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Registration open for 2015 Tioga Pass Run

May 3rd, 2015 by Jessica, Office Director
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TPR-T-shirt-logo-web

Registration is now open for the 2015 Tioga Pass Run!

Register before June 6 for the early-bird rate of $40. Entrance fees increase to $50 after that, and then to $60 on August 6 through race day.

The race will be held on Sunday, September 13, and all proceeds from the run will benefit the Mono Lake Committee.

Join the camaraderie of the Tioga Pass Run: 3,164 feet of elevation gain over a 12.4-mile course along the shoulder of one of the most scenic highways in the country! The run starts in Lee Vining at an elevation of 6,781 feet and finishes at the Tioga Pass entrance station to Yosemite at an elevation of 9,945 feet.

Athletes take off from the starting line of the Tioga Pass Run last year. Photo courtesy of Dick Erb.

Athletes take off from the starting line of the Tioga Pass Run last year. Photo courtesy of Dick Erb.

Seventh Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner honors Ted Schade, features Marcie Edwards

May 2nd, 2015 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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On April 24th community members, friends, and family of Andrea Mead Lawrence gathered at Mammoth Mountain’s Parallax Restaurant to commemorate Andrea’s life and those who embody her spirit of community and conservationism through the presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award.

Quentin Lawrence, Ted Schade, and Geoff McQuilkin with Ted's Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Quentin Lawrence, Ted Schade, and Geoff McQuilkin with Ted’s Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Andrea was a visionary environmental leader, two-time Olympic gold medalist, mother of five, 16-year Mono County Supervisor, and Mono Lake Committee board member. Since her passing in 2009, the Mono Lake Committee has hosted the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner to celebrate her influential life and those who continue to improve and protect the Eastern Sierra through their passionate engagement with community and the land. … more »

Tioga Pass will be opening on Monday, May 4 at 8:00am

May 1st, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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It’s the news everyone has been waiting for: Tioga Pass will open on Monday, May 4 at 8:00am, allowing visitors to access Yosemite National Park from the eastern entrance.

Lembert Dome and the peaks that form Yosemite's eastern boundary in a view from Tuolumne Meadows on April 19, 2015. Photo by Elin Ljung.

A leisurely bike ride into Tuolumne Meadows on April 19, 2015 revealed very little snow or water. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Though it’s a drought year, snow and icy conditions may still exist on hiking trails at higher elevations, so please be prepared for snowy conditions and possible treacherous stream crossings if you’re going hiking in the backcountry. All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are currently closed, with no estimated opening dates. In addition, the Tuolumne Meadows gas station, store, and grill are also closed.

As always, late spring storms may temporarily close the Tioga Road, so be sure to check road conditions before you travel.

2015 will be the driest year on record, by far

April 29th, 2015 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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October to March precipitation was 33% of average—driest on record for Lee Vining and third-driest on record for Cain Ranch. The April 1 snow surveys found only 14% of average snow water content in the Mono Basin after a warm March melted much of the already near-record-low snowpack.

Based on precipitation, snowpack, and recent runoff, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) has run its forecasting equations and issued its runoff forecast: 19% of average runoff is expected for April–September, and 25% over the next year—assuming median precipitation falls. 2015 April–September runoff is not only going to be less than 1977, the driest year on record—it is expected to be less than half of 1977’s runoff.

2015 April-September runoff is not only going to be less than 1977, the driest year on record--it is expected to be less than half of the 1977 runoff.

The twelve driest seasons on record in the Mono Basin. 2015 April–September runoff is not only going to be less than 1977, the driest year on record—it is also expected to be less than half of the 1977 runoff.

We are in uncharted territory. It has not been this dry since records began in the Mono Basin. This will be a challenging year for our ecosystems and for water management.

Caltrans Hwy 395 rockfall project report #3

April 28th, 2015 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Caltrans-rockfall-update-graphic

Caltrans has released the third road report for the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project on Highway 395 along Mono Lake just north of Lee Vining.

Lee Vining Rockfall Safety project update #3

(Link for images)

Capture 3a

Capture 3b

Updates are also posted regularly on Twitter and Facebook.
Click here for all project updates and background.
Text from the official update is below.

Caltrans-rockfall-update-graphic … more »

Love Mono Lake? Volunteer this summer!

April 22nd, 2015 by Jessica, Office Director
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The Mono Lake Committee, US Forest Service, Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, California State Parks, and the Bodie Foundation are teaming up to sponsor the twelfth season of our Mono Lake Volunteer Program this summer. Volunteers will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and share their knowledge of the Eastern Sierra. It’s a great way to learn about Mono Lake while getting to know fellow volunteers and giving back to the area.

The Mono Lake Volunteer program partners celebrate last year's new volunteer graduates. Photo by Rose Catron.

The Mono Lake Volunteer program partners celebrate last year’s new volunteer graduates. Photo by Rose Catron.

Mono Lake volunteers are an essential part of the interpretation and overall guest experience at Mono Lake. Every year, volunteers connect with … more »

Last chance: Reserve your seat at the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner

April 21st, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Join us for a delicious dinner in a spectacular setting in honor of Andrea Lawrence, Olympic double gold medalist and champion of the Eastern Sierra’s landscape and economy. This year’s dinner features keynote speaker Marcie Edwards, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and we’ll be honoring local air quality defender Ted Schade with this year’s Andrea Lawrence Award.

Caption caption. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Join us for delicious food, a keynote speaker, and presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award for passionate engagement in community and the land. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

We have just a few spots left for the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner so contact us right away! The dinner will be held this Friday, April 24 at Mammoth Mountain’s Parallax Restaurant at 5:30pm. Call (760) 647-6595 to reserve your seat with a $65 donation.

This will be your view at the dinner: Mt. Andrea Lawrence! (The mountain in the center of the photo.) Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

Court decision a setback to water conservation

April 20th, 2015 by Geoff, Executive Director
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A court ruled today that the tiered rate structures that have been hugely successful in encouraging water conservation are unconstitutional. Under these approaches to billing, which are used by water providers statewide, a basic increment of water comes at a basic price, with additional use “tiers” costing more. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, for example, has been looking to expand from two pricing tiers to four. The court decision appears to take away one of the most successful tools that have been used for urban water conservation.

Governor Brown, according to the Sacramento Bee, said the court decision is “a straitjacket on local government at a time when maximum flexibility is needed.”

Read more in the Los Angeles Times: In blow to water conservation, court rejects city’s tiered rates

2015 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship now open

April 18th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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at the lakeshore RC

Each year the Mono Lake Committee supports local students pursuing higher education who display a personal connection with Mono Lake and the Mono Lake story with two $1,000 scholarships. Mono County resident high school seniors who have firm plans to attend a two- or four-year college within a year of graduation qualify.

If you are interested in applying, you can find the application here. The application deadline is: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 5:00pm. … more »

Caltrans Hwy 395 rockfall project report #2

April 16th, 2015 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Caltrans-rockfall-update-graphic

Caltrans has released the second road report for the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project on Highway 395 along Mono Lake just north of Lee Vining.

Lee Vining Rockfall Safety project update #2

Capture 2b

Updates are also posted regularly on Twitter and Facebook.
Click here for all project updates and background.
Text from the official update is below.

Caltrans-rockfall-update-graphic … more »

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