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Seminar spotlight: Bighorn sheep in the Mono Basin

August 15th, 2014 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are one of the mountain range’s most fascinating animals, and one of the most endangered mammals of North America. The Committee’s field seminar, Living on the Edge: Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in the Mono Basin, is an introduction to the biology and conservation issues of these rare and elusive mammals that so enthralled John Muir.

Living on the Edge: Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in the Mono Basin • September 6–7 • $180 per person/$165 for members • sign up here

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are rare and elusive---join in on this fascinating field seminar to see them in the wild. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Instructor John Wehausen has studied bighorn sheep intensively for 40 years, gaining insights into their behavior and the complicated issues surrounding their protection and … more »

Lee Vining Creek Diversion Dam work planned for September through November

August 14th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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If you are planning a fishing trip to the Lee Vining Creek diversion pond this fall, there will be some construction activity impacting your experience.

This fall there will be construction at the Lee Vining Creek diversion pond, a popular fishing site. Photo by Arya Degnhardt.

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) is going to be working on the Lee Vining Creek facility in September because it discovered it can’t lower the spill gate all the way because sediment has accumulated underneath it. DWP has to put in a … more »

A new generation speaks for Mono Lake

August 13th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Erv Nichols, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

As Birding Interns, my partner Sandra and I are the leaders of all things birding here at the Mono Lake Committee, at least for the summer. And while it is true most people imagine bird watchers, (or birders, as we prefer to be called) as rather strange looking older folks with floppy hats and expensive binoculars around their necks staring into the tree tops, this is not always the case.

A male Lazuli Bunting in a photo that Tazlinda took through the spotting scope with her smartphone!

Our Friday morning bird walks at Mono Lake County Park usually include folks with a wide range of ages. But I must admit, most are closer to than farther from retirement age.

With that said, it’s always a pleasure to have young people along for what may be their first outing to observe the … more »

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists: Drought and extreme weather of the Eastern Sierra, and will El Niño save us?

August 12th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Julie Curtis, 2014 Mono Lake Intern.

Noticed a change in weather patterns lately during this rainy August? But wait, aren’t we still in a drought?

Panorama of the Mono Basin from the north side of Mono Lake. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Join us this Wednesday at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists lecture comparing our current drought to other dry periods in both modern times and in the pre-instrumented record.

Chris Smallcomb, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in Reno, Nevada will be sharing the details of how this drought has changed our extreme weather in the Eastern Sierra. Chris is the primary liaison between the NWS and their emergency management, public safety, and media partners in eastern California and western Nevada. He also gives briefings to partners ahead of high-impact weather events and gives talks to the public on extreme weather and preparedness. Not only will Chris discuss the recent weather patterns, he will also take a look at the latest projections for the upcoming winter, including whether or not El Niño will bring us out of drought. We look forward to seeing you there!

Mono Lake’s alkali flies–the friendly flies

August 11th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sandra Noll, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

Flies are usually thought of—if they are thought of at all—as a nuisance. Here at Mono Lake, however, I’ve come to have a higher regard for flies—at least alkali flies (Ephydra hians).

Adult alkali flies at the edge of Mono Lake. Photo by Sandra Noll.

This fly is an important link in Mono Lake’s simple, yet productive food chain. Algae feeds trillions of alkali flies and brine shrimp, which support about 40,000 nesting California Gulls and their hungry chicks … more »

Skip the hassle of driving into Yosemite … take the YARTS shuttle instead

August 10th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Adam Dalton, 2014 Mono Lake Intern.

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” —Ansel Adams

You could drive … but why? Take the YARTS shuttle into Yosemite instead. Photo courtesy of YARTS.

Does the following scene resonate with you? After hours of driving from a far-flung locale you excitedly motor up Tioga Pass with great anticipation of arriving at Yosemite National Park and enjoying the perfect vacation, but unfortunately, as you near the gate you see it: the looming wall of traffic! … more »

Working at the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center

August 9th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Melissa Boyd, 2014 & 2015 Outdoor Education Instructor.

What do you think of when you hear the words “outdoor education?”

OEC students from NATHA (Neighbors Acting Together Helping All) in Los Angeles climb Lembert Dome in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Elina Rios.

When I first heard these words some statements that popped into my head were, “It’s teaching kids outside about nature” and “It’s hiking with youth in beautiful and scenic places.” Since working for the Mono Lake Committee as an Outdoor Education Intern I have come to learn that outdoor education does involve teaching youth about the environment while also spending time in nature, but … more »

Moira Donohoe’s paintings on display at the Mono Lake Committee gallery

August 8th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Barbara Ball, 2014 Information Center & Bookstore Manager.

“High Country Lake,” pastel on paper. Photo courtesy of Moira Donohoe.

After bidding a fond (and, I’m sure, temporary!) farewell to Ane Carla Rovetta, we are excited to welcome Moira Donohoe’s artwork to the Mono Lake Committee Gallery, where it will be on display into the new year.

A native of Yosemite, with family roots and history in the park, Moira brings the beauty of Yosemite and the Sierra to life in her predominantly oil or pastel paintings that include striking colors, contrast, and light. Come in and see Moira’s art in person, and perhaps purchase a painting for your special someone or for yourself. Also, save the date of Saturday, August 30 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, when you can meet Moira at her artist’s reception and view her work at the Mono Lake Committee.

The day I knew

August 7th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Erica Stephens, 2014 Mono Lake Intern.

Making the long journey up Highway 395 north to the Mono Basin and Eastern Sierra was always the highlight of my summers growing up. Originally from Southern California, I am used to palm trees, sirens whizzing by, crowds, malls, and a Starbucks on every corner. Everyone always seems to be on the move and everywhere you go, places are bustling with business. I come from this sort of lifestyle and consider myself to be a true California beach bum from the Long Beach area.

Erica leading a program for visitors along the Fossil Discovery Trail in Dinosaur National Monument in 2010. Photo courtesy of Erica Stephens.

Yet the city life was not all I was accustomed to since I was fortunate enough to have had an amazing outdoor education experience at Camp Hi-Hill during the fifth grade. … more »

Restoring Mill Creek by removing invasive plant species

August 6th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Emma Oschrin, 2014 Project Specialist.

As many of you know, one of the Mono Lake Committee’s central missions is restoration. This tenet of our work involves many components and projects, ranging from working with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on the Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement to removing invasive plant species along Mono Lake’s tributary streams.

Returning Mono Lake Intern Julie Curtis pulling white sweet clover along the banks of Mill Creek. Photo by Emma Oschrin.

This summer, we have been focusing our restoration field days on Mill Creek. More specifically, we are removing invasive white sweet clover from the riparian habitat along the banks of the stream. … more »

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