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“Those carpet squares were older than the State Water Board decision….”

April 20th, 2016 by Ellen, Membership Coordinator
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Last November the 20-year-old carpet in the Mono Lake Committee ice house office building was replaced with low-VOC, durable carpet squares, thanks to the generosity and practical sense of Board Chair Sally Gaines. You can read more about it on page 26 in the 2016 Winter & Spring Mono Lake Newsletter.

The recarpeted, repainted, gallery with a new show from local artist Ann Piersall. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The re-carpeted, re-painted gallery with a new show from local artist Ann Piersall. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The carpet in the office and gallery in our main building was also 20 years old, but not quite as worn, so at first we had no plans to replace it. But, as often happens, the contrast between the new and the old made us realize that it was time to do so. Fortunately, … more »

The Mono Lake shrimp are back!

April 17th, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Brine shrimp (Artemia monica) have emerged from the bottom of Mono Lake and they’re already growing fast! Come check them out along the shores of Mono Lake or in our aquarium at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore (open seven days a week). Enjoy the algae while you can little guys, humans aren’t the only migratory species that’s excited about your arrival….

Artemia monica swirling around bubbling tufa in the MLC's aquarium. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Artemia monica swirling around bubbling tufa in the Mono Lake Committee’s aquarium. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Chautauqua registration begins tomorrow

April 14th, 2016 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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April 15 is upon us, which means it’s time for … Chautauqua registration! This year, even tax day was postponed to avoid conflicting with registration day for the Fifteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, coming June 17–19, 2016.

The Northern Flicker is one of the hundreds of birds you might see at this year's Chautauqua. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

The Northern Flicker is one of the hundreds of birds you might see at this year’s Chautauqua. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Registration opens Friday, April 15th at 6:30am. At that time, a link will appear here on the registration page. This year we are offering many new programs and field trips as well as our most popular events from previous Chautauquas. You can see all of the exciting events we have lined up on the Chautauqua program online. Be sure to choose your first, second, and third choices ahead of time, since some programs do fill quickly. As you gear up for registration, please read our tips for a smooth registration process. This is a complicated event so remember to breathe, be patient, and even if you don’t get your first choice programs, know that you will still have a wonderful time.

We hope you’ll be here to celebrate and support the rich diversity of bird life, the legacy of avian research, and the ongoing conservation efforts in the Eastern Sierra—all while having a darn good time. See you in June!

Reserve your seat for the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner

April 7th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Each year the Andrea Lawrence Award is presented to organizations and individuals who demonstrate passionate engagement with community and the land. This year the award will be presented to Dan & Leslie Dawson to commemorate their influential work as Director and Education Coordinator at the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve.

Andrea Lawrence takes a break from skiing to drink from a stream. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.

Andrea Lawrence takes a break from skiing to drink from a stream. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.

Please join us for dinner, conversation, keynote remarks from Dr. John Melack, Faculty Advisor of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, and the presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award at the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner. The event will take place at Parallax Restaurant at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on Friday, May 13 at 5:30pm. You can reserve your seat online or by giving us a call at (760) 647-6595. We hope to see you there!

April 1 Mono Lake level close to critically low threshold

April 1st, 2016 by Geoff, Executive Director
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This morning Mono Lake Committee staff met with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) personnel to conduct the official annual April 1 reading of the lake level together. The consensus: Mono Lake stands at 6378.11 feet above sea level.

Mono Lake is now just 13 inches above the ecologically precipitous 6377-foot elevation at which the nesting islands become landbridged, lake salinity hits new highs, air quality problems worsen, and stream delta habitat conditions degrade.

Measuring Mono Lake's April 1 elevation

DWP’s Steve Rich and Robbie Di Paolo from the Mono Lake Committee read the lake level gauge together this morning. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

With those concerns in mind, the State Water Board rules are more nuanced this year for determining whether or not DWP can export water to Los Angeles. Not only does the lake have to be above 6377 feet for today’s measurement, it also has to be forecast to stay above 6377 every day of the coming year. … more »

New gallery show: Luminous Landscapes by Ann Piersall

March 30th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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"Tufa" by Ann Piersall

“Tufa” by Ann Piersall.

We are thrilled to announce that paintings by local artist and scientist, Ann Piersall, will be featured in the Mono Lake Committee’s gallery from now through mid-August.

Ann hails from the mountains of western Montana, and now resides in Bishop, California, on the eastside of the beautiful Sierra Nevada. She worked seasonally as a ranger, ski patroller, cartographer, mountain guide, and science technician in Montana, Alaska, Colorado, and Kyrgyzstan before transitioning to working full-time in air pollution control and meteorology. Ann’s art is inspired by the colors, geometry and adventures of the places that she loves.

Ann’s style is bold, geometric, and beautiful—and this show highlighting the Eastern Sierra and Mono Lake is not to be missed!

Join us for an evening artist’s reception to open the new show, titled “Luminous Landscapes,” on Sunday, April 3 from 5:00 to 7:00pm. Come enjoy wine and cheese, meet Ann, and delight in her beautiful work in the Mono Lake Theater & Gallery.

"Virginia Lakes" by Ann Piersall

“Virginia Lakes” by Ann Piersall.

Book your Mono Lake canoe tour today

March 28th, 2016 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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Join the Mono Lake Committee for a guided canoe tour this summer!

Experience Mono Lake in a new way by joining a guided canoe tour this summer. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Experience Mono Lake in a new way by joining a guided canoe tour this summer. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Canoeing on Mono Lake is an unforgettable experience. See the lake in a completely new way as you float over bubbling springs forming new tufa towers, examine some of the trillions of tiny brine shrimp that inhabit the lake, and experience the peace and tranquility of this wild place. Prepare to take in breathtaking views of the Mono Basin and the dramatic Sierra crest, which … more »

2015 Mono Lake California Gull report

March 26th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This Winter & Spring 2016 Mono Lake Newsletter article was written by Kristie Nelson, Point Blue Conservation Science.

Monitoring of the Mono Lake California Gull colony by Point Blue Conservation Science researchers and volunteers to help understand how wildlife populations respond to ecological change over time continued in 2015.

A banded California Gull (Larus californicus) with its chick at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of West Vane.

A banded California Gull (Larus californicus) with its chick at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of West Vane.

It was a very successful year for the gulls: both population size and chick production were above-average. Chicks were numerous and heavy, which indicates that they were … more »

Eared Grebe survey results from 2015

March 24th, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Mono Lake is a critical migratory staging ground for Eared Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis). Surveys have confirmed that 30–50% of the entire continent’s population of Eared Grebes utilize Mono Lake, with over one million birds visiting on their fall migration route to feed on brine shrimp. Since 2008 the Mono Lake Committee has collaborated with Canadian research biologist Sean Boyd from the Pacific Wildlife Research Centre in British Colombia to carry out annual aerial Eared Grebe surveys.

Aerial Eared Grebe survey data suggests that a shift toward an earlier peak in grebe population numbers at Mono Lake may be occurring.

Aerial Eared Grebe survey data suggests that a shift toward an earlier peak in grebe population numbers at Mono Lake may be occurring.

It had previously been observed that Eared Grebes were most prolific at Mono Lake in mid-October (as recently as 2013), but … more »

Get your ducks in a row: Chautauqua registration is April 15th

March 23rd, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Mallard mama with ducklings. Photo by Nora Livingston.

If you are planning to come to the Fifteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, now is the time to gather your ducklings and make sure you’re prepared for registration—you don’t want to miss out on a trip because you haven’t decided which trips to register for! Registration opens on Friday, April 15, at 6:30am sharp. Many field trips fill within minutes, so rise before the sun, sip your coffee with your list of events in hand, and be ready to go at 6:30am. The schedule is up on the website now, and the full program with trip descriptions and leader biographies will be up very soon, so make sure you have your field trip and program choices prioritized for registration day. Check out our Facebook page for real-time updates. We look forward to seeing you in June!

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