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Visit Mono Lake’s State Park for free on #GreenFriday

November 20th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Turn this year’s Black Friday into #GreenFriday with free admission to more than 100 State Parks around California, including the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve!

Come visit Mono Lake's State Park on Friday, November 25, #GreenFriday! Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Come visit Mono Lake’s State Park on Friday, November 25, #GreenFriday! Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Here’s how: Go to the #GreenFriday website and select a park you want to visit. Enter your email address and then print out a pass (based on availability) to display on your dashboard. The offer is limited to one pass per email, and it’s good for Friday, November 25, 2016 only.

Of course, we think you should visit Mono Lake’s State Park, but there are 280 State Park units located all over this beautiful state—this Find a Park feature can help you find the closest one to you.

This offer is thanks to a partnership between Save the Redwoods League, the California State Parks Foundation, and California State Parks. Snag your free pass now—last year they went fast. Happy Thanksgiving, and happy #GreenFriday!

Holiday shopping: Gifts the kids will love!

November 19th, 2016 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Season’s greetings! The holidays are just around the corner and our fall catalog features gifts the kids will love. From familiar local animals to books that the whole family will enjoy, you are sure to find the perfect gift for any budding naturalist.

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Finger puppets: Bring your wild friends from the Mono Basin home with you to play! These plush, lovable, and high-quality Folkmanis finger puppets make for great interactive play. Choose from three Mono Basin species: bobcat, fawn, and Western Tanager. … more »

Resource damage below Tioga Lodge: Observations and photographs

November 18th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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In early November I ventured down to the shoreline of Mono Lake below the Tioga Lodge to use my former-biologist eyes to assess the damage done to State Park land and Post Office Creek.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

It was interesting to contrast the damage caused by the Marina Fire with the damage caused by heavy machinery; I’m sure the combination of the two events is even more detrimental. While I made observations and took photographs, I was especially concerned by two things—the bird habitat adjacent to the excavation and the wide swath of flood water rushing down from what used to be a creek channel that now spreads the water across the landscape haphazardly on it’s way to Mono Lake. … more »

It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season: It’s closed again

November 16th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Tioga Pass (Highway 120) has closed for a second time this fall due to inclement weather. There is currently no estimated opening date.

The Tioga Pass road (Highway 120 east) on November 16, 2016. Photo courtesy of @lookatthatwesty on Instagram.

The Tioga Pass road (Highway 120 east) on November 16, 2016. Photo courtesy of @lookatthatwesty on Instagram.

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

Tioga Inn project at the Mobil Station moves forward after 23 years

November 14th, 2016 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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A significant development project at the junction of Highways 120 and 395 is moving forward—the Tioga Inn project.

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After a 23-year hiatus, Mobil Station owners Dennis & Jane Domaille have recently begun to work with Mono County to secure the necessary approvals to add components to an already-existing specific plan, which was approved in 1993. The specific plan already allows a two-story 120-room hotel and a 100-seat restaurant. The Domailles are proposing to change the plan to allow a three-story 120-room hotel, two large restaurants, and other details. The existing Whoa Nellie Deli would remain in operation. … more »

Mono Lake Committee bookstore holiday hours

November 13th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Although there are fewer people traveling through Lee Vining during this time of year, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will remain open 9:00am–5:00pm seven days a week. However, we will have several temporary closures during the holiday season.

We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 24 and Christmas Day, December 25. On November 30 we’ll be closed for the Mono Lake Committee’s annual staff working retreat. We will reopen with normal hours (9:00am–5:00pm) on Thursday, December 1.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and hope we get a chance to see you during your visit to the Mono Basin!

Shop for Mono Lake this holiday season

November 11th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to start making your lists—and checking them twice. There are many great gifts to choose from in the Mono Lake Committee’s online bookstore, and as with all purchases made from the Committee, 100% of profits go towards protection, restoration, and education programs here at Mono Lake!

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We invite you to peruse our online store and 2016 Fall Catalog to help you start checking gifts off your list. Purchases can be made directly online, or if you would like to call with your order you can phone (760) 647-6595 Monday through Friday 9:00am–5:00pm to be assisted by one of our staff “elves.”

Don’t see that perfect gift in our online store or catalog? Don’t fret, even items purchased through the Amazon Associates program can help support our work here at Mono Lake. Just make sure to follow this link to have 5% of your purchase donated to the Mono Lake Committee.

Make sure to check back here, on the Mono-logue, to see our favorite products featured throughout the holiday season.

It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season … it’s open again

November 8th, 2016 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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Highway 120, Tioga Pass, is the only road that enters Yosemite National Park from the east. It closes each winter due to snow. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Highway 120, Tioga Pass, is the only road that enters Yosemite National Park from the east. It closes each winter due to snow. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Tioga Pass (Highway 120) has reopened after it was closed last week due to snow and ice. Use caution and be sure to check current road conditions and weather before your trip. Overnight parking is currently not permitted anywhere between Tioga Pass and Crane Flat in Yosemite. Last year, Tioga Pass closed for the season on November 1 and the road can close at any time. A reminder that all campgrounds along the Tioga Road are currently closed as are all commercial and visitor services in Tuolumne Meadows.

If you’re coming over Tioga Pass, be sure to stop by the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining to say hello and learn more about what’s happening at Mono Lake and start your holiday shopping—we have a great selection of gifts for everyone on your list. We hope to see you soon!

DWP completes this year’s export of 4,500 acre-feet of water from the Mono Basin

November 5th, 2016 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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When Mono Lake is between 6377 and 6380 feet above sea level, and the final May lake level forecast (and any subsequent projections) shows that it will stay above 6377 feet, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) is permitted to export 4,500 acre-feet of water that year. Any time Mono Lake falls below, or is projected to fall below 6377 feet, exports must stop.

Photo by Bartshe Miller.

A blustery day in mid-October kicked up clouds of alkali dust over Mono Lake’s eastern shore. Mono Lake may drop below 6377 feet above sea level next year, which means no water may be exported to Los Angeles. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Operations plan guidelines state that the water should be exported late in the summer, and this year, DWP exported this water September through early November, allowing more water to remain in Grant Lake Reservoir during the summer—a good thing that kept the reservoir higher during recreation season and likely kept water temperatures cooler for fish in Rush Creek. … more »

Agencies respond quickly to illegal work along Mono Lake’s shore

November 3rd, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Two weeks ago, we reported on illegal work happening near Mono Lake’s west shore across from the Tioga Lodge, and the agency response has moved quickly since then.

Equipment operators illegally clearing willows in the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, the boundary of which is delineated by the stakes in the foreground. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Equipment operators illegally clearing willows in the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, the boundary of which is delineated by the stakes in the foreground. Mono Lake Committee photo.

The illegal work being done included heavy equipment clearing three acres of willows and near-shore habitat on highly protected State Park land, even after State Park staff repeatedly advised the equipment operators of the park boundary, which was well marked. Quick action by Mono Lake Committee staff and multiple agencies halted the activity before more willows and wetland were disturbed, but the damage is alarming. Last week State Parks staff from the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Sacramento began a detailed assessment of the resource damage and will be pursuing appropriate penalties. … more »

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