A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 522 - 3/16/12
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- National Wildlife Week - next week
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Traditional energy
- Wildfires and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items
This message is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Students learning, building at Little Darby" (News.bytes Extra)
Students from Willits Charter School and Humboldt State University in Arcata, and members of the California Conservation Corps are pitching in to help the BLM Arcata Field Office improve the Little Darby Nature Trail that loops across public lands in Mendocino County. Students have adopted a mile of the trail and are using it as an outdoor classroom. BLM staff members have joined the students every Friday for projects including plant and fungi identification, water quality monitoring, wildlife camera maintenance and other lessons....
"Side trip from Interstate 5: Panoche and Tumey Hills" (KQED, 3/8/12)
"Most people, it's probably fair to say, loathe Interstate 5 between Redding and Bakersfield .... Traffic can reach dangerous speeds, eyes get glazed, attention wavers, and tempers grow short. As for me, I love the chance to enjoy I-5. I make it a full day's trip to get from the Bay Area to Southern California or the Shasta region, and that gives me a long enough leash to get off the freeway at least once .... One [side trip] I've enjoyed several times goes past the Panoche and Tumey Hills, a big patch of wild land along the east side of the Coast Range managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
RELATED: "Panoche Hills" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
RELATED: "Tumey Hills" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
"AmeriCorps group trains 29 new members" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3/11/12)
Twenty-nine AmeriCorps members attended "a sort of conservationist boot camp" in Santa Cruz "as they prepared to head out to projects around the state ... including "trail maintenance, eradication of invasive species, habitat restoration and fuel load reduction - on federal, state and private land." One of the students mentioned, Nico De Paolo, 23, worked with the BLM El Centro Field Office "restoring areas damaged by illegal off-roading in the deserts .... home to an endangered lizard and the desert tortoise."
"Beltway to Sand Highway (at the Imperial Sand Dunes)" (News.bytes Extra)
Three members of the BLM Washington Office's Division of Education, Interpretation, and Partnerships, "in the neighborhood" after a conference, visited the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area to learn more about the area and its programs. "With back-to-back Silver Awards for Excellence in Interpretation or Education in both 2010 and 2011, the El Centro Field Office is doing something right, and we had to visit," said one of the visitors.
"Roads, trails in Dry Valley area will be used for motorcycle races" (BLM California, 3/13/12)
On April 1, motorcycle riders of all ages and abilities will race on routes in the BLM’s Dry Valley Special Recreation Management Area about 60 miles east of Susanville and 60 miles north of Reno. Racers will use courses ranging from two miles to 42 miles, with all events scheduled Sunday, April 1. Travel on some roads and trails, including Dry Valley Road, will be restricted by course marshals while races are in progress.
| GET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
...celebrate National Wildlife Week this year by going out to the Bizz Johnson Trail/Susan River to watch a variety of wildlife in their natural habitats. Hike or bike the trail to see the multitude of animals inhabiting the area, including birds, beavers, and muskrats. Patient observers may catch glimpses of bats, porcupines, coyotes or even a black bear!
|NATIONAL WILDLIFE WEEK - next week!
"Celebrate extra-ordinary wildlife during National Wildlife Week" (National Wildlife Federation)
March 19-25: "Held annually since 1938, National Wildlife Week is National Wildlife Federation's longest-running education program. Even celebrities such as Shirley Temple, Walt Disney and Robert Redford have joined National Wildlife Federation to commemorate this unique event. National Wildlife Week is a signature event of NWF’s Be Out There campaign, an initiative to connect families and communities to nature, raise healthier kids, instill a conservation ethic, and inspire a life-long appreciation of wildlife and the environment."
"National Wildlife Week" (Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
"Science NetLinks has developed and compiled the following resources we hope you'll find useful when teaching your students about various aspects of the wilderness around them -- from squirrels in the schoolyard and local bird populations to more exotic animals that might require traveling further afield."
giant kangaroo rat
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
If you are two inches tall and a giant kangaroo rat is running at you full tilt, it probably means you are…
(a.) …a returning family member.
(b.) …trying to steal their food.
(c.) …a male kangaroo rat, running full tilt back at the other one.
(d.) …an exiled member of its mound community.
See answer - and more stories about wildlife, including the giant kangaroo rat - near the end of this News.bytes.
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Wild mustang makeover - one bit at a time" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/15/12)
"Until about 30 days ago, Syringa had never been touched by human hands ... Now, when Justin Mott clicks his tongue, the once-wild mustang comes right up to him, sticks her nose out for a scratch and lets him put a halter around her head .... It's a good start to taming her, but he has only 60 more days. That's when he'll compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, a competition designed to find homes for thousands of feral horses that have been rounded up from the wild because the United States Bureau of Land Management is trying to thin their herds."
"Wild Horses and Burros available for adoption in Red Bluff" (BLM California, 3/9/12)
Young, healthy wild horses from the high deserts of northwest Nevada and burros from southern California deserts will be available for adoption Saturday, March 31, at the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff. The BLM will bring its Adopt a Horse or Burro Program to the fairgrounds as part of the Back Country Horsemen of California State Rendezvous.
"California wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM California)
This schedule is subject to change. Please check back frequently or call the contact numbers listed.
"'Ecosanctuary' plans for wild horses add tourism to the mix" (New York Times, 3/14/12)
"Jana and Rich Wilson, who once raised cattle on their 4,700-acre Deerwood Ranch" in Wyoming, "hope to be approved by the Bureau of Land Management for a pilot project to shelter a herd of 250 wild horses." This "'ecosanctuary' project" by the BLM "could be the first of many if it works .... Sheltering a herd of 250 wild horses ... is intended to be at least partly self-sufficient, through tourist visits, and to be a stabilizing factor in an area where working agriculture is increasingly threatened."
"BLM offers opportunity to 4-H and FFA youth to train a mustang for adoption" (BLM Nevada, 3/6/12)
The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program, in partnership with the Mustang Heritage Foundation, is offering a unique 12-week employment opportunity to 4-H and Future Farmers of America youth ages 15-18 to train a yearling wild horse, while earning up to $750 and preparing the horse to be showcased at an adoption event during Reno Rodeo week in June. The program allows youth to earn money, while building their resume and offering a great experience for college/scholarship applications. Interested youth need to submit an application packet by March 20.
"Wild-hearted winner: Mustang seems unlikely dressage horse" (Spokane, Washington, Spokesman-Review, 3/11/12)
Mariah was a mustang in the "wilds of south-central Oregon" before Melynnda Thiessen adopted her as a yearling. The "tough little steed," as Thiessen calls her, is now "a highly trained dressage horse. The show pony skillfully performed piaffe, pirouettes and more ... for a small group ... in Coeur d’Alene .... Most dressage horses come from carefully bred pedigrees selected for specific traits that make them good for the sport. But Mariah, rounded up and adopted out as part of the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse management program, is of an unknown lineage ... no one had a hand in her breeding."
"BLM to begin gather of wild burros From Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area in Arizona" (BLM Arizona, 3/12/12)
The BLM’s Yuma Field Office plans to begin gathering 350 burros from the area near Yuma, Arizona, and Blythe, California, starting Monday, April 9. "Our goal is to manage for healthy public lands and healthy wild burros," said John MacDonald, BLM Yuma Field Manager. "We made the decision to conduct this gather after extensive public input and review of the best scientific information available to us." The BLM will gather approximately 350 wild burros, leaving a total of approximately 350 wild burros in the area, which is still above the appropriate management level of 165 for this herd.
"Final environmental study available for proposed Ocotillo Express Wind Project" (BLM California, 3/9/12)
Proposed by Pattern Energy, Inc., through Ocotillo Express, LLC, the project would produce up to 356.5 megawatts of electricity via wind turbines sited on 12,410 acres of public lands near Ocotillo, Calif. and 26 acres of private land in Imperial County. The proposed project would provide enough electricity to power 140,000 homes and create up to 246 jobs at peak construction. The project has undergone extensive environmental review and reflects strong efforts to mitigate potential impacts.
"Solar power firms in Mojave desert feel glare of tribes and environmentalists" (Guardian UK, 3/11/12)
Of the many renewable energy projects "commissioned by the Obama administration ... few are as grandly futuristic as the multibillion-dollar solar power projects under construction across broad swaths of desert on the California-Arizona border. But at least two developments, including ... Genesis Solar near Blythe ... and the Solar Millennium project, are beset with lengthy construction delays, while others are facing legal challenges lodged by environmental groups and Native American groups who fear damage to the desert ecology as well as to ancient rock art and other sacred heritage sites."
"Black Hills a blank spot on map of Imperial County" (KCET, 3/13/12)
"The Black Hills are at the leeward end of a long valley, which channels prevailing winds between the Orocopia and Chocolate Mountains to the south and the Chuckwallas and Little Chuckwallas to the north. And since the majority of that valley is run by the Bureau of Land Management, there are wind proposals .... A confusing trail of shifting projects proposed by corporations that change their names, buy each other and go under dot the valley."
"Renewable energy benefits are numerous" (Imperial Valley Press, 3/15/12)
Panel presentations at the fifth annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit & Expo included "how to navigate through government policy and the economic impacts of renewable energy projects." On one panel, Thomas Zale, associate field manager of BLM's El Centro Field Office, "discussed guidelines for developers, such as consulting with Native Americans and have biological and archaeological surveys done early."
RELATED: "Protest calls for rooftop solar development" (Imperial Valley Press, 3/15/12)
As attendees drove to the fifth annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit on Wednesday morning, a group of about 25 residents stood next to the main road to the venue, holding signs that called for a stop to wind energy projects in Ocotillo, and for solar projects to be 'on rooftops, not in our yard'."
RELATED: "Renewable Energy Summit begins" (Imperial Valley Press, 3/13/12)
Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit & Expo was "expected to have more than 450 businesses present," with "workshops, mixers and panels of industry experts .... 'The expo is very important,' said Tim Kelley, Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. chief executive officer. Business owners coming to the event want to meet the community and the expo 'is a great opportunity for them,' he said.
"Solar Energy: Federal loan guarantee program faces scrutiny" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/13/12)
"In a lengthy and sometimes testy Senate hearing on Capitol Hill, one legislator said the program has been mismanaged, and another said the federal government should not be in the energy investment business .... Proponents of the loan program say it is creating thousands of jobs in a burgeoning industry that will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil."
"Solar installations doubled last year, with California leading the way" (San Jose Mercury News, 3/14/12)
"Installation figures for photovoltaic, or PV, solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, include those on homes and businesses as well as much larger, utility-scale power plants .... California continued to lead the nation ... accounting for 29 percent of all installations in the country." Next came New Jersey, Arizona and New Mexico.
"Supervisors give green light to solar farm, join fight against gov't over land closures" (Lake Havasu, AZ News-Herald, 3/12/12)
At a Mohave County, AZ. Board of Supervisors meeting, Sterling Solar requested "a language change" to the 2010 zoning approval for its proposed solar farm, from "E-SE, or Energy-Stirling Engines, to E-PV, or Energy Photovoltaic, because the Stirling Engine technology is no longer available." The company manager "said the Stirling Engines are larger in size and more visually obtrusive than the low-profile photovoltaic panels. Furthermore, the panels would face south and eliminate glare" for nearby residents.
"Kennedy calls for shift from 'fuel from hell' to 'patriotic fuels from heaven'"
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., speaking at a "Forging a Sustainable Future" conference at San Diego State University, said that coal companies have cut down mountains, buried miles of rivers and streams and poisoned more, while "nine out of 10 coal mining jobs have been replaced by ... enormous machines." He pointed to " countries that have led the way in switching from fossil fuels such as coal and oil to non-fossil fuels such as geothermal, wind, or solar."
"BLM oil and gas lease auction brings in more than $300 thousand" (BLM California, 3/16/12)
Two oil and gas lease parcels located in Kern County were auctioned for a total of $340,359.00, including administrative fees, by the Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday. The oil and gas industry is encouraged to submit an "expression of interest" for federal land parcels in California that have potential for development. An "expression of interest" is a letter or a form listing the legal description of lands an individual or company is interested in seeing offered for lease. Expressions of interest for the lease auction planned for March 2013 should be sent to the BLM
"Results of BLM's March competitive oil and gas lease sale; Preliminary parcel list available for June sale" (BLM Nevada, 3/14/12)
The BLM (Nevada) generated $1,788,595 at its quarterly oil and gas competitive lease sale in Reno on March 13, selling 42 parcels that comprised 72,144.09 acres. Half of the bid and rental receipts go to the state of Nevada. The BLM Nevada also posted the preliminary parcel list for the June 12 competitive oil and gas lease sale. Fifty-nine parcels totaling nearly 99,089 acres are listed for sale.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"Life after wildfire: Studying how plants bounce back" (KQED San Francisco, 3/11/12)
Since the Lick Fire of September 2007 in Santa Clara County, "citizen scientists who volunteer for the park have been paying close attention to see how the burned land bounces back." They have "pored over satellite imagery to document the impact of the fire on various plant communities in Henry Coe Park." and "found something interesting: plant life bouncing back after a fire, 'tops off' at the same point as before the fire."
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"First-hand look at issues facing BLM Mother Lode Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
California BLM Director Jim Kenna saw land management challenges in the Sierra foothills -- from rare plants to recreation -- on a tour of the Mother Lode Field Office last week. The tour included rare plants and fire fuels at the Pine Hill Preserve in Cameron Park, the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony project near Coloma, and recreation sites along the South Fork of the American River.
RELATED: "New state director of BLM tours county" (Placerville Mountain Democrat, 3/11/12)
Kenna said "those three sites were selected because the preserve demonstrated the value of interagency cooperation between the BLM and other agencies, Wakamatsu because of its historical relevancy, and the American River site because it is one of the most popular recreation areas they manage."
"Keith Urban Video Shoot at Silurian Dry Lake" (News.bytes Extra)
The music video for Keith Urban’s song, "For You" was shot on Silurian Dry Lake, managed by the BLM’s Barstow Field Office. The song and video were for "Act of Valor," an action movie starring U.S. Navy SEALs. The setting on the dry lake bed mirrored scenes from the movie itself -- especially once technicians started setting off explosions behind the band....
"Dogs may be allowed on popular Hopalong Cassidy Trail stretch - on a leash" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 3/14/12)
"About 50 hikers -- with dogs of all breeds and sizes" gathered "for a sometimes contentious 90-minute meeting" with Jim Foote, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument manager for the Bureau of Land Management. "The good news, Foote said, is that he has already proposed that the BLM allow leashed dogs on a portion of the Hopalong Cassidy Trail that allows access to the cross. The bad news: Leash laws aren't likely to ever be relaxed in any portion of the 280,000-acre Monument, in protection not only of the bighorn sheep but other hikers, Foote said."
RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field OFfice)
"Sheep on it: Springtime brings 2,500 woolly weedwhackers to the Fort Ord grasslands" (Monterey County Weekly, 3/15/12)
"An ivory-colored wave advances over a grassy hill. The sound of 950 sheep bleating fills this otherwise desolate landscape as ewes and their lambs ... try to find one another by smell and sound. The band is part of a 2,500-head herd that annually descends on Bureau of Land Management grassland, where their efficient munching helps reduce wildfire risk and encourage native plant regeneration. 'Our hired hooves go out to keep the fuel load down for fire protection,' says Eric Morgan, BLM’s Fort Ord manager. The sheep don’t cost the BLM anything, he adds; it’s more of a trade."
RELATED: "Fort Ord Public Lands Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
"China warns of backlash if U.S. presses rare-earths case with WTO" (Los Angeles Times, 3/13/12)
"China fired back at the Obama administration over plans to press Beijing over its global dominance of rare earths. The only operating commercial rare earths mine in the U.S. is Molycorp Inc.'s facility in Mountain Pass, Calif." on BLM-managed lands.
RELATED: "EU, U.S., Japan launch rare earth WTO case against China" (Reuters at Imperial Valley Press, 3/13/12)
The United States, Europe and Japan joined forces on Tuesday against China's restrictions on exports of rare earth minerals that are critical to production of advanced technology and clean energy goods expected to provide the jobs of the future. "We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies," President Barack Obama said at the White House.
"Racing accident spawns lawsuits" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/11/12)
"The Mojave Desert off-road racing accident that killed eight spectators ... and injured a dozen more nearly 19 months ago in San Bernardino County has spawned no fewer than 13 lawsuits against the U.S. government, the race organizers and the driver .... The survivors of almost all of those who died are suing," as is the mother of the driver "who like the rest blames the federal Bureau of Land Management for failing to enforce rules that would have kept the spectators at a safe distance." The race organizer has "at the most, $2 million in insurance coverage .... so it will be the federal government that will likely be at the heart of the litigation."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
|NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Interior official defends oil program amid federal lands production dip" (The Hill, 3/14/12)
"A top Interior Department official is rebutting GOP allegations that the agency is throttling oil-and-gas development, calling the recent dip in oil production from federal lands the result of industry decisions, not a lack of permits or leases. 'Where the industry decides to produce or where they decide to develop is up to them,' Bureau of Land Management Director Robert Abbey told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. 'It’s a decision ... that is being driven by the market'."
"Peer review of scientific findings in Draft Klamath Overview report now available" (Department of the Interior, 3/13/12)
The Department of the Interior released the results from an independent peer review panel that evaluated the accuracy, clarity, thoroughness, and objectivity of the scientific findings in the draft Klamath Overview Report. The panel’s detailed findings and recommendations will help inform the rigorous and transparent scientific process concerning the potential removal of four privately owned dams on the Klamath River.
"Interior report outlines path forward for consolidating OSM and BLM administrative functions to achieve greater efficiencies" (BLM National Office, 3/13/12)
The Department of the Interior announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement will pursue administrative and program consolidations with the Bureau of Land Management that are expected to generate savings and efficiencies, while continuing to operate as an independent bureau within Interior. The path forward is the result of a months-long consolidation initiative to identify how Interior can most efficiently and cost-effectively deliver services to the American people.
"Urban youths embrace nature thanks to wilderness jobs" (Prescott, AZ Daily Courier, 3/7/12)
"Arizona's urban youth are experiencing the wilderness while helping take care of it, thanks to a new federal program. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Arizona is leading the nation in a pilot program that trains and hires youths aged 18-24. It's called the Conservation and Resource Management Field Certification Program. The youngsters build and repair trails and campgrounds, and even learn how to fight wildfires."
"BLM sponsoring tour of Arizona archaeology sites" (St. George, Utah News, 3/9/12)
On Saturday, March 17, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Bureau of Land Management, "will sponsor a history day and field trip to archaeological sites as part of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month."
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
March 20 - Lecture series:"Headwaters: The Road to Recovery"
Members of the BLM's natural resources staff will discuss redwood ecology and ongoing restoration efforts in the 7,472-acre reserve near Eureka. BLM Park Ranger Julie Clark will present information on life in the timber town of Falk, remnants of which remain.
March 24 - Volunteer opportunity - Steele Peak, Stephen's Kangaroo Rat Reserve cleanup - near Perris
Illegal dumping and misuse of the area has resulted in an accumulation of garbage including household refuse, broken target boards, spent shotgun shells, and other items littering the ground. Using a variety of hand tools such as rakes and garbage pickers, volunteers will assist BLM staff in performing a general cleanup of the area. Please RSVP. Details:
April 14 - Alabama Hills Day - Lone Pine
"The purpose of this new annual event is to celebrate this incredibly scenic landscape and educate the public about the wide variety of groups that use and enjoy the Alabamas," said Chris Langley, stewardship group chair. "Bring your family and friends to show your support for the Alabama Hills and enjoy a unique learning experience." Free.
RELATED: "The Alabama Hills" (BLM Bishop Field Office)
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) …trying to steal their food.
SOURCE: "Giant Kangaroo Rat - Dipodomys ingens" (BLM California wildlife database)
More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere:
"Grazing a new trail" (Quest at KDEQ San Francisco, 3/13/12)
Researchers at Cal State Bakersfield and the BLM "have just published a paper in the Journal of Wildlife Management recommending a novel approach to managing arid lands in the San Joaquin Valley to benefit the remarkable diversity of endangered lizards, kangaroo rats, and squirrels who call it home .... Livestock grazing has a bad rap in the conservation community as a practice which has caused great damage to large swaths of western North America, which is often true. However, these scientists suggest that well-managed livestock grazing can actually benefit small vertebrates by keeping non-native grasses under control."
"Bald eagle chick surprises experts" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/8/12)
"Biologists leading a third-grade field trip were surprised to spot a newly hatched bald eagle in a nest at Big Bear Lake -- the first recorded chick in the San Bernardino Mountains .... The successful nesting of two eagles nicknamed Lucy and Ricky is a victory for a species whose populations were decimated in the 1970s by pesticides, hunting and habitat loss."
"Reintroduced condors set breeding record" (Payson, AZ Roundup, 3/13/12)
"It’s been a good year for Arizona’s condors .... The 73 condors riding updrafts above the Grand Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs produced three chicks this year -- a record for the expensive and complex effort. Two of the chicks successfully fledged and have now joined the mostly captive-bred adults, the largest flying birds in the world nearly exterminated by eggshell-thinning pesticides and other problems .... The 15-year effort to return condors to the wild also involves the Bureau of Land Management" and other agencies and partners.
"Greater sage-grouse maps available for public comment" (BLM Nevada. 3/9/12)
The Nevada Department of Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, and the United States Forest Service have completed a set of sage-grouse habitat maps which will be used as planning tools for the management of greater sage-grouse and its habitat in Nevada. The map incorporates the best available data (lek observations, telemetry locations, survey and inventory reports, vegetation cover, soils information, and aerial photography) into a statewide prioritization of greater sage-grouse habitat.
RELATED: "Sage-grouse and sagebrush conservation" (BLM Nevada)
The BLM's Greater Sage-grouse conservation website is part of the agency's efforts to maintain and restore sagebrush landscapes on public lands. This site is intended to make it easy to find out about how the BLM is doing its work.
"America's Great Outdoors: Salazar announces more than $4.2 million in conservation grants to Native American tribes" (Department of the Interior, 3/16/12)
"Native American tribes have a deep and abiding knowledge of the land and its wildlife handed down from generation to generation," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "Through these grants, we are building on our long-standing partnership with tribal nations to manage our wildlife and its habitat more effectively across the country."
"Interior seeks ideas to further strengthen incentives and voluntary partnerships for landowner conservation of wildlife" (Department of the Interior, 3/14/12)
The effort is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s commitment to use innovative approaches to restore and protect the habitats for wildlife, improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act, and to strengthen local economies by preserving working lands. "Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners are among our nation’s greatest champions for conservation," said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes.
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