A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 453 - 10/20/10
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Wild horse and burro adoptions: this weekend
- Renewable energy
- NLCS 10th anniversary:
- In the field: King Range National Conservation Area
- National Monument 10th anniversary celebration
- America's Great Outdoors
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics related to your public lands
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Plain English, duck stamp winner
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
WILD HORSE AND BURRO ADOPTIONS
"Halter-trained horses available for adoption at Grand National Rodeo" (BLM news release, 10/14/10)
This week: The rodeo runs through Oct. 24 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The BLM will attend Oct. 20-24, giving training demonstrations Oct. 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and holding an adoption for up to ten halter-gentled mustangs on Oct. 23. Informal demonstrations also will be given periodically. BLM volunteers are halter training these horses.
"Horses, burros available for adoption in Bishop" (BLM news release, 10/4/10)
This weekend: Residents of the Eastern Sierra will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families when the Bureau of Land Management brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds on Oct. 23. The BLM will offer about 20 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22.
"Salazar approves fifth-ever solar project on public lands" (Department of the Interior press release, 10/20/10)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved the Calico Solar Project. Proposed by Tessera Solar of Texas, the Calico Solar Project could produce more than 663.5 megawatts of renewable energy, or enough to power 200,000 to 500,000 American homes. Located in San Bernardino County, California, the project is expected to generate more than 500 new jobs.
"BLM seeks comments on Desert Sunlight solar farm project" (BLM news release, 10/14/10)
Public meetings for the Environmental Impact Statement will be held Oct. 20 in Desert Center and Oct. 21 in Palm Desert. Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC has applied for a right-of-way authorization covering approximately 4,500 acres on public lands for a 550-megawatt solar photovoltaic project with an interconnection to the Devers to Palo-Verde I 500-kilovolt distribution system.
RELATED: "BLM adds Joshua Tree public meeting for Desert Sunlight solar farm project" (BLM news release, 10/20/10)
The BLM has added a Nov. 4 public meeting in Joshua Tree to gather input on issues that should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project near Desert Center in Riverside County.
"Ivanpah solar project construction soon to begin" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 10/18/10)
"Construction workers are raising fences and biologists are rounding up tortoises as the groundbreaking for BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar project nears. After three years of environmental studies, workers with BrightSource will begin construction of the 392-megawatt project on public land near the California-Nevada stateline Oct. 27. The project’s construction jobs will primarily be coming from union halls in Barstow and the High Desert, officials say."
RELATED: "Native Americans object to energy projects" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/19/10)
Members of the Chemehuevi Tribe say "the Ivanpah Valley in northeast San Bernardino County is a place of ancient trails and worship sites, ... home to the desert tortoise and other plants and animals that were important sources of food and medicine .... But state and federal reviews earlier this year found the 5.6-square-mile" solar energy now being built " had no significant cultural resources, such as former village or burial sites. Government officials are now allowing the tortoises to be captured and moved."
RELATED: "More tortoises than expected at solar site" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/19/10)
"The number of desert tortoises living in the path of the nation's first large-scale solar energy project on public land is proving to be more than expected .... wildlife biologists walking ahead of heavy construction equipment on a small portion of the project site have found 17 tortoises, according to a company consultant. Federal biologists say they are surprised by the early numbers, because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 32 tortoises live in the entire 5.6-square-mile site."
"Forest Service denies Sunrise Powerlink appeals" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/16/10)
"The U.S. Forest Service has rejected appeals from people who claimed that it improperly approved construction of the Sunrise Powerlink through 49 miles of the Cleveland National Forest ... any future challenges to the approval of the controversial power line will likely come in court .... Two other major approvals of the line, by the Public Utilities Commission and the federal Bureau of Land Management, have been challenged in court." The power line was proposed to carry renewable energy.
|NLCS 10TH ANNIVERSARY
Continuing our celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System, below we have a video visit with the manager of the King Range National Conservation Area, plus a recap of the celebration last weekend at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, marking its own 10th anniversary. The treasured landscapes of the Conservation System are specially designated and managed to conserve, protect, and restore their exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreational values.
"National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS)" (BLM national office)
|IN THE FIELD: At the King Range National Conservation Area
In our occasional "In the Field" videos, BLM-California managers introduce you to the public lands that they manage. Here, Gary Pritchard-Peterson, manager of the King Range National Conservation Area shows some of the sights and recreation opportunities in the King Range NCA.
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Experiencing 'America’s Great Outdoors' at the L.A. County Fair" (News.bytes Extra)
Neither heat nor thunderstorm could curtail the enthusiasm of the thousands who experienced an acre of “America’s Great Outdoors” at the Los Angeles County Fair. The “America’s Great Outdoors” experience included activities from climbing a historic fire lookout tower to learning about wild horses and burros, and much more.
"Fossil from BLM lands featured at new museum"(News.bytes Extra)
Seventeen years in the making, the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County celebrated its grand opening with hundreds of visitors on National Fossil Day Oct. 13. Featured at the museum is a mosasaur -- a marine reptile that would have resembled a cross between an alligator and a dolphin -- that was discovered on public lands managed by the BLM's Hollister Field Office.
THIS WEEKEND: "Volunteers sought at Fort Ord for National Public Lands Day event" (BLM news release, 10/18/10)
Saturday: Volunteers at the Bureau of Land Management’s Fort Ord Public Lands will remove invasive plants, collect native plant seeds and acorns and perform trail work as area residents join the largest annual coast-to-coast, single-day volunteer restoration effort for America’s public lands on Saturday, Oct. 23.
THIS WEEKEND: "Fall colors highlight weekend bus shuttle for Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail" (BLM news release, 10/7/10)
Saturday: Autumn colors are starting to pop along the Bizz Johnson Trail between Susanville and Westwood in northeast California, and a great way to enjoy the scene is from the saddle of a mountain bike. The BLM will make a fall color outing easy with the annual Fall Colors Ride and bus shuttle on Saturday, October 23. The shuttle enables mountain bikers, runners and hikers to organize one-way rides without the logistics of arranging their own vehicle shuttles. There are two options this year.
"Quail, chukar season looking fantastic" (San Bernardino County Sun, 10/14/10)
Quail and chukar hunting season opened Saturday "throughout California, and the prognosis is for an excellent hunting season, thanks to a good carryover of birds from last year and a terrific hatch of young this spring .... Bob Stafford, a Department of Fish and Game senior biologist for the Central Coast and Carrizo Plain region, said his region's birds produced multiple broods in 2010."
RELATED: "Hunting and target shooting" (BLM California)
State of California hunting regulations must be followed on federal lands. Proper Access to public lands must be through public roads. 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.
|ARRA - BLM FUNDS UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The projects below were funded with ARRA funds allocated to BLM-California.
|"ARRA funds help preserve wilderness" (News.bytes Extra)
A project funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help preserve a Congressionally-designated wilderness area in Kern County. Fencing and signage were installed to secure and restore the northern and western boundaries of the Kiavah Wilderness.
"Feds improve Amboy Crater viewing area" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/16/10)
"More than 10,000 years have passed since the Amboy Crater last blew its top, but only a few months since this geological wonder became more accessible to the public." BLM used stimulus dollars to pave "the access road from historic Route 66" and other improvements. The crater "looks like a small volcano" but "actually is called a cinder cone, explained Ken Downing, a Needles-based BLM geologist." Hiking the crater is "strenuous" and "BLM officials urge visitors to bring plenty of water."
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:
What is a fringed myotis?
(a.) a cat
(b.) a bat
(c.) a rat
(d.) a polecat
(e.) a funny fuzzy hat worn by a cat in a frat
------> See answer -- and more -- near the end of this issue.
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM California Desert District marks Hispanic Heritage Month" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM's California Desert District office recognized Hispanic Heritage Month with a potluck and diversity training hosted by CDD public room students. Participants brought Hispanic-themed food, from enchiladas to Guatemalan corn cake, and viewed a slideshow depicting influential Hispanic Americans.
"Public comment extended in Agua Caliente land exchange" (KPSB-TV, 10/14/10)
"From the Indian Canyons through the San Jacinto Mountains, some of the area is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and some is owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. It looks like a checkerboard so the BLM and the Tribe are working out a swap .... But not all hikers are convinced," like one who is "worried the tribe may put restrictions on trails like fees and hours."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:
Oct. 23 - Search for the spawning salmon
Oct. 23 -
Fort Ord National Public Lands Day event
Oct. 23 - Halter-trained horses available for adoption at Grand National Rodeo
San Francisco Cow Palace
Oct. 23 - Wild horse and burro adoption
Oct. 23 - Fall colors ride
Bizz Johnson Trail
Oct 30 - Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
|NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Obama signs 'plain writing' law" (ABC News, 10/17/10)
"The Plain Writing Act of 2010 .... requires that government documents be written in 'plain language,' defined as 'writing that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience.' Put simply, you have to be able to understand it .... The movement to bring clarity to complex government documents began decades ago, when a Bureau of Land Management employee named John O'Hayre wrote a book after World War II called 'Gobbledygook Has Gotta Go'."
"James Hautman wins 2010 federal duck stamp contest" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 10/18/10)
Minnesota artist James Hautman won the 2010 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, during judging Saturday. hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Hautman’s acrylic painting of a pair of white-fronted geese will be made into the 2011-2012 Federal Duck Stamp, ... which sells for $15 and raises about $25 million each year to provide critical funds for conserving wetlands for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people."
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) a bat
"Fringed Myotis - Myotis thysanodes" (BLM California wildlife database)
"Bat disease threatens to close America's caves" (Wired, 10/18/10)
"A nightmare bat-killing disease could have an unexpected victim: America’s access to its caves. To slow the spread of a fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome, government agencies are systematically closing caves to the public. Confronted with a disease that’s killed at least one million bats since 2006 and threatens some bat species with extinction, it’s an understandable and possibly necessary tactic. But it does come with a price...."
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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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