Prologue: The bucket walk -- The place -- Before Los Angeles -- The coming of the city -- The streams go south -- The revolt of the bird-watchers -- The public trust -- The revenge of the anglers -- Losses and gains -- Eve of decision -- The clock turned back -- The meanings of Mono. A dramatic environmental saga unfolds in John Hart's compelling story of the fight to save Mono Lake. This ancient inland sea, in the eastern Sierra near Yosemite National Park, is among the oldest in North America. But over the past fifty years, as its feeder streams were steadily drained to supply inexpensive water to Los Angeles, the lake's water volume was reduced by half. Mono Lake's bizarre but productive ecosystem began to unravel: salinity greatly increased, nesting and migrating birds were threatened, fierce alkali dust storms became a feature of local weather. Then, in the mid-1970s, a handful of people, most of them students with minimal financial resources, began a campaign to save the dying lake. They took on not only Los Angeles but the entire state government and a whole way of thinking about water. Their fight seemed doomed in the beginning, but long years of grassroots education and effort finally paid off. In 1994, the California Water Resources Control Board ruled that Los Angeles's use of Mono Lake's waters be restricted. Over time, the lake will return to a healthy condition.