A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 559 - 12/6/12 - Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Still a few available: FREE 2013 planner
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- From our Facebook pages
- 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)
If this message does not show up properly in your email, you can see it online at:
|STILL A FEW LEFT! FREE OFFER to the public: 2013 BLM California planner...
...featuring BLM California National Conservation Lands of the National Landscape Conservation System. Each month features a photograph highlighting one of these dramatic California landscapes. Sign up now, while limited supplies last! Limit one per person, please.
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"ACE crew helps out at BLM Surprise Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
The American Conservation Experience crew recently visited the BLM California Surprise Field Office for an eight-day hitch. The crew came arrived in Cedarville only to be greeted by a snow storm and freezing temperatures -- during which they worked on Nevada and California public lands managed by the Surprise Field office.
"Recycle Education Day impacts local students in Barstow" (News.bytes Extra)
On Thursday November 30, more than 300 local school children learned all about the hows and whys of recycling at the Bureau of Land Management's Desert Discovery Center in Barstow. Many volunteers and partners helped put on the event, as students went through five different but related stations on the five ‘R's of recycling: recycle, reduce, reuse, react and rethink. Various stations had students making a mural of the recycling sayings, learning a song about composting and reducing impacts in the world, walking a path picking up items and then sorting them to learn what is actually recyclable, and more.
RELATED: "Elementary students rethink recycling at Desert Discovery Center" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/29/12)
Third- and fourth-graders "left the Desert Discovery Center chanting 'Recycle Barstow!' at the Recycle Awareness Program held Thursday. The students participated in educational and art activities related to recycling including making a mobile out of buttons, old CDs, wire and coat hangers."
"9 of the Best California Desert Winter Campgrounds" (KCET, 12/3/12)
"The desert offers winter climates ranging from invigoratingly brisk to just plain warm, and with a little planning you can camp just as comfortably in January as you can in May. Here are some of our favorite places for desert winter camping, ranging from primitive unmarked sites with no amenities whatsoever..." Recommendations include BLM areas in Chuckwalla Valley, Corn Springs and Tuttle Creek Campground: "One of the chief joys of camping at any season in the California desert is the prevalence of open areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
RELATED: "Tuttle Creek Campground" (BLM Bishop Field Office)
RELATED: "Corn Springs Campground" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
"Trail stewardship training at BLM Barstow Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM and Old Spanish Trail Association hosted a Trail Stewardship Training in Barstow, California last month. The two-day training was an opportunity for trail stewards to learn how to monitor designated sections of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail and participate in citizen science to preserve and protect the trail for future generations.
"Explosives safety awareness..." (BLM California)
...on the former California-Arizona Maneuver Area. As you explore and enjoy the natural wonders that abound in this large area either side of the California-Arizona border, you also need to appreciate that you are on a former defense site. Watch the video and learn the three Rs of Explosives Safety: Recognize, Retreat, Report.
| GET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
...Discover the beauty of Headwaters Forest Reserve. The reserve is set aside to protect and preserve the ecological and wildlife values in the area, particularly the stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened Coho salmon.
RELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve - Photo Gallery" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Bighorn sheep engage in butting contests, charging at each other at up to 20 miles per hour. This is so the winner can:
(a.) Chase the loser out of the herd.
(b.) Claim the best grazing territory.
(c.) Establish superiority for mating season.
(d.) Claim the high spot on the mountain slope.
(e.) Gain absolutely nothing; it's just to show off.
See answer - and a story about how the BLM and other agencies are cooperating to study bighorn - near the end of this News.bytes.
|FROM OUR BLM FACEBOOK PAGES:
Black-tailed jackrabbits are actually hares and not rabbits; hares are bigger and have bigger ears, with longer hind legs that allow them to run faster and leap higher to escape predation. Photo by Mike Price.
| RENEWABLE ENERGY
"Desert wind farm jolts San Diego" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/2/12)
A wind farm in the northern Sonora desert was set to "deliver its first jolt of electricity to San Diego this week, opening up the flow of renewable energy across the Sunrise Powerlink. The power plant at Ocotillo is one in a long line of utility-scale wind and solar projects made possible by the new 117-mile transmission line leading from Coastal California into the Imperial Valley." Developer Patten Energy "expects to have at least 86 turbines out of 112 at Ocotillo generating power this week. Spread across 19 square miles of desert" leased from the BLM, "the turbines nearly encircle Ocotillo, a town of fewer than 300 year-round occupants."
RELATED: "Ocotillo Wind Project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/30/12)
Photo gallery to go with the above story.
"BLM adds public meeting for Stateline Solar in San Bernardino County" (BLM, 12/4/12)
The BLM has added a Jan. 10, 2013, public meeting in Barstow for the proposed 300-megawatt Stateline Solar Farm on the California side of the Nevada border. The Barstow meeting will be held in Barstow.
The BLM will use the public comments received to prepare the final environmental documents and plan amendment regarding the project. Public meetings will also be held on Jan. 9 from 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. in Nipton, CA.
"State lacks strategy on alternative energy, report says" (Los Angeles Times, 12/3/12)
"California's push to add wind and solar energy to its existing power grid could saddle ratepayers with soaring electrical bills and despoil the state's environmental resources unless officials act soon, according to a report released Monday by a government watchdog agency. Although it applauded the state's effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, the nonpartisan Little Hoover Commission said that a 'balkanized' and 'dysfunctional' collection of state energy agencies threatened to create a 'profoundly expensive policy failure'."
RELATED: "California's green energy transformation could push prices up for consumers and businesses, report says" (San Jose Mercury News, 12/3/12)
"California's aggressive plans to transition to a clean-energy economy could expose consumers and state government to higher than necessary prices, according to a report ... by the Little Hoover Commission .... a nonpartisan state oversight agency created in 1962 [that] investigates state government operations."
"Solar projects shouldn't be a burden" (San Luis Obispo County Tribune, 11/28/12)
Editorial: "Some California counties may be getting burned by solar power, but thanks to local control -- and the diligence of county officials -- SLO isn't among them. Through the permitting process, the county was able to require two big solar projects on the Carrizo Plain to pay their own way for public services. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case elsewhere."
"BLM plans oil and gas competitive lease auction" (BLM, 12/4/12)
The Bureau of Land Management will auction oil and gas leases on federal land in Central California on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The lease auction will be held at the California State Office in Sacramento. The room will open at 8 a.m. to allow bidders to register and obtain a bid number. The competitive oral auction will begin at 9 a.m. The competitive lease auction involves 15 parcels for a total of 17,872.8 acres of public lands in Fresno, San Benito and Monterey counties. The BLM has received 11 protests filed on parcels for this lease auction.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"BLM releases environmental assessment on Rush Fire emergency stabilization, rehabilitation" (BLM, 12/4/12)
An environmental assessment (EA) analyzing the effects of emergency stabilization and rehabilitation projects on public lands burned by last summer's Rush Fire has been released for public review and comment and is available online. The EA describes projects including seeding, stream stabilization, livestock grazing closures, wildlife habitat restoration and reduction of wild horse populations. The projects are designed to protect burned areas from erosion and other impacts, allowing plants and newly seeded areas to recover from the burn.
"BLM plans pile burns in Kern River Valley" (12/5/12)
The Bureau of Land Management plans to burn fuel piles in the Wofford Heights and Wagy Flat areas during the upcoming winter and spring months. Piles created from fuel reduction projects will be burned to dispose of fuels along roadsides and constructed fuelbreaks.
"BLM lifts fire-prevention closures in San Diego County" (BLM, 12/5/12)
The BLM has lifted the fire-prevention closures of Sycamore Canyon and Marron Valley in San Diego County effective Dec. 5. Approximately 4,568 acres of public land in these areas had been closed to the public since late July. The public is reminded that while these closures have been lifted, citizens should maintain their fire-safe vigilance as fires can occur in any season.
"Wildland fires: New yardstick for risk aims to help protect communities" (Christian Science Monitor, 12/5/12)
"The risk index announced Wednesday is a tool for communities in the 'wildland-urban interface,' where development has pushed into areas in which wildfires are part of the ecology ... According to the US Bureau of Land Management's Interagency Fire Center, the 10-year period beginning in 2002 saw an annual average of nearly 71,000 wildland-urban fires that burned a total of 4.7 million acres."
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM and State of California safeguard dangerous openings at Mountaineer Abandoned Mine Land" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM's Abandoned Mine Lands Program and the State of California's Department of Conservation - Abandoned Mine Lands Unit (DOC) joined forces to safeguard dangerous mine openings in eastern Riverside County on public lands administered by the BLM Palm Springs Field Office. One of the features was backfilled with rock while the other eight received wildlife-friendly gates, and approximately 100-feet of non-designated route was reclaimed.
RELATED: "Abandoned mine lands" (BLM California)
The BLM California California Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program has approximately 18,000 abandoned mine sites on public lands. Many of the AML's on BLM's public lands are a result of California's historic gold rush. Public lands that contain abandoned mine sites consist of physical and environmental safety hazards. Physical safety hazards affect public health, safety and wildlife.
"Off-roaders love Chappie Shasta area for filming" (News.bytes Extra)
The Chappie-Shasta Off Highway Vehicle Area near Redding continues to be a popular place for vehicle manufacturers to show off their products in commercials. Most recently, Toyota and Cam Am were on site on the same day, film crews in tow, getting footage for upcoming TV spots.
"BLM to analyze public comments from dunes plan"(Imperial Valley Press, 12/4/12)
"The public comment period having ended Friday for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area draft business plan, the Bureau of Land Management nonetheless acknowledged a desire to continue to hear from the public. The proposed business plan is calling for a permit and vendor fee increase for the 2013-2014 dunes season ... The bureau signaled that its next move would be to analyze the 236 comments that the agency had received via email, as well as the dozen or so made during a Desert Advisory Council meeting Saturday."
"Petroglyphs vandalized" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 12/3/12)
"In the Black Mountain area, north of Hinkley, images that pre-date all modern art can be found chiseled into basalt rocks. A favorite of ancient indigenous people for its dark color and ability to withstand the elements, these basalt rocks have been under recent continuous attack by vandals who threaten to destroy history one slab at a time."
"Climbers launch effort to catch petroglyph thieves" (Inyo Register, 12/5/12)
"The local and even international climbing communities have joined the effort to bring attention to the recent thefts and vandalism of ancient, irreplaceable rock art, and hopefully bring those responsible to justice."
"Narcotics Task Force announces marijuana seizures" (DEA news release, 12/3/12)
"Of additional significance is the fact that 24,016 were removed from our public lands. That includes both U.S. Forest Service lands and Bureau of Land Management lands. DEA/NTF will continue to intensify their efforts in this area and work with our National Guard, BLM, and US Forest Service partners and to halt the extensive environmental damage that these grows cause and to ensure that our public lands remain safe."
"Canadian Fugitive Surrenders at Border in Nation's Largest Eco-Terrorism Case" (United States District Attorney, District of Oregon, 11/29/12)
"Rebecca Jeanette Rubin, age 39, a Canadian citizen, surrendered herself into FBI custody at the international border in Blaine, Washington, to face federal arson, destructive device and conspiracy charges in Oregon, Colorado and California ... An indictment in the Eastern District of California charges Rubin with conspiracy, arson, and using a destructive device in the October 15, 2001, fire at the BLM Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Susanville, California."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Listings include various types of firefighting positions.
|NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"San Bernardino County experts find saber-tooth fossils near Vegas" (Los Angeles Times, 12/4/12)
"Paleontologists from San Bernardino County Museum found fossils of the elusive saber-toothed cat in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas" after spending "more than a decade combing through the Las Vegas Wash area in Tule Springs looking for fossils from the Ice Age." The museum "won a grant from the Bureau of Land Management in 2008 to begin the excavation. The museum's paleontologists are experts on the late Pleistocene era, the tail end of the Ice Age, when the Las Vegas Valley was filled with meadows, marshes, flowing springs and rivers."
"'Basque Herders: The End of an Era' Program at the California Trail Center" (BLM Nevada, 12/3/12)
Learn about the influences of the Basque on Elko's culture and landscape at a free presentation at the California Trail Center on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Join Kent McAdoo of the University of Nevada, Reno-Extension Service for a slide program on the influences of the Basque and the reasons behind their decline as workers in the sheep ranching industry.
"Havasu desert enthusiasts clean up Buck Mountains"(Lake Havasu News-Herald, 12/4/12)
"Havasu 4 Wheelers club members volunteer to fence open mine shafts Wednesday in the Buck Mountains, which are 12 northeast of Lake Havasu City. Sixteen volunteers ... drove 16 jeeps into the Buck Mountains northeast of Lake Havasu City Wednesday and fenced six open mine shafts during an effort to promote safe off-roading in the area. The project is an ongoing partnership with U.S. Bureau of Land Management, who provides the fencing materials and the club members who volunteer to do the work."
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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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