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Lee Vining High School students monitor Mill Creek’s health

October 14th, 2015 by Santiago, Outdoor Experiences Manager
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Usually the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center hosts groups of kids and young adults from Los Angeles in the Mono Basin for five days and takes them to explore the wonders of the Eastern Sierra while learning about water conservation. This past week the OEC team had the privilege to work with a group of teenagers from just next door: Lee Vining High School biology students.

Lee Vining high school biology students inspect Mill Creek's macroinvertebrates during their field day along Mill Creek. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Lee Vining high school biology students inspect macroinvertebrates during their field day along Mill Creek. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

For several years the OEC program and biology students from the high school have been monitoring Mill Creek, Mono Lake’s northernmost tributary stream that enters Mono Lake just west of Black Point, to gauge … more »

Presentation & book signing with Scott Stine, October 17 at the Mono Inn

October 10th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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a way acrossThe Mono Lake Committee is delighted to host Dr. Scott Stine discussing his newly released book: A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker’s 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite’s Discovery.

• Saturday, October 17, 4:30–6:30pm
• At the Mono Inn, 5 miles north of the town of Lee Vining on Highway 395
• Presentation begins at 4:30pm

If you are a Yosemite-phile like me, you have doubtless heard the legend of the first non-native person to see Yosemite Valley. We’ve all heard the legend of Joseph R. Walker who led a brigade of 58 fur trappers from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming to the Pacific coast of central California in 1833. Toward the end of their journey the Walker brigade crossed the Sierra Nevada. … more »

Fall colors are emerging in the Mono Basin

October 7th, 2015 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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Fall is an exciting time to be in the Mono Basin—the days are getting cooler, the high peaks have their first dusting of snow, the animals are busily preparing for winter, and, of course, the leaves are beginning to change.

This picturesque waterfall nestled among the glowing aspens can be found less than a mile from the Lundy Canyon trailhead. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

This picturesque waterfall nestled among the glowing aspens can be found less than a mile from the Lundy Canyon trailhead. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Last week I hiked into Lundy Canyon, a favorite destination for fall colors, and it did not disappoint. The aspens are beginning to peak in brilliant yellows, contrasting beautifully with the surrounding landscape. Today, I continued my search … more »

A Way Across the Mountain by Scott Stine now available

October 3rd, 2015 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery.

A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker’s 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite’s Discovery by Scott Stine is now available at the Mono Lake Committee Bookstore and online store.

Paleoclimatologist Scott Stine has just released his first book, A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker’s 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite’s Discovery and it is now available at the Mono Lake Committee Bookstore and our online store.

Stine reconstructs Joseph Walker’s famous 1833 route over the Sierra drawing on years of in-depth scientific research and knowledge of the geomorphology, hydrography, biogeography, and climate of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin, and the detailed travel narrative of the Walker expedition’s field clerk, Zenas Leonard. Stine documents the inception, growth, and persistence of the myth of Yosemite’s discovery, and explores the extent to which that lore has overshadowed Walker’s greatest discovery—that the huge swath of continent between the Wasatch Front and the Sierran crest is hydrographically closed, draining not to an ocean, but to salty lakes and desert sands.

Stop by the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, or visit our online store to get your copy of A Way Across the Mountain, and … more »

Successful Solar Walk in Lee Vining

October 2nd, 2015 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator
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Local kids made the Solar Walk banner with Maureen McGlinchy. It is on display at the Lee Vining Community Center. Photo by Janet Carle.

Local kids made the Solar Walk banner with Maureen McGlinchy. It is on display at the Lee Vining Community Center. Photo by Janet Carle.

The Mono Basin Solar Walk was held last Sunday, September 27 in Lee Vining. A good crowd enjoyed interesting discussion about all aspects of solar installation, and a great reaction from our “Solar Pioneers” as their steps taken toward renewable energy were honored. The beautiful banner that Maureen McGlinchy and local children made is now on display at the Lee Vining Community Center.

Mono County Supervisors Fred Stump and Tim Alpers attended and shared the Board’s goals of … more »

Happy New Water Year 2016 from Mono Lake

October 1st, 2015 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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October 1st marks the start of a new water year. The 2016 water year runs October 1, 2015–September 30, 2016. It measures the fall-winter precipitation and the rain that falls in the following growing season all in one 12-month period.

Here is how last year stacks up for Lee Vining precipitation: 11.84 inches, or 84% of average. The remarkable thing is that the fall-winter was the lowest on record, at only 34% of average, meaning the snowpack was the lowest on record. Summer was highest on record, at 285% of average.

The remarkable thing about the 2015 water year was that it was the driest fall-winter on record and the wettest spring-summer on record.

The remarkable thing about the 2015 water year was that it was the driest fall-winter on record and the wettest spring-summer on record.

New autumn hours for the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

September 30th, 2015 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Autumn is here; the days are getting shorter, and the aspens have begun to turn … with that comes shorter hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. Don’t fret—we will still remain open seven days a week, but starting on Thursday, October 1 our hours will be 9:00am to 5:00pm. Please stop by if you’re passing through Lee Vining—we’d love to see you!

Starting on October 1, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm every day. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Starting on October 1, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm every day. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Mono Basin Solar Walk: Celebrating steps toward a renewable energy future

September 24th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
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Lee Vining students with their Solar Walk poster. Photo courtesy of Janet Carle.

On Sunday, September 27 the community of Lee Vining will host a Solar Walk to celebrate and learn from businesses and residents that have installed solar systems as a renewable energy source. We will visit several local solar installations in Lee Vining beginning at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center at 1:00pm. From there we will make stops at the Lee Vining Community Center, Channel Shell gas station, and the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore.

“Solar Pioneer” tokens of appreciation, made by local schoolchildren, will be presented in appreciation of leadership in using the renewable power of the Eastern Sierra sun. After the walk, local solar installer Sierra Solar will display solar panels and information on incentives and the process in front of the El Mono Motel & Latte Da Coffee Café. Mono Basin homeowners who have installed solar panels will share their experience and cost savings as well.

We hope you will join our community in celebrating the potential of solar as we move into a future of renewable energy.

To join the walk, simply meet at the Forest Service Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining at 1:00pm and plan on walking about 1/2 a mile. Children are encouraged to attend!

Sierra Solar staff installed 33 panels on the Committee's bookstore roof in October. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Sierra Solar staff installed 33 panels on the Committee’s bookstore roof in October 2012. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Join us for the 2016 Winter Photography field seminar

September 23rd, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Winter at Mono Lake is a very special season, complete with snowy Sierra peaks, poconip fog that coats tufa towers in rime ice, ice sculptures along creek banks, and bright bluebird days. Add a full moon to the equation and you have an unforgettable winter weekend at Mono Lake.

Poconip ice fog shrouds Mono Lake, with just a sliver of sun illuminating the base of Black Point. Photo by Joe Decker.

Poconip ice fog shrouds Mono Lake, with just a sliver of sun illuminating the base of Black Point. Photo by Joe Decker.

The Forgotten Season: Winter Photography in the Mono Basin
January 22–24, 2016
$275 per person / $250 for Mono Lake Committee members

This year the annual field seminar will coincide with January’s full moon, increasing the photographic opportunities at … more »

Results are in for the 35th annual Tioga Pass Run

September 18th, 2015 by Jessica, Office Director
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The 35th annual Tioga Pass Run took off in front of the Mono Lake Committee last Sunday. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The 35th annual Tioga Pass Run took off in front of the Mono Lake Committee last Sunday. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Last Sunday, September 13, 102 runners and walkers made their way up 12.4 miles of the grueling and scenic Tioga Pass, during the 35th annual Tioga Pass Run. They started in front of the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining and finished at the entrance to Yosemite National Park, gaining 3,165 feet in elevation along the way.

Patrick Parsel of South Lake Tahoe won overall with the time of 1:29:43, close to ten minutes faster than the fastest time last year. Jessica Francois, Lee Vining local and former Mono Lake Committee staff member, was the first female finisher, beating … more »

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