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Mono Lake, the way it was

August 01, 2008

Re "A high-water mark for Mono Lake," July 24

Thank you for the stories on the rebirth of California's endangered wetlands. I am blessed to have seen Mono Lake the way it used to be before Los Angeles began to take its water.

In 1926, when I was 12, my family took me camping in the high Sierra. The way there was hazardous, with narrow, winding roads. Highway 395 was primitive and rough. The land to the east was a vast meadow extending clear to the lake shore. In the near distance, there it was -- the shimmering jewel of Mono Lake. There were no tufa spires, and the lake lapped almost to the edge of the little town of Lee Vining.

Only those who were privileged to see Mono Lake in the pristine way it was would be able to comprehend the loss endured by this ancient, mystic lake. Mono Lake will probably never recover to its original size, because it is estimated that it will take 40 feet of depth to cover the tufa spires. Considering this, one can envision how much water the lake has been robbed of during the last 80 years. We can thank the efforts of numerous groups for their continuing help in the preservation of this national treasure.

James C. Kerr

Laguna Beach

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