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Update: Tioga Road through Yosemite open; Yosemite Valley, Wawona, more closed until at least August 5

July 30th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist

Late last week officials with the National Park Service announced that they would be extending temporary closures of Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Wawona Road, and Big Oak Flat Road from Yosemite Valley to Crane Flat through Friday, August 3 Sunday, August 5. Park officials made the decision to close parts of the park last week due to public health concerns related to extreme smoke from the Ferguson Fire. Highway 120 through the park, also known as the Tioga Road, remains open.

Firefighters are working day and night to contain the Ferguson Fire. Photo courtesy of Kari Greer.

Conditions permitting, the affected areas are scheduled to re-open and 4:00pm on Friday, August 3. The park will continue to assess conditions and reevaluate all closures on Sunday, August 5. Be sure to check current conditions before heading into the park.

In addition to these closures … more »

New gallery show: “Great Basin Sky & Shadows,” watercolors by Valerie P. Cohen

July 27th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

We are excited to announce that paintings by watercolorist Valerie P. Cohen will be featured in the Mono Lake Committee gallery from July 28, 2018 through mid-February of 2019.

“Windy Day on Carson Peak.” Art courtesy of Valerie P. Cohen.

Valerie has had many careers in addition to artist—she has been a backcountry cook, a ski patroller, and she was Yosemite National Park’s first … more »

Parts of Yosemite National Park closed due to wildfire

July 26th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist

On Tuesday, July 24, National Park Service officials announced that Yosemite Valley, Wawona, and the Mariposa Grove would close temporarily due to the Ferguson Fire burning just west of the park boundary.

Smoke from the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite Valley. Photo courtesy of Inciweb.

In addition, both the park’s South Entrance (Highway 41) and the Arch Rock Entrance (Highway 140) are closed. The closure took effect Wednesday at noon and is expected to last until at least Sunday, July 29. Tuolumne Meadows, the Tioga Road (Highway 120), and Hetch Hetchy remain open. … more »

Mud and rock slides in Lundy Canyon

July 26th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Last Friday, July 20, torrential rain in Lundy Canyon caused several mud and rock slides, which closed the road west of Lundy Lake Resort. There is currently no vehicle access to the trailhead, and no estimated opening date for the road.

Looking west up Lundy Canyon from the top of the largest rock slide that occurred on July 20, 2018. Photo courtesy of Mary Ljung.

… more »

Restoration work begins next to Mono Lake and Tioga Lodge

July 25th, 2018 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

If you have driven by Mono Lake in the last week, you might have seen trucks and heavy equipment working just east of Highway 395 below the Tioga Lodge.

Restoration work has begun just east of Highway 395 below the Tioga Lodge, on a site that was damaged by illegal work in October 2016. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Restoration work has started to rehabilitate the site from damage caused by illegal grading and rerouting a stream from its original channel in October 2016. … more »

Help remove invasive plants at Mono Lake

July 25th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake Intern

One of the important goals of the Mono Lake Committee is restoration, and one thing we do to restore the area is removing invasive plants. And you can help too!

This could be you! Happy volunteers remove invasive plants with Ann Howald in 2016. Photo by Sandra Noll.

We’re hosting several mornings of invasive plant removals this summer. To start them off, we are lucky to be joined by two guest naturalists: Joe Woods and Ann Howald.

Saturday, July 28, 8:00–11:00am
with invasive plant removal specialist Joe Woods

Wednesday, August 8, 8:00–11:00am
with botanist Ann Howald

Joe has a background in invasive plant removal, and has helped with many removal events in the past. Ann is … more »

Early bird special for Mono Lake canoe tours

July 22nd, 2018 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

Each weekend the Mono Lake Interns wake with the sun and meet at 6:30am, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready for a day of paddling on Mono Lake. When they arrive at Navy Beach, they are almost always greeted by a calm, glassy lake and an empty parking lot.

Early morning is one of the best times to enjoy Mono Lake, especially from a canoe. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Mono Lake in the early morning is a magical place: the Sierra Crest is lit up by first light and its image is reflected on the lake’s still surface … more »

How the Mono Lake Committee changed my life

July 21st, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist

I was 11 years old when I first set eyes on Mono Lake. My family had just finished our annual camping trip to Yosemite and decided to take the “long” way home and spend a night in the Eastern Sierra.

Seasonal staff training in 2015. Photo by Erv Nichols.

I can vividly remember the surprise I felt as our car made its way to the bottom of Tioga Pass. How had I never seen or heard of this ginormous lake before?! We didn’t make it to the lake’s salty shore that year or even into a visitor center to learn more about it—but it was a day that would shape my future, although I didn’t know it at the time. … more »

“The Longest Straw” showing at the Aquarium of the Bay

July 19th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been hoping to see the film The Longest Straw but can’t make it to tomorrow’s screening here in Lee Vining, you’re in luck…

On Wednesday, August 8 at 6:00pm the Bay Institute will be hosting a screening at the Aquarium of the Bay! Film director and star Samantha Bode will be there, along with the Mono Lake Committee’s Information & Restoration Specialist Greg Reis, for a Q&A and discussion after the film. Tickets cost $15 and include access to the Aquarium, a reception with light refreshments, and the screening. For more information or to purchase tickets click here.

Wildfires affect air quality in the Mono Basin and Yosemite National Park

July 18th, 2018 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

The sky remains hazy in the Eastern Sierra as smoke from two wildfires continues to affect air quality.

Smoke from the Ferguson Fire in Mono Basin. Photo by Eric Bergdoll.

The Ferguson Fire started on Friday, July 13 and is currently burning over 21,000 acres in the Sierra National Forest just west of Yosemite National Park near the small community of El Portal. Highway 140 is closed, cutting off access to Yosemite via the Arch Rock Entrance. Air quality monitoring in Yosemite Valley rated the air quality as unhealthy or even … more »

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