A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 566 - 2/7/13 - Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- On our Facebook pages
- Wild horses and burros
- On our other social media pages
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Traditional energy
- Renewable energy
- 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
"National Monument volunteers 'Lead the Way'" (News.bytes Extra)
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, in partnership with the Friends of the Desert Mountains, accomplished much with volunteers during this past federal Fiscal Year. More than 75 volunteers contributed 7,015 total hours worked. Forty of those volunteers and their families attended the Jan. 26 volunteer appreciation event held at the National Monument Visitor Center. This event is held annually to celebrate and recognize the "Monumental" effort of our volunteers who "Lead the Way."
"Abandoned mines secured to make Rademacher Hills safer for recreation" (News.bytes Extra)
Running along the south side of Ridgecrest is a set of mountains known as the Rademacher Hills. From the top of the hills a person can look over a large expanse of desert and Ridgecrest. This is an area where the BLM, recreational users, adjacent landowners, and interest groups are actively working together to protect and enhance the scenic, ecological, and recreational values. An interdisciplinary team of staff members from the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office analyzed more than 60 AML features and determined that 20 of them along the Rademacher Trail System were dangerous...
"9 most colorful beaches in the world" (Fox News, 2/4/13)
Look under "Gray Sand" for Shelter Cove and King Range National Conservation Area, "home to sea lions, bald eagles, and Roosevelt elk -- even Bigfoot himself has been spotted roaming the woods here."
RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
|ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES...
...a photo of a baby burro in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area, photos from Cosumnes River Preserve, a poster for the Duner Dogs Hike Feb. 16 and more -- including advance looks at some of our upcoming News.bytes Extras, and wildlife photo and information postings from the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"BLM offers 14 wild horses and burros for adoption, opportunity to meet new corral manager" (BLM, 1/31/13)
Eleven horses and three burros will be available for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro February Adoption on Saturday Feb. 9, at the Sundance Ranch in Redlands from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The adoption also offers fans of the American West's beloved mustangs and burros the opportunity to meet Grant Lockie, who was recently appointed facility manager for the Regional Corrals & Adoption Center at Ridgecrest. Lockie succeeds Arthur DiGrazia, who retired in 2012 after 38 years with the program. Lockie previously served as a wild horse wrangler for 12 years at the BLM's Litchfield Corrals near Susanville.
"California Wild Horse & Burro Adoption Schedule" (BLM California)
Another adoption will take place March 22-24 at the Backcountry Horsemen's Rendezvous in Norco, at the Ingalls Equestrian Center
"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for March 4-5 in Oklahoma City" (BLM, 2/6/13)
The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection, management, and control of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land's capacity to support them. According to the BLM's latest official estimate, approximately 37,300 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.
"Beware of the burros" (Mojave Valley Daily News, 2/3/13)
After months of accidents and deaths involving burros, city officials have placed two burro crossing marquees on the Bullhead Parkway, urging drivers to use caution and to be on the lookout for the four-legged creatures migrating off the mountains. Since mid-December six accidents involving burros have occurred on a stretch of the Bullhead Parkway, which has resulted in the deaths of three burros and injury to one motorist.
|ON OUR OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES...
Follow the next generation of BLMers as they share their experiences on the public lands ... see a photo of Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (taken by BLM California's Bob Wick) ... see a photo of Wyoming's "Stonehenge" ... and more stories, more photos ... on the Bureau of Land Management's national Tumblr page.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
California slender salamander
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What do California slender salamanders eat?
(a.) flowers, nectar and over-ripe fruit
(b.) small snakes
(c.) grass, weeds, and the leaves of low bushes
(d.) insects, arthropods, worms and slugs
(e.) bark salad with dressing on the side, nonfat wood chips and dewdrops with a twist of huckleberry
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.
"Vast Oil Reserve May Now Be Within Reach, and Battle Heats Up" (New York Times, 2/3/13)
The Midway-Sunset oil field "keeps producing crude more than a century after Southern California's oil boom. Many of its bobbing pump jacks are relatively short, a telltale sign of the shallowness of the wells and the ease of extracting their prize. But away from this forest of pump jacks on a flat, brown landscape, a road snakes up into nearby hills that are largely untouched -- save for a handful of exploratory wells pumping oil from depths many times those of Midway-Sunset's. These wells are tapping crude directly from what is called the Monterey Shale, which could represent the future of California's oil industry -- and a potential arena for conflict between drillers and the state's powerful environmental interests."
RELATED: "Midway-Sunset oil field tour highlights energy issues" (News.bytes Extra)
Oil production in California has received national media interest due to potential production in the Monterey Shale formation and proposed state and federal fracking regulations. Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times San Francisco Bureau chief, interviewed Jeff Prude, petroleum engineer and Gabe Garcia, Minerals Division chief, both from the BLM Bakersfield Field Office, during a tour of the Midway-Sunset oil field. The two BLM employees and John Hodge, natural resource specialist, discussed the oil production, the potential of the Monterey Shale and other issues during the day-long tour.
"Energy industry develops nontoxic fracking fluids" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 2/3/13)
"The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking, but it's not clear whether the new product will be widely embraced by drilling companies. Houston-based energy giant Halliburton Inc. has developed a product called CleanStim, which uses only food-industry ingredients. Other companies have developed nontoxic fluids as well."
| RENEWABLE ENERGY
"Solar development absorbs California farmland" (Associated Press in Everett, WA Daily Herald, 2/3/13)
"With California mandating that 33 percent of electricity be generated from renewables by the end of the decade, there are 227 proposed solar projects in the pipeline statewide. Coupled with wind and other renewables they would generate enough electricity to meet 100 percent of California's power needs on an average summer day, the California Independent System Operator says. And new applications for projects keep arriving. Developers are flocking to flat farmland near power transmission lines, but agriculture interests, environmental groups and even the state are concerned that there is no official accounting of how much of this important agricultural region's farmland is being taken out of production."
"Leaders detail clean tech sector's challenges" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/7/13)
"The clean technology industry is not only about saving the environment or reducing carbon emissions. It's also about finding solutions and making money. "We need to start acting like other industrial sectors," First Solar CEO Jim Hughes told the ninth annual Clean-Tech Investor Summit Wednesday in Indian Wells. "We can tout the environment; the more interesting opportunity is the economic aspects of our product. We need to advocate for a market structure to cash in on the peak value of our product. We don't need to ask for handouts. We need to ask for level playing fields and access to markets. We need to focus and understand problems."
"Supersized Wind Turbines Head Out to Sea" (MIT Technology Review, 2/1/13)
"Several companies are designing 10- and even 15-megawatt machines with 100-meter blades. These blades would reach two-thirds of the way to the roof of the Empire State Building. The push to supersize wind turbines is part of an effort to reduce installation and maintenance costs, which can be far higher than the cost of the turbines themselves. The pictures in this slideshow give a sense of just why installation is so costly."
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM advisory council seeks applicants" (Redding Record Searchlight, 2/2/13)
"During the 15 years Alan Abbs has lived in Tehama County, he and his wife have hosted and participated in numerous events on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land. The Abbs are avid runners and bicyclists, and they have hosted events featuring kayaking, bicycling and running on BLM land in the Bend area north of Red Bluff. So when an opening on the BLM's Resource Northwest California Advisory Council came open last year, Abbs applied for the post ... northwest council has two openings."
"BLM has openings on Northwest California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM, 2/7/13)
The BLM has two openings on its Northwest California Resource Advisory Council, which advises the agency on diverse public land and natural resource issues. Nominations must be received by March 13. Both openings are to fill one-year terms in a membership category representing local elected officials, the public at large, Native American tribal interests, teachers involved with science and natural resources, and state agencies involved with natural resources.
"BLM Resource Advisory Council meets Feb. 21-22 in Shelter Cove" (BLM, 2/7/13)
Various topics related to natural resource conservation and public land management are on the agenda for a meeting of the Bureau of Land Management’s Northwest California Resource Advisory Council. ouncil members will discuss land use planning for the BLM Redding and Arcata field offices, management of the King Range National Conservation Area, public land forestry, and issues associated with marijuana cultivation on public lands. The council will also hear status reports from the BLM Northern California District manager and from managers of the Arcata, Redding and Ukiah field offices. On Feb. 22, council members will depart at 8 a.m. for a field tour in the Whitethorn area.
"King of Hammers challenge returns with land dispute still unresolved" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/6/13)
"Think of it as Coachella for the off-roading community. The King of the Hammers bills itself as the most challenging, axle-twisting, tire-shredding off-road race in the country ... over a 112-mile course in Johnson Valley" and "draws thousands of people from across the country and across the globe" at "one of the premier federally protected off-roading areas in the nation ... But this year's race also comes at a critical juncture in an ongoing standoff between the off-roading community ... and the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms over the base's proposed expansion into Johnson Valley ... The Marines back a proposal that could permanently close 108,530 acres in the center of Johnson Valley to off-roading and limit access to another 40,000 acres, including the area's best rock-crawling trails, to 10 months a year." With two videos.
RELATED: "Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Barstow Field Office)
RELATED: "Land Acquisition / Airspace Establishment Study" (United States Marine Corps)
"Off-road enthusiasts updated on BLM's plan" (Lake Havasu News-Herald,
"More than 150 area residents" gathered to hear about progress on a BLM plan plan "for regional trails, washes and 'primitive roads'" and "expanded access for their off-road vehicles."BLM Arizona's Havasu travel management plan "covers 217,000 acres of public land ... including a bit on the California side ... The Bureau already has listened to the concerns of residents about including trails in its plan that weren't previously listed and have made updates reflecting that, said Jen House, natural resources specialist with the Lake Havasu Field Office. Since discussions of the Havasu plan began, 94.5 miles of off-road vehicle trails have been added, House said."
"Stolen California petroglyphs returned, but many questions remain" (NPR, 2/4/13)
"In California last fall, a set of petroglyphs was stolen from a sacred Native American site. They were brazenly sawed and chiseled out of the face of a rock formation. The petroglyphs are believed to be more than 3,000 years old ... the five panels themselves are ruined. They'll never be returned to the site ... stealing or defacing cultural artifacts on federal land is a felony, punishable by jail time and up to a $20,000 fine ... there are now surveillance cameras, and the BLM is ramping up patrols."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include archaeologist student trainee, wildland firefighter, geologist, and ongoing listings.
|NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"REI chief is Obama's pick for Interior secretary" (Los Angeles Times, 2/6/13)
"President Obama nominated a former petroleum engineer and commercial banker who is also a conservationist and chief executive of an environmentally conscious retailer to lead the Interior Department on Wednesday, making an unorthodox selection for his first female nominee to his second-term Cabinet. Sally Jewell, president and chief executive of Recreational Equipment Inc., has no government credentials and little public policy experience. But her resume could appeal to the feuding interests that drive much of the debate at the department in charge of managing federal lands: the oil and gas extraction industries seeking access to public land and the environmentalists seeking preservation."
"Teens honored for their volunteer stewardship at Tule Springs" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/5/13)
Two high school students were honored at a Las Vegas City Council meeting, "for their volunteer work with the Bureau of Land Management's Paleo Site Stewardship Program at Tule Springs." Their work "entails going to Tule Springs four times a year and walking a specified area checking to see if any fossils have emerged ... Pinero said she is thankful that the BLM made the opportunity available for teenagers because she has seen ageism in some opportunities where organizations do not take teenagers seriously enough to participate."
"Secretary of the Interior appoints 13 members to National Geospatial Advisory Committee" (Department of the Interior, 2/4/13)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has appointed 13 professionals to serve as members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), which provides recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues and advice on development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community.
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) insects, arthropods, worms and slugs
SOURCE: "California slender salamander - Batrachoseps attenuatus" (BLM California wildlife database)
More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):
"Wildlife festival is truly for the birds" (Davis Enterprise, 2/1/13)
"Bird lovers will flock to Davis again this month to participate in California Duck Days, a wetlands and wildlife festival Saturday, Feb. 23. The family-oriented event features 13 field trips around the region, lots of bird-related workshops and plenty of activities for kids."
"Coyote hunt brings chorus of protest" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/4/13)
"A coyote hunt scheduled this month in Modoc County has triggered outrage from conservation groups ... The team that guns down the most coyotes will be declared the winner ... The drive ... is being touted as an attempt 'to manage coyote populations in the Big Valley area.' ... Karen Kovacs, the wildlife program manager for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said protest letters and e-mails from as far away as France and Israel have been flowing into her office. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has since declared its land off limits. The Ash Creek Wildlife area, just outside Adin, is also off -limits to hunting, she said, but nothing can be done about hunting on private land."
"Report says dam removal good for Klamath salmon" (AP in Eureka Times-Standard, 2/5/13)
"A federal report says removing four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and California and restoring ecosystems will produce a big increase in salmon harvests and boost farm revenues. The 400-page report was produced by federal scientists to help the secretary of Interior evaluate whether it is in the public interest to go ahead with the $1 billion project, which is considered the biggest dam removal in U.S. history if it goes through as planned in 2020."
"Sea turtles coming out of their shells" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/3/13)
"Roughly 60 to 80 green sea turtles live in San Diego Bay, and research shows that in recent years they concentrated near the South Bay Power Plant in the winder. The facility, which has been shut down, discharged large volumes of warm water that heated a portion of the shallow waterway." The sea turtles appear to be moving away from that area, further into the bay, and that "could trigger changes for commercial and military activity in the bay, and pose an issue for boat traffic, officials said."
"Ranchers hope deal staves off sage grouse listing" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 2/1/13)
"Hoping to keep sage grouse from the endangered species list, ranchers in Eastern Oregon are working on a first-in-the-nation deal that would lay out voluntary steps to reduce the harm to sage grouse on 10 million acres of federal grazing lands ... The Oregon Cattlemen's Association was supposed to sign the conservation agreement last Tuesday with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Oregon that would be the first in the nation covering sage grouse, sometimes called the spotted owl of the range because of its potential to force cutbacks in grazing and energy development."
"Great white sharks may be listed as endangered species" (San Jose Mercury News, 2/6/13)
"They've been called everything from killing machines to misunderstood predators who are key to healthy ocean environments. Now great white sharks may be called something else: endangered." California's Fish and Game Commission was set to decide this week "whether to take the first steps to add the ocean's most storied marine predator to the state endangered species list. Meanwhile, the National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to decide this summer whether to include great whites on the federal endangered list."
"Stereo mole noses" (National Geographic, 2/5/13)
A study at Vanderbilt University showed that the Eastern mole would head straight to one of 15 pits with a "chunk of earthworm" -- even though the mole is blind. Blocking one nostril sent them off course. Switching the air flow with tubes from one nostril to the other left them "hopelessly lost." The evidence led researchers to believe that moles "can compare signals from their two nostrils to judge how far to the left or right a smell is," much like humans and other animals "use stereo for our hearing, using the differences between what our left and right ears detect to pinpoint the source of a sound."
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News.bytes published by
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California State Office
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