A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 476 - 4/14/11

close-up of head and shoulders of a sea lionwhite flowers with yellow centers near a patch of purple flowers a mule runs along the ground painting of waves breaking on rocky seashore smiling woman looking over the foothills below


- America's Great Outdoors:
      - Wildflowers
      - Coastal California
      - More outdoors
      - Get Outside to America's Great Outdoors
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National items: Budget vs. Wild Lands
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


close up of a yellow flower's petalsorange poppies against a blue sky"Color gone wild: Rains usher in high grasses, late blooms around Monterey County" (Monterey County Herald, 4/13/11)
"Although the heavy rains of March have pushed back the wildflower season a little, plush green carpets have already begun to give way to silver lupins, ceanothus Monterey and baby blue eyes. 'We're having a very green year right now,' said Eric Morgan, Fort Ord manager for the Bureau of Land Management. 'In the grasslands at Fort Ord (the wildflowers) are not as robust because the grass is so tall. The grasses are outcompeting some flowers'."

RELATED: "Fort Ord Public Lands Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
Come out and enjoy some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands on the Monterey Peninsula. Located on the former Fort Ord military base, here the Bureau of Land Management protects and manages 35 species of rare plants and animals along with their native coastal habitats.

RELATED: "The Wild Ones: PG Museum of Natural History holds 50th Anniversary Wildflower Show" (The Monterey County Herald, 4/9/11)
This weekend: "With nearly 700 different species of wildflowers in bloom this month throughout Monterey County, the entire region is exploding with color." And this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 15-17, the museum the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History "will host its 50th Anniversary Wildflower Show -- the largest wildflower show in the northern or western hemispheres. 'It's an incredible collection set-up,' said Bruce Delgado, botanist for the Bureau of Land Management."

"California Native Plant Week: April 16-24, 2011" (California Native Plant Society)
This next week: "...is a week dedicated to the appreciation, education, and conservation of California's fabulous flora ... California Native Plant Society promotes CNPW through native plant sales, wildflower shows, gardening workshops, lectures, hikes, garden tours, and many more events." Links to a listing of events across the state.

"Learn about native plants at science event" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/7/11)
This weekend: "People can learn more about the plants growing in their backyards during a Riverside Metropolitan Museum event April 16. To kick off Native Plants Week in California, the museum will host a Smithsonian Citizen Science event, with activities planned throughout the day. From 9 to 10 a.m. Tracy Albrecht, interpretive specialist from the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, will lead a nature walk up Mount Rubidoux" with "an interactive presentation on wildflowers in the Inland deserts."

"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 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.

white flowers with yellow centers near a patch of purple flowersblue spines of wildflowers against tall grasses"Wildflower Reports 2011 - Southern California" (Desert USA)
Photos and wildflower reports from members of the public. Follow the "northern California and the mountains" link for more updates.

"2011 wildflower hotline" (Theodore Payne Foundation)
Wildflower reports updated Fridays.

yellow flowers on the Carrizo Plainphotographers line up near yellow flowers carpeting part of the Carrizo PlainWildflowers" (Sacramento Bee)
Links to wildflower-related stories, including photos, locations to spot wildflowers, tips and tricks for wildflower photography and more. The thumbnail photos here are from the Carrizo Plain.

RELATED: "Wildflowers and sightseeing, Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
At last report,some roads were muddy and impassable -- but wildflowers have started showing up.


painting of waves breaking on rocky seashorepainting of a rocky coast"Fort Bragg 'Stop and View the Rocks' painting and photography exhibits feature California Coastal National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
The 8th annual Heritage Days of Mendocino County will feature a new perspective of natural heritage through an exhibit held in two locations, organized by the Mendocino Study Club. The exhibit’s first location features paintings of 13 views by 13 local artists, working in a variety of expressive mediums -- but in all of the interpretations, the focal point is the California Coastal National Monument...

waves crash under a looming hollowed-out rocksea urchins and other shore lifeRELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California)
...but don't just enjoy the artwork. Get outside and enjoy the Monument itself. Includes links to a brochure, photo gallery and more information.

drawing of birds with long beaks near the shore"Flock to Godwit Days" (Eureka Times-Standard, 4/10/11)
Started today: "The 16th annual Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival kicks off with a 'Dawn Chorus' at the Arcata Marsh at 6:30 a.m. [today] and ends at 3 p.m. April 20 with a 'casual, wind-down birding trip.' In between are crammed nearly 100 field trips, boat tours and excursions, lectures and workshops." Some events are sold out - including a field trip to the BLM's Headwaters Forest Reserve -- "but there's still plenty to choose from."

RELATED: "Godwit Days" (Godwit Days non-profit corporation)
Links to schedule, registration and more information.

photo of a coastal inlet"Interpretive Association works to connect youth to Lost Coast" (Redwood Times, 4/13/11)
California's "Lost Coast" is "the most undeveloped portion of the California coast." The Lost Coast Interpretive Association is spreading word of "its pristine beauty, native plants and animals, and how to safely enjoy and conserve this special place. Its centerpiece, the King Range National Conservation Area, is widely considered one of the crown jewels of Bureau of Land Management's protected areas across the country," and attracts visitors to "its unique flora and fauna and breathtaking land and seascapes ... miles of hiking and mountain biking trails" and "to camp, film, photograph, and bird watch."

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
This remote region known as California's Lost Coast is only accessed by a few back roads.  The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape.  The Douglas-fir peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and abalone divers, to name a few. As always, heed the warnings about rogue waves.

America's Great Outdoors logo sports snow-capped peaksAMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

people hike over a rocky landscape"Career and Technical Education Students Discover the Desert at El Mirage" (News.bytes Extra)
Seven students from the Career and Technical Education Center refused to let the threat of rain in the weather forecast dampen their camping adventure at the El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area last month. The BLM partners with the CTEC on a wildland fire and conservation class. The CTEC is a project of the Los Angeles County Fair Association’s Learning Centers at Fairplex, whose motto is to "create a lifetime of learning cleverly disguised as fun."


people around a large cakeman presents award plaque to another man"Bright Star celebration!" (News.bytes Extra)
On a Saturday in mid March, 40 people assembled off of Piute Mountain Road in northeastern Kern County to celebrate a 434-acre addition to the Bright Star Wilderness. The addition was donated to wilderness by the National Audubon Society, who bought several private in-holdings and edge-holdings from willing sellers in the area.

"BLM enters into Memorandum of Understanding with Disabled Sports USA" (BLM national news release, 4/13/11)
Recognizing the enormous value of promoting public-private partnerships that encourage people with disabilities to use public lands, the MOU creates a cooperative framework for programs and activities designed to increase the recreational use of public lands by disabled veterans and others with permanent disabilities.

Towering rocks loom above a flat desert landscapea towering rocks looms against a desert sunsetGET OUTSIDE to America's Great Outdoors...
...and experience one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert -- The Trona Pinnacles. This unique landscape consists of more than 500 tufa pinnacles rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin. These tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, were formed underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago when Searles Lake formed a link in an interconnected chain of Pleistocene lakes stretching from Mono Lake to Death Valley.


close-up of head and shoulders of a sea lion
a stellar sea lion raises his head and barks

Which of these is true about Steller sea lion feeding habits?
(a.) They have to swim after fish during most of their waking hours, to maintain their impressive bulk.
(b.) They are the only known predator of electric eels, being insulated by their thick skins.
(c.) Like some of the largest whales, they are mainly vegetarians and eat mostly plankton.
(d.) They spend most of their time on shore, and only go into the water for food or to escape danger.
(e.) They stun their prey with a crude form of echolocation referred to as "barking loud enough to knock birds out of the sky."

------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Renewable energy graphics represent solar, wind and geothermal power, plus transmission linesRENEWABLE ENERGY

locator map of Ivanpah solar power project"Google adds $168M to solar power plan" (San Bernardino County Sun, 4/11/11)
"Internet giant Google has invested $168 million in a solar power project in northeastern San Bernardino County and the federal Department of Energy has finalized a $1.6 billion loan guarantee, the company building the project announced Monday. That means Oakland-based Brightsource Energy has raised all the money it needs to build the Ivanpah solar power plant, which is already under construction on 3,500 acres of federal land near the 15 Freeway, a few miles from Primm, Nev."

RELATED: "DOE finalizes $1.6 billion loan guarantee for BrightSource Energy Inc." (Department of Energy press release, 4/11/11)
"Today's announcement is creating over 1,000 jobs in California while laying the foundation for thousands more clean energy jobs across the country in the future," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Through the loan program we are supporting some of the largest, most innovative clean energy projects in the world, and those investments are helping us to out-compete and out-innovate our global competitors to win the future."

RELATED: "Renewable energy priority projects"(BLM-California)
Links to more information on approved projects including the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, and priority projects for 2011.

"California Gov. Jerry Brown signs ambitious renewable energy mandate into law" (San Jose Mercury News, 4/12/11)
"California's cleantech economy took center stage Tuesday ... as Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law an ambitious mandate that requires the state's utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like geothermal, wind and solar by 2020. The move, which gives California the most aggressive clean energy requirement in the nation, is expected to create cleantech jobs up and down the state as utilities race to secure contracts with renewable energy power producers."

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Chico"
(BLM news, 3/31/11)
This Saturday, April 16: Wild horses and burros from public land ranges in northeast California and northwest Nevada will be available for adoption at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico. The U. S. Bureau of Land Management will offer 30 mustang mares, geldings, colts and fillies ranging in age from about 1 to 5 years old. The BLM expects to offer 10 wild burros of all ages.

colts follow mares on a prairiea mule runs along the ground"Wild horse program release to manage Twin Peaks herd"
(News.bytes Extra)
Wild horse and burro program managers in the BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office finally got a break from snowy, rainy spring weather last week, and were able to complete a long-planned release of wild horses, mules and a burro into the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area.

"California wild horse and burro adoption schedule"
(BLM-California website)
This schedule is subject to change. Please check back frequently or call the contact numbers listed. Visit our Litchfield or Ridgecrest Corrals Monday through Friday during business hours. If you wish to adopt during your visit, please schedule an appointment so we may provide you better service.

smiling woman looking over the foothills belowEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Lauren Fety...
...monitors rare plants at the Pine Hill Preserve and assists with botanical management throughout the Mother Lode Field Office. She is also currently facilitating the planning efforts at Kanaka Valley. Read more:


"Tehama treasure" (Red Bluff Daily News, 4/12/11)
Bureau of Land Management personnel led a tour of the Sacramento River Bend Area for a representative of and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's office and Tehama County Supervisor Dennis Garton and Chief Administrator Bill Goodwin. "Garton, who recently took the helm of District 3, the district that includes the Bend Area, was interested in hearing from the BLM guides ... 'It's kind of a jewel in the county that people don't know about,' Garton said. 'It potentially could be good for the county'."

rusting barrels lay on the ground"Information sought in illegal dumping of hazardous materials" (The Needles Desert Star, 4/11/11)
"Federal land managers are asking the public's help in finding who dumped a dozen barrels of hazardous materials on public lands near Needles. The incident is under investigation and a reward is offered. The cache of barrels containing used motor oil, solvent and freon was discovered on Bureau of Land Management public lands about two miles northwest of Needles..."

"BLM Desert Advisory Council revises bylaws" (BLM news, 4/11/11)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) has revised its council bylaws and made them available for a 30-day public review and comment prior to formal adoption. During a recent council business meeting, the council clarified several areas to better conform to the council charter.

"BLM announces fire restrictions for lands managed by Hollister Field Office"(BLM news, 4/11/11)
The Bureau of Land Management has placed precautionary fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Hollister Field Office. No vehicles, campfires or open flames are allowed on BLM lands in the Panoche, Griswold, Tumey and Ciervo Hills effective April 15.

"Fatal race leads to new permit-review panel" (San Bernardino County Sun, 4/10/11)
"A desert racing crash in August in which eight spectators were killed and 10 more injured has prompted the Bureau of Land Management to create a subgroup to sift through Special Recreation Permit applications and make recommendations to the Desert Advisory Council."

"Mexican national convicted for killing Border Patrol agent" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/13/11)
"Following two weeks of testimony, federal jurors Tuesday convicted a Mexican citizen on the charge of second-degree murder for the death of ... Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar, who died Jan. 19, 2008 ... while he was placing a spike strip during an incident involving a fleeing vehicle ... Prosecutors charged Navarro with driving a Hummer H2 in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area when the vehicle struck Aguilar."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)

Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- at:

April 15-16 - Mustang seminar and clinic - Napa

April 16 - Blind Canyon cleanup - Big Morongo Canyon

April 18 - Mammoth Lakes Proposed Geothermal Project public scoping meeting

April 30 - Pine Hill Preserve plant tour


"Surprise move leaves Interior's wilderness policy on the cutting-room floor" (Greenwire in the New York Times, 4/13/11)
"Congress' compromise budget to fund the government until October would temporarily halt an Interior Department effort to protect roadless areas ... The proposal to slash nearly $40 billion in spending through the rest of the fiscal year would strip funding for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's order to inventory and consider protecting wilderness-quality lands. Found on page 304 of the 459-page spending billl..."

RELATED: "Budget deal blocks Obama wilderness policy" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 4/12/11)
"A last-minute budget deal reached by Congressional leaders would block an Obama administration plan to make millions of acres of undeveloped land in the West eligible for federal wilderness protection ... An agreement reached Friday night to avoid a government shutdown includes language that prohibits the Interior Department from spending money to implement the wilderness policy."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) They spend most of their time on shore, and only go into the water for food or to escape danger.

SOURCE: "Steller Sea Lion - Eumetopias jubatus" (BLM California wildlife database)
They spend most of their time on shore, and usually only venture into water when they sense danger or are hunting for food.

RELATED: "Sick sea lions throughout Southland beaches" (KABC-TV Los Angeles, 4/11/11)
Reporting from San Pedro: "The number of sick sea lions coming ashore is growing. Marine animal rescuers have removed 17 of them since April 1. The mammals are suffering from seizures and in some cases, paralysis ... The Marine Mammal providers urge the public to keep their distance from the animals and to report them to a lifeguard if they appear sick." Includes video report.

a female sea lion dozes in the sunRELATED: "Poisoned sea lions hit the beaches" (Torrance Daily Breeze, 4/12/11)
"Gravely ill sea lions have been coming ashore on local beaches this month, suffering from a natural poison that causes extensive brain damage and disturbing symptoms. Dozens of sea lions with domoic acid poisoning were spotted and rescued in recent weeks, suffering seizures that left them helplessly convulsing on the sand, or other symptoms including partial paralysis, foaming at the mouth and disorientation."
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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