Property donation enables new research opportunities at Mono Lake

Last summer, longtime Mono Lake Committee members donated a home and surrounding land to bolster the Committee’s scientific research and education programs. Located northeast of Mono Lake, the house and 320-acre property are perfectly positioned to serve as a home base for research and projects located in this quieter and less-traveled corner of the Mono Basin.

Frank and Marie-Agnes Stephens used the property as a retreat for decades and loved the sweeping views of Mono Lake framed by the Sierra crest. The house is powered by a sturdy solar array and is hardy enough to be utilized year-round. The Stephenses’ intent is to preserve the natural beauty of the area while supporting the work of the Mono Lake Committee.

Since the donation was received, the Committee has put the property to good use for research infrastructure installation and as a Covid-safe outdoor convening spot for meetings.

The donation comes at a critical time. The Committee’s Mono Basin Field Station provides much-needed researcher housing in Lee Vining, but Mono Lake continues to be a focal point for many different types of scientific research and demand for space exceeds capacity at times. The Stephens property can house small groups in multiple bedrooms with the benefit of a garage and kitchen facilities. This spring the Stephens property will be used for several long-term research stays that will expand knowledge of Mono Lake limnology and the area’s Greater Sage Grouse population.

Thank you to Frank and Marie-Agnes for making this generous donation to continue benefiting Mono Lake.

Mono Lake Committee staff convene at the Stephens property. Photo by Arya Harp.

This post was also published as an article in the Winter & Spring 2022 Mono Lake Newsletter. Top photo by Greg Reis.