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On to the future: 40 years and rising

November 12th, 2018 by Sally, Board of Directors

Editor’s note: To celebrate the Mono Lake Committee’s 40th anniversary in the Newsletter, Sally Gaines, co-founder and Board Chair, is writing a series of reflections on the past, present, and future of the organization.

Even if I squint or put on my reading glasses, most aspects of the future are impossible to foresee, as if the crystal ball is clouded with brine shrimp like the aquarium in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore.

Everyday technology and style is already beyond my understanding. Genetic engineering on plants, animals, and humans is a big unknown as is artificial intelligence, for just a couple examples. What is clear to me is that everything the Mono Lake Committee does today is with the future in mind. … more »

Fall 2018 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

November 9th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

At the 40th anniversary storytelling roundtable held during the Defense Trust Weekend, listening to Sally Gaines, Martha Davis, Geoff McQuilkin, and Peter Vorster reminisce about the early days of the Mono Lake Committee, I had a sudden, clear thought:

What we’re doing—all of us, every day at Mono Lake—is defending the public trust.

The roundtable was held at the brand-new Pioneer Solar Pavilion in Hess Park, a project brought to life by the (extra) ordinary people of Lee Vining, who believe in a better future for Mono Lake and all who love it. They’re defending the public trust.

During the early days of the Committee’s efforts to save Mono Lake, even before the legal argument that the lake should be protected for the public good was articulated, Sally and David and the other founders were defending the public trust. … more »

Defending the public trust at Mono Lake

November 8th, 2018 by Geoff, Executive Director

2018 Defender of the Trust Peter Vorster. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

The California Supreme Court begins its landmark 1983 Mono Lake decision with these powerful words: “The public trust is an affirmation of the duty of the state to protect the people’s common heritage of streams, lakes, marshlands and tidelands…”

Every other year, to celebrate the history of the public trust at Mono Lake, we organize a special three-day Defense Trust Weekend for the Mono Lake Committee’s high donors. The weekend is full of field trips, good food, and time spent with fellow Mono Lake enthusiasts and Committee Board and staff.

This year we had an open house in the Committee office, a Rush Creek tour with experts including … more »

Book signing at the Mono Lake Committee on Friday, November 9–Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks

November 6th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

Photo of the editors courtesy of Dave & Ilyssa Kyu.

Join us this Friday, November 9, from 3:00–5:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore for a book reading and signing with editors Dave & Ilyssa Kyu, as they present their new compilation Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks.

Campfire Stories brings together tales about our national parks—some by well-known writers such as John Muir, Bill Bryson, and Terry Tempest Williams—with other essays from pioneer diaries and stories that have been passed down through generations of indigenous peoples.

Stop by on Friday to meet the authors, enjoy excerpts from their book, and pick up your own copy—we hope to see you there!

Registration open for 2019 Mono Lake winter field seminars

November 1st, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Registration is now open for the three winter field seminars taking place in January and February next year! Use the mobile-friendly registration system to sign up from your phone or tablet wherever you are.

South Tufa, pre-sunrise. Photo courtesy of Chris Decker.

The winter seminars include: Mono Lake by Moonlight, January 18–20, 2019 with Joe Decker; Winter Starry Skies Over Mono Lake, February 1–3, 2019 with Joe Decker; and Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin, February 9, 2019 with Nora Livingston.

If you’d prefer to call and sign up, we’re here answering the phones Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm: (760) 647-6595. We hope to see you here this winter!

Mono Lake Committee objects to Inyo National Forest Plan elements

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

On August 3 the Inyo National Forest released its revised land management plan and draft record of decision.

According to the Committee’s analysis, Mono Lake’s tributary streams are eligible for Wild & Scenic River designation. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Also known as the Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan, this new plan, when final, will replace the 1988 plan that the Inyo has been following. Once the new plan is approved it will provide management guidance for the Inyo’s two million acres over the next two decades.

Since 2014 the Mono Lake Committee has been involved in the public plan revision process, attending meetings, analyzing information, and commenting on the plan revision. Specifically, the Committee has evaluated … more »

Wanted: Mono Lake photos (calendar submission deadline: October 31)

October 23rd, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director

Submitting images for consideration for the Mono Lake Calendar has never been easier, so if you have a beautiful shot, we’d love to see it! Now is the time—the deadline is Wednesday, October 31, 2018, and you can find submission information here.

We are looking for images of scenes within the watershed boundary of Mono Lake, and possible subjects include, but are not limited to: plants, geologic features, streams, … more »

A glimpse into Lee Vining’s nightlife: Foxes, raccoons, and more!

October 21st, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Last week, diners at Epic Cafe at the south end of town observed a red fox running through the cafe’s lawn at night, sniffing for scraps dropped by messy eaters.

Here’s the red fox seen at Epic Cafe. Notice its black ears, black feet, and white tip of the tail. It is larger than a gray fox, with longer legs and a bushier tail.

Not only is this stunning creature beautiful for visitors to observe, it is also quite rare in the area and the sighting sparked the interest of local agencies, including Yosemite National Park and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. It has the potential to be an extremely rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator), a subspecies of the more widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes)It could also be a non-native subspecies with Great Basin or fur farm ancestry. The only way to tell for sure is to gather genetic data—either fur or scat. … more »

Mono Lake winter field seminars in 2019

October 18th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

This coming winter we are pleased to offer three field seminars to take advantage of this very special season—two winter photography seminars and one winter ecology seminar!

Early morning light sifts through bands of poconip ice fog at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.


Mono Lake by Moonlight
January 18–20, 2019 • Joe Decker

Winter Starry Skies Over Mono Lake
February 1–3, 2019
• Joe Decker

Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin
February 9, 2019
• Nora Livingston

Registration will open on Thursday, November 1 at 9:00am. To sign up, call (760) 647-6595 or register online. … more »

Mono Lake bookstore closed October 23 & 24; otherwise open

October 16th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

Although there are fewer people traveling through Lee Vining during this time of year, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore remains open 9:00am–5:00pm seven days a week. However, we will have several temporary closures during October and November.

On Tuesday, October 23 and Wednesday, October 24 the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed for our annual staff working retreat. We will resume normal hours (open 9:00am–5:00pm) on Thursday, October 25. Next month the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 22.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and we hope to see you during your visit to the Mono Basin!

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