News Release

For Release:  August 7, 2007              
Contact:  David Christy, (916) 985-4474
CA-CC-07-61

Agenda Finalized for Tour of Carrizo Plain National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management and the managing partners of the Carrizo Plain National Monument are inviting the public to a day-long tour of the monument Saturday. BLM, The Nature Conservancy and the California Department of Fish and Game, in conjunction with the Monument Advisory Committee, are sponsoring the tour. The tour agenda will be:

9 a.m. Welcome and Introductions     
Meet at the California Valley Community Service District Building/ CDF fire station on Soda Lake Road one mile off of Highway 58 

9:30 a.m. STOP 1   Overlook Hill, Soda Lake sub-region and North Carrizo sub-region: Overview of CPNM habitats and ecological sub-regions, look at recent prescribed fires and native grass seeding project and older prescribed burn near Soda Lake. Other discussion points for these two sub-regions: satellite ponds and vernal pools around Soda Lake with fairy shrimp and spadefoot toads;

Bird-related topics such as: the Lake as a roosting place for long-billed curlews and sandhill cranes; the Lake attracts aquatic birds and shorebirds and supports nesting in wet years; surrounding fields provide foraging for curlews, roosting for short-eared owls in shrubs and grasshopper sparrows.

10:20 a.m. STOP  2   Education Center and adjacent fields, North Carrizo sub-region:  Look at pronghorn habitat fawning and foraging habitat, elk habitat use, shrub and ryegrass regeneration in Sheep Camp pasture, giant kangaroo rat (GKR) and San Joaquin antelope squirrel distributions, discuss restoration projects in the Ranch pasture.

11:15 a.m. STOP 3   Selby Campground, Caliente sub-region: Hunting access, Wilderness study area. Stop at the West Well pasture on way to Washburn; bunchgrass site/GKR study site and monitoring photo site.  Discuss 20-year trends in GKR numbers and distributions; look at bunchgrass cover in this area.

Noon Washburn Ranch for Lunch   Friends of the Carrizo are Hosting
  
1 p.m. STOP 4 Center Well pasture, Carrizo sub-region; extensive distributions of giant kangaroo rat and other San Joaquin Valley (SJV) endemic species, discuss core area management concept, current grazing/herbivore study, older prescribed fire. Also discuss the importance for wintering mountain plovers.

2 p.m. STOP 5   Wells Ranch and Swain Area, Look at an ungrazed  pasture with bunchgrass community and SJV animal habitat features that are considered an excellent example of desired future condition for many CPNM soil and habitat types.

2:45 p.m. STOP 6  Padrone Canyon, Good mix of native plants, some vernal pools, access to springs on the way to the canyon, hunting pressures and associated use during some times of the year.

3:30 p.m. STOP 7   Pipeline Road, Caliente Sub-region, Weed exclosure, some vernal pools, hunting pressures, home to southern herd of pronghorn, diverse vegetation: bulbs in the hills as well as patches of different species of bunch grasses.

(May have to cut out stop 5 or 6 depending on time) (Time and stops may vary depending on points of interest)

4:30 p.m.  End of Tour 

Participants will need water, snacks, hiking shoes and transportation. A carpool will be formed at the start of the tour. The Friends of the Carrizo will provide lunch at the Washburn Ranch for the tour participants.

For planning purposes, please contact Ryan Cooper at (661) 391-6048, ryan_cooper@ca.blm.gov, if you plan to attend or for more information.

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