true.
As of Tuesday May 11th, 2010 at noon, the lower gate is still closed. In addition, Mono County crews are starting to plow into the park today, Wednesday May 12th. There are less than 10 miles of snow-covered road left to clear since the NPS crews have reached pothole dome. Once clear, the road doesn’t open immediately due to additional maintenance and avalanche danger.
Tuesday May 11, 2010 at noon. Contrary to rumors triggered by a blogger with incorrect information, the lower gate is still closed. Photo by Greg Reis.
May 6th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
The Final Synthesis Report was released this week! You can read it below. You can also download the 58 MB appendices, which contain the Stream Scientists’ responses to comments, on the State Water Board’s Website. You can find the draft reports and additional information and links in our Streamflow Center. … more »
May 2nd, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
Date of sighting: 5/1/10
A hooded merganser in a pond next to Mono Lake! Beautiful bird, and I even watched it swimming underwater for a bit. Several White-faced Ibis over the weekend, along with ducks, warblers, gulls, coots, a couple of Soras, a Snowy and a Great Egret, a Great Horned Owl, Kestrels, a Marsh Hawk, flycatchers, gnatcatchers, dowitchers, phalaropes, grebes, sandpipers, blackbirds, sparrows, and more. A very birdy weekend!
May 2nd, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Our sunny and warm weekends have been interspersed with cold, windy, and showery weekdays—but the outlook is for more sun and less snow. April was the third-wettest since 1950 for Lee Vining/Mono Lake (after 1982 and 2006), with 334% of average April precipitation.
The Lee Vining Airport will be closed from Tuesday until mid-July for re-paving. The Bodie Road (Hwy 270) is open to within 1.5 miles of the State Historic Park—lots of folks are walking the last 1.5 miles to enjoy … more »