A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 450 - 9/29/10
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors:
- New hiking trail
- River cleanup day
- Youth work with BLM
- ARRA: Restoring historic trail crossing
- Renewable energy
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wildfires and prevention
- Hunting on public lands
- Headlines and highlights: Varied topics
- Wild horses and burros
- Meet your Advisory Committee members
Tee this issue of News.bytes is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"River cleanup in Susanville area" (News.bytes Extra)
Susanville-area residents including BLM employees joined the statewide Great Sierra River Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 25, pulling together to remove nearly a ton of trash from the Susan River and a tributary, Paiute Creek. Debris ranged from soda cups and wrappers to shopping carts and a tractor tire.
"South Fork American River Trail opens gorge-ous 35 miles to pedestrians, riders" (Sacramento Bee, 9/30/10)
"Starting Friday, it will be possible to enjoy the American River's south fork from Folsom Lake to near Coloma" via "the 25-mile South Fork American River Trail, a multiuse path featuring seasonally wildflower-saturated grasslands, oak woodlands, riparian habitats, sage-covered ridges and views of the river below. The trail's opening Friday morning for use by hikers, runners, mountain bikers and (for most of its length) equestrians" caps "decades" of efforts by the American River Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management.
RELATED: "Insight" (Capital Public Radio Sacramento, 9/30/10)
"New American River Trail The American River Conservancy will open the new 25-mile multi-recreational South Fork American River Trail tomorrow. We talk with the executive director of the conservancy about how the trail came to be and to the Bureau of Land Management about how it will be operated." First of four features on this audio program.
"Youth work with Mother Lode Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office took advantage of youthful energy this year to protect homes from fire, clean up mine sites and preserve native plants, among other projects from Pine Hill Preserve to the Cosumnes River Preserve. Students in various programs, AmeriCorps participants and volunteers- about 30 in all -- worked in a variety of programs.
"On Sunday, take a kid mountain biking" (A News Cafe, 9/29/10)
"The Redding Mountain Biking Club, in association with Redding’s Bureau Of Land Management, is hosting the fourth annual Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day on Sunday, October 3rd at the Swasey Recreation Area."
RELATED: "Shasta recreation" (BLM Redding Field Office)
Includes BLM-managed trails among other area recreation.
|ARRA - BLM FUNDS UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The project below was funded with part of the ARRA funds appropriated to BLM-California.
|"ARRA funds restore river crossing on Bizz Johnson Trail" (News.bytes Extra)
A project funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is restoring an historic icon on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail in Lassen County. Work is nearing completion on the $1.6 million undertaking to restore a 1913-era railroad trestle that provides a dramatic Susan River crossing for hikers, bicyclists runners and equestrians who use the scenic trail. The trestle's eastern end, a wooden structure, was destroyed by wildfire in July 2000 and funding for repairs had not been available.
"Bizz Johnson Trail Activities and Events" (BLM Eagle Lake Field Office)
Oct. 9-10: Each year in the early Fall, visitors and residents flock to the Susanville Depot for the Rails to Trails Festival. This year's event is coming up soon, on Oct. 9-10. That same weekend, the trail will host the and the Bizz Johnson Marathon.
"Major solar projects make progress in California" (USA Today, 9/29/10)
"California is on track to approve a wave of solar farms this year that will more than double the state's ability to generate electricity from solar power .... Late last year, California and federal regulators agreed to expedite projects that were on track to meet the stimulus deadline. The federal Bureau of Land Management has fast-tracked the large California projects, four large solar projects in Nevada and one in Arizona."
"State OKs big Imperial solar project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/29/10)
"The California Energy Commission Wednesday approved a plan to cover nine square miles of federal land in the Imperial Valley with dishes pointed at the sun making electricity for San Diego. The commission unanimously decided that while the Imperial Valley Solar project will forever change the desert landscape, the damage it will cause is worth it to move the state closer to getting a third of its power from sources like the sun and wind."
"License recommended for another giant California solar power plant" (Sunpluggers.com, 9/27/10)
"A siting committee of the California Energy Commission is recommending approval of a scaled-down version of the Calico Solar Project" to be "constructed on 4,613 acres of public land off Interstate 40 in the Mojave Desert about 37 miles east of the city of Barstow and about 115 miles east of Los Angeles .... Thirty days of public comment are prescribed before the full commission will take a final vote. The federal Bureau of Land Management also must approve the project before construction can begin."
"Federal charges for solar, oil and gas property leases vary widely in the West" (Sunpluggers.com, 9/27/10)
"Access to public lands for solar power development is handled as a right of way ... for oil and gas leases, the Mineral Leasing Act requires both an annual rental payment on the acreage of the lease and a royalty payment on the production of oil and gas from the lease."
"Mojave Desert: Feds lay out tortoise relocation rules" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/25/10)
"Moving desert tortoises that live in the path of big solar and wind energy projects planned in the Mojave Desert will be a complex task, requiring careful handling, disease testing and extensive monitoring, according to a federal protocol. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a guidance document recently made public, outlined a complex regimen" including companies that have applications before the BLM.
"BLM to hold third public meeting for Walker Ridge Wind Project October 8" (BLM news release, 9/23/10)
The Bureau of Land Management will hold a third public scoping meeting on Friday, October 8, 2010 in Sacramento to gather input on issues that should be addressed in environmental documents for the proposed Walker Ridge Wind Project in Lake and Colusa counties.
"California raises renewable portfolio standard to 33%" (Greenwire at New York Times, 9/24/10)
The new standard of "33 percent by 2020 ... extends the mandate to public power and opens the door to more clean power imported from other states .... the California Energy Commission cleared a 392-megawatt plant for construction .... and the Bureau of Land Management are rushing to approve a handful of projects by the end of the year, when federal stimulus incentives expire."
RELATED: "California OKs tougher renewables target" (Reuters, 9/23/10)
"California regulators voted on Thursday to boost the state's renewable energy target to 33 percent by 2020 ... But the goal, approved in a vote by California's Air Resources Board, faces significant challenges. Industry veterans say this goal is more achievable than a prior target of 20 percent by 2010, but will require faster approvals for plants and continued government help for developer financing."
RELATED: "Schwarzenegger defends climate law, slams Texans" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/28/10)
"The governor's vehement defense of the climate legislation commonly referred to as AB32 comes amid a fierce campaign led by oil interests to win passage in November of Proposition 23, a ballot measure that calls for suspending the climate law until the jobless rate hits 5.5 percent for a year, a level achieved only three times in 40 years."
"Feds, state OK with changes to Sunrise Powerlink" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/28/10)
"Recent changes to the way San Diego Gas & Electric plans to build the Sunrise Powerlink are fine with state and federal regulators, a move critics call a rubber stamp .... It plans to build fewer roads, take less private land and affect fewer Indian sites .... In approving the changes late last week, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the California Public Utilities Commission said that a further environmental review was not needed."
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What is a chuckwalla?
(a.) a desert lizard
(b.) a burrowing mammal
(c.) a snake that can travel long distances by scuttling sideways
(d.) a bat
(e.) a sort of groundhog that typically repeats exactly the same routine each day
(f.) short for Chucky Wallawalla, a dangerous invasive doll species from southern Washington state
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"Canyon Fire interior smoke continue as ‘pockets’ worry some residents" (Kern Valley Sun, 9/29/10)
"The Canyon Fire reported at approximately 2:00 p.m Sunday, Sept.12 burned 9,820 acres of National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and private lands." The fire has been contained, but "'pockets' of unburned fuel within the containment lines (fire perimeter) may still have some heat in them or have a heat source nearby." Smoke originating "outside of the fire perimeter should be reported."
"Nothing we can do’ about smoke, says Great Basin" (The Inyo Register, 9/25/10)
"Residents of the Eastern Sierra continue to cope with haze and smoke as the Sheep Fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park continues to burn. Fire lines have been cut to stop the fire’s progress, but officials -- reluctant to say exactly when the fire will be out and the skies will clear up -- are hopeful that the three-month-old, 7,800-acre blaze will be out soon."
"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.
"National fire news" (National Interagency Fire Center, 7/29/10)
Reports from across the country, including California. Updated Monday through Friday during the fire season.
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Norco residents big supporters of federal horse program" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/29/10)
"Timeline for development of proposed new wild horse and burro management strategy" (BLM national news release, 9/24/10)
"When the federal Bureau of Land Management seeks equine enthusiasts to train wild horses to be turned over for adoption, it knows where to look ... Norco, along with the San Diego suburb of Lakeside, is one of the most frequent destinations in California for wild horses corralled by the BLM, according to Art DiGrazia, a supervisory wild horse and burro facility manager based at the bureau's Ridgecrest Field Office." Includes video of "Sarah Hunter-Kibbler, a 20-year-old Norco resident, riding instructor, trainer and rider" with a horse she is training for adoption.
"BLM to gather stranded burros in remote portion of Mojave Desert" (BLM news release, 9/30/10)
An estimated 20 wild burros in a remote area of San Bernardino County will be gathered within the next week by the Bureau of Land Management. The burros were the focus last month of an unusual rescue mission coordinated by the BLM when many of their herd apparently died of dehydration in a mine adit at Fenner Spring in the Piute Mountain Wilderness Area, some 40 miles from the nearest herd management area.
The BLM received about 9,000 comments in response to its Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document. Plans call for a detailed analysis and summary of the submitted comments to be posted in the latter half of October, a draft proposed strategy for the future management of America's wild horses and burros to be posted for a 30-day public review and comment period about mid-December, and a proposed final strategy reported to Congress in late March 2011.
|HUNTING ON PUBLIC LANDS
"The Sportsmans corner" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 9/24/10)
"Waterfowl seasons will open in October," pheasant and fall turkey season November 13. "Hunters should either visit the California Department of Fish and Game website for specific opening dates for the species and location they desire to hunt, or obtain one of the regulation booklets .... While most of the hunting opportunities for Canada geese are located on private land" other locations include certain "public lands and waters. For details, please contact the land-owning agency."
"New map makes it easier for sportsmen" (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 9/23/10)
"The new San Bernardino County shooting map has finally made it through all the approval steps and is now available online and printed versions will be available very soon, perhaps even before the quail and chukar opener Oct. 16 .... The new map does not show property ownership, so hunters and shooters will still need to have copies of U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management maps that show land ownership to make sure they are not trespassing."
"Hunting and target shooting" (BLM California)
State of California hunting regulations must be followed on Federal lands. Crossing private lands to access public lands is not permitted unless you first obtain permission from the private landowner. Surface management maps may help you in locating public lands.
"Hunters warned to beware of illegal marijuana grows" (KDRV-TV Medford, Oregon, 9/24/10)
"The harvest of illegal marijuana grows in Southern Oregon and Northern California is coinciding with the region's fall hunting season. Law enforcement officials say that while the probability of coming across one is pretty rare, the danger if you do is extremely high .... Police say if you find yourself in that situation, avoid confrontation and leave the area immediately." Includes more tips of what to watch for, and dos and don'ts.
"There's someone else out in the woods" (Gardnerville, Nevada Record-Courier, 9/22/10)
Editorial: "It's hard to believe that Mexican drug cartels have invaded our neck of the woods to grow marijuana .... Alpine is California's least populated county with fewer than 1,100 people .... Campers, hikers and hunters need to maintain a level of awareness about their surroundings when out in the wilderness, anyway. Now, besides having to watch out for threats of the four-legged variety, they may have to be a bit more wary of strangers...."
HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Director visits sand show and recognizes American Sand Association's 10th anniversary" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM Director Bob Abbey recently joined the American Sand Association in celebrating its 10th anniversary. The event was held during the Sand Sports Super Show earlier this month at the Orange County Fairgounds, where booths with safety information and the lastest equipment and vehicles for enjoying California's unique sand dunes -- including BLM's Imperial Sand Dunes -- were on display.
"Are the Bodie Hills wilderness or not?" (Mammoth Times, 9/24/10)
"A proposed bill to remove the Bodie Hills from its status as potential wilderness brought Eastern Sierra residents on both side of the issue .... More than 50 people piled into the county courthouse to have their say." County supervisors were asked to support "a bill to take the Bodie Hills (behind Bodie State Park) out of its current, semi-protected status as a Wilderness Study Area."
"San Clemente Dam removal project before PUC" (Monterey County Herald, 9/28/10)
The San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River "was built in 1921 to hold almost 500 million gallons of water, but it has since filled with silt." Officials also worry about a dam break during an earthquake, that "could send up to 150 acre-feet of water and a torrent of mud downstream." Current plans are to remove the dam, reroute the river and "dedicate about 928 acres of land around the dam for open space, perhaps to the federal Bureau of Land Management."
"Bend NRA resurfaces"(Red Bluff Daily News, 9/30/20)
"A controversial proposal to create a National Recreation Area in Tehama County resurfaced Tuesday, this time with support from both of California's senators. If approved, the bill would change the designation for nearly 18,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land, renaming the Sacramento River Bend Area to the Sacramento River National Recreation Area and prioritizing it within future BLM budgets."
"BLM temporarily restricts shooting in Kanaka Valley" (BLM news release, 9/24/10)
Based on safety concerns by area residents, the Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office is issuing a temporary restriction order prohibiting the discharge of firearms in Kanaka Valley. The restriction is in effect while a long-range management plan for the area is developed.
"A vote for desert protection is a vote for tourism" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/22/10)
Guest column by sustainability manager for the city of Palm Springs and the California Desert field representative for the National Parks Conservation Association: "Creation of the Sand to Snow National Monument through Sen. Dianne Feinstein's California Desert Protection Act of 2010 would enhance Palm Springs as a tourist destination, create revenue for businesses and help the city realize its goal of becoming a sustainable city." The Act would affect some public lands managed by the BLM.
"Merritt receives Medal of Valor" (Lassen County News, 9/28/10)
Susanville Police Officer Kelley Merritt received the Governor’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, for his actions last year during a shootout at a marijuana operation in Lassen County. He was giving first aid to a wounded officer, after the local Interagency Narcotics Task Force and Bureau of Land Management rangers ran across a marijuana garden, when he himself was shot.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
|MEET YOUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Raymond Hatch...
... represents the public-at-large on the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee. He Hatch is currently retired, but was formerly the vice president of corporate development for Berry Petroleum Company, a professor of physical science and math and member of the Taft College board of trustees, and a former mayor and council member of the Taft city council.
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