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Updated schedule: Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists 2019

August 19th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us for the four remaining lectures in this summer’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists series, featuring scientists presenting their work in the region.

Join us for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists on Wednesdays at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Lectures happen at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore gallery. Presentations last about one hour and include light refreshments. If you can join us for these free events, please register here!

Join us for these scheduled talks: … more »

16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour to celebrate women in Mono Basin history

August 18th, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

(Click to enlarge.)

Too often phenomenal women can be lost in the history books, but not in the Mono Basin.

The 16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush event, hosted by the Mono Basin Historical Society, is celebrating amazing women who had a hand in shaping the Mono Basin between 1900 and 1950. Over the two-day event, attendees will hear stories about Paiute women who “became known for their exceedingly fine, visually stunning, and complex polychrome baskets,” as well as fearless first female guides and ranchers. … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: From Mono Lake to Mar Chiquita—how are phalaropes faring in the 21st century?

August 17th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, August 21 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Ryan Carle, conservation scientist, will be here to discuss cutting-edge research on phalaropes. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here!

A flock of phalaropes on Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Marie Read.

Phalaropes are tiny shorebirds that make impressive migrations between North and South America. Mono and other saline lakes—which are nearly universally threatened by climate change and water diversions—are critical migratory refueling stops … more »

Action alert: Threat to scenic Mono Basin, letters needed by August 21

August 15th, 2019 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

The Mono Lake Committee is encouraging people who value the Mono Basin to submit a comment letter regarding the Draft SEIR for the Tioga Inn, which has “6 significant unavoidable adverse impacts”* from the proposed major addition to the gas station and restaurant known as the Mobil Mart.

The Draft SEIR for the Tioga Inn is a significant addition to the current development known as the Mobil Mart.

This is a critical moment for public input; the letter deadline is August 21, 2019 at 5:00pm.

The Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) and Specific Plan for the Tioga Inn Project has studied a developer proposal to expand the approved site footprint onto a tall bluff that overlooks Highway 395 and Mono Lake. The proposed multi-unit, two-story construction of a 100-unit/150-bedroom Workforce Housing Village will, if approved as is, fundamentally change the experience of wild natural beauty of Mono Lake and the Mono Basin. Mono Lake, Mono County, and the scenic highway and gateway to Yosemite National Park deserve better.

As currently proposed, the project will be highly visible … more »

This Saturday: 11th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup

August 14th, 2019 by Meghan, Mono Lake Intern

Looking for a fun and easy way to give back to this place we all know and love so much? Come join us this Saturday, August 17 from 8:30am to 12:30pm for the 11th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup! We will spend our morning picking up any and all trash that has accumulated around Lee Vining Creek.

If you are free this Saturday, get your family and friends together and meet us outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining. From there we will carpool to the DWP diversion site on Lee Vining Creek. Make sure to bring sturdy footwear, a water bottle, and sun protection. Our goal this year is to use as little single-use plastic as possible for the cleanup, so if you have your own gloves and buckets for trash, bring them along! We’ll provide work gloves where necessary as well as … more »

Retired Mono County Superior Court Judge Edward Denton passes

August 13th, 2019 by Geoff, Executive Director

Judge Edward Denton, April 24, 1926–July 12, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Reno Record-Courier.

Judge Edward Denton, who played an influential role in re-watering Lee Vining Creek, died on July 12, 2019 at age 93.

During a heat wave in May of 1986 the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) was forced to release water down the previously-dry Lee Vining Creek—water that brought trout with it. The Mono Lake Committee quickly went to court to keep water flowing in the creek for the trout, and it was Mono County Superior Court Judge Denton who granted the temporary restraining order that forced DWP to release enough water to keep the fish alive until the case could be tried. While it was just ten cubic feet per second of water, it was a significant decision to the Mono Lake Committee.

In a recent issue of the local paper, The Sheet, retired Judge Stan Eller recounted his memory of … more »

Space available in upcoming Mono Basin geology field seminars

August 12th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

A highly popular field seminar offering, Geology of the Mono Basin: Land of Fire & Ice focuses on the diverse and spectacular geology of Mono Lake, the Mono Craters, Black Point, Lee Vining Canyon, Tioga Pass and more.

Mono Basin Geology: Land of Fire & Ice • August 16–18 and September 20–22 • $182 per person/$167 for members

Spaces are open in this year’s Mono Basin Geology field seminars, led by Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Greg Stock leads, presenting accessible and engaging insight into the processes which formed these landscapes as they appear today. Yosemite National Park’s first-ever … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Avalanche forecasting challenges in a changing climate

August 10th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday July 14 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Sue Burak, snow scientist and avalanche forecaster, will be here to discuss how climate change is producing unusual avalanches. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here!

A debris flow across Tioga Pass Road on June 17, 2019. Photo courtesy of Sue Burak.

Recent avalanches in the Sierra have been unusual. Avalanche activity in 2019 began in early January and continued through June when a wet slab avalanche released above Tioga Pass Road and deposited mud and rocks onto … more »

Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center receives many pairs of donated boots

August 8th, 2019 by Miranda, Outdoor Education Instructor

The Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC) staff have been busy this season with a different group every week. Students of all ages, often from Los Angeles, spend five days with us, camping, hiking, and canoeing. They learn about the Mono Basin, where their water comes from, and how to cherish and preserve natural spaces and resources.

OEC students from Modesto’s Camp Cricket hiked up Bennettville Dome in boots generously donated by members. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Each group brings new and wonderful adventures, but it takes hard work and support from many people to make sure students are prepared and to—literally—get boots on the ground. Most participants don’t have all the equipment needed to hike and recreate outdoors, so we turn to the OEC closet to find what they need.

We put out a call for gently used boots in the most recent Mono Lake Newsletter and received an awesome response! … more »

Riparian restoration in the Mono Basin

August 6th, 2019 by Caroline Bottega

Intern Caroline Bottega recording groundwater levels on Rush Creek tributary. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

“I can really count this as work?” I thought, while wading knee-deep in the cool, swift water of Rush Creek. Robbie Di Paolo, the Mono Lake Committee’s Restoration Field Technician, was a few paces ahead and leading the way to our next monitoring well. It felt like a scavenger hunt, as we navigated from well to well between the stream channels and sagebrush until another tall, white PVC pipe would finally appear among the vegetation.

Part of the mission of the Mono Lake Committee is to restore the important habitats of the Mono Basin, which include the habitats of the freshwater tributaries that feed Mono Lake. As one of my intern projects for the summer, I have been tasked with collecting groundwater measurements along both Lee Vining Creek and Rush Creek each week. Through my weekly well readings, I have had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Committee’s restoration efforts and dive deeper into the complex relationships that exist between the important habitats of the Mono Basin. … more »

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