A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 397 - 8/26/09
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Virtual Visitor: BLM-Arizona
- Route 66
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Youth and BLM: Employee Profile
- Calling all volunteers: National Public Lands Day
- Wildfires and prevention
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Californian of the Year, Headwaters in story and song, marijuana damage, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
|VIRTUAL VISITOR: BLM Arizona
Virtual Visitor is a recurring feature in News.bytes, to introduce you to BLM offices outside of California. This time we visit Arizona, where the BLM administers 12.2 million acres, plus 17.5 million subsurface acres. With 9 field offices throughout the state providing on-the-ground field management, BLM balances recreational, commercial, scientific and cultural interests; striving for long-term protection of renewable and nonrenewable resources, including range, timber, minerals, recreation, watershed, fish and wildlife, wilderness, wild horses and burros, and natural, scenic, scientific and cultural values.
One thing BLM offices in California and Arizona share, is an interest in preserving the history of famous Route 66.
"Historic Route 66" (BLM-California, Needles Field Office)
Officially established on November 11. 1926, US Route 66 ran from Chicago to terminated in Los Angeles. It was one of the original highways in the US highway system, and probably the most famous. One of the nicknames of US 66 was “The Main Street of America”. Our Needles Field Office recently updated this page with links to recent and historic photos, and related sites.
"Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway " (BLM-Arizona, Kingman Field Office)
"Get Your Kicks on Route 66" has echoed for decades across America, and Arizona showcases 42 miles of the "Mother Road" from Kingman to Topock, at the California border and the Colorado River.
RELATED: "Funny.bytes: Route 66 - The adventure" (BLM California website)
Take a cartoon drive along America's Mother Road, with our two road adventurers.
This is a repeat showing of an earlier Funny.bytes -- an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues.
Warning: soundtrack: you may want to adjust the volume on your computer.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Another thing BLM-California and BLM-Arizona share is habitat for desert animals. The zebra-tailed lizard, for instance, is found in the Mojave Desert that straddles both states. What is one way this lizard reacts to especially hot days in the desert?
(a.) It stands on two feet under a shrub, to try to avoid the hot ground.
(b.) It lays as still as it can on a rock, absorbing the heat but not generating any of its own.
(c.) It finds a burrow without any animal currently in it, and goes in to try to escape the heat
(d.) Its black zebra-like stripes turn white like its other stripes, to help reflect rather than absorb the sunlight.
(e.) More time inside on the Internet, less time enjoying healthy exercise outside
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
|YOUTH AND BLM
News.bytes will feature occasional stories on youth who take part in BLM-California programs, or the Department of the Interior's Office of Youth in Natural Resources.
EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Focus on Youth
Zaporah Stroughter and Jacquelyn Elizarraraz are students employed at BLM-California's state office in Sacramento, under the Student Educational Employment Program.
|CALLING VOLUNTEERS: NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
"BLM celebrates National Public Lands Day at 14 sites in California" (BLM-California news release, 8/25/09)
To celebrate National Public Lands Day, hundreds of volunteers will work to improve the quality of their public lands at 14 selected Bureau of Land Management sites in California. Volunteers will perform trail and campground maintenance, clean-up illegal dump sites, remove invasive plants and restore areas back to their natural state.
"Volunteers needed for Clear Creek cleanup project" (BLM-California news release, 8/21/09)
Volunteers can help celebrate National Public Lands Day next month, at a cleanup project along the Clear Creek Greenway south of Redding. Working from the banks of Clear Creek and from watercraft, volunteers will pick up litter, scour off graffiti and tear down old fencing. For more details:
"National Public Lands Day 2009" (BLM-California website)
events on BLM-California public lands (please note that dates vary by location)::
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"Saving the forest for the trees" (Mammoth Times, 8/22/09)
"The legendary six-foot water wheel tucked away in the forest ... is an enduring remnant from 1878 of Mammoth’s short-lived mining days." Sue Farley, Interagency Vegetation Management Planner for the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service, said an archaeologist was called in because the surrounding area will undergo fuels reduction to reduce wildfire danger. That usually means reducing the "understory" of smaller trees so there is less foliage, and the larger remaining trees are better able to survive.
"It's the little things"(Kern Valley Sun, 8/18/09)
Area residents continued learning about ways to protect their homes from wildfire, during a presentation by the Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council. BLM-California helps support fire safe councils around the state, and BLM representative Debbie Santiago was one of the presenters at this meeting.
"Lebec fire nearly under control" (Taft Midway Driller, 8/24/09)
Firefighters from the Kern County Fire Department and the BLM responded quickly to a fire that broke out at about 11:40 a.m. Monday, and had it nearly surrounded at 65 acres by 3:20 p.m. that afternoon.
"Take Responsibility..." (California Fire Alliance)
"Protect your home. Create 100 feet of defensible space!" The BLM is a member of the California Fire Alliance.
"National Fire News" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Updated daily during fire season.
"Plugging into the sun" (National Geographic, September 2009)
The author explores different types of solar power plants, rooftop solar installations and proposed sites, from Solar One near Las Vegas, "250 acres of gently curved mirrors lined up in long troughs like canals of light" through Germany and Spain and back to California. "No one knows in detail the future of solar energy. But there is a gathering sense that it is wide open -- if we can make the commitment to jump-start the technology." Includes links to photos from California, elsewhere in the southwestern U.S. and Europe, plus a related essay.
"Utilities, groups at odds over sources for renewable energy"(Sacramento Bee, 8/24/09)
"Utilities say they can't meet the 2020 goal [of one-third of their power from renewable sources] unless the state allows them relatively free access to renewable power ... in places like Wyoming and British Columbia. Tapping a broader range of sources would cut costs [and] reduce the need for new long-distance transmission lines within the state to deliver, for instance, solar power from remote deserts ... Labor and environmental groups [are] pushing for legislation that encourages production capacity to be built in California...[to] foster a more robust green economy and spur development of more small-scale, local power sources like rooftop solar panels that don't need new transmission lines."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)
"Worries over solar plan detailed" (Pahrump Valley Times, 8/21/09)
"The gym at Amargosa Elementary School was packed with residents ... who were ready to tell the Bureau of Land Management their concerns about the two proposed 250-megawatt solar power plants, more commonly known as the Solar Millennium project. The majority of comments came from residents who said they were not opposed to alternative energy but do not want the plant so close to what several called 'downtown Amargosa'."
RELATED: "Timbisha Shoshone concerns also aired "(Pahrump Valley Times, 8/21/09)
"Native American tribes have concerns about solar power plants. Barbara Durham, of the Timbisha Shoshone tribe in Death Valley, Calif., expressed the tribes' concerns about the proposed Solar Millennium project in Amargosa Valley at Tuesday's Bureau of Land Management public scoping meeting."
"BLM issues right of way for geothermal water pipeline" (BLM-California news release, 8/24/09)
The Bureau of Land Management's Ridgecrest Field Office announced the issuance of a right-of-way grant for a nine mile long pipeline, to Coso Operating Company to deliver 3,000 acre feet per year of water to an injection well located at the Coso geothermal field. The water will be used to replenish evaporated water from the Coso geothermal reservoir, and recapture as much as 70 megawatts of power, an amount sufficient to supply the needs of 50,000 homes in southern California.
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Horses, burros available for adoption in Buellton" (BLM-California news release, 8/18/09)
On Saturday Sept. 12, the BLM will offer about 20 horses 18 months and younger and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at about noon on Friday, Sept. 11.
"BLM offers burro roundup plans; critics turn out as well" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/21/09)
"Federal officials plan next month to round up and trap 130 or more wild burros that roam in and around Death Valley National Park and the Army's Fort Irwin, part of a longtime effort to clear the animals from most government land in Southern California deserts. Wild horse and burro advocates say the animals should be left alone."
"BLM to hold public meeting on wild horse gather plans" (BLM-California news release, 8/19/09)
Staff from the Bureau of Land Management will discuss upcoming wild horse gathering operations, including use of vehicles and helicopters, in a public meeting Wednesday, Sept. 2, in Susanville.
"BLM: Please, don't feed the burros" (Mohave Daily News. 8/23/09)
"With thousands of tourists buying bags of carrots and hay pellets to feed to the burros ... the burros are sick from hoof disease, behavior problems and are extremely overweight ... Burros can get all the nutrients and sustenance they need from the vegetation in the desert...
"Mustang advocates fight roundup" (Associated Press in Reno Gazette-Journal, 8/24/09)
"Wild horse advocates are seeking to halt federal land managers' plans to remove all mustangs from a large swath of eastern Nevada, saying the animals deserve protection under federal law." A BLM-Nevada manager said "all horses are being removed in some areas because studies found insufficient forage and water to maintain healthy wild horses and rangelands," but critics dispute that.
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Consummate conservationist wins state honor" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/22/09)
Leon Lesicka, 77: "It is Lesicka's service to hunting and fishing conservation, his founding of Desert Wildlife Unlimited 30 years ago, that earned Lesicka the 2009 Californian of the Year by a vote of the members of the Outdoor Writers Association of California." Lesicka and DWU have worked on many projects on BLM-California lands, and he has received two BLM awards.
RELATED: "BLM presents award to Lesicka, DWU" (News.bytes Extra)
This item from News.bytes issue 317 highlights one BLM award to Leon Lesicka and Desert Wildlife Unlimited, for their many long-term contributions to the California Desert. Includes link to a "Spotlight on Partners" feature with more photos and information.
"Celebrating Headwaters Forest Reserve in story and song" (News.bytes Extra)
A year-long celebration marking the acquisition of the Headwaters Forest Reserve into public ownership is continuing on the North Coast. Most recently, an audience of 50 enjoyed an evening of stories and music about Headwaters, its natural resources and colorful history. Next up is a guided tour of the Falk townsite.
RELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM-California, Arcata Field Office)
"National Sacramento River Bend Recreation Area?" (Red Bluff Daily News, 8/25/09)
"Talks are moving ahead to give some 17,600 acres of north state land national recognition ... the land is open to hiking, hunting, fishing and camping, and it has steadily grown from less than 800 acres in 1972 as landowners have voluntarily sold their land to the Bureau of Land Management. Changing the land title from the Sacramento River Bend Area to the National Sacramento River Bend Recreation Area could make the area eligible for promotional funds and get it listed in the same maps and brochures as other national recreation areas."
"Mexican drug cartels set up shop in California parks" (Time, 8/22/09)
"Law enforcement officials say that a wildfire now raging in Santa Barbara's Los Padres National park ... was sparked by a cooking fire started by the hirelings of a Mexican drug cartel which was growing thousands of marijuana plants in the remote canyons ... the Los Padres fire ... highlights an alarming trend: the invasion of California wilderness and parklands by armed Mexican drug cartels ... Most of the planting is off the hiking trails in state and national parks and on territory owned by the Bureau of Land Management, but authorities say that the cartels are becoming more brazen, moving their cannabis crop closer to the roads."
"Three pot gardens busted in one raid" (Corning Observer, 8/25/09)
"Deputies, agents, and wardens from the sheriff's office, Bureau of Land Management and Department of Fish and Game went into the Tehama Wildlife Area on Oat Creek expecting to raid one illegal marijuana garden and instead located three cultivation sites ... the sheriff's office will be conducting illegal marijuana garden raids in the county, U.S. Forest and BLM lands on a weekly basis over the next few months."
"Mining claim maintenance fees due Sept. 1, 2009" (BLM-California news release, 8/18/09)
The deadline for filing annual mining claim fees with the Bureau of Land Management is Tuesday, September 1, 2009. All mining claimants who wish to hold on to mining claims on federal public lands through 2010 must pay a $140 maintenance fee or file a maintenance fee waiver certificate on or before September 1st.
"Mt. Konocti acquisition about to enter escrow" (Lake County News, 8/23/09)
"The county of Lake is entering the home stretch in its effort to purchase more than 1,500 acres on Mt. Konocti." County Public Services Director Kim Clymire "called buying the mountain property a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity, noting that the county wants to preserve and conserve the land, which is sacred to many people. Major funding for the project is comes from geothermal revenue, donations, Bureau of Land Management, and potential state and federal grant funds..."
"Highland shooting range attempting to re-open" (San Bernardino County Sun, 8/21/09)
"A landmark shooting range in Highland is working hard to re-open after a recent Superior Court civil judgment forced the range to make repairs and clean up lead on neighboring property." The lawsuit claimed "that lead and bullets were leaving the Inland Fish and Game shooting range" and entering a neighboring development. "The range operates on 40 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which awarded the club an additional 20-year-lease in 2004."
"Dumont Dunes Recreation Area subgroup members selected"(BLM-California news release, 8/21/09)
The California Desert Advisory Council selected members for the subgroup, which will present input to the DAC for its deliberation and consideration.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include petroleum engineering technician, recreation aid (off-highway vehicles), motor vehicle operator, park ranger, park ranger (river patrol), laborer, various range technicians, survey technician and more.
WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(a.) It stands on two feet under a shrub, to try to avoid the hot ground.
SOURCE: "Zebra-tailed lizard - Callisaurus draconoides" (BLM California wildlife database)
They remain active throughout the day, but they often seek shelter under a shrub during the hottest part of the day. In extremely hot weather they are often observed standing on just two feet under a shrub in an attempt to avoid the hot ground.
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
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