A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 569 - 2/27/13 - 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
- Wild horses and burros
- 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
"Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Planned for New Fort Ord National Monument Trailhead" (BLM, 2/26/13)
The BLM will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, March 1 for the new Badger Hills Trailhead at Fort Ord National Monument. BLM State Director Jim Kenna, Congressman Sam Farr, Monterey County Supervisor David Potter and others will participate in the event.
"Speaker showcases Cosumnes River Preserve" (Davis Enterprise, 2/27/13)
"On Thursday, March 7, the Yolo Basin Foundation’s Flyway Nights lecture series will feature Harry McQuillen of Cosumnes River Preserve. McQuillen has worked for the Bureau of Land Management as the preserve manager for six years ... His talk is titled 'An Overview of the Cosumnes River Preserve'."
"Go Walk the Dog" (News.bytes Extra)
Families and their canines took advantage of beautiful weather to explore America’s Great Outdoors when they joined scheduled Dog Hikes offered by the El Centro Field Office over the past two weekends. These Take it Outside! events helped fulfill BLM California’s Strategic Framework by encouraging recreation in some of our most special places.
"Student Conservation Association's All-Corp Project on the Amargosa River Trail" (News.bytes Extra)
A few times this season, all of the Student Conservation Association’s Desert Restoration Corp’s five separate crews come together to work on one field project. Normally scattered somewhere in the Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert District, this year’s All-Corp project was performing the annual maintenance on the Amargosa River Trail near the towns of Shoshone and Tecopa.
"Reptiles of Southern California Invade Eastvale" (News.bytes Extra)
Not even cold winter days will stop the reptiles from the California Desert District Office and their BLM humans from spreading the word about the BLM and its natural wonders. 225 kindergarten to 6th-grade students in the city of Eastvale were treated to a hands-on reptile experience by Barbara Croonquist and volunteer Dee Dechert of the CDDO at 3 different school sites. Competition was fierce between teams as several of the groups tested their knowledge in a game of "Reptile Jeopardy."
"Wildflowers in the West" (Via Magazine / AAA)
"Springtime in the West means warmer days, green grasses, and in special places bountiful blooms. Here’s where you can feast your eyes." This article features the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
RELATED: "Plants, Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
Feb. 25, 2013 - The monument hasn't received much rain this winter, so it's not looking to good for wildflowers. If we get some good rain soon, there still is a chance, but it's just a waiting game right now.
"BLM sites on National Geographic’s Sierra Nevada Geotourism project" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM is a supporter and collaborator with the National Geographic’s Sierra Nevada Geotourism project. An interactive map offers tourists information about various places in the Sierra Nevada -- including four areas managed by BLM California.
"Hills are awash in color for intrepid hikers" (Merced Sun-Star, 2/26/13)
"With orchards and Highway 99 wildflowers starting to bloom, the season to enjoy wildflower trails in our local Sierra foothills is almost here. By late March, the bloom is usually underway. On clear days after storms, summit hikes in the foothills offer great views." The BLM "offers 17 miles of trails at Red Hills near Chinese Camp. Although the landscape appears dry and scrubby much of the year, spring brings reliable wildflowers."
RELATED: "Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
|ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES...
...Photo of a red squirrel from BLM Alaska ... more photos ... and more information, sometimes including a preview of News.bytes Extras.
ON OUR OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES...
...on the BLM National Tumblr page, a photo from BLM California's Bob Wick of the Trona Pinnacles, one of the most unique geological wonders in the California desert. Plus more photos, and stories from the next generation of BLMers as they share their experiences on the public lands.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Roses are red, Violets are lavender, Is a pipistrelle a snake, mouse, bat or salamander?
(e.) Actually, it's a small variety of pippilongstocking
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.
"Secretary Salazar: Renewable Energy on Public Lands and Waters Making Rapid Advances" (Department of the Interior, 2/26/13)
The Obama Administration’s renewable energy program has authorized dozens of renewable energy projects on public lands and will hold the first-ever auctions for commercial wind development in the Atlantic this year, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told offshore wind stakeholders at a conference in Boston today. Salazar noted that the rapid progress -- as well as conventional oil and gas development on federal lands and waters -- could be stymied by potential cuts under sequestration.
"Imperial County betting its future on renewable energy" (Los Angeles Times, 2/27/13)
With an unemployment rate of 25.5%, many in this agricultural county are looking to a boom in renewable energy projects, including those on BLM-managed lands. "The prospect of a construction boom has excited residents hungry for work. "But some farmers and Native American tribes are crying foul, angry that the new projects are encroaching on land that they claim has cultural value or should be devoted to crops. Solar, wind and geothermal projects are popping up on farms that once grew wheat, alfalfa and sugar beets.
"Herdt: Freaking out about 'fracking'" (Ventura County Star, 2/26/13)
Columnist: "Although it has been used in unregulated obscurity for decades in California, the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing -- you know it as “fracking” -- has rather suddenly emerged as one of the top issues in Sacramento this year ... There may yet be an opportunity for policymakers and regulators to get out before this emerging shale oil 'play'” without stepping too heavily on the state’s existing oil producers -- the ones who have long been at work."
"Editorial: How to strangle California's oil industry" (Orange County Register, 2/26/13)
"Sacramento's Democratic leadership ought to take its time and consider a grand strategy for encouraging oil extraction in the most environmentally sensitive and economically fruitful ways rather than to clamp down on it before the state has a chance to tap into a gusher of new revenue."
HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM advisory council talks marijuana, planning at Shelter Cove meeting" (Redwood Times, 2/27/13)
Among other topics at the BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council meeting last week was "a presentation on illegal marijuana grows on BLM lands ... the problem is with the environmental impact of the agricultural activity on resource lands ... including intense use of toxic substances and alteration of the land .... The RAC also discussed the process to revise the Northwest California region's Resource Management Plan, which identifies best uses for the many different resource lands within the BLM's jurisdiction" and heard from members of the public.
"Kanaka Valley Management Plan & Decision Record Released" (BLM, 2/22/13)
The BLM Mother Lode Field Office released the Kanaka Valley Management Plan and Decision Record for public review. The Kanaka Valley Management Plan was developed through a community-based planning process. Kanaka Valley is located in western El Dorado County. The habitat consists of a mixture of vegetation types, and has a high diversity of plants and animals, including several rare plant species that grow nowhere else in the world.
"BLM revising Imperial dunes business plan" (Imperial Valley Press, 2/25/13)
The Bureau of Land Management is in the process of revising its Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area draft business plan in the wake of the public comment period having ended. The bureau is expecting to have a draft business plan ready for approval by May 31.
RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Business Plan" (BLM El Centro Field Office)
"Museum lecture looks up to solve intaglio mystery" (Hi-Desert Star, 2/22/13)
"Hi-Desert Nature Museum’s Lecture Series speaker held the attention of a full house Thursday as he told the story of a mystery tortoise located not far from Barstow...."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
The outlook for hiring is uncertain in light of current federal budget negotiations and the possibility of "sequestration."
|NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"Reduced Hours, Possible Closures at National Parks, Says Salazar About Sequester" (KCET SoCal, 2/24/13)
"Thousands of furloughed employees, threats to the federal firefighting workforce, and possible closures at parks. All that and more was detailed in a memo...sent to 76,000 federal employees under Secretary Ken Salazar this weekend." The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the Department of the Interior.
“Drought forecast to persist in much of U.S., especially the West” (L.A. Times, 2/21/13)
"Much of the West continues to struggle with unusually dry conditions, raising the prospect of another year of wildfires, stunted crops and unnavigable stretches of river in various parts of the country, according to a federal assessment. More than two-thirds of the country is under abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions" including California.
"Section 12 to help city’s 'identity'" (Mojave Valley Daily News, 2/27/13)
Bullhead City, Arizona leases land from the BLM and submitted a plan to sublease the land for "a 150-slip marina, shops, restaurants, and a river walk," in order to give the city "a sense of place, sense of gathering, identity."
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
SOURCE: "Western Pipistrelle - Parastrellus hesperus"
(BLM California wildlife database)
Western pipistrelles are the smallest bats in the United States at less than four inches long! They are also one of the smallest mammals in the world, falling second only to shrews. They are abundant in their range and are relatively easy to identify.
More wildlife stories from your public lands (or elsewhere):
"Wildlife Quiz" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Region Facebook page)
QUIZ: This non-native bird can be found in only one place in North America, a place that also includes a National Wildlife Refuge. Can you name the bird, and the refuge?
"New Recreational Groundfish Regulations Effective March 1" (California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2/22/13)
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is announcing several changes to recreational groundfish regulations that apply to state waters, zero to three miles from shore. The new recreational regulations were adopted by the Fish and Game Commission and will take effect on March 1, 2013.
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