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Yosemite Valley to reopen on Tuesday, August 14

August 12th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake Intern

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

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 »

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Maddog

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 »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County with Mary Meyerpeter

August 11th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, August 15 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation.

Mary Meyerpeter (right) taking measurements from a bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse in the Bodie Hills before its relocation to Parker Meadow. Photo courtesy of Dan Hottle, USFWS.

USGS biological science technician Mary Meyerpeter will be here to discuss her research on the bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse around Mono County. As part of a multi-agency project, Mary and other researchers are translocating the Sage-Grouse from the Bodie Hills to leks (breeding areas) in Parker Meadow.

The bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse are a genetically distinct … more »

Falling for the Migration seminars: Space available!

August 10th, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

The summer is waning, the canyons are quieting down, birds have reared their chicks, and the young are independent as they prepare to head south to warmer climes for the winter. The Eastern Sierra is a great place to bird at this time, as the higher-elevation migrants move down to the lower basins and the birds from farther north pass through this corridor on their journey south.

A Least Sandpiper at Mono Lake. Photo by Santiago M. Escruceria.

There is space available in two amazing field seminars next week; now is your chance to watch the birds as they begin an incredible migration that will take many of them thousands of miles. Falling for the Migration: Bridgeport Valley & Mono Basin is August 16–17, and its partner seminar, Falling for the Migration: Crowley, Mammoth, Mono is August 18–19. You can sign up here or visit our field seminar page for more information.

Beginners as well as experts will enjoy these … more »

Schedule for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists at the Mono Lake Committee

August 10th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Refreshments with Refreshing’ Ologists is a summer lecture series with scientists presenting their current work in the region.

Join us for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists on Wednesdays at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Photo by Arya Harp.

• August 15Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County: Population Rescue through Brood Translocation Techniques with US Geological Survey Biological Science Technician Mary Meyerpeter
• August 22: Tracking Glaciers of the Mono Basin with researcher Jace Shuler
• September 5Bugging Out: How Looking at Butterflies & Insects Will Help Conserve the Planet with biologist Kristie Nelson
• September 12Effects of Climate Change on Mountain Ecosystems: Science & Spin with US Forest Service Senior Research Ecologist Connie Millar
• September 26: Mono Basin Fisheries Project with State Water Board-appointed Lead Fisheries Scientist Ross Taylor … more »

Mono Lake Defender of the Trust Award Dinner, wine tasting, and silent auction

August 9th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director

The Mono Lake Committee gives the Defender of the Trust Award to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to champion Mono Lake, its tributary streams, wetlands, and the public trust. The Mono Lake Defender of the Trust Award Dinner is a celebratory evening in the company of fellow champions of Mono Lake. This year the festivities will be held at The Mono Inn.

The evening begins with a wine tasting and silent auction hosted by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Dinner is accompanied by inspiring speakers, entertaining stories, and the presentation of the Defender of the Trust Award.

This year we will honor … more »

Great Sierra River Cleanup this Saturday

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 »

Highway 120 reopens; Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

August 7th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

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 »

September 2, 2018: Remembering Genny Smith, celebrating the Sierra

August 7th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director

A memorial for Genny Smith is taking place on Sunday, September 2, 2018 from 12:30pm to dusk at the Hayden Cabin Museum in Mammoth Lakes.

The memorial will be a chance to remember Genny with her friends, family, and community members. Photos of Genny will be on display, as well as her copious notes from the conservation efforts she worked on during her life in Mammoth.

Starting at 1:00pm, representatives of organizations Genny supported—Mono Lake Committee, Friends of the Inyo, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Mammoth Public Library—will each speak, followed by friends of Genny. The speeches will last until 3:00 or 4:00pm, and there will be tables with more information on display about each organization.

Genny was a longtime local naturalist, conservationist, and environmental champion who passed away in March. Family, friends, readers, colleagues, fans, and people she inspired are welcome to come remember Genny and celebrate the Sierra. We hope to see you there.

Inyo National Forest fire restrictions in effect starting August 4

August 4th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake Intern

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 »

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