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

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

Issue 375 - 3/26/09

A wolverine crouches in the snow An orange blaze of poppies extends up a steep hillside topped with rocks A scout hikes up a snowy slope Rick Wagner patrols at Honda Center astride mustang Joaquin Portrait of Marcia DeChadenedes

THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - More wildlife news
- Wilderness Bill
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros: Mounted officer, Mustang Makeover
- Exploring your public lands
- Headlines and highlights: OHV exchange bill, turkey hunt, climate jobs, jobs, more
- Advisory councils and planning
- Employee Profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Interior Secretary Salazar interview

This issue of News.bytes is online at:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes/2009/375.html

NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:

A wolverine crouches in the snow
Thumbnail from a photo by Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences

WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Wolverines are in the same animal family as:
(a.) bobcats and mountain lions
(b.) wolves and coyotes
(c.) weasels and badgers
(d.) moles and shrews
(e.) fictional brooding mutant anti-heroes
------> See answer -- and more wildlife news -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.



WILDERNESS BILL
The bill's provisions include lands managed by BLM-California.

"Wilderness protection bill gets House OK" (Los Angeles Times, 3/25/09)
"In the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 15 years, Congress today sent President Obama legislation that would conserve a wide swath of the West, including stretches of California from the desert to the Sierra ... In California, which currently has 14 million acres of wilderness ... the bill would protect 700,000-plus acres." Includes a locator map of new and existing wilderness.
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its online content.)
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-lands26-2009mar26,0,2710097.story

A wilderness scene in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument"Congress OKs bill that protects land in Joshua Tree, San Jacinto" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 3/26/09)
Some 190,000 acres of scenic land in Riverside County -- including parts of the Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree National Park -- would be protected under a massive land protection bill that Congress passed Wednesday." Includes a map of expansion to the Santa Rosa-San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, managed by a partnership including BLM-California.
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20090326/NEWS07/903260308/1013/news07

"Act protecting Riverside County public land on way to president" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/25/09)
"Locally, the legislation creates new wilderness in the Pinto Mountains near Joshua Tree, territory deemed critical for survival of the desert tortoise, and the South Fork San Jacinto Wilderness, a popular hiking spot. Other places to be protected include the Beauty Mountain Wilderness near Temecula, the Palen-McCoy Wilderness northwest of Blythe and the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness southeast of Joshua Tree National Park." Includes a locator map of new and existing wilderness in the Riverside County area.
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its online content.) http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_wilderness26.365db12.html


RENEWABLE ENERGY

"Interior secretary: Rules allow donated land to be considered for renewable energy projects" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/24/09)
"U.S. Secretary of Interior Kenneth Salazar has declined Sen. Dianne Feinstein's request for a halt in processing applications for renewable energy projects on Mojave Desert land donated to the federal government for conservation ... 'I assure you that every effort will be made to avoid the most environmentally sensitive and valuable areas,' Salazar wrote ... At issue is about 600,000 acres between Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. The acreage was acquired with $40 million raised by The Wildlands Conservancy, based in Oak Glen, and $18 million from a federal water and conservation fund."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its online content.)
http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_S_protect25.38a879b.html

MORE STORIES ON THIS SUBJECT:

"Feinstein wants desert swath off-limits to solar, wind projects" (Los Angeles Times, 3/25/09)
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its online content.)
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-desert25-2009mar25,0,6168582.story

"Environmentalists in a clash of goals" (New York Times, 3/23/09)
(Note: This new site may require free registration to view its content online.)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/science/earth/24ecowars.html

"Feinstein tries to halt solar projects on donated land" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/20/09)
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its online content.)
http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_S_solar21.3cf231d.html

"Billbray coauthors bill to exempt solar farms from environmental review; Feinstein seeks to block desert solar farm due to severe environmental damage" (East County Magazine, 3/23/09)
H.R. 964 "would exempt any solar energy project on Bureau of Land Management lands from Environmental Impact Report requirements."
http://eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/780

"Feinstein seeks block solar power from desert land" (Associated Press in San
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/03/20/state/n163632D33.DTL


WILD HORSES AND BURROS

Officer Rick Wagner fits a patrol mask to his mustang, JoaquinRick Wagner patrols at Honda Center astride mustang Joaquin"Police department mustang works, parades" (News.bytes Extra)
Joaquin, a four-year-old mustang, and Rick Wagner are officers with the Garden Grove Police Department, part of the Orange County Sheriff's Mounted Enforcement Unit. The Mounted Enforcement Unit is an integral part of Sheriff's Operations. The unit offers high-profile patrol to the parks, beaches and special events throughout Orange County.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2009/375xtra_whb_parade.html

BLM wrangler puts halter on mustang"Trainers meet their mustang partners for Extreme Makeover competition" (News.bytes Extra)
With hopes of being in the Cal Expo winners' circle in June, a group of horse trainers visited BLM-California's Litchfield Corrals near Susanville earlier this month, to pick up the mustang mares they will train in the Western States Extreme Mustang Makeover competition.  Twenty-seven trainers selected to compete in the Makeover watched as their mustangs, assigned at random, were haltered and loaded into the trailers for the trip home.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2009/375xtra_whb_makeover_pickup.html


EXPLORING YOUR PUBLIC LANDS

A scout hikes up a snowy slopeA scout appears tiny against a cliffside and valley beyone"Scouts explore rugged public lands" (News.bytes Extra)
A group of boy scouts from Susanville Troop 159 experienced the wide-open expanse of BLM public lands in northeast California and northwest Nevada over the weekend of March 13-15.  They climbed the north face of Dry Valley Rim,a massive fault block escarpment rising 2,000 feet above the valley floor. From high atop the rim, scouts saw first hand the convergence of three geologic provinces:  the Great Basin, Sierra Nevada and the Modoc Plateau.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2009/375xtra_scouts.html

"It's a good time to visit the Carrizo Plain" (Visalia Times-Delta, 3/21/09)
"It's difficult, if you're interested in the natural world, not to try to imagine what local landscapes looked like before modern agriculture and urbanization spread over so much of Central California ... Is there anything left that gives us a view into how those landscapes appeared and worked? The answer, fortunately, is yes. The Carrizo Plain National Monument, west of Bakersfield, preserves a fascinating semiarid landscape that closely resembles even today what much of the Great Central Valley must have looked like several centuries ago."
http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20090321/LIFESTYLE/903210327

RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/carrizo.html

A small remnant of the Old Plank Road among shifting sands"On shifting sands - the Old Plank Road" (The Examiner, 3/22/09)
"From 1915 to 1926, the Old Plank Road brought much desired automobile traffic from Arizona to San Diego and paved the way for the building of US 80 and ultimately Interstate 8. What this road did was enable a vehicle to cross a mountain of sand known as the Imperial Sand Dunes and in so doing created an intercontinental link to San Diego. Only a span of the road is left but preserved for viewing in an area just off Interstate 8." Includes a slide show with five photos, plus a link to a much longer history of the Old Plan Road.
http://www.examiner.com/x-4820-San-Diego-OfftheBeatenTrack-Travel-Examiner~y2009m3d22-Remembering-the-Old-Plank-Road

An orange blaze of poppies extends up a steep hillside topped with rocks"Alive with color" (Mariposa Gazette, 3/20/09)
(Photo and caption only.) The walls of the Merced River Canyon are glowing with California poppies. Hundreds of tourists with camera’s lined the riverbank over the weekend, snapping photos of the impressive vista.
http://www.mariposagazette.com/mar_09/w_news_3_20_poppies.html


"Wildflowers" (BLM-California)
The wildflower season generally starts with an early spring in the desert regions of southern California, and works its way northward. When the wildflower seasons occur, and how lush they are, depends on the weather and can vary widely from year to year.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/recreation/wildflowers.html



HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS

"H.R. 689, To interchange the administration jurisdiction of certain Federal Lands between the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management" (2009 congressional testimonies)
"H.R. 689 transfers to the BLM administrative jurisdiction of 11,760 acres of Federal land located within the Chappie-Shasta OHV Area that are currently managed by the FS. Consolidation of land ownership within the Chappie-Shasta OHV Area will allow for a more streamlined administration of recreation use and an improved recreation experience for the area’s users." Testimony of Mike Nedd, acting deputy director of the BLM. Note: click the link on the page, to open the document as a PDF file:
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/congressional_testimonies/2009.html

"Survey public lands for good wild turkey hunting" (Redding Record Searchlight, 3/21/09)
"Turkeys can be found on portions of almost all national forests statewide. Department of Fish and Game wildlife areas in Northern California also have good turkey hunting opportunities. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands have turkey populations but tend to be smaller parcels that are often difficult to access. Some local government lands also may be open to hunting."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)
http://www.redding.com/news/2009/mar/21/survey-public-lands-for-good-wild-turkey-hunting/

"Ukiah BLM hoping for grant" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 3/23/09)
"A public meeting will be held Thursday March 26, 7 p.m., at the Bureau of Land Management's Ukiah Field Office for information and comment on grant applications for Cow Mountain Recreation Area. According to the BLM, the Ukiah office is requesting about $556,000 that would be used for trail maintenance, law enforcement, planning projects and the operation and maintenance of off-highway vehicle areas."
http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_11977049

Climate change graphic - see the full graphic at the Stockton Record"Climate change fight could mean more Lode forestry jobs" (Stockton Record, 3/21/09)
"Federal and state efforts to battle climate change will likely mean more jobs and better-looking forests in coming decades on the wooded slopes surrounding Sierra Nevada towns such as West Point. It may also mean that a new industry - generating electricity from forest waste - will spring up." The BLM is represented on the Calaveras Consensus Group, which "is meeting regularly in West Point to hammer out details on how to get the necessary combination of industrial infrastructure, expanded job training, and state and federal incentives to make this new model for forest industry take off."
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090321/A_NEWS/903210326

"COMMET raids pot operation, nets six" (The Willits News, 3/25/09)
"Search warrants served at a rural ranch property and residence in Leggett, and residences in Calpella, Witter Springs ... and Roseville ... resulted in six arrests and the seizure of 2,732 marijuana plants, nine firearms, $15,395 in cash, and various pieces of equipment ... The investigation began several years ago, prompted by summer outdoor marijuana plantings located on BLM land adjacent to the Leggett property..."
http://www.willitsnews.com/ci_11993279

"Proposed Victorville to Vegas train would likely bypass Barstow" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 3/24/09)
"The DesertXpress is a privately funded project proposed by DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC. It would carry travelers on a double track passenger-only rail line between Victorville and Las Vegas, mostly following the Interstate 15 corridor, and might later be extended to Palmdale or the Los Angeles Basin ... The DesertXpress project will need approval from the FRA, the Bureau of Land Management, Surface Transportation Board, Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service before it can go forward."
http://www.desertdispatch.com/news/barstow_5719___article.html/vegas_victorville.html

JOBS
"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9blm-ca.asp



ADVISORY COUNCILS AND PLANNING

Inyo County Film Commissioner Chris Langley tells RAC members about ways to protect resources during film productions."Advisory Council sees Alabama Hills progress" (News.bytes Extra)
Community-based stewardship was the theme of the Central California Resource Advisory Council meeting March 20-21, 2009 in Lone Pine. During a field tour, RAC members saw the progress in community-based stewardship of the Alabama Hills.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2009/375_extra_-_.html

"BLM's Bakersfield resource management plan revision socioeconomic workshops announced" (BLM-California news release, 3/25/09)
The Bureau of Land Management's Bakersfield Field Office will host two public workshops in April for local community leaders who want to explore the issue of the changing local economy and its relationship to public lands.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2009/march/CC0954_socioeconomic_wporkshops.html

"BLM Advisory Council off-highway vehicle group plans meeting in Merced" (BLM-California news release, 3/25/09)
Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting. The subcommittee will conduct organizational business and discuss OHV issues for the subcommittee to address.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2009/march/CC0953_CCRAC_OHV_meeting.html


Portrait of Marcia DeChadenedesEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Marcia DeChadenedes...
...considers her skillset to be that of an administrative folklorist, a person who manages programs that can preserve and sustain traditional folk practices. These are skills that serve her well, as outreach and partnership coordinator with BLM's California Coastal National Monument. Read More:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/employee_profiles/marcia_dechadenedes.html


SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Find more details online at:
https://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/calendar/



NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS

"Salazar talks guns, parks and solar power" (New York Times, 3/24/09)
"In an interview last Friday with The New York Times, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promised 'aggressive' pursuit of renewable energy projects on public lands..."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its online content.)
http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/salazar-talks-guns-parks-and-solar-power/



WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) weasels and badgers

SOURCE: "Wolverine - Gulo gulo" (BLM California wildlife database)
The wolverine is the largest terrestrial member of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels and badgers.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/wildlife/details.php?metode=serial_number&search=3110

"Family Mustelidae" (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web)
"Mustelidae is the largest family within Carnivora and is comprised of 56 species in 22 genera. Members of this family include weasels, stoats, polecats, mink, marten, fishers, wolverines, otters, badgers and others. While many authors have traditionally considered skunks a subfamily within Mustelidae, recent molecular evidence indicates that skunks do not lie within the mustelid group..."
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mustelidae.html


WOLVERINES IN THE NEWS:

"A year later, wolverine spotted again in Sierra" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/22/09)
"A year after becoming the first documented member of its species spotted in the Sierra Nevada since the 1920s, a wolverine has been caught on research cameras again — only 15 miles away. Pictures showing the wolverine in apparent good health have revived talk that the predator known for its ferocity could be reintroduced in California."
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/03/22/state/n121949D73.DTL

"A year later, wolverine spotted again in Sierra" (Associated Press in Reno Gazette-Journal, 3/22/09)
http://www.rgj.com/article/20090322/NEWS18/903220358/1321/NEWS


MORE WILDLIFE NEWS:

"Lawsuit seeks to protect bighorns" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 3/25/09)
"Two environmental groups are taking Palm Desert and the California Department of Fish and Game to court over the city's recent approval of two luxury homes that, the groups claim, put endangered peninsular bighorn sheep at risk." In an ongoing support of the Bighorn Institute, the BLM offered to work with affected parties and other BLM partners to identify potential funding sources to acquire the Cornishe property. BLM could ultimately take ownership of the property within the limits of its authority. The discussions are ongoing and are subject to the willingness of the Cornishe property owner to sell the affected lands.
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20090325/NEWS01/903250314/1006/news01

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
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