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Wanted: Mono Lake photos (calendar submission deadline: October 31)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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Submitting images for consideration for the Mono Lake Calendar has never been easier, so if you have a beautiful shot, we’d love to see it! Now is the time—the deadline is Wednesday, October 31, 2018, and you can find submission information here.

We are looking for images of scenes within the watershed boundary of Mono Lake, and possible subjects include, but are not limited to: plants, geologic features, streams, (more…)

Update: Tioga Road through Yosemite open; Yosemite Valley, Wawona, more closed until at least August 5

Monday, July 30th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Late last week officials with the National Park Service announced that they would be extending temporary closures of Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Wawona Road, and Big Oak Flat Road from Yosemite Valley to Crane Flat through Friday, August 3 Sunday, August 5. Park officials made the decision to close parts of the park last week due to public health concerns related to extreme smoke from the Ferguson Fire. Highway 120 through the park, also known as the Tioga Road, remains open.

Firefighters are working day and night to contain the Ferguson Fire. Photo courtesy of Kari Greer.

Conditions permitting, the affected areas are scheduled to re-open and 4:00pm on Friday, August 3. The park will continue to assess conditions and reevaluate all closures on Sunday, August 5. Be sure to check current conditions before heading into the park.

In addition to these closures (more…)

Join us on a free bird walk!

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 by Nigel, Birding Intern
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Looking for something fun to do on a weekend morning in the Mono Basin? The Mono Lake Committee and California State Parks offer free bird walks at 8:00am every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the summer. Join a naturalist for a leisurely 2-hour excursion through some of the most productive bird habitats in the area. The Friday and Sunday morning walks are at Mono Lake County Park, and the Saturday morning walk explores Lundy Canyon. All experience levels are welcome! We’ll provide loaner binoculars if you don’t have a pair.

The lush riparian habitat at County Park is a great place to spot Western Tanagers. Photo by Sandra Noll.

Fridays and Sundays: Meet at Mono Lake County Park (5–10 minute drive from Lee Vining). Take Highway 395 north from Lee Vining for 5 miles, then turn right on Cemetery Road (signs for County Park/Mono Lake Access). Follow Cemetery Road for a 1/2-mile to the parking lot on the right.

Saturdays: Meet at the Lundy Lake Resort (15 minute drive from Lee Vining). Take Highway 395 north from Lee Vining for 7 miles, then turn left on Lundy Lake Road. Follow the Lundy Lake Road for 5 miles to the Lundy Lake Resort, where you can park on the shoulder just before the main cluster of buildings.

For more information, contact the Mono Lake Committee at (760) 647-6595, stop by the Information Center and Bookstore in Lee Vining, or email Birding Intern Nigel. We hope to see you out in the field!

Scanning for birds along Cemetery Road at County Park. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Official April 1 Mono Lake level: 6381.86 feet

Monday, April 2nd, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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Technically, we did it on March 31, but for all intents and purposes, it’s the April 1 official joint reading of Mono Lake’s level with Mono Lake Committee and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) staff together. This reading on this day is particularly important because the number recorded translates into how much water DWP is allowed to divert from Mono Basin streams over the course of the coming year.

Mono Lake Committee and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power staff walking down to the lake shore for the annual joint lake level reading. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

(more…)

Wild & Scenic Film Festival is coming to Los Angeles on March 8 & 10

Sunday, January 7th, 2018 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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We are excited to announce the Mono Lake Committee’s seventh annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles. This year we will be showing films in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 8 and Sierra Madre on Saturday, March 10.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival features a selection of inspiring films about environmental conservation, outdoor adventure, and natural wonders and serves as a great way to meet with Mono Lake Committee staff and members at the southern end of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. All proceeds from the event go toward the Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs, which bring youth from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin for a week of outdoor experiences and learning about the source of their water.

Stay tuned for film program updates and information about ticket sales. We hope to see you there!

The Mono Lake Committee 2017 Annual Report

Saturday, November 25th, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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Each year printed copies of the Mono Lake Committee Annual Report are sent out to Defense Trust level members and Guardians of the Lake monthly-giving club members, but it is has information that is important to members at all giving levels, friends, anyone who is curious, and the general public. So without further ado, click here to see the Mono Lake Committee 2017 Annual Report.

Did you get a yearbook in high school? The Annual Report feels a little bit like the grown-up version of getting the yearbook … (more…)

#GivefortheGrebes this #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 by Arya, Communications Director
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This year for #GivingTuesday (November 28) we are fundraising for Eared Grebe surveys at Mono Lake!

First: There is a donation match! All donations made on Giving Tuesday through Facebook will be matched, thanks to Facebook’s charitable giving program. (And they’re not charging fees either.) Click here on Tuesday to #GivefortheGrebes via Facebook!

Then: Mark your calendar to catch our Facebook Live event at 12:30pm On Tuesday, November 28 down at the lake with Geoff, Robbie, and Maureen talking about Eared Grebe research and answering your questions. Tune in (more…)

Scaling back the fence thanks to a rising Mono Lake

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Jenny Rieke, 2017 Birding Intern.

I recently had the opportunity to go out to the landbridge to help with maintenance of the gull fence. I woke up at 5:00am in order to get out there in time, and by 6:30am we were ready to head out, chest waders and all.

The north shore of the landbridge is a surreal, other-worldly landscape. Photo by Jennifer Rieke.

This was my first time to the north shore of Mono Lake and it was quite a contrast to the scenic southern shore I am used to. With Black Point behind us, we trudged over salt flats towards Negit Island. Passing skeletons of last year’s giant blazing stars and coyote scat, we approached the electric fence when suddenly I heard it—the clamor of the gull colony! I put my binoculars up to see the islets overflowing with California Gulls. This was a place I had only imagined in my mind, and now it was coming to life. (more…)

Experience Mono Lake by canoe!

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Julissa Rosales, 2017 Canoe Coordinator.

View from the canoe tour starting destination at Navy Beach. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Whether you are a local or simply passing through right now is the best time to get out on Mono Lake. Since January of this year the lake has risen over two feet and we are expecting it to continue to rise another foot-and-a-half. It is a magical, serene, and beautiful place to experience by canoe.

The Mono Lake Committee offers hour-long canoe tours with knowledgeable guides paddling you through tufa groves. We offer these tours every Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am through the first weekend in September. Reserve your spot online today!

Canoe guides lead you through tufa groves while looking for brine shrimp. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

It is astonishing how much the lake has risen in the past month. I go out every week as often as I can, even on my days off and before work, just to see how different the changing water level makes tufa disappear under the water’s surface. There is so much to see from the Sierra Nevada’s still-snow-covered peaks, the lake teeming with brine shrimp, and the new nesting Osprey chicks. There is so much to explore and be grateful for in what the Mono Lake Committee and friends have done to ensure that this splendid lake is not lost or forgotten. We’d love it if you would join us for an amazing morning out on Mono Lake so you can experience the magic yourself.

Mono Lake’s California Gulls safe for the season

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 by Geoff, Executive Director
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A mile of citizen-funded solar-powered electric fence is up and running, protecting Mono Lake’s nesting gulls—one of the three largest colonies in the world—from mainland predators. The fence is the result of a year and a half of planning by the Mono Lake Committee and California State Parks along with other agency partners, a dedicated local installation team, and generous funding from Mono Lake supporters across the country.

The temporary electric fence stretching one mile across the landbridge has 11 motion-activated wildlife cameras with infrared nighttime flash capability along its length. In late April, camera #5 documented a coyote walking the fence line, confirming that the fence is functioning as a coyote barrier. Mono Lake Committee wildlife camera photo.

Why is the temporary fence—which will be removed when nesting is finished—needed? Five years of drought lowered Mono Lake seven feet, shrinking the protective moat of water between the lake’s north shore and Negit Island and adjacent islets—exposing a landbridge that allows coyotes access to the lake’s long-established nesting colony of California Gulls. Last summer signs were found on a few of these islets that coyotes had indeed walked the landbridge and then swum the remaining 500 feet or so of shallow water to prey on eggs and chicks, disrupting nesting and causing gulls to be suspicious of returning to these sites in future years.

Not a typical fence site

The electric mesh netting fence used for the project (more…)

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