A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 497 - 9/9/11
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Wildfires and prevention: Blazes in California; "Everything's on fire" in Texas
- Wild horses and burros
- Funny.bytes: Coming soon...
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Do you recall a favorite trivia question or News.bytes feature?
- Renewable energy
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Pardon our dust
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
California firefighters are battling wildfires in the state, as well as assisting with wildfires in Texas.
"Number of homes destroyed in Canyon Fire more than doubles" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/8/11)
Damage from the Canyon Fire was "far worse than first believed. Figures updated Thursday morning revealed that 27 homes have been destroyed ... according to Cal Fire's website. In addition, 21 outbuildings, 19 vehicles and 12 recreational vehicles were lost to the blaze." BLM firefighters were among those fighting the wildfire.
RELATED: "With Canyon Fire mostly contained, residents pick up the pieces" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/7/11)
"Janet Nelson dreaded returning to what was once her house in Old West Ranch." What she found was "flattened remains. 'It's just a big pile of junk now,' she said. 'It's not my house'."
RELATED: "Canyon Fire forces 30-mile temporary closure of Pacific Crest Trail" (BLM news, 9/7/11)
The Bureau of Land Management has temporarily closed approximately 30 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail because of the Canyon Fire in the Tehachapi area of northeastern Kern County. The trail is closed from Highway 58 south to the connection with the Los Angeles Aqueduct just north of Rosamond Boulevard about 15 miles west of Highway 14 in Rosamond, Calif.
RELATED: "NTSB confirms witnesses reported plane 'buzzed' home" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/7/11)
It may be six months before a National Traffic Safety Board report, but "witnesses have said the pilot flew low over a friend's house by way of greeting -- an activity called 'buzzing' -- just before the crash" and the start of the Canyon Fire.
"Take responsibility..." (California Fire Alliance)
Protect your home. Create 100 feet of defensible space. In California, the number of homes and businesses is growing in the Wildland Urban Interface -- and fire is an increasing threat. Reduce your home's fire danger by taking responsibility today.
RELATED: "Even fire-resistant homes can burn"(Los Angeles Times graphic)
"A hail of wind-driven embers can penetrate even a fire-resistant structure and burn from the inside." This graphic pinpoints some of the ways this can happen.
"Texas wildfire destruction worsens: 1,626 homes lost" (Los Angeles Times, 9/8/11)
"A fire raging across the state's Bastrop County has consumed 1,386 homes -- nearly double the 785 homes listed as lost as recently as Wednesday. Blazes elsewhere in the state are said to have destroyed about 240 homes since Sunday."
RELATED: "Texas wildfires collide with urban sprawl" (Christian Science Monitor, 9/6/11)
"Raging wildfires destroyed more than 1,000 homes in Texas over the weekend and thousands of residents were evacuated from the most-threatened areas. Ten new fires labeled 'large' by the Texas Forest Service cropped up Monday night across the state. Drought conditions, high winds, and large amounts of dry, combustible brush are ultimately to blame for some 21,000 wildfires that have hit the state since December." Links to wildfire photos.
RELATED: "Texas firefighters battling scarce resources as well as fierce flames" (Los Angeles Times, 9/7/11)
"Firefighting resources are stretched thin in Texas. The state recently cut funding for volunteer fire departments by 75% as a cost-saving measure." Texas still has a lot of resources ... But this year is like no other. There's such a huge area to cover and everything's on fire." Links to wildfire photos.
"National fire news" (National Interagency Fire Center, NIFC)
Current wildfire information, updated Monday - Friday during wildfire season.
"InciWeb" (Incident Information System)
An "interagency all-risk incident information management system."
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Mustangs and burros greet Fair visitors" (News.bytes Extra)
Visitors to the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley this year got a first-hand look at mustangs, burros and their trainers. Bureau of Land Management volunteers and staff gave demonstrations and provided information on the wild horse and burro adoption program.
"Wild horses, burros for adoption in Redlands" (Redlands Daily Facts, 9/6/11)
This weekend: Mustangs and burros from America's rangelands will be available for adoption at Sundance Ranch in Redlands Saturday (Sept. 10) through the Bureau of Land Management Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program. The animals were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health. None of the animals has been exposed to the EHV-1 virus. A Friday preview will run from 1 to 5 p.m.
"Wild horses, burros, mules up for adoption in Napa" (BLM news, 8/29/11)
In less than two weeks: Wild horses, burros and mules -- including some halter trained mustangs -- will be available for adoption during Napa Mustang Days Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18, in Napa. The adoption event and three days of training clinics, entertainment, food and refreshments will be held at the Napa Valley Horsemen's Association Arena. The BLM adoption event will feature about 20 young mares, geldings, fillies and colts, 10 jack and jenny burros and two mules. Interested adopters can preview animals when they arrive at about 2 p.m. on Friday.
"Border Patrol adopts wild mustangs"(San Pedro Valley News-Sun, 9/6/11)
"The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Border Patrol is saving money while gaining horses particularly skilled at patrolling in rugged mountainous terrain. Six wild mustangs were delivered to the Tucson Sector's Border Patrol Horse Patrol Training Center ... last month. The mustangs had previously been gathered by the Bureau of Land Management from areas where the wild mustang population was considered too high...."
"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for October 13-14 in Arlington, Virginia" (BLM news, 9/8/11)
The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection, management, and control of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. The BLM manages approximately 38,500 wild horses and burros that roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.
|FUNNY.BYTES: Coming soon...
...but what is it? Funny.bytes is an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues. Note: This animation has a sound track - you may need to adjust the sound level on your computer.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Redear sunfish have more success breeding than many fish because:
(a.) Their eggs are coated with a sticky substance poisonous to most predators.
(b.) Their populations stick to a few optimal areas, and easily find each other for mating.
The males guard the eggs for the first few days after the female lays them.
(d.) The females incubate the eggs and give birth to live offspring.
(e.) The males are so cute when they get all shy and their ears turn red.
See answer -- and more wildlife stories -- near the end of this issue.
Do you recall a favorite wildlife trivia subject from past issues? or a favorite News.bytes feature? Let us know -- we will pick several of your ideas to feature in our upcoming 500th issue of News.bytes. Send your ideas to our new email address:
(Please specify if we should use your name or just initials and your city or town.
"BLM schedules public scoping meeting for proposed McCoy Solar Energy Project in Riverside County" (BLM news, 9/2/11)
The meeting will be Sept. 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Palm Desert. A public scoping period of 30 days ends Sept. 28. The scheduled scoping meeting will allow the BLM and the county to solicit public comments on planning issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action. The project would be on about 7,700 acres of public land and 470 acres of private land under the land-use authority of Riverside County.
RELATED: "NextEra now plans to use photovoltaic instead of solar thermal" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/6/11)
"NextEra Energy has joined the growing list of developers switching projects from solar thermal troughs to photovoltaic panels, this time for a solar plant east of the Coachella Valley. The Florida company recently filed a development plan for the the McCoy solar energy project -- of up to 750 megawatts -- with the Bureau of Land Management."
"Businesses put wind to work" (Sacramento Bee, 9/4/11)
While "much ado has been made about the sun's bright future in California's energy production picture ... wind installations are frequently cheaper to build and more compact in some sites. The technology has matured and is already churning out more than quadruple the power for homes and businesses produced by solar installations ... A recent study ... showed that the industry's recent growth is helping breathe life into a stalled economy ... The growth of wind power, particularly the utility-scale wind farms, is not proceeding without opposition." Concerns include appearance, noise and bird deaths.
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"SCA members finish summer work with the BLM in the Eastern Sierra"(News.bytes Extra)
Six Student Conservation Association members have completed public lands work projects for the BLM in California’s Eastern Sierra and have returned to homes throughout the country. The college students on summer break from as far away as upstate New York were dubbed the X-Corps, due to the extreme nature of the Eastern Sierra.
"Hunting season brings scores of hunters from out of town" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/2/11)
"The opening day of dove hunting season drew about 2,700 local and out-of-town hunters to various locations throughout the Valley at the crack of dawn Thursday." Includes video and link to photo gallery and map of upland game areas in Imperial County.
RELATED: "Dove season opens with fewer hunters, and fewer dollars for the Valley" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/8/11)
"About 1,700 hunters came to Imperial County for last week’s opening of dove-hunting season, 1,000 less than last year, officials say. 'This is mostly a reflection of the economy,' Imperial County Fish and Game Commission chairman Brian Barrett said, adding that the county has seen as many as 6,000 hunters during opening weekend."
RELATED: "Hunting and target shooting" (BLM California)
Hunting is permitted on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). State of California hunting regulations must be followed on Federal lands. If you have specific questions on areas that may be appropriate for hunting or shooting, you are encouraged to contact the BLM Field Office having jurisdiction over the area.
|GET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
...lose sight of civilization on the Lost Coast Trail. Its northern leg offers one of the few coastal wilderness hiking experiences in the United States. Hikers can view sea lions, tidepools and spectacular spring wildflowers. Solitude can be difficult to find on holiday weekends, so try to plan your hike during weekdays, or the less crowded spring or fall months. Allow at least three days for the entire hike. The southern leg offers mountain meadows, old-growth forests and ridgetop vistas through coastal chaparral.
"Redwood Coast graces Sunset cover" (Eureka Times-Standard, 8/28/11)
"Millions of Americans will soon have a good look at the Humboldt coastline, as Sunset Magazine selected a photo of the Lost Coast Headlands for its September cover." (On newsstands now) "The photo showcases the Fleener Creek Overlook in the Lost Coast Headlands, a few miles south of Centerville Beach." Magazine staff also sought information about Black Sands Beach and Shelter Cove. (Note: This newspaper's new policy limits web visitors to "five premium pages each month.")
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|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM Bakersfield Field Office takes public comments on draft management plan" (BLM news, 9/9/11)
The BLM today released the Draft Bakersfield Resource Management Plan for public review and comment and will hold a series of public meetings in October. The Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement covers lands (excluding Carrizo Plain National Monument) managed by BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office, which includes lands in eight counties in central California: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kings, Tulare, Madera, eastern Fresno and western Kern.
"Border cleanup a successful partnership venture" (News.bytes Extra)
Demonstrating you can accomplish more by working together and leveraging staff and resources, BLM has teamed with partners like the U.S. Forest Service and Border Patrol to clean up trash dumps and close hazardous mine sites near the international border in Southern California.
"Vandals spoil the fun ... again" (News.bytes Extra)
Law Enforcement Rangers from the BLM El Centro Field Office discovered graffiti damage to the large welcome sign at Superstition Mountain OHV Open Area. The heavily spray-painted signs and stone foundation were discovered during a routine patrol. Nearby road signs were also defaced.
"Border work key for BLM director" (Arizona Republic, 9/4/11)
Incoming BLM California State Director: "Jim Kenna's goals as director of the federal Bureau of Land Management in Arizona were clear: He wanted the agency to focus on sustainability, preserve the state's valuable national monuments and conservation areas, and engage with the community. But it was border security, an aspect of the agency's community emphasis, that has been the focus of public scrutiny and political controversy since Kenna assumed his post in January 2009."
"National Monument Advisory Committee to meet in Palm Desert" (BLM news, 9/7/11)
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee will meet Monday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m. in Palm Desert. All National Monument Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public and media. Public participation is encouraged; the public comment period begins at 4 p.m.
"Safety: GPS errors can have dire consequences" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/7/11)
A day trip to Death Valley almost turned deadly when visitors "meandered over unmarked, dirt roads" led by their GPS unit. "In the desert, GPS map databases are less likely to be corrected, and therefore include roads that no longer exist. In remote locations where summer temperatures soar, getting lost can cost a life." Includes safety tips for desert travel from the BLM.
RELATED: "Desert safety" (BLM El Centro Field Office)
Travel on foot or in a vehicle can be an exciting and rewarding experience. No one plans on getting lost, breaking down, or experiencing other mishaps -- but be prepared and keep safe.
"County Route Marker Program gets its kickoff on Route 66" (Needles Desert Star, 9/5/11)
San Bernardino County will designate its portions of historic Route 66 as County Route 66. "Signage along the route will highlight and celebrate sites of cultural and historical interest, generate tourism and promote the county's image."
RELATED: "Historic Route 66" (BLM Needles Field Office)
Officially established on November 11, 1926, US Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles was one of the original and most famous highways in the US highway system. In California, the original 66 is known as The National Old Trails Highway.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include wildlife biologist and realty specialist.
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Sept. 17 - "Fish of the Headwaters Forest Reserve" - near Eureka
Fish biologist David Fuller will discuss salmon habitat in the Elk River.
For details, call BLM Arcata Field Office at (707) 825-2300.
|NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"BLM mulling more than a dozen 'crown jewels' for wilderness designation" (Greenwire at New York Times, 9/7/11)
"The Interior Department is considering more than a dozen areas for Congress to designate as wilderness, the highest level of protection for public lands, according to interviews with several state Bureau of Land Management offices. But the total number and size of those wilderness areas will likely not be made public until Interior Secretary Ken Salazar submits a final report to Congress in mid-October...."
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
The males guard the eggs for the first few days after the female lays them.
SOURCE: "Redear Sunfish - Lepomis microlophus" (BLM California wildlife database)
The males will defend their nests for a few days after eggs are laid, which is why breeding success tends to be higher in this fish family.
More about wildlife:
"Latest raccoon attack raises question: Is this the new norm in Sacramento?" (Sacramento Bee, 9/8/11)
"Another raccoon attack in urban Sacramento on Tuesday night has seriously injured a dog and startled a neighborhood. The third attack in two weeks, it suggests a fundamental change in the city's relationship with its wild inhabitants."
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