A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 535 - 6/15/12 - Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors: National Oceans Month
- America's Great Outdoors: Photos
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wildlife trivia correction - sort of
- Wildfires and prevention
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Kenna's Corner: Renewable energy
- Traditional energy
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items
This issue is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: National Oceans Month
"In the spotlight: National Oceans Month" (BLM California homepage)
President Obama proclaimed June to be National Ocean Month, calling upon American's to take action to protect, conserve, and restore our oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes. The 1,100 miles of California coastline from Oregon to Mexico is one of the most popular scenic routes in the world, and just off-shore are over 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles that make up the California Coastal National Monument, managed by the BLM. (Also see the winning ocean-related photo caption from our Facebook contest.)
"Students participate in Ocean Day cleanup event" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 800 students came together with teachers, parents and volunteers to "take a stand in the sand," at the annual Ocean Day cleanup event last week in Humboldt County. Divided into teams representing their schools, the students were led by volunteers to sites where they pulled non-native beach grass and cleaned up debris. A highlight of the event was creating a human "poster in the sand" for an aerial photograph. The event was organized by Friends of the Dunes, and the BLM’s Arcata Field Office. The California Conservation Corps assisted.
RELATED: Aerial video of the Ocean Day event (YouTube)
Taken with a remote control helicopter:
"Friends of the Dunes"
BLM partners for this event.
"BLM, Lost Coast Interpretive association to host free tidepool tour" (BLM, 6/7/12)
Saturday, June 23: The fascinating life in tidepools will be featured in a free interpretive outing, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Shelter Cove. The outing is part of a summer hikes series offered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Lost Coast Interpretive Association. BLM Interpretive Specialist Rachel Sowards Thompson said participants should be prepared to get wet as they learn about the hardy forms of life that exist in tidepools.
"Natural Life of the Lost Coast: Wildflowers of Abalone Point" (Redwood Times, 6/12/12)
"The spring wildflowers are spectacular on the coastal bluffs, and Abalone Point in Shelter Cove is a great place to experience the show. Plants growing on this windswept, salty marine terrace tend to be low to the ground and tough." Abalone Point is part of the King Range National Conservation Area managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
"Hearst Ranch offers vision of early California" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10/12)
Visitors to "this pristine piece of the Central Coast, San Simeon and Hearst Ranch" can find "a vision of early California .... Coastal trails wend through egret, pelican, fox, deer, coyote and turtle habitats; cattle graze on sun-bleached hillsides; oak groves give way to evergreen forests and cypress stands; and beaches teem with galumphing elephant seals."
RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area tours" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
Guided tours are the only public access to the station because of sensitive resource concerns and ongoing restoration activities.
"Educational events big and small, the CDD Team does them all!" (News.bytes Extra)
Versatility and flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to providing outdoor education to the public in Southern California. Whether setting up a small exhibit on a picnic table in a park, or appealing to masses of people, the California Desert District team of Barbara Croonquist, Jennifer Wohlgemuth, and volunteer Dee Dechert tackle the challenge.
"BLM coastal and desert booths a big hit once again at San Diego Parks and Open Spaces Day" (News.bytes Extra)
With California Coastal National Monument bookmark-making on one side and California Desert District reptiles on the other side, two BLM booths attracted crowds at the 4th Annual San Diego Parks and Open Spaces Day. Sponsored by the National Park Service at Cabrillo National Monument, the day-long event on Saturday, June 9, highlighted "parks, natural areas, open spaces and organizations that support the use of these spaces in the San Diego area."
"Photos: America’s Great Outdoors beaches" (Department of the Interior, 6/7/12)
President Obama has declared June as National Oceans Month. This photo gallery highlights just a few of America’s "best beaches" that are found on Department of the Interior lands as millions of travelers plan their summer vacations. These lands include 85 marine and coastal parklands, 180 marine and coastal wildlife refuges, and 1,100 miles of the California coast administered by Interior agencies.
"California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California)
Waves explode onto offshore rocks, spraying whitewater into the air. Sea lions bark as they "haul out" of the surf onto the rocks, and a whirlwind of birds fly above. These amazing rocks and small islands are part of the California Coastal National Monument, a spectacular interplay of land and sea.
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: More
"America's Great Outdoors" (Department of the Interior Tumblr page)
Currently features Utah's public lands. A photo featured earlier this week was of the California Coastal National Monument.
|GET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
...Raft the Gold Rush River! Actually the South Fork of the American River, this river has become the most popular whitewater run in California, providing rafters with 21 miles of heart-stopping rapids. Guests can experience the rapids in a one-day or a more relaxing two-day trip, and take a breather for a picnic at the Dave Moore Nature Area or to visit the Marshall Gold Discovery Park.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
Steller sea lion
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
The Steller sea lion:
(a.) Eats mostly sea urchins and abalone.
(b.) Spends most of its time on land rather than in the water.
(c.) Is one of the stealthiest animals when it comes to protecting its territory.
(d.) Mates for life.
(e.) Is not to be confused with the Cellar sea lion, often found in flooded basements after a major pipe break. It is best to feed them sardines packed in water, not oil.
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA CORRECTION - sort of
Joy Fatooh, wildlife biologist with our BLM Bishop Field Office, writes of our last week's sage grouse trivia question:
"The last answer may also be correct, as very few sage grouse males get the opportunity to mate – the females are very selective. Wildlife biologists have always assumed it’s because most of the males fail to impress the females, but it seems equally possible that they outright alienate them."
See last week's News.bytes:
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Volunteers show off what mustangs can do at Western States Horse Expo" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program volunteers came out to the Western States Horse Expo last weekend in Sacramento to show off their mustangs. Wild horses from public land in California, Nevada and Wyoming were featured in three demonstrations throughout the weekend. Trainers and adopters showed how trainable these hearty animals are.
"Public tours wild horse and burro pastures in Kansas" (News.bytes Extra)
Followers of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program had the opportunity on June 9 to visit two long term pastures in Kansas where the BLM places excess wild horses for which no adoption demand exists. About 200 people attended.
"Lovable long-ears: Why you need a donkey" (Redding Record Searchlight, 6/9/12)
Most owners "will warn you that donkeys are like potato chips: if you have one, you'll want more. This was certainly the case for Pam Beaver, owner of When Lil Donkeys Fly Ranch in Anderson." Prospective owners can "adopt a wild burro (the Spanish word for donkey) from the Bureau of Land Management. In California, the adoption center is in Litchfield, near Susanville .... A person can adopt from the Litchfield corrals by making an appointment, and the BLM also brings burros to various communities at satellite adoptions."
"BLM announces volunteer opportunities in wild horse country" (BLM, 6/11/12)
Volunteers are needed to assist the Bureau of Land Management with rangeland health monitoring on northeast California and northwest Nevada public lands that provide habitat for wild horses and burros. The project will run two to three months this summer in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area northeast of Susanville, Calif. and the Nut Mountain and High Rock Herd Management Areas east of Cedarville, Calif.
"Chocolate-Mule Mountains burro roundup" (BLM California)
The Bureau of Land Management gathered 12 burros on Friday, June 15, from agricultural fields near Palo Verde. The gather was to collect burros that have wandered out of the Chocolate-Mule Mountains Herd Area onto nearby farm fields.
"Mustang event deemed a success" (Vacaville Reporter, 6/10/12)
"In mid-May Alyssa Radtke of Vacaville and her equine student, Dixie, competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Norco. And survived. "It was a lot to ask of a horse," the 29-year-old B. Gale Wilson School science teacher said of the multi-day, four-hours-a-day, five-category competition. 'It was really hard.' .... The event gave participants 90 days to train a wild horse housed at a Bureau of Land Management facility and, through the challenge, show that the horse can be gentled."
"Wild horse gathering dispute escalates in Nevada" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 6/11/12)
The BLM's emergency roundup about 50 miles west of Winnemucca "has been disputed throughout .... The dispute stems from the BLM’s decision to move the roundup date." The BLM "had planned the roundup start date after the foaling season in July. 'We are noticing that there aren’t as many foals out there as there should be and what that tells us is they may not be surviving,' BLM spokeswoman Heather Emmons said. 'There just isn’t enough water out there'."
RELATED: "BLM conducts first day of emergency wild horse gather" (BLM 6/12/12)
A BLM emergency wild horse gather in the Jackson Mountains in Nevada started on Friday, June 8, with the capture of 27 animals in the drought stricken southern end of the Herd Management Area. The gather operations started at 6:30 a.m. and ended at approximately 10:00 a.m. because of windy conditions.
"Wild burro roundup remains controversial" (Fronteras, 6/14/12)
"Early morning on the Colorado River, you expect to see boats and hear a few mosquitoes; It's rare to see boatloads of wild burros." The BLM is rounding up some Arizona burros that "are utilizing the native vegetation that the wildlife here depend on," said John Hall, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist. "And when you have this overuse by the burros, it poses an immediate threat to the native wildlife."
Some "dispute the number of burros the area can support and raise concerns about the use of helicopters for rounding them up in the Southwestern Arizona heat."
"Trainer uses soft touch on wild horses" (Albany, OR Democrat-Herald, 6/12/12)
"Watching Blake Powell gently guide "EZ" around the arena at Heart Cross Ranch southeast of Albany, it’s difficult to believe that just three months ago the 2-year-old was a wild mustang roaming eastern Oregon. Barely moving the leather reins, Powell moved EZ backwards, side to side and circled the arena .... EZ is Powell’s first wild mustang and he will compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover set for June 29 to July 1 at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. EZ comes from the Bureau of Land Management property in the Owyhee area in southeastern Oregon."
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"Fire officials stress caution for July Fourth holiday" (BLM, 6/12/12)
"After our abnormally dry winter, conditions are drying out quickly," said Eric Ewing, a manager at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center. "We have a tall crop of grass in many areas, and that can feed a wildfire. People need to be extremely careful when camping, driving in the back country and cutting firewood," he said. Ewing stressed that it is illegal to possess or use fireworks, including those sold at fireworks stands, in national forests, national parks and on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
"BLM announces fire restrictions for lands managed by Ukiah Field Office"(BLM, 6/13/12)
Effective Monday, June 25 , the Bureau of Land Management is implementing fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Ukiah Field Office in Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Solano counties.
"BLM Mother Lode Office announces fire restrictions" (BLM, 6/11/12)
This includes BLM-managed public lands in Nevada, Yuba, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Sacramento, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Sutter, and Mariposa counties, a total of about 230,000 acres.
"BLM hiring veterans to staff firefighting crew in Sacramento"(BLM, 6/15/12)
The Bureau of Land Management is using an empty Sacramento Metro Fire station in Orangevale as a home base for a new all-veteran fire crew. The agency is currently in the process of hiring United States military veterans to staff the crew. Once hired, the BLM will train the crew in firefighting techniques and make them available as a national firefighting resource. The crew will be known as the Folsom Lake Hand Crew.
"Local firefighters assist in Western fires" (Magic Valley, Idaho Times-News, 6/14/12)
"With 15 wildfires burning throughout nine western states, the National Interagency Fire Center is sending Idaho firefighters to help control the flames" -- in states including Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, Nevada and Colorado.
RELATED: "National Interagency Fire Center"
"The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), located in Boise, Idaho, is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC, including the BLM.
"Boise pilots who died fighting wildfire served as protectors, died heroes" (Idaho Press-Tribune, 6/15/12)
"The ladders of two fire trucks stretched high above Grove Street with an American flag flying in the middle near the Linen Building in downtown Boise Thursday night where hundreds gathered to honor two fallen firefighters. Capt. Todd Neal Tompkins, 48, and co-pilot First Officer Ronnie Edwin Chambless, 40, both of Boise, were killed in a plane crash in Utah June 3 as they worked to fight the White Rock Fire."
"Forest Service gives go-ahead for newer firefighting airplanes" (Washington Post, 6/14/12)
"In what was fast becoming a grim rite of summer, wildfires sprang up at hot spots nationwide, and some of the government’s over-the-hill air tankers went down fighting them. Nearly two weeks after the latest fatal crash of an old air tanker in Utah, the U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday that four contracts have been awarded to aviation companies to upgrade its fleet of large firefighting airplanes, many of which date back to the Eisenhower administration."
"Exploding targets causing Idaho fires" (Idaho Statesman, 6/14/12)
"It was first reported that bullets caused four fires that have burned hundreds of acres of public rangeland in Idaho this year. Four of the 19 human-caused fires in Southwest Idaho this year instead were caused by the targets, which have become popular among target shooters." In two of the four fires, "shooters admitted that their exploding targets were the cause.... evidence at the other two scenes led law enforcement to blame the targets."
Be Fire Safe (BLM California Facebook page)
BLM Palm Springs-South Coast-El Centro Zone and Cleveland National Forest Fire Prevention were at the the Wine and Balloon Festival in Riverside County this weekend to remind people to be fire safe.
"Homeless pose fire danger in National Forests" (Fronteras, 6/13/12)
"A desperate economy and rising temperatures have forced more people to take shelter in the cooler national forests, like the San Bernardino in southern California and the Coconino in northern Arizona. Forest officials are concerned -- more people in the woods could mean more wildfires. Two summers ago a fire that threatened 170 homes was sparked by a homeless man living in the Flagstaff woods."
"Take responsibility..." (California Fire Alliance)
In California, the number of homes and businesses are growing in the Wildland Urban Interface – and fire is an increasing threat. Reduce your home's fire danger and prevent wildfires from spreading by taking responsibility today.
"National Interagency Fire Center"
Current wildfires, updated Monday-Friday during fire season.
"California incidents" (InciWeb)
Current and recent wildfires (and prescribed fires).
"County planners vote to deny industrial wind turbines on private lands for Tule Wind" (East County Magazine, 6/9/12)
San Diego's Planning Commission voted "to deny Iberdrola Renewables’ application for five 492-foot-tall wind turbines on private land under county jurisdiction. The proposed turbines were part of the Tule Wind project, which also includes 62 turbines on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property in McCain Valley, seven turbines on state property, and 18 on Ewiiaapaayp tribal lands. To date, only the federal portion of the project has been approved."
"Wind farm thrusts remote desert town into future" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/11/12)
"The nation’s quest for more green energy is set on a collision course in this town on the edge of the windswept Imperial Valley desert. Construction has started on an array of 112 wind turbines that will arise on three sides of Ocotillo by mid-2013. With blades swirling more than 400 feet into the sky, the wind farm will supply utility customers in San Diego and southern Orange counties with enough electricity to power as many as 125,000 coastal homes."
"BLM announces public meetings for the proposed McCoy solar energy project Near Blythe" (BLM, 6/8/12)
The BLM will hold public meetings in Palm Desert and Blythe on the proposed McCoy Solar Energy Plant in Riverside County. The proposed site is about 13 miles northwest of Blythe. The meetings are being held to assist the public in preparing comments for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that analyzes the impacts of the proposed project.
"Wind Museum holds ribbon cutting" (Tehachapi News, 6/12/12)
The Tehachapi Wind Museum's new exhibit is along the Pacific Crest Trail at "the only site on the trail through an active wind generation area." The exhibit's three interpretive trail panels at the southern trailhead are titled: "Pioneers of the Wind," "Wind Development: Why Tehachapi Pass?" and "The Pacific Crest Trail: Hike a Mile or Two Thousand." The panels offer information both on the history of wind power, and on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and were designed by the BLM's Josh Hammari.
RELATED: "Pioneers of the Wind" (Tehachapi Wind Museum)
"A bet on the sun" (New York Times, 6/13/12)
"Out in the Mojave Desert in California, a power plant that could eventually generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes hopes to get its moment in the sun soon. When the $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah is completed -- sometime next year, if all goes according to plan -- nearly 350,000 mirrors on 3,600 acres will reflect light onto boilers. Steam will power turbines, which will generate electricity that flows to California homes. It will be the largest such plant in the world."
"AltaRock Newberry project breaks new geothermal ground" (Portland Business Journal, 6/7/12)
AltaRock Energy Inc. and partners "are beginning an ambitious $43.8 million project in the Deschutes National Forest, intended to broaden the possibilities for geothermal power development and financing in the United States." The geothermal company is "installing monitoring equipment at the Newberry Volcano Enhanced Geothermal Systems Demonstration following approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in April."
"$257 billion invested in renewable energy in 2011" (Associated Press in San Jose Mercury News, 6/11/12)
"Global investment in renewable energy reached a record $257 billion last year, with solar attracting more than half the total spending, according to a U.N. report released Monday."
"Let's close the information gap about fracking" (Los Angeles Times, 6/10/12)
Columnist: "As a public policy, denial requires one prerequisite to take root: lack of information. So it's proper to ask whose interests the California Senate was protecting last month when it killed a measure requiring oil drillers to give public notice before fracking."
"Shedding more light on fracking" (Ventura County Star, 6/9/12)
Columnist: "It is hard to believe a practice injecting tons of water typically laced with a complex mix of toxic chemicals into wells is not being monitored by the state of California, despite the potential risks to our water supply .... If your neighbors were going to remodel their house, you'd be told about it in advance. Why should fracking operations not have the same good-neighbor requirement?"
"Guest Commentary: Powering economic growth and job creation in our communities" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 6/9/12)
Guest Commentary from U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy: "As our communities focus on energy needs, our nation’s policies ought to focus on developing an energy policy that focuses on American energy production and American jobs." Proposed legislation "freezes onerous Federal regulations that are stifling American refineries and expedites responsible permitting of oil and natural gas production on Federal lands....:"
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Landmark pact secures access to roads on federal lands" (Highland News, 6/8/12)
The County of San Bernardino "sued the federal government in October 2006 to establish rights-of-way on 14 roads maintained by the County for decades to ensure they would remain open to public use. The federal government eventually agreed to keep the roads open for vehicular traffic as well as assume maintenance for roads located within the preserve consistent with the preserve's General Management Plan. The County will continue to maintain two roads on the edges of the preserve located on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property."
"Mining company sues San Bernardino County over pipeline project" (Contra Costa Times, 6/7/12)
"A mining company is alleging that San Bernardino County shirked state and local environmental laws when it approved an agreement on a proposed pipeline to divert groundwater from the eastern Mojave Desert to the Colorado River Aqueduct," a proposal by Cadiz, Inc. Delaware Tetra Technologies Inc.'s mining facilities at the Bristol and Cadiz dry lake beds "depend on the natural groundwater flow to dissolve underground calcium and sodium salts, which are then used in the manufacture of products in the vegetable growing, canning, oil and gas industries."
"Kamotkut Paiutes reclaim ancestral homeland" (Lassen County Times, 6/12/12)
"Each tribe has its own ancestral territory, its distinct culture and language, so to identify our land base is really important to us," said a tribal member. "It establishes that our ancestors were here, that we’re not extinct. Before, we weren’t given a voice. So claiming our ancestral land is historically significant." A BLM-published ethnography "helps us establish that."
"BLM seeks info on illegal waste dumping" (BLM, 6/15/12)
The BLM is requesting assistance identifying the people responsible for dumping hazardous materials on public lands near Inyokern. A reward of up to $500 is being offered.
"Planned DesertXpress high-speed train to be rebranded as XpressWest" (Vegas Inc, 6/11/12)
The proposed high-speed rail service will now be called XpressWest, "more accurately reflecting the line’s role as the first leg of a larger passenger rail network" between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. DesertXpress and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently "signed letters committing to work together to develop the High Desert Corridor between Victorville and Palmdale, Calif., and to use Metrolink tracks to move trains between Palmdale and downtown Los Angeles."
"A conservation opportunity amid the wilds of Cache Creek" (Sacramento Bee, 6/9/12)
Column: "My first kayak river run took place in six hours over 20 miles of Cache Creek, a state wild and scenic river .... The trip was organized by Bob Schneider, board member and senior policy director with Woodland-based Tuleyome, a nonprofit ... that is working to get National Conservation Area status for the federal lands in the 100-mile stretch from Lake Berryessa to 7,000-foot Snow Mountain" including BLM-managed lands. HR 5545, the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act was introduced in May.
"Panel: Klamath mining approval violates ESA" (Siskiyou Daily News, 6/5/12)
A panel of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco "held that the U.S. Forest Service violated the federal Endangered Species Act when the agency approved mining operations on the Klamath River and its tributaries" including "numerous mining operations, such as suction dredging, highbanking and motorized sluicing within designated critical habitat for the coho salmon...." This ruling "will likely affect recreational gold mining on federal land across the west, due to the agency's federal jurisdiction."
"Klamath science process is solid" (Redding Record Searchlight, 6/11/12)
"The Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement calls on the Secretary of the Interior to make a decision on whether to remove four Klamath River dams based on a foundation of scientific findings. That is why more than 100 experts on my team, including biologists, engineers, economists, hydrologists, and others, have been developing and sharing new scientific information for the past two years." -Dennis Lynch has been a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey for 32 years.
"Southern California's wildfire season expected to be mild" (KCET, 6/14/12)
"There are currently 19 active wildfires across nine states, including devastating ones in New Mexico and Colorado. California, in particular, is no stranger to fighting flames and we're bracing for our own fire season." Fire ecologist Richard Minnich advocates "allowing fires to self-organize by letting them burn out so long as they do not harm communities," and "carefully burning brush in decent weather so it doesn't catch in the Santa Ana wind or allowing fires to burn into snow in the mountain where they will cease."
"How to help every dog have a lot more days" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10/12)
Healthcare professionals "believe you should identify the activity that 'sets you free,' and then take part in it as much as possible" - to "be far happier and healthier, and ... need doctors and medical care a lot less .... The same approach can work for your dog. You can help your dog live a very long, healthy, active and happy life."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
|NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Secretary salazar announces record $393 million in ‘PILT for police, fire, and schools in rural communities"(Department of the Interior, 6/14/12)
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to rural communities, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that more than 1,850 local governments around the Nation are receiving a record total of $393 million under the 2012 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The payments are the largest amount ever allocated under the PILT program to compensate counties and local governments for non-taxable Federal land in their jurisdictions.
"Obama’s wilderness legacy remains uncertain" (Washington Post, 6/10/12)
"Administration officials insist that the president cares about the wilderness but that he faces political and fiscal constraints .... The struggle over managing the nation’s 650 million acres of federal land involves ranchers, energy firms, environmentalists, riders of off-road vehicles, anglers and a host of other players. Over the years, differing layers of protection were developed to satisfy this array of constituencies."
"BLM issues decision for 2012 Burning Man event" (BLM Nevada, 6/12/12)
In this year’s permit, Black Rock City, LLC is required to keep the maximum population from exceeding 60,900 people during the event, and to comply with 13 permit conditions and 50 stipulations. "Our number one priority has and continues to be the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources, as well as safety for the participants and all staffs," said BLM’s Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz. "I feel confident the BLM is covering these bases in the 2012 permit and in the environmental assessment."
"Archaeologist spends career linking San Juan County's past to its present" (Farmington, NM Daily Times, 6/7/12)
"The only thing Jim Copeland likes more than telling stories is hearing them. Copeland, 57, is a senior archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management's Farmington Field Office .... Copeland shares the part of the story preserved in the landscape, but he finds science often lacks emotions or human details."
"By mapping a river, volunteers take a stake in its future" (New York Times, 6/15/12)
"Dodging quicksand and rattlesnakes, Ted Mouras will spend Saturday morning walking along a five-mile stretch of a remote section of southeastern Arizona’s San Pedro River Basin in triple-digit heat for the annual wet/dry mapping of its water levels. A retired Army officer, he has volunteered annually to help the Nature Conservancy and its partners determine how the prolonged drought in the Southwest and the depletion of aquifers from local use affect the river." The BLM is part of the effort.
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) Spends most of its time on land rather than in the water.
SOURCE: "Steller Sea Lion - Eumetopias jubatus" (BLM California wildlife database)
More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):
"Officials worry about creatures on tsunami dock" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 6/7/12)
"When the tsunami hit the northern coast of Japan last year, the waves ripped four dock floats the size of freight train boxcars from their pilings." One "made an incredible journey" that landed it on an Oregon beach near BLM Oregon's Yaquina Head Lighthouse. "Along for the ride were hundreds of millions of individual organisms, including a tiny species of crab, a species of algae, and a little starfish all native to Japan that have scientists concerned if they get a chance to spread out on the West Coast."
RELATED: "California braces for tsunami debris" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 6/11/12)
"The speed with which the items have crossed the Pacific Ocean surprised NOAA officials, who revised their models and say items that sit high in the water are being pushed across the sea by winds. The debris is not radioactive, experts say."
RELATED: "U.S. lacks plan for dealing with tsunami debris washing up on West Coast" (Associated Press in Contra Costa Times, 6/10/12)
"More than a year after a tsunami devastated Japan, killing thousands of people and washing millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government and West Coast states don't have a cohesive plan for cleaning up the rubble that floats to American shores. There is also no firm handle yet on just what to expect .... Some experts in the United States think the bulk of that trash will never reach shore, while others fear a massive, slowly-unfolding environmental disaster."
"Life, death and boardom" (Monterey County Weekly, 6/14/12)
"I’ve never shot anything except for a tree, and I felt bad about that. But ... an animal kept recurring in my daydreams, one that once startled me on a Big Sur trail: a big, black, brutish wild boar." The writer's research led him to "revelations of how ferocious and destructive wild boars can be, why boar hunting is so popular among hunters and why even vegetarians should consider giving it a shot. " The first dozen wild boars were brought to California in the early 1920s. There are now an estimated 250,000 to 1 million statewide.
Not empty, not barren: Why you shouldn't diss the desert" (KCET, 6/12/12)
Researchers "did a plant census on a 360-square-meter piece of the Mojave -- less than 4,000 square feet, smaller than your average Southern California lawn" and found "20 species of shrubs .... That's not counting annual or perennial plants, mosses or lichens or ephemeral bellyflowers. It's a degree of biodiversity it would be hard to match anywhere else in California. Old growth redwood forests don't hold that many shrub species per square foot. Nor do coastal bluffs, or the profuse shrublands fringing Sierra Nevada meadows."
"Where Have All the Hummingbirds Gone? (Science Daily, 6/1/12)
Glacier lily blooms are appearing 17 days earlier than they did in the 1970s." One problem: it "is no longer synchronized with the arrival of broad-tailed hummingbirds, which depend on glacier lilies for nectar. By the time the hummingbirds fly in, many of the flowers have withered away, their nectar-laden blooms going with them."
Wildlife photo (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6/6/12)
"Seen a yellow rail lately? Hard to miss this one! It gave participants on the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge's Yellow Rail Walk a wonderful surprise."
Insects are wildlife, too:
"UCD worker wins award for rare photo of bee sting in action" (Sacramento Bee, 6/14/12)
"A rare photograph of a honeybee stinging a man, with its abdominal tissue trailing behind, was more than 100 years in the making." Kathy Keatley Garvey says it is one of "at least 1 million photos" she has taken. The photo won "the first-place gold feature photo award in an Association for Communication Excellence competition."
"Splish splat? Why raindrops don't kill mosquitoes" (NPR, 6/5/12)
"Imagine how tough life would be if raindrops weighed 3 tons apiece as they fell out of the sky at 20 mph. That's how raindrops look to a mosquito, yet a raindrop weighing 50 times more than one can hit the insect and the mosquito will survive. How?"
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