Archive for December, 2011

Mono Lake Was Just The Beginning – Stop California State Park Closures




This May, California government announced to close 70 of its 278 state parks, in order to save $22 million. The parks on the closure list represent thousands of acres of land, recreation areas and wildlife reserves, which are an essential part of our ecosystem.

One of the parks on the list was the bizarre, yet beautiful Mono Lake State Reservation area, pictured below during a crisp August sunrise over the calcium-carbonate spires rising from the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water, just east of Yosemite National Park and the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

Mono Lake Sunrise

Mono Lake, which covers roughly 65 square miles, is considered one of North America’s oldest lakes with a probable age of over 1 million years. Aside from the beauty these alien-like tufa-towers provide, Mono Lake is an essential part for the well being of our ecosystem. Each year, as many as 65,000 California gulls are hatched at the shoreline of the lake, making Mono Lake the second largest breeding colony behind Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Additionally, the waters of the lake are home to 4 to 6 trillion brine shrimp – a species only to be found at Mono Lake.

So why the past tense? This past Friday, December 2nd 2011, it was announced that the Mono Lake State Reservation area was taken off the closure list. What a relief. But does it really change much? Will it have an impact? Why did this first success not go viral? How can I help?

I am not from California – heck, I’m not even from the US. So some might wonder why keeping those parks is so important to me. Well, the answer is pretty easy. Because the landscapes, historic structures and sights need to be protected for future generations – the reason they were created in the first place. I’m not here to preach, far from it, actually. It would just be sad to see these beautiful areas gone for good. The old saying, “You won’t miss it until it is gone” certainly applies here for many, it seems. There was no public uproar (at least none that I remember), it wasn’t on every station but I do believe that it needs to be, more people need to know about this, more people need to care about the lands in danger. I am sure most know everything about the divorce of Kim Kardashian though. (Add cynical commentary here.)

A Break In The Storm

Just a couple of hours ago, I came across a project that really grabbed my eye and is the reason for this blog entry. The guys behind “The First 70” require funding for their documentary film about the state park closures.

With passion and a lot of commitment, they want to show the beauty of the parks in all their glory, as they think, and I fully agree with them, the whole case didn’t quite grab the media outreach it deserved.

Without further ado, please watch the trailer below and consider helping them out by either contributing at or by sharing this blog entry, the link to the trailer and other info across the interwebs.

The First 70 Trailer from Heath Hen Films on Vimeo.

For a full list of parks on the closure list:

Thank you.