A woman with brown hair and a blue coat stands in front of a rocky vista looking out on brown fields and mountains. She is holding a book.

Mono Lake Moment: Reading from Genny Smith’s Sierra East guidebook

Today’s special Mono Lake Moment is in memory of Genny Smith, the Naturalist Queen of the Eastern Sierra, who passed away in 2018. Genny played a key role in the protection of Mono Lake and was a fierce activist and advocate for the Sierra for decades. We continue to draw on her strength and reverence for the earth as we work to protect Mono Lake.

Genny wrote several guidebooks to the incredible places in the Eastern Sierra, including a thorough and beautiful natural history guide called Sierra East: Edge of the Great Basin. In this Moment, I read a section of Sierra East under the grandeur of the Sierra, overlooking Mono Lake.

Note: We recognize that in the section I read, Genny mentions that this land belongs to all of us, and that we are learning to walk softly on it. Genny didn’t mention in this particular section that this land has been stewarded for time immemorial by the Kutzadika’a people and by the Numuu people and it is our duty to walk softly as they have done for millennia; we are learning.

Find all the other Moments we have filmed here at the Mono Lake Moments tag on our Videos pageYou can also view the entire series on our YouTube channel.

Top photo by Nora Livingston.