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Posts Tagged ‘Mono Lake’

Mono Lake’s California Gulls safe for the season

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 by Geoff, Executive Director
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A mile of citizen-funded solar-powered electric fence is up and running, protecting Mono Lake’s nesting gulls—one of the three largest colonies in the world—from mainland predators. The fence is the result of a year and a half of planning by the Mono Lake Committee and California State Parks along with other agency partners, a dedicated local installation team, and generous funding from Mono Lake supporters across the country.

The temporary electric fence stretching one mile across the landbridge has 11 motion-activated wildlife cameras with infrared nighttime flash capability along its length. In late April, camera #5 documented a coyote walking the fence line, confirming that the fence is functioning as a coyote barrier. Mono Lake Committee wildlife camera photo.

Why is the temporary fence—which will be removed when nesting is finished—needed? Five years of drought lowered Mono Lake seven feet, shrinking the protective moat of water between the lake’s north shore and Negit Island and adjacent islets—exposing a landbridge that allows coyotes access to the lake’s long-established nesting colony of California Gulls. Last summer signs were found on a few of these islets that coyotes had indeed walked the landbridge and then swum the remaining 500 feet or so of shallow water to prey on eggs and chicks, disrupting nesting and causing gulls to be suspicious of returning to these sites in future years.

Not a typical fence site

The electric mesh netting fence used for the project (more…)

Fence post: An update from Mono Lake’s landbridge

Friday, April 21st, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The temporary electrified fence protecting Mono Lake’s nesting California Gulls has been up and running for about three weeks now. After a long and snowy winter the gulls’ calls signal spring’s arrival, and it’s gratifying to know that as they build nests and lay eggs out on the islands, they are protected from coyote predation.

Gull researcher Kristie Nelson works on one of the fence sections that extends into Mono Lake. Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

The fence stretches for about one mile across the landbridge, and is made up of five sections that overlap—an electrified long middle section, two shorter electrified sections at the ends near the water’s edge, and two passive sections at (more…)

April 1 Mono Lake level: 6378.3 feet above sea level and rising

Monday, April 10th, 2017 by Robbie, Project Specialist
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April 1, the beginning of the runoff year, is a particularly important day for Mono Lake. Each April 1 Mono Lake Committee and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) staff walk down to Mono Lake and read the lake level, together. It is particularly important because it is the April 1 lake level that determines how much water is allowed to be diverted from Mono Basin streams to the City of Los Angeles for the year.

Brian Norris from DWP and Robbie Di Paolo from the Mono Lake Committee read the lake level gauge together on April 1, 2017. Photo by Bartshé Miller.

The first time I participated in one of these April 1 lake level readings was in 2015 when the lake had dropped to a level that triggered a 70% reduction of water exports. The second time, the lake narrowly cleared the level that would have halted water exports altogether. Years of drought lowered the lake and heightened concern over available exports, but this year was different. This year Mono Lake is on the rise. (more…)

Mono Lake Committee launches #LongLivetheGulls campaign

Monday, February 20th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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This spring, when tens of thousands of California Gulls return to their island nesting ground at Mono Lake, they will be in danger of having their once-safe colony raided by coyotes. During the drought, Mono Lake dropped 7 vertical feet—exposing a landbridge to the gulls’ nesting islands. It’s hard to believe that all of this snow and rain we’re getting won’t fix the problem naturally. The lake is rising, but the snow we’ve gotten this winter won’t melt and raise the lake in time to protect them when they lay their eggs in April. Help us put up a fence to save the gulls before it’s too late!

 

 

We’ve started a crowdfunding campaign to raise (more…)

Wild & Scenic Film Festival LA tickets on sale now!

Saturday, February 18th, 2017 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Tickets for the annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles are on sale now! We are excited to have screenings at two locations this year; the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo on Thursday March 9 from 7:00-10:00pm and the Sierra Madre City Hall Council Chambers on Saturday, March 11 from 2-3pm for a matinee and from 7:00-10:00pm as well.

This year’s festival features ten beautiful and fun films about nature, conservation, and activism through the lens of skiing, surfing, mountaineering, photography, whitewater rafting, and more.

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling us at (760) 647-6595. For more information, including film lineups and parking information, check out the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles website. You can also follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

All proceeds from the event go to the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs that bring students from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin to learn about the source of their water through five days of life changing outdoor experiences.

See you there!

Open house: Gulls, landbridge, and all of this water for Mono Lake

Friday, February 10th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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Even with all of this snow and rain, we still need to build a temporary fence to protect the gulls. Have questions? Stop by the open house on Wednesday—we’ve got answers, ways you can help, and cookies too.

  • When: Wednesday, February 15, 5-7pm
  • Where: Mono Lake Committee Bookstore
  • What: Open house, presentation at 6pm
  • Why: Because you love California Gulls (and Epic Cafe cookies)

#longlivethegulls

Atmospheric river brings approximately six inches of water to Mono Lake so far

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Mono Lake Committee hydrologists estimate that the series of atmospheric river storms we’ve been experiencing over the last week has brought enough water to the Mono Basin to raise Mono Lake by six inches.

geoff-in-la-times-video

Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin at the shore of a rising Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, this lake level rise is very good news for the Mono Lake ecosystem, and it also means that some water will flow south to Los Angeles in 2017. Before these storms, the lake was low enough that it was looking likely that no water exports would be allowed.

As Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin says in today’s LA Times video, “This event is going to keep the lake protected and it’s going to keep that water flowing to the city.” Thanks, atmospheric river—that’s a win-win!

2016 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report

Saturday, January 7th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee’s 2016 Annual Report is now available online.

2016 Annual Report cover

Cover photo courtesy of Thomas Piekunka.

The report is full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and scientific research. It also has the Committee’s (more…)

Mono Lake featured in Greenwire

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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We love talking to folks about Mono Lake, especially people who are interested in looking at the Mono Lake story within the larger context of saline lakes. Such was the case when Mono Lake Committee Executive Director Geoffrey McQuilkin joined E&E Greenwire reporter Jeremy Jacobs for a lakeshore exploration this past April.

Jacobs is writing a series on “Dead Seas” that is worth reading to learn more about the Salton Sea and Owens Lake. For sure, you won’t want to miss the newest installment that focuses on Mono Lake. You can read the full story “Drought Threatens ‘genius’ regs that stopped L.A. water grab” here.

E&Escreenshot

Click the image above to read the whole article from E&E Publishing, LLC’s Greenwire.

Enjoy! And let us know if you have any questions.

Marina Fire 9:00pm Friday update

Friday, June 24th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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As of 9:00pm tonight (Friday, June 24) the Marina Fire is still burning just north of Lee Vining along Hwy 395. At this time an evacuation warning has been issued for Lee Vining and Mono City. The Tioga Lodge and the Mono Inn have been evacuated. At this time Hwy 395 is closed.

The Marina Fire as seen from the north at around 8pm.

The Marina Fire as seen from the north at around 8pm Friday, June 24, 2016. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

A press release from the Inyo National Forest reports that the fire has grown to about 600 acres. There are approximately 300 personnel on the fire, and the fire has been determined to be human-caused and remains under investigation at this time. (more…)

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