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Refreshing ‘Ologists: Conserving giant sequoia and coast redwood in a time of global change

July 27th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on July 31 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Kristen Shive, Science Director of Save the Redwoods League, will be here to discuss how sequoias and redwoods respond to a changing climate. If you can join us for this free event, please sign up here.

A prescribed burn in the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite. Photo courtesy of Kristen Shive.

… more »

A 100-unit workforce housing village proposed adjacent to Lee Vining near Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park

July 25th, 2019 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

August 22 update: Over 700 comment letters submitted about the proposed Tioga Inn project

Tioga Inn public comment period open until August 13 August 21, workshop July 30

The Tioga Inn is the name for the full build-out plan for the project that is currently best known as the Mobil-mart/Whoa Nellie Deli and gas station above the intersection of Highway 120 and Highway 395 just south of Lee Vining. This project has the potential to significantly change the community of Lee Vining, and could double its population. During this open public comment period every opinion and concern matters—people who live in, visit, or know Lee Vining are all encouraged to submit a comment letter.

The existing Mobil gas station, Whoa Nellie Deli, and workforce housing that are part of the proposed Tioga Inn development project.

Project overview

Over twenty six years ago Mono County approved the Tioga Inn Specific Plan & Final Environmental Impact Report, which includes a two-story, 120-room hotel, full-service restaurant, convenience store, gas station, and ten workforce housing units. While the Mobil Mart/Whoa Nellie Deli, … more »

Video of migratory phalaropes at Mono Lake

July 23rd, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

On Saturday morning canoe tour participants were treated to a spectacular show by migratory phalaropes, which are arriving to the lake by the thousands!

Over their four- to six-week stay at Mono Lake, the phalaropes molt into a new set of feathers and double their weight in preparation for their continued migration. From here, they fly 3,000 miles non-stop to South America—an epic journey fueled almost entirely by Mono Lake’s alkali flies and brine shrimp. With just a quick walk down to South Tufa, you too may get a front-row seat to their incredible aerial performance!

Thank you to our friends at New West Studios for generously providing the music in the video.

Refreshing ‘Ologists: The science of storytelling

July 20th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, July 24 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Kristine Zeigler, author and Mono Lake Committee board member, will be here to discuss writing and the environment. If you can join us for this free event, please register here!

Author and Mono Lake Committee board member Kristine Zeigler canoeing on Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Kristine Zeigler.

Kristine will explore the science of storytelling and how art and literature have protected many natural treasures in the Sierra Nevada. She will explore a new 21st century approach to nature writing that will build an inclusive movement for protecting the planet. This interactive talk will delve into brain science and … more »

Trail Chic fashion show fundraiser this Saturday

July 18th, 2019 by Arya, Communications Director

You’re just going to have to trust us when we say, “you do not want to miss this fashion show!”

When: Saturday, August 26 at 7:30pm
Where: Lee Vining Community Center
What: An AstroTurf runway, the latest in trail fashion, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly (for a donation), trail snacks, and a silent auction
Admission: FREE! (but bring your wallet to support the cause)

The funds raised support the … more »

Uncovering the hidden geologic history of the Mono Basin

July 17th, 2019 by Caroline Bottega

On a bright Sunday morning, perched atop an ancient glacial moraine in lower Lundy Canyon, I had the opportunity to see the Mono Lake landscape through a geologist’s eyes.

Guleed Ali points out glacial features in lower Lundy Canyon. Photo by Caroline Bottega.

Armed with topographic maps, Guleed Ali, Research Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore and friendly face around the field station, began to build the story of Mono Lake and its relationship to the glacier that once sculpted the canyon. … more »

You don’t need to be a weatherman … but it helps

July 16th, 2019 by Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant

April 16, 1988 will never share a place of honor alongside key moments in the Mono Lake Committee’s history—such as the date of the California Supreme Court’s public trust ruling (February 17, 1983) or State Water Board Decision 1631 (September 28, 1994). Yet this early spring day 31 years ago represents an important, if little known moment: on that Saturday the Committee started keeping track of the weather.

The first monthly data sheet collected by the Mono Lake Committee in April 1988. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Recording a maximum temperature of 48°F, a minimum of 36°F, and no precipitation, this information formed the first set of observations submitted from the Lee Vining Station to the Cooperative Observer Program at the National Weather Service. … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: History, water, and the surprising persistence of the Devils Hole pupfish

July 13th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, July 17 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Kevin Brown, environmental historian and Mono Lake Committee staff, will discuss the Devils Hole pupfish and water law. Please register here if you can attend this free event!

Devils Hole pupfish. Photo courtesy of Olin Feuerbacher, US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Kevin Brown at Devils Hole, a disjunct segment of Death Valley National Park. Photo courtesy of Kevin Brown.

The Devils Hole pupfish is one of the rarest species in the world, confined to just a single natural habitat in southern Nevada’s Amargosa Desert. Amidst a biodiversity crisis that some are calling the “sixth extinction,” it is worth exploring how is it that the pupfish survived the twentieth century when some of its close neighbors have not. This talk explores the ways that water law has both threatened and protected the pupfish from the 1910s to the present.

Kevin C. Brown is a historian of the environment and the US West. He is completing a book manuscript tentatively titled, Persistence: The Devils Hole Pupfish and Surviving Modern America. He wrote an environmental history of the Devils Hole pupfish for the National Park Service and later worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his doctorate in history at Carnegie Mellon University.

Devils Hole, as seen through the fencing at the viewing platform. Devils Hole is the smallest vertebrate habitat in the world. Photo by Kevin Brown.

Mono Lake in the news: ABC10

July 12th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

There’s a new video out featuring two Committee staff—Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston and Canoe Coordinator Alison Kaplan! ABC10’s John Bartell visited Mono Lake last month to bring its unique natural history and fascinating political history to viewers of his “Bartell’s Backroads” series:

Nora leads field seminars and custom guided trips on birds, wildflowers, history, geology, and more. Alison leads the Mono Lake canoe tours which are offered on weekend mornings all summer.

This video includes footage taken by a drone, which was obtained under permit. Anyone wishing to fly a drone at Mono Lake for any reason must obtain a permit ahead of time from the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve.

Mono Lake is rising

July 8th, 2019 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician

Last month we measured Mono Lake’s level as 6382.2 feet above sea level on June 3. This month we measured 6382.7 feet, an impressive half-foot rise. This falls right in line with our “likely range” forecast, with more lake rise to come in July.

A Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center group from Los Angeles touches the lake water at South Tufa. Mono Lake is expected to rise another foot this year. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Be sure to check back with us in August—hopefully Mono Lake will rise past the 6383-foot threshold.

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