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Ane Carla Rovetta pastel show at the Mono Lake Committee extended until December 31

August 25th, 2009 by Arya, Communications Director

“Impressions from the silent sage … Great Basin paintings,” the current show in the Mono Lake Committee Gallery has been extended through the end of the year due to popular demand! Rovetta’s beautiful and very reasonably priced art has been flying off the walls; card sets are available as well. Be sure to stop in and see the show on your next visit to Mono Lake!

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open from 8am-9pm through Labor Day and 8am-7pm after that.

Artist Ane Carla Rovetta with one of her paintings in the Mono Lake Committee gallery. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Artist Ane Carla Rovetta with one of her paintings in the Mono Lake Committee gallery. Photo by Peter Bergen.

Ane Carla Rovetta’s formal training was as a zoologist. Like the artisans of the European Renaissance, … more »

Notes from Rush Creek: we have cool birds here

August 18th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: August 12-18

Last week I belatedly discovered a clutch of Dusky Flycatcher fledges because the male was polygamous, and I assumed I had the (only) nest when I found his first mate’s brood.  Polygamy in Dusky Flycatchers has not yet been documented, but at Rush Creek … more »

Ash-throated Flycatcher

August 15th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: 08-15-2009

Saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher on Lee Vining Creek Trail this afternoon. It was just past the first grove of Aspens/ Cottonwoods from the Southern end of the trail perching on Artemisia.

Hydrology update: Dry July despite thunderstorms

August 7th, 2009 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Work in progress on the MGORD. Photo by Greg Reis.

Work progresses on the Grant Lake Reservoir outlet gate to Rush Creek. Photo by Greg Reis.

Mono Lake dropped a 1/4 foot in July, and stood at 6382.3 feet above sea level on August 1st. This is very similar to the forecasted July drop in lake level of 0.2 feet.

Lee Vining precipitation in July was below average, despite a month full of thunderstorms. Average rainfall is about 1/2 an inch—only 0.12 inches fell, total. This followed a wet May and June, so April-through-July precipitation is slightly above the 2-inch average.

At the end of June, total Rush Creek runoff was almost exactly as forecasted—about 101% of average—but the monthly pattern wasn’t. April and May had higher runoff than forecasted and June was lower than forecasted, mainly as a result … more » now faster … and greener!

August 4th, 2009 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

We’re excited to announce that we’ve switched to a new server for all of the Committee’s Websites! This means,, and are now considerably faster to load their beautiful pictures and cool content. Not only that, all … more »

Big challenges ahead for State Parks

July 30th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director

State Park Closure Action Alert CenterThe Los Angeles Times today profiles Bodie as an example of the deep challenges facing the State Park system.

Los Angeles Times: California seeks sponsors for state parks

Summer Update: Daily thunderstorms

July 30th, 2009 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

The busy days of midsummer are in full swing, we’re even seeing visitation numbers higher than previous years. So far it has been a great summer for thunderstorms!

Warm, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. Nearby thunderstorms are keeping the sky very interesting. On Sunday afternoon it rained in Lee Vining for half an hour.!Thunderstorms remain in the forecast through … more »

Notes on the dowager: Rush Creek has the oldest reported Willow Flycatcher

July 29th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: 29 July

Endangered Willow Flycatcher at Rush Creek. Photo courtesy of Chris McCreedy.

The oldest known Willow Flycatcher is at Rush Creek. Photo courtesy of Chris McCreedy.

Attached are photographs of likely one of the founding females of the Rush Creek Willow Flycatcher population.  I found her nest in June of 2001, she was the second nesting female I found on Rush Creek that year.  Mark Pollock, working for Sacha Heath, banded her on July 29, 2001, and he aged her After Second-Year (meaning she was born before 2000).  That means she is at least 10 years old this summer.  The previous record reported to the USGS was 8 years and 11 months.  I suspect the Southern Sierra Research Station may have older birds, but they have not reported them to the Bird Banding Lab.

She has nested on Rush every season since.  She is the most successful female of the population, and has fledged chicks in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.  Her longtime mate did not return in 2007, and she mated with a neighboring male, Phil (OK/S, or Orange-Black/Silver).  She was his second female, and due to lots of ruckus and not much room, she was a non-factor in 2007 and 2008, abandoning a parasitized nest and leaving by July 15 in 2007 and raising a Brown-headed Cowbird in 2008.

She is one of only 3 females I have followed that knows how to … more »

Los Angelinos excel at water conservation

July 28th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director

In this dry year Los Angeles has added extra emphasis to its water conservation campaign, including mandatory limitations on outdoor watering. The numbers now show that Los Angeles residents are making big conservation strides: water demand in June dropped 11% over last year, hitting a new 32-year low.

Full story in the Los Angeles Times: Water demand in Los Angeles reaches a 32-year low, DWP says

State Parks budget cut deeper by $6 million

July 28th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director

State Park Closure Action Alert CenterGovernor Schwarzenegger made additional cuts to the state budget today before signing it. Preliminary information is that the State Park system took another $6 million in cuts on top of the already planned $8 million, bringing the total cut to $14 million. As a result 100 park units may shut down.

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