A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 582 - May 31, 2013
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Fire Restrictions
- America's Great Outdoors
- Let's Get Outside
- On our Facebook page
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- BLM Events for Kids
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- National BLM and Department of the Interior
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"BLM Announces Fire Restrictions for Lands Managed by Bakersfield Field Office" (BLM, 05/28/13) Due to high fire danger, fire restrictions are in effect until further notice for the recreational areas of Lake Isabella and Walker Pass; this includes all Bureau of Land Management public lands located in Eastern Kern County.
"BLM Announces Fire Restrictions for Lands Managed by Mother Lode Field Office" (BLM, 05/24/13)
Effective May 28, the Bureau of Land Management is implementing fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Mother Lode Field Office. This includes BLM-managed lands in Nevada, Yuba, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Sacramento, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Sutter and Mariposa counties, about 230,000 acres.
"Firewise Event" (News.bytes Extra)
Fire agencies joined forces to spread the word about fire preparedness in recent community events and the Lake County Fire Safe Expo. At the Black Bart Firewise Community Day in Redwood Valley, community members came together to celebrate its recognition as a Firewise Community USA and to learn more about what they can do to prepare for wildfires. Presenters included the Black Bart Fire Safe Council, Mendocino Fire Safe Council, Redwood Valley/Calpella Fire Department, Cal Fire and Bureau of Land Management.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Interior Department to Hire Nearly 17,000 Young People to Work on Public Lands This Year"
(BLM, 05/23/13) In response to President Obama's challenge to expand employment opportunities for youth, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced $4.2 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities for more than 600 young people ages 15-25 on public lands across the country. The grants...will support 22 projects on public lands throughout the West. They are funded through the America's Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists initiative. In addition to providing valuable conservation work experience, the grants will result in more than 1,000 volunteer opportunities to expose young people to the great outdoors. http://www.ca.blm.gov/34kd
RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument "
(Palm Springs - South Coast Field Office)
"Get a job...Outside!" (News.bytes Extra)
A BLM-El Centro interpretive park ranger joined a US Forest Service representative to attend Higher Education Week II (HEW II) at local Imperial County high schools earlier this week. The event is held annually for high school juniors to encourage them to pursue higher education, consider college options and course studies, as well as give them ideas on the many ways to apply their higher education degrees in federal service.
"Recent Weeks at Fort Ord National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
Special events from sheep grazing to mountain bike races were hosted by the BLM's Fort Ord National Monument in recent weeks. A 24 hour-long mountain bike competition that stages from the adjacent Laguna Seca Recreation Area and uses the world-class trails of the National Monument was held Memorial Day weekend. It was preceded in April by the Sea Otter Classic - North America's largest mountain bike festival that draws 75,000 spectators. The BLM also recently hosted the second annual Sheep Appreciation Day at the monument to help expose hundreds of visitors to the sheep grazing industry, and the ecological impacts of a well- managed grazing regime.
|GET OUTSIDE IN AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
Take time out with your kids for some birding, fishing, picnicking -- or just view the sights -- at the South Spit Cooperative Management Area. Find a quiet place to slow down for a while and enjoy one of Northern California's magnificent beaches. Stroll the coastal sands and watch hang gliders soar on the updrafts above Table Bluff or surfers ride the offshore swells. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/arcata/south_spit.html
|ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES...
Over 900 Humboldt County students removed ocean debris and non native grasses at the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area. Check out our Facebook for more information. https://www.facebook.com/blmcalifornia
RELATED: "Local Students Clean Up Dunes for 9th Annual Ocean Day"
(KEIM News Channel 3)
This day might be the only time you'll see kids enjoy yard work. "We're pulling out beach grass and helping the dunes," Cove Mascio, 3rd grader at Laurel Tree Charter School said. It's the 9th annual Ocean Day -- a statewide event that teaches students the importance of a clean environment. "We have 900 kids here from various schools around the county and they're cleaning up the dunes and pulling out invasive European beach grass," Friends of the Dunes Education Coordinator Suzie Fortner said.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
From a photo by Bruce Taubert, Arizona Game and Fish Department
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What is unusual about the way that the Pallid Bat feeds?
(a.) it feeds mostly off carrion, competing with vultures
(b.) it feeds mostly on the ground
(c.) it feeds off of nectar instead of insects
(d.) it feeds off of fruit instead of insects
(e.) it grinds up food in its stomach with pebbles it has swallowed
(f.) it places its utensils on the left, while most bats place them on the right
See answer near the end of this News.bytes.
"Imperial County First Large Scale Solar Plant Starts Energizing Sunrise Powerlink" (Imperial Valley Press, 5/30/13)
The Valley's first large-scale solar plant became the first to deliver solar-generated power to Sunrise Powerlink and is set to energize thousands of San Diego homes. This milestone, reached by Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South, was celebrated Wednesday by dozens of officials and industry representatives who gathered for the ceremonial "flipping of the switch." "This is the first solar project, the second project total in Imperial County to be delivering across the Sunrise Powerlink," said James Avery, San Diego Gas & Electric senior vice president of power supply. http://www.ca.blm.gov/44kd
RELATED: "Sunrise Powerlink Project" (El Centro Field Office)
"Turbine Plans Unnerve Fans of Condors in California"
(The New York Times, 05/25/13)
The California condor's slow 20-year climb back from the brink of extinction has long been a fragile not-quite-success story in the conservation world. So when the news came on Friday that developers of a wind-energy project near the Mojave Desert would not face criminal charges if the blades killed a single condor, environmental groups expressed grave concern. Amy Krause, a spokeswoman for the department's Bureau of Land Management, which is granting the wind developer Terra-Gen Power a 30-year easement to put wind turbines on its land, said there had been no recorded instances of condor mortality associated with wind turbines. But in granting the easement, she said, the government had to consider all possibilities, even remote ones. http://www.ca.blm.gov/54kd
"Terra-Gen Gets OK on Wind Farm in Wake of Condor Decision"
(Los Angeles Times, 05/24/13)
Terra-Gen Power's 2,300-acre Alta Windpower Development project will include equipment to detect incoming condors soon enough to switch off the company's massive wind turbines before they slice into one of the birds. "When it comes to wind energy production, this project is leading the way in condor avoidance," said Hoyle, head of wind and solar development for Terra-Gen.The high-tech equipment and other steps Terra-Gen will take to avoid killing the endangered condors is the chief reason that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has granted the company a unique exception to the Endangered Species Act. For the first time, a company will not be prosecuted if it accidentally kills a condor. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, with approval from the Fish and Wildlife agency, gave Terra-Gen a right of way to begin construction of the 153-megawatt project.
"BLM Approves Wind Energy Project in Southern California" (BLM, 05/24/13)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the issuance of a right-of-way grant to Alta Windpower Development, LLC (Alta Windpower) to construct, operate, maintain and decommission a wind energy generation facility capable of generating up to 153-megawatts of power. Once fully operational, Alta Windpower expects the facility to produce enough electricity to power approximately 45,000 homes. To address potential impacts to sensitive species, the project will utilize cutting-edge technology to detect and avoid impacts to the California Condors and Golden Eagles. The project would employ an estimated 260 workers during peak construction and create 15 permanent jobs.
RELATED: "Alta East Wind Project" (Ridgecrest Field Office)
BLM EVENTS FOR KIDS
"Duck Daze is More Than Just Ducks!" (News.bytes Extra)
Spring was in full bloom as hundreds of kids and their families flocked to experience the diversity of nature at the Hidden Valley Nature Center in Riverside. Whether it was riding on the back of a camel, making dove calls, looking at planets or plants, cuddling a kitten or a snake, in four hours about 1,000 visitors were treated to booths that were as diverse as nature itself.
"Mule Days Celebration" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bishop Field Office staff and Seymour, the BLM mascot, attended several Mule Days Celebration events in Bishop over the Memorial Day Holiday to encourage people to get out and enjoy their public lands. The Mule Days Celebration has been going on in Bishop for the last 44 years and is a mixture of a mule show, a test of mule packing skills and a wild west show. Seymour's helpers also talked to mule days attendees about pronghorn habitat, diet, longevity and speed.
"Fifth Graders Enjoy a Day in the Desert" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 300 Lassen County fifth graders learned about natural resources of northeast California's high desert, in field trips to the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office's Antelope/Shaffer/Bald Mountain special management area during the week of May 20. Students, teachers and parent from eight schools and some home-schooled children joined the tours coordinated over three days by the field office and the Lassen County Office of Education. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2013/582_extra_-_day_in.html
HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Northern California Conservation Area Closed by Manhunt to Reopen"
(Los Angeles Times, 05/30/13)
Federal officials will reopen a 68,000-acre conservation area in Northern California on Friday that was closed for two weeks because of a manhunt for the suspected killer of his wife and two young daughters. The manhunt, which at one point swarmed Petrolia with heavily armed -- and armored -- law enforcement officers, including from the U.S. Marshals Service, resulted in the closure of the vast, rugged conservation area, said Jeff Fontana, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management. "Closing isn't something that we do often or take lightly," Fontana said. "It's been 15 days of law enforcement in the area. The suspect has not been located and we're still going to ask people to pay attention to their surroundings and to contact the sheriff if they see anything unusual."
RELATED: "BLM's King Range National Conservation Area Reopens"
The King Range National Conservation Area on California's Lost Coast has reopened to public use after two-week emergency closure. The Lost Coast Trail, developed campgrounds, back country trails and wilderness all opened Friday, May 31, according to officials at the Bureau of Land Management's Arcata Field Office. The closure was put in place May 15 as law enforcement agencies conducted a search for a suspect in a triple homicide in Shasta County. The suspect has not been found. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/may/kingrange-reopen.html
"Southside Trail Extension Continues in the Susan River Canyon" (News.bytes Extra) Members of the Diamond Mountain Hotshots fire crew have been putting their muscle and trail building experience to work, extending the BLM's new Southside Trail, paralleling the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail in the Susan River Canyon west of Susanville. The trail now extends about five miles, offering mountain bike riders and hikers dramatic views of the Susan River Canyon and the Bizz Johnson Trail.
"BLM to Accept Returned Clear Creek Protest Letters" (BLM, 05/24/13) The Bureau of Land Management will accept returned protest letters on the Clear Creek Management Area Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) mailed to an incorrect address until June 14.
"Butte County Volunteer Group Wins National BLM Recognition" (BLM, 05/28/13)
The Upper Ridge Wilderness Association, a Butte County volunteer group, has received a 2013 "Making a Difference" award for "lifetime achievement" in volunteer work supporting the public lands. The group was among seven recipients nationwide of the annual award offered by the U. S. Bureau of Land Management.
RELATED: "Making a Difference National Volunteer Awards" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bureau of Land Management presented its prestigious "Making a Difference" National Volunteer Awards on May 23rd through a video teleconference that linked offices from around the nation, including the BLM-California State Office in Sacramento, to recognize outstanding volunteer service or volunteer leadership on BLM-managed lands.
"Monterey Shale Shakes Up California's Energy Future"
(National Geographic, 05/27/13)
It's easy to tick off the ways in which California is a leader in clean energy: It harvests more solar energy than any other state, has a program to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles on its famously long highways, and launched its own cap-and-trade system this year. That ever alluring land happens to lie atop the Monterey shale formation, a vast rock formation that is believed to hold one of the world's largest onshore reserves of shale oil. http://www.ca.blm.gov/64kd
NATIONAL BLM and DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR
"This Week at Interior" (YouTube, 05/24/13)
A new study from the USGS shows an alarming decline in amphibian life within the U.S.; a special "Day of Service" at national war memorials to honor the service and sacrifice of the nation's fallen servicemembers; and Secretary Jewell's first official West Coast trip includes unveiling a plan to create youth jobs through conservation efforts.
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