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Canoe with the osprey at Mono Lake this weekend

August 27th, 2019 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

One of the perks of working as the Canoe Coordinator for the Mono Lake Committee is that I get to closely observe the nesting osprey at Mono Lake. Just like me, the osprey usually arrive at Mono Lake in late spring. Canoe tours don’t start until mid-June each summer, so for the first month I only observed the birds from the shore at South Tufa.

A canoe tour paddles past Pirate Ship Tufa on a calm morning. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Once canoe tours start, though, I have the unique opportunity to see these birds from the water. There are approximately 16 pairs of nesting osprey at Mono Lake, all of which nest on the tufa islands, and humans must stay at least 250 yards away from the nests at all times. The only exception to this rule is … more »

Join us for birding & geology at Mono Lake this Labor Day weekend

August 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

This coming weekend we’re offering three one-day seminars for a full weekend of natural history at Mono Lake. Snap up the last few spaces in Birding the White Mountains on Friday, Volcanism of the Mono Basin on Saturday, and Shorebird Migration on Sunday!

Join Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston for three seminars over Labor Day weekend. Photo courtesy of Bob Yates.

Birding the White Mountains • August 30 • 1 space left!

The gradient from the Owens Valley up to the White Mountains provides a great swath of diverse habitat, from desert oasis up to high‐elevation pinyon‐juniper woodland. During this popular field seminar we will … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: North America’s Rosy-finches and climate variability

August 25th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday August 28 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Tim Brown, UC Santa Cruz PhD candidate, will be here to discuss Sierra Nevada Rosy-finches and climate vulnerability. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here.

Tim Brown holding a Sierra Nevada Rosy-finch. Photo courtesy of Tim Brown.

Mountaintop animals are among the most vulnerable species to climate change. If warming forces them upwards, they face an “escalator to extinction” as they reach the upper elevational limits of available habitat. Understanding mechanisms that … more »

New show at the Mono Lake Committee gallery: Faith Rumm’s High Sierra paintings

August 23rd, 2019 by Chloe, Mono Lake Intern

We are delighted to host nationally-acclaimed artist Faith Rumm‘s work in the Mono Lake Committee gallery.

“Moon Over Fin Dome (Near Rae Lakes)” by Faith Rumm.

Join us for an evening artist’s reception to open the new show, entitled “High Sierra by Hand and Foot,” on Saturday, August 31. From 5:00pm to 7:00pm come meet Faith, see her work, and enjoy light refreshments in the gallery. … more »

Over 700 comment letters submitted about the proposed Tioga Inn project

August 22nd, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

We asked for help protecting the Mono Basin’s world-class scenic views and dark night skies, and you responded in a big way. Thank you to the more than 700 of you who sent a comment letter about the proposed Tioga Inn project!

Mock-up of the proposed Tioga Inn Project. (Map data: Google, Landsat/Copernicus)

You can read the Mono Lake Committee’s letter here, and the accompanying letter from our legal team at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger here.

It was such a pleasure to read your letters as they rolled in—they are detailed, heartfelt, and demonstrate your strong connections to Mono Lake, the Mono Basin, and the Eastern Sierra. Keep an eye on the Mono Lake action center—we plan to post excerpts from them there.

Though the legal deadline was yesterday at 5:00pm, you can still send a letter. The Mono County Community Development Department has encouraged additional comments, writing:

“The public is invited to comment until a final decision is made regardless of the closure date of the DSEIR comment period. Comments can be submitted after the close of the DSEIR comment period and County staff commits to providing a response, even though not required, through public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Therefore, the public continues to have the opportunity to comment on and potentially affect the outcome of the project until the final decision.”

Thank you for your letters to Mono County, for your continuing interest in this project, and most of all, for your love for the Mono Basin. More to come—stay tuned.

Updated schedule: Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists 2019

August 19th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us for the four remaining lectures in this summer’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists series, featuring scientists presenting their work in the region.

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

Lectures happen at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore gallery. Presentations last about one hour and include light refreshments. If you can join us for these free events, please register here!

Join us for these scheduled talks: … more »

16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour to celebrate women in Mono Basin history

August 18th, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

(Click to enlarge.)

Too often phenomenal women can be lost in the history books, but not in the Mono Basin.

The 16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush event, hosted by the Mono Basin Historical Society, is celebrating amazing women who had a hand in shaping the Mono Basin between 1900 and 1950. Over the two-day event, attendees will hear stories about Paiute women who “became known for their exceedingly fine, visually stunning, and complex polychrome baskets,” as well as fearless first female guides and ranchers. … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: From Mono Lake to Mar Chiquita—how are phalaropes faring in the 21st century?

August 17th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, August 21 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Ryan Carle, conservation scientist, will be here to discuss cutting-edge research on phalaropes. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here!

A flock of phalaropes on Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Marie Read.

Phalaropes are tiny shorebirds that make impressive migrations between North and South America. Mono and other saline lakes—which are nearly universally threatened by climate change and water diversions—are critical migratory refueling stops … more »

Action alert: Threat to scenic Mono Basin, letters needed by August 21

August 15th, 2019 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

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

The Mono Lake Committee is encouraging people who value the Mono Basin to submit a comment letter regarding the Draft SEIR for the Tioga Inn, which has “6 significant unavoidable adverse impacts”* from the proposed major addition to the gas station and restaurant known as the Mobil Mart.

The Draft SEIR for the Tioga Inn is a significant addition to the current development known as the Mobil Mart.

This is a critical moment for public input; the letter deadline is August 21, 2019 at 5:00pm.

The Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) and Specific Plan for the Tioga Inn Project has studied a developer proposal to expand the approved site footprint onto a tall bluff that overlooks Highway 395 and Mono Lake. The proposed multi-unit, two-story construction of a 100-unit/150-bedroom Workforce Housing Village will, if approved as is, fundamentally change the experience of wild natural beauty of Mono Lake and the Mono Basin. Mono Lake, Mono County, and the scenic highway and gateway to Yosemite National Park deserve better.

As currently proposed, the project will be highly visible … more »

This Saturday: 11th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup

August 14th, 2019 by Meghan, Mono Lake Intern

Looking for a fun and easy way to give back to this place we all know and love so much? Come join us this Saturday, August 17 from 8:30am to 12:30pm for the 11th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup! We will spend our morning picking up any and all trash that has accumulated around Lee Vining Creek.

If you are free this Saturday, get your family and friends together and 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. Our goal this year is to use as little single-use plastic as possible for the cleanup, so if you have your own gloves and buckets for trash, bring them along! We’ll provide work gloves where necessary as well as … more »

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