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‘Seasonal Update’ Category

Results are in for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run

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

Fall colors season begins soon

Thursday, September 13th, 2018 by Max, Mono Lake Intern
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It’s that time of year again! Yes, we are already halfway through September and the first official day of fall is just around the corner. As we welcome the cooler mornings, migrating Eared Grebes, and the occasional high-elevation snow flurry, we can also look forward to the much-anticipated fall colors. If fires or a busy schedule kept you from visiting Mono Basin this summer, don’t fret! You still have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what helps make the basin so spectacular—the changing hues of vibrant aspen trees.

So far there were only a few spots of fall color high up in Lundy Canyon on Monday, September 10. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Fall colors haven’t quite started to display in the Mono Basin quite yet, but within the next week we can expect to see some hints of yellow or orange streaks, especially at the higher elevations. Mid-September to mid-October is generally (more…)

Free guided tours at Mono Lake: Fall schedule

Saturday, September 8th, 2018 by Max, Mono Lake Intern
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The seasons are starting to shift and with that comes a shift in the Mono Basin interpretative tour schedule. Join a naturalist for a free guided South Tufa tour or a Stars Over Mono talk this fall—both are great ways to experience the Mono Basin from a new perspective and learn something new, no matter if you’re a new visitor or you return every year.

Join us at South Tufa on Monday nights this fall for the free Stars Over Mono program. Photo courtesy of Gowrishankar Lakshminarayanan.

This fall, South Tufa tours will be offered to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00pm and will begin at the South Tufa kiosk. These tours will be led by a naturalist from the (more…)

Fall hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

Saturday, September 1st, 2018 by Joslyn, Mono Lake Intern
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September has crept up on us again! Interns are migrating from Lee Vining back to school while the days become shorter and markedly more chilly.

With that comes a change in store hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. Starting on Tuesday, September 4 we’ll be open from 9:00am to 7:00pm. Not to worry—as always, we’re open seven days a week.

A couple of interns and seasonal staff remain, eager to answer your questions, play the Mono Lake Story movie in our gallery and help you make your purchases. Please stop by if you are passing through Lee Vining—we’d love to see you!

Successful invasive sweet clover removal at Mono Lake

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

Yosemite Valley to reopen on Tuesday, August 14

Sunday, August 12th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake Intern
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Yosemite Valley will be reopening to visitors on Tuesday, August 14 at 9:00am. The valley has been closed to visitors since July 25 due to the Ferguson Fire burning near the park.

Access to the valley will be available from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).

The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias will reopen on Monday, August 13 at 9:00am. Visitors will be able to access the Mariposa Grove via the South Entrance (Highway 41) and park in the newly constructed parking area.

The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias reopened to visitors on June 14 after a three-year restoration project in partnership with the Yosemite Conservancy. Photo courtesy of nps.gov.

Although the South Entrance will be open in order to provide access to the Mariposa Grove and Wawona, there will be no access to Yosemite Valley via Highway 41. (more…)

Highway 120 reopens; Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Today at 2:30pm, Yosemite National Park administrators and fire managers reopened Highway 120 (Tioga Road) through the park.

Firefighters are working to suppress the Ferguson Fire, which is burning in and near Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of NPS.

However, as the Ferguson Fire continues to burn near and in the park, the current park closures have been extended indefinitely.

Closed areas (more…)

Inyo National Forest fire restrictions in effect starting August 4

Saturday, August 4th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake Intern
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Starting today, fire restrictions are in effect for the Inyo National Forest. These restrictions are similar to those already in place on BLM land and will be in effect until further notice. Fire restrictions are put in place each year to protect local communities and public lands from wildfire.

Looking toward the Sierra crest from the South Tufa parking area in July, when a thick layer of smoke obscured the normally picturesque view. Photo by Eric Bergdoll.

Restrictions include: (more…)

Mudslides close the June Lake Loop (Highway 158)

Saturday, August 4th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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On July 31 Caltrans closed Highway 158, the June Lake Loop, due to mudslides that occurred earlier that day. The closure remains in place and there is no estimated opening date.

On July 31, a short, powerful rainstorm brought mudslides and debris down on Highway 158, closing the June Lake Loop. Photo courtesy of Caltrans District 9.

The road is closed between Silver Lake and Grant Lake Reservoir, from roughly the Frontier Pack Station to the Aerie Crag parking area. Through passage around the loop is not available, but (more…)

Tioga Road (Highway 120) is closed; Yosemite is accessible from the east

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Caltrans closed Highway 120 at Crane Flat at 2:47am due to the Ferguson Fire.

The east side of the Tioga Road is open, from Highway 395 to the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park and beyond that to Tuolumne Meadows. But through passage along Highway 120 is not possible—travelers must use alternate routes to get from one side of the Sierra Nevada to the other.

Always check road conditions before you travel, and in this season of major fires across California and the west, check the air quality for your destinations as well.

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