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Refreshing ‘Ologists: History, water, and the surprising persistence of the Devils Hole pupfish

Saturday, July 13th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, July 17 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Kevin Brown, environmental historian and Mono Lake Committee staff, will discuss the Devils Hole pupfish and water law. Please register here if you can attend this free event!

Devils Hole pupfish. Photo courtesy of Olin Feuerbacher, US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Kevin Brown at Devils Hole, a disjunct segment of Death Valley National Park. Photo courtesy of Kevin Brown.

The Devils Hole pupfish is one of the rarest species in the world, confined to just a single natural habitat in southern Nevada’s Amargosa Desert. Amidst a biodiversity crisis that some are calling the “sixth extinction,” it is worth exploring how is it that the pupfish survived the twentieth century when some of its close neighbors have not. This talk explores the ways that water law has both threatened and protected the pupfish from the 1910s to the present.

Kevin C. Brown is a historian of the environment and the US West. He is completing a book manuscript tentatively titled, Persistence: The Devils Hole Pupfish and Surviving Modern America. He wrote an environmental history of the Devils Hole pupfish for the National Park Service and later worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his doctorate in history at Carnegie Mellon University.

Devils Hole, as seen through the fencing at the viewing platform. Devils Hole is the smallest vertebrate habitat in the world. Photo by Kevin Brown.

Refreshing ‘Ologists: A new detection of the threatened Sierra Nevada red fox

Sunday, July 7th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, July 10 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this summer’s first Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Brian Hatfield, California Department of Fish & Wildlife researcher, will be here to discuss recent detection of the Sierra Nevada red fox in California. Please register here if you can attend this free event!

A Sierra Nevada red fox detected by remote camera in Mono Creek. Photo courtesy of Brian Hatfield.

The Sierra Nevada red fox (SNRF) is a subspecies of red fox native to the high-elevation regions of California and Oregon. Until recently (more…)

See chipmunks, kangaroo rats, and more up close on the Mono Basin Mammals field seminar

Friday, July 5th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Small mammals like kangaroo rats, chipmunks, squirrels, and mice live all around us here in the Mono Basin, but it’s often tough to get a good look at them. If you’re interested in seeing the Mono Basin’s small mammals up close (you might even get to hold one!), sign up now for the Mono Basin Mammals field seminar.

Mono Basin Mammals • July 19–21 • $182 per person/$167 for members • view full itinerary here • sign up here

See the small, furry mammals of the Mono Basin up close during this field seminar. Photo by Joslyn Rogers.

If you have never seen the tuft on a kangaroo rat’s tail, been able to compare the stripes of different chipmunk species, or watched families of pikas busily gathering grass for the winter (more…)

Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day with local students

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was established in 1993 to connect people who live in important migratory bird wetland habitats from across the globe. It is a celebration of these various ecosystems, the birds that inhabit them, and the people who are trying to help save these wetlands.

Lee Vining Elementary School students birding at the County Park boardwalk for World Migratory Bird Day. Photo by Rose Nelson.

This spring the Mono Lake Committee partnered with students from our local Lee Vining Elementary School to celebrate WMBD and discuss this year’s theme:  Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution. The goal of WMBD 2019 is to (more…)

It’s the season for interpretive activities at Mono Lake

Sunday, June 30th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

Summer is a busy time in the Mono Basin, and the birds aren’t the only ones making the most of the warmer temperatures and longer days! Whether it is your first or fiftieth visit to the area, there are a variety of exciting interpretive programs for the whole family available at and near Mono Lake this summer.

Join a 10:00am or 6:00pm free South Tufa tour to learn about Mono Lake from a naturalist guide. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Gain an understanding of the ecology and history of the lake by stopping by charismatic South Tufa for one of the free, hour-long tours at 10:00am and 6:00pm every day, where you’ll have the hands-on opportunity to get to know the fascinating ecosystem and political history of the lake with the guidance of a naturalist. While the tours are free, South Tufa is (more…)

Another Chautauqua in the books

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Last weekend, the eighteenth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua took flight in the basin as hundreds of birders and nature enthusiasts flocked to the area to seek out friends—both feathered and human—knowledge, and fun.

Birders take in the evening at Rattlesnake Gulch surrounded by flowers and granite spires. Photo courtesy of Karen DeMello.

This birding festival brings birders and naturalists together to enhance appreciation and understanding of the Mono Basin’s diverse and abundant bird life and to educate the public about this area’s value to birds and people. This year’s event featured over 100 programs to fill the days, including field trips, lectures, workshops, and more.

This year’s coterie of birders and field trip leaders tallied (more…)

Space still open in Bird Chautauqua programs

Saturday, June 8th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The eighteenth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is happening next weekend, June 14–16! The weather has warmed up, the birds have arrived in the Eastern Sierra, and many Chautauqua programs still have space.

Join us next weekend for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua! Photo by Elin Ljung.

If you have been on the fence about attending this year’s Chautauqua, we hope this list of open programs (below) convinces you to join us. You can still register for a fantastic weekend of field trips, workshops, and presentations—don’t miss out! (more…)

Major changes to fishing regulations possible

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 by Lisa, Associate Policy Director

Just a month before this year’s fishing season opener, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) threw out a lunker of a proposal—a potential change to existing fishing regulations to allow year-round inland trout fishing throughout the state of California, including the Eastern Sierra. According to DFW, the motivation for the change is to simplify fishing regulations statewide.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife has proposed that year-round inland trout fishing be permitted throughout the state, including on Mono Basin streams. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Since the announcement, DFW has hosted a series of meetings around the state. Locally, the topic has sparked much interest—not only among anglers and fishing guides, but also business owners, seasonal resort owners, and public officials, all of whom (more…)

Sign up for a Mono Lake canoe tour today

Saturday, June 1st, 2019 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning a visit to the Eastern Sierra! Reserve your seat today on a Mono Lake canoe tour to experience Mono Lake from an entirely new perspective.

Calm mornings lead to stunning reflections on Mono Lake. Photos by Alison Kaplan.

On your hour-long tour, you will learn all about the ecology and geology of this high desert lake while paddling among tufa towers, seeing eye-to-eye with the brine shrimp, and maybe even (more…)

The Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua still has space open–sign up now!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The eighteenth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is right around the corner, coming up June 14–16, 2019.

Bullock’s Oriole. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

This year’s program has a whopping 106 events—field trips, presentations, workshops, and more. And there’s still space in 62 of those events! More than 275 people have already signed up, and we expect many more (more…)

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