A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 567 - 2/14/13 - 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
- On our other social media pages
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Traditional energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Johnson Valley
- 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)
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|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Dog hike, ATV classes offered over President's Day weekend" (News.bytes Extra)
The final series of this season's ATV Safety Certification classes will be offered over the Presidents' Day weekend at the Imperial Sand Dunes. Free of charge to California residents aged 6-17 years old, the classes provide the training youngsters need to keep them safe, while satisfying certain state requirements for young riders. Register now! AND: Families with a little extra time on their hands and a dog that needs walking should check out the Duner Dog Hike scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16. The hike will explore the geologically interesting Indian Pass Wilderness, located in the Chocolate Mountains just east of the dunes.
"Hikes planned for Alabama Hills" (BLM, 2/8/13)
The BLM will hold hikes in the Alabama Hills in February to discuss film history and view scenic arches. "Film History in the Alabama Hills" hikes will be held Feb. 16 and Feb. 23. An "Explore the Arches" hike will be held Feb. 17.
"BLM, Forest Service offering guided snowshoe walks" (BLM, 2/8/13)
A full moon will light the way on a free, guided snowshoe walk, Monday, Feb. 25, near Hog Flat Reservoir, west of Susanville. Cross country skiers are welcome. The walk will last no more than an hour and a half. It covers level terrain, and is an easy outing ideal for families. Participants must register by contacting the Lassen National Forest Eagle Lake Ranger District. Snowshoes will be provided.
"Marine invertebrates subject of next King Range lecture" (BLM, 2/13/13)
A talk on the "Fascinating Lives of Marine Invertebrates" will be offered free to the public, Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in Redway. Dr. John DeMartini, Ph.D. will deliver the lecture, part of the annual winter lecture series offered by the Bureau of Land Management King Range National Conservation Area and the Lost Coast Interpretive Association.
"Youth Corps raising awareness in National Conservation Lands" (News.bytes Extra)
Youth Corps from the Student Conservation Association (SCA), pictured in the story with some of BLM's Healthy Initiative for Kids in the Environment (HIKE) crew instructors, are young adults participating in hands-on service opportunities for National Conservation Lands. The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, as part of the National Conservation Lands, partnered with The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens, for access to the Eisenhower Wilderness Loop trail in Palm Desert.
"Alabama Hills volunteers show support of public lands" (News.bytes Extra)
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and BLM Bishop Field Office hosted a Volunteer Day in the Alabama Hills west of Lone Pine on Feb. 2. Folks from Lone Pine, Bishop and as far away as Burbank and Los Angeles came to do work and show their support of public lands. Volunteers including representatives of the Friends of The Inyo and Southern Sierra Climbers Association.
"Volunteers help restore area at Fort Ord National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
Fort Ord National Monument partnered with Toro Park School and Return of the Natives from California State University to restore a disturbed area near a new parking facility on the national monument. The BLM staff, Return of the Natives staff, teachers, parents, and 125 third grade students worked together to throw seed and straw on the disturbed soil and planted 800 native plants to help hold the soil in place.
"Superstition Mountain at Full Throttle!" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 150 spectators turned out to watch 72 riders compete in the "Full Throttle 100" at Superstition Mountain OHV Open Area on Saturday, February 9, 2013. The challenging course took riders through mixed terrain that varied from hard pack dirt, sand, rocks and the flats. Five laps around the 20 mile course completed the race. The crowd saw plenty of action as both All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and motorcycles competed.
"California Coastal National Monument at Cabrillo National Monument's Whale Watch Weekend & Intertidal Life Festival" (News.byte Extra)
As the last of the Pacific Gray Whales migrate south to Baja California before beginning their return trip north to their summer feeding grounds in waters off Alaska -- and an afternoon low tide exposed the wide variety of intertidal life in the coastal tidepools -- Cabrillo National Monument held their 26th annual Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival. The BLM's California Coastal National Monument, along with about 20 other agencies and organizations, was there to help celebrate. More than 5,000 people visited the monument the weekend of Feb. 9-10.
ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES...
...More photos of wildlife, landscapes, events and more, from BLM California, other BLM states, other Department of the Interior agencies, news sources and more. Also view some News.bytes Extras in advance.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Sidewinders actually do "wind" or undulate – touching desert sands with only two points of its body at any time. This is an advantage because:
(a.) By not sliding its entire body across gritty sand, it reduces damage to its skin.
(b.) It picks up less heat from the sand, preventing overheating.
(c.) The unusual track in the sand that it creates confuses birds trying to track it from the air.
(d.) It leaves less of a scent trail behind, helping it elude predators.
(e.) The winding motion helps it elude its nemesis, the whirling dervish (known as the dirling whervish below the equator, for obvious reason).
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.
| RENEWABLE ENERGY
"Groups Sue U.S. Government Over Solar Plan" (KCET, 2/12/13)
"Three groups that have been vocal opponents of utility-scale solar development on public lands sued the U.S. Department of the Interior today, charging that it failed to consider less environmentally damaging alternatives in preparing its Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States. The groups charge that the BLM should have examined alternatives that concentrate development on disturbed lands and in the urban environment."
"The Cal ISO-PacifiCorp deal - Getting more green energy on the grid" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/12/13)
"The best way to integrate wind and solar energy onto the electric grid -- without creating big spikes that require the frequent firing-up of natural gas peaker plants to even things out -- is to spread out the renewables over as wide a geographic area as possible. So, in the case of California, if the wind's not blowing in the San Gorgonio Pass, it might be nice and breezy up north in the Alta pass ... The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which manages the main grid in the state, is taking this concept a step further" with a "memorandum of understanding" with the utility for "Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah."
"What Happens When A Developer Abandons A Desert Solar Project?" (KCET, 2/11/13)
"It was once lauded as the 'nation's largest solar project': a gigawatt of solar thermal generating capacity on just under 6,000 acres of desert. The governor of California and the Secretary of the Interior shook hands on the site and spoke of a new solar future imposed on the desert. That was before the developer went bankrupt. Now, the site stands seemingly abandoned..." The Blythe Solar Power Project developer "went under in 2011 after a series of legal and financial setbacks. Eventually it couldn't pay the rent it owed Bureau of Land Management" and was "bought at auction by energy developer NextEra."
"In-state oil fields don't all meet standard" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/10/13)
"Environmentalists often call oil from Canada's tar sands the dirtiest fuel on Earth, because the complex process of extracting it spews huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. But by that standard, some of the crude oil pumped in California is just as dirty. In a few cases, it's even worse. Several California oil fields produce just as much carbon dioxide per barrel of oil as the tar sands do, state data show. A handful of fields yield even more. All of them are fields that have been pumped for years and now need injections of steam to squeeze out more oil."
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"More mustangs removed in Nevada roundup north of Eureka than planned" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 2/9/13)
"Federal land managers have completed a roundup of wild horses in northern Nevada with the removal of some 200 more mustangs from the range than planned, citing the animals' poor body condition and risk of starvation ... The agency was forced to exceed the original target of about 600 horses because of reduced forage due to last year's drought as well as stress from recent snowstorms ... last month's string of storms forced horses off the mountain and into lower areas that lacked forage."
"Johnson Valley OHV area hosts off-road spectacle" (Victorville Daily Press, 2/8/13)
"About 51 weeks out of the year, Means Dry Lake is a lifeless patch of dust. But for nine days in February, it becomes the biggest city within a 40-mile radius ... Hammertown. The main staging area for the annual King of the Hammers off-road race is a cluster of motorhomes, toy haulers, vender booths ... It has signed streets, public restrooms, fast food joints and wi-fi hot spots ... Organizers estimate about 30,000 people were on the lakebed for the week of racing ... Race organizers, local residents and off-roading groups are fighting the proposed U.S. Marine Corps takeover of part of the Johnson Valley OHV area. A Marine spokesman told the Daily Press last week that the Corps hopes to be training there by early 2014."
"Navy expansion could halt King of the Hammers event" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/13/13)
"Less than a week after the King of the Hammers off-road race in Johnson Valley, the U.S. Navy on Wednesday issued its decision on a proposed expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms that could put a brake on the popular event as well as all off-roading in the high desert ... a plan that would give the Corps more than half the 188,000 acres of public off-roading area located about 20 miles north of Yucca Valley. Bumping up on the western boundary of the base, the land is now under the protection of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
"Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Barstow Field Office)
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"California Biodiversity Council members discuss natural resource issues" (News.bytes Extra)
Faced with more pressure on natural resources and shrinking budgets, agencies are looking at collaboration as a way to leverage available resources. Agencies talked about efforts to date, from renewable energy to water-use planning, at the California Biodiversity Council meeting Feb. 6 in Davis. Bureau of Land Management California State Director Jim Kenna and California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird are co-chairs.
"Rare intact ceramic artifact recovered on California's public lands" (News.bytes Extra)
A tiny cave holding an intact, empty Native American ceramic pot was reported by a member of the public, allowing the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office to recover it intact, and preserve it for present and future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
"BLM sets public meeting on OHV grant request" (BLM, 2/13/13)
Arcata Field Office invites public comments as it develops a preliminary grant application to the State of California's Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program for 2013. The BLM Arcata Field Office is currently using $65,000 in OHMVR funds to manage off-highway vehicle (OHV) use at the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area at the southern end of the Samoa Peninsula.
"BLM's Ukiah Field Office invites public comments on OHV grant application" (BLM, 2/13/13)
is inviting public comments on its draft grant application to the state of California's Off-Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation Division. The field office is requesting funds to be used for trail maintenance, law enforcement and operations and maintenance of off-highway vehicle areas. Funds would be used for calendar year 2014. An open house to discuss the OHV grants is scheduled for Feb. 27.
"Pinnacles dedicated as national park" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/11/13)
"Pinnacles National Park, a geologic snapshot of the tectonic forces that shape the lay of the land, was embraced by schoolchildren, Native American tribal leaders and high government officials as both a protection of the past and a preservation of the future ... The rededication of the 26,000-acre park brings few changes to the park itself. Its main draw remains the commanding rock formations that inspired Pinnacles' name and an astonishing biodiversity, including the endangered California condor. But as the Central Coast's first national park, it has brought renewed attention many hope will fuel an economic boon for the area."
RELATED: "America's Great Outdoors: Secretary Salazar, Congressman Farr Celebrate Newly Established Pinnacles National Park" (Department of the Interior, 2/11/13)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined U.S. Representative Sam Farr, California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, National Park Service Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz and other local officials to celebrate the elevation of Pinnacles National Monument to become Pinnacles National Park, joining iconic sites such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone as the country's 59th national park.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include geologist, range/forestry mitigation specialist, and many continuing openings.
|NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Local groups collect over two tons of trash" (BLM Arizona Facebook pages)
Members of the American Lands Access Association and Ye Old Timers Mineral Club, under the leadership of the BLM Yuma Field Office Recreation staff members, held their First Annual Off-Road Clean-up of public lands. (One of the organizers tells us that a number of Californians took part in this clean-up. --News.bytes editor)
"2013 Arizona Archaeology & Heritage Expo" (BLM Arizona)
Saturday, March 16, 2013: The Expo will offer many educational attractions for archaeology and history buffs, and will be held at the Historic Horseshoe Ranch on the Agua Fria National Monument. The event is FREE.
"BLM requests nominations for the 2013 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards program" (BLM, 2/12/13)
The awards recognize independent initiative and voluntary action in solid mineral (non-coal) development operations that embody the principles of sustainable development or represent outstanding examples of reclamation or environmental stewardship. The development of hardrock and other locatable minerals on public lands in Fiscal Year 2011 contributed more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy and provided over 82,000 jobs. The deadline to submit nominations is March 29.
"Interior Prepares to Conduct Landsat 8 Scientific Programs After Successful Launch of Latest Earth-Observing Satellite" (Department of the Interior, 2/11/13)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Anne Castle, United States Geological Survey (USGS) Director Dr. Marcia McNutt and other officials to launch the nation's newest Earth-observing satellite into space ... Landsat data from more than 3 million current and archived images of Earth -- available free of charge through the Interior Department's USGS -- have spurred extensive research and innovations, ranging from scientific investigations to the development of applications like Google Earth.
|PARDON OUR (VIRTUAL) DUST...
...as we transition to new staff to produce News.bytes and our Social Media pages. Your News.bytes editor is retiring March 1, after 569 issues We will continue to look at the best mix of email, Social Media and whatever new opportunities arise, to share information with you on your public lands managed by BLM California. As always, we welcome comments at: email@example.com
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) It picks up less heat from the sand, preventing overheating.
SOURCE: "Camouflage is cool" (BLM California, Imperial Sand Dunes Facebook page)
Did you know that sidewinders move in the winding motion to prevent overheating? Only two points of the snakes body touches the sand while moving making unique markings on the dunes!
More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):
"A public service announcement created by kids in Cardiff, CA" (BLM California Facebook page)
Teacher Margit Boyesen's talented first, second and third grade students at Cardiff Elementary School in Cardiff, California produced an excellent video promoting desert tortoise conservation, and the Mojave Maxine Emergence Contest.
RELATED: "Mojave Maxine Emergency Contest" (The Living Desert)
(Repeated from earlier News.bytes.)
"Locals believe bobcat trappers are crossing the line in Joshua Tree" (Los Angeles Times, 2/11/13)
"It's legal to catch the animals outside the national park. But critics say the trappers are after bobcats that often crisscross the invisible park boundaries." One trapper said it was a mistake that "one of his traps was set on private property and not on federal Bureau of Land Management grounds, where trapping is legal. The region is a patchwork of private property and BLM land."
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