A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 473 - 3/24/11
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outside ... with wildflowers!
- Wild horses and burros
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- BLM Advisory Councils
- Wildfires and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California, plus jobs
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Hundreds at Keyesville for mountain bike race and activities " (News.bytes Extra)
Mountain bike enthusiasts from across the nation gathered on public lands managed by the BLM's Bakersfield Field Office last Saturday for the 23rd Keyesville Classic Mountain Bikerace. This is one of the longest-running mountain bike races in the western United States, and has grown to become a fun-filled weekend of mountain bike activities including trials events, demonstrations from bike manufactures and a kid’s race.
"Scouts and supporters plant seedlings at Scouting for Trees Project" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 600 adults and children -- boy scouts, girl scouts, family members and volunteers -- pitched in to improve habitat in the Iron Mountain area of west Redding earlier this month. Braving soggy weather and working in small teams, the scouts and their adult helpers planted more than 6,000 ponderosa pine seedlings. The work is part of a long-term effort to restore a pine-oak forest heavily impacted by historic copper smelting operations.
"Interior announces new website to encourage youth employment, activity in America's Great Outdoors" (Department of the Interior press release, 3/17/11)
The Department of the Interior has established a website for youth that will serve as a one-stop shop for information on job and internship opportunities, upcoming outdoor events, educational resources and more.
"This website is designed to help young people get out, get involved, and get a job when it comes to the great outdoors," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "Young people are the next generation of conservationists and we must empower them to take a leadership role in shaping their future."
"BLM adds bird-watching tour to Pine Hill Preserve tours" (BLM news release, 3/23/11)
A bird-watching tour has been scheduled for Saturday, April 30 at the Kanaka Valley/Salmon Falls unit. Volunteer Naturalist Chris Conard of the Audubon Society will be leading this tour -- which is limited to 20 participants. This is in addition to Pine Hill Preserve plant tours scheduled for April 30, May 7, May 21 and June 4.
RELATED: "Groups discuss future of Pine Hill Preserve addition" (Capital Public Radio, 3/16/11)
"The hills surrounding the Kanaka Valley are full of oaks, wild turkeys and five plants that are on the federal endangered species list. Conservation, hiking and hunting groups all have plans for the land. The Bureau of Land Management's Laura Fety says there is a lot of negotiating going on now…instead of litigating later." Short audio, plus several photos.
RELATED: "The Kanaka Valley" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
BLM will be using a community based planning approach in developing and implementing this land use plan. Community participation, especially from a variety of viewpoints, is central in this effort to seek solutions that optimize protection and use of the public lands. Includes a "working schedule" of upcoming meetings.
"BLM, Pacific Grove Museum Enter Coastal Monument Partnership" (BLM news release, 3/22/11)
The Bureau of Land Management and the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History have signed a partnership agreement to help with preservation and stewardship of the California Coastal National Monument and the coast resource values of the Monterey Peninsula. Key elements of the partnership include building public awareness of California’s coastal and ocean resources, and promoting their responsible public use.
"Something fishy at the Healy" (The Redwood Times, 3/23/11)
Recap: "The next to last of the Bureau of Land Management’s King Range lecture series took place at the Healy Senior Center in Redway Tuesday evening. Biologist David Fuller gave about 20 people an informative lesson on fish of the Lost Coast ... The final lecture in the series will take place on Tuesday, March 29. The subject will be birds of prey and will include live birds."
|GET OUTSIDE in America's Great Outdoors...
... see splashes of color in majestic wildflower displays as springtime brings blooms to large areas of California. Wildflowers are finally popping up all over southern California, including the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Wildlflowers are not very far along in central and northern California, because of cold wet weather -- but watch News.bytes and the links below for updates. Once wildflowers start in full force, they often peak very quickly!
"Desert wildflowers in bloom" (KPSP-TV Palm Springs, 3/22/11)
Video and photos of some of the blooms at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. The BLM's Tracy Albrecht says "the best place to see the flowers this year are in high elevations like Whitewater Canyon, Tahquitz Canyon near Palm Springs and Box Canyon east of Mecca."
RELATED: "Escape urban stress at Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (Los Angeles Times, 3/20/11)
"The long-winded name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. And don't feel bad if you've never heard of it." But it "is a monumental treasure: 280,000 acres of spectacular mountain terrain that rises abruptly behind the desert towns of the Coachella Valley, offering recreation, a home for endangered bighorn sheep and a magnificent backdrop for the luxurious homes, stately date palms and acres of verdant golf courses that line the valley."
RELATED: "Winter rain spawned plentiful wildflowers" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 3/19/11)
"Plentiful winter rains have spurred the biggest variety of desert wildflowers in recent years, painting landscapes with respectable showings of yellow sweetbush and red chuparosa ... the month of March is packed with wildflower walks and lectures. Tracy Albrecht, a Bureau of Land Management interpretive specialist for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, took visitors on a bus tour from Palm Springs 40 miles to Box Canyon...."
"2011 wildflower hotline" (Theodore Payne Foundation)
March 18: "Warming weather and spring showers are yielding showy displays of flowers throughout southern California. It is also time for spring break, so take a road trip and enjoy posy-peeping season!"
"Wildflower Reports 2011 - Southern California" (Desert USA)
Several recent reports and photos of different areas from readers - including the Antelope Valley, Ridgecrest area, Palm to Pines Scenic Byway and more. This site carries photos and wildflower reports from members of the public. Includes link to Northern California link, but no wildflower reports there yet.
"Wildflowers and sightseeing - Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
March 18: Due to cool weather the wildflowers have been slow to emerge this year. Sightings are small and patchy, including areas with bush lupine, poppies, fiddleneck, hillside daisies and goldfields. Some roads are muddy and may be impassable.
"Wildflower update, mid-March 2011" (BLM Ridgecrest Field Office)
March 15: A few wildflowers are just starting to bloom around Owens Valley. There are a few things blooming in the Alabama Hills. Along Movie Road in the Alabama Hills the showy scarlet milk-vetch can be seen.
In the northern part of the valley rosettes are beginning to pop up in Fish Slough, Volcanic Tablelands and elsewhere around Bishop.
"BLM to offer wildflower hikes at Cache Creek" (BLM news release, 3/8/11)
The Bureau of Land Management will host free guided hikes to look for wildflowers in the Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County on several Saturdays this spring, including April 9, 16, 23 and 30 and May 7. Early reservations are suggested for the popular hikes, which are limited to 25 participants each. Hikers should be in good physical condition -- see news release for details. Hikes will be cancelled in rainy weather.
"Wildflowers word search" (BLM California)
Try your skill at finding wildflower names among the letters.
Links to a printable PDF file -- and answers.
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Temecula: BLM offers 20 horses, 10 burros for adoption" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/18/11)
"Heidi Hansen, of Menifee, was ready Friday to take home one of the mustangs up for adoption at Galway Downs near Temecula. 'I've bonded with her,' Hansen said as she rubbed the nose of a 4-year-old strawberry roan. 'I love her'." Andrea DeLille, who has "about a dozen horses on 20 acres in Temecula, said she was contemplating adopting a burro ... as she looked between the corral's rails. As a burro took a few steps toward her, DeLille leaned over and said, 'You guys are so cute'."
The adoption event above happened last weekend, but watch for these coming up soon:
"Mustangs, burros available for adoption in Red Bluff, Chico" (BLM news release, 3/3/11)
Animals will be available Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, in Red Bluff, and Saturday, April 16, in Chico. Both adoption events run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with previews from 2 to 6 p.m. on the preceding Fridays.
"Wild horses run rampant" (Capital Press, 3/24/11)
Editorial: "The U.S. Department of the Interior has been called 'the Department of Everything Else'" -- with "responsibility for Indian reservations, parks, patents, public land and pensions. Throw in dams, fish, wildlife, mines and oil and gas development. And don't forget wild horses ... One idea is to set up a private horse sanctuary in Nevada. There the horses could be managed, and they can be removed from areas where they continue to be a problem. Such a proposal -- or any other that accomplishes the goal of getting wild horses under control -- is worth considering."
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
The arboreal salamander's name has to do with:
(a.) Its big bulgy eyes, and night vision
(b.) Its curly tail, and trees
(c.) its bony skeleton, and armored skin
(d.) Its rudimentary gills, and breathing underwater
(e.) Sal Mander (a superhero companion to TV's Manimal) who could see in the dark, breathe underwater and predict the outcome of TV mysteries
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
|BLM ADVISORY COUNCILS
The BLM is seeking members for resource advisory councils in California. The BLM will consider the nominations until May 2. Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to collaborative decision making on natural resource issues and knowledge of the RAC’s geographic area of interest. Nominations must include letters of support.
"BLM Seeks Nominations to Central California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM news release, 3/22/11)
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public nominations for three open positions on its Central California District Resource Advisory Council, which advises BLM officials in the Hollister, Mother Lode, Bakersfield and Bishop field offices on public land issues.
"BLM Seeks Members for Northwest California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM news release, 3/22/11)
There are four vacancies for three-year terms, in three membership categories. The RAC works closely with BLM managers in Arcata, Redding and Ukiah, providing guidance on the full range of the BLM’s responsibilities on public lands in northwest California.
"BLM Seeks Members for Northeast California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM news release, 3/22/11)
There are five vacancies, in three categories, for three-year terms. The RAC works closely with BLM managers in Alturas, Susanville and Cedarville, providing guidance on the full range of the BLM’s responsibilities for nearly three million acres of public land in northeast California and far northwest Nevada.
BLM ADVISORY COUNCIL UPCOMING MEETINGS:
Desert District Advisory Council - March 26, Victorville
Agenda topics for the formal session Saturday include updates by council members and reports from the BLM District Manager and five field office managers, and more.
Central California RAC - Nevada City, April 8-9
Land management issues for Central California will be on the agenda. A business meeting will be held Friday, April 8, beginning at 8 a.m., followed by a field trip that afternoon to BLM lands in Nevada County. Field trip participants must provide their own transportation and lunch. On April 9, the meeting will resume at 8 a.m. Time for public comment is reserved from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. More information:
Northeast California RAC - Alturas and Burney, March 28 and April 20-21
The Bureau of Land Management Northeast California Advisory Council and its wild horse and burro management subcommittee will be meeting in late March and mid April in Alturas and Burney. The council’s wild horse and burro program subcommittee will convene Monday, March 28, at 1 p.m. in Alturas. April 20 is a RAC field tour, with a business meeting April 21.
|WILDFIRE AND PREVENTION
"Center Fire 100-percent contained" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 3/21/11)
With recent rains across much of California, it may seem too early to be thinking about wildfire prevention ... but "approximately 100 firefighters from 10 engines and four fire crews" -- including crews from the BLM -- recently battled the Center Fire near the community of Big Pine. "The fire reportedly destroyed 19 residences, and Inyo County Building officials continue to assess the outbuildings that may have been damaged or destroyed."
"First Chipper Day of season complete" (Kern Valley Sun, 3/23/11)
The Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council and a BLM crew chipped "22,168 cubic feet of brush and limbs" accumulated by property owners clearing along roads and around their homes. A reminder: "It’s the time of year again to start getting their home and property fire-safe before the upcoming summer fire season." Grass may still be green, "but homeowners can start creating, or improving, that defensible space around their house by clearing brush and trimming up trees to reduce the chance of having it destroyed by a wildfire." More chipping days are scheduled for the area.
"Unmanned aircraft offer new tools for the emergency response arsenal" (Emergency Management, 3/24/11)
"A wildfire’s thick black smoke blots out the sun, cloaking the area in a premature dusk. Glowing embers spiral up through the haze. A small camera-equipped aircraft skirts a wall of flames on a dangerous mission to record hot spots and track the fire’s progression. That is, it would be dangerous if an actual pilot was on board .... In California, NASA scientists developed an unmanned aircraft, called the Ikhana, which has proven useful in battling wildfires." Federal agency representatives
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"New report examines asbestos exposure at Clear Creek Management Area near Hollister, California" (BLM news release, 3/22/11)
The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of California State Parks released a new independent report analyzing naturally occurring asbestos exposures associated with motorcycle riding and hiking in the BLM's Clear Creek Management Area. The report was completed by scientists from the International Environmental Research Foundation, the Department of Physics at Harvard University, and the Center for Applied Studies of the Environment at the City University of New York.
"South Cow Mountain OHV Area to be temporarily closed for public safety" (BLM news release, 3/23/11)
The Bureau of Land Management will close the South Cow Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle Area to general recreation use and through traffic from Friday, April 1, through Sunday, April 3, to provide public safety during two motorcycle race events. In the event of rain, the races and subsequent area closure will be postponed to April 8 through April 10.
"Comment on off-highway vehicle grant request by April 4" (Needles Desert Star, 3/21/11)
The Bureau of Land Management's Needles Field office invites the public to comment on their annual applications to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.
"Suction dredge permitting program subsequent environmental impact report (SEIR)" (State of California)
The BLM administers the mining laws on federal public lands. Our regulations require compliance with state law, including having a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game to operate suction dredging equipment. In 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a law establishing a moratorium on instream suction dredge mining until an environmental review determines the activity's impact on fisheries. On February 28, 2011, DFG released a Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report and Draft Proposed Regulations. Public review of DSEIR and regulatory updates will continue through April 29, 2011. For further information and to comment on this process refer to the California website:
"BLM seeks info about hazardous materials dumped in desert" (Lake Havasu City News-Herald, 3/22/11)
Officials from the BLM and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigate the dumping of a dozen barrels containing "used motor oil, solvent and Freon" about two miles northwest of Needles near Needles and Interstate 40. A reward has been offered for information.
"Public meetings set on Marine base expansion proposal" (BLM news release, 3/15/11)
The Marine Corps and the BLM will jointly host meetings to share information and gather public comments on the Marine Corps' proposal to expand the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms. BLM and Marine Corps representatives will be on hand to discuss and answer questions on the proposals: April 12 - Joshua Tree; April 13 - Ontario; and April 14 - Victorville. (repeated from earlier News.bytes)
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Listings include information technology specialist (systems administrator), fire logistics dispatcher, other firefighting jobs, and more.
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Find more events -- and more details -- online:
March 26 - Finding your way - Navigating with GPS
Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve
March 26 - Guided photo walk
Cosumnes River Preserve
April 1 and 2 - El Centro ATV safety training
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) Its curly tail, and trees
SOURCE: "Arboreal Salamander - Aneides lugubris" (BLM California wildlife database)
One of the reasons these salamanders are so good at climbing is because they have specially adapted tails that can wrap around objects.
MORE WILDLIFE NEWS FROM YOUR PUBLIC LANDS
"Proposed snowy plover rule open for public comment until May 23" (Eureka Times-Standard, 3/22/11)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is releasing a proposed rule ... that would expand the protection area for western snowy plover habitat in nine areas of Humboldt County. The rule -- which would apply to 51 sites in California, 13 sites in Oregon and four sites in Washington -- is a result of litigation, Fish and Wildlife biologist Jim Watkins said. This would be the third time the critical habitat designation has been revised."
RELATED: "South Spit Cooperative Management Area, know before you go" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
The 20-acre plover restoration area is closed year-round. Public use is not allowed within this restoration area. From March 1 - September 15, the waveslope in front of the restoration area is closed to vehicles.
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