The High Country Responds
to a Changing Climate

Thursday, June 16 – 1 to 5 PM    FREE!

 Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, Lee Vining

Snow, pikas, glaciers, wildlife, forests,
Mono Lake
How climate affects us all


Learn about climate issues from local experts:

  • Connie Millar, Forest Service Scientist
  • Greg Stock, Yosemite NP Geologist
  • Sarah Stock, Yosemite NP Wildlife Biologist
  • Geoff McQuilkin, Mono Lake Committee
  • Caelen McQuilkin, Lee Vining High School

Sponsored by 350 Mono as a prequel to the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua.

high country responds flyer
high country responds press release
High Country Responds, agenda details
climate workshop flyer

Climate Seminar in Lee Vining draws 95 attendees

The High Country Responds to A Changing Climate, a seminar on climate issues in the Eastern Sierra, drew a full house to the Scenic Area Visitor Center Theater in Lee Vining on June 16.  This critical topic affects us all, from our snow-based winter economy, to our water supply, to our weather and the health of our trees.

Five local experts shared their expertise.  Lee Vining High School student Caelen McQuilkin discussed her award-winning science project on the American Pika, and how high temperatures affect activity levels in this high elevation resident.  Geoff McQuilkin, Caelen’s dad and Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee, spoke about the effect of drought on Mono Lake, dropping the lake level in spite of the 1994 Water Board decision to bring the lake to a higher and healthier level. The years of water diversions of Mono’s tributary streams were, in effect, a human-caused lengthy drought that is very difficult to recover from as our climate warms and dries.

Forest Service Senior Scientist Connie Millar presented an overview of historic and future climatic influences in the Sierra, and how different trees and animals cope with these changes, demonstrating resilience and adaptability.  Yosemite Geologist Greg Stock spoke about glaciers rapidly disappearing and how water supply and high elevation habitat will be affected. Sarah Stock, Yosemite Wildlife Biologist, shared the success stories of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, the Peregrine Falcon, and Sierra Nevada Red Fox, and how human intervention has allowed these three endangered species a second chance to thrive.

A discussion by the speakers followed.  All agreed that the public needs to “make noise” about the urgency of climate action and demand that it become a constant part of public discourse.

The seminar was sponsored by 350 MONO, a local climate action group formed in the Mono Basin last year.  The speakers all volunteered to participate and share their knowledge.   We are fortunate in the Eastern Sierra to have a wealth of scientists and researchers exploring a wide range of climate influenced topics.

The seminar was recorded and will be posted soon on YouTube.

Anyone who would like to join our climate action email list, please contact Janet.

A website for 350 MONO is in progress and our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/350mono


Parsons Lodge in Tuolumne Meadows will host two climate-related lectures in August, that are free and open to the public.  2 – 3:30pm

Aug 13, Saturday:   Greg Stock on Vanishing Ice, Vanishing History: Natural and Cultural Implications of Glacier Loss in Yosemite National Park

Aug 14, Sunday: Elizabeth Kolbert, Pullitzer Prize winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

STEPS FOR SNOW
at Mono Lake

Local families came out in force last Saturday on a foggy morning to walk a mile in support of Mono Lake, a future snowy Sierra, and climate progress at the upcoming Paris Climate Summit.  The kids led the way through tufa towers and sagebrush to the shores of the lake.  As the sun came out, Geoff McQuilkin of the Mono Lake Committee, climate researcher Maureen McGlinchy, local author David Carle, and Devil’s Postpile Superintendent Deanna Dulen shared insights on the climate challenges we face.

Suggested “steps” we can all take in our daily lives to use energy and water wisely were displayed, and all participants wrote  “promise to our planet ” goals on snowflake ornaments made by local children.

All of our communal actions can help ensure a snowy future.

Mono Lake has been a symbol of hope in solving environmental problems. On a beautiful morning, with the spirit of the children lifting us up, a statement was made about our future and the importance of  real climate progress in Paris. A small group of people can make a big difference.  It happened at Mono Lake.

Visitors to the Mono Lake Committee Information Center in Lee Vining can take home an ornament while supplies last and make their own “promises” during this holiday season.

Some of the snowflake ornaments with promises to our planet.
Some of the snowflake ornaments with promises to our planet.
Janet Carle, Claire DesBaillets and Gina Ruiz display ornaments and "Steps for Snow" board
Janet Carle, Claire DesBaillets and Gina Ruiz display ornaments and “Steps for Snow” board
Flyer
Flyer

steps for snow at mono lake press release

SIZZLING SOLAR WALK
in LEE VINING  

The  MONO BASIN SOLAR WALK was held Sunday, Sept. 27 in Lee Vining.  A  good crowd enjoyed  interesting discussion about all aspects of solar installation, and a great reaction from our “Solar Pioneers” as their steps taken toward renewable energy were honored. The beautiful banner that Maureen McGlinchy and local children  made is now on display at the Lee Vining Community Center.

Mono County Supervisors Fred Stump and Tim Alpers attended and shared the Board’s goals of encouraging solar energy use throughout the County as the new General Plan is developed.

The Forest Service and Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association were honored as Solar Pioneers at the Scenic Area Visitor Center, and Geoff McQuilkin of the Mono Lake Committee showed off the panels on the historic “Ice House” (offices and library) and Hess Hall (the Information Center).

We are proud to have the first solar powered service station in California in Lee Vining, thanks to owner Shelly Channel, who enjoyed showing his system to all the attendees.

Good incentives exist for solar installation, as well as low County fees and various financing options.  If you would like an information sheet outlining incentives, please email Janet at jcarle@qnet.com.

Supervisors Tim Alpers and Fred Stump receive “Solar Pioneer” awards on behalf of Mono County, installer of solar panels on the Community Centers in Lee Vining and Crowley Lake, from local kids Norah and Sadie Hinson.

Local kids made the Solar Walk banner with  Maureen McGlinchy. It is on display at the Lee Vining Community Center.

Mono Lake Committee staff accept the Solar Pioneer award from local kids Norah and Sadie Hinson.

solar walk pdf flyer

Mono Lake Committee staff accept the Solar Pioneer award from local kids Norah and Sadie Hinson.
Mono Lake Committee staff accept the Solar Pioneer award from local kids Norah and Sadie Hinson.
banner el mono
Local kids made the Solar Walk banner with Maureen McGlinchy. It is on display at the Lee Vining Community Center.

shelly & alden