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Tioga Inn likely to go before Mono County Board of Supervisors in June

May 1st, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

No date has yet been set for the Mono County Board of Supervisors to take up the Tioga Inn project, but it is likely to happen in June.

The Mono County Board of Supervisors is likely to address the Tioga Inn project in June. In September last year, the Planning Commissioners and members of the public visited the project site. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Following the disappointing Mono County Planning Commission meeting of April 16, at which the commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the project despite hundreds of public comments in opposition, the Supervisors discussed options for a Tioga Inn meeting at their April 21 regularly scheduled meeting. They expressed interest in … more »

Mono Lake canoe tour program canceled this year

April 30th, 2020 by Rose, Education Director

The Mono Lake Committee’s canoe tours have been a tradition in the Eastern Sierra for more than 35 years. Canoe tours offer a unique, immersive experience where one can weave through the tufa towers, glide among flocks of Wilson’s Phalaropes, and learn the Mono Lake story from trained interpretive guides.

Public canoe tours on Mono Lake will not take place this summer, due to COVID-19 and staffing decisions made because of it. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and our decision to not bring any seasonal staff to Lee Vining this summer, we must cancel the 2020 canoe tour program.

We will continue to … more »

No Mono Lake Committee seasonal staff for 2020; summer programs evaluated week by week

April 29th, 2020 by Claire, Office Manager

The Mono Lake Committee has made the difficult decision to not bring any of the summer seasonal staff we had hired to Lee Vining for 2020. Our whole team is disappointed to not be able to share the summer with what promised to be an incredible group of interns, but we all agree that it is the right decision for everyone involved.

The 2019 seasonal staff learning about Mono Lake’s ecology on the south shore last summer. Photo by Alison Kaplan.

Cancellation of the summer hiring does not mean that all summer programs are cancelled, but the uncertainty about when we might be able to offer tours and reopen the bookstore was a major reason for the decision.

Normally our intern training takes two full weeks at the beginning of June, and some of the summer staff arrive much earlier … more »

This year’s Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is canceled

April 28th, 2020 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

We are sorry to announce that we must cancel this year’s Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua due to COVID-19.

Red-breasted Nuthatch. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

The Chautauqua partners are committed to the health and safety of our participants, presenters, staff, and the broader community; therefore, we feel it would be irresponsible to hold an event of this size at this time. Moreover, with Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order and plans to reopen the state in stages—with large gatherings last on the list—as well as Mono County discouraging visitation to the Eastern Sierra, it’s clear that … more »

Earth Day 2020: Action from a distance

April 21st, 2020 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Fifty years ago, Gaylord Nelson invented Earth Day. Inspired by the direct action of anti-war protesters, he realized that we needed to rally to protect the earth in the same way people rallied to make change in government. A day of action, a day of recognition, a day of progress.

Our beloved blue Mono Lake on our beloved blue Earth. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Join me tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22, for a special Mono Lake Moment at 11:00am in celebration of Earth Day. I will be … more »

Mono Lake Committee local scholarship applications now being accepted

April 20th, 2020 by Rose, Education Director

Each year the Mono Lake Committee supports local students pursuing higher education and displaying a connection to Mono Lake with two $1,000 scholarships. High school seniors living in Mono County with firm plans to attend a 2- or 4-year college within a year of graduation are eligible to apply.

Rose Nelson with 2019 scholarship recipients Orion Ellis and Sophia McKee. Photos by Rose Nelson.

Students are asked to visit Mono Lake and answer the question: Why do places like Mono Lake matter? … more »

Virtual tours of Mono Lake are available for classes

April 20th, 2020 by Rose, Education Director

This time of year I am usually at the shore of Mono Lake sharing the ecological wonders of the Mono Basin with students from near and far. These days the shore is empty as classes have transitioned to distancing learning and we are not encouraging people to visit Mono County. That doesn’t mean, however, students cannot virtually visit Mono Lake for a field trip.

Through virtual tours, Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston can bring Mono Lake to viewers who want to connect to Mono Lake from the safety of their homes. Photo by Rose Nelson.

While classes may not be able to smell the briny lake nor feel the wind, they can … more »

Mono County Planning Commission disappoints; Board of Supervisors to vote soon on Tioga Inn project

April 18th, 2020 by Geoff, Executive Director

Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, on Thursday the Mono County Planning Commission voted 4-0 to approve the Tioga Inn project with few modifications to the final plan and design.

Over 200 written and spoken comments were voiced to the Planning Commission regarding the Tioga Inn project and over 150 people attended the seven-hour-long meeting via Zoom video conference. Virtually every comment was in opposition to the permanent, damaging impacts of the project. Speakers ranged from local business owners and residents to the fire department and longtime visitors. After the large number of strong, clear, and respectful comments in opposition to the project—among the most the commission has ever seen—the commission deliberation and vote was a disappointment.

The Tioga Inn project now goes to the Mono County Board of Supervisors, which will make the final determination of whether the numerous adverse impacts of the project justify turning it down. The date of that meeting is yet to be confirmed, but is tentatively scheduled for May 19. Stay tuned here on the Mono-logue and in your email for more information regarding how to participate in this final round of public comment.

If you wrote in or spoke to express your concerns about the project—thank you! The outpouring of thoughtful, sincere comments was incredible to witness. A better result is still possible and public engagement will be critical to the final outcome.

Tioga Inn project goes before Planning Commission for decision on April 16, 2020

April 11th, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the Mono County Planning Commission is moving forward with a public hearing and vote on the Tioga Inn Specific Plan Amendment & Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR).

A view of the site where the proposed Tioga Inn housing project would go, overlooking Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Lynn Boulton.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, April 16 at 9:00am. … more »

This year’s Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner is canceled

April 9th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

It is with heavy hearts that we must confirm that this year’s Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner has been canceled due to COVID-19.

While we had thought this cancellation might happen as the crisis evolved quickly in California, Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order and the closure of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area confirmed it.

We will miss celebrating Andrea’s legacy with everyone in May, but we will absolutely reschedule the event when it is safe to do so. We had lined up a truly deserving award recipient and were planning a delightful menu for you, and we will pick those plans back up for the future.

Wherever you are, we hope you stay home, stay healthy, and continue to feel inspired by Andrea’s strong community spirit during this challenging time. Our thoughts are with you from Mono Lake.

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