Half a lifetime for a person, 40 years is negligible for a 760,000-year-old lake. As an old timer (or the “OG”—Original Gangster—as I [Sally Gaines, chair, Mono Lake Committee Board of Directors] was recently called by a young staff member), here’s my brief summary of the first four decades of the Mono Lake Committee—our story, as I will someday tell my grandkids.
“2014 marks the 20th anniversary of State Water Board Decision 1631 that mandated lake level rise for Mono Lake and restoration of Mono’s tributary streams and waterfowl habitat. For the last 20 years the Mono Lake Committee has embraced D1631 and the subsequent restoration orders as if they were family members.”
“Conventional wisdom says that in life it is important to celebrate successes. By all accounts, the Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement certainly qualifies, so on September 30th we celebrated.
“In truth, we celebrated a lot of things that day—starting with the original State Water Board restoration orders that led us to this day and have produced the results you can already see on Rush, Lee Vining, Parker, and Walker creeks.
“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 infrastr
“Ending decades of bitter disputes over fragile Mono Lake, Los Angeles and conservationists on Friday announced an agreement to heal the environmental damage caused by diverting the lake’s eastern Sierra tributary streams into the city’s World War II-era aqueduct.