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Good news for California’s State Parks!

September 25th, 2009 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Thousands of people visit the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve each year. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Thousands of people visit the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve each year. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

In breaking news from Sacramento, Governor Schwarzenegger announced a plan today that would keep all state parks open, instead of the 100-park closure that seemed likely last week. This is great news for the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Bodie State Historic Park!

We’ll keep you updated on the details that are surely forthcoming, but you can read the LA Times article and the Sacramento Bee article in the meantime. And this weekend, visit your favorite state park in celebration!State Park Closure Action Alert Center

Governor promises fewer state park closures

September 23rd, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterGovernor Schwarzenegger is now promising that far fewer than 100 state parks will be closed.

While not a guarantee for the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve or Bodie State Historical Park, park supporters are now breathing a little easier.

Representatives for the Governor stepped away from the closure plan yesterday after … more »

Parks closure list: not this week

September 17th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterThe release of the list of 100 state parks slated for closure, originally scheduled for this week, has been delayed. It’s not much of a surprise to learn that assembling the list is no easy task!

In the news—San Francisco Chronicle: More time needed to decide which parks to close

Surprises revealed from below Ellery Lake

September 16th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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If you’re in the Mono Lake area in the next few days, it’s worth your time to make a visit to Ellery Lake, up on Tioga Pass. The lake has been drawn down to a very low level because Southern California Edison is conducting maintenance on the hydropower intake structure. The result? Some lakebed surprises. … more »

Will Mono Lake be closed?

September 16th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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Dawn at the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, September 15, with State Parks trail construction equipment.

Dawn at the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, September 15, with State Parks trail construction equipment.

Day by day we await the list of state park closures developed in response to severe budget cuts and forecast to contain 100 parks. Will Mono Lake be on the list?

Yet the natural rhythms of Mono Lake continue. The sun rises, crisp fall weather returns, the phalaropes skim the lake’s surface, plentiful Eared Grebes dine on brine shrimp.

The State Park trail crew continues to make progress on the new public Mono Lake trail at Old Marina, a remarkable rehabilitation that is already popular with visitors. The trail and boardwalk are wheelchair accessible and will be among the longest such trails int he State Park system.

The rebuilt Gaines Boardwalk, part of the State Reserve, leads toward Mono Lake at sunrise. Photos by Geoff McQuilkin.

The rebuilt Gaines Boardwalk, part of the State Reserve, leads toward Mono Lake at sunrise. Photos by Geoff McQuilkin.

Mono Lake is more popular than ever with both birds and people. Twice the size of San Francisco, unmatched in the state in ecological productivity, a foundation of the tourism economy of Lee Vining, designated by the legislature 27 years ago as a unique site worthy of state park protection, doesn’t closing the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve seem just a tad shortsighted?

Closing parks lacks vision

September 14th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterWe’re still awaiting the park closure list scheduled for release this week. Today, the Mercury News is running an article that looks at the big picture of closing parks and the lack of vision it represents for California.

MercuryNews.com: Schwarzenegger’s green legacy at risk

Schwarzenegger’s green legacy at riskSchwarzenegger’s green legacy at risk

September in the Mono Basin – fall is on its way!

September 11th, 2009 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The September Natural History Bulletin---look for it around Lee Vining!

The September Natural History Bulletin.

This Mono-logue post comes to you from Mono Lake Intern Claire Skinner, who has been working with Justin Hite this summer to produce the Natural History Bulletin:

If you’re planning a trip to the Mono Basin this September, be sure to check out this month’s Natural History Bulletin. Brought to you by Justin Hite, the Mono Basin Resource Steward, these colorful, photo-filled bulletins highlight the natural wonders unfolding right now in the Mono Basin. Look for them … more »

Los Angeles’ Generation Power realizes the importance of their water conservation work at Mono Lake

September 9th, 2009 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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OE Instructor Hillary Behr explains tufa formation to a group of Los Angeles Infrastructure Academy students.

OE Instructor Hillary Behr explains tufa formation to a group of Los Angeles Infrastructure Academy students.

This update comes to the Mono-logue from Hillary Behr, one of the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Experiences Instructors:

The 2009 Outdoor Experiences season has been going strong all summer! It is the first season here for both me and my co-worker Logan Parsons and we are finding the program very fun and rewarding. I drove out to the Mono Basin from New Hampshire this spring and am still trying to get used to the stunning Sierra and vast open spaces of the west. As I get to know this place, it keeps opening up to reveal more and more beauty and mystery.

Two groups in particular have really blown us away as far as the maturity and attitudes of the students. Both were part of a program called Generation Power. All the students attended the Infrastructure Academy, a school sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) that prepares students for jobs in city infrastructure.

Generation Power students are chosen from their class to work for DWP performing water audits in Los Angeles Unified School District. Since they are already involved … more »

State Park closures: round two on the way

September 4th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterSupporters of Mono Lake and Bodie know the park closure saga we went through earlier this year as the California budget negotiations threatened almost all state parks with closure. (You can read more in our action alert center).

Well, get ready for a second round. The budget for … more »

Editorial: State Parks cuts save 0.05% of budget shortfall

September 3rd, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterThe Sacramento Bee points out the many problems,  and a few solutions, to the State Parks budget woes:

For starters, the park closures would save only $14 million, or one-twentieth of 1 percent of the $26 billion shortfall the entire budget plan sought to solve. For that relatively tiny amount of money, the state is going to go through, and cause, a tremendous amount of heartache.

Full editorial: Sacramento Bee  State parks are economic engine

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