May 15th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive DirectorcloseAuthor: Geoff, Executive DirectorName: Geoffrey McQuilkin Title: Executive Director About: Geoff's goals for the Committee are: ensuring Mono Lake's continuing protection, restoring Mono Lake's tributary streams, developing a permanent education program, and ensuring that the strong tradition of scientific research at Mono Lake continues. A graduate of Harvard in the history of science, Geoff has worked for the Committee since 1992 and was an intern and volunteer before that. He's happy to live close to the lake with his wife Sarah and their daughters Caelen, Ellery, and Cassia.See All Posts by Geoffrey (149) Contact Geoffrey
The operator of one of Mono Lake’s natural history boat tours recently decided to withdraw from his concession agreement with California State Parks. This means that the lake will be without a motorized wildlife tour opportunity this summer. Canoeing and kayaking tour programs, however, remain in operation.
The operator, known as Mono Lake Boat Tours, has been offering seasonal tours since 2003. The program has typically involved a two-hour-long tour focused on wildlife and natural history and participants have reported the tours are informative and enjoyable.
Mono Lake is a part of the California State Park system, and all commercial ventures on the lake operate under state regulations that protect the lake’s many unique values including tufa, nesting and migratory birds, and water quality. Canoe and kayak programs run by the Mono Lake Committee and Caldera Kayaks, for example, both operate under concession agreements that include … more »
May 11th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive DirectorcloseAuthor: Geoff, Executive DirectorName: Geoffrey McQuilkin Title: Executive Director About: Geoff's goals for the Committee are: ensuring Mono Lake's continuing protection, restoring Mono Lake's tributary streams, developing a permanent education program, and ensuring that the strong tradition of scientific research at Mono Lake continues. A graduate of Harvard in the history of science, Geoff has worked for the Committee since 1992 and was an intern and volunteer before that. He's happy to live close to the lake with his wife Sarah and their daughters Caelen, Ellery, and Cassia.See All Posts by Geoffrey (149) Contact Geoffrey
National Public Radio ran a story this morning titled “Drought, Politics Trouble Farmers In California“. The water situation in the San Francisco Bay Delta and Central Valley is complicated enough for many a report, but what had Mono Lake veterans talking was the interview quote from Tom Birmingham, current Executive Director of the Westlands Water District and previously the lead attorney fighting against Mono Lake’s protection.
Now we get along fine with Tom but we have to assume he was talking about us when … more »
May 6th, 2009 by Gary, Canoe Tour SupervisorcloseAuthor: Gary, Canoe Tour SupervisorName: Gary Nelson Title: Canoe Tour Supervisor About: The original Canoe Stud, Gary has been involved in the Mono Lake Committee's canoe program since its inception in 1998. When he's not out paddling the waters of Mono, he keeps an eye on the restoration progress of Walker Lake in Nevada and frequents the Happy Buddha restaurant in Hawthorne.See All Posts by Gary (1) Contact Gary
“But if ever you come beyond the borders as far as the town that lies in a hill dimple at the foot of Kearsarge, never leave it until you have knocked at the door of the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street, and there you shall have such news of the land, of its trails and what is astir in them, as one lover of it can give to another…”
–Mary Austin The Land of Little Rain
If only the door of Mary Austins’ home could have served as a portal to the past … more »
At County Park this morning, there seemed to be at least two warblers in every willow I scanned with my binoculars. I counted upwards of ten Wilson’s Warblers, the majority of which were males, although I did see a few females. I heard and found two Orange-crowned Warblers (my personal favorites). The park teemed with Yellow-rumped warblers, the males in their dark black and bright yellow breeding plumage, the females a more modest brownish gray. I sat and watched one Yellow Warbler hop daintily from willow to willow down by the boardwalk for a few minutes. Oh, warblers, you make my heart sing.
Other interesting sightings in the Park:
Gray Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, four or five Bullock’s Orioles, Blue-winged Teal, Least Sandpiper, and I saw and heard for the first time the display of the Wilson’s Snipe. I saw one standing high atop a tufa tower, calling a loud, repeated TIKa-TIKa-TIKa and then two or more dove from the air and I heard the “winnowing” sound that is produced by their outer tail feathers vibrating during the dive. It was quite a sight and sound combination to behold.
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April 29th, 2009 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Harp Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (186) Contact Arya
Morning started with tea and the South African specialty, rusks—biscotti-like biscuits—before a full morning meeting at the Wildlands Conservation Trust office. As fellow founding members of the Living Lakes Network, the Mono Lake Committee and Wildlands have been in touch for the past 11 years, but have never had a chance to sit down and make use of the connection in quite the way we did on this morning.
Meeting with Simone Dale, Communications Manager at the Wildlands Conservation Trust.
We talked about how our organizations operate, our goals, guiding principles, programs, fundraising, daily operations, and the challenges we face. It was a thoroughly invigorating meeting—a rare and valuable chance to learn from another non-profit and to share some of our Mono Lake experience.
Full of new ideas and ways of thinking about things, we started on our journey to see St. Lucia, the surrounding area, and some specific project sites in the vicinity. With absolutely no help from our Portuguese-speaking GPS unit, but lots of good information from our guide Charmaine, we traveled up the coast to where St. Lucia meets the Indian Ocean.
One observation that would become critical … more »
Posted in News, Staff Musings | Comments Off on South Africa: Winterskloof to St. Lucia