In 2019, I set out to dig deeper into the natural history of the Mono Basin so I can better share it with visitors and locals alike. I took on a quest called the 5-Mile Radius (5MR) challenge that focuses on getting to know the flora and fauna within five miles of my home. It is more than keeping lists of birds seen and plants found—it is a way to pay careful attention to my community. It is a way to fall in love every time I set foot outside my door. In my particular case, it is also … more »
The Mono Lake Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a one-day citizen science effort to tally all wild birds in the Mono Lake area. The 40th annual Mono Lake CBC was held on December 17, 2019.
Twenty-two birders, mostly local residents, counted every bird in the 15-mile diameter CBC circle centered on the northwestern edge of the lake. The circle includes all of Lee Vining south to the intersection of Highway 158 north and Highway 395 at Cain Ranch, west into the Sierra including Bohler, Lee Vining, Lundy, and Virginia canyons, north to Conway Summit, and east just past the islands in Mono Lake, which includes the areas of County and DeChambeau ponds, and the Black Point shoals.
The weather this year was … more »
This essay, written by Caelen McQuilkin, appears in the 2020 Mono Lake Calendar.
Born and raised in Lee Vining, I have lived and breathed Mono Lake, and the Eastern Sierra, from before I learned to walk. I remember family backpacking trips to Cascade Lake, where I would sit on the cooling granite and watch the sun sink below the Sierra crest, staining the swooping granite pinnacles with rosy pink. I remember floating in Mono Lake on warm summer days, gazing up at the soft blue sky and letting the sun soak into me.
As the years slipped by and I began adding more peaks to my summit list and learning the names of wildflowers, I became more and more curious about the world around me. I believed, and still believe, that the basin of knowledge available in my backyard is infinite and ever-changing, that there is always more to discover, always another section of the map to explore, always another lake to swim in. This constant sense of wonder has crafted the lens through which I see the world.
At seventeen, I still … more »
Year-end donations help us do what’s best for Mono Lake all year long. Please consider making a donation to the Mono Lake Committee before the year is over so we can keep saving Mono Lake!
Even as we celebrate progress made, we are constantly working on new land and resource management challenges and protection issues. Including:
- closing in on approval of DWP’s revised water license to launch the next phase of restoration of Mono’s tributary streams
- bringing public attention to the Tioga Inn development—a proposal that could drastically alter the scenic quality of the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area
- introducing more people to Mono Lake—through South Tufa walks, canoe tours, bird walks, Field Seminars, and custom trips, and Outdoor Education Center programs for underserved youth—to strengthen the link between the people of Los Angeles and Mono Lake
- confronting climate change with our recently-established Vorster Center for Mono Basin Hydrology, to better plan for the future
Our full slate of protection, restoration, education, and science support work—building on the successes of the past and laying the foundation for a sustainable future for our favorite lake—is ongoing. We are grateful your support is too.
Please send a year-end gift today to help the Committee prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2020.
Earlier this month at the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference, Dr. Connie Millar was recognized as one of five recipients for the prestigious Ambassador Award, which recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to one or more of the following areas: societal impact, service to the Earth and space community, scientific leadership, and promotion of talent/career pool. The Ambassador Award honors individuals whose achievements extend beyond those recognized by traditional scientific awards.
Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season.
Photos courtesy of Rick Kattelmann, Robb Hirsch, David Carle, and Nora Livingston.
Have you always wanted to spend a summer living and working at Mono Lake? This may be your chance!
The Mono Lake Committee is looking for passionate individuals to join our team for the busy 2020 summer season. This is your opportunity to share your love for Mono Lake and gain great experience working with a successful environmental non-profit.
Take a look at the … more »
In 2019, Mono Lake an entire vertical foot. Watch below for a quick time lapse video showing the this past summer’s lake rise and see the shoreline change by the day.
It has been an exciting year for Mono Lake and its tributary streams with the lake rising a foot and the best possible streamflows secured on Rush, Lee Vining, Parker, and Walker creeks.
We hope you’ll consider sending a year-end gift today to help the Committee prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2020. The protection and restoration of Mono Lake is ongoing; we’re grateful that your support is, too. Thank you.
The Mono Lake Committee is excited to announce our ninth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles! We will be featuring a series of short, inspiring, and engaging films that showcase amazing people, beautiful places, and unique perspectives.
This year, for the first time, we’ll be hosting the festival on three consecutive nights in the Los Angeles area:
Sierra Madre at the Sierra Madre Playhouse
March 11, 2020
Santa Monica at the Laemmle Monica Film Center
March 12, 2020
Downtown Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent
March 13, 2020
Tickets will be available starting January 8 here. All proceeds benefit the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center, where urban youth connect to the source of their water through outdoor activities and environmental stewardship. Spread the word and we’ll see you in March!
Reserve your spot in the Winter Photography at Mono Lake field seminar, coming up January 10–12, 2020!
So far this winter we have experienced all kinds of picturesque weather—snowstorms, bright sunny days, poconip ice fog, skims of ice on Mono Lake, and colorful sunrises and sunsets. It’s shaping up to be a great season for winter photography.
Professional photographer and longtime Monophile … more »