August 17th, 2018 by Alison, Canoe CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Alison, Canoe CoordinatorName: Alison Kaplan Title: Canoe Coordinator About: Alison first moved to Yosemite in 2014, after which she almost quit college multiple times because she could hardly bear to leave the Sierra Nevada each fall. To her parents' relief she persevered and earned a degree in English from Whitman College, and promptly moved back to the Sierra. She prefers to work seasonal jobs and spends her winters living in her minivan and exploring various deserts around the west, freelancing as a copywriter to pay for gas. Alison is excited to spend her summer in the Mono Basin where she hopes to climb a lot and get better at identifying birds.See All Posts by Alison (4) Contact Alison
The Ferguson Fire, which started burning on July 13, 2018 near the western edge of Yosemite National Park, is finally nearing full containment after over a month of hard work by firefighters and response crews. Yosemite Valley was closed for almost two weeks due to road closures and hazardous air quality, but the valley has officially reopened to the public. While the Ferguson Fire is still burning, it is 87% contained as of August 17 and air quality within the park as well as in the surrounding gateway communities has improved drastically.
Anna, Mono Lake Intern, prepares to lead a smoky canoe tour on Mono Lake. Photo by Alison Kaplan.
Here at the Mono Lake Committee we were lucky to have clean enough air in the mornings to run all of our scheduled canoe tours despite the generally poor air quality, but visibility was low and views of the surrounding mountains were scarce. … more »
August 15th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Anna, Mono Lake InternName: Anna Boyes Title: Mono Lake Intern About: After a childhood filled with whitewater rafting, backpacking, camping, and hiking in the Utah desert, Anna left Salt Lake City to pursue her undergraduate degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Before attending Whitman, she spent a year as an au pair in Italy, worked at an outdoor education camp in Michigan, and worked on permaculture farms in South America. She enjoys good bread, alpine lakes, cross-country
skiing, and the smell of trees.See All Posts by Anna (5) Contact Anna
Mono Lake has many things that make it unique (like Artemia monica, a species of brine shrimp that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world), but there are many other saline lakes around the world that are unique in their own way. These lakes provide important bird habitat and support similar ecosystems—some of them even have tufa towers!
The dry white lakebed shows how much Lake Aibi in China has shrunk. Photo courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory; image by Robert Simmon and Adam Voiland using USGS Landsat data.
What sets Mono Lake apart, however, is an unrivaled level of protection and science-based advocacy. Many of Mono Lake’s sister lakes are imperiled due to agriculture, mineral extraction, climate change, and … more »
August 12th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Eric, Mono Lake InternName: Eric Bergdoll Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Growing up in an outdoorsy family, Eric has been mountain biking, snowboarding, and kayaking for most of his life. After taking a National Outdoor Leadership School semester course in 2015 where he learned to rock climb and whitewater kayak, he realized it was time to pursue a career in the outdoors. Eric is working on his BS in Environmental Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and leads weekly trips as the President of the Pitt Outdoors Club. This summer Eric is looking forward to exploring the Eastern Sierra while learning all about Mono Lake.See All Posts by Eric (3) Contact Eric
Yosemite Valley will be reopening to visitors on Tuesday, August 14 at 9:00am. The valley has been closed to visitors since July 25 due to the Ferguson Fire burning near the park.
Access to the valley will be available from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).
The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias will reopen on Monday, August 13 at 9:00am. Visitors will be able to access the Mariposa Grove via the South Entrance (Highway 41) and park in the newly constructed parking area.
The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias reopened to visitors on June 14 after a three-year restoration project in partnership with the Yosemite Conservancy. Photo courtesy of nps.gov.
Although the South Entrance will be open in order to provide access to the Mariposa Grove and Wawona, there will be no access to Yosemite Valley via Highway 41. … more »
August 12th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Anna, Mono Lake InternName: Anna Boyes Title: Mono Lake Intern About: After a childhood filled with whitewater rafting, backpacking, camping, and hiking in the Utah desert, Anna left Salt Lake City to pursue her undergraduate degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Before attending Whitman, she spent a year as an au pair in Italy, worked at an outdoor education camp in Michigan, and worked on permaculture farms in South America. She enjoys good bread, alpine lakes, cross-country
skiing, and the smell of trees.See All Posts by Anna (5) Contact Anna
Maddog, spring. She says that making tasks fun is one of the best parts of volunteering. Photo courtesy of Maddog.
If you’ve ever walked down the boardwalk at Mono Lake County Park, or taken a sunset stroll at South Tufa, you have Maddog to thank for the clear trail. A dedicated volunteer since 2011, Maddog has spent many hours tearing out stinging nettle at County Park, repairing the stairs at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, and trimming back the overgrown brush along the trail at South Tufa. “It’s a good way to give back,” she says of her time spent volunteering.
Although born in New York, Maddog moved around a lot in her childhood—spending time in more than eight different states before moving to Hawthorne, Nevada in 2004. She first visited Mono Lake in 2010 and was inspired to become … more »
August 11th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Joslyn, Project SpecialistName: Joslyn Rogers Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Originally from San Diego, Joslyn first discovered Mono Lake while working in Yosemite Valley. Her love for the Mono Basin was further solidified after studying Mono Lake on a UC Santa Cruz field program. Joslyn finished her degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and spent summer 2018 as a Mono Lake Intern; she is also staying through the winter at the Mono Lake Committee as a Project Specialist. In her free time, she can be found rock climbing, birding, or getting inspired by low impact lifestyles.See All Posts by Joslyn (11) Contact Joslyn
Mary Meyerpeter (right) taking measurements from a bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse in the Bodie Hills before its relocation to Parker Meadow. Photo courtesy of Dan Hottle, USFWS.
USGS biological science technician Mary Meyerpeter will be here to discuss her research on the bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse around Mono County. As part of a multi-agency project, Mary and other researchers are translocating the Sage-Grouse from the Bodie Hills to leks (breeding areas) in Parker Meadow.
The bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse are a genetically distinct … more »
August 10th, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet.See All Posts by Nora (29) Contact Nora
The summer is waning, the canyons are quieting down, birds have reared their chicks, and the young are independent as they prepare to head south to warmer climes for the winter. The Eastern Sierra is a great place to bird at this time, as the higher-elevation migrants move down to the lower basins and the birds from farther north pass through this corridor on their journey south.
A Least Sandpiper at Mono Lake. Photo by Santiago M. Escruceria.
August 10th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Joslyn, Project SpecialistName: Joslyn Rogers Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Originally from San Diego, Joslyn first discovered Mono Lake while working in Yosemite Valley. Her love for the Mono Basin was further solidified after studying Mono Lake on a UC Santa Cruz field program. Joslyn finished her degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and spent summer 2018 as a Mono Lake Intern; she is also staying through the winter at the Mono Lake Committee as a Project Specialist. In her free time, she can be found rock climbing, birding, or getting inspired by low impact lifestyles.See All Posts by Joslyn (11) Contact Joslyn
Join us for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists on Wednesdays at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Photo by Arya Harp.
• August 15: Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County: Population Rescue through Brood Translocation Techniques with US Geological Survey Biological Science Technician Mary Meyerpeter • August 22: Tracking Glaciers of the Mono Basin with researcher Jace Shuler • September 5: Bugging Out: How Looking at Butterflies & Insects Will Help Conserve the Planet with biologist Kristie Nelson • September 12: Effects of Climate Change on Mountain Ecosystems: Science & Spin with US Forest Service Senior Research Ecologist Connie Millar • September 26: Mono Basin Fisheries Project with State Water Board-appointed Lead Fisheries Scientist Ross Taylor… more »
August 9th, 2018 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 (182) Contact Arya
The Mono Lake Committee gives the Defender of the Trust Award to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to champion Mono Lake, its tributary streams, wetlands, and the public trust. The Mono Lake Defender of the Trust Award Dinner is a celebratory evening in the company of fellow champions of Mono Lake. This year the festivities will be held at The Mono Inn.
The evening begins with a wine tasting and silent auction hosted by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Dinner is accompanied by inspiring speakers, entertaining stories, and the presentation of the Defender of the Trust Award.
August 8th, 2018 by Alexis, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Alexis, Mono Lake InternName: Alexis Helgeson Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Alexis grew up hiking all around the Sierra Nevada and is currently studying environmental studies and mathematics at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After spending the past two winters in the Northeast, she is excited to return to California for a summer of working to help preserve the Mono Basin. Alexis likes all manner of outdoor sports including rock climbing, mountain biking, and kayaking, and she is looking forward to adding canoeing to the list this summer.See All Posts by Alexis (3) Contact Alexis
Join us this Saturday, August 11 from 8:30am to 12:30pm for the annual Great Sierra River Cleanup! We will spend the morning picking up trash along Lee Vining Creek.
If you are free this Saturday, meet us outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining. From there we will carpool to the DWP diversion site on Lee Vining Creek. Make sure to bring sturdy footwear, a water bottle, and sun protection. We’ll provide work gloves as well as a light snack.
August 7th, 2018 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California’s Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (315) Contact Elin