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Join us for birding & geology at Mono Lake this Labor Day weekend

Monday, August 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

This coming weekend we’re offering three one-day seminars for a full weekend of natural history at Mono Lake. Snap up the last few spaces in Birding the White Mountains on Friday, Volcanism of the Mono Basin on Saturday, and Shorebird Migration on Sunday!

Join Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston for three seminars over Labor Day weekend. Photo courtesy of Bob Yates.

Birding the White Mountains • August 30 • 1 space left!

The gradient from the Owens Valley up to the White Mountains provides a great swath of diverse habitat, from desert oasis up to high‐elevation pinyon‐juniper woodland. During this popular field seminar we will (more…)

Space available in upcoming Mono Basin geology field seminars

Monday, 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…)

Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center receives many pairs of donated boots

Thursday, 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…)

A 100-unit workforce housing village proposed adjacent to Lee Vining near Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park

Thursday, July 25th, 2019 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

August 22 update: Over 700 comment letters submitted about the proposed Tioga Inn project

Tioga Inn public comment period open until August 13 August 21, workshop July 30

The Tioga Inn is the name for the full build-out plan for the project that is currently best known as the Mobil-mart/Whoa Nellie Deli and gas station above the intersection of Highway 120 and Highway 395 just south of Lee Vining. This project has the potential to significantly change the community of Lee Vining, and could double its population. During this open public comment period every opinion and concern matters—people who live in, visit, or know Lee Vining are all encouraged to submit a comment letter.

The existing Mobil gas station, Whoa Nellie Deli, and workforce housing that are part of the proposed Tioga Inn development project.

Project overview

Over twenty six years ago Mono County approved the Tioga Inn Specific Plan & Final Environmental Impact Report, which includes a two-story, 120-room hotel, full-service restaurant, convenience store, gas station, and ten workforce housing units. While the Mobil Mart/Whoa Nellie Deli, (more…)

2019 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship recipients

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

Since 2008, the Mono Lake Committee has supported local students by awarding two $1,000 scholarships to Mono County high school seniors. This year we asked applicants to get close to the shoreline of Mono Lake without distractions and jot down what they saw, heard, smelled, and felt around them. Then to reflect on the question: Why do places like Mono Lake matter?

The answers were quite moving from all applicants, but two essays rose to the top. We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients—Orion Ellis from Mammoth High School and Sophia McKee from Lee Vining High School.

Rose Nelson with scholarship recipients Orion Ellis and Sophia McKee. Photos by Rose Nelson.

(more…)

The Tioga Pass lower gate is open

Friday, May 31st, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

At noon today Caltrans opened the lower gate on Tioga Pass, which opens 13 miles of Highway 120, from Highway 395 to the Yosemite National Park boundary. The gate at the park boundary remains closed.

The Tioga Pass lower gate on February 7, 2019. The snow has melted and the gate opened today. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

With the lower gate open, people can access the high country near the park boundary—it remains almost completely snow-covered with wintry conditions and variable weather. Visitors planning to leave the road should be prepared for such conditions. Ellery Lake and Tioga Lake are still covered in ice and snow, and Saddlebag Lake Road is still closed, so there is no vehicle access to Saddlebag Lake. Tioga Pass Resort and Saddlebag Lake Resort remain closed.

There is still no estimated opening date for Tioga Pass; plowing updates can be found here and a list of previous opening dates here.

Summer 2019 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Friday, May 24th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Photo by David Gubernick.If you have arrived at Mono Lake and picked up this Newsletter, wondering “what is this place and who are these people,” you’re in good hands.

On page 16 you can find the Mono Lake story in a nutshell, and the essay on page 22 gives a brief history of this organization. There’s a map and things to do on pages 14–17. You can learn, like the students who come to the Outdoor Education Center, about the physical tie between Mono Lake and Los Angeles that is the Los Angeles Aqueduct. You can see the intricacies required to keep Mono Lake protected at an everyday, practical level—the comments we submitted on proposed fishing regulations (more…)

Lundy Canyon inholding heading toward permanent protection

Monday, April 22nd, 2019 by Arya, Communications Director

The Mono Lake Committee, The Wilderness Land Trust, and Eastern Sierra Land Trust are partnering to permanently protect a 49.3-acre inholding in Lundy Canyon.

The property frames the upper entrance of this iconic Eastern Sierra canyon, is entirely within the Inyo National Forest, and includes a portion within the Hoover Wilderness and a portion adjacent to the Wilderness boundary within sight of the Lundy Canyon trailhead. This dramatic and scenic location is (more…)

Winter & Spring 2019 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Thursday, March 14th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

When my husband and I were planning our courthouse wedding five years ago, we asked Judge Stan Eller to officiate. Judge Eller retired last year from a long, storied career that included preventing DWP from shutting off Rush Creek after a big flood returned water to it in the mid-1980s for the first time in decades (see page 11). I wanted to feel connected to Mono Lake on that very important day for us, and as Judge Eller pronounced us married, I did.

So many people feel connected to Mono Lake, and never more than during exciting periods of weather. This February has brought more days with snow than without, and we hear from (more…)

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be closed while the floor is refinished

Thursday, February 21st, 2019 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

If you’ve visited the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, then you’ve walked on our unique and lovely historic floor.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be closed from February 26 through March 13 so the floor, which is original to the 1930s-era building, can be refinished.

The wooden floor is original to the building, which was built in the 1930s and used as a dance hall where miners, ranchers, and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power employees used to party after long days of work extending the (more…)

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The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.