The theme of this issue of the Mono Lake Newsletter is vigilance. Really, it has run through every Newsletter, starting 40 years ago with a group of sharp-eyed, shaggy biologists who took note of what was happening to Mono Lake. Ever since those early days, we’ve kept watch.
You’ll see our continued vigilance in the pages that follow—we noticed a leaking stream, an unusual development proposal, a new threat to the California Gulls, and a flow violation at Rush Creek. We watched the Mill Creek return ditch flow test carefully. We visit the streams regularly, we keep an eye on daily streamflow reports, and we scrutinize the lake level.
We look around, and we look ahead. As this winter seems more convincingly dry, we run models and projections to see how Mono Lake’s level will respond. We check each new snow survey, adjust our models, and examine the projections. As Geoff writes on page 4, we are serious about protecting this place. We are on constant alert.
It is important to keep an eye out for good things too. We delighted in Mono Lake’s alkali flies making headline news, and we saw our county government strengthen support for federal laws protecting the Mono Basin. We have watched Mono Lake continue to rise this winter, celebrating each fraction of a foot gained.
Lucky for us, and lucky for Mono Lake, we have a whole extended family to keep watch with us—you can see that in this Newsletter too. That family helped raise $6,930 for Eared Grebe research, and called to offer legal support in case HR 23 proceeds through Congress. You’ll see members of the Mono Lake family who won Free Drawing prizes, who celebrated Arya’s wedding, and who sent donations to honor loved ones.
This Mono Lake family is 16,000 people—and 40 years—strong. So keep an eye on your favorite lake. Look for the peace and wildness here, the beauty and the resilience. We are here, watching with you.
Top photo courtesy of Floris van Breugel.