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Happy winter solstice from Mono Lake

December 21st, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator

As the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt back toward the sun, we welcome more light, longer days, and a new season. Everything is beginning to slow down—streams that were raging with record flows this year are beginning to freeze, the aspens have lost their leaves and gone dormant, the thousands of birds that used the Mono Basin to breed or stage their migration have mostly left for warmer climes, and visitation to the Information Center & Bookstore has slowed with the closing of Tioga Pass last month.

The banks of Lee Vining Creek are just beginning to freeze. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Although things have slowed, the Mono Basin never ceases to amaze. We’ve already awoken to several days of poconip ice fog … more »

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore holiday hours

December 19th, 2017 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

The holidays are here, and we hope you’ll stop in to explore our shop and ask us all of your Mono Lake questions as you travel along Highway 395. Please keep in mind that the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Christmas Day: Monday, December 25 and New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1 so that our staff can enjoy the holidays with their families and friends.

Photo from a few winters ago—we’re hoping for a snowy winter here at the Mono Lake Committee! Stop by and see us on your travels. Photo by Elin Ljung.

We hope to see you during your winter journeys to the Mono Basin. Happy holidays!

Lee Vining weather almanac: A new water year

December 18th, 2017 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

A new water year began on October 1, and it follows the record water year of 2017 when 27.7″ of precipitation fell in Lee Vining. Given the increasing variability of California precipitation, a repeat performance of a wet year is unlikely. October 2017 concluded with 0.08″ of rain, well below the 0.83-inch 30-year average. Average temperatures ran very close to average for daily highs with overnight lows falling slightly below average.

Warm November view from Mono Lake.

Average low temperatures in November 2017 stayed above freezing for the first time on record. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

November left a more notable wake in the Lee Vining weather annals. Temperatures soared well above average and the month concluded as the second-warmest November overall, a small 0.8°F difference behind November 1995. The real measure of warmth was in terms of increasing overnight low temperatures. Average low temperatures in November eclipsed the 30-year record by over 2°F and averaged above freezing (34°F) for the first time. … more »

Mono Lake Committee reaches GuideStar Platinum

December 17th, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator

Last week, the Mono Lake Committee earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of non-profit information.

To reach the Platinum level, the Committee reported in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward our mission to protect and restore the Mono Basin and educate the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use. You can check out the Mono Lake Committee’s complete GuideStar profile here.

Some of the highlights you’ll see … more »

It’s Christmas Bird Count week!

December 14th, 2017 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Whether you are a seasoned birder or new to the delightful joy of watching birds, you can help gather data for the Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest citizen science data sets in the world! Every December and January, thousands of bird enthusiasts across the world count individual birds in specific areas to get a general idea of the population shifts throughout the years.

An Audubon’s Warbler in winter plumage. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

The three local counts are coming up this weekend and next week:

Bishop CBC: Saturday, December 16
Contact Chris Howard by email.

Mammoth Lakes CBC: Sunday, December 17
Contact Santiago Escruceria by email.

Mono Lake CBC: Tuesday, December 19
Contact Kristie Nelson by email.

Do you want to volunteer where you live? The National Audubon Society has a stellar map to show you where all the count circles are and who to contact. If you’re not great at bird identification, you can help by taking notes and keeping track of numbers. You will be assigned to an experienced birder so you can learn a lot along the way.

The weather is looking cold and dry, so the counts will be accessible by hiking rather than snowshoes or cross country skis like in years past. Happy birding!

The Season Seldom Seen: Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin

December 12th, 2017 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Have you ever wondered where all the tiny chipmunks that skitter up the lodgepole pines all summer go when the landscape is covered with several feet of snow? Or how they could possibly survive the cold temperatures and lack of food for months on end? What about how plants bounce back after being buried in snow? This winter we are excited to offer a new Field Seminar focusing on these questions and more!

A view of Mono Lake and the White Mountains from Lundy Canyon in January 2017. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The Season Seldom Seen: Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin will investigate the connections plants and animals have with their winter environments in addition to what factors cause winter in the first place. Winter ecology reveals a new side of animal and plant life that is invisible until … more »

Today only: Free 2018 Mono Lake Calendar with $50 purchase

December 8th, 2017 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

Today only when you shop our online store for unique holiday gifts, get a free 2018 Mono Lake calendar with any purchase over $50—no promo code is necessary.

Your free calendar won’t appear on your online receipt, but don’t worry, it will be added to your order here at the office. As always, 100% of the proceeds from your order will benefit the Mono Lake Committee, and go towards protection, restoration, and education programs at Mono Lake.

Not finding what you’re looking for in our store? Your Amazon purchases can still benefit the Mono Lake Committee. Make sure to follow this link to direct 5% of your purchase towards protecting and restoring the Mono Basin.

Help us reach our fundraising goals when you shop on Amazon

December 6th, 2017 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

The holidays are nearly here, and many of us are trying to choose the perfect gifts for our friends and family. While the Mono Lake Committee online store and fall catalog (located in the fall Newsletter) offer many great gift options that support Mono Lake, we may not have something for everyone on your list. But you can still help Mono Lake while shopping on Amazon! It’s super easy to make sure your online shopping gives back to the Mono Lake Committee—all you have to do is follow this link when you shop.

For every purchase made on Amazon using this link, 5% is donated to the Mono Lake Committee through the Amazon Associates program, and that 5% really adds up. (Yes, it’s really 5%—not 0.5% like most non-profits get!) Last year you donated a record-breaking $4,174 through Amazon using this link, and we’re hoping to make 2017 another chart-topping year.

So far we’ve raised $3,389 dollars through Amazon, and we have a goal of reaching $5,000 before 2017 concludes—so we’re going to need your help. Next time you take to the web to do some shopping over the holidays, or any time of year, be sure to follow this link so that your purchases will benefit Mono Lake.

Thanks for all of your support of Mono Lake. Happy shopping and happy holidays!

Tioga Pass closed for the season

November 30th, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator

Tioga Pass (Highway 120 through Yosemite National Park) is now closed for the season, due to hazardous driving conditions and snow accumulation at higher elevations. The road will remain closed throughout the winter months until weather conditions permit reopening in the spring. Tioga Pass typically reopens sometime in May or June.

Tioga Pass (Highway 120 through Yosemite) is now closed for the season. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Always check current road conditions and weather before making a trip to the Eastern Sierra, and give us a call for the most current information: (760) 647-6595.

#GivingTuesday at Mono Lake: #GivefortheGrebes

November 28th, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Today for #GivingTuesday, we are fundraising for Eared Grebe surveys at Mono Lake! We had a blast broadcasting live and talking about the Eared Grebe research down at the lake this afternoon. In case you missed it live (skip to 9:00 for the start of the interviews):

All donations made online today will go toward keeping the Eared Grebe research going, so, it’s not too late!

Thank you for supporting Mono Lake this Giving Tuesday! #GivefortheGrebes

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