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Redstart and Lewis’s Woodpecker on Rush

June 18th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef
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Date of sighting: 18 June

A fair chance this was a different redstart, as I saw it 1-2 miles upstream.  It was only a quick look and I did not get to see if it had a black spot like on the one I found yesterday.  A Lewis’s Woodpecker sallied high in the Black Cottonwoods, profiting from some sort of Arthropod hatch.

Special Delivery: Twenty-one pounds of support for State Parks

June 18th, 2009 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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State Park Closure Action Alert Center

This post was written by Morgan, 2009 Canoe Coordinator.

As a returning Intern, and this year’s Canoe Coordinator for the Mono Lake Committee, I look forward to doing something new every day to help protect and restore this incredible place.  This past Monday was a typical example of the unexpected diversity of tasks I can expect to do every day I come to work. … more »

American Redstart et al. on Rush

June 17th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef
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Date of sighting: 17 June 2009

My first day in the field on lovely Rush Creek. I found a second-year male American Redstart gleaning silently in the yellow willows. He had a splotch of black on his chest like a geek with a leaky pen. A nesting pair of Warbling Vireos (rarer on Rush than Willow Flycatchers) chased him away. Ironically, this is the third AMRE I have found within a 100m radius section of Rush.

Once, a male AMRE sang there for around two weeks or something obscene like that.

Most intriguing were two counter-singing Swainson’s Thrushes – I have never heard a SWTH sing on Rush, let alone counter-singing. The two each gave their full range of calls, lots of song, the high singular note, and the low singular note that sounds almost like a ground squirrel.

Willow Flycatchers were building nests today – the ninth straight season that Willow Flycatchers have nested on Rush Creek. One pair has been here since 2003 (Nellie and Phil). The second nest’s male (Yossarian) has been here since 2005. I have not re-sighted that nest’s female yet.

Also, a Spotted Towhee nest and two Yellow Warbler nests. None parasitized by cowbirds so far.

Mono Lake Committee Scholarships for graduation season

June 17th, 2009 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee is excited and proud to announce the winners of the 2009 Mono Lake Committee Scholarships! Justin Frederick Diem of the Eastern Sierra Academy, Erika Flores of Lee Vining High School, and Juan Carlos Pina of the Eastern Sierra Academy wrote moving essays that won them each $1,000 to help with their pursuit of higher education.

Justin answered the question: “How has Mono Lake or the Mono Basin influenced your life and your choice to go to college?” … more »

The new State Park Access Pass funding proposal: what is it?

June 16th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterYesterday the Legislature’s Budget Conference Committee voted to eliminate general budget funding for State Parks and replace it with a new funding source. Which leads to the natural question, how would this new funding work?

The funding concept, variously dubbed the State Park Access Pass or Vehicle Park Pass, is based on legislation proposed last year by then-Assemblymember John Laird (the bill did not pass the Senate). Here are some details … more »

Parks funding slashed, replacement source on the table

June 15th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterIn a high stakes two-part move today, the state legislature’s Budget Conference Committee voted to take two steps on funding for the State Park system.

First, disaster! The Budget Committee concurred with the Governor and cut all general funding for California State Parks. As outlined in the Governor’s proposal, this would close 80% of the system, but …

Second, recovery–maybe. The Budget Committee approved, on a divided vote, enactment of a replacement funding source: direct funding from … more »

~~~ ACTION ALERT ~~~ Mono Lake, Bodie State Parks proposed for closure

June 15th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterMono Lake, Bodie–and indeed 80% of all State Parks–are threatened with closure in the current California budget crisis.

This dramatic and unnecessary action would undermine Mono Lake’s protection, shutter Bodie, damage the tourism-based economy of Mono County, and reduce state revenues.

A replacement source of funding that would keep the State Park system operating is now under negotiation. Your letter of support for the State Park system will make a difference!

Sunset with California Gulls

June 14th, 2009 by Arya, Communications Director
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I love the fact that even after 12 years of living at Mono Lake I still see new and amazing things. This time it was a sunset from the northwest corner of the lake. Light was beaming down out of Lundy Canyon, out across the lake, and into the millions of shades of blue of the stormy … more »

Budget Committee debates State Parks future, leaves question open

June 11th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterDiscussion and debate occurred this afternoon in Sacramento on the budget proposal to close 80% of California’s State Parks. Several ideas were explored, including linking vehicle license fee revenue to parks operation.

Further information was requested by the Budget Conference Committee. As a result, the matter, and the future of the parks, remains open. We’ll post additional details when they are available.

New CSU study illuminates economic benefits of State Parks

June 10th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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State Park Closure Action Alert CenterA study just released by California State University, Sacramento shows that State Park visitors spend about $4.32 billion annually during their park visits. Out-of-state visitors account for about 12% of total park visits (no doubt higher in Mono County) and spend … more »

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