U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

News.bytes
A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 342 - 7/31/08

A helicopter dips water from the Merced River to fight the Telegraph Fire. Shoveling mud from a resident's house Piedras Blancas at dusk Joan Embery with an adopted wild burro BLM-California employee profile: Nate Gogna

THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Beyond the Brochure: Piedras Blancas
- Wildfires: news, updates
- Employee profile: Firefighter
- Wildfire aftermath: Mudslides, cleanup crew, surveying for dangers
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Abandoned mines report
- Alternative energy: Wind power, Green Path power line
- Pacific Lumber bankruptcy and Headwaters Forest Reserve
- Headlines and highlights: Wild horses and burros, film fest, award, wilderness bill, jobs, more
- Meet your Advisory Council members
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: BLM socio-economic analysis, coastal drilling, more

This issue of News.bytes online at:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes/2008/342.html

Beyond the BrochurePiedras Blancas at duskBEYOND THE BROCHURE: Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area
An online video introduction to the Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area -- including the light station and the surrounding historical area. There are many visitor and recreational opportunities available at Piedras Blancas Light Station -- activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, photography and just enjoying the unsurpassed vistas.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/media/video/btb/pbls/index.html


RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area" (BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Piedras Blancas is located on California's central coast, just north of San Simeon. The point is named for a white rock outcropping located just off the end of the point. In the early 1870's, this location was chosen to fill the gap between the lighthouses at Point Conception and Point Sur. On May 8, 2008,  Piedras Blancas Light Station was designated by Congress as an "Outstanding Natural Area," and added to the Bureau of Land Management's National Landscape Conservation System.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/pbls.html


RELATED: "Celebrating Piedras Blancas" (News.bytes Extra)
(Repeat from last week's News.bytes) About 200 people gathered July 19 to celebrate the addition of Piedras Blancas to BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System. Legislation making Piedras part of the system was enacted in May. The lighthouse and surrounding historical area are now designated the Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area. Also: Local students performed "The Piedras Blancas Rap."
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2008/342-xtra_piedras_dedic.html



WILDFIRES

"Mariposa suffers a twinge of jealousy toward Yosemite" (Los Angeles Times, 7/30/08)
"As the Telegraph fire raged through the wilderness for the fifth day Tuesday, amused locals wondered why Yosemite National Park was getting all the ink. Sure, the park's famous vistas are obscured by smoke. And many hotel rooms there remained without power, but 'it's Mariposa's fire,' said Darci Bazinet, 35, who evacuated with her three children and four pets Saturday. 'It's burning our houses. It's not in the national park.'" The Telegraph Fire includes BLM-managed lands near Mariposa.
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/traffic/la-me-yosemite30-2008jul30,0,4971636.story

A helicopter dips water from the Merced River to fight the Telegraph Fire."Photo gallery: Telegraph Fire" (Sacramento Bee)
More than a dozen photos of wildfire fighting. Thumbnail at left, from an Associated Press photo: "A helicopter loads water from the Merced River to make a drop on the Telegraph Fire near Yosemite Valley on Monday."
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.
http://www.sacbee.com/photos/gallery/1113674.html

"Firefighter's death hits hard at home" (Southern Oregon Mail Tribune, 7/29/08)
Two firefighters from Washington State have died fighting California wildfires. Daniel Bruce Packer, 49, "fire chief of the East Pierce County Fire and Rescue Unit in Lake Tapps, Wash., died while scouting the Panther wildfire some 15 miles south of Happy Camp" for the U.S. Forest Service. "Port Townsend resident Andrew Palmer, 18, was killed Friday while fighting a fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The Olympic National Park wildland firefighter was reportedly struck by a falling tree."
http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080729/NEWS/807290314

Firefighters highlighted by background of flames"As wildfires get wilder, the costs of fighting them are untamed" (Los Angeles Times, 7/27/08)
"From the canyons of California to the forests of the Rocky Mountains and the grasslands of Texas, fires are growing bigger, fiercer and costlier to put out ... In response, firefighting has assumed the scale and sophistication of military operations. Consider the forces massed against the Zaca [Fire in California] that sweltering August afternoon: nearly 2,900 federal, state and local firefighters, 122 fire engines, 35 bulldozers and a small air force of 20 helicopters and half a dozen air tankers. Private contractors are taking on a major role in the nation's wildfire battle, supplying much of the equipment, most of the camp services and even some firefighting crews."
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-wildfires27-2008jul27,0,4785549,full.story

RELATED: "Big Burn" (Los Angeles Times)
A five-part series this week "explores the growth and cost of wildfires" including the story above.
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fire-index,0,4857752.htmlstory

"National fire news" (National Interagency fire center)
"July 31: Firefighters continue to make suppression progress in northern California. The American River Complex was contained at 20,541 acres. A total of 28 fires and complexes are burning throughout the western and southern states. California remains the most active with 12 large fires." Telegraph Fire: "33,705 acres at 40 percent contained ... Communities, communication facilities, power lines, and water supply systems are threatened. Evacuations and road closures are in effect." This website Includes national fire news, plus details by state. This site is updated daily during fire season.
http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/nfn.htm

"Wildfire updates" (Sacramento Bee, 7/16/08)
Includes links to wildfire news, photo gallery, interactive map of Northern California wildfires and related links.
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.
http://www.sacbee.com/fires/


BLM-California employee profile: Nate GognaEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Nathan Gogna...
...doubles as BLM-California's fire and aviation training officer and the BLM's national coordinator for the wildland fire apprenticeship program. He works at the Wildland Fire Training and Convention Center at the former McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/employee_profiles/nate_gogna.html


WILDFIRE AFTERMATH

Using OHVs to check on burned areas"Burned land to be checked" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/28/08)
"A team of 25 scientists is set to scour close to a million acres of blackened north state land this week ... Led by a U.S. Forest Service soils expert, the team is made up of scientists from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the California Department of Fish and Game ... Top on their priority list will be determining what could be a danger to people and resources. Such problems could be fallen trees or teetering trees set to fall...." Erosion of burned areas is also a concern.
http://www.redding.com/news/2008/jul/28/burned-land-be-checked/

Ronnie Stockman of the Eastern Sierra Youth Conservation Corps digs mud out of the living room area of a resident's house"Youth help clean up after Eastern Sierra floods and mudslides" (News.bytes Extra)
Wildfires last year burned steep and rocky hillsides of the Eastern Sierra high above the Owens Valley -- then a sudden downpour two weeks ago poured enough rain onto the area to trigger a mass mudflow and flood. Suddenly, many Eastern Sierra residents in the Oak Creek area of Independence, California found themselves without homes as flash floods and mudslides swept the area. Among those helping homeowners dig our mud from in and around their homes is a team from the Eastern Sierra Youth Conservation Corps, in their first year working with Becky Hutto of BLM-California’s Bishop Field Office.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2008/342-xtra_mudcleanup.html

RELATED: "Youth dig in to help with flood clean-up" (Inyo Register, 7/30/08)
"Community members have been the driving force behind the effort to get the Oak Creek flood victims back on their feet, from helping neighbors find housing after the flood, to feeding and clothing flood victims and helping to shovel mud, and move boulders and trees out of homes. Stepping up to lend a hand to the massive clean-up effort has been the Eastern Sierra Youth Conservation Crew and two representatives from the Bishop Office of the Bureau of Land Management, who traveled to Independence to help some homeowners muck out mud from in and around their homes last Thursday."
http://www.inyoregister.com/content/view/110597/1/

Firefighters help a woman from a flooded building in the Ridgecrest areaTorrential rains flood city, again" (Ridgecrest News Review, 7/24/08)
"For the second weekend in a row, Ridgecrest was hit by a deluge of summer rain that sent water racing down streets and pooling in low-lying areas around town." The city of Ridgecrest gathered reports of damage "to try to get the city and the flood damage included in a disaster declaration already being prepared for areas that took a double hit, first suffering from wildfires and then falling victim to flooding and mudslides." Thumbnail photo: Firefighters from agencies including the BLM helped residents escape a flooded building.
http://www.newsreviewiwv.com/zarchives/2008-07-23/2008-07-23-story-01.html




NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:

Wildlife Trivia question mark of the week

WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What is an ensatina?
(a.) A type of armadillo - so named because the ridges around its back look a little like a concertina (a type of accordion);
(b.) A large bug common in the southwest, that makes loud "music" by rubbing its back legs together;
(c.) A small rodent, named for the stripes on its upper legs (a corruption of the Spanish word for the military rank of "ensign");
(d.) A salamander found in much of California (from Latin ensatus, meaning "sword-shaped") whose tail can break off if a predator catches it;
(e.) A large toad, named by the person who discovered it - a graduate of Encino College, who thought it looked like the portrait of the school’s founder hanging in the college library. The graduate unfortunately had never learned to spell "Encino."

------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.



ABANDONED MINES REPORT

"Abandoned mines pose 'ominous' threat, report finds"
(Los Angeles Times, 7/26/08)
"Abandoned mines in California, Arizona and Nevada have 'ominous' potential for causing more deaths, and government supervisors have ordered staffers to ignore the problems, according to a new report by the Interior Department's inspector general. Based on visits to more than 45 abandoned mines, the report concludes that dangerous levels of contaminants such as arsenic, lead and mercury are present at sites easily accessible to the public." The BLM issued a statement saying "The BLM accepts the recommendations and will work diligently to implement them."
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-mines26-2008jul26,0,4363376.story

"Cleanup of unused mines is urged" (Washington Post, 7/26/08)
"Noting that the program has 'limited funding' because it cannot draw on federal programs such as the Superfund, [BLM Director James] Caswell wrote that the agency has focused on protecting water quality in mine areas. He added that "even at those sites critiqued in the audit report, however . . . the BLM has undertaken temporary or interim measures to mitigate health and safety hazards, while seeking additional funding to complete the needed remediations."
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/25/AR2008072503000.html

"Audit finds serious hazards from abandoned mines" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 7/25/08)
"Congressional action may not be fast to come. For years lawmakers have tried but failed to rewrite the General Mining Law of 1872, which was meant to settle the West by letting prospectors stake claims and mine gold, silver and other minerals for free. The law contains negligible cleanup requirements but has survived essentially unchanged through today. Last year the House passed a reform bill to create an abandoned mine cleanup fund and force mining companies to pay royalties, like coal and other extraction industries already do. But efforts have stalled in the Senate."
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/07/25/national/w120835D65.DTL

"Abandoned mine lands" (BLM-California website)
The California State Office, from mid-2000, has been conducting watershed-based projects that have and will continue to identify mine sites with environmental and/or safety issues. To date about 40 "high priority" sites have been identified, and more than 200 sites have been added to the Abandoned Mine Land Identification System database.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/aml.html


ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

"Region: U.S. becomes wind power leader" (North County Times, 7/27/08)
"[T]he United States is now the world leader in one green-energy category. And San Diego and Riverside counties are playing a role in wind power's rise in this country ... Germany still has the ability to generate more electricity at any given moment, but ... U.S. turbines churn out electricity about 30 percent of the time compared to 20 percent of the time in Germany .... Not everyone agrees, however, that wind is the way to go in the future" because wind often does not blow as much on the hottest days when electricity use is highest. But a power company spokesman says having diverse sources of power is "like building a stock portfolio ... You wouldn't have all T-bills in your portfolio, and you wouldn't have all stocks in your portfolio."
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/07/27/news/sandiego/z57cefaf6006ddb9a8825748f007ad37c.txt


RELATED: "BLM proposes changes to Eastern San Diego County plan to expand wind energy access" (BLM-California news release, 7/28/08)
In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress set forth a renewable energy goal of at least 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects located on public lands by 2015.  In pursuit of this goal and in response to rising public demands for renewable energy development, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is proposing significant changes to its proposed resource management plan for public lands in Eastern San Diego County to make additional areas available for renewable energy applications. 
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2008/july/CDDNews0859_ESD_changes.html

RELATED: "Congress blows hot and cold over tax breaks for wind energy" (U.S. News and World Report, 7/28/08)
"Over the past few years, wind energy has experienced a tremendous, if precariously fragile, boom. Last year alone, wind-power capacity jumped 21 percent in the United States. Wind is now one of the country's fastest-growing electricity sources, buoyed by strong consumer demand, mounting concerns about fossil fuels, and—perhaps most notable—vital government support. But uncertainty about key federal tax credits threatens to knock the wind out of the wind-power industry."
http://www.ca.blm.gov/tu/usnews/windtaxbreaks.html

"Pro: Transmission line is needed to tap the vital geothermal energy of the Salton Sea" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 7/29/08)
Op-Ed from David Nahai, chief executive officer and general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: "I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on the Green Path North Project -- why it is necessary and where we stand. There has been much discussion in the local media and among citizens of the desert communities, speculating that the city of Los Angeles plans to forge a 'path of destruction' through this pristine desert, taking and devaluing properties, damaging the economy and shattering scenic vistas. These charges are unfounded and not our intentions."
http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080729/OPINION/807280317/1026/news12

"Con: Department of Power should use existing lines and find alternative energy solutions" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 7/29/08)
Op-Ed from April Sall, preserve manager and chairwoman of a citizen advocacy group created to stop the current Green Path North: "Development of renewable energy resources including geothermal, solar and wind, should be our highest priority to replace fossil fuels. However, for LADWP to destroy pristine desert and conservation lands in the process, including condemnation of private property, is not a 'green' way to go about it. I further disagree that LADWP needs to own its own transmission lines, when there are existing corridors that were established through years of focus and study and could be the shared with other utilities."
http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080729/OPINION/807280316/1026/news12

RELATED: "Derry says he's willing to fight L.A. water agency" (San Bernardino County Sun, 7/26/08)
"People who have been fighting a proposed power line in the High Desert may soon have a powerful ally on their side. Incoming 3rd District Supervisor Neil Derry, a conservative Republican with an energy-efficient ethos, says he is ready to go toe-to-toe with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on behalf of the voters who elected him."
http://www.sbsun.com/sanbernardino/ci_10010323



PACIFIC LUMBER BANKRUPTCY AND HEADWATERS FOREST RESERVE
"The old Pacific Lumber gives way to new Humboldt Redwood Co." (Eureka Times-Standard, 7/30/08)
"The storied Pacific Lumber Co. will begin a new history as the Humboldt Redwood Co. today... PL went bankrupt in Jan. 2007, 21 years after an unfriendly takeover by Maxxam Inc. ... huge debt prompted aggressive logging of its once-impressive old growth redwood stocks. The debt ended up burying the Humboldt County icon ... Mendocino's plan for Humboldt Redwood involves dispatching top management and scaling back timber operations for the first 10 to 15 years. That follows years of PL clashing with state and federal regulators over the rate of logging and its effects on the environment. The habitat conservation plan put in place after the 1999 sale of the Headwaters Forest to the state and federal governments will apply to the new company."
http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_10039458

"New era begins for Pacific Lumber" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/30/08)
"Maxxam Inc. seized Pacific Lumber in a surprise 1980s takeover, and then quickly accelerated the pace of logging in an attempt to meet annual interest-only payments on $850 million in junk bond debt ... Pacific Lumber for decades had worked with Save the Redwoods League and other conservation groups to preserve thousands of acres of ancient groves of redwoods in a string of state and federal parks along the North Coast. Pacific Lumber's darkened reputation is behind a planned name change to Humboldt Redwood Co. The move is lamented but seen as necessary by the new owners and longtime company supporters."
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20080730/NEWS/953391239/1033

"Judge insists Palco plan get under way" (Eureka Times-Standard, 7/29/08)
"U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Richard Schmidt in a Monday ruling pushed parties in the Pacific Lumber Co.'s year-and-a-half long bankruptcy to seal a deal to rebuild the company or risk contempt of court. A final order issued by the Corpus Christi, Texas court earlier this month is just what it says: final, wrote Schmidt."
http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_10030198

Among the trees in Headwaters Forest Reserve"Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM-California, Arcata Field Office)
The Headwaters Forest Reserve is 7,472 acres of public land located 6 miles southeast of Eureka, CA. The reserve is set aside to protect and preserve the ecological and wildlife values in the area, particularly the stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/arcata/headwaters.html


HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS

Joan Embery with an adopted wild burro"Adoption vs. euthanasia; BLM seeks ways to rein in burgeoning wild horse and burro population" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25/08)
BLM holds wild horse and burro adoption event last weekend in Lakeside:  “More than 235,000 horses and burros have been adopted since the BLM's program began. Art DiGrazia, with the BLM's wild-horse program in Ridgecrest, said the agency holds adoptions in San Diego County because it has a thriving equestrian community.” Last weekend’s event was as the ranch of Joan Embery, a former “ambassador” for the San Diego Zoo. “Embery, a former San Diego Zoo ambassador, is now active in Lakeside's equestrian community. She said she adopted a burro years ago and another last week when DiGrazia came to town to prepare for this weekend's adoptions.”
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080725-9999-1m25burro.html

RELATED: "Wild horses and burros" (BLM-California website)
Information about the program, adoption schedule and volunteers in California.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html

RELATED: "The last of the wild horses" (Chico News and Review, 7/31/08)
"In years past, John Neill, who runs the BLM’s short-term holding facility near Sparks, Nev., said the public would adopt anywhere from 7,000 to 8,000 horses annually. This fiscal year ... the agency has found homes for fewer than 3,000 horses. A stagnant adoption program has resulted in a glut of wild horses now living in captivity, in holding pens ... and in long-term facilities in Oklahoma, Kansas and South Dakota ... the federal agency is attempting to breathe life into its lethargic adoption program through contests such as ... the Extreme Mustang Makeover at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Forth Worth, Texas, in September."
http://www.newsreview.com/chico/Content?oid=699963

RELATED: "Extreme Mustang Makeover 2008" (BLM national website)
The Bureau of Land Management and the Mustang Heritage Foundation have joined forces once again to present the Extreme Mustang Makeover 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas on September 18-21, 2008. This is the contest the trainers in the story above are preparing for.
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/extreme_mustang_makeover.html

"Washoe taps Honey Lake Valley water" (Lassen News, 7/29/08)
"Fish Springs Ranch received the right-of-way grant from the Carson City Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management to construct, operate and maintain a water supply system to supply additional water to the Reno metropolitan area ... Fish Springs Ranch is ... across the state line between Honey Lake and Pyramid Lake ... Lassen County opposed the project and even filed a lawsuit to attempt to block it, but that approach was abandoned...." A consultant for the project "said there was no evidence to support Lassen County’s concerns that the Fish Springs Ranch project would deplete the aquifer on the California side of the border."
http://www.lassennews.com/News_Story.edi?sid=4975&mode=thread&order=0

"Arcata land manager wins national award" (The Eureka Reporter, 7/26/08)
"Arcata’s Bureau of Land Management manager, Lynda Roush, has won one of the Take Pride in America National Awards. The award recognizes those who increase volunteer service with public lands. It honors those who utilize innovative leadership to enhance public lands. And for the people Roush works with, she did just that."
http://www.eurekareporter.com/article/080726-arcata-land-manager-wins-national-award

"Changes to wilderness bill include White Mountain Acreage" (Sierra Wave, 7/29/08)
"The Boxer-McKeon Wilderness Bill is slowly changing as it is ground through the gears of Washington DC. The bill had proposed 430,000 acres of new designated wilderness in the Eastern Sierra. That number is now up to 438,000. As proposed wilderness areas near Mammoth were subtracted from the list, new wilderness areas are now proposed to be added." The bill could apply to California areas managed by the BLM.
http://www.ksrw.sierrawave.net/site/content/view/1143/48/

A previous film festival tour under the bright blue skies of the Eastern Sierra"Scene being set for 2008 Film Festival" (Inyo Register, 7/26/08)
The Lone Pine Film Festival returns Oct. 10-12. "This year’s offerings include plenty of returning favorites, according to Film Festival Board Member and Inyo Film Commissioner Chris Langley, as well as several new additions -- all intended to immerse the film fan in the landscapes and stories that made their favorite movies and television shows so memorable...." The area "has lots of film history, going back to 1920 and featuring almost all the great cowboy stars as well as science fiction, suspense and action genres as well,” Langley said. “In fact, Marvel’s mega hit 'Iron Man' filmed there and a tour at the festival will focus on the four major sites used in the film."
|http://www.inyoregister.com/content/view/110233/1/

RELATED: "News.bytes, issue 336 - 6/18/08" (BLM-California website)
The June 18 issue of News.bytes included links to the "Movie Road self-guided tour" of film locations in the BLM-managed Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, an award ceremony at the film history museum in Lone Pine, and links to trailers for "Iron Man," a movie that included scenes filmed on BLM-managed lands in the Alabama Hills and in the Cerro Gordo area.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes/2008/336.html

RELATED: "Alabama Hills Stewardship public meeting" (BLM-California news release, 7/31/08)
The community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday, August 5th regarding management of the Alabama Hills. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2008/july/CCnews0881_Alabama_Hills_meeting.html

"City renews Chamber of Commerce funding plan" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 7/27/08)
"The city will provide $100,000 to the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau in return for their services of boosting tourism, filming, and businesses in the area ... The city does not charge for filming in the Barstow area, but a permit is required to film on Bureau of Land Management land. The city and the chamber are looking into a year-long permit that would allow filming on BLM property...."
http://www.desertdispatch.com/news/chamber_3924___article.html/city_commerce.html

"Border fence construction resumes on Colorado River" (Yuma Sun, 7/24/08)
"Construction of a border fence along the lower Colorado River resumed this week ... This new section of the border fence corresponds to a project to build a fence from the Organ Pipe Park, near Lukeville, Ariz., to the Imperial Sand Dunes in California, at a total length of 125 miles."
http://www.yumasun.com/news/border_43175___article.html/colorado_construction.html

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM-California, El Centro Field Office)
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/isdra.html


"The Red Hills: Tuolumne County’s Rarely Visited A.C.E.C. (Area of Critical Environment Concern)" (Sierra Mountain Times, 7/28/08)
"The Red Hills are clearly a geologically unique place on our planet ... After visiting the Red Hills for myself, I can say that this place is truly unique! It is somewhat hardscrabble 'edge of Sierra' style lands with rolling hills and seasonal washout-looking streambeds and rock formations."
http://mysierramountaintimes.com/?p=2232

RELATED: "Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM-California, Folsom Field Office)
The Red Hills is a region of 7,100 acres of public land located just south of the historic town of Chinese Camp in Tuolumne County. The Red Hills are noticeably different from the surrounding countryside. The natural serpentine in the area causes the plant assemblage to be limited to those species that are tolerant of such minerals. Included among the buckbrush and gray pine is a rich diversity of annual wildflowers that put on a showy display every spring.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/folsom/redhillshomepg1.html

JOBS:
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include contact representative, fire dispatcher, archaeologist, biology technician/aid and survey aid/technician.
http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9blm-ca.asp



SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
See them online at:
https://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/calendar/



NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS

"BLM consults Resource Advisory Councils to strengthen socio-economic analysis" (BLM national news release, 7/29/08)
The Bureau of Land Management announced it will seek the views of Resource Advisory Council members as part of an assessment of the agency's ability to identify the social and economic effects of its plans and projects. "The BLM makes decisions daily that affect the social and economic well-being of communities and regions, while trying to balance the competing interests of many groups," Director Jim Caswell said. "So it is essential that our managers and staff have access to sound and cost-effective socio-economic information."
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2008/july/WONews0825_RAC_consult.html

"Interior Department initiates new five year oil and gas leasing program for outer continental shelf"
(Department of the Interior news release, 7/30/08)
"Saying the nation’s energy situation has dramatically changed in the past year, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today jumpstarted the development of a new oil and natural gas leasing program for the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The action could give the next administration a two-year head start in expanding energy production from federal offshore jurisdictions, including some areas where a congressional ban had prevented oil and gas development."
http://www.doi.gov/news/08_News_Releases/080730a.html

RELATED: "Bush ramps up drilling efforts" (Ventura County Star, 7/31/08)
"The Bush administration ramped up its campaign for more offshore oil and gas production on Wednesday by announcing it is beginning work on a new leasing program that could open the door to drilling in federally protected waters."
http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jul/31/bush-ramps-up-drilling-efforts/

RELATED: "Feds press Congress to lift oil drilling ban" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/30/08)
"The U.S. Interior Department ratcheted up the pressure on Congress Wednesday to open more of the country's coastline to offshore oil drilling, a move petroleum companies have sought for decades ... The Interior Department has no authority to lift the ban. But if Congress votes to open the coasts to drilling, the department could hit the ground running, selling leases as early as 2011. Exploratory drilling would probably begin a few years after that."
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/31/BU2F12289C.DTL

"Federal agencies join states to launch governors' West Coast ocean action plan" (Department of the Interior news release, 7/29/08)
"The White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined the governors of California, Oregon and Washington to launch an historic action plan addressing challenging ocean and coastal management issues along the West Coast. The action plan implements the West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health, a 2006 agreement signed by the governors of the three states involved to forge a long-term partnership to tackle obstacles facing the Pacific Ocean and its coastal communities."
http://www.doi.gov/news/08_News_Releases/080730.html



An ensatina curls among leavesWILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) A salamander found in much of California (from Latin ensatus, meaning "sword-shaped") whose tail can break off if a predator catches it.

SOURCE: "Ensatina - Ensatina eschscholtzii" (BLM California wildlife database)
http://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/wildlife/details.php?metode=serial_number&search=2583

AND: "Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii - Monterey Ensatina" (San Diego Natural History Museum Field Guide)
"The name Ensatina comes from the Latin ensatus, meaning sword-shaped, while eschscholtzii is in honor of F. Eschscholtz, a German zoologist." Includes photo and description.
http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/herps/ensa-esc.html

RELATED: "Ensatina, Ensatina eschscholtzii" (U.S. Geological Service, Checklist of amphibian species and identification guide)
Two photos, plus description.
http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/herps/amphibid/species/ensatina.htm


RELATED: "Arms race and species" (North Coast Journal, 7/24/08)
"Herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles, sheds much light on the nature of evolution ... An insight into speciation is provided by lungless Ensatina Salamanders, whose young, hatched from eggs under damp wood, resemble tiny adults."
http://www.northcoastjournal.com/issues/2008/07/24/arms-race-species/

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