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The Mono-logue

Keeping an eye on Mono Lake’s California Gulls

February 27th, 2016 by Geoff, Executive Director
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As the winter of 2015–16 unfolds in the Mono Basin, those of us lucky enough to live here are enjoying tracking every storm and taking the measure of El Niño’s effects. After years of drought, many Mono Lake issues are critically affected by the size of this winter’s snowpack.

But we can’t wait until the final snowflake has fallen to plan for 2016. This is especially true for the protection of the California Gulls that nest on Negit Island and surrounding islets, because the magnitude of the winter will directly determine how safe the nesting ground is this year.

Newsletter-WiSp-gull-protection-2015-08-30-1633---MFDC1273

Nesting gulls were safe from coyotes in 2015 but Committee wildlife camera observations confirmed that coyotes are active in the landbridge area. Photo from a Mono Lake Committee wildlife camera.

California’s four-year drought has lowered Mono Lake more than five feet, causing the re-emergence of a substantial portion of the landbridge that connected the north shore to the gull nesting grounds in … more »

A wetter but still below-average winter in the Mono Basin

February 25th, 2016 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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The strong 2015–2016 El Niño winter is likely to turn out below-average in the Mono Basin. The 90% of average February 1st snowpack, and an 80% of average preliminary runoff forecast based on that snowpack, were followed by a dry February. In the next week, March 1st snow surveys will reveal how bad things are. A wet March might be able to catch things back up to average, but it would take a very wet spring to shift the snowpack and snowmelt runoff above average at this point. From 1980–2010, the lowest March snowpack that resulted in above-average runoff was 110%. … more »

Volunteer for Mono Lake this year

February 24th, 2016 by Jessica, Office Director
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The Mono Lake Volunteer program had a great 2015 season, with over 60 volunteers, the cooperation of a number of Mono Basin partners, and a generous grant from CalParks, all helping to make this long-standing program a successful one.

The 2015 volunteers celebrate the end of a successful season. Photo courtesy of Janet Carle.

The 2015 volunteers celebrate the end of a successful season. Photo courtesy of Janet Carle.

After such a great year, we are getting ready for the 2016 volunteer season! We are now recruiting volunteers for this … more »

Meh Niño

February 22nd, 2016 by Bartshé, Education Director
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After a nearly four-year absence, winter has made an appearance in the Mono Basin, but it has not met expectations of a very strong, “Godzilla” El Niño.

Photo by Andrew Youssef.

The “Godzilla” El Niño has yet to impress at Mono Lake. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

In Lee Vining we have enjoyed the full spectrum of winter weather: freezing fog, snow, rain, and cold temperatures. We have experienced something much closer to a normal winter, and after four years of well-below-normal winters, we are easily impressed by even a little bit of snow. While the psychological bar is very low, the true measure of winter for Mono Lake is in the water content of the Sierra snowpack and the eventual runoff—these numbers … more »

Field Seminar registration opens March 1 for non-members

February 20th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The complete list of all the Mono Lake Committee’s 2016 Field Seminars is online here, and registration opens for those who are not Mono Lake Committee members at 9:00am on Tuesday, March 1st.

Wander through stunning Mono Basin aspen groves in search of arborglyphs etched on tree trunks. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

This year’s slate of 21 field seminars spans many topics: basketry, watercolors, woodpeckers, moonlight photography, geology, mining history, Basque sheepherders, kayaking, and more. … more »

Consider monthly membership with the Mono Lake Committee

February 18th, 2016 by Terry, Membership Assistant
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GOL-header-image-medium-blue

Like many of you, I’ve been a member of the Mono Lake Committee for years. The importance of the work the Committee does and the efficiency and effectiveness of how they use my donations have kept me on board through tough times as well as times of abundance.

But the paperwork associated with membership quickly became a hassle for me. I could never keep track of when my membership came due, had I sent my check last month, when does my membership expire? I started to realize that when I got that paper mail I was getting annoyed.

Then I discovered the monthly giving program: Guardians of the Lake. … more »

2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, LA: Do you have your tickets yet?

February 15th, 2016 by Robbie, Project Specialist
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https://www.instagram.com/jedidiahjenkins/

The Thousand Year Journey is showing in the 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of @jedidiahjenkins.

The routine is the enemy of time; it makes it fly by.”
—Jedidiah Jenkins, The Thousand Year Journey

Step out of the routine and join us for the 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles March 10 & 12. You will be transported around the world and everywhere you look will bring a new and different perspective. We will take you skiing, skateboarding, biking, kayaking, surfing, slacklining, and freerunning, to wild places that otherwise go undiscovered. Each film is … more »

Exploring the Mono Basin on skis

February 9th, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager, and Robbie, Project Specialist, lead the way through the snow. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

The Mono Basin is a favorite destination for visitors year-round. In the spring, the canyons are known for gorgeous wildflower displays—columbine, penstemon, and paintbrush abound—and stunning waterfalls. Summer provides limitless hiking opportunities, and an intrepid hiker can make the trek all the way to the crest of the Sierra once the snow has cleared. In the fall, aspen trees turn a dazzling gold and a cool wind reminds you of the snowy season to come.

This time of year, many roads are closed and completely snow covered, allowing for ample skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

This time of year, many roads are closed and completely snow covered, allowing for ample skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

This winter, Lily, Robbie, and I have been experiencing the winter magic of the Mono Basin … more »

Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles: Tickets on sale!

February 4th, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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2015-03-05 Wild & Scenic Film Festival Los Angeles AD_3284 resize

This year marks the Committee’s fifth year hosting a Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Tickets to the Mono Lake Committee’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles are now available! Simply visit the Mono Lake Committee online store to purchase yours today. We are thrilled to be continuing our event at the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo on Thursday, March 10 at 7:00pm, which will kick off with a Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ performance (not to be missed). We are also expanding the festival to the Sierra Madre City Hall Council Chambers on Saturday, March 12, for a special children’s program at 2:00pm and our full lineup at 7:00pm.

This year’s festival features 14 short films on everything from skiing to cycling, bighorn sheep to dogs, and slacklining to skateboarding, all through beautiful, poignant, and fun … more »

Save the date: Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles, March 10 & 12, 2016

January 27th, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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We are excited to announce the Mono Lake Committee’s fifth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles this spring. The festival features inspiring films on outdoor adventure, environmental activism, natural wonders, and more. This year we are expanding the festival to a second date and venue!

WSFF 2016

All proceeds from the event go toward the Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs, which bring youth from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin to learn about where their water comes from and allows them to experience this magical place.

We hope you plan to join us this year to see these inspiring films and support outdoor education programs at Mono Lake! We look forward to reconnecting with Committee members and friends of the Los Angeles area who help make our work here possible and we’ll continue to post festival updates here on the Mono-logue. Stay tuned for information about tickets, which will be on sale soon!

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