Sunday, June 3, 2012

Land Bridge? What the Heck is a Land Bridge???

If you lived in California in the 70's, I'm sure you heard the mantra...
"Save MonoLake"...

Los Angeles DWP had been diverting water from the streams and creeks
that fed Mono Lake and the lake was going down rapidly.
Several things were occurring...
The lake water became more and more is now 2-3 times as 
salty as the ocean.  If it got much saltier, the fear was that the brine shrimp 
that fed the gulls would begin to die off and the lake would be engulfed by 
the algae that forms every winter.  (Remember...I mentioned in an earlier 
post that about 80% of the California Gulls nest and raise their broods here and did
I mention that Mono Lake is the oldest lake in North America??)

But what clinched the deal was the land bridge to the black island (in the first photo)
That land bridge was allowing the coyotes and other wild critters to 
cross over from the lake shore to the island and snack on baby Gulls...
Now you might ask..."Land bridge?  What land bridge?"
Look closely at the top picture...see the point of beach pointing at the 
black island?  That used to stretch all the way to the island.
This island is one of the main nesting spots of the California Gulls.
Currently, there's a mile radius past the island that you may not enter during 
nesting season...of course...tell the gulls that that's their designated spot...

This little island is about 25 yards from the shore, within a half mile to 
Hwy 395!!!

Hopefully...Louis la Vache will allow me to post my 
land bridge in his Sunday Bridges meme!


  1. Interesting! I often wonder what would happen in nature without population to "help" it along.

  2. Mono Lake is such an interesting environment. Thanks for the interesting post about it.

  3. Thanks Linnea!!! I's a fascinating place with a fascinating history!

  4. I didn't catch the post where you gave the backstory. Fascinating. The DWP is a blessing and a curse to the Valley according to my best friend who has lived there for 30 years. She says that if it wasn't for the DWP the area would have been overwhelmed by development

  5. Your friend is most likely right PA...that or another agricultural center like the Central Valley...

  6. WOW! I cannot believe I have just seen a photo of the oldest bridge in North America. What an awesome fact. Your history lesson was so informative and interesting. Do hope the gulls make it OK.

  7. Not the bridge Genie...the lake is the oldest in North America... The bridge only existed when the lake water went down as LADWP diverted the water of incoming streams to LA...after a lot of court proceedings, LA was instructed to reduce the amount of water diverted from these streams so the lake is slowly rising...

  8. I am glad to read your last comment. After one of your first posts on Mono Lake I looked it up... so very interesting.


  9. it is pretty amazing to walk around the lake and have all those flies just magically move away from your feet as you move!

    around my neck of the woods you still see a few "Save Mono Lake" stickers on vehicles. Not many, but enough to remind us to think about it!

    Had forgotten about the land bridge. Interesting how one thing changes something else which can change something else and extinguish a species if we are not careful!

  10. Fascinating stuff.

  11. I took a couple of photos of the flies Trish....but they grossed me out just as much in the pic as in real life!!! I believe the Forest Service went so far as to blast the land bridge as well, in order to break the crossing point!

    You would love Mono Lake Hiker!!!

  12. I know about landbridges. There is a famous one that I've visited in France called Ile de Noirmoutiers. A beautiful place!

  13. Although I saw save Mono Lake bumper stickers when I was young, I didn't know any more than that it, apparently, needed saving, so thanks for the very interesting information.

  14. I just looked it up Halcyon! Very similar...except that that bridge is still there and even encouraged! Ours is slowly declining as the water rises...which is a good thing!!!

    It's a fascinating place Margaret! I remember the mantra from high school (I'm dating myself), but I never really understood until I was in my 30's when I actually went there for the first time...

  15. I was 30 before I got to see Mono in person. I didn't grow up in a downhill skiing family, so we never went to Mammoth. I had no idea what the stickers meant, but I grew up with a snow-fed lake as a child, so I knew that any lake in danger, was important to save.

    Yes, the flies freaked me out, but they move away from your feet when you walk, so it fascinated me. Not sure I'd want to hang out all the time with them.

  16. I remember seeing pics of Mono Lake during that time Trish...but like you, didn't see it in person until much later. I always knew it was special...just didn't know how unique!!!