A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 436 - 6/17/10
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Wildfires and emergencies
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Dangerous rivers, Bend area, Auburn recreation area, jobs, more
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items: Minerals Management Service director named
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"There's history in those Trinity River rapids"(Redding Record Searchlight, 6/12/10)
"Some 60 people got a chance to experience the wild and scenic beauty of the Trinity River on Saturday courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management. BLM officials offered free float trips to the public in observance of the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System."
"A tiny acorn, a mighty tree: BLM project seeks to secure the future of the region's valley oaks" (The Salinas Californian, 6/11/10)
"The valley oak can live 200 to 300 years, spread its canopy out 50 feet and beyond and seemingly tower toward celestial space itself ... The "Valley Oak Regeneration Project," as it is called, relies on volunteers ... It also relies on guidance from the BLM. That federal agency oversees public lands on the former Fort Ord. BLM open space stretches along the Highway 68 corridor. The valley oak does need help because housing and farming have reduced its natural habitat."
"Trail contest draws 45 riders" (Monterey County Herald, 6/14/10)
"A six-mile trail competition ride benefiting horse rescue organizations drew 45 riders and horses from throughout the Central Coast to Fort Ord Sunday.The Ride for the Rescues was part of a nationwide effort to set the first Guinness World Record for a single day of horseback trail competition, sponsored by the American Competitive Trail Horse Association and the Humane Society of the United States."
RELATED: "Fort Ord Public Lands" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
"BLM plans 10th anniversary celebrations in Trinidad" (BLM news release, 6/16/10)
The Bureau of Land Management and its partners will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System and the California Coastal National Monument at the Trinidad Town Hall from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Lynda Roush, BLM Arcata Field Manager, said the event will include a photography exhibit highlighting the units of the Conservation System, including the offshore rocks and islands that are part of the California Coastal National Monument.
|IN THE FIELD at the San Joaquin River Gorge
In our occasional "In the Field" online videos, BLM-California managers introduce you to the public lands that they manage. Here, San Joaquin River Gorge Manager Tracy Rowland offers you a tour of this area, and some the recreation and environmental education events that take place there.
RELATED: "San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
This scenic area straddles the San Joaquin River just upstream from Millerton Lake State Park Recreation Area and includes lands in Fresno and Madera Counties. The management area is bounded by Kerckhoff Reservoir and the Sierra National Forest on the eastern boundary. Hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders who use the San Joaquin River Gorge trails have access to several thousand acres of public land. This is one of BLM-California's nearly 100 projects that are designed to stimulate the economy.
|ARRA - BLM FUNDS UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The projects below were two of among 100 funded with approximately $40 million in ARRA funds appropriated to BLM-California.
|"Remote Lost Arch Historic Mining Camp benefits from ARRA funding" (News.bytes Extra)
On the edge of the remote and scenic Turtle Mountains Wilderness and National Natural Landmark, the intrepid desert traveler can discover the remains of toils by prospectors long ago. Among the relics, an unsuspecting hiker could have stumbled onto or into any of 10 potentially deadly mine shafts -- until recently. These hazards were among those in the California Desert made safer by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Funding also allowed establishing of primitive camping sites in the Lost Arch Historic Mining Camp, as well as renovation of the Mexican Hat Trail.
"Amboy Crater access road to close for paving" (Redlands Daily Facts, 6/10/10)
"But would-be visitors needn't worry about missing something during the closure ... The last eruption was about 10,000 years ago, and the crater is either dead or dormant, said UC Riverside doctoral candidate Harmony Colella. 'It's pretty spectacular to see. It's a cinder cone and it rises right out of the desert,' Colella said. 'Earth science students (from UCR) are taken there on field trips,' she said. Until now, visitors have had to bump and scrape over the unmaintained, rough gravel road...." This is one of BLM California's almost 100 ARRA projects that are designed to stimulate the economy.
RELATED: "Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark " (BLM Needles Field Office)
Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973, Amboy Crater was recognized for its visual and geological significance. Although Amboy Crater is not unique, it is an excellent example of a very symmetrical volcanic cinder cone.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
In which of these ways is the tule elk different from the Roosevelt elk?
(a.) Tule elk are born in late fall, after the first significant rainfall.
(b.) Tule elk are larger.
(c.) Both eat grasses and weeds, but only tule elk also eat twigs and branches of juniper and aspen.
(d.) Tule elk are specially adapted to eat specialized vegetation that is prevalent in areas with tule fog -- thus the name.
(e.) Tule elk are found only in California.
(f.) Roosevelt elk are more likely to join the Bull Moose Party than their local Elks Lodge.
------> See answer -- and more -- near the end of this issue.
"Solar projects would pay millions to rent public land" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/11/10)
"Some solar energy developers will have to pay millions a year to use public land for their projects, according a federal rent formula released Thursday. The fees could be a windfall for the federal government. For example, seven solar projects selected for fast-track approval in San Bernardino and Riverside counties eventually could generate more than $33 million a year, according to numbers verified by U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials. Energy companies had little to say."
"Coalition gives victory hoot over Green Path demise" (Hi-Desert Star, 6/16/10)
Green Path North: "The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power envisioned 85 miles of power-transmission towers striding across Desert Hot Springs and the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve ... In March, the LADWP formally withdrew its right-of-way grant application from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management ...." The power line was proposed to transmit renewable energy from the desert to Los Angeles.
"Uncle Sam, solar landlord, is under fire" (New York Times, 6/17/10)
"The nation’s biggest landlord, the United States government, has set the rent it will charge developers who build solar power plants on federal land, and some prospective tenants are not happy. Solar developers will actually pay two fees – the lease for the land along with what the Bureau of Land Management calls a “megawatt capacity fee” based on how much electricity a project generates."
|WILDFIRES AND EMERGENCIES
"Bakersfield Field Office personnel learn emergency medicine" (News.bytes Extra)
Field personnel from the Bakersfield BLM learned the knowledge and skills of emergency medicine to prepare themselves for the non-traditional challenges now faced on the job. Fire Apparatus Engineer / Paramedic Brian Puckett developed and instructed the nationally and state accredited Emergency Medical Technician course in-house at the Bakersfield Field Office.
"Tuesday fires char South Fork and Lake Isabella" (Kern Valley Sun, 6/15/10)
Two fires–one near Canebrake, the other north of the Kern Valley Plaza–broke out within an hour of each other Tuesday afternoon." "Approximately 60 firefighters responded, assisted by Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service" at the first blaze, "a fast-spreading fire whipped by high winds" and stopped if from spreading to nearby residences. "Kern County Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that fire season is here and by reducing fire hazards around your home may protect it from a wildfire."
"Learn how you can create defensible space" (California Fire Alliance)
How to create defensible space around your property, to reduce the risk of losing your home - even in severe wildfire.
"Secretaries Vilsack and Salazar announce readiness for wildfire season" (Department of the Interior press release, 6/17/10)
"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ... described federal capability to respond to wildfires that are becoming more complex and extreme due to forest and rangeland health conditions, climate change and population growth near wildlands. They said that more than 18,000 firefighters will be available in 2010, including permanent and seasonal federal and state employees, crews from tribal and local governments, contract crews, and emergency/temporary hires."
"2010 Congressional Testimonies: Oversight hearing on federal wildland fire policy" (BLM national website, 5/26/10))
"Joint Statement of Tom Tidwell, Chief United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service And Mike Pool, Deputy Director Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior before Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies concerning oversight of fire policy."
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"The Extreme Challenge" (News.bytes Extra)
What have you learned in the last 90 days? As a savvy Californian, your list is surely impressive, but certainly you’d be hard-pressed to accomplish what 28 mustangs and their trainers achieved recently at the Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge in Norco.
"California wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM-California)
This schedule is subject to change. Please check back or call the contact numbers listed.
"2 Nevada men plead guilty to killing wild mustangs" (Associated Press in Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/16/10)
"Two men accused of shooting and killing five wild mustangs in Nevada" in a "remote area about 40 miles southeast of Cedarville, Calif." last fall, "changed their pleas to guilty on Wednesday and now face up to a year in jail and $100,000 fine after one admitted they had been drinking and used 'poor judgment'."
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM warns of colder, swifter and more dangerous rivers, including Merced River" (Merced Sun-Star, 6/10/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management's Mother Lode office said that because area rivers are experiencing unseasonably colder, swifter and more dangerous flows, it's asking river users to exercise caution when enjoying local river recreation. The conditions have contributed to three near drownings on the Merced Wild and Scenic River in recent weeks. Rivers that would normally be receding in velocity and cubic feet per second are now high and rising..."
"Tehama County hears Bend update" (Red Bluff Daily News, 6/16/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management continues work on the Sacramento River Bend Area as the controversy over its potential national recognition endures ... Speaking at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Natural Area Manager Kelly Williams highlighted some of the efforts his agency has undertaken in the past year, and what it plans for the future ... The bill that would move the area into the National Landscape Conservation system within the BLM appears to have stalled for now...."
"Auburn State Recreation Area BLM takeover? It’s all about the money"(The Auburn Journal, 6/14/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management seems like a logical choice to take over the Auburn State Recreation Area as the U.S Bureau of Reclamation falters on funding. But there’s one big catch. The Bureau of Land Management doesn’t have any money for it either, apparently."
RELATED: "Auburn canyons deserve stable future" (Sacramento Bee, 6/13/10)
Editorial: "The Auburn State Recreation Area is one of the most popular units in the state park system, drawing nearly a million visitors a year for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, swimming, boating, fishing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking and other activities ... Condemning these canyons and their waters to perpetual uncertainty must come to an end.
RELATED: "U.S. says it can't pay for upkeep of Auburn recreation area" (Sacramento Bee, 6/8/10)
"The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has been paying $2 million annually to the California Department of Parks and Recreation to operate the 30,000-acre park at the confluence of the north and middle forks of the American River. That money has paid for ranger patrols, trail improvements and a minimal level of visitor programs for the past 33 years."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
View current opportunities with the BLM in California, including archaeologist and internships as natural resource specialist, range management specialist or wildlife biologist.
|EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Janet Eubanks...
... wears two hats in the BLM California Desert District office. She is a project manager for one of the "fast-track" solar projects, working with the California Energy Commission on joint environmental documents. Her duties as a realty specialist are to acquire private lands within the flat-tailed horned lizard habitat management area in Imperial County.
|NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Obama names new head for troubled offshore oil regulator" (CNN Money, 6/15/10)
"Michael Bromwich, a litigator and former Inspector General of the Justice Department, will oversee the effort to reform the Minerals Management Service, which has been criticized for catering to the interests of the industry it's tasked with policing." Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar "named Bob Abbey, the current head of the Bureau of Land Management, to be the interim director of the MMS last month ... Abbey will soon return to his previous position."
"Secretary Salazar appoints Michael R. Bromwich to lead reforms to oil and gas industry oversight and regulation" (Department of the Interior press release, 6/15/10)
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today named former Justice Department Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich to lead reforms at the Minerals Management Service as the agency is restructured, the Department of the Interior strengthens oversight and policing of offshore oil and gas development, and the nation builds a clean energy future."
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(e.) Tule elk are found only in California.
"Tule Elk - Cervus elaphus nannodes" (BLM-California wildlife database)
Unlike the Roosevelt elk that also lives in Oregon, Washington, and Canada, the tule elk can only be found in California. Two areas managed by BLM California where tule elk have been re-introduced are the the Carrizo Plain National Monument and Cache Creek Natural Area.
"After near extinction in California, elk come back strong" (Sacramento Bee, 6/15/10)
"The enormous antlers, the furry neck and sheer size of this creature, standing tall in the grass, evoke a time when wildlife outnumbered people. Thanks to intensive reintroduction efforts, it becomes easier every year to see elk in California. The species is doing so well that the California Fish and Game Commission this spring expanded hunting ... hunting that nearly exterminated elk in the wake of the Gold Rush. Tule elk, a subspecies found only in California, were reduced to as few as two animals ... by the late 1800s, according to some accounts."
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
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