Posts Tagged ‘Restoration’
It’s that time of year again, when all eyes are on the Sierra snowpack, the level of Mono Lake, and spreadsheets.
Just imagining this winter’s snowpack flowing down Mono Basin streams this spring brings a gleeful sigh of relief. But … spreadsheets? Yep, because spreadsheets, forecast models, experts, and in-depth Mono Basin hydrologic knowledge, when carefully woven together, are how we figure out the big question for Mono Lake: how much is the lake going to rise or fall this year?
You can see the full (more…)
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.
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…)
The temporary electrified fence protecting Mono Lake’s nesting California Gulls has been up and running for about three weeks now. After a long and snowy winter the gulls’ calls signal spring’s arrival, and it’s gratifying to know that as they build nests and lay eggs out on the islands, they are protected from coyote predation.
The fence stretches for about one mile across the landbridge, and is made up of five sections that overlap—an electrified long middle section, two shorter electrified sections at the ends near the water’s edge, and two passive sections at (more…)
This post was written by Matt Rice, 2015 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.
An important piece of the Mono Lake Committee’s mission is to restore Mono Lake’s tributary streams and their riparian (streamside) habitats. These environments provide a lush area for many of the native plants of the Mono Basin to grow and flourish. Since the streams were damaged by years of excessive water diversions, they are in the process of recovering, and non-native invasive plants can sometimes encroach, outcompete the native vegetation, and slow the restoration process.
This summer the Mono Lake Committee is continues to focus on removing invasive plants along Mill Creek, the third largest tributary to Mono Lake located in the north Mono Basin. White sweet clover is the main target as this fast-growing weed quickly dominates sections of Mill Creek and poses the greatest threat to native plants. Already this summer we have removed over 300 pounds of invasive white sweet clover and the native flowers and plants are noticeably establishing in the previously invaded habitat, which is both encouraging and beautiful to witness.
Come join us this July on Tuesday the 14th and Tuesday the 21st to see for yourself and to help keep this important habitat healthy, beautiful, and diverse. On the 21st we will be accompanied by guest naturalist Ann Howald, a botanist who specializes in rare plants and conservation issues and who has lead the High Country Plant Field Seminar for the Mono Lake Committee for over a decade. She has an amazing wealth of knowledge of the Sierra Nevada and this will be a rare chance to pick her brain.
To join us: meet at 8:30 am at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, located on the corner of Highway 395 and Third Street in Lee Vining. If you are interested in volunteering for either of the restoration events this July or if you have any questions about July or August events, please contact Robbie Di Paolo at (760) 647-6386 x122.
Special thanks to the California State Parks Foundation for their support of the Mono Lake Volunteer program this year. Special thanks to outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. for their support of the Mono Lake Committee’s restoration stewardship program.
When I stand and look out from the shores of Mono Lake, there is an abundance of stories that flow through my mind.
At times I reflect on the region’s water story and the decades of litigation and activism that was required to bring awareness and ecological security to Mono Lake. Other times I am captivated by the dazzling aerial displays of the Wilson’s Phalaropes, which stop to feed at Mono Lake before embarking on a continuous 48-hour flight to the Andean Plateau in South America. It’s these stories and many more that help me to understand and appreciate the lake for the amazing place that it is, which is why I believe that providing interpretive information to visitors can greatly benefit their overall experience of Mono Lake.
Perhaps that is why there are so many great interpretive programs offered in the Mono Basin. And yet not everyone who visits Mono Lake is always able to attend a South Tufa tour or a bird walk. It is therefore to everyone’s benefit that there exists a special task force designed to provide an “on the fly” interpretive experience: the Mono Lake Volunteers. (more…)
The Mono Lake Committee is thrilled to announce the completion of an innovative agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) that will result in a significant leap forward in restoration of the health of fisheries, streamside forests, birds, and wildlife on 19 miles of Mono Basin streams, all without reducing water exports to Los Angeles.
A key element of the agreement, reached jointly with CalTrout and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is DWP’s commitment to modernize antiquated aqueduct infrastructure at Grant Lake Reservoir Dam. These structural improvements will give DWP the capacity to meet State Water Board requirements for flows to Rush Creek and Mono Lake.
“The science is in, the plan is written, (more…)
We are thrilled to announce the completion of an innovative agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power that will result in a significant leap forward in restoring the health of fisheries, streamside forests, birds, and wildlife on 19 miles of Mono Basin streams without reducing water exports to Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Board of Commissioners is set to vote on the agreement in their Tuesday, August 27th meeting.