A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 433 - 5/26/10
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Energy and renewable energy
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- America's Great Outdoors: Students, volunteers
- Wild horses and burros: Adoption events
- Energy and renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted issues affecting the BLM in California
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
|ENERGY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
"Rush is on for desert solar project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/26/10)
"A proposal to cover 10 square miles of federally owned desert with mirrored dishes to make electricity for San Diego is in a race against time and a lizard. Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems plan to build 30,000 dishes, each outfitted with an engine driven by the expansion of sun-heated hydrogen, to make 750 megawatts of electricity ... San Diego Gas & Electric Co. is counting on the project for a big chunk of the renewable power that state law requires it to supply to its customers. The utility also says the project shows the need for the proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line."
"SDG&E to bring 2,500-gallon firefighting helicopter to San Diego region" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/25/10)
"San Diego Gas & Electric has announced that the company will bring the world’s largest heavy-lifting helicopter in the world to our region to construct Sunrise Powerlink, which SDG&E hopes to begin constructing this summer." The helicopter could also be used in firefighting, said a company official -- who also said that the current proposed route for the Sunrise Powerlink, is the best one.
"Will sun rise on dry lake bed?" (Los Angeles Business Journal, 5/24/10)
Cadiz, Inc. "spent a decade trying to cut a deal to store water for local water agencies -- only to be stopped by environmental concerns." Agriculture and real estate development ventures also did not work out, but now it "is marketing its land east of Twentynine Palms as an ideal site for solar energy companies to set up shop ... But there are still formidable obstacles ... preliminary approval has been granted for a major transmission route on federal Bureau of Land Management land just to the north of the Cadiz property, it could be a decade or more before an actual power line is completed."
"BLM announces availability of oil and gas lease auction environmental assessment" (BLM news release, 5/25/10)
The Bureau of Land Management has completed the environmental assessment for the oil and gas lease auction scheduled for September 8, 2010. A 30-day public review and comment period runs from today to June 24.
"Interior finalizes onshore oil and gas leasing reforms" (Department of the Interior press release, 5/17/10)
"As part of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s ongoing agenda to change how the Department of the Interior does business, the Bureau of Land Management today finalized several reforms to its oil and gas program that will improve environmental protection of important natural resources on U.S. public lands while aiding in the orderly leasing and balanced development of the nation’s energy supply."
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
California lyre snake
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What would happen to you if you are bitten by a lyre snake? Would you most likely:
(a.) suffer from symptoms similar to a rattlesnake bite, such as dizziness and difficulty breathing?
(b.) need to be airlifted to a hospital for antivenin treatments?
(c.) not be severely injured by their venom?
(d.) not be bitten at all, as lyre snakes cannot bite?
(e.) develop an inexplicable urge to listen to ancient Greek music?
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Trinidad Elementary takes it outside" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM partnered with Susan Sebring, a local marine biologist, to help Trinidad Union Elementary School kick off their M.A.R.E. (Marine Activities Resources and Education) program, an interdisciplinary science program including events that immerse faculty, students and families in the study and celebration of the ocean. Students were prepared for a field trip to the shore, with classroom talks on sandy seashores, wetlands, kelp forests, open oceans, rocky seashores and the California Coastal National Monument.
"BLM recognizes Big Morongo Canyon volunteers" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office recognized 47 volunteer docents at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Field Manager John Kalish and Preserve Manager Greg Hill presented each of the docents with award certificates, BLM commemorative pins, and “years of service” pins. The docents provide all the visitor services, interpretation, environmental education, and facilities maintenance at the Preserve.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"BLM firefighters work on rope rescue skills" (Taft Midway Driller, 5/24/10)
"Bureau of Land Management Firefighters from the Midway Station in Taft have gone through two weeks of rigorous training for the upcoming season and spent Friday afternoon in the hilly terrain north of Taft working on rope rescue skills. Led by BLM ranger Brien Chartier, the firefighters, who man a heavy engine, light engine and water tender at the Midway Station, practiced securing and raising a victim up a steep slope."
"BLM announces fire restrictions in Arizona, California" (Yuma Sun, 5/22/10)
"Due to the dangers of wildfires, fire and smoking restrictions will now be enforced on all public lands within the Bureau of Land Management's Yuma and Lake Havasu Field Office jurisdictions. The restrictions, which took effect Friday, are an attempt to protect the public, natural resources and reduce the risk of fires on 2.5 million acres of public lands along the Colorado River in Arizona and California."
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein presses ahead with monuments bill" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/21/10)
"It may not happen this year, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday she will succeed in protecting an additional 1.5 million acres of California land from development ... The proposed 134,000-acre Sand to Snow National Monument would abut the western boundary of Joshua Tree National Park and include Big Morongo and Whitewater canyons, the San Gorgonio Wilderness and 23.6 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail." The monument would include BLM-managed lands.
RELATED: "Desert preservation bill gets support, but energy provisions raise concerns" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/21/10)
"Legislation that would protect more than 1 million acres of Inland desert from development enjoyed a mostly warm reception Thursday during its first formal consideration in the Senate. But lawmakers and the Obama administration raised doubts about a key provision within the bill that would overhaul the federal system governing the placement of renewable energy plants on public lands."
"Political backing key for Clear Creek reversal" (The Hollister Pinnacle, 5/21/10)
"Earlier this month, a hoard of off-highway vehicle users and supporters piled into the street next to the Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office to protest the 2008 temporary closure of the Clear Creek Management Area due to high levels of asbestos ... As the BLM mulls over public responses from its draft resource management plan - which lays out options ranging from opening most of it to closing all of the lands - the off-highway community is turning its attention to politicians in the area hoping to gather their support."
"Cathedral City reservist earns second Bronze Star" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/23/10)
"Army Staff Sgt. Jason Fincher was awarded the Bronze Star for heroics in Iraq and a Bronze Star with a 'valor' distinction for combat in Afghanistan." Back home with "two dislocated discs in his back from jumping off a wall in Afghanistan ... he's in a program which helps integrate soldiers back into civilian life, which has him working out of the Bureau of Land Management Office in Palm Springs."
"Government reps, individuals make monument opposition known" (Siskiyou Daily News, 5/21/10)
Speakers tell the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors of their opposition to "expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou [National Monument] into California." Speakers talked about "property rights, mining, recreation, the economy, travel and others" and "expressed concern over the possible loss of certain rights and activities in the proposed monuments, although representatives of the United States Bureau of Land Management and Klamath National Forest explained earlier in the meeting that there are no formal plans or details for the monument proposals at the current time."
"BLM to clarify rules for public lands use" (Sonora Union Democrat, 5/17/10)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office wants public comment on interim rules affecting 231,000 acres of public land in 10 Central California counties, including Tuolumne, Calaveras and Mariposa. The rules give BLM officials guidelines to follow in case they have to cite someone on public land, said BLM Spokesman David Christy, based in El Dorado Hills."
"BLM announces planning meeting for Kanaka Valley" (BLM news release, 5/24/10)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office will hold a public meeting June 3 to discuss management of the Kanaka Valley in the Pine Hill Preserve. “The meeting will provide an introduction to Kanaka Valley and an opportunity for public to discuss use of the area, infrastructure and safety,” said Lauren Fety, biological science technician for the Pine Hill Preserve.
"High desert petroglyphs a window to the past" (Gilroy Dispatch, 5/21/10)
"As you drive along U.S. Route 395 through the Owens Valley, the abrupt and amazing 10,000-foot Sierra escarpment will blind your attention to anything else. And why wouldn't it? It's not even a fair fight." Nearby are petroglyphs, but "before taking this drive , stop by the Bureau of Land Management office at 798 N. Main Street (Route 395) or call (760) 873-2503 for a map and informational handouts."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
See what jobs are currently listed.
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:
May 29 - Explore tidepools along the King Range coastline
Call to sign up
June 6 - Guided field trip to view wildflowers
June 12 - Interpretive hike - Birds of the Lost Coast
Call to sign up
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) not be severely injured by their venom?
SOURCE: "California lyre snake - Trimorphodon biscutatus vandenburghi" (BLM California wildlife database)
These snakes are venomous, but are not dangerous to humans. The venom is injected when these snakes bite down on their prey. The venom attacks the red blood cells of the victim and prevents oxygen from circulating through the body.
RELATED: "Lyre snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus)" (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum)
"Easily alarmed, the lyre snake will raise its body off the ground, shake its tail, hiss, and strike and bite the intruder if not left alone. This behavior, along with the body pattern, triangular head, and elliptical pupils, sometimes causes the lyre snake to be mistaken for a rattlesnake."
"Taxonomic comments; Lyre Snakes - Trimorphodon" (The Center for North American Herpetology)
Recent discoveries leading to reclassification of lyre snakes.
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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Sacramento, Ca 95825
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