June 3rd, 2020 by Mono Lake Committee StaffcloseAuthor: Mono Lake Committee StaffName: Mono Lake Committee Staff Title: Mono Lake Committee Staff About: The Mono Lake Committee is a 16,000 member non-profit citizens' group dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mono Basin ecosystem, educating the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use, and promoting cooperative solutions that protect Mono Lake and meet real water needs without transferring environmental problems to other areas.See All Posts by Mono Lake Committee (507) Contact Mono Lake Committee
Black Lives Matter. The Mono Lake Committee is outraged—we condemn police brutality, racially motivated murders, and all violence against Black lives. We stand in solidarity with the Black community. We all must take action against overt, institutionalized, and environmental racism. We recognize that we have a lot to learn and work to do. We are committed to becoming a more antiracist organization.
May 28th, 2020 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet.See All Posts by Nora (47) Contact Nora
On May 9, to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and eBird’s Global Big Day, my partner Kevin and I set out to see as many bird species as possible within a 5 miles radius (5MR) of the Mono Lake Committee office while contributing to the eBird Global Big Day citizen science project. Last year, I saw 76 species in my 5MR and my goal was to break 80 this year. Though the species count is a motivator, the birds are the prize! We had an amazing day. I have linked the eBird Checklists to each location I mention, so you can see what we were seeing and hearing.
A map of the 5MR. It includes many prime birding spots! Photo from Google Maps.
We started at 5:00am, hearing the pre-dawn crooning of American Robins and House Wrens. Then we drove up Lee Vining Canyon for the dawn chorus. I had been keeping track of the returning migrants diligently, but this week was bursting with new … more »
May 26th, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy DirectorcloseAuthor: Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy DirectorName: Bartshé Miller Title: Education Director About: Bartshé works on Mono Basin policy issues such as protecting the integrity of the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, coordinating with regional agency staff, and working with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and scientists on the ongoing restoration of Mono Lake and its tributary streams. He has been an Eastern Sierra resident since 1993.See All Posts by Bartshé (78) Contact Bartshé
The Mono County Board of Supervisors will consider the Tioga Inn project at the end of June. While the exact date is yet to be confirmed, the two possible dates are June 25–26 or June 29–30. The Board is considering possible two-day hearing dates to better accommodate expected public comment and to fully deliberate the project before making a final decision.
A view of the current Tioga Gas Mart, which is the site of the future proposed Tioga Inn development. Photo by Elin Ljung.
With to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in California and the Expanded Stage 2 phase of Mono County’s reopening plan, the Supervisors are hoping that a hybrid meeting format of a live, in-person meeting combined with … more »
May 25th, 2020 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California's Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (365) Contact Elin
Last week we made the difficult decision to cancel all Mono Basin Field Seminars through the end of the year. After much consideration, we couldn’t envision offering them with the uncertainties that lie ahead, in a way that minimizes risk well enough, and yet doesn’t compromise the experience that participants expect.
The 2020 Mono Basin Field Seminars have been canceled due to the uncertainties and risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo from 2018.
We are deeply disappointed about this—the Field Seminars have been a tradition at Mono Lake for more than 25 years, and we will miss seeing all the great instructors and enthusiastic participants in the Mono Basin this year. But as hard as the decision was to make, it was also clear—we don’t want to risk anyone’s health during a year when gathering together will be tricky at best.
While this program has been canceled, there are … more »
May 15th, 2020 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California's Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (365) Contact Elin
As of today, several roads in the Mono Lake region have opened for the season:
The lower gate on the Tioga Road opened today; the gate at the Yosemite National Park boundary remains closed. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.
Highway 120 West is open from the junction with Highway 395 to the gate at the Yosemite National Park boundary
May 7th, 2020 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagercloseAuthor: Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagerName: Lily Pastel Title: Information Center & Bookstore Manager About: Lily was drawn to the Mono Basin by the beauty of the area as well as the Mono Lake Committee’s worthy cause, and now she can’t leave! She began as a Mono Lake Intern in 2014, fresh out of college. Since then she has held a handful of positions and has settled into her role as Information Center & Bookstore Manager. Lily loves reading, hiking, unicorns, and lipstick. Her summers are full of exploring the Eastern Sierra, ordering new and exciting books, and making sure that visitors leave the Information Center & Bookstore with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for Mono Lake.See All Posts by Lily (87) Contact Lily
If you’re like me, you are probably catching up on your reading list (or dreaming of being able to) while sheltering in place. Even though our Information Center & Bookstore is currently closed, you can still support our efforts to protect Mono Lake with your purchase of books, puzzles, and art supplies made through our affiliate link at Bookshop.
When you follow this link—bookshop.org/shop/mono_lake—you can shop our curated book lists and browse for titles and products not featured on our page too. As long as you follow that specific link, any purchase you make will contribute 30% of your order total to the Mono Lake Committee.
May 5th, 2020 by Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorName: Andrew Youssef Title: Digital Engagement Coordinator About: A graduate of Vanderbilt University and a native of Atlanta, Georgia, Andrew came to the Sierra to volunteer in Tuolumne Meadows in 2014. He fell in love with the area and began working at the Committee as a Mono
Lake Intern. Today he combines his passions for education and the environment by working in all of the Committee's program areas on everything from organizing the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua and Field Seminar programs to creating social media and video content to editing the
Mono Lake Newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing at Lee Vining Creek, paddling on Mono Lake, hiking in the High Sierra, and skiing wherever there is snow.See All Posts by Andrew (72) Contact Andrew
#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020. Lately we’ve been announcing a lot of cancellations, from the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua to the summer canoe program; however, giving back is not cancelled, and Mono Lake needs you now more than ever.
We’re still doing all we can to keep restoration and protection programs moving forward, and DWP on track with their obligations. Staff are even launching new web-based opportunities for you to experience Mono Lake, sharing the arriving birds, springtime flowers, and scenic views on naturalist walks near the lake.
You can still support protection, restoration, education, and science at Mono Lake with your gift of any amount. Thank you!
May 1st, 2020 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California's Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (365) Contact Elin
No date has yet been set for the Mono County Board of Supervisors to take up the Tioga Inn project, but it is likely to happen in June.
The Mono County Board of Supervisors is likely to address the Tioga Inn project in June. In September last year, the Planning Commissioners and members of the public visited the project site. Photo by Elin Ljung.
Following the disappointing Mono County Planning Commission meeting of April 16, at which the commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the project despite hundreds of public comments in opposition, the Supervisors discussed options for a Tioga Inn meeting at their April 21 regularly scheduled meeting. They expressed interest in … more »
April 30th, 2020 by Rose, Education DirectorcloseAuthor: Rose, Education DirectorName: Rose Nelson Title: Education Director About: After graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2012, Rose worked as a botany research assistant at UC Berkeley, a Research Assistant for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife monitoring riparian plant species on rivers throughout California, and as a California State Parks interpreter. In 2017 she was here at Mono Lake as an Outdoor Education Instructor, and has now returned to oversee the Committee's education programs.See All Posts by Rose (10) Contact Rose
The Mono Lake Committee’s canoe tours have been a tradition in the Eastern Sierra for more than 35 years. Canoe tours offer a unique, immersive experience where one can weave through the tufa towers, glide among flocks of Wilson’s Phalaropes, and learn the Mono Lake story from trained interpretive guides.
Public canoe tours on Mono Lake will not take place this summer, due to COVID-19 and staffing decisions made because of it. Photo by Andrew Youssef.
April 29th, 2020 by Claire, Office ManagercloseAuthor: Claire, Office ManagerName: Claire Landowski Title: Office Manager About: Claire first found her way to the Mono Basin in 2008 during a geology field camp and, after countless return visits, finally managed to stay for good in 2019. She is still a geology enthusiast, constantly geeking out over the fantastic setting of the Mono Basin and the wider Eastern Sierra. Claire supervises the intern and volunteer programs, oversees the Mono Basin Field Station, and generally keeps the office functioning smoothly.See All Posts by Claire (1) Contact Claire
The Mono Lake Committee has made the difficult decision to not bring any of the summer seasonal staff we had hired to Lee Vining for 2020. Our whole team is disappointed to not be able to share the summer with what promised to be an incredible group of interns, but we all agree that it is the right decision for everyone involved.
The 2019 seasonal staff learning about Mono Lake’s ecology on the south shore last summer. Photo by Alison Kaplan.
Cancellation of the summer hiring does not mean that all summer programs are cancelled, but the uncertainty about when we might be able to offer tours and reopen the bookstore was a major reason for the decision.
Normally our intern training takes two full weeks at the beginning of June, and some of the summer staff arrive much earlier … more »