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Retired Mono County Superior Court Judge Edward Denton passes

August 13th, 2019 by Geoff, Executive Director

Judge Edward Denton, April 24, 1926–July 12, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Reno Record-Courier.

Judge Edward Denton, who played an influential role in re-watering Lee Vining Creek, died on July 12, 2019 at age 93.

During a heat wave in May of 1986 the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) was forced to release water down the previously-dry Lee Vining Creek—water that brought trout with it. The Mono Lake Committee quickly went to court to keep water flowing in the creek for the trout, and it was Mono County Superior Court Judge Denton who granted the temporary restraining order that forced DWP to release enough water to keep the fish alive until the case could be tried. While it was just ten cubic feet per second of water, it was a significant decision to the Mono Lake Committee.

In a recent issue of the local paper, The Sheet, retired Judge Stan Eller recounted his memory of … more »

Space available in upcoming Mono Basin geology field seminars

August 12th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

A highly popular field seminar offering, Geology of the Mono Basin: Land of Fire & Ice focuses on the diverse and spectacular geology of Mono Lake, the Mono Craters, Black Point, Lee Vining Canyon, Tioga Pass and more.

Mono Basin Geology: Land of Fire & Ice • August 16–18 and September 20–22 • $182 per person/$167 for members

Spaces are open in this year’s Mono Basin Geology field seminars, led by Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Greg Stock leads, presenting accessible and engaging insight into the processes which formed these landscapes as they appear today. Yosemite National Park’s first-ever … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Avalanche forecasting challenges in a changing climate

August 10th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday July 14 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Sue Burak, snow scientist and avalanche forecaster, will be here to discuss how climate change is producing unusual avalanches. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here!

A debris flow across Tioga Pass Road on June 17, 2019. Photo courtesy of Sue Burak.

Recent avalanches in the Sierra have been unusual. Avalanche activity in 2019 began in early January and continued through June when a wet slab avalanche released above Tioga Pass Road and deposited mud and rocks onto … more »

Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center receives many pairs of donated boots

August 8th, 2019 by Miranda, Outdoor Education Instructor

The Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC) staff have been busy this season with a different group every week. Students of all ages, often from Los Angeles, spend five days with us, camping, hiking, and canoeing. They learn about the Mono Basin, where their water comes from, and how to cherish and preserve natural spaces and resources.

OEC students from Modesto’s Camp Cricket hiked up Bennettville Dome in boots generously donated by members. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Each group brings new and wonderful adventures, but it takes hard work and support from many people to make sure students are prepared and to—literally—get boots on the ground. Most participants don’t have all the equipment needed to hike and recreate outdoors, so we turn to the OEC closet to find what they need.

We put out a call for gently used boots in the most recent Mono Lake Newsletter and received an awesome response! … more »

Riparian restoration in the Mono Basin

August 6th, 2019 by Caroline Bottega

Intern Caroline Bottega recording groundwater levels on Rush Creek tributary. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

“I can really count this as work?” I thought, while wading knee-deep in the cool, swift water of Rush Creek. Robbie Di Paolo, the Mono Lake Committee’s Restoration Field Technician, was a few paces ahead and leading the way to our next monitoring well. It felt like a scavenger hunt, as we navigated from well to well between the stream channels and sagebrush until another tall, white PVC pipe would finally appear among the vegetation.

Part of the mission of the Mono Lake Committee is to restore the important habitats of the Mono Basin, which include the habitats of the freshwater tributaries that feed Mono Lake. As one of my intern projects for the summer, I have been tasked with collecting groundwater measurements along both Lee Vining Creek and Rush Creek each week. Through my weekly well readings, I have had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Committee’s restoration efforts and dive deeper into the complex relationships that exist between the important habitats of the Mono Basin. … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: The extent of the last glacial maximum in Yosemite and the Mono Basin

August 3rd, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on August 7 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Greg Stock, Yosemite National Park geologist, will be here to discuss the extent of the Tioga Glaciation. If you can join us for this free event, please register here to guarantee your spot!

Map of the extent of the Tioga Glaciation, courtesy of Greg Stock.

Much of the spectacular scenery of Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra is the result of erosion by glaciers. The most recent glacial period, known in the Sierra as the Tioga Glaciation, reached a maximum extent about 20,000 years ago, and left behind abundant evidence of its presence in the mountains, including glacial moraines, erratics, striations, polish, and sculpted bedrock. … more »

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists schedule for 2019

August 2nd, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us weekly this summer and fall for the Mono Lake Committee’s summer lecture series Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists.

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

Talks occur at 4:00pm on Wednesdays in the Mono Lake Committee gallery (with the exception of September 10, which is a Tuesday). Scientists studying the Sierra and the Mono Basin will present their cutting-edge research for about an hour while the audience munches on snacks and sips beverages. Each presentation is followed by Q & A session. If you can attend, please register here for these free events!

August 7: Extent of the Last Glacial Maximum (Tioga) Glaciation in Yosemite and the Mono Basin with Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock

August 14: Dry Snow/Wet Snow Recipes for Unusual Avalanches: Avalanche Forecasting Challenges in a Changing Climate with hydrologist Sue Burak

August 21: From Mono Lake to Mar Chiquita: How Are Phalaropes Faring in the 21st Century? with scientist Ryan Carle 

August 28: To be announced

 September 4: From Chemistry to Community: Sage-Grouse Conservation Across the Sagebrush Sea with UC Davis PhD candidate Eric Tymstra

 September 10: (Note: This talk is on a Tuesday) Water From Rock: Rock Glaciers as Un(der)-Explored Hydrologic Resevoirs and Climate Refugia with US Forest Service Senior Scientist Connie Millar

Rush Creek advocate Dick Dahlgren passes

August 1st, 2019 by Lisa, Associate Policy Director

Dick Dahlgren, a successful advocate for stopping the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) total diversion of Rush Creek, died on July 9 in Boise, Idaho near his home.

Dick Dahlgren fishing on Crowley Lake Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Jim Matthews.

In 1984, Dick, an avid fly-fisherman, found a population of healthy brown trout in lower Rush Creek—a finding that was more surprising than it may initially seem. Historically a blue ribbon fishery, Rush Creek ran dry after the LA Aqueduct was built in 1941 and … more »

Obi Kaufmann book signing and print sale at the Mono Lake Committee this Saturday

July 31st, 2019 by Caroline Bottega

Join us for a book signing, print sale, and discussion with poet, painter, and naturalist Obi Kaufmann on Saturday, August 3 at 5:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, as he promotes his latest book, The State of Water, Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource.

Through a unique blend of science and art, Kaufmann unravels the complexities and controversy surrounding California’s most precious resource and brings to life the multifaceted relationship between humans and water. … more »

Trail Chic: Lee Vining’s fashion icons emerge to support outdoor education

July 29th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Mono Lake Committee staff and other Lee Vining residents hit the astroturf runway on July 20 for the Eastern Sierra’s most anticipated event of the year—the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser.

This year’s group of runway walkers at the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser. Photo by Elin Ljung.

A fundraiser for the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center (OEC) Access Fund, the Trail Chic Fashion Show raised enough money this year to bring nine future OEC groups to the Mono Basin for five days of life-changing outdoor activities while learning about the source of their water. … more »

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