Summer 2024 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

If you visit Mono Lake this summer I know you’ll be captivated by its beauty—a huge blue lake in the desert, with tufa towers like castles along the shore and tall snowcapped mountains rising to the west. If you picked up this issue of the Mono Lake Newsletter I bet it’s because of the beautiful image on the cover.

Let Mono Lake’s beauty draw you in. And then stay for the stories hidden beneath the surface.

We have illustrated one story that’s hidden literally 79 feet underground—DWP’s failing rotovalve that further hinders Rush Creek’s long-overdue restoration (page 8). Hidden beneath the surface of Mono Lake are millions of alkali flies in various stages of life—the newest chapter of research about them begins this summer to help illuminate their mysteries (page 10).

Beneath the surface of that flock of birds on the cover—Wilson’s Phalaropes—are several stories of resilience, from the beleaguered saline lakes they depend on, to each individual bird’s remarkable migration. In a new effort to protect phalaropes and their habitats, advocates have asked for Endangered Species Act listing (page 7).

Hidden in a nondescript tract home near Rush Creek is a 30-year thriving education program, originally started through water conservation legislation and carrying on through the fourth generation of the founding Gutierrez family. During those three decades, more than 8,000 students have visited the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center, where Mono Lake has become part of their stories (page 11).

Some stories have been deliberately overlooked for too long. The process to designate Tribal Beneficial Uses for Mono Lake and its tributary streams is an important step in recognizing the story of the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe. Their stewardship of this place stretches farther back in time than any other human story and continues today (page 5).

When you visit Mono Lake, come for the beauty. Seek out the stories by taking a guided tour or stopping into our bookstore (pages 16–17). And you’ll become part of Mono Lake’s story too.

Top photo and Newsletter cover photo by Andrew Youssef.