A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 468 - 2/10/11
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- Renewable energy
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Last week's question: clarification/correction
- Wildfires and prevention
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted items on public lands in California
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"King Range lecture series continues with lighthouses, wildlife presentations" (BLM news release, 2/2/11)
Free lecture series continues with "Beavers, Coho and Salmon," a discussion of climate change effects and possible solutions, by Sanctuary Forest Director Tasha McKee on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Whitethorn. McKee will discuss restoration techniques that have been successful for salmon recovery and increased stream flows in the Pacific Northwest, and models for healthy streams found in nature.
"Hike of the week: Elk River Trail, Headwaters Reserve" (The Humboldt State University Lumberjack, 2/9/11)
"Old-growth forests, a dirty, lonely river and the gutted, ghostly remains of a mill town create the feeling of unexplored territory. Hiking through the Eureka Headwaters Reserve is like being a pioneer on the Oregon Trail."
RELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve - Elk River Trail" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
"BLM offers wildflower tour at Fort Ord" (BLM news release, 2/2/11)
See early spring wildflowers March 13 on the Fort Ord Public Lands. BLM Botanist Bruce Delgado and volunteer David Styer will lead this driving/hiking tour of early spring wildflowers. Hiking will cover one to three miles, mostly very gentle climbs or flat. The tour is free, but reservations are required.
"February activities planned for Alabama Hills" (BLM news release, 2/8/11)
On Saturday, Feb. 12 (weather permitting), Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office, will lead hikes to view natural arches. On Feb. 26, the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and BLM Bishop Field Office will sponsor a volunteer day restore formerly disturbed areas..
"BLM seeks public comments on OHV grant applications; Public meeting Feb. 22" (BLM news release, 2/4/11)
Proposed grant application to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation Division: "We want to hear suggestions about off highway vehicle recreation needs across the Eagle Lake Field Office area, including the Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area," said Marisa Williams, a BLM outdoor recreation planner. "We will use the comments to prepare a preliminary grant application for submission in early March."
RELATED: "Fort Sage Special Recreation Management Area" (BLM Eagle Lake Field Office)
In the high desert region of northeastern California, about 45 miles north of Reno, approximately 22,000 acres of public land is managed primarily for off highway vehicle use and winter deer range. Vehicle use within the recreation area is limited to designated roads and trails to ensure that the two primary uses remain compatible.
"Race event planned for Fort Sage OHV Area; Public riding will be limited" (BLM news release, 2/2/11)
Public riding and driving will be restricted at the Bureau of Land Management’s Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle area near Doyle, during the Sierra 100 Hare Scrambles motorcycle races, set for Saturday and Sunday, March 5-6.
"Proposed national recreation area near Red Bluff divides officials" (Redding Record Searchlight, 2/3/11)
Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced a bill to "establish the Sacramento River National Recreation Area along the river around Bend ... But Boxer's bill doesn't have the support of U.S. Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico, or even all of the members of the Tehama County Board of Supervisors." The bill would make the area a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System.
"Weekend Driver: Ghosts in the desert" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/2/11)
"Just before reaching the state line with Arizona is one of the more spectacular features in California, the Algodones Dunes. Traversing the eastern edge of the dunes is one of the more lonely highways around, Ogilby Road, a great cruise whether you’re on a Harley, in a classic car or four-wheel-drive SUV."
RELATED: "North Algodones Dunes Wilderness" (BLM California)
The Algodones Sand Dunes System covers 1,000 square miles, making it one of the largest dune complexes in North America. Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads. Mechanized or motorized vehicles are not permitted in a wilderness.
"Salazar announces additional steps toward smarter development of renewable energy on U.S. public lands" (U.S Department of the Interior press release, 2/8/11)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a number of initiatives designed to encourage rapid and responsible development of renewable energy on public lands. The proposals from the Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service and the policy guidance from the Bureau of Land Management provide clarity and guidance to stakeholders, including developers and employees, about smart siting and effective mitigation for renewable energy projects.
"Salazar, Chu, Vilsack kick-off onshore renewable energy conference at Department of the Interior" (U.S Department of the Interior press release, 2/9/11)
The two-day conference at the Department of the Interior is bringing together nearly 400 stakeholders from across the government, renewable energy industry, and conservation community to discuss the Administration’s efforts to rapidly and responsibly stand up renewable energy projects on our nation’s public lands.
"Environmental groups criticize federal solar proposal" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/8/11)
"Federal guidelines for large-scale solar development on federal land east of the Coachella Valley came under fire from environmental groups and area residents at a public meeting Tuesday" in Indian Wells. "About 110 people turned out for the meeting ... Sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Energy, the forum was to gather public comment" on plans for "solar development on public lands in six western states, including California."
RELATED: "Few show up for solar hearings in Imperial Valley" (KPBS San Diego, 2/8/11)
At El Centro meeting this week, "of the dozen people who showed up, just three were local residents. The rest, were solar-company executives and local government officials. Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, and the Departments of the Interior and Energy said they welcomed public input on the so-called Solar Energy Zone proposal."
"Comment period extended on Tule Wind/East County Substation Draft Environmental Study" (BLM news release, 2/9/11)
The BLM and California Public Utilities Commission are extending the public comment period for the joint Draft Environmental Impact Report/Draft Environmental Impact Statement for proposals by Pacific Wind Development’s proposal to build and operate the Tule Wind Project and related projects.
"Legislative change streamlines process and grows development" (Imperial Valley Press, 2/4/11)
A proposed state law that would "allow counties instead of California to approve geothermal projects of more than 50 megawatts may save money and bring jobs to Imperial County ... Another measure, to allow the county to permit solar projects, is also planned ... Currently the county can only approve projects using photovoltaic technology."
"Labor coalition's tactics on renewable energy projects are criticized" (Los Angeles Times, 2/5/11)
"Three California unions are accusing a rival labor coalition of using "shameful" tactics to win exclusive contracts for building renewable power plants — tactics they said delay new jobs and add to each project's costs ... One of the ... suits alleges that U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar violated federal environmental laws by allowing the Genesis Solar Energy Project to be built on public land in Riverside County, where it would imperil Colorado River water supplies."
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What do bald eagles mainly eat?
(a.) small mammals
(b.) shoots, and leaves
(c.) grubs and larvae
(f.) fast food (but not quite fast enough)
------> See answer -- and more! -- near the end of this issue.
|LAST WEEK'S Wildlife Trivia Question: Clarification/correction
Last week we asked a question about animal "subspecies," which was not correct. The giant, chisel-toothed, agile, and big-eared kangaroo rats are all full species. The short-nosed kangaroo rat is a subspecies of the San Joaquin kangaroo rat.
Thanks to Joy Fatooh, wildlife biologist and visual information specialist with BLM's Bishop Field Office and Glenn R. Stewart, Ph.D.,
Professor Emeritus of Zoology and Environmental Science at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona for pointing this out.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"BLM presents special achievement award to Modoc firefighter" (BLM news release, 2/1/11)
Wayne Jones, a fire engine captain with the Bureau of Land Management’s Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, has received an agency special achievement award for his outstanding work in firefighting and natural resource improvement projects during the 2010 fire season.
"Business is hot at McClellan-based Aero Union" (U.S. Air Force, 2/4/11)
"Aero Union has one client: the federal government, specifically the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, agencies responsible for fighting wildland fires on huge expanses of federally owned land." The company is based at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, formerly an Air Force base but closed under the Base Realignment and Closure program.
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Halter-trained mustangs offered for adoption in Ferndale" (BLM news release, 1/20/11)
This weekend: North coast residents have the opportunity to adopt a halter-trained wild horse or mule at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, Saturday, Feb. 12. The adoption event, being held in conjunction with the Back Country Horsemen of California Redwood Unit Pack Clinic, will feature five mustangs, ranging in age from 1 to 4, and one weanling mule. The animals are certified healthy and ready to continue training.
"Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Redlands" (BLM news release, 2/8/11)
This adoption event is at Sundance Ranch in Redlands, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 19. The mustangs and burros were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health. A preview runs Friday, Feb. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m.
"Horses, burros available for adoption in King City" (BLM news release, 1/21/11)
The BLM brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Salinas County Fairgrounds, Feb. 26 and 27. The BLM will offer 30 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at about 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25.
"BLM and Napa Valley Horsemen's Association plan mustang seminar and clinic" (BLM news release, 2/3/11)
The Bureau of Land Management and the Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association will hold a seminar and handling clinic in April on adopting and caring for a wild horse or burro. The seminar will include information on the adoption process, housing and fencing, feed and health care, and handling and gentling. A handling clinic April 16 will include live demonstrations on how to safely gentle and train a wild horse or burro.
"National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board" (BLM news release, 2/9/11)
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will hold a two-day meeting in Phoenix on March 10-11. On Friday, March 11, the public will be able to offer comments to the Advisory Board on the BLM’s proposed new wild horse and burro management strategy, which the BLM will be posting on its national website in the near future.
"Colt's tale may help inspire; woman seeks an end to BLM's wild-horse roundups" (Redding Record Searchlight, 2/9/11)
"The north state woman nursing Honey Bandit is taking the colt's story to Washington, D.C. Palomino Armstrong of Shingletown said she hopes lawmakers will end federal roundups of wild horses across the West after they hear the colt's tale."
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Cemex bill may die in Senate" (Santa Clarita Signal, 2/6/11)
"A Washington state congressman sidelined the bill to ban mining in Soledad Canyon due to House earmark rules, and he’s also committed to sinking a Senate omnibus bill that would spare the Santa Clarita Valley the proposed 56 million-ton open-pit mine ... the Soledad Canyon High Desert, California Public Lands Conservation and Management Act — would direct the Secretary of the Interior to cancel the Cemex mining contracts drawn up with the Bureau of Land Management and to still compensate Cemex...."
"Is your earthquake kit updated?" (Santa Clarita Signal, 2/6/11)
A recent study "shows that large earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or greater have occurred on the 'Big Bend' segment of the San Andreas Fault at intervals between 45 and 144 years. Their conclusions were based on finding evidence of six earthquakes impacting the Carrizo Plain area since 1360.
Prior to this study, the interval was thought to be between 130 and 185 years."
RELATED: "Geologic features, Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
The San Andreas fault, with a length of more than 800 miles, is the longest fault in California, and one of the longest in North America. Because of the aridity of the Carrizo Plain, the trace of the San Andreas Fault has not been significantly eroded. Photographs of the stark hills and clear trace of the fault in the Carrizo Plain have been used in numerous earth science text books.
"BLM National Training Center helps North Coast partners hone grant-writing skills" (News.bytes Extra)
Bureau of Land Management employees joined with partners from non-profit groups and government organizations last week to hone their skills at writing grant proposals for North Coast conservation projects. The course was offered free for partners interested in improving their chances of winning grant funding for important conservation work on public lands. The BLM's National Training Center from Phoenix hosted the three-day session at the Scotia Inn in the historic lumber town of Scotia.
"Calimesa resident recovers lost dog" (Yucaipa/Calimesa News Mirror, 2/3/11)
"During a camping trip on Dec. 31, 2010, Zoe went missing in the middle of a campsite in Imperial Sand Dunes ... Owner Bill Seymour searched for three days, posted flyers in stores and contacted the BLM which manages the area. "Eventually I had done all that I could do. I just waited for the phone to ring,” he said. "On Jan. 16, Seymour got the call ... Zoe had traveled over 20 miles through sand dunes when she was found." After a vet treated her, she is back with the family.
RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM El Centro Field Office)
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Listings include petroleum engineer technician (geothermal), fire lookout, fire logistics dispatcher, hotshot wildland firefighter and more.
|EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Este Stifel...
...is the new Senior Technical Advisor in the California State Director’s Office, charged with coordinating statewide strategic planning efforts; policy review and development; and issues and assignments that directly support State Director resource management initiatives.
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:
Feb. 10 - Open house on arsenic investigation plans at Longfellow Mill (4-5:30 pm)
Feb. 12 - River Walk Bird Count
Cosumnes River Preserve
Feb. 12 - Public restoration day
Cosumnes River Preserve
Feb. 17 - Kanaka Valley community planning meeting
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
SOURCE: "Bald eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Fish are the primary food source but bald eagles will also take a variety of birds, mammals, and turtles (both live and as carrion) when fish are not readily available.
BLM Ukiah Field Office bald eagle hikes
Reservations are full for this year's BLM-hosted guided hikes to look for bald eagles in the Cache Creek Natural Area. However, if you call the the BLM Ukiah Field Office at (707) 468-4000, they can advise you of routes to take for a self-guided hike in the same area.
RELATED: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM Ukiah Field Office)
This secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral includes more than 70,000 acres of BLM-managed lands and 4,700 acres of State and County lands.
Eagle web cams
Bald eagles are currently laying eggs at spots around California and the country. Here are some live web cams where you might spot eagles on their nests:
Turtle Bay Eagle Cam, Redding, California
"Liberty and Patriot have been observed in mating behaviors and if past years are any indication, we should expect an egg anytime in the next ten days." The BLM has often partnered with Turtle Bay on outdoor education. The Turtle Bay Museum is near the BLM's Sacramento River Rail Trail. (at left: juveniles from the 2009 season)
West End Bald Eagle Nest, Santa Catalina Island, California
At left: an eagle takes wing from this nest, earlier this week.
Two Harbors Bald Eagle Nest, Santa Catalina Island, California
At left: a pair of eagles on the nest, earlier this week.
Pelican Harbor Bald Eagle Nest, Santa Cruz Island, California
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center
The first egg was laid this past Sunday evening, at this location in West Virginia. The egg is in the center of the nest, covered with twigs.
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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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