A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 302 - 10/10/07

Runners in the Bizz Johnson Marathon wild horse at the show Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument work party Belding's ground squirrel Employee Profile: Mark Petersen, BLM Folsom Field Office

- Volunteers: Upcoming opportunities, recap of National Public Lands Day
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wild horses and burros: Show recap, upcoming adoption
- Recreation on public lands: Bizz Johnson Marathon, Sacramento River trails
- Land use planning: Clear Creek, Alabama Hills
- Headlines and highlights: Wildfire, Santa Clarita gravel, Green Path, vegetation, more
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: BLM Director interview, abandoned mine lands

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument work party"Volunteer work day: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
On October 20, help with tamarisk removal in Devil's Canyon in the Santa Rosa Wilderness.
Learn more:

"Armada of volunteers attacks trash along Colorado River" (Yuma Sun, 10/7/07)
"Twenty-five boats participated in the 19th annual Reverse River Run, a cleanup event that takes volunteers all the way up the river from Yuma to Blythe, Calif. Eighty-seven people signed up the popular annual event....The event is sponsored by Amigos Del Rio and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."

We continue our wrap-up of projects completed by volunteers and staff during recent National Public Lands Day events organized by many BLM California Field Offices:

"Old Town San Diego - September 29, 2007" (BLM California website)
Local staff and volunteers from the BLM and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park staged a living history reenactment of the exploration and surveys of public lands, in recognition of the 14th annual National Public Lands Day. Nine BLM staff and volunteers were joined by State Park staff and Chuck the Desert Tortoise for the event. The General Land Office and survey camp was used to demonstrate how the exploration and surveys of the public lands in the west led to the BLM public lands, national parks, monuments, forests, and wildlife refuges the public enjoys today.

"Volunteer Opportunities Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Approximately 30 people accomplished a tremendous amount of work during the September 29 National Public Lands Day event. Volunteers and staff of the Carrizo Plain National Monument are already looking ahead to next year's National Public Lands Day.

Belding's ground squirrel
Thumbnail from a photo by Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles, California Academy of Sciences

What do Belding’s Ground Squirrels spend the majority of their time doing?
(a.) foraging for food
(b.) defending their territories
(c.) seeking mates
(d.) hibernating
(e.) wishing they could climb trees like other squirrels
------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


wild horse at the show"Wild horse and burro show and adoption" (News.bytes Extra)
The 7th Annual California Wild Horse and Burro Show held on September 29th and 30th in Bishop, was a huge success.  More than 60 entrants took part in the two-day event. The participants showcased their well-trained animals in events including halter, trail, barrel races, pole bending and more. 

"Wild horses, burros available for adoption in Needles" (BLM California news release, 10/4/07)
On Oct. 20, 40 young animals will be available for adoption: 20 yearling mustangs and 20 burros, jacks and jennies of all ages. Spectators are welcome. Animals arrive at noon on Friday October 19, and potential adopters may view the mustangs and burros from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

"Jeremy Dunn, Extreme Mustang Makeover"(Tehachapi News, 10/8/07)
"Jeremy Dunn trains his horses in the California Vaquero style of horsemanship. It draws its roots from the old Spanish influence and is designed to produce a versatile horse with good ranch skills - soft, responsive and confident. Dunn trained his wild mustang, Ojos, for the Extreme Mustang Makeover held in Fort Worth in September. Dunn finished 12th among 100...." Includes photos.

Hail Yeah with trainer Ray Ariss"They shoot horses, don't they?" (Newsweek, 10/15/07 edition)
At the recent Extreme Mustang Makeover, "the 1,000-seat venue overflowed, the horses impressed and the auctions were lively: top-money mustang Hail Yeah secured a $50,000 bid...other horses sold for an average of more than $3,000 each (they typically sell for $125). But...the Mustang Makeover was....part of a dramatic attempt to manage and solve an intractable long-term problem: how to find a place for the mustang, a symbol of freedom and the frontier way of life, in a world of diminished grazing land, competing land interests and changing cultural sensibilities." Includes link to photo slide show from the event.

RELATED: "Fact sheet on the BLM's management of wild horses and burros" (BLM national website)
Wild horses are protected from harassment or death under Federal law, which authorizes BLM to remove excess animals from the range and offer them for adoption. In 2004, a sale authority law was added, allowing excess animals not adopted to be sold, but the BLM does not sell any wild horses or burros to slaughterhouses -- as explained in BLM's website at:

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule - 2007" (BLM California website)

Wild Horses and Burros are also available from these California facilities:

Litchfield, along U. S. Highway 395, about 21 miles northeast of Susanville:

Ridgecrest four miles east of Ridgecrest. Adoptions are by appointment only, call (760) 384-5765 or 1-800-951-8720 for details or tours.

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM national website)


Runners in the Bizz Johnson Marathon"More than 1,000 test their endurance at Bizz Johnson Marathon" (News.bytes Extra)
Billed as beautiful and fast, the annual Bizz Johnson Marathon is growing in popularity. This year, the marathon, two half-marathons and associated 5K and 10K races attracted just over 1,000 participants to test their endurance on the scenic Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail between Westwood and Susanville in northeast California. Runners came from 47 states and three foreign countries (Great Britain, New Zealand and Canada) to complete.

"Rich with history: Hike along Hog Lake plateau" (Redding Record Searchlight, 10/7/07)
"This hike is rich in local history, traipsing across a plain where the Yahi Indian tribes roamed and elk and antelope grazed. Official Ishi country is a few flaps of the hawk's wings to the south. This feeless journey is a typical hike in reverse, leaving a small lake then heading down to big ol' Paynes Creek, past abundant spring flowering wildflowers and far reaching views to the east and west that are spectacular when snow-clad (usually December into May)."

RELATED: "Trails" (BLM California, Redding Field Office)
Includes link to map of the Hog Lake Plateau Trail and other trails on BLM-managed lands in the Payne's Creek and Sacramento River Bend area.

RELATED: "Sacramento River Bend Area hikes will explore areas of the Sacramento River" (Red Bluff Daily News, 10/9/07)
"The Sacramento River Preservation Trust will sponsor two Sacramento River Bend Area hikes in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management on Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 21.... Kelly Williams, a natural area manager for BLM, will lead both hikes. Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and water." There is a nominal donation of $5 per person to the Trust, cover the cost of refreshments. Hikes are limited to 20 participants. Advance reservations are required.

RELATED: "Tehama recreation: Sacramento River Bend Area" (BLM California, Redding Field Office)
The Sacramento River Bend Area is a valuable historic and natural resource that presents habitat for wildlife, and many recreational and educational opportunities including hunting, camping, hiking, boating, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.


"Scoping the Clear Creek Management Area plan" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 30 members of the public, many of them off-highway vehicle users, attended the first of three public scoping meetings on Sept. 27, concerning a new Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) Resource Management Plan. That first meeting in Hollister a public scoping meeting Oct. 4 in Coalinga, will be followed by a public scoping meeting tomorrow, Oct. 11 in San Jose.

"Alabama Hills stewardship public meeting set" (BLM California news release, 10/4/07)
The management of the Alabama Hills will be discussed at a meeting held by the community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office on Thursday, Oct. 11 (tomorrow).


"The Angel Fire: Everything worked" (Ramona Home Journal, 10/1/07)
"When the fire started at about 1:30 p.m., the town was full of visitors with nearly 1,000 attending the Blue Grass Festival...just over the hill from the ignition point." But volunteer fire departments, later joined by agencies including the BLM, contained the fire to 837 acres. It did burn "one residence and 23 outbuildings," but visitors and residents were evacuated safely, partly with the help of a "reverse 911 system." Residents discussed the good and the bad at community meeting after the fire.

"Fall prescribed burning begins on public lands" (U.S. Forest Service and BLM news release, 10/4/07)
"The Bureau of Land Management, Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Lassen National Forest are preparing to implement their fall prescribed burning programs. 'Burning has begun as weather conditions are conducive to ensure safe and efficient burning conditions,' commented Jim Hedges, co-center manager for the Susanville Interagency Fire Center."
PDF file:

"Coalition gathers support for stopping Green Path" (Hi-Desert Star, 10/10/07)
"A community-wide public meeting to present plans to stop the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Green Path north corridor project will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Yucca Valley Community Center....In July, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power submitted applications to the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service for right-of-way access on federal lands for the power path."

"BLM proposes aspen regeneration and fuels reduction work in Conway Summit area" (BLM California news release, 10/3/07)
The land proposed for treatment is dominated by aspen groves and meadow vegetation, which require fire to regenerate and compete with encroaching plant species. To achieve aspen and meadow habitat restoration the BLM is proposing to utilize prescribed fire, burning selectively around aspen groves and within meadows. The use of prescribed burning will also reduce hazardous fuel levels in the area, therefore, decreasing future wildland fire intensity.

"BLM issues decision on vegetation treatment and fuels reduction study" (BLM national news release, 10/5/07)
The Bureau of Land Management issued a decision that will help improve the health of public lands by enhancing the agency’s ability to control and manage vegetation -- including invasive and noxious weeds -- and helping reduce fire-prone fuels, such as cheatgrass. The BLM’s decision was developed on a national level to analyze the environmental effects of herbicides for treating and managing vegetation on western public lands.

"Feinstein offers mine mediation" (Santa Clarita Signal, 10/10/07)
"The senator covered the major issues facing Congress and discussed the Santa Clarita's Cemex mine issue as well, offering her help with the problems the city is facing with the possible expansion of mining activities in Soledad Canyon...'I understand the city's concern about it,' she said. 'There is a contract and it could cost well over $100 million to buy this contract out. Aggregate and cement are needed in this area, so what I'd like to offer to the community is that if both sides would like me to, I'd be very happy to sit down and try to see what might be able to be worked out with (the Bureau of Land Management), with Cemex and with the city.'"

"Wreck hunter shines light on history" (Orange County Register, 10/8/07)
"A former high school history and geography teacher...has been chasing down forgotten [military airplane] wrecks for 45 years. He has found more than 400 of them; he knows there are potentially dozens more in Orange County alone, hundreds across the state....despite the thrill of discovery and the deep sense of history that his efforts bring -- he and others in the know refer to the work as 'aviation archaeology' -- the fact that the planes carried real human beings, often young people whose lives were cut short, is never far from his mind." On BLM-managed land in the Mojave Desert, one hazard he encountered was "operators of illegal methamphetamine labs."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)

Employee Profile: Mark Petersen, BLM Folsom Field OfficeEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Mark Petersen...
...patrols the BLM public lands in Tuolumne, Calaveras and El Dorado counties for BLM California's Folsom Field Office. He knows this region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains well.
Read more:

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

October 13 - Search for the spawning salmon
Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve

October 13-14 and following weekends - Guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve

October 20 - Hiking safari!
Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, Palm Desert

...and much more on our Upcoming Events calendar.


"Interior official backs Western drilling" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/6/07)
"The Bush administration foresees no letup in the aggressive pace for Western oil and gas drilling, despite some voter backlash from people tired of seeing more and more rigs in their Rocky Mountain states. 'There's absolutely no doubt that the interest in oil and gas is going to continue. I mean, it is where it is,' Jim Caswell, the new director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, said in an interview...."

"Motherlode of hazards await" (Helena, MT Independent Record, 10/7/07)
Like California, Montana has problem with old abandoned mines: "The first clue to an abandoned mine is a seemingly random pile of rocks....These dump piles generally are near a mine opening, or portal....'The portals are the most dangerous part...because the surface rocks are the most fractured,' Joan Gabelman, a geologist with the Bureau of Land Management, said as she peered into a deep, dark hole with a grate over it during a recent tour....'After 100 years, the wood rots away and you jump on it, and you’re gone,' said Vic Andersen, Montana’s Mine Waste Cleanup Bureau chief."

RELATED: "Abandoned mine lands" (BLM California website)
BLM California, from mid-2000, has been conducting watershed-based projects that have and will continue to identify mine sites with environmental and/or safety issues. Nearly 13,000 mine properties in California and northwest Nevada are listed in the Bureau of Mines Mineral Industries Location System database as on BLM land. An estimated additional 5,000 sites not recorded in the database are likely on BLM land.

RELATED: "Abandoned mine lands" (BLM national website)
Includes links to "safety and education" and more.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) hibernating

SOURCE: "Belding's Ground Squirrel - Spermophilus beldingi" (BLM California wildlife database)
Belding's ground squirrels spend the majority of their time in hibernation. They spend their summer months foraging on vegetation and insects, nearly doubling their weight in preparation for the months ahead.

"Spermophilus beldingi - Belding's ground squirrel" (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web)
More information, plus photos, from this "educational resource written largely by and for college students."

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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(916) 978-4600

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