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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…)

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Maddog

Sunday, August 12th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake Intern

Maddog, spring. She says that making tasks fun is one of the best parts of volunteering. Photo courtesy of Maddog.

If you’ve ever walked down the boardwalk at Mono Lake County Park, or taken a sunset stroll at South Tufa, you have Maddog to thank for the clear trail. A dedicated volunteer since 2011, Maddog has spent many hours tearing out stinging nettle at County Park, repairing the stairs at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, and trimming back the overgrown brush along the trail at South Tufa. “It’s a good way to give back,” she says of her time spent volunteering.

Although born in New York, Maddog moved around a lot in her childhood—spending time in more than eight different states before moving to Hawthorne, Nevada in 2004. She first visited Mono Lake in 2010 and was inspired to become (more…)

Great Sierra River Cleanup this Saturday

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 by Alexis, Mono Lake Intern

Join us this Saturday, August 11 from 8:30am to 12:30pm for the annual Great Sierra River Cleanup! We will spend the morning picking up trash along Lee Vining Creek.

If you are free this Saturday, 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. We’ll provide work gloves as well as a light snack.

This event is coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy with the help of California Coastal Cleanup. For the past ten years, volunteers across the Sierra Nevada have banded together to help clean up rivers and (more…)

Help remove invasive plants at Mono Lake

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake Intern

One of the important goals of the Mono Lake Committee is restoration, and one thing we do to restore the area is removing invasive plants. And you can help too!

This could be you! Happy volunteers remove invasive plants with Ann Howald in 2016. Photo by Sandra Noll.

We’re hosting several mornings of invasive plant removals this summer. To start them off, we are lucky to be joined by two guest naturalists: Joe Woods and Ann Howald.

Saturday, July 28, 8:00–11:00am
with invasive plant removal specialist Joe Woods

Wednesday, August 8, 8:00–11:00am
with botanist Ann Howald

Joe has a background in invasive plant removal, and has helped with many removal events in the past. Ann is (more…)

Adopt-A-Highway cleanup for Earth Day

Monday, April 23rd, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist

This past Saturday, to celebrate Earth Day, Mono Lake Committee staff Andrew, Robbie, and myself, plus board member Sherryl Taylor picked up litter along our adopted one-mile stretch of Highway 395, just south of Lee Vining. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the opportunity to spend time in the warm spring sun.

Sherryl, Gabby, and Robbie tackle the west side of our adopted stretch of Highway 395. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

After two hours we had collected five bags of trash and two of recyclables, and the highway was looking much better. Thank you to Sherryl and all of the volunteers who continue to make this project possible. If you are interested in helping out at our next Adopt-A-Highway cleanup, please call Jessica at (760) 647-6595.

Robbie carries a bag of litter collected from the highway. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Volunteer at Mono Lake this coming summer

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist

Each summer, over 70 volunteers each commit to eight hours a month, June through August, speaking with visitors at Mono Lake. These volunteers are the eyes and ears at Mono Lake during the busiest season, and the visitor experience wouldn’t be the same without each volunteer.

Volunteers celebrate their graduation from training last June. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

We are now recruiting volunteers for this coming summer. In addition to roving at the lake, volunteers also assist the Mono Lake Committee with membership mailings, give talks at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center patio, pull invasive plant species, and much more.

One of the benefits of volunteering for Mono Lake is the (more…)

It’s Christmas Bird Count week!

Thursday, December 14th, 2017 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Whether you are a seasoned birder or new to the delightful joy of watching birds, you can help gather data for the Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest citizen science data sets in the world! Every December and January, thousands of bird enthusiasts across the world count individual birds in specific areas to get a general idea of the population shifts throughout the years.

An Audubon’s Warbler in winter plumage. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

The three local counts are coming up this weekend and next week:

Bishop CBC: Saturday, December 16
Contact Chris Howard by email.

Mammoth Lakes CBC: Sunday, December 17
Contact Santiago Escruceria by email.

Mono Lake CBC: Tuesday, December 19
Contact Kristie Nelson by email.

Do you want to volunteer where you live? The National Audubon Society has a stellar map to show you where all the count circles are and who to contact. If you’re not great at bird identification, you can help by taking notes and keeping track of numbers. You will be assigned to an experienced birder so you can learn a lot along the way.

The weather is looking cold and dry, so the counts will be accessible by hiking rather than snowshoes or cross country skis like in years past. Happy birding!

The Mono Lake Committee 2017 Annual Report

Saturday, November 25th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director

Each year printed copies of the Mono Lake Committee Annual Report are sent out to Defense Trust level members and Guardians of the Lake monthly-giving club members, but it is has information that is important to members at all giving levels, friends, anyone who is curious, and the general public. So without further ado, click here to see the Mono Lake Committee 2017 Annual Report.

Did you get a yearbook in high school? The Annual Report feels a little bit like the grown-up version of getting the yearbook … (more…)

Results are in for the 37th annual Tioga Pass Run

Saturday, September 16th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff

This post was written by Michael Morris, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

Last Sunday, September 10, 132 runners and walkers challenged themselves to ascend the 12.4 miles of the Tioga Pass during this year’s annual Tioga Pass Run. This was another successful year for the epic event, where the participants start in front of the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining and finish at the entrance to Yosemite National Park, gaining 3,165 feet of elevation along the way to the top.

Runners make their way up Highway 120 west with the horizon dominated by the Dana Plateau. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Kenny Palmer of Mammoth Lakes won the overall race this year with a time of 1:37:31. Jessica Francois, a Lee Vining local and (more…)

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