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Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center receives many pairs of donated boots

August 8th, 2019 by Miranda, Outdoor Education Instructor

The Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC) staff have been busy this season with a different group every week. Students of all ages, often from Los Angeles, spend five days with us, camping, hiking, and canoeing. They learn about the Mono Basin, where their water comes from, and how to cherish and preserve natural spaces and resources.

OEC students from Modesto’s Camp Cricket hiked up Bennettville Dome in boots generously donated by members. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Each group brings new and wonderful adventures, but it takes hard work and support from many people to make sure students are prepared and to—literally—get boots on the ground. Most participants don’t have all the equipment needed to hike and recreate outdoors, so we turn to the OEC closet to find what they need.

We put out a call for gently used boots in the most recent Mono Lake Newsletter and received an awesome response! … more »

Riparian restoration in the Mono Basin

August 6th, 2019 by Caroline Bottega

Intern Caroline Bottega recording groundwater levels on Rush Creek tributary. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

“I can really count this as work?” I thought, while wading knee-deep in the cool, swift water of Rush Creek. Robbie Di Paolo, the Mono Lake Committee’s Restoration Field Technician, was a few paces ahead and leading the way to our next monitoring well. It felt like a scavenger hunt, as we navigated from well to well between the stream channels and sagebrush until another tall, white PVC pipe would finally appear among the vegetation.

Part of the mission of the Mono Lake Committee is to restore the important habitats of the Mono Basin, which include the habitats of the freshwater tributaries that feed Mono Lake. As one of my intern projects for the summer, I have been tasked with collecting groundwater measurements along both Lee Vining Creek and Rush Creek each week. Through my weekly well readings, I have had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Committee’s restoration efforts and dive deeper into the complex relationships that exist between the important habitats of the Mono Basin. … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: The extent of the last glacial maximum in Yosemite and the Mono Basin

August 3rd, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on August 7 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Greg Stock, Yosemite National Park geologist, will be here to discuss the extent of the Tioga Glaciation. If you can join us for this free event, please register here to guarantee your spot!

Map of the extent of the Tioga Glaciation, courtesy of Greg Stock.

Much of the spectacular scenery of Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra is the result of erosion by glaciers. The most recent glacial period, known in the Sierra as the Tioga Glaciation, reached a maximum extent about 20,000 years ago, and left behind abundant evidence of its presence in the mountains, including glacial moraines, erratics, striations, polish, and sculpted bedrock. … more »

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists schedule for 2019

August 2nd, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us weekly this summer and fall for the Mono Lake Committee’s summer lecture series Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists.

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

Talks occur at 4:00pm on Wednesdays in the Mono Lake Committee gallery (with the exception of September 10, which is a Tuesday). Scientists studying the Sierra and the Mono Basin will present their cutting-edge research for about an hour while the audience munches on snacks and sips beverages. Each presentation is followed by Q & A session. If you can attend, please register here for these free events!

August 7: Extent of the Last Glacial Maximum (Tioga) Glaciation in Yosemite and the Mono Basin with Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock

August 14: Dry Snow/Wet Snow Recipes for Unusual Avalanches: Avalanche Forecasting Challenges in a Changing Climate with hydrologist Sue Burak

August 21: From Mono Lake to Mar Chiquita: How Are Phalaropes Faring in the 21st Century? with scientist Ryan Carle 

August 28: To be announced

 September 4: From Chemistry to Community: Sage-Grouse Conservation Across the Sagebrush Sea with UC Davis PhD candidate Eric Tymstra

 September 10: (Note: This talk is on a Tuesday) Water From Rock: Rock Glaciers as Un(der)-Explored Hydrologic Resevoirs and Climate Refugia with US Forest Service Senior Scientist Connie Millar

Rush Creek advocate Dick Dahlgren passes

August 1st, 2019 by Lisa, Associate Policy Director

Dick Dahlgren, a successful advocate for stopping the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) total diversion of Rush Creek, died on July 9 in Boise, Idaho near his home.

Dick Dahlgren fishing on Crowley Lake Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Jim Matthews.

In 1984, Dick, an avid fly-fisherman, found a population of healthy brown trout in lower Rush Creek—a finding that was more surprising than it may initially seem. Historically a blue ribbon fishery, Rush Creek ran dry after the LA Aqueduct was built in 1941 and … more »

Obi Kaufmann book signing and print sale at the Mono Lake Committee this Saturday

July 31st, 2019 by Caroline Bottega

Join us for a book signing, print sale, and discussion with poet, painter, and naturalist Obi Kaufmann on Saturday, August 3 at 5:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, as he promotes his latest book, The State of Water, Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource.

Through a unique blend of science and art, Kaufmann unravels the complexities and controversy surrounding California’s most precious resource and brings to life the multifaceted relationship between humans and water. … more »

Trail Chic: Lee Vining’s fashion icons emerge to support outdoor education

July 29th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

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 »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Conserving giant sequoia and coast redwood in a time of global change

July 27th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on July 31 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Kristen Shive, Science Director of Save the Redwoods League, will be here to discuss how sequoias and redwoods respond to a changing climate. If you can join us for this free event, please sign up here.

A prescribed burn in the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite. Photo courtesy of Kristen Shive.

… more »

A 100-unit workforce housing village proposed adjacent to Lee Vining near Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park

July 25th, 2019 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

August 22 update: Over 700 comment letters submitted about the proposed Tioga Inn project

Tioga Inn public comment period open until August 13 August 21, workshop July 30

The Tioga Inn is the name for the full build-out plan for the project that is currently best known as the Mobil-mart/Whoa Nellie Deli and gas station above the intersection of Highway 120 and Highway 395 just south of Lee Vining. This project has the potential to significantly change the community of Lee Vining, and could double its population. During this open public comment period every opinion and concern matters—people who live in, visit, or know Lee Vining are all encouraged to submit a comment letter.

The existing Mobil gas station, Whoa Nellie Deli, and workforce housing that are part of the proposed Tioga Inn development project.

Project overview

Over twenty six years ago Mono County approved the Tioga Inn Specific Plan & Final Environmental Impact Report, which includes a two-story, 120-room hotel, full-service restaurant, convenience store, gas station, and ten workforce housing units. While the Mobil Mart/Whoa Nellie Deli, … more »

Video of migratory phalaropes at Mono Lake

July 23rd, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

On Saturday morning canoe tour participants were treated to a spectacular show by migratory phalaropes, which are arriving to the lake by the thousands!

Over their four- to six-week stay at Mono Lake, the phalaropes molt into a new set of feathers and double their weight in preparation for their continued migration. From here, they fly 3,000 miles non-stop to South America—an epic journey fueled almost entirely by Mono Lake’s alkali flies and brine shrimp. With just a quick walk down to South Tufa, you too may get a front-row seat to their incredible aerial performance!

Thank you to our friends at New West Studios for generously providing the music in the video.

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