Partners and Sponsors
The Chautauqua doesn't organize itself! California State Parks and the Mono Lake Committee are the organizing partners who spend a significant amount of staff time to put together the program, manage registration, and run the event in June, among many other administrative tasks. Our supporting partners donate staff time and money to help us keep the festival afloat. Our sponsors are local businesses who donate a number of hotel rooms for our presenters or money to support general operations. We are very thankful for the support from our partners and sponsors!
The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. The Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve was established to preserve the spectacular "tufa towers," calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It also protects the lake surface itself as well as the wetlands and other sensitive habitat for the 1 - 2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year.
The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit citizens' group dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mono Basin ecosystem, educating the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use, and promoting cooperative solutions that protect Mono Lake and meet real water needs without transferring environmental problems to other areas.
The Bodie Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and public enjoyment of Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, and Grover Hot Springs State Park. Within these parks they strive to provide a consistent stream of funding to the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to provide for the stabilization of structures, conservation of artifacts, ongoing maintenance program, interpretation, and protection of natural resources.
Rooted in 135 acres of protected private land in California’s Mono Basin, the DeChambeau Creek Foundation cares for the land as founder Jan Simis did. The Foundation works to foster meaningful connection with place and one another through community investment, natural and cultural history education, conservation science, and the arts.
Eastern Sierra Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit chapter of the National Audubon Society whose mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. Eastern Sierra Audubon is "the little chapter that could...." They may be small, but they are proud of what they have been able to offer the community in events, education, conservation, collaboration and communication.
Partnering with the National Forests for over 40 years, the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate and inspire people about the Eastern Sierra public lands through high quality interpretive products and programs. ESIA operates outstanding bookstores, cooperates with public land management partners to operate successful visitor centers, and provides high quality interpretive programs, exhibits, and publications throughout the Eastern Sierra. They are financed by the sale of publications, a partnership fund and through philanthropic contributions.
Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to preserve vital lands in the Eastern Sierra region for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical, and watershed values. They work to help families preserve their working farms and ranches in the face of pressures to subdivide their properties and to help landowners protect our region's critical habitats. They also work to offer the entire Eastern Sierra community, residents, and visitors the opportunity to connect with our treasured lands.
Founded in 1986, Friends of the Inyo is a Bishop, CA-based non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation, and stewardship of the public lands of the Eastern Sierra. The Eastside's scenic beauty, wild rivers, varied flora and fauna, and abundant opportunities for sustainable recreation are our business—and yours. Through a combination of outreach, education, and advocacy, together we can ensure that this remarkable place is preserved for future generations of people, plants, and animals.
The Inyo National Forest extends 165 miles near the California and Nevada border. It covers about 2 million acres, mostly on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. Elevations range from 4,000' in the Owens Valley to 14,494' at Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. Like all national forests, the Inyo is managed for ecosystem health and multiple uses, as directed by Congress. Although most visitors think of the forest for its recreation, the Inyo National Forest is also used for range, timber, minerals, watershed and habitat for fish and wildlife.
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.
Point Blue's mission is to conserve birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach. They have been assessing changes in our environment and advancing conservation through bird and ecosystem studies since their founding as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965.
Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. The work funded by Yosemite Conservancy is visible throughout the park, from trail rehabilitation to wildlife protection and habitat restoration.The Conservancy is dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering and wilderness services. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $100 million in grants to Yosemite National Park.
The El Mono Motel & Latte Da Coffee Cafe [is] located in the heart of Lee Vining, California. We are a small family-run motel and coffee house. We offer travelers an experience that is a little off the beaten path, a respite that is uniquely Eastern Sierra. We start with good coffee beans and the spring-fed water of Lee Vining and combine it with a friendly atmosphere, and an explosion of flowers. Whether you're looking for good organic coffee, a break from your travels, or a comfortable room, we invite you to stop by.
Guadualito Birding Tours is a family-owned company with over two decades of birding experience. This tour is a unique bird watching adventure based out of the city of Cali, in the southwestern corner of the Colombian state of Valle del Cauca. During the eleven day tour, visitors will travel to four distinct areas known for their abundant and fascinating neotropical bird life. Enjoy home-cooked meals, local expertise, and a rich cross-cultural experience for an unforgettable long week.
Wednesday, June 14: This year, we re-designed birdchautauqua.org to incorporate a webapp called Bobolink that will improve your user experience before, during, and after the festival. Using Bobolink is completely optional, but we hope you will try it out! The webapp allows you to view your itinerary, create support tickets, get directions to meeting locations, evaluate trips, post and comment on the blog, view the bird list for the festival, and see which trips certain bird species were seen on.
Watch this 10-minute tutorial video or view the step-by-step user guide to get started.
As always, feel free to swing by the registration/check-in table at the Lee Vining Community Center or email Chautauqua@monolake.org for help.
Chautauqua event check in begins Thursday
Sunday, June 11, 2023: Please remember to check-in before attending your scheduled Chautauqua events. At check in you will receive your agenda, event packet, button, and T-shirt. We cannot guarantee you a spot on a field trip if we don't know you've arrived.
Check-in will be available at the following times at the Lee Vining Community Center (296 Mattly Ave):
Thursday, June 15: 3:00pm–7:30pm
Friday, June 16: 6:00am–7:00pm
Saturday, June 17: 6:00am–6:00pm
See you soon!
Campgrounds and Highway Information
Sunday, June 11: Sonora Pass (108) is open! To view up to date road information go to roads.dot.ca.gov and enter the highway number or quickmap.dot.ca.gov and click "options" dropdown menu, then select the road conditions you want the map to show.
To view campground information, go to www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd486882.pdf and click on the campground you'd like to view the status of. Many will be closed for Chautauqua due to flooding.
Camp Like A Pro is a great tool for locating disperse camp sites: https://www.essrp.org/camping. Please note that a permit is required for all fires – even a propane camp stove--while dispersed camping. The link for a permit is here: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/. Although it is a wet year, fire danger is still present.
Phalarope Festival June 18, 2023
Sunday, May 21: Join us for an enchanting afternoon at Hess Park in Lee Vining on Sunday, June 18th from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM, as we celebrate the migratory connections of Wilson's phalaropes. This event follows the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, adding an exciting continuation to the birding festivities. Witness the unveiling and dedication of captivating new phalarope murals showcasing the migratory connections between Mono Lake, Great Salt Lake, and Laguna Mar Chiquita in Argentina. A team of visiting researchers, park rangers, educators, and conservationists from Laguna Mar Chiquita and Great Salt Lake will share their valuable insights and experiences regarding saline lake conservation. Learn about their work in Argentina and Utah and discover the similarities and challenges faced by these globally connected habitats. Participate in a lively bird call contest and showcase your creativity with a phalarope costume contest. Prizes will be awarded to the most authentic bird calls and the most imaginative and well-crafted phalarope costumes. Immerse yourself in a vibrant atmosphere filled with live music, dancing, and an array of delicious food. Engage in meaningful discussions and cultural exchanges with fellow attendees and international guests. Share stories, insights, and ideas surrounding the importance of saline lakes and migratory connections, fostering global understanding and cooperation.
Donate Binoculars to Students in Argentina
Saturday, April 8, 2023: During registration, you'll be given the opportunity to donate used, good condition binoculars or $25 to a fund that will provide binoculars to students at Laguna Mar Chiquita, a sister lake to Mono Lake, in Argentina. These students attend a phenomenal, free education program called "Experiencia Ambientalia", which translates to Environmental Experience. The program works with over 200 highschoolers who live near Laguna Mar Chiquita and teaches them about conservation education, research, and entrepreneurship as it relates to the lake and the ecosystems around them. If you would like to learn more about the program, sign up for 369 *Saline Lakes: Science and education panel discussion from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturday of the Chautauqua. During this panel discussion Marina Castellino, founder of Experiencia Ambientalia, will give a short presentation about her work on this innovative and effective program.
Twentieth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua update
Saturday, April 1, 2023: Registration for the twentieth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is just two weeks away, beginning at 6:30am PDT on Saturday, April 15, 2023.
The full schedule of field trips and outdoor workshops is now online, including the grid schedule, which shows how trips may overlap. Please note that we are still working on this schedule and additional programs may be added prior to registration day.
We highly recommend finding several alternate programs for each time slot, as many programs fill quickly—some fill just minutes after registration opens.
Updated presenter biographies are also online, so you can learn more about everyone leading trips this year.
We will have another update next week with more details about practice registration and we will unveil our new t-shirt design.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to email or call (760) 647-6595 and ask for Andrew or Nora.