A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 589 - August 02, 2013
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
- Powering the future
- Wild horses and burros
- Youth and public lands
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- National and Department of the Interior items
- Selected upcoming events
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AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Is That a Cactus? A Guide to Identifying Cacti and Their Look-Alikes" (The Back Forty, 7/31/13)
The name "cactus" is commonly applied to just about any plant that has succulent, swollen parts, especially if those parts carry painfully sharp bits. Often enough, though, those armored succulent plants aren't any more closely related to cacti than they are to, say, onions or apple trees. A cactus is a member of a specific family of plants, and there are plenty of spiny, thorny succculents that don't qualify.
ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES...
...Our friend Smokey Bear has a new PSA and this time, he's giving out bear hugs. Watch the clip on our Facebook to find out why!
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
||WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
In some areas, bears have become a problem. This is most often because:
(a.) They leave the remains of their prey lying around and breeding flies.
(b.) They make dens in abandoned houses and empty garages.
(c.) They knock over trees and destroy other vegetation while chasing prey.
(d.) They find food in campsites or garbage cans.
(e.) Of honey.
See answer near the end of this News.bytes.
POWERING the FUTURE
"BLM Releases Environmental Study for Solar Project near El Centro" (BLM, 07/29/13)
The Bureau of Land Management has released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Proposed California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment for the proposed San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) Ocotillo Sol Solar Energy Project in Imperial County, Calif. for public review.SDG&E has applied to the BLM for a right-of-way on public lands to construct a solar photovoltaic power plant facility on about 115 acres nine miles southwest of El Centro and 82 miles east of San Diego.
RELATED: "Ocotillo Sol Solar Energy Project" (El Centro Field Office)
If approved by the BLM, the project would be a peak 20-megawatt photovoltaic project with construction planned to begin in late winter 2013 or early 2014. The project would utilize solar panels and would be built in a single phase. It would connect to the existing SDG&E Imperial Valley Substation to its immediate north via a buried 12.47-kilovolt cable.
"$2.2 Billion Ivanpah Solar Plant Nears Completion" (Desert Dispatch, 07/29/13)
The giant Ivanpah solar plant in the Mojave Desert approximately 110 miles east of Barstow and five miles west of the California-Nevada border will soon go online. Construction on the $2.2 billion project is 95 percent complete and it's expected to be operational by the end of the year, according to the latest update from the California Energy Commission and an official on the project.
RELATED: "Ivanpah Solar Plant" (Needles Field Office)
The project will generate enough green energy to power between 111,000 and 277,500 homes. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/energy/pendingapps/ivanpahsolar.html
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Wild Horses in San Diego County have Storied Past, Uncertain Future"
(Los Angeles Times, 7/28/13)
Filaree is standing in her field -- which currently is 140 acres of pasture land in this rural, horse-loving community northeast of San Diego. Filaree is among 20 horses in the pasture, all mares and foals. Kathleen Hayden's group and the county Board of Supervisors would like the BLM to take responsibility for the horses and relocate them to BLM land near Beauty Mountain in San Diego County.John Kalish, field manager for the BLM office with responsibility for San Diego and Riverside counties, said that while he wants them to survive, his agency does not think relocation is the answer.The two areas mentioned by Hayden's group, he said, would not work. There is not enough forage and water in Coyote Canyon, and the Beauty Mountain area is too close to developed areas. What's more, Kalish said, the horses of Ramona have been adopted, which erases the BLM's responsibility. http://www.ca.blm.gov/98kd
"BLM Announces Summer Schedule for Gathering Wild Horses and Burro" (BLM, 07/19/13)
The Bureau of Land Management announced its current summer schedule for gathering wild horses and burros roaming Western public rangelands. The schedule is subject to change because of continuing drought conditions across the West that are resulting in significantly limited water and forage for wildlife, wild horses and burros, and livestock. BLM managers are monitoring animal and range conditions, reducing livestock grazing, enacting fire restrictions, and providing supplemental water in some locations for wild horses.Animals removed during the gather season will be made available for adoption through the BLM's wild horse and burro adoption program.
RELATED: "How to Adopt a Wild Horse or Burro" (National BLM)
Providing a home for a wild horse or burro is a challenging and rewarding experience. For qualified individuals, this is a unique opportunity to care for, then own, a "Living Legend" -- a symbol of American history -- namely, a wild horse or burro.
"Wild Horses 'Adopted' as Community Art Project Theme" (News.bytes Extra)
A herd of colorful wild horses, some flying America's colors and others showing the whimsy of their "adopters," rolled down Susanville, California's Main Street as part of the annual Lassen County Fair parade.The wooden cut-outs were part of "The Art of Wild Horses," a community art project and fundraiser of the Lassen County Arts Council. The project celebrated the heritage of the horses that call Lassen County's high desert home, and the artistic abilities of Lassen residents. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2013/589_extra_-_community.html
YOUTH and PUBLIC LANDS
"Youthful Talent and Enthusiasm are Benefitting the Public Lands" (News.bytes Extra) A wave of youthful enthusiasm is washing over the Bureau of Land Management's Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville, as an unprecedented number of participants in youth programs are working on a wide array of natural resource-related projects. In all, more than 30 youth hires, including interns, college graduates and high school students, are helping with recovery from last summer's Rush Fire, establishing rangeland monitoring points, working on the new South Side Recreation Trail, assisting with sage-grouse conservation, and improving conditions at the Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area near Doyle.
"Xtreme Summer Camp Hits the Desert Discovery Center" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bureau of Land Management's Desert Discovery Center hosted a group of eager young learners from the Regional Occupational Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Program in which they were exposed to various environmental learning opportunities of the high desert. Members of the Barstow Field Office, the Mojave National Preserve, and Main Street Murals gave multiple learning presentations as a part of the STEM activities for the Xtreme Summer Camp.
"Survivor: Coachella Valley 2013" Teaches Kids About Nature" (News.bytes Extra) Children from the communities of the Coachella Valley and beyond are enjoying greater access to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument in their backyard. The Friends of the Desert Mountains and the National Monument have again teamed-up for another summer to offer "Survivor: Coachella Valley" to youth of the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert, the Desert Recreation District and the Coachella Recreation Department, as a way to learn about desert nature.
"Calling All Campers!" (News.bytes Extra)
An outdoor adventure at Mount San Jacinto State Park created summertime memories for more than 300 urban youth. Through a partnership between the State Park and the San Bernardino City Unified School District CAPS (Creative Afterschool Program for Success) program, the curious campers experienced nature's cool mountain temperatures, shade from giant cedar trees, wildlife tracks and music of songbirds. Young adults in the BLM Youth Initiative Incentive program pitched in to present environmental education games and activities. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2013/589_extra_-_calling.html
HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"One Less Spark - One Less Wildfire: High Desert Fire Danger Continues"
Because of the current high fire danger conditions, the Bureau of Land Management is reminding all residents that fire danger remains above average across the High Desert and the chance of large or damaging fires exists. Recent dry winds, prolonged drought and high temperatures have increased the danger of wildfire. Visit the link for some safety tips.
"BLM Expands Public Access, Resource Protection, with Land Acquisition at Point Arena" (BLM, 07/29/13)
A new land acquisition at Point Arena by the Bureau of Land Management will provide public access and resource protection to over 12 miles of California Coast.The Bureau of Land Management has acquired an additional 410 acres of the Cypress Abbey Ranch adjacent to the Stornetta Public Lands. "The acquisition...of the Point Arena Ranch will allow coastal trails to link public lands with the communities of Point Arena, Manchester, and Irish Beach. In addition to being a tremendous community and public recreation asset, the area is also rich in habitat for numerous species," said Jim Kenna, BLM California State Director.
"BLM Joins Community Welcoming New Army Depot Commander" (News.bytes Extra) BLM Eagle Lake Field Manager Ken Collum was among a large group of Lassen County community leaders invited to participate in a change of command ceremony welcoming the new commanding officer of Sierra Army Depot in Lassen County. The traditional ceremony marked the passing of the army depot's colors from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Christopher E. Dexter to the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Robert C. "Charlie" Slosson.
"Thompson bill would create new conservation area in Napa County" (The Press Democrat, 7/26/13)
Congress is considering a bill that would knit together about 350,000 acres of federal land in a sprawling "national conservation area," stretching from Napa County's Lake Berryessa 100 miles north into the Mendocino National Forest.For proponents, it would be an ideal way to promote tourism while coordinating land management among three separate federal agencies: the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area would cover parts of Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Solano and Yolo counties. http://www.ca.blm.gov/b9kd
"Desert Congressman Calls for Federal Review of Cadiz Project"
(Los Angeles Times, 7/25/13)
A Republican congressman who represents the northern Mojave Desert has asked the federal government to launch a full-fledged environmental review of Cadiz Inc.'s proposed groundwater pumping project.The Interior department, which has had the matter under consideration for more than a year, is expected to soon decide whether to require approval under the National Environmental Policy Act. Such a review would slow the project and possibly produce strict conditions on the desert pumping that would make the project less attractive to investors. http://www.ca.blm.gov/78kd
"Tahoe Daredevil Ordered to Pay for Canyon Cable Removal" (News10 ABC, 7/19/13) A federal court judge has ordered a Squaw Valley daredevil to pay $4,000 to cover the cost of removing a mile-long steel cable across the north fork of the American River.The quarter-inch cable is virtually invisible to a pilot."It could have ended tragically," said Jeff Horn of the Bureau of Land Management. "What if a helicopter had flown into this. What if a plane had flown into this. It would have been bad. Most helicopter crashes don't end well."
"California Officials Wrestle with Handling Trade Secrets on Fracking"
(Los Angeles Times, 7/17/13)
State officials have been flooded with more than 20,000 comments and suggestions regarding proposed regulations of a controversial oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking. Members of the California Water Commission voiced concerns of their own about whether the state should treat the recipes for some fracking liquids as trade secrets, not to be disclosed to the public.In a briefing, Tim Kustic, the state oil and gas supervisor, told the commission that proposed regulations would require companies to notify the state at least 30 days before they begin fracking, with the information publicly posted no more than seven days later. Fracking is currently permitted in California.
NATIONAL and DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"BLM Enters into Agreement with Sierra Club to Advance Opportunities for Veterans and Military Families on Public Lands" (BLM, 07/30/13)
Recognizing the enormous value in partnerships that encourage veterans and military families to enjoy public lands, the Bureau of Land Management and the Sierra Club today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will enable both organizations to work more effectively together on programs, training, and recreational activities for veterans and military families.
"Secretary Jewell Lauds President's Intent to Nominate Michael L. Connor to Serve as Deputy Secretary of Interior Department" (DOI, 7/30/13)
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today praised President Obama's intent to nominate Michael L. Connor to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Since 2009, Connor has served as Commissioner of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation.If confirmed by the U. S. Senate, Connor would be the second highest ranking official at Interior, with statutory responsibility as the Chief Operating Officer to help lead a Department of more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of about $12 billion.
"Department of the Interior Contributed $371 Billion to U.S. Economy in 2012, Supporting 2.3 Million Jobs, Report Shows" (DOI, 07/29/13)
The activities of the Department of the Interior contributed $371 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, supporting 2.3 million jobs in activities including outdoor recreation and tourism, energy development, grazing and timber harvest, according to a new report released.The Bureau of Land Management and other Interior agencies approved the installation of 315 megawatts of wind capacity and 489 megawatts of solar power projects on public lands during the fiscal year. These renewable energy activities contributed $4.4 billion to the economy and supported 18,000 jobs.
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
- "BLM Offers Free, Guided Informational Hike Focused on Rare Native Plants" (BLM, 08/01/13)
A free, guided informational hike focused on rare native plants of the Red Mountain area in northern Mendocino County will be offered Saturday, Aug. 10. Jennifer Wheeler, a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management's Arcata Field Office, will lead the outing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the BLM-managed area about 10 miles south of Garberville.
August 17 - "Desert Advisory Committee Sets Meeting to Consider Imperial Sand Dunes Fee Proposal" (BLM, 7/29/13)
The Bureau of Land Management Desert Advisory Committee (DAC) will meet Saturday, Aug. 17 to consider a fee proposal for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. The Council will meet from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Riverside Marriott Hotel, 3400 Market St., Riverside, CA 92501. The meeting is open to the public.
August 21 - "BLM Advisory Council Plans Video Teleconference Meeting"
Renewable energy issues for Central California will be on the agenda when the Bureau of Land Management's Central California Resource Advisory Council meets by video teleconference on Aug. 21. The video teleconference will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Time for public comment is reserved from noon to 12:15 p.m. Members of the public can attend at the following BLM Field Offices: Bakersfield, Hollister, Bishop, Ukiah, and the California State Office in Sacramento, CA.
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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