A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 554 - 10/26/12 - Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- 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
- More wildlife stories from your public lands (and elsewhere)
This issue of BLM California News.bytes is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Cyclists enjoy fall color on the Bizz Johnson Trail" (News.bytes Extra)
Bicyclists took advantage of a special bus shuttle Saturday, Oct. 20, and rode through glorious fall colors on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. About 30 riders participated in the event hosted by the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office and its partner, the Lassen Land and Trails Trust. The season’s last shuttle will be Saturday, Oct. 27.
"California Desert District Welcomes NLCS Youth Corp" (News.bytes Extra)
This week the BLM's California Desert District welcomed the NLCS Youth Corps Crew to the Barstow Field Office’s Desert Discovery Center. The Youth Corp will provide project assistance in units of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) as part of the BLM’s Youth Program. The Youth Program connects young people to the public lands and develops their leadership skills, ethics of stewardship, and creative innovations in preparation for careers in the natural resource management field. This crew will work on projects in all five of the CDD’s Field Offices.
"State Director meets North State partners, students" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM’s partners, including students from North Coast schools, had the opportunity to showcase their projects and accomplishments, when BLM California State Director Jim Kenna visited North Coast areas managed by the Arcata Field Office. The State Director saw projects ranging from historic building restoration to efforts to improve the health of an entire watershed. At every stop, he stressed the importance of community partnerships in developing the best approaches to managing public lands and natural resources, and engaging youth.
RELATED: "BLM State Director honors Trinidad students as Coastal Monument 'Rock Stars'" (BLM, 10/23/12)
Students from the Trinidad Union School District were recognized as Rock Stars of the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument. BLM California State Director Jim Kenna honored three groups of students from Trinidad Union School for finding creative ways to encourage their friends and families to discover the Monument. Trinidad is one of several coastal cities and towns designated as a Monument Gateway Community.
"Bishop campground rehabilitation project completed" (News.bytes Extra)
After two years of construction the Bishop Field Office campgrounds have new updated assets! Crowley Lake, Tuttle Creek, Goodale Creek, and Horton Creek campground are now open and construction is complete. Crowley, Tuttle, and Horton now have potable water and dump stations.
"BLM and partners celebrate Old Spanish Trail Day" (News.bytes Extra)
Partners and enthusiasts gathered in Tecopa last weekend to celebrate the Old Spanish Trail -- the "longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule trail in the history of America." The event included talks by national and local historians, guided field trips to trail segments, and a barbecue with traditional “western trail” music.
A highlight was the presentation of the new Memorandum of Understanding between the BLM and the Old Spanish Trail Association establishing a partnership for management, preservation, and interpretation of the trail.
"Off the beaten path" (Visalia Times-Delta, 10/23/12)
Two Visalia mountain bike mechanics and salesmen "offer tips for those looking to get into off-road cycling ... The two men agree that one of the best locations for off-road cycling is located on Bureau of Land Management territory in Three Rivers ... 'If you don’t know a lot about mountain biking or you don’t know the area too well, then it can be a little intimidating,' [one of them] said. “There are a lot of steep climbs and a lot of ruts on the road. It’s a good intro to mountain biking if you ride with someone that has been there before and can show you the ropes.” Keep in the mind the forgotten risks that come from visiting the foothills."
RELATED: "Case Mountain Giant Sequoias" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
This is a day use site only. There is no public motorized access to the Case Mountain Grove Complex. On the northwest slope of Case Mountain, there are developed picnic sites, accessible only by trail. These trails are accessible for hiking, mountain biking or horse back riding. Public access from the Skyline Road easement near Three Rivers is limited.
"GIS intern pilot project" (News.bytes Extra)
With funding from a recent California State Park Off-Highway Vehicle Operation and Maintenance grant, a youth intern is now conducting a GPS/GIS Trail Inventory and Condition Assessment of the BLM Barstow Field Office’s El Mirage Off-Highway Cooperative Management Area.
|GET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
...View the many species of birds and waterfowl in the Surprise Resource Area bordered by the Warner Mountains. The variety of habitats supports a diversity of birdlife. Vegetation communities include a small amount of white-fir forest near the western edge of the resource area, shadscale and greasewood scrub at the lowest elevations, and sagebrush and juniper woodland at intermediate elevations. Aspen groves and patches of mountain mahogany are scattered throughout the area at higher elevations and springs, meadows, and streams provide riparian habitat. Shallow alkaline lakes, such as Massacre and the Alkali lakes, provide habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. See how many you can spot using the bird checklist available on the website.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
a least chipmunk
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
How is a chipmunk’s hibernation different from a squirrrel’s?
(a.) Chipmunks do not hibernate, but stay active all year round.
(b.) Chipmunks wake up periodically and eat from stored food supplies.
(c.) Chipmunks lose weight before hibernation, to fit into smaller hiding places.
(d.) Chipmunks gain so much weight before hibernation, they can barely fit into the hibernation burrows they dug weeks earlier.
(e.) Squirrels do not hibernate, but stay active all year round.
(f.) Some chipmunks “chip” and “trill” in their sleep -- which makes for an awfully long six months for the others.
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.
"2012 Oil and Gas Conference in Bakersfield"(News.bytes Extra)
Speakers from federal, state and local agencies, and private industry, discussed issues facing the industry at the 2012 Oil and Gas Conference in Bakersfield. BLM California State Director Jim Kenna and state Department of Conservation Director Mark Nechodom signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate operations with oil and gas industry oversight. BLM national Fluid Minerals Division Chief Steven Wells, told the group that BLM oil and gas leases nationally generated $3 billion. The BLM Bakersfield Field Office is the fourth highest in number of drilling permits.
| RENEWABLE ENERGY
"BLM initiates environmental review of solar project in California Desert" (BLM, 10/24/12)
Soda Mountain Solar, LLC has requested a right-of-way authorization to construct, operate, maintain and decommission an up to 350 megawatt photovoltaic facility along with the necessary ancillary facilities including a project substation, access road, realignment of an existing route, operations and maintenance buildings, and lay-down areas. The project is proposed on 4,397 acres with the solar field occupying approximately 2,691 acres straddling both sides of Interstate 15, about six miles southwest of Baker in San Bernardino County.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"CalFire lifts burn ban" (Corning Observer, 10/23/12)
"The first rains of fall and cooler temperatures have reduced fire dangers in northwest California, and the Bureau of Land Management, CalFire and the Tehama County Fire Department have lifted burn bans and fire restrictions in Tehama County ... Even with reduced fire dangers, officials urge outdoor enthusiasts and homeowners to be careful with fire. Campers must fully extinguish campfires when leaving camp, and burning should not be conducted on windy days. Wood cutters must have spark arresters on their chainsaws, and they should carry tools including shovels and fire extinguishers."
"BLM plans prescribed burn in Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM, 10/24/12)
The BLM's Bakersfield Field Office plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the northern section of the Carrizo Plain National Monument next week. The 940-acre burn is located near the Goodwin Education Center, off Soda Lake Road. The burn should take one or two days to complete. The BLM’s target burn date is Tuesday, Oct. 30, but the actual date could vary depending on weather and smoke dispersal conditions.
"BLM Hollister Field Office lifts fire restrictions Saturday" BLM, 10/25/12)
Fire restrictions for public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Hollister Field Office in the Panoche, Tumey and Grisswold hills will be rescinded beginning Saturday, Oct. 27. Although the fire restrictions are lifted, the Hollister Field Office fire staff would like to remind the public when recreating outdoors to continue to use caution to decrease the chance of human-caused fires and avoid resource and property damage.
"BLM Lifts Fire Restrictions on Northwest California" (BLM, 10/23/12)
The first rains of fall and cooler temperatures have reduced fire dangers in northwest California, and the Bureau of Land Management has lifted fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Arcata, Redding and Ukiah field offices.
"BLM Mother Lode Office lifts fire restrictions" (BLM, 10/23/12)
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. However, some requirements such as campfire permits remain in place.
"Wildfires force ranchers into tough choices" (AgAlert, 10/24/12)
"While the catastrophic wildfires that ravaged northeastern California in August have been extinguished with the season's first rain and snow, economic and environmental damage will continue for years for families who ranch, log and live in the state's mountain counties ... Federal policies differ on how long grazing should be banned on land affected by wildfire, saying it depends on the heat of the fire, the topography of burn areas and environmental considerations." The Rush Fire along the California-Nevada state line "burned for nearly two weeks on Bureau of Land Management land" including grazing allotments.
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM extends comment period for Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Business Plan" (BLM, 10/26/12)
Due to numerous requests by the public, the Bureau of Land Management has extended the comment period for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Business Plan. Email comments will now be accepted until 8 a.m. Nov. 30, 2012.
RELATED: "Bureau of Land Management dissects dunes draft business plan" (Imperial Sand Dunes, 10/24/12)
"Citing its dire financial straits, the Bureau of Land Management has proposed fee increases at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area for the 2013 fiscal year. The BLM also made it clear at its Desert Advisory Council subgroup meeting Wednesday that any failure to increase fees could result in marked changes at the sand dunes."
"Desert cleanup - Route 768" (News.bytes Extra)
Route 768 in the BLM's California Desert District included a pit that was full of household trash, tin cans, automotive parts, and an old car that was cut into several pieces. A crew worked to remove the trash and car parts, which were loaded into trucks and taken to the landfill.
… is part of a national program to promote the preservation of our Nation's heritage. In California, the program is sponsored by the Society for California Archaeology and is supported by the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies. California Archaeology Month is observed in October to integrate with California's K-12 educational curriculum on Native American and California history. The BLM Hollister Field Office’s efforts to promote Archaeology Month received public and professional recognition with a front-page link from the Society of California Archaeology to BLM Hollister’s archaeology page:
"BLM Resource Advisory Council meets Nov. 7-8 in Alturas"(BLM, 10/22/12)
Agenda topics include updates on recent large wildfires and planned recovery efforts, a status report on conservation planning for greater sage-grouse, updates on wild horse and burro management, the status of a possible land acquisition from PG&E, an update on proposals for geothermal energy development in the Medicine Lake Highlands and a status report on management of the Alturas and Surprise field offices.
"Medical pot growers ravage California forest habitat" (Sacramento Bee, 10/21/12)
"A rush to profit from patient demand for pot has resulted in irresponsible forest clearing, illegal stream diversions, and careless pesticide and fertilizer use that has polluted waterways and killed wildlife, state and local government officials said … Medical marijuana grows fall into a different category from illegal 'trespass grows,' which tend to be hidden on public land and maintained by criminal organizations ... But the environmental problems they create are similar, in large part because the state's ability to regulate marijuana cultivation remains hazy."
"New museum exhibit features area naturalists" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/18/12)
"Keen Eyes and Curious Minds," the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History's new exhibit "was created was created in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the UCSC Natural History Museum Collections and explores the lives of Santa Cruz-area naturalists Daniel Miller and Randall Morgan through artifacts, images and hands-on exploration labs. 'Visitors will learn how everything from an Ohlone tiger beetle to a great white shark can open our eyes, ears and minds to a greater stewardship of nature,' said Daniel Harder, museum executive director." The exhibit runs through Feb. 23.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
|NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Arizonans to vote on taking Grand Canyon, other lands from federal control" (Reuters on NBC, 10/23/12)
"Proposition 120 would amend the state's constitution to declare Arizona's sovereignty and jurisdiction over the 'air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state's boundaries.' The measure is the latest salvo in the so-called "sagebrush revolt' ... aiming to take back control of major swaths of land owned by various federal agencies, much of it by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management."
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) Chipmunks wake up periodically and eat from stored food supplies.
SOURCE: "Least Chipmunk - Tamias minimus" (BLM California wildlife database)
More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):
"Picture-perfect pond to protect the OV pupfish" (Inyo Register, 10/25/12)
"The Bishop Paiute Tribe Native Fish Refuge continues its efforts to preserve native desert fish populations while creating opportunities for cultural and environmental education, preserving tribal links to its past and furnishing a public recreation venue ... The refuge can be accessed from the Cultural Center parking lot, the US Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management parking lot ... and the pathway that crosses See Vee Lane. The pathways are important, said [Brian Adkins, director of the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Environmental Management Office], providing 'more opportunities for health walks, exercise, bird watching, species recovery and environmental and cultural education'."
BLM critter camera captures candid photos of Colorado wildlife" (Denver Post, 10/22/12)
"A menagerie of wildlife has been captured by "critter cams" placed on or near wildland water tanks along Colorado's Front Range. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Colorado cameras have captured bear, mountain lions, bobcat, elk, coyotes, fox, even wild turkeys, as the animals approach the tanks to take a cool drink, or perhaps even a bath ... Biologists with the BLM use the water tanks, known as 'guzzlers,' to 'manage grazing and increase water access for wildlife'."
"Thanks to whales, oceans used to be as loud as a rock concert" (Los Angeles Times, 10/23/12)
"Industrial whaling appears to have had an unexpected consequence: It turned down the volume in the oceans, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Kansas City, Mo."
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
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