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Maybe Mono Lake needs a new bumper sticker

Friday, June 10, 2011

image Thanks to years of “Save Mono Lake” bumper stickers, California’s second largest lake became a household name even before it was an environmental success story. But now the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Preserve has been placed on Gov. Jerry Brown’s state parks closure list. Lance Williams at California Watch says the lake’s backers don’t see the logic:

Mono Lake's boosters say closing the park won‘t save the state a dime. But they say it will derail volunteer programs that have allowed the park to operate for years at minimal cost to the state.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Geoff McQuilkin, executive director of the Mono Lake Committee, the organization founded in the 1970s to save Mono Lake.

About 250,000 people visit the park each year, McQuilkin said in a phone interview. A couple of years ago, budget cuts took away the park’s ranger, by McQuilkin’s account. Instead, a ranger from the state park at the ghost town of Bodie 20 miles away occasionally drops in on Mono Lake.

“We really have about 10 percent of one ranger,” McQuilkin said. After the park shuts down, the state says it will continue to send a ranger over once in a while to look in on things.

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