A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 335 - 6/11/08
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Mustang Makeover 2008: We have winners!
- Mustangs available
- Not for educators only:
- Funny.bytes: Countering another alien attack
- Outdoor education, work ... and fun
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Solar energy
- Wildfires and prevention
- Advisory Councils and planning meetings
- Meet your advisory council members
- Off-highway vehicles
- Headlines and highlights: Wilderness bill, base expansion, more
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Indian Trust trial, service award, off-road
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
MUSTANG MAKEOVER 2008: We have winners!
"Mustangs and trainers show their stuff at Mustang Challenge" (News.bytes Extra)
Twenty-nine trainers ... 29 mustangs ... 90 days to work together -- and finally it was time to show their stuff in competition. Last Saturday, a final group of 10 accomplished horse trainers thrilled a capacity crowd -- showing the capabilities of adopted BLM wild horses during the finals of the Western States Mustang Challenge at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento.
"Mustang Challenge 2008" (BLM-California website)
Links to more photos from the event.
"Mustang Challenge's top horse pulls $10,000 bid" (Sacramento Bee, 6/8/08)
"Attracting a bid of $10,000, a wild mustang named Handy Hank won hands-down as the top money-getter Saturday night ... The horse, trained by Madelyn Wagner of Valley Center in San Diego County, was among the 31 mustangs" adopted at the Mustang Challenge in Sacramento.
"For trainer, mustang challenge has tender ending" (Sacramento Bee, 6/9/08)
"A Roseville woman who accepted the challenge of training a wild mustang in 90 days won't be parting from her four-legged student after all. Gena Wasley, one of about 30 trainers who took on the unusual challenge, was thrilled to hear that her horse, Feather" had been adopted by a Sacramento woman.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
FUNNY.BYTES - Aliens attack -- again!?
In a previous edition of News.bytes, alien weeds attacked earth. This time around, we encounter different aliens, a different intruder -- and a brief look at what really matters.
Funny.bytes is an occasional, animated look at the lighter side of BLM issues. Note: this Flash presentation includes a sound track -- you may want to lower the volume on your computer.
OUTDOOR EDUCATION, WORK ... AND FUN
"Cleaning the beaches" (Eureka Reporter, 6/7/08)
"Over 8,000 children throughout the state from Humboldt to San Diego County commemorated World Ocean Day, with hundreds of schools participating. Locally, over 800 students spent the day cleaning up the south spit of Humboldt Bay removing litter and pulling non-native grasses from the sand dunes." BLM was a sponsor of the event.
"Park gets a facelift; kids get summer fun" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 6/5/08)
"66 Hinkley Elementary School students ... took a field trip to the newly renovated Foglesong Park on Thursday. The students played games, blew bubbles and learned about desert wildlife from Bureau of Land Management park ranger Art Basulto."
Thumbnail from a photo by Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences
WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What do bobcats eat?
(a.) termites and ants
(b.) honey, bees and bee larvae
(c.) a bobcat eats shoots and leaves
(d.) almost any animal
(e.) Purina Bobcat Chow
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes -- and a "don't try this at home!" warning.
"Solar energy development PEIS scoping meetings set in California" (BLM-California news release, 6/3/08)
The Bureau of Land Management, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, will hold three public scoping meetings in Barstow, Riverside, and Sacramento, in mid-June to seek public input on the Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) announced last week. The purpose of the PEIS is analyze the potential impacts of solar energy development in a six-state area, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.
RELATED: "U.S. to hold public meetings in California on solar power projects" (Sacramento Business Journal, 6/10/08)
"The BLM, now faced with at least 130 proposals to build solar and other renewable energy projects in California's deserts, has stopped accepting new right-of-way applications for solar projects until it completes a joint programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) with the DOE. The PEIS will help balance the rising demand to tap renewable energy resources in California's arid areas while maintaining desert land as habitat for plants and animals."
"Desert warfare: Solar energy plants forge strange alliances" (KPCC radio, 6/9/08)
"The fight for desert land - at least one million acres are being considered for energy use - has brought together a strange mix of allies in opposition to the solar plants." This audio report includes interviews with Steven Borchard, director of the Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District, Stuart Hemphill, vice president of renewable & alternative power at Southern California Edison, and Terry Weiner, conservation coordinator for the Desert Protective Council.
(Note: this is a very large mp3 file, about 24 megabytes.)
WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"BLM Ukiah Field Office announces seasonal fire restrictions" (BLM-California news release, 6/10/08)
Fire season restrictions on campfires and off-road driving go into effect Monday, June 16, for public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Solano counties. The restrictions are designed to lessen the danger of human-caused fires.
"Homes spared from flames" (Hi-Desert Star, 6/11/08)
"A brush fire that ignited Saturday afternoon in the hills above Hospital Wash and South Yucca Wash here was contained early Sunday morning before it could spread through heavily populated foothill neighborhoods ... The fire began on federal Bureau of Land Management property in brush-covered terrain...."
"356 acres burn; investigators probe cause of Acoma Fire" (Hi-Desert Star, 6/8/08)
"The fire began on federal Bureau of Land Management property in the rugged, brush-covered terrain ... The flames were caused by humans, [a county fire battalion chief] confirmed, adding, 'Whether it was accidental or intentional has yet to be determined.'"
"Richbar Fire burns 385 acres, under investigation" (Kern Valley Sun, 6/11/08)
"More than 160 firefighters responded to a wildfire that ultimately consumed 385 acres June 7 ... in the lower Kern Canyon ... The 385-acre Richbar Fire was contained at 8:00 p.m., Saturday night due to the rapid response of local Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Kern County firefighters."
"National fire news" (National Interagency fire center)
Several new fires were threatening homes in California today. This site is updated daily during fire season.
ADVISORY COUNCILS AND PLANNING MEETINGS
"BLM Northwest Resource Advisory Council to meet in Weaverville" (BLM-California news release, 6/6/08)
Members of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Northwest California Resource Advisory Council are discussing a range of natural resource topics during their meeting that started today and continues tomorrow (June 11-12).
"BLM advisory council plans meeting in El Dorado County" (BLM-California news release, 6/5/08)
Land management issues for the Folsom Field Office will be on the agenda when the Bureau of Land Management’s Central California Resource Advisory Council meets in El Dorado County on June 13 and 14.
"Carrizo advisory committee plans June meeting" (BLM-California news release, 6/9/08)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee will meet June 28 at the Carrisa Elementary School to discuss management planning for the monument.
"Three seats open on Modoc-Washoe Stewardship Committee" (BLM-California news release, 6/3/08)
The Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Program Steering Committee, a natural resource advisory board, is seeking applicants for three vacancies. Seats representing noxious weed management, timber interests, and California environmental organizations are open for two-year terms. There are no term limits.
MEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Gale Dupree...
...represents national and regional environmental interests on BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council. Mr. Dupree is an experienced outdoorsman and has been a director for the Nevada Wildlife Federation for more than 20 years. Read more:
"New group tries to head off base expansion" (Hi-Desert Star, 6/7/08)
"A new group called the Partnership for Johnson Valley reports giving a presentation about the Johnson Valley off-roading area to staff at the Twentynine Palms Marine base recently. The group’s presentation was prompted [by news that] the military is considering a portion of the Johnson Valley Open Access as one option for a base expansion. The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
RELATED: "Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area"
Johnson Valley is a varied landscape for the off-highway vehicle driver. It is punctuated by steep red rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, dry lake beds and sandy washes. Elevations range from 4,600 feet to 2,300 feet. Vegetation consists of creosote scrub, annual grasses, wild flowers and Joshua Trees.
"Riverside County rules frustrate off-roaders" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/5/08)
"With a restrictive county noise ordinance now in effect, combined with trespassing, dust control and other laws, off-roaders say there are few areas where it is legal to ride anymore ... 'There are tons of places where people have traditionally ridden,' such as washes, creek beds and undeveloped dirt lots. 'But it's always been illegal.' Until recently, [said a spokeswoman for the Off-Road Business Association], the laws were not enforced." One rider interviewed for the story "was riding with friends in the Homeland Hills area on trails he thought were owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management" when he was stopped.
RELATED: "Off-highway vehicle areas" (BLM-California website)
HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Wilderness bill passes House" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 6/10/08)
"The House passed a bill Monday sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono Mack that would designate nearly 200,000 acres of public land in and around the Coachella Valley as wilderness areas and provide them with more federal protections ... It also designates several rivers as 'wild, scenic or recreational.'" The measure passed on a voice vote and waits action on a companion bill in the Senate.
RELATED: "Wilderness bill advances" (North County Times, 6/10/08)
"The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act, authored by Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, now goes to the U.S. Senate ... Elsewhere, it would expand and create wilderness areas in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, in Joshua Tree National Park and in the desert near Palm Springs."
"Agencies to crack down on destructive 'boonie parties'" (Inyo Register, 6/7/08)
"Some of those negative effects of partying were displayed ... in the form of pictures of garbage, tracks made by a vehicle off the beaten path and abandoned fires that remained smoldering hours after the last of the party-goers had abandoned the remote party location ... Bureau of Land Management, LADWP and U.S. Forest Service personnel, which each conduct routine patrols on their own pieces of public land, have vowed to watch for underage parties, make note of popular party spots and work with law enforcement agencies to curb underage drinking."
"Redwoods league buys Mattole land for BLM" (Eureka Times-Standard, 6/8/08)
"The Save-the-Redwoods League has acquired 216 acres between Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the King Range National Conservation Area and transferred it to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The property is the latest addition to a project known as Corridor from the Redwoods to the Sea. That is nearly 10,000 acres connecting the lush old-growth redwood forests in the Southern Humboldt County park to the ocean. "
RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM-California, Arcata Field Office)
The King Range covers 68,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Here the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing State Highway 1 and U.S. 101 inland. The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads.
"Palco finale pushed out two more weeks" (Eureka Times-Standard, 6/11/08)
"A federal bankruptcy court has put off hearing issues that could possibly unravel his intended confirmation of a plan to allow Mendocino Redwood Co. to take over the Pacific Lumber Co. ... The biggest issue on the table is a claim by the noteholders, whose $714 million in debt is secured by Palco's 210,000 acres of timber."
RELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM-California, Arcata Field Office)
The BLM is not a party to Palco's Habitat Conservation Plan, which is overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of California, but one result of the negotiations was the acquisition in 1999 of the Headwaters Forest Reserve, managed by the BLM.
"Splashy summer for rapid rafts" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/5/08)
As of the end of last week: "California rivers ready to test bravest paddlers ... If timing is everything in the great outdoors, then now is the time for rafting on the renowned rivers that charge down the west slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The best five rivers this year: the Tuolumne, South Fork American, Middle Fork American, Merced and Forks of the Kern."
RELATED: "River recreation" (BLM-California website)
BLM-California manages portions of several of the river rafting areas mentioned in the article above.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include physical science technician, law enforcement rangers and engineering technician (petroleum).
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS -- see more online!
Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:
June 14-15 and continuing - Free guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve
June 30 - National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting
NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Billion-dollar Indian-trust trial to begin" (Helena, MT Independent Record, 6/9/08)
A federal judge today will gavel to a start the trial that will potentially award billions of dollars to "Native landowners whose income from natural resources has been mismanaged and misused by the U.S. government for more than a century." At issue are Individual Indian Money accounts at Department of Interior agencies including the BLM. Agencies were disconnected from the Internet for several months to several years, over the dispute.
"Federal fight brewing on regulating ORV use" (Deseret News, 6/7/08)
"The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management need better plans for off-road vehicle use on public lands, but the government, ORV users and conservationists all have their own ideas of what they should include, based on a Senate hearing Thursday."
"Effects of off-road use in drought told" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/6/08)
"Here's another effect of climate change: Prolonged drought coupled with the growing use of public lands by off-roaders means that soil erosion and dust pollution will only grow worse to threaten water supplies in the West, a federal expert said Thursday."
WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) almost any animal
SOURCE: "Bobcat - Lynx rufus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Bobcats will eat almost any type of animal, ranging from small rodents to an entire deer. They will consume small prey immediately, but if they catch a large animal they may hide it and return later. These animals hunt for food by stalking, rushing, and attacking prey.
"Kitten found on road is not what he seems" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/6/08)
"R.J., a baby bobcat, is as cute as a kitten. But that's part of the problem. The animal, who was found by a trucker on the side of a road, has become so friendly with humans that he can never return to the wild." But he will also become too dangerous to be around a human family. Includes link to online video.
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