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New Mono Lake Committee monitoring programs for best management

August 8th, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Over the last two years working for the Mono Lake Committee, I have been collecting a variety of hydrologic data in the Mono Basin and it’s been really inspiring to see how this data leads to real and positive changes for Mono Lake. By measuring streamflows, water table depths, and most recently water temperatures, the Committee is able to use scientific evidence to suggest management actions.

Mono Lake Intern Gabby measuring streamflow on Mill Creek. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Last summer was the first year of our Grant Lake Reservoir monitoring program, which measured temperature and dissolved oxygen throughout the water column at key … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: What the heck is a land trust?

August 7th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “what the heck is a land trust?”‘ we’ve got the answer in this week’s Refreshing ‘Ologist lecture. Come to the Mono Lake Committee gallery this Wednesday, August 3 at 4:00pm to have all your questions answered!

The Mono Basin has several parcels of land that have easements with the Eastern Sierra Land Trust. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The Mono Basin has several parcels of land that have easements with the Eastern Sierra Land Trust. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The Eastern Sierra is a beautiful region with fascinating natural and cultural history. This area has drawn people in for generations for countless reasons—wildlife, ranching, and agriculture, to name a few. The Eastern Sierra Land Trust‘s Executive Director, Kay Odgen, will explain land trusts and how they can help protect critical habitats as well as help owners maintain their land.

Wilson Fire, Clark Fire updates

August 5th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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Well, it’s definitely fire season in the Eastern Sierra.

The Clark Fire is burning near Bald Mountain, east of Highway 395 and north of Owens River Road. The fire was caused by lightning and was detected yesterday afternoon—it is currently estimated to be about 1,600 acres and is 10% contained. The smoke plume from the fire is visible from Mono Lake and Lee Vining.

Clark Fire from South Tufa

The Clark Fire seen from the shore of Mono Lake on Thursday, August 4 around 6:30pm during a South Tufa tour. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The Wilson Fire north of Mono Lake, south of Highway 167, and three miles east of Highway 395 is mostly contained, with fire crews mopping-up and watching for flare-ups as winds pick up. It is suspected that this was a human-caused fire, though this is still being investigated. … more »

Wilson Fire burning north of Mono Lake

August 3rd, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Firefighters work on getting the small Wilson Fire out. Photo courtesy of John Ljung.

The small Wilson Fire is burning north of Mono Lake just off of Highway 167. Photo courtesy of John Ljung.

A small wildfire is burning north of Mono Lake after igniting last night. From the Inyo National Forest press release:

“Fire crews are responding to the Wilson Fire. The fire is north of Mono Lake, along the south of Highway 167 and three miles east of Highway 395.

“The fire is 16 acres and 5% contained at this time and burning in sagebrush and grass. Fire crews have constructed an initial fire line around the Wilson Fire and … more »

In the flowers: The Mono Basin in full bloom

August 2nd, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Adam Dalton, 2014 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

When I signed the Mono Lake intern employment contract early this summer, I noticed the document stated I was obliged to, “complete other tasks as necessary.” Never did I imagine that a “necessary task” would comprise of hiking through beautiful high-elevation meadows, conifer-flanked streams, and the Californian high desert in search of wildflowers!

The high elevations of the Mono Basin are in bloom right now. Come for a visit and check them out! Photo by Adam Dalton.

The high elevations of the Mono Basin are in bloom right now. Come for a visit and check them out! Photo by Adam Dalton.

Although sometimes overlooked in favor of birds, fish, trees, or other aspects of the natural environment, the Eastern Sierra’s small-yet-wonderful wildflowers … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sierra Nevada rain shadow

July 31st, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

Curious about what makes the east side of the Sierra Nevada so much drier than the west side? Join us this Wednesday, August 3 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to learn more, in the latest Refreshing ‘Ologist lecture….

Photo by Andrew Youssef.

The Mono Basin lies on the drier, eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Benjamin Hatchett, a research scientist at the Desert Research Institute, will discuss what creates a stronger or weaker rain shadow effect during storms. He will also talk about how changes in the rain shadow affect streamflow on the dry side of mountains. Similarly, terminal lakes such as Mono Lake can act as rain gauges that rise and fall due to precipitation that falls within the rain shadow. Hope to see you there!

Expanded fire restrictions in the Inyo National Forest

July 30th, 2016 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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fire-restrictions-OneLessSpark_Carousel

Previous fire restrictions for Inyo National Forest have been expanded to include all wilderness areas. These new fire restrictions took effect this past Friday July 29, and will stay in effect until the end of the season. Here’s what you need to know:

  • No campfires, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas.
  • With a valid California Campfire Permit you are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
  • No fireworks.
  • No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

Never leave fires unattended and always make sure to completely extinguish your campfire. A single spark can cause major damage, even in designated campgrounds or recreation areas. To learn more about fire safety or obtain a California Campfire Permit visit your local Forest Service visitor center or go online to Prevent Wildfire CA.

Guided Trips in August: Volcanoes, natural history, birding, and more

July 28th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

It’s getting to be that time of summer when thunderstorms roll through in the afternoon and the clouds make for some lovely sunsets. It’s a great time to visit the Mono Basin! Spend your morning doing something fun (like a guided trip!) and spend your afternoons watching the storms sweep through from the window of a coffee shop or the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, then watch the tumultuous sky turn peach and gold and charcoal.

We have some fun guided trips for you to join in on, coming up in the next three weeks: … more »

Lee Vining to Tuolumne Meadows: Let YARTS do the driving for you

July 25th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by John Warneke, 2016 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant.

Heading to Tuolumne Meadows from Lee Vining this summer? Have you heard about YARTS?

YARTS-bus-cropped

Providing public transit, YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) offers a great alternative during the busy summer months.

Park your car or RV, bring your bicycle along, and catch a comfortable, air-conditioned bus to your destination.
• Spend less time driving and more time enjoying the sights of Yosemite
• Avoid congestion and the hassle of searching for parking
• Save on the cost of gas and entrance fees

There are three spots where YARTS picks up in Lee Vining: … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Peregrines return to Yosemite National Park

July 24th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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A Perigrine Falcon eyrie. Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

A Peregrine Falcon eyrie. Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

This post was written by Grace Aleman, 2015 Information Center & Bookstore Assistant and 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

The Refreshing ‘Ologist series continues this Wednesday, July 27 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Gallery.

Ever wonder why certain climbing routes in Yosemite National Park close in summer for nesting birds? Come learn about the amazing recovery the American Peregrine Falcon has made in Yosemite National Park with Crystal Barnes, Yosemite’s raptor monitor. Crystal will discuss what lead to the falcon’s population decline and how ongoing monitoring projects paired with improved management practices have lead to the peregrine’s removal from California’s endangered species list and its current success in Yosemite. See you on Wednesday!

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