U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

News.bytes
A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 541 - 7/27/12   -  
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a pelican gliding in for a landinga father points out sights to his two sons as they bike in the hillsan inflatable raft sits on the shore of a rivera fish hangs on a branch in a dried section of lakea man stands on the wing of his little plane

THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- Renewable energy
- Traditional energy
- Wildfires and prevention
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items: California water, U.S. drought, Mining Law, more
- More wildlife news
This issue of BLM California News.bytes is online at:
www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes/2012/541.html


America's Great Outdoors logo features a family paddling a canoeAMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

a father points out sights to his two sons as they bike in the hills"Moving Outside is easy, healthy, and FUN!" (Let's Move.gov)
"Regular participation in outdoor activities has been shown to boost children’s creativity and focus, in addition to building aerobic capacity and strength. Hiking, biking, swimming, and other outdoor games are easy -- and affordable -- ways for families to spend time together during the summer months. Are you ready for an outdoor adventure?"
www.letsmove.gov/blog/2012/07/19/moving-outside-easy-healthy-and-fun
kayakers on a rivera fisherman on a wide river
RELATED: "Let's Move" (YouTube)
The "Let's Move" video channel on YouTube.
www.youtube.com/letsmove

"Public scoping workshop to seek input for management of two wilderness areas in Riverside County" (BLM, 7/23/12)
The BLM is seeking public input for its wilderness management plan for the Mecca Hills and Orocopia Mountains wilderness areas east of the southern Coachella Valley in Riverside County. The plan will assist BLM in managing these wilderness areas for public uses including recreation, scenery, science, education, conservation, and history -- while preserving the wilderness character. A public scoping workshop is scheduled for Aug. 7 in Palm Springs.
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/july/CDD1263_wildernessscoping.html

an inflatable raft sits on the shore of a riverboaters on a river"Commercial rafters set sights on the Moke" (Calaveras Enterprise, 7/20/12)
"After years of lobbying for approval of commercial rafting on the Electra-Middle Bar run of the Mokelumne River by outdoor enthusiasts and rafting companies, the dream may come true once a feasibility study is complete. The Bureau of Land Management will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 31."
www.calaverasenterprise.com/news/article_cb08cc4e-d283-11e1-a79f-0019bb2963f4.html

RELATED: "Moke River rafting idea is being floated" (Sonora Union Democrat, 7/27/12)
"Trips on the Electra-Middle Bar run have been limited for years to private whitewater enthusiasts and a couple of fundraising trips each year .... A three-year trial run of limited commercial excursions gained the blessing last year of the BLM in conjunction with the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which collects Mokelumne River water in the nearby Pardee and Camanche reservoirs for its customers’ use, and Pacific Gas and Electric, which generates hydroelectric power from dams on the river."
http://www.uniondemocrat.com/News/Local-News/Moke-River-rafting-idea-is-being-floated

RELATED:
"Mokelumne River" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/folsom/mokelumne.html

a boy in a handmade pelican headband colors California Coastal National Monument picturespelican headbands on two colorful bonnets"Coastal Monument and Seabird Protection Network at 7th Annual Coastal Discovery Fair" (News.bytes Extra)
For the seventh year in a row, BLM’s California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) hosted an outdoor booth at the Coastal Discovery Fair, held Saturday, July 21 at the Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach in San Simeon. More than a dozen agencies and organizations participated in this day-long event with activities for kids at each booth.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2012/541xtra_ccnm_coastalfair.html

a flattened crater in the distance"California's active volcanoes" (San Diego Reader, 7/19/12)
A tour from Mojave to Mono Lake, including 250-foot Amboy Crater: "The three-mile round trip trail takes visitors into the heart of the cone, onto the ancient lava lake and down in the center of it. The last eruption is estimated to have occurred 10,000 years ago." An international volcano monitoring system includes 60 stations "working in unison to detect erupting volcanoes. Amboy Volcano, with its tumuli and pressure ridges (visible on the eastern side of the highway), isn't on their radar" -- but others in California are.
www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2012/jul/19/travel-california-active-volcanoes/

RELATED: "Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark" (BLM Needles Field Office)
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/needles/amboy.html

youth work in a garden"Youth learn life skills, help improve community through IMACA program" (Inyo Register, 7/24/12)
The Owens Valley "is seeing community garden improvements, construction of year-round green houses and wilderness area revitalization -- all thanks to local teens who are weathering summer’s searing rays and furnace-blast winds." During a six-week program sponsored by Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action, Eastern Sierra Youth Conservation Corps members worked on several projects, including one for the BLM.
www.inyoregister.com/node/2891


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

"Sun rises on Powerlink Imperial County, San Diego, state officials celebrate start of Sunrise Powerlink transmission line" (Imperial Valley Press, 7/26/12)
"With the soft crackling of energy passing through electrical equipment acting as a backdrop, local, regional and state officials welcomed the start of renewable energy transmission from Imperial County to San Diego. On Thursday, San Diego Gas & Electric dedicated the Sunrise Powerlink project, a 500 kilo-volt, 117-mile transmission line, at the new Suncrest Substation facility .... Through the two-hour event, leaders like Gov. Jerry Brown, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Imperial County Supervisor Gary Wyatt praised the success of the completed project."
http://www.ca.blm.gov/lmkd

RELATED: "Brown dedicates controversial San Diego transmission line" (KCET, 7/26/12)
"California Governor Jerry Brown presided today over the official opening of the 117-mile high-voltage Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, which has been carrying electric power from the Imperial Valley to coastal San Diego since June .... The ceremony marks the end of San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDGE) several-year campaign to route and build the Powerlink, which the utility touted as a way to bring renewable energy from Imperial County's geothermal, solar, and wind installations to consumers along the coast. Estimated construction costs for the line approach $1.9 billion."
www.kcet.org/news/rewire/the-grid/brown-dedicates-controversial-san-diego-transmission-line.html

three men hold long yellow polesa man speaks at a podiumRELATED: "BLM California State Director Jim Kenna at Sunrise Powerlink dedication" (News.bytes Extra)
The Sunrise Powerlink crosses nearly 50 miles of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. BLM’s public lands are a vital component of this power line, and a big part of the nation’s plans to diversify its energy portfolio and move toward energy independence. BLM California State Director Jim Kenna joined other officials in speaking at the dedication ceremony this week.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2012/541xtra_sunrisepowerlink_dedic.html

"Government pre-approves Riverside, Imperial County sites for solar development" (Associated Press at KPBS, 7/24/12)
"The Obama administration moved Tuesday to streamline the development of large-scale solar projects on public lands by approving 17 vast tracts across the West it says has the highest power-generating potential and the fewest environmental impacts. Two of the sites are in California: one in eastern Riverside County and the other in eastern Imperial County, covering a combined 153,627 acres."
www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jul/24/government-pre-approves-riverside-imperial-county-/

RELATED: "U.S. solar plan creates energy zones, excludes sensitive lands" (Los Angeles Times, 7/25/12)
"The Obama administration unveiled plans Tuesday to ramp up solar energy production, offering incentives for solar developers to cluster projects on 285,000 acres of federal land in the western U.S. and opening an additional 19 million acres of the Mojave Desert for new power plants .... The pending policy rules out a long list of environmentally sensitive lands where the government .... had allowed solar development over the objections of environmentalists."
www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0725-solar-zones-20120725,0,1957957.story

RELATED: "Obama Administration releases roadmap for solar energy development on public lands" (Department of the Interior, 7/24/12)
The Solar PEIS will serve as a roadmap for solar energy development by establishing solar energy zones with access to existing or planned transmission, the fewest resource conflicts and incentives for development within those zones. The blueprint’s comprehensive analysis will make for faster, better permitting of large-scale solar projects on public lands.
www.ca.blm.gov/4lkd

"A long-term game plan for solar energy development on our public lands" (The White House Blog, 7/27/12)
"Secretary Salazar’s Interior Department has made dramatic progress in siting utility-scale renewable energy projects on our public lands over the past three years .... At the same time, our Bureau of Land Management has been laying the foundation for ensuring that solar development continues to proceed in the right way, and in the right places, on our public lands - over the long term." -David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary, Department of the Interior
www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/07/27/long-term-game-plan-solar-energy-development-our-public-lands

"Public meetings set for proposed Alta East Wind Project in Kern County" (BLM, 7/19/12)
The BLM and Kern County announce two public meetings on Aug. 1, 2012, regarding the draft environmental review for the Alta East Wind Project in Kern County. The proposed wind energy project about three miles northwest of Mojave could generate up to 318 megawatts, on 2,592 acres of mostly BLM land, enough to power up to 94,500 homes. Since originally proposed, the total acreage was reduced from 3,200 to 2,592 acres by eliminating portions of the project.
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/july/alta_east_pub_mtngs.html

"Mojave Desert: $20 million tortoise habitat deal in the works" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/20/12)
"State fish and game officials and the BrightSource Energy Co. are considering a $20 million land deal that would allow the Oakland-based solar energy developer to make up for desert tortoise habitat losses from its solar plant now under construction in northeast San Bernardino County, state officials said. BrightSource would pay into a state habitat land-bank fund and the company would get credit for preserving about 7,100 acres of desert tortoise habitat that the state has preserved since 2010 by funding grants to conservation land trusts."
www.ca.blm.gov/5lkd

"BOEM and FERC revise guidelines for development of wave energy and ocean current technologies in U.S. waters" (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 7/19/12)
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced revised guidelines for potential marine hydrokinetic energy developers interested in pursuing technology testing and commercial development activities on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf. The revisions promote further clarity for the regulatory process and facilitate a more efficient process in authorizing marine hydrokinetic (e.g., energy developed from waves and ocean currents) research and testing activities.
www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Press-Releases/2012/Press07192012.aspx


TRADITIONAL ENERGY

"Obama Administration announces 20 million acre oil and gas lease sale offshore Texas" (Department of the Interior, 7/23/12)
As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau today announced that BOEM will offer more than 20 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area.
www.ca.blm.gov/cmkd


WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION

"We all have role in fighting fire" (Eureka Times-Standard, 7/20/12)
Editorial: "It took little under one week, hundreds of fire personnel and about $3.2 million, but fire officials have declared the Flat Fire 100 percent contained .... while we tip our hats to the brave men and women who put themselves at risk to keep us safe, they're not in this fight alone. Beyond exercising common sense, and working with county and municipal authorities on long-term plans to prepare for this troubling trend, there are several strategies we can all adopt in the short term to prepare ourselves and our communities in the fight against fire."
www.times-standard.com/editorials/ci_21118255/we-all-have-role-fighting-fire

RELATED: "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.
http://takeresponsibility.com/

"Fire restrictions start August 1 on National Forests, BLM public lands" (BLM, 7/25/12)
Seasonal restrictions on outdoor use of fire and firewood cutting begin Wednesday, Aug. 1, on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Lassen and Modoc National Forests in northeast California and far northwest Nevada. The restrictions apply to all forest lands and to public lands managed by the BLM Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise field offices in Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Washoe counties.
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/july/nc1279_firerestrictionssusanville.html

"BLM implements fire prevention closure in San Diego County" (BLM, 7/25/12)
Effective July 27, 2012, the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office will initiate a temporary closure of public lands in and near Sycamore Canyon and Marron Valley in San Diego County due to hazardous fire conditions. Approximately 4,568 acres of public lands are affected by the closure.
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/july/CDD1264_fireclosure.html

“New management team takes over Mill Fire, works on repairs” (Lake County News, 7/21/12)
"Repairs and assessments are continuing on the area burned this month by the Mill Fire, which scorched nearly 30,000 acres in the Colusa County side of the Mendocino National Forest." Mike Vandame, the team leader for the Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation, said, "Even after the last flame has been extinguished on the Mill Fire, potential threats to life, property and natural resources may remain. These threats come from winter storms that fall on watersheds stripped of their protective vegetation. So, as suppression efforts wind down, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will begin to assess the potential threats.”
www.lakeconews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26057

"Robbers Fire arson suspect appears in Placer court " (Auburn Journal, 7/24/12)
A Sacramento man "faces a maximum of 14 years if convicted on the arson charges and the three enhancements are found to be true. A fine of $70,000 is also possible .... Cal Fire could also find [him] liable for the multi-million-dollar cost of the fire."
http://auburnjournal.com/detail/213761.html

"Have fire fighting, will travel" (Porterville Recorder, 7/27/12)
One of 42 "hotshot" firefighting crews stationed in California, the Springville Hotshot crew is stationed in Sequoia National Forest, but responds to calls from anywhere in the country. "Their most recent national fire was the Little Bear Fire in New Mexico in early June."
http://www.recorderonline.com/news/white-53439-fighting-sits.html

a man stands on the wing of his little planea somewhat odd-looking plane"Aerial firefighter a rare breed with demands for highly skilled flying, fighter pilot's nerves" (Desert News, 7/22/12)
"There is a shortage of pilots who are qualified to fly single-engine air tankers -- about 100 in all of America, says one expert. The only thing there is no shortage of these days is wildfire. The West is on fire, and those fires are being put out by land and air .... In the last few weeks, firefighting pilots have flown 350 missions and dropped 250,000 gallons of fire retardant in BLM's West Desert District, which is everything west of I-15 to Nevada, and then south to Beaver and north to Idaho." Includes slide show with 18 photos.
www.deseretnews.com/article/765591583/Aerial-firefighter-a-rare-breed-with-demands-for-highly-skilled-flying.html

"Meteorologists go on-site to help crews fight forest fires" (Sacramento Bee, 7/27/12)
"National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Smith sits at a desk most of the year. In wildfire season, however, he takes on a new persona: He wears a fire suit and camps out for days at a time at ground zero of major forest fires .... Such on-scene weather experts are essential to building strategies to fight major wildfires." They help fire chiefs "determine the most effective and safe ways to contain raging fires" and brief fire crews each morning so they know what to expect that day.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/27/4665082/meteorologists-go-on-site-to-help.html

"How to find out if your hunting area has been hit by wildfire" (Outdoor Life, 7/24/12)
"This summer, massive heat waves and catastrophic wildfires have ravaged hundreds of thousands of acres in the West," including some popular hunting areas. "The Forest Service or BLM will shut down these popular hunting destinations due to safety concerns. Road damage, falling trees, contaminated water sources and a host of other safety concerns mean that until some rehab is done, these areas simply aren’t safe for folks to be in. Luckily, there are some resources that can help you plan your hunt."
www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/open-country/2012/07/how-find-out-if-your-hunting-area-has-been-hit-wildfire

"Massive southeastern Oregon wildfires: Did weather, cows or grazing policies fuel the flames?" (Portland Oregonian, 7/ 21/12)
"The Long Draw fire that devoured an area more than six times the size of Portland in a week will take years to heal .... as the massive mop-up begins, some of the people who depend on the wide open spaces for their livelihoods believe dangerous fuel loads growing out of federal grazing cutbacks contributed to the devastation. But conservationists point to livestock as the cause, spreading invasive grasses and weeds as they roam the range. And the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which oversees much of the area, attributed the intensity of the fires to the weather in a region that gets a mere 8 to 10 inches of rain per year."
www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/07/massive_southeastern_oregon_wi.html

"Study challenges views about Western forest fires" (Associated Press at Fox Reno, 7/24/12)
"Researchers at the University of Wyoming studied historical fire patterns across millions of acres of dry Western forests" and concluded that "fuel-reduction programs aimed at removing trees and shrubs in the name of easing fire threats are creating artificial conditions that likely make dry forests less resilient." But the researchers' conclusions "have drawn sharp criticism from other longtime researchers who believe that decades of fire suppression have led to more densely tangled forests and more intense fires."
www.foxreno.com/news/news/state-regional/study-challenges-views-about-western-forest-fires/nP27h/

a rancher walks a border between burned and unburned grasses"Fires leave ranchers with more questions than answers" (Capital Ag Press, 7/25/12)
Ranchers in eastern Oregon are scrambling to feed cattle that would normally be headed toward BLM grazing allotments in eastern Oregon right about now. "Ranchers who lost grazing land to the Long Draw fire have few options for feeding their cattle this summer, and no good ones. The fire, the biggest in Oregon in 150 years, scorched 582,000 acres of Eastern Oregon rangeland .... More than 90 percent of the land that was burned is under BLM management." The BLM allotments may take two years to recover enough to allow grazing.
www.capitalpress.com/oregon/ml-jordan-valley-fires-072512-art

"Fire Information" (National Interagency Fire Center)
The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, "is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC, including the BLM.
www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

"California incidents" (InciWeb)
Current and recent wildfires (and prescribed fires).
www.inciweb.org/state/5/



NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:

close-up of a pelican's head and beakWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Brown pelicans prefer to nest on small coastal islands. Here are a few short accounts of why this is an advantage -- but which one is true?
(a.) The young are able to swim before they are able to fly, but they can can get injured or even drown if they try to make their way out past the powerful breaking waves that strike rocky sections of the California shoreline. By launching from the leeward side of an island, they have direct access to calmer water, and learn to catch their own food (fish) at an earlier age.
(b.) Brown pelican chicks are raised communally, rather than by their parents, but that makes it harder to keep track of missing chicks. Raising the chicks on an island limits how far the chicks can roam, and helps keep them all together, without parents keeping track of their own individual chicks.
(c.) Pelicans are clumsy flyers, and the strong updrafts and downdrafts of cliffs along the coast make it harder for them to keep from crashing. Winds a bit offshore are steadier and more predictable, so pelicans have a better chance of making repeated successful landings as they return from catching fish.
(d.) Brown pelicans are safer when separated from the mainland by a stretch of ocean, because it also separates them from mammal predators, especially raccoons. These mammals are unlikely to swim the among the turbulent ocean waves to reach these islands. These predators would otherwise steal eggs and sometimes destroy nests entirely.
(e.) Despite the best efforts of generations of unpaid wildlife biologist interns assigned to study this phenomenon, pelicans have steadfastly refused to answer the brief survey that could settle this once and for all. Some critics of the survey program insist that the pelicans are alienated by the color of the clipboards that the interns carry.
See the answer - and other wildlife stories - near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS

"Proposed 29 Palms Training Land Acquisition/Airspace Establishment Project" (U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, 7/27/12)
The Final Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed base expansion has been posted online. Comments will be accepted until August 17.
http://www.marines.mil/unit/29palms/las/Pages/default.aspx

RELATED: "Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Barstow Field Office)
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow/johnson.html

"Carcinogen in Mojave groundwater could require costly treatment" (Los Angeles Times, 7/21/12)
"The Mojave Desert groundwater that Cadiz Inc. wants to sell to Southland suburbs contains hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in amounts that are hundreds of times greater than the state's public health goal for drinking water." Water treatment could "drive up the cost of the project and ultimately the price of its water." The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which owns and operates the 242-mile-long Colorado River Aqueduct that Cadiz would use to transport its supplies to customers, "has also informed Cadiz that the aqueduct space the company is counting on may not always be available..."
www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cadiz-chromium-20120721,0,2245495.story

RELATED: "Crowds attend Cadiz water meeting" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/25/12)
"Hundreds of people gathered to support and oppose Cadiz Inc.’s proposal to pump Mojave Desert groundwater and pipe it to California cities. Orange County’s Santa Margarita Water District, the lead agency on the project, was considering whether to approve the project’s final Environmental Impact Report and move forward. The meeting in Mission Viejo on Wednesday, July 25, started at 6:30 p.m. and was expected to go late into the night. No decision had been made as of 9 p.m."
http://www.ca.blm.gov/dmkd

"BLM issues interim final rule regarding placer mining claim maintenance fees" (BLM, 7/27/12)
The BLM has issued a rule that changes the way maintenance fees for placer mining claims are assessed. The rule implements the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (the FY 2012 Act) which requires the BLM to collect maintenance fees for placer mining claims based on the total acreage contained in the claim, rather than by the claim.
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/july/NR_07_27_2012.html

"California hikes age for recreational off-highway vehicle drivers" (Yahoo! News, 7/25/12)
AB 1595 "increases the minimum age for drivers of recreational off-highway vehicles from 14 (and younger) to 16." The law also redefines the meaning of off-highway vehicles, as requested by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association.
http://news.yahoo.com/california-hikes-age-recreational-off-highway-vehicle-drivers-215600798--spt.html

RELATED: "AB 1595 bill text" (State of California)
http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1551-1600/ab_1595_bill_20120724_chaptered.html

"Upper Ridge trail project stalled" (Paradise Post, 7/20/12)
A man's idea to build a trail on the Upper Ridge -- across 10 miles of U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Paradise Irrigation District and private lands "stalled" after the discovery that "part of the trail was directly underneath a bald eagle's nest."
www.paradisepost.com/news/ci_21124570/upper-ridge-trail-project-stalled

"Marijuana grower sentenced to nearly four years in prison" (Visalia Times-Delta, 7/23/12)
The grower, from Mexico, "was growing marijuana in the Sentinel Peak area of the Sequoia National Forest. Law enforcement agents found more than 16,025 marijuana plants, more than 850 pounds of processed marijuana and three firearms including an assault rifle." Part of the sentence was "$3,686 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for the cost of cleanup." The BLM took part in the investigation.
www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20120724/NEWS01/120723006

"Fire, flooding close Yuma-area outdoor spots" (Yuma Sun, 7/23/12)
"Betty's Kitchen at Mittry Lake, which is operated by the Yuma Field Office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, will be closed for the next two years to allow for the restoration of the area and to avoid exposing the public to safety hazards caused by the 2011 Laguna Fire."
www.yumasun.com/news/area-80557-yuma-fire.html

JOBS
"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
http://blm.usajobs.gov/JobSearch/Search/GetResults?location=California


NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS

"State, federal officials reveal Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta plan” (Sacramento Bee, 7/25/12)
"State and federal leaders ... reaffirmed their commitment to build a giant pair of tunnels to divert the Sacramento River out of the Delta. Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference in Sacramento they believe the tunnel plan is crucial to solve conflicting problems that have long divided the state: protecting the fragile environment of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and also safeguarding freshwater diversions in the estuary from earthquakes, sea level rise and levee failures."
www.sacbee.com/2012/07/25/4660005/state-federal-officials-reveal.html

RELATED: "Governor Brown and Obama Administration Outline Path Forward for Bay Delta Conservation Plan" (Department of the Interior, 7/25/12)
In announcing the path forward for an enhanced Bay Delta Conservation Plan process, the officials emphasized that California’s water system is unsustainable from an environmental and economic perspective, and that the BDCP is a key part of a comprehensive solution to achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy California Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the State’s economy.
www.ca.blm.gov/3lkd

RELATED: "$14B water project faces long haul" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25/12)
"Even if approved, the project will not be ready for more than decade. And there will be plenty of battles along the way." Thirty years ago during Brown's previous term as governor, voters rejected his proposal of the Peripheral Canal in the same area.
www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/25/california-embarks-on-massive-water-project/

"Report shows US drought rapidly intensifying" (Associated Press in Sacramento Bee, 7/26/12)
"The widest drought to grip the United States in decades is getting worse with no signs of abating, a new report warned Thursday, as ... officials urged conservation and more ranchers considered selling cattle."
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/26/4663023/report-shows-us-drought-rapidly.html

a fish hangs on a branch in a dried section of lakea shrunken Lake Powell surrounded by dry rocky ground"Pictures: Drought parches much of the U.S." (National Geographic, July 2012)
"Across much of the western United States ... conditions have caused cities, farms, and businesses to fear for the future of their water supply as demand outstrips availability." Includes photo of a "shrunken" Lake Powell -- part of the Colorado River system which supplies water to southern California and six other states -- and of a recent Colorado wildfire which BLM firefighters helped to battle.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/07/120712-drought-pictures-us/

"Mining claim near Florence spotlights little-known law" (Bend, OR Bulletin, 7/20/12)
A resident who moved to Florence on the Oregon coast to enjoy the dunes was surprised when "a series of trucks started rumbling down her quiet street in the Heceta Beach neighborhood and out onto the sand" and workers started drilling test bores. A man from Indiana had filed a mining claim with the BLM, and apparently found silica, which is used to "make all sorts of high-tech products, from computer chips to the mixture of materials that are used in the hydraulic fracturing involved in the search for shale gas."
www.bendbulletin.com/article/20120720/NEWS0107/207200352/

RELATED: "Ugly surprise in the dunes" (Eugene, OR Register Guard,7/17/12)
The General Mining Act, “signed into law by Ulysses S. Grant seven years before the invention of the electric light bulb … to encourage settlement of the sparsely populated Western frontier …. gives federal land to miners for next to nothing, grants mining precedence over other uses of public lands, requires mining companies to pay no royalties and provides minimal environmental protections .... residents were shocked to find that there are several active claims ... in the Heceta Dunes near Florence,” raising concerns about “the possibility of mining in dunes that are regarded as one of Oregon’s coastal treasures.”
www.registerguard.com/web/opinion/28397794-47/mining-claims-dunes-law-1872.html.csp

a gun lies on the sand"Weapons stashed, ditched along S. Arizona border" (Arizona Daily Star, 7/22/12)
"When a hiker in Madera Canyon discovered three AK-47-type rifles wrapped in plastic last month, it may have seemed like a random occurrence. It wasn't. Across Southern Arizona's borderlands, workers, residents or visitors occasionally come across weapons that apparently have been stashed or ditched by criminals. In two cases this year, people in areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management have found stashed, plastic-wrapped rifles."
http://blm.gov/hmkd

"2012 Congressional testimony" (BLM)
- Legislative Hearing: H.R. 6089, Healthy Forests Management Act (7-20-2012)
- Oversight Hearing: "Helium: Supply Shortages Impacting Our Economy, National Defense and Manufacturing" (7-20-2012)
- Legislative Hearing: H.R. 5960, Depleting Risk from Insect Infestation, Soil Erosion, and Catastrophic Fire Act (7-20-2012)
- Legislative Hearing: H.R. 5744, Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act (7-20-2012).
www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/congressional_testimonies/2012.html

"Cotati man appeals Burning Man expansion” (Associated Press in Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/23/12)
The "appeal of the agency's increase in the maximum crowd size from 50,000 to 60,900 will be considered by the Interior Board of Land Appeals in the Department of the Interior .... a land sailor from Cotati suggests the event is to blame for dunes that have kept him and others such as land-speed racers from using the sprawling desert for their activities."
www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120723/WIRE/207231056

"Rain washes out roads to AZ monument" (KPHO Arizona, 7/25/12)
"Heavy rains have washed out roads leading to the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in far northwestern Arizona. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is asking visitors to stay away for at least a few days while crews remove debris."
www.kpho.com/story/19112628/rain-washes-out-roads-to-az-monument


SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS

More information on the following events at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument can be found at:
www.desertmountains.org/

July 25 - What's Up There? (Plants of the forest)

July 28 - Devil's Slide hike

BLM California has a new events calendar on Facebook. You can view it by signing in to your Facebook account.


WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) Brown pelicans are safer when separated from the mainland by a stretch of ocean, because it also separates them from mammal predators, especially raccoons. These mammals are unlikely to swim the among the turbulent ocean waves to reach these islands. These predators would otherwise steal eggs and sometimes destroy nests entirely.


SOURCE: "Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis" (BLM California wildlife database)
www.blm.gov/ca/forms/wildlife/details.php?metode=serial_number&search=2435

More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):

a frog jumps in the water"Bacterium used to target frog epidemic" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/19/12)
"In a push to save thousands of mountain frogs threatened by a deadly fungal epidemic, biologists are treating hundreds of High Sierra tadpoles with an experimental bacterium they hope will preserve the species. The scientists this week backpacked over Bishop Pass into famed Dusy Basin, 11,300 feet high in Kings Canyon National Park, carrying plastic bottles filled with a purple soup of microbes."
www.sfgate.com/science/article/Bacterium-used-to-target-frog-epidemic-3721469.php

a group of pelicans in a care centera woman feeds pelicans in a pen"Underfed pelicans flood coastal areas" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/21/12)
Thousands of brown pelicans "are barely making land or washing ashore this summer along the California coast .... flooding into rescue centers. High mortality rates are typical for brown pelicans - fewer than half survive their first year - but experts don't know whether the apparent increase in deaths is due to a higher birth rate, lower food availability or something else."
www.sfgate.com/science/article/Underfed-pelicans-flood-coastal-areas-3724336.php

a pelican gliding in for a landinga pelican on a pier as a boy walks nearbyRELATED: "Brown pelicans becoming more prolific in Delta, inland areas" (Contra Costa Times, 7/24/12)
"Known for hanging out along the Pacific Coast, a growing number of the young long-billed birds are finding their way to inland cities such as Stockton, Davis and Antioch -- one even ventured to Yosemite National Park. Changes in the Pacific Ocean's environment have likely caused a ripple effect by pushing schools of sardines and anchovies away from the coastline, forcing the fledglings ... to look elsewhere for food...."
www.contracostatimes.com/science/ci_21138504/brown-pelicans-becoming-more-prolific-delta-inland-areas
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