Thursday, May 28th, 2020 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet.See All Posts by Nora (47) Contact Nora
On May 9, to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and eBird’s Global Big Day, my partner Kevin and I set out to see as many bird species as possible within a 5 miles radius (5MR) of the Mono Lake Committee office while contributing to the eBird Global Big Day citizen science project. Last year, I saw 76 species in my 5MR and my goal was to break 80 this year. Though the species count is a motivator, the birds are the prize! We had an amazing day. I have linked the eBird Checklists to each location I mention, so you can see what we were seeing and hearing.
A map of the 5MR. It includes many prime birding spots! Photo from Google Maps.
We started at 5:00am, hearing the pre-dawn crooning of American Robins and House Wrens. Then we drove up Lee Vining Canyon for the dawn chorus. I had been keeping track of the returning migrants diligently, but this week was bursting with new (more…)
Friday, February 21st, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy DirectorcloseAuthor: Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy DirectorName: Bartshé Miller Title: Education Director About: Bartshé works on Mono Basin policy issues such as protecting the integrity of the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, coordinating with regional agency staff, and working with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and scientists on the ongoing restoration of Mono Lake and its tributary streams. He has been an Eastern Sierra resident since 1993.See All Posts by Bartshé (88) Contact Bartshé
In a monumental effort, the Inyo National Forest, in partnership with the Mono Lake Committee, conducted a series of prescribed fires with the specific goal of restoring California Gull breeding habitat on the islands in Mono Lake.
The Bassia caught fire better than expected in February’s warm, dry weather, so the Inyo fire crew burned as much as possible over two days. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.
Working between episodes of wintry weather, the Committee and Inyo fire personnel raced to mitigate the impact of a troublesome invasive plant, Bassia hyssopifolia, that has grown to cover over 70% of the Negit Islets and is preventing California Gulls from nesting successfully.
Despite an initial, discouraging assessment of how well the weeds might burn, in mid-February a long-planned prescribed fire moved forward and resulted in (more…)
Saturday, February 15th, 2020 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California's Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (372) Contact Elin
Veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Louis Sahagun accompanied Mono Lake Committee staff and Inyo National Forest fire personnel to Twain Islet yesterday for the prescribed burn to restore California Gull habitat taken over by the invasive weed Bassia hyssopifolia. Check out Louis’ article here, and if you get the paper, watch for it in tomorrow’s Sunday edition!
Friday, February 14th, 2020 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Harp Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (205) Contact Arya
If you were lucky enough to be in the Mono Basin—or if you checked out the webcam—the past two crystal clear, glassy water, calm days, you likely would have noticed something unusual rising out over Mono Lake—smoke.
There is no cause for alarm, it’s actually a good sign—especially for California Gulls whose nesting grounds on the Negit Islets are being cleared of an invasive weed in time for the 2020 nesting season.
After much consideration, the Inyo National Forest, Mono Lake Committee, and Point Blue Conservation Science concluded the most efficient course of action was to pursue a prescribed burn to eradicate the invasive weed taking over the gull nesting grounds. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.
In a partnership born out of a mutual interest in this critical wildlife habitat protection effort in the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, the Inyo National Forest, the Mono Lake Committee, and Point Blue Conservation Science have been planning and working towards a solution to the recent invasion of Bassia hyssopifolia for three years. The smoke rising from the islets is from a prescribed burn being done to protect gull nesting habitat.
The Mono Lake Committee advocated for a prescribed burn (more…)
Friday, December 20th, 2019 by Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorName: Andrew Youssef Title: Digital Engagement Coordinator About: A graduate of Vanderbilt University and a native of Atlanta, Georgia, Andrew came to the Sierra to volunteer in Tuolumne Meadows in 2014. He fell in love with the area and began working at the Committee as a Mono
Lake Intern. Today he combines his passions for education and the environment by working in all of the Committee's program areas on everything from organizing the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua and Field Seminar programs to creating social media and video content to editing the
Mono Lake Newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing at Lee Vining Creek, paddling on Mono Lake, hiking in the High Sierra, and skiing wherever there is snow.See All Posts by Andrew (74) Contact Andrew
In 2019, Mono Lake an entire vertical foot. Watch below for a quick time lapse video showing the this past summer’s lake rise and see the shoreline change by the day.
It has been an exciting year for Mono Lake and its tributary streams with the lake rising a foot and the best possible streamflows secured on Rush, Lee Vining, Parker, and Walker creeks.
We hope you’ll consider sending a year-end gift today to help the Committee prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2020. The protection and restoration of Mono Lake is ongoing; we’re grateful that your support is, too. Thank you.
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Harp Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (205) Contact Arya
Submitting images for consideration for the Mono Lake Calendar has never been easier, so if you have a beautiful shot, we’d love to see it! Now is the time—the deadline is next Thursday, October 31, 2019, and you can find submission information here.
Friday, October 18th, 2019 by Jessica, Office DirectorcloseAuthor: Jessica, Office DirectorName: Jessica Schneider Title: Office Director About: Jess began working at the Mono Lake Committee in 2010, oversaw the bookstore for several years, and returned to the Mono Lake Committee in late 2014 as Office Director after working at a local resort and starting her own business. Jess creates the complicated office and bookstore schedule, oversees the intern and volunteer programs, and keeps the office functioning smoothly. She lives on a small ranch north of Mono Lake, with horses, cows, goats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, and a cat.See All Posts by Jessica (46) Contact Jessica
The 2019 Mono Lake Committee staff. Photo by Andrew Youssef.
In a blink, summer 2019 came to a close and another excellent group of seasonal staff headed out into the world, in one way or another changed by their time spent in the Mono Basin.
When not answering questions on the front counter, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant Kevin Brown also presented his talk, “Save the Pupfish! History, Water, and the Surprising Persistence of the Devils Hole Pupfish,” at our Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists lecture series.
Merryn Venugopal is sticking around the Eastern Sierra for the winter after a great summer as Information Center & Bookstore Assistant. We were fortunate to have her professionalism and experience with retail systems at the front counter all season. (more…)
Thursday, September 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Krista, Birding InternName: Krista Fanucchi Title: Birding Intern About: A Bay Area native, Krista began exploring the Sierra Nevada at an early age and eventually landed her first seasonal position in Yosemite in 2009. After obtaining her BS in Geography and a minor in GIS from Portland State University, she was fortunate enough to receive a handful of positions researching and banding songbirds and Raptors in Yosemite, Point Reyes National Seashore, and on a windy butte near Mt. Hood in Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys exploring, reading, and painting pictures of both every day and peculiar things.See All Posts by Krista (5) Contact Krista
Autumn in the Eastern Sierra is a captivating time of year. After a busy summer of growth and renewal, vibrant pockets of yellow, gold, and red spills down steep canyon walls and across hilltops. Most of the birds have flown south for the winter, and the autumn leaves quiver and shine throughout a silent landscape. Though the fall colors have just started to pop up in isolated pockets throughout the Eastern Sierra, the crisp clean air announces more fall splendor to come soon!
Lundy Canyon fall color on 9/26/19. Photo by Krista Fanucchi.
Some small groups of aspen are just starting to change color along the June Lake Loop (7,654′), in Lee Vining Canyon (6,781′), and (more…)
Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 by Joslyn, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Joslyn, Project SpecialistName: Joslyn Rogers Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Originally from San Diego, Joslyn first discovered Mono Lake while working in Yosemite Valley. Her love for the Mono Basin was further solidified after studying Mono Lake on a UC Santa Cruz field program. Joslyn finished her degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Today she works on a variety of education, outreach and fundraising projects for the Committee, and helps with coordinating events like the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and Free Drawing. In her free time she can be found rock climbing, birding, or running around the High Sierra.See All Posts by Joslyn (21) Contact Joslyn
Monday, July 29th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Ellie, Mono Lake InternName: Ellie Neifeld Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Ellie grew up in Oakland, but spent most of her summers exploring the Sierra Nevada and falling in love with the Mono Basin at a young age. Her first rock climbing trip to Yosemite in 2011 kindled her passion for climbing, which has kept her returning to the Sierra year after year. She recently completed a degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College and is excited to immerse herself in the natural history of Mono Lake. When not geologizing or climbing, Ellie can be found lying on granite slabs, painting, and dancing.See All Posts by Ellie (13) Contact Ellie
Mono Lake Committee staff and other Lee Vining residents hit the astroturf runway on July 20 for the Eastern Sierra’s most anticipated event of the year—the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser.
This year’s group of runway walkers at the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser. Photo by Elin Ljung.
A fundraiser for the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center (OEC) Access Fund, the Trail Chic Fashion Show raised enough money this year to bring nine future OEC groups to the Mono Basin for five days of life-changing outdoor activities while learning about the source of their water. (more…)