About Us

Who are the Friends of Mono Lake Reserve?

Friends of Mono Lake Reserve seeks revenue through donations which are granted to the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve to be used for interpretation, education, and protection. Friends operates under the umbrella of the Bodie Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that generates revenue for our sister park, Bodie State Historic Park just north of Mono Lake. 

Our mission:

To help visitors understand, appreciate, and emotionally connect with Mono Lake's remarkable natural resources through interpretation and education and to inspire visitors to want to protect this outstanding resource and explore it further on their own. 

It is widely understood that if visitors more fully understand a resource they are more likely to want to protect it. We hope to be the link between the scientist and the visiting public.

Our history: 

The Bodie Foundation was formed in 2008 by a small group of individuals dedicated to helping with the preservation of Bodie. During 2009 the Bodie Foundation became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit and signed a Donor Agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). In 2010 the mission of the Foundation was expanded by signing a Cooperating Agreement with DPR to raise funds to help support interpretation and education at Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, and Grover Hot Springs State Park. In 2012 the Foundation signed a Concession Contract with DPR to keep Mono Lake open to the public, as budget cuts continued  to erode DPR’s operating budgets. The Foundation’s fundraising for Mono Lake is through donations from individuals and corporations, special events, and sales from brochures, T-shirts, and baseball caps. We are a relatively young, small non-profit, largely run by volunteers (board of trustees). All funds donated specifically to the Friends of Mono Lake are used only at Mono Lake.


Q and A:

Is my contribution to Friends of Mono Lake Reserve tax-deductible?

Yes, The Bodie Foundation which is the parent organization of the Fund is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. 

Is Friends of Mono Lake Reserve connected with the Mono Lake Committee?

No, the activities funded by Friends of Mono Lake Reserve complement many of the activities the Mono Lake Committee is involved with. The Mono Lake Committee assists the staff of the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve in providing field trips for nearly 750 students a year.

Why isn't California State Parks funding interpretation at Mono Lake? The State does furnish some funding but sadly, in some years the dwindling funds to support state parks in California are no longer enough to fund the entire operation of the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. We must look to the general public and individuals such as yourself to assist in the funding of interpretation and education at the lake. 

What is the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve?

The MLTSNR is a unit of California State Parks, and consists of the surface waters, lake bed, and all state owned portions of the shoreline totaling nearly 50,000 acres. It was created by the legislature in 1982.