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‘Tioga Pass watch’ Category

March Planning Commission meeting regarding the Tioga Inn is canceled

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

The March 23 Mono County Special Planning Commission meeting regarding the Tioga Inn is canceled.

The meeting has been rescheduled for April 16 at 9:00am. According to the Mono County Community Development Department, the meeting will be accessible remotely in a Zoom meeting online here and by telephone at 669-900-6833 (meeting ID# 760-924-1815), where members of the public shall have the right to observe and offer public comment.

As of the date of this post, the Mono County website has not yet been updated with the latest meeting information; the meeting will be re-noticed prior to April 16 along with a meeting agenda.

The Mono Lake Committee is concerned, given the background COVID-19 disruption affecting everyone’s lives, that (more…)

Tioga Inn public workshop introduces final plan

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The Mono Lake Committee is delving into the Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) for the Tioga Inn project (released just last Friday night) to understand the changes made from the draft document that was released last summer. While some changes have been made to the project thanks to public comments, five original significant unavoidable impacts remain, including adverse impacts to the scenic resources of the Mono Basin.

Last night about 45 community members attended the Mono County Planning Department’s public workshop about the project, which provided an opportunity for people to hear more about the project as described in the FSEIR and ask clarifying questions. The project proponent (more…)

Tioga Inn public workshop scheduled for Tuesday, March 3

Monday, February 10th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The Mono County Planning Department has scheduled a public workshop on the Tioga Inn project—the meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Lee Vining Community Center (296 Mattly Avenue).

The workshop will be a chance to discuss the Final EIR for the project; it is available on the Mono County website and at the Lee Vining Library.

Then what happens?

The first decision point for project approval or denial is with the Mono County Planning Commission. The Commission has tentatively planned to address the Tioga Inn project on March 23. It is critical that decision makers hear from you before they decide on this project and the future impacts to the Mono Basin that will result. After the Commission, the project goes before the Mono County Board of Supervisors later this spring for a final decision. The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings are the two meetings when your voice will matter the most.

Due to the developing nature of the timeline for this project, please check here to confirm meeting dates and times before traveling.

Project background

Last year Mono County received over 1,000 comment letters about the controversial Tioga Inn project, which proposes a major expansion at the existing Tioga Gas Mart. As currently proposed, the project will be highly visible from many classic viewpoints, including South Tufa, Panum Crater, and Highway 395 south of Lee Vining, and will have adverse impacts on the prized dark night skies throughout the Mono Basin, deer migration, the Lee Vining community and more.

Learn more about the Tioga Inn project, see visual mock-ups of the project area, and read the Committee’s comment letter here.

Tioga Pass will close temporarily at 3:00pm on November 19

Monday, November 18th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Due to snow in the forecast, Tioga Pass will be closing temporarily tomorrow afternoon at 3:00pm.

Tioga Pass will close temporarily at 3:00pm on Tuesday, November 19 due to winter weather. Photo courtesy of Yosemite National Park.

According to Yosemite National Park, the closure could last for several days or longer. For the most current road conditions, call Yosemite at (209) 372-0200 (then 1, 1). Be safe when traveling through the mountains in inclement weather!

“An effort of this magnitude will never be perfect”

Friday, September 6th, 2019 by Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant

Twenty thousand years ago, a glacier churned down Lee Vining Canyon. Hundreds of feet thick at the top of the canyon, the glacier reached its maximum extent at the site of what is now the US Forest Service ranger station, just west of Lee Vining.

It is now easier to picture this arm of what scientists call the Tioga glaciation thanks to a new US Geological Survey map showing its extent throughout the Yosemite region. Greg Stock, geologist for Yosemite National Park and one of the map’s authors, spoke at the Mono Lake Committee last month. To a packed room, he described the jumble of moraines, boulders, and rock striations that he and his colleagues deciphered to build the map.

The USGS’s new map, released this summer, shows the extent of the Tioga glaciation in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park. This corner of the map shows a glacier flowing down Lee Vining Canyon toward ancestral Mono Lake (Lake Russell). Image courtesy of the USGS.

But this latest map is based on more than work by Stock and his colleagues. It also draws on the efforts of an earlier generation of scientists. In other words, just as the Tioga glaciation isn’t the only glacial period in the Sierra Nevada’s past, the 2019 map is not the first map of the Tioga glaciation in the park. (more…)

39th annual Tioga Pass Run coming up

Sunday, September 1st, 2019 by Meghan, Mono Lake Intern

As the heat of the summer simmers down and the phalaropes head south, runners will be lining up on Sunday, September 8 outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstorefor the 39th annual Tioga Pass Run.

With the Dana Plateau towering above, athletes head uphill during the Tioga Pass Run. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

This 12.4mile run goes up the shoulder of scenic Highway 120 West and finishes at the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park. Ascending over 3,000 feet, it’s a challenge that’s worth the effort—athletes are rewarded with lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli and the bragging rights of completing this hefty task. (more…)

Tioga Pass to open fully on Monday, July 1

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

News from Yosemite National Park: Tioga Pass will open fully on Monday, July 1 at 8:00am. Until the full opening on Monday morning vehicular access will continue to be available at 10:00–11:00am and 3:00–4:00pm.

A view of the Tioga Pass area from the slopes of Mt. Dana on June 23, 2019. Photo by Joslyn Rogers.

July 1 is one of the latest dates for Tioga Pass to fully open, and later than in 2017 when the road opened on June 29 with more snow in the high country that year than this year. This is only the fifth time it has opened fully in July since record keeping began in 1933—other July opening dates happened in (more…)

Tioga Pass open on a limited basis starting Friday, June 21

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

As road crews continue to work to get Tioga Pass (Highway 120) all the way open, Yosemite National Park has announced that there will be limited access to the road starting on Friday.

The gate at the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

The Tioga Road will be open to all vehicles, including bicycles, from 10:00am to 11:00am and from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, with no parking allowed on the road and no day use recreation permitted. This is a pass-through option only, for visitors interested in crossing the Sierra.

There is still no estimated date for the road to open fully. For more information, see the full press release from the National Park Service.

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.

Tioga Pass watch: Current conditions

Monday, May 20th, 2019 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Dana Meadows, at the top of Tioga Pass, looking northeast towards Tioga Peak. Photo by Nora Livingston.

On Saturday, May 18, I tagged along with a researcher studying sparrows up Tioga Pass. We drove all the way to the Yosemite National Park entrance station to check out the current conditions and set up a weather station for her study plot. It is still a winter wonderland up there! (more…)

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