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Mono Lake’s visible rise, November to November

January 9th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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We didn’t know it in November 2016, but the severe drought that had plagued Mono Lake and California for five years was nearly over. After record-setting winter precipitation and subsequent record-setting runoff last summer, Mono Lake had risen 4.2 feet by November 2017.

That difference in lake level is clearly visible in these satellite photos from the folks at Planet, most notably on the landbridge near Negit Island and the white “bathtub ring” around the lake’s shore. After tracking and celebrating Mono Lake’s rise from up close last year, it’s fun to see it in a big-picture view! … more »

Wild & Scenic Film Festival is coming to Los Angeles on March 8 & 10

January 7th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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We are excited to announce the Mono Lake Committee’s seventh annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles. This year we will be showing films in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 8 and Sierra Madre on Saturday, March 10.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival features a selection of inspiring films about environmental conservation, outdoor adventure, and natural wonders and serves as a great way to meet with Mono Lake Committee staff and members at the southern end of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. All proceeds from the event go toward the Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs, which bring youth from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin for a week of outdoor experiences and learning about the source of their water.

Stay tuned for film program updates and information about ticket sales. We hope to see you there!

2018 Mono Lake calendar essay: Turning the Tide

January 2nd, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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This essay, written by Vern Gersh, appears in the 2018 Mono Lake Calendar.

“Least and Western sandpipers in Flight.” Photo courtesy of Alice Atwood.

“Never give up for that is the time and place that the tide will turn.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe

Forty years ago, in the Eastern Sierra, the tide was running. Like all tides it ran in one direction. Its flow must have seemed inexorable as the waters of life were sucked away.

Shakespeare referred to living in “the tide of times.” The tide that has been running strongest in my life is the stream of change. When I was born in 1955 there were half as many humans on the planet. Nothing human-made orbited the earth. There were fewer than 600 pizza parlors in the entire United States. The majority of Americans shared their phone line with a neighbor. You would dial that phone and were tethered to it with a cord. There was one Mexican restaurant in the city of half a million Americans where I was born.

Forty years ago, when the Mono Lake Committee was born … more »

Every drop counts—make a 2017 donation now!

December 29th, 2017 by Geoff, Executive Director
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Photo courtesy of Matt Ludin.

As I look back on 2017, I see many reasons to celebrate Mono Lake’s recovery and the programs of the Mono Lake Committee, which you make possible. It was a truly remarkable year—complete with a record winter and Mono Lake rising over four feet!

From protecting the California Gull colony by putting up a temporary fence on the landbridge, to monitoring the streams during the biggest water year on record, to supporting aerial Eared Grebe surveys, to introducing thousands of students and visitors to Mono Lake and the inspiring lessons it offers, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Even as we celebrate progress made, new management challenges and protection issues are constantly arising. The Committee works year-round to protect and restore Mono Lake, its tributary streams, and your favorite places in the Mono Basin, and we need your support to keep going strong in the year ahead. We hope you will consider making a year-end donation to help these ongoing efforts.

Making a donation is quick and easy—click the button below or give us a call at (760) 647-6595. Thank you!

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Happy holidays from the Mono Lake Committee

December 25th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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Wishing you peace, joy, and atmospheric rivers’ worth of snow this holiday season…

…from our home near Mono Lake to you, wherever you are.

Mono Lake Committee seasonal job openings posted

December 22nd, 2017 by Jessica, Office Director
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The permanent staff here at the Mono Lake Committee are accustomed to several statements from members and visitors alike: “You live in the most beautiful place—you’re so lucky!” and “I’ve always wanted to be an intern here!”

Now is your chance: You can work at the Mono Lake Committee as one of our 11 seasonal staff members and live in the Mono Basin during the busiest and most activity-filled season. See all the job openings here.

Last year’s seasonal staff at the Grant Lake Reservoir spillway during the aqueduct tour training day. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

We accept applications from people of all ages, so whether you are looking for an internship between college semesters, or if it’s been a lifelong dream to lead South Tufa tours and canoe on Mono Lake every weekend, we would love to speak to you.

Hiring begins January 1, 2018, and positions fill quickly. To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to me, Office Director Jessica Horn, either by email or by mail to P.O. Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541.

Happy winter solstice from Mono Lake

December 21st, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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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
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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, Education Director
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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
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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 »

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The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.