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The Mono-logue

Progress toward a new license for streams in 2016

November 16th, 2015 by Geoff, Executive Director
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The 2013 Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement is a major milestone in the long-running effort to recover the health of Rush, Lee Vining, Parker, and Walker creeks after the damage caused by decades of excessive water diversions. The current priority is for the terms of the Agreement to be incorporated into the official water license issued by the California State Water Resources Control Board to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

Mono Lake, Negit Island, and the Bodie Hills beyond. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Mono Lake, Negit Island, and the Bodie Hills beyond. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

While progress has been slow, completion and formal approval of the newly revised license draws ever closer. Once the license is issued, the many benefits of the … more »

Holiday shopping: Mono Lake gifts

November 14th, 2015 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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holidaybanner2015

Looking for the perfect holiday gift to share a little of Mono Lake with someone special this holiday season? Look no further than the Mono Lake Committee fall catalog! This year we have many exclusive products that feature the Committee logo, tufa towers, and everyone’s favorite brine shrimp.

holiday-shopping-camping-water-T-shirt … more »

More delays for Mill Creek: Administrative technicality delays return conveyance construction

November 13th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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Unfortunately, the saga continues for the lawful return of water to Mill Creek.

The Mono Lake Committee has been monitoring Mill Creek water in the Mono Basin since 1999. Photo by Sara Matthews.

The Mono Lake Committee has been monitoring Mill Creek water in the Mono Basin since 1999. Photo by Sara Matthews.

After Mono County denied Southern California Edison (SCE) an easement necessary to rehabilitate the existing Mill Creek return conveyance, SCE was forced to file for an extension from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to explore other pipe routes. Over the summer, FERC denied the request on the grounds that it did not demonstrate that the submitted proposals were within the scope of the originally authorized construction. Fortunately, this technicality can easily be resolved by … more »

“Steps for Snow” event at Mono Lake

November 12th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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Steps-for-Snow-kids

On Saturday, November 21 at 10:00am, Lee Vining community members will gather at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center and walk to Mono Lake to show support and hope for positive global climate progress at the Paris Climate Summit. Join us to support a renewable energy future and a commitment to care for our planet with personal action in solidarity with concerned citizens around the world. … more »

Mono’s streams fare better than expected: Record summer precipitation spared streams worst of the drought

November 10th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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A surprising thing happened this year in Lee Vining: record-breaking spring and summer precipitation which, thankfully, minimized drought-related stress on vegetation and trout in Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Instead of the brown-gray colors of drought, we saw unusually green vegetation for most of the summer—even the wildflowers were surprisingly robust. The rain was mostly
associated with thunderstorms, when twenty-degree drops in ambient air temperature weren’t unusual. This cooling effect, in the form of rain and air temperature, helped keep the creeks cool enough for trout.

But as soon as the effects of the precipitation dropped off in August, vegetation immediately responded to the extremely dry conditions—an indication that the plants had been living off surface moisture and not a healthy groundwater system.

Trout monitoring on Lee Vining Creek happens annually to track the health of individual fish and population numbers. Photo by Lisa Cutting.

Trout monitoring on Lee Vining Creek happens annually to track the health of individual fish and population numbers. Photo by Lisa Cutting.

Committee expands monitoring program

In an effort to better understand the effects of the drought, the Mono Lake Committee added bi-monthly monitoring of … more »

Shop for Mono Lake this holiday season

November 7th, 2015 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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holidaybanner2015

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!

holiday-shopping-NL-spread

We invite you to peruse our online store and 2015 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.” … more »

Investigating Eared Grebe mortality at Mono Lake

November 6th, 2015 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Nearly half of all the Eared Grebes in North America visit Mono Lake every autumn by the hundreds of thousands to feed on trillions of brine shrimp (Artemia monica). The bountiful food supply makes it possible for grebes to double their weight and fly to overwintering habitats at the Gulf of California and Salton Sea. But in the last two months, there has been a startling scene of hundreds of dead Eared Grebes on the shores of Mono Lake. These dead birds, according to one ornithologist, are juveniles that starved.

2015-10-12 Benchmark scouting castle tufa and dead grebes AD_2157

An Eared Grebe swimming in green Mono Lake in October 2015. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

This is not a new occurrence at Mono Lake—hundreds of dead grebes were also found on the shore in 2011 and 2014. While some dead grebes will be found along Mono Lake’s shore every year during the fall migration, in some years there is much higher mortality than in others. Why does this happen every few years? While grebe mortality is poorly understood, we suspect that it is linked to changes in Mono Lake’s ecosystem. In 2014, Mono Lake Committee staff noticed … more »

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore: November hours update

November 5th, 2015 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 and Bookstore will remain open 9:00am–5:00pm seven days a week. However, we will have several temporary closures during the month of November.

Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

We hope to see you here at Mono Lake this month! Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

On Friday, November 6 the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed in the morning as we upgrade our retail software and hardware. We will be open from 12:00noon to 5:00pm.

Next Tuesday, November 10 the Information Center & Bookstore will close at 12:00noon and will be closed all day on Wednesday, November 11 for the Mono Lake Committee’s annual staff working retreat. We will resume normal hours (open 9:00am–5:00pm) on Thursday, November 12.

The Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 26.

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

2015 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report

November 4th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee’s 2015 Annual Report is now available online.

The 2015 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available online. Cover photo courtesy of Phil Lindsay.

The 2015 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available online. Cover photo courtesy of Phil Lindsay.

It is chock-full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and … more »

Godzilla vs. Mono Lake

November 3rd, 2015 by Bartshé, Education Director
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Newsletter-FA-Godzilla_silThe word is that Godzilla has returned, and he might be coming to Mono Lake. A powerful El Niño has developed in the Pacific and at least one climatologist and a host of media sources are touting this event as a “Godzilla” El Niño.

Godzilla’s storyline works. This was a monster that originally emerged from the ocean, and kept coming back. Through Godzilla’s various incarnations and movie sequels he took on a complex, mysterious, and powerful aura. He was not necessarily evil, nor was he good, but there was no stopping him. He trampled cities, battled other monsters, and was indifferent to everything in his path. He was the waltzing, overgrown sea-lizard of mayhem. … more »

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