A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 303 - 10/17/07
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Not for educators only:
- Free poster: California Archaeology Month
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Register for renewable energy "online field trip"
- Public lands volunteers and celebrations: Monument, salmon, National Public Lands Day recap
- Wild horses and burros: Kids visit, endurance ride, adoption events, more
- Off-highway on public lands
Wildfire and prevention
- Fire restrictions eased
- Land use planning: Advisory councils, sagebrush steppe, Great Basin
- Energy on public lands
- Headlines and highlights: BLM film employee, arsenic remediation, mining claims, more
- Meet your Advisory Council members
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: BLM national center, Duck Stamp
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
FREE OFFER: California Archaeology Month poster
October is California Archaeology Month. While supplies last, we are offering a free poster marking this year's event, produced by the Society for California Archaeology with the help of partners including the BLM.
See images from previous year's California Archaeology Month posters online at:
SPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: Society for California Archaeology
(Repeated from News.bytes issue 301 - this is the BLM partner that produced the poster above.) For more than a decade, the BLM in California has maintained a partnership with the Society for California Archaeology (SCA), a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to research, understanding, interpretation and conservation of California's heritage. One of SCA’s goals is encouraging respect, appreciation and a better understanding of California's diverse cultural heritage, a goal strongly shared by BLM.
Thumbnail from a photo by Drew Stokes, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, San Diego Field Station
WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
When do California Leaf-nosed Bats mate?
(a.) in spring, soon after insects first appear in colder areas
(b.) during the summer, when weather is hottest and helps maintain infant body temperature
(c.) in the autumn, but the young are not born until the next summer
(d.) mid-winter, when bats are otherwise the least active
(f.) they don't actually mate – the female lays eggs that the male then fertilizes
------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
RENEWABLE ENERGY eFieldTrip
"Renewable energy: POWERful choices!" (BLM national office)
This web-based program for middle school students features three segments:
- A “virtual visit” focusing on five major renewable resources and the role of public lands in their use and development;
An “Ask the Experts” segment in which BLM energy specialists answer student questions online; and
A student journal, which allows educators to assess student learning.
Register now for free. The field trip is available for viewing now. Take part in the "Ask the Experts" online session, on Oct. 29-31.
See more "Energy on public lands" stories in this issue of News.bytes, below.
PUBLIC LANDS VOLUNTEERS AND CELEBRATIONS
"Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument anniversary celebration" (News.bytes Extra)
On Wednesday, October 24, 2007, from 8:30 am-noon, the Visitor Center will host a variety of programs to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
"Looking and learning at the Salmon Festival" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bureau of Land Management joined numerous other agencies and organizations to educate the public about natural resources at the 11th annual Salmon Festival at the Nimbus fish hatchery on the American River.
...and see "Selected Upcoming Events" below for information on another salmon festival this weekend - this one at the Coleman Fish Hatchery in Anderson.
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:
National Public Lands Day - Bishop Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bishop field Office held five events to commemorate the 14th annual National Public Lands Day. Volunteers planted seedlings in habitat destroyed by wildfires, cleaned up lands, and made other improvements to public lands managed by BLM's Bishop Field Office.
"Old Town San Diego - September 29, 2007" (BLM California website)
(Repeated: Because of technical problems with our website, last week's feature did not display photos from this year's event.)
Local staff and volunteers from the BLM and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park staged a living history reenactment, in recognition of National Public Lands Day. 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.
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Students visit wild horses at the Litchfield Corrals" (News.bytes Extra)
Wild horses are a big part of the heritage in the high deserts of northeast California, and every year Lassen County elementary students learn more about it by visiting the Bureau of Land Management's Litchfield Corrals near Susanville. A highlight was a chance to pet Blue, a young gelding being gentled and trained for work as a BLM saddle horse.
"Enduring ride" (News.bytes Extra)
Endurance riders, a tough and hardy group of equestrians, found just the place to put themselves and their mounts to the test recently, when the Spanish Springs Express Endurance Ride was held in the rugged public land mountains of eastern Lassen County. The ride attracted 46 riders and a variety of horse breeds including a mustang cross. Riders competed in two days of events, including a 100-mile ride spread over two days.
"Makeover a wild experience" (San Bernardino County Sun, 10/11/07)
"The past five months have been quite a roller coaster ride for Norco residents Ray Ariss and his family. Ariss participated in the first ever Wild Mustang Extreme Makeover, a 100-day competition which pairs a trainer with a wild mustang to train for the final show....The Extreme Mustang Makeover was created through a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and the Mustang Heritage Foundation...." The Makeover will be broadcast on a cable and satellite TV channel, RFD-TV.
"Wild horses, burros available for adoption in Needles" (BLM California news release, 10/4/07)
Wild mustangs and burros will be offered to qualified adopters at the Needles Rodeo Grounds in Needles on October 20 through the BLM Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program. There are 40 young animals 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.
RELATED: "Adopt horse or burro in Needles October 19,20" (Needles Desert Star, 10/13/07)
"Art DiGrazia, wild horse and burro operations manager for the California desert, said, 'They make great companion animals.' He said that the animals are very hardy, intelligent and durable."
"Wild horses, burros available for adoption in Colusa" (BLM California news release, 10/17/07)
Young and healthy wild horses and burros from public ranges will be looking for new homes when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption Nov. 2 and 3 in Colusa. The BLM will offer 20 horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5 years old, along with 10 burros, at the Colusa County Fairgrounds.
"BLM offering wild horse volunteer training session" (BLM California news release, 10/12/07)
Northern Sacramento Valley residents interested in learning about volunteer opportunities in the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program can attend a training course Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the BLM’s Redding Field Office.
"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for November 5 in Portland" (BLM California news release, 10/15/07)
The board will discuss issues relating to the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros on western public rangelands.The advisory board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection, management, and control of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them.
"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)
OFF-HIGHWAY ON PUBLIC LANDS
"Imperial County gets nearly $1M for dunes patrol"(Imperial Valley Press, 10/16/07)
"Last year the Off-Highway Safety Enforcement Unit was scraping for state Off-Highway Vehicle funding and had to dip into Imperial County’s pocket to cover policing costs for the dunes season. But as off-roaders and recreationalists prepare to invade the Imperial County Sand Dunes Recreational Area, there will be an abundance of funds with nearly $1 million allocated to cover local OHV costs....A study...shows that during the dunes season from Oct. 2005 to May 2006 more than 1.12 million people visited the sand dunes."
RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California, El Centro Field Office)
"Off-roaders back in driver's seat?" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/16/07)
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that will strip the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Commission of its authority over most funding and also hand the governor a majority of the appointments to the board. The law could lead to the commission's return to favoring off-roaders, some environmentalists say."
WILDFIRE AND PREVENTION
"Snapshots" (BLM Office of Fire and Aviation)
Catching up with the August issue, California articles are:
"BLM completes the King Range Fuel Break System"
Interagency fuels reduction work in Antelope Valley communities
Homes protected by community fuel break
Chainsaws in Action, the Coachella Valley Preserve receives attention
PDF file, 5.5 megabytes, 14 pages:
"Climate change likely to increase fires" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/11/07)
"Climate change is likely to increase the number of wildfires fueled by invasive weeds that are spreading throughout the Great Basin, researchers told a U.S. Senate subcommittee....Researchers described a potential increase in the amount of cheatgrass and other invasive weeds that populate the region and have fueled wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the West."
"Fire safety is objective of [wildfire] protection plan" (Los Gatos Weekly-Times in San Jose Mercury News, 10/15/07)
"A Community Wildfire Protection Plan is in the works for the Lexington hills, but the effort is still in the early stages. The plan is being developed by the nonprofit Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, "....'to prevent wildfires and to facilitate grants for that purpose'," said a spokesperson for the group. "The federal Bureau of Land Management funds the program, along with contributions from local businesses, agencies and individuals."
(Site requires free registration.)
RELATED: "Community wildfire protection plans" (California Fire Alliance)
A Community Wildfire Protection Plan "enables a community to plan how it will reduce the risk of wildfire. The plan identifies strategic sites and methods for fuel reduction projects across the landscape and jurisdictional boundaries." Benefits "include National Fire Plan funding priority for projects identified in [the plan].. The United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management can expedite the implementation of fuel treatments...."
FIRE RESTRICTIONS EASED
"BLM lifting fire restrictions on California North Coast" (BLM California news release, 10/12/07)
With the arrival of autumn weather on California’s North Coast, the Bureau of Land Management has eased fire restrictions for public lands managed by its Arcata Field Office in Humboldt, Trinity and northern Mendocino counties. This includes the King Range National Conservation Area.
"BLM Ukiah lifting northwest California fire restrictions" (BLM California news release, 10/12/07)
The Bureau of Land Management will lift restrictions on outdoor use of fire beginning Monday, Oct. 15, on the public lands it manages in Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Glenn and Colusa counties. The restrictions on campfire use, off road travel and other activities have been in effect since early summer.
"Officials declare fire season over"
"Wet weather may damp down the flames, but with the proper permits campers can once again start up their campfires and barbecue grills. Recent weather conditions have prompted two separate authorities to ease restrictions on controlled fires on private property and on public camping grounds.... Mike Chiodini, fire mitigation specialist with the Bureau of Land Management's Hollister office, said the BLM's eased restrictions against campfires and barbecues primarily benefit hunters and bird watchers. Though most campers stay outdoors in the summer, he said, these groups do camp out in the wet during this time of the year and need fires to dry off and stay warm."
(Site requires free registration.)
"Bureau of Land Management in Hollister lifts fire restrictions" (BLM California news release, 10/16/07)
With the onset of cooler temperatures, BLM has lifted fire restrictions on public lands within the Hollister Field Office jurisdiction, effective today. This includes the Tumey, Griswold, Ciervo and Panoche Hills.
"BLM's Folsom office lifts emergency fire restrictions" (BLM California news release, 10/15/07)
This includes BLM-managed public lands in Nevada, Yuba, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Sacramento, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Sutter and Mariposa counties, a total of about 230,000 acres.
LAND USE PLANNING
Secretary Kempthorne announces new appointments to BLM Central California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM California news release, 10/15/07)
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced today the appointment of two new members to the citizen-based resource advisory council (RAC) for Central California. The RAC advises the Bureau of Land Management on public land issues.
MEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Don Maben...
...represents the Second District on the Kern County Board of Supervisors and serves as an elected official on the BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council, representing county government. Read more:
RELATED: "Resource Advisory Councils and Committees" (BLM California website)
More information on these groups.
"Regarding the Great Basin Restoration Initiative - Statement of Mike Pellant, Bureau of Land Management" (BLM national website)
Testimony "on the key threats of invasive species, especially cheatgrass, and wildfires. Climate change, including extended droughts, is expected to intensify these issues and also negatively affect water management in the Great Basin....The Great Basin is North America’s largest desert, encompassing 135 million acres of land between the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains" including part of California.
NOTE: Click the link on the following page, to open the Microsoft Word document:
"Sagebrush steppe restoration nears implementation" (Modoc Record,
'Instead of doing a hundred acres here and a hundred acres there,' said [Rob Jeffers, a forester on the Modoc National Forest], 'we'd like to have big, joint projects -- Forest Service, BLM and, where applicable, private lands. That way we can reach an economy of scale and be more efficient.'"
(NOTE: This link opens in the middle of a web page including several news stories.)
ENERGY ON PUBLIC LANDS
"Green Path has crowd seeing red" (Hi-Desert Star, 10/17/07)
Yucca Valley: "About 250 people filled the center’s largest meeting room to learn and express their ire about the department’s Green Path North project.
Through Green Path North, energy generated near the Salton Sea and other points southeast of the Morongo Basin would travel to a transmission plant in Hesperia via a path of 200-foot towers passing directly through the Morongo Basin." Parts of a planned route would cross lands managed by the BLM.
"'Sol' searching under way" (Stephens Media in Ely, NV Times, 10/10/07)
"Energy developers are staking their claims to major swaths of the Mojave Desert in Nevada, California and Arizona in an effort to exploit California's growing demand for solar power....Reuters has reported that the Bureau of Land Management has received rights-of-way requests for more than 300,000 acres of California desert for 34 large solar plants totaling 24,000 megawatts, but analysts say many of the projects will not be completed."
"Environmental assessment to repower wind energy farm available for public review" (BLM California news release, 10/17/07)
An environmental assessments analyzing the decommissioning of existing wind turbines, installing of new wind turbines and amending a right-of-way at the Edom Hills Wind Farm in southern California, has been released by the Bureau of Land Management for public review and comment.
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"Inland area couldn't lose" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/15/07)
"For the first time in the 13 years of the California On Location Awards -- which honored location work for film, television and advertising Sunday -- all of the films nominated in the movies category used the Inland region as a backdrop at some point in the story, said Sheri Davis, director of the Inland Empire Film Commission." Winner of "Federal Employee of the Year" was Larry Blaine of BLM's Barstow Field Office.
(Site requires free one-time registration.)
RELATED: "Plenty of COLA nods to go around" (The Hollywood Reporter, 10/16/07)
"Because location work involves navigating all levels of bureaucracy, the COLAs honor public servants who go out of their way to make filming smoother in California. This year, Larry Blaine from Barstow BLM received the federal employee of the year award...."
"Open house planned regarding arsenic remediation plans" (BLM California news release, 10/15/07)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting another open house for the residents of Red Mountain, Randsburg, and Johannesburg on Wednesday, October 24, 2007, to discuss the status of the arsenic removal project on public lands near their communities in northwestern San Bernardino and northeastern Kern counties.
RELATED: "Red Mountain arsenic remediation" (BLM California, Ridgecrest Field Office)
"Mining claims in wilderness areas in state seen as threat" (Los Angeles Times, 10/16/07)
"More than 21,300 mining claims have been staked within 10 miles of California's national parks and monuments and federal wilderness and roadless areas, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Land Management records released Monday. The claims, which have risen by more than one-third in the last four years, include more than 2,170 staked outside Death Valley National Park, 525 near Joshua Tree National Park and 285 outside Yosemite National Park. There are also 41 near the Giant Sequoia National Monument."
(Site requires one-time free registration.)
RELATED: "Environmental group seeks to limit mining near protected lands" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/15/07)
"An environmental group is pushing for federal legislation that would restrict mining within 10 miles of a national park, wilderness or other protected lands, a change that could affect thousands of California mining claims....the group analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which oversees mining activity."
"National park hosts event Community celebration puts Pinnacles in the spotlight" (Salinas Californian, 10/15/07)
"With the encouragement of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management fire specialist, 6-year-old Alex Calderon Jr. on Sunday tried out a backpack pump, used by firefighters battling blazes in wildland areas. With an orange cone as his target, Alex aimed, shot and successfully extinguished a fake fire....Alex was among about 250 people who attended Sunday's second community celebration event hosted by the Pinnacles National Monument. The free event showcased local recreation opportunities and informed visitors about the 26,000-acre park."
"Laguna Beach coastal area to undergo waterbird survey" (BLM California news release, 10/17/07)
The Laguna Ocean Foundation, in conjunction with the California Coastal National Monument and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory Conservation Science, has initiated a waterbird survey of the Laguna Beach coast and near-shore environment. This project is the result of extensive discussions to develop a process that will be instrumental toward conserving shorebird habitats along the Laguna coast and within the California Coastal National Monument.
RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California website)
"Taking a trip to the desert" (The Daily Aztec, 10/16/07)
"The Anza-Borrego desert, less than an hour away from San Diego State, has been used as a home, a place of exploration and a geological wonder for desert enthusiasts. Now it's the proposed location for SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink, a series of electrical lines."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:
October 20-21 and following weekends - Guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve
October 20 - Return of the Salmon Festival
Coleman National Fish Hatchery - Anderson
October 20 - Volunteer work day
Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
October 21 - Don't Hug the Teddy Bear...Cholla!
Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, Palm Desert
...and follow the link above for more!
NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS
"BLM opens National Operations Center in Denver" (BLM national news release, 10/16/07)
The new Center will consolidate the BLM’s National Science and Technology Center, National Information Resources Management Center, the National Business Center, the National Human Resources Management Center, and the Land and Resources Project Office.
"How art can change the world: Secretary Kempthorne lauds winners of Duck Stamp Competition" (Department of the Interior news release, 10/13/07)
Wildlife artist Joe Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., today won the 2007 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest "the oldest and most prestigious wildlife art competition in America" with his depiction of a pair of pintail ducks.
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