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Winter & Spring 2020 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The Mono Basin can feel completely quiet and isolated in winter. Mountain passes close for the season and visitors dwindle to a trickle. Birds have flown to warmer places and it’s as if the whole basin is far away from everything else in the world.

But during the prescribed burn on Twain Islet this month I was reminded of how many people see Mono Lake, even in the depths of winter.

Eastern Sierra neighbors hiking north of the lake took photos of the plumes of smoke rising near Negit Island. Locals came into the bookstore to inquire about the activity out on the lake. Someone called to ask if the volcanoes were erupting! Members keeping an eye on the Mono Lake webcams called in, curious about (more…)

Tioga Inn public workshop introduces final plan

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The Mono Lake Committee is delving into the Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) for the Tioga Inn project (released just last Friday night) to understand the changes made from the draft document that was released last summer. While some changes have been made to the project thanks to public comments, five original significant unavoidable impacts remain, including adverse impacts to the scenic resources of the Mono Basin.

Last night about 45 community members attended the Mono County Planning Department’s public workshop about the project, which provided an opportunity for people to hear more about the project as described in the FSEIR and ask clarifying questions. The project proponent (more…)

Prescribed fire on Mono Lake’s islet in the LA Times

Saturday, February 15th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Louis Sahagun accompanied Mono Lake Committee staff and Inyo National Forest fire personnel to Twain Islet yesterday for the prescribed burn to restore California Gull habitat taken over by the invasive weed Bassia hyssopifolia. Check out Louis’ article here, and if you get the paper, watch for it in tomorrow’s Sunday edition!

Tioga Inn public workshop scheduled for Tuesday, March 3

Monday, February 10th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The Mono County Planning Department has scheduled a public workshop on the Tioga Inn project—the meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Lee Vining Community Center (296 Mattly Avenue).

The workshop will be a chance to discuss the Final EIR for the project; it is available on the Mono County website and at the Lee Vining Library.

Then what happens?

The first decision point for project approval or denial is with the Mono County Planning Commission. The Commission has tentatively planned to address the Tioga Inn project on March 23. It is critical that decision makers hear from you before they decide on this project and the future impacts to the Mono Basin that will result. After the Commission, the project goes before the Mono County Board of Supervisors later this spring for a final decision. The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings are the two meetings when your voice will matter the most.

Due to the developing nature of the timeline for this project, please check here to confirm meeting dates and times before traveling.

Project background

Last year Mono County received over 1,000 comment letters about the controversial Tioga Inn project, which proposes a major expansion at the existing Tioga Gas Mart. As currently proposed, the project will be highly visible from many classic viewpoints, including South Tufa, Panum Crater, and Highway 395 south of Lee Vining, and will have adverse impacts on the prized dark night skies throughout the Mono Basin, deer migration, the Lee Vining community and more.

Learn more about the Tioga Inn project, see visual mock-ups of the project area, and read the Committee’s comment letter here.

Road to Bodie State Historic Park to re-open on February 7

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Highway 270, the Bodie Road, will re-open from its winter closure on Friday, February 7 at 10:00am.

Photo of a snowy Bodie taken about 1911–1912. Photo courtesy of California State Parks.

This will allow motorists to reach Bodie State Historic Park, but if significant winter weather resumes, the road may be closed once again. In winter, Bodie is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm every day.

Registration is open for 2020 Mono Basin Field Seminars

Saturday, February 1st, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Field Seminar registration opened this morning at 9:00am for Mono Lake Committee members, and sign-ups are going strong! Now is the time to make sure your membership is current and snag spots in the seminar(s) of your choice.

Don’t miss your chance to take a Mono Basin Field Seminar this year! Photo by AnnaLisa Mayer.

This year there are more than 30 seminars to choose from, covering topics such as woodpeckers, small mammals, arborglyphs, oil painting, watercolor painting, geology, and several (more…)

2020 Mono Lake Field Seminars posted online

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The complete list of all the Mono Lake Committee’s 2020 Field Seminars is now available online here! Registration opens at 9:00am on Saturday, February 1 for members only.

Check out the whole list of 2020 Mono Lake Field Seminars here! Photo by Rose Nelson.

Take a look at the seminars now so you know what to sign up for in two weeks when registration opens on Friday, February 1 at 9:00am for Mono Lake Committee members only. If you are not a Committee member, but you wish to register in February, you may join the Committee and sign up for the class of your choice at the same time. If you have any questions, you can check the list of frequently asked questionsemail the Field Seminar team, or call (760) 647-6595.

Ringing in 2020: The capacity to care

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

This essay, written by Caelen McQuilkin, appears in the 2020 Mono Lake Calendar.

Born and raised in Lee Vining, I have lived and breathed Mono Lake, and the Eastern Sierra, from before I learned to walk. I remember family backpacking trips to Cascade Lake, where I would sit on the cooling granite and watch the sun sink below the Sierra crest, staining the swooping granite pinnacles with rosy pink. I remember floating in Mono Lake on warm summer days, gazing up at the soft blue sky and letting the sun soak into me.

“Mono Lake After Sunset.” Photo by David J. Gubernick.

As the years slipped by and I began adding more peaks to my summit list and learning the names of wildflowers, I became more and more curious about the world around me. I believed, and still believe, that the basin of knowledge available in my backyard is infinite and ever-changing, that there is always more to discover, always another section of the map to explore, always another lake to swim in. This constant sense of wonder has crafted the lens through which I see the world.

At seventeen, I still (more…)

Winter Photography at Mono Lake field seminar still has space

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Reserve your spot in the Winter Photography at Mono Lake field seminar, coming up January 10–12, 2020!

Early morning light sifts through bands of poconip ice fog at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.

So far this winter we have experienced all kinds of picturesque weather—snowstorms, bright sunny days, poconip ice fog, skims of ice on Mono Lake, and colorful sunrises and sunsets. It’s shaping up to be a great season for winter photography.

Professional photographer and longtime Monophile (more…)

Spend $50 this weekend and get a free 2020 Mono Lake calendar

Friday, December 13th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

This weekend when you shop our online store for unique holiday gifts, get a free 2020 Mono Lake calendar with any purchase of $50 or more!

No promo code is necessary for your free calendar—just place your order for at least $50 worth of merchandise before midnight on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Your free calendar won’t appear on your online receipt, but don’t worry, it will be added to your order here at the office. (more…)

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