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This Saturday: 11th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup

Wednesday, 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…)

Join the Mono Lake Volunteer team this summer

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 by Jessica, Office Director

The Mono Basin teems with visitors during summer months, and their experiences here are greatly enhanced when they meet one of the 70-plus Mono Lake Volunteers also out and about during the summer.

Volunteers learn about Mono Lake’s simple but productive food chain at South Tufa. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Volunteers introduce Mono Lake’s natural history to visitors by roving the high-use areas around the lake, leading patio talks at the Scenic Area Visitor Center, and helping with invasive species removal events. Volunteers also help with office tasks—such as putting together mailings—here at the Mono Lake Committee offices.

Not sure if you’re ready to teach visitors about Mono Lake? That’s okay! We have a great training for (more…)

The Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Annual Report

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director

The Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Annual Report is now available!

2018 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report cover

The 2018 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available! Cover photo courtesy of Richard Erb.

The report is full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and scientific research. It also has the Committee’s (more…)

Christmas Bird Counts are on the horizon!

Sunday, December 9th, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Each winter, tens of thousands of people get together all over the Western Hemisphere and count birds in what is possibly the largest community-science project in the world. The Christmas Bird Count, or CBC, has been going on for 118 years—the 2018–2019 season is the 119th CBC!

Rough-legged Hawks are typically only in Mono County during the winter months, and they blend right in with the patchy snow. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Last year, people tallied over 56 million individual birds during the count window. These counts help show trends in bird populations (more…)

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Charles Gessert

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 by Maureen, Membership Assistant

There are so many ways to help Mono Lake! Recently a member from Minnesota used his particular passion to donate time and resources to Mono Lake.

Dr. Charles Gessert is a lifelong stamp collector and has been a Mono Lake Committee member since 1985. To build his stamp collection, Charles would buy entire collections at auctions. But this led to excess stamps, so a few years ago he started donating the stamps he didn’t need to local charities to (more…)

Results are in for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run

Saturday, September 15th, 2018 by Nigel, Birding Intern

Last Sunday, September 9, athletes from near and far joined us in the Eastern Sierra for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run.

Runners make their way up the Tioga Road just past the midpoint of the race. Photo by Dick Erb.

Starting outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, the grueling but beautiful 12.4-mile course follows the Tioga Road up Lee Vining Canyon to the eastern gate of Yosemite National Park, topping out at 9,943 feet above sea level. A total of 148 runners and walkers completed the race this year, a new record!

This year’s overall winner, finishing in a time of 1:40:16, was (more…)

The story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator

“Once upon a time, in a little mountain town on the edge of a big blue lake, a small group of people wanted to do something. They noticed that winter snows were less deep, and summer days were drier and hotter with forest fire smoke in the air. The group wanted to protect their beautiful lake, which depended on the snow to stay healthy.

“So the group decided to build a beautiful pavilion with a roof of solar panels, based on an idea from a town across the sea, to showcase how it is possible to have clean energy. It was a wonderful plan, but there was no money or knowledge to build something so grand.”

This is the beginning of the story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion that was dedicated on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Hess Park in Lee Vining.

Lee Vining’s Pioneer Solar Pavilion is a community-built gathering space that provides shade, electricity, wi-fi, shelter from wind, and information about local pioneer families. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The rest of the story is this: (more…)

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Joy Costello

Sunday, August 26th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake Intern

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, volunteer Joy Costello has found home in the Mono Basin. She moved to Bridgeport in 2013 and discovered Mono Lake soon after: “Mono Lake was one of the coolest things. I knew I wanted to be around it more and learn more about it.”

Joy helping remove invasive white sweet clover in the Mono Basin at a restoration event. Photo by Nigel Bates.

One of her favorite early memories of the lake is when she saw a nest of Great Horned Owls on a canoe tour. She enjoys watching all the animals at the lake, especially the California Gulls eating the alkali flies. As a lover of animals and the environment, becoming a Mono Lake Volunteer was a natural next step for Joy. (more…)

Successful invasive sweet clover removal at Mono Lake

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 by Nigel, Birding Intern

This summer, Mono Lake Committee staff, volunteers, and guest naturalists made substantial progress toward removing invasive white sweet clover (Melilotus albus) from the Old Marina area. This annual project is a crucial piece of the Committee’s mission to restore native habitats throughout the Mono Basin.

Volunteers Joy and Maddog add to the growing pile of pulled sweet clover. Photo by Nigel Bates.

Sweet clover can quickly overtake an ecosystem if it is not held in check, so our yearly invasive removal events are critical to maintaining the biodiversity of the area. Over the course of two mornings, we removed 199.75 pounds of sweet clover! This marked one of our most efficient summers ever, with each participant pulling an average of 17 pounds. Thanks to all of our volunteers for their hard work and good spirits.

As we pulled sweet clover, we were treated to informal lectures by our guest naturalists (more…)

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: April Sall

Monday, August 20th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake Intern

Although new to the Mono Lake Volunteer program, April Sall is no stranger to environmental advocacy. Originally from the California desert, she worked as a biologist for the National Park Service in Joshua Tree National Park before moving to the Eastern Sierra two years ago.

April enjoys spending time outside with her dog. Photo courtesy of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership.

She is currently the director of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership; a non-profit that works to preserve and protect the Bodie Hills. Her main objective right now is to secure permanent protection for the area that is currently undesignated BLM land and Wilderness Study Areas. April manages and (more…)

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