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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Remember the Mono Lake post?



Well, I'll refresh your memory or you can read the sad post with the OK ending.

The Los Angeles Water and Power Department diverted and impounded many creeks flowing east from the majestic Sierra Nevada ranges in the early 1900's. It was the era of who cares about the environment when we have people and golf courses to water in Southern California. 

By 1941, the liquid stuff from Rush Creek was being gravity force fed into the Los Angeles aqueduct. Mono Lake was left to desiccate in the Great Basin when it's life blood was severed. In the 1980's, the Mono Lake Committee and other environmentally aware groups saved the day with litigation and other soft-core arm twisting. Some water from Rush Creek would flow toward Mono Lake preventing it from becoming a dry lake bed. The lion's share would end up in LA-LA Land. It was a hard fought battle that ended in a draw.

So...guess what I saw on my hike in the Ansel Adams Wilderness?

The damn dam on Rush Creek which creates Waugh Lake! The dam was in place prior to the Wilderness Act of 1964, so it gets to stay there. 

The little drip at the bottom of the dam is what Rush Creek and Mono Lake are allowed to drink. 

Take a good look at the photos. Yes, California is in a drought. Check out those tree stumps and the bathtub ring from the higher water years. 

Today's water lecture is now over,
Good night!

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