A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 211 - 12/20/05

  Claude Kirby question mark Terry Williams - BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council Several white blooms on Rawhide Hill onion

- Energy/alternative energy
    - including employee profile: Claude Kirby
- Meet your advisory council members: Terry Williams
- Headlines and highlights: Off-road controversy, Carrizo controversy, gravel controversy, habitat, BLM California jobs, more
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Batfood
      - Special Status plant of the week
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Mining law

No News.bytes next week. News.bytes will not be issued next week. We plan to return the week of January 2, 2006


"Secretary Norton announces major step forward in promoting wind energy production on public lands" (Department of the Interior news release, 12/15/05)
Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced the completion of an environmental review that will allow the Bureau of Land Management to significantly expand its wind energy program on public lands while ensuring the conservation of threatened and endangered species and migratory birds. BLM expects to be able to shorten the approval process for new wind energy projects from two or more years to less than a year.

Claude KirbyEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Claude Kirby... out of BLM's Palm Springs Field Office as a realty specialist - with special expertise in wind energy. A wealth of experience has taught him that a most important part of his job is "to be consistent in your decisions." Read more in this News.bytes Employee Profile.

"SDG&E files to build line from Imperial Valley to S.D." (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/16/05)
"San Diego Gas & Electric filed a request with state build a major new transmission line through the Imperial Valley to San Diego County....SDG&E said the new line, called the Sunrise Powerlink, is needed to maintain reliability of the region's power supply, promote renewable energy sources and reduce energy costs....SDG&E said the link would give it access to geothermal and solar power sources in the Imperial Valley, and wind and other renewable resources in San Diego County." BLM is involved through rights-of-way permits for the powerline.

RELATED: "SDG&E files Sunrise Powerlink application" (North County Times, 12/16/05)
"The first stage of SDG&E's application to the California Public Utility Commission asks regulators to certify that the power line is necessary. In a separate and potentially controversial process, the utility giant is in the process of determining which routes the power line could take, and plans to propose two alternative routes in February or March 2006."

RELATED: "An early Christmas present for Julian?" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/15/05)
Residents had turned out to oppose a powerline route, "through historic Julian, a town whose survival depends upon time forgetting it as much as possible" and whose residents are wary after recent disastrous fires. At a public meeting, San Diego Gas and Electric officials indicate the route through Julian seems to be the worst of three options.

RELATED: "Jacob opposes high-voltage line through Julian and Ramona" (North County Times, 12/14/05)
"Responding to the concerns of constituents in Ramona and Julian, county Supervisor Dianne Jacob has declared her opposition to one proposed route for a high-voltage power line from Imperial County into North County."

RELATED: "Report to Congress: Corridors and rights-of-way on federal lands" (Department of Energy website)
"Congress requested that the Secretaries of Agriculture, Energy, and Interior and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality prepare a report identifying: All existing designated transmission and distribution corridors on Federal land; the status of work related to proposed transmission and distribution corridor designations under Title V of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and any impediments to completing the work; the number of pending applications to locate transmission facilities on Federal land; and the number of existing transmission and distribution rights-of-way (ROWs) on Federal land that will come up for renewal within the next 5-, 10-, and 15-year periods and how those renewals will be managed. "
PDF file, 240 kilobytes - 56 pages:

Terry Williams - BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Terry Williams... an avid outdoorsman and represents the dispersed recreation interests on BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council -- supporting hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits. Read more:


"14 off-roading groups call for end of OHV commission" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 12/16/05)
"A coalition of 14 national, state and local off-road recreation groups is calling for the disbanding of the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission....Coalition spokesmen said the decision to call for the disbanding came after the commission voted to defund several enforcement and safety programs operated by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and local sheriff departments."

"Groups request more analysis for Carrizo Plain" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/20/05)
"A coalition of nine environmental groups is asking the federal government to do a more thorough job of analyzing how it manages the Carrizo Plain National Monument. In a letter sent to the Bureau of Land Management in Sacramento, the environmentalists asked that the agency prepare an environmental impact statement as it develops its plans for how it will manage the monument's resources over the next 20 years."

"Should a city come to Shavers Valley?" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 12/12/05)
Conservationists are "digging in for a fight against the proposed development east of Coachella that they say would tarnish the rustic nature of Joshua Tree National Park - not to mention the wildlife that lives there." A developer says the company "has already secured water and is pursuing land swaps with the Bureau of Land Management to assemble the property" for "Paradise Valley, a proposed new city of up to 15,000 homes."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include physical science technician, supervisory outdoor recreation planner, supervisory resource management specialist and several firefighting jobs.

"Flowering herb lucky to be on protected lands" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/14/05)
"Land on which the endangered Coachella Valley milk-vetch grows will not be designated as critical habitat, federal officials announced Wednesday....the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that labeling milk-vetch habitat as critical would be redundant, because the areas where the milk-vetch grows is covered under other wildlife-protection plans." An environmental group said they might sue; a builder welcomed the decision. BLM participates in the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan mentioned.
(Free registration required)

RELATED: "Endangered plant habitat denied" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 12/14/05)
"Backers of the plant protection plan the government cites, the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, says the ruling validates their effort." An author of the plan said designating habitat would provide "very little conservation, virtually none."

RELATED: "Wildlife-plan final draft available" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/17/05)
" A final draft version of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan was released this week. Designed to protect endangered wildlife while easing the environmental hurdles faced by developers, the four-volume, 40-pound document includes public reaction to a draft version of the plan released last year.....If adopted by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the nine cities within the plan's almost 1,900-square-mile area, the plan would protect a network of more than 740,600 acres and map future development from the San Gorgonio Pass to the Salton Sea." BLM has been involved in the area's habitat plans.
(Free registration required)

"Cemex sues Santa Clarita" (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/15/05)
"Mexico-based Cemex filed a lawsuit in state court Wednesday to challenge an environmental review in the city's plan to annex 1,885 acres where a mega-mining operation is planned....Cemex was granted the right to mine 56.1 million tons of sand and gravel by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 1990."
(Free registration required)

"Hotshots help with Rita relief efforts" (Lassen County News, 12/13/05)
"The Diamond Mountain Hotshots participated in the Hurricane Rita relief efforts from Sept. 26-Oct. 13....[T]he hotshots worked in Kirbyville, Texas, organizing and distributing food, water, ice and tarps for roofs that were brought in by the Federal Emergency Management Agency....volunteers were pretty exhausted when the hotshots arrived. The hotshot crew organized...a one-way drive-through for people to come in and get what they needed."

RELATED: "BLM Interagency Hotshot crew history" (BLM national website)
The Diamond Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew was formed in 1992. Located in Susanville, California, the crew is hosted by the Northern California BLM. Today there are eleven BLM Interagency Hotshot Crews: two in Alaska, two in California, one in Colorado, one in Idaho, one in Mississippi, two in Nevada, one in Oregon, and one in Utah.


Question mark

What do Brazilian free-tailed bats do with their young when the adults need to forage and hunt?
(a) They carry the babies on their chests
(b) The young are left hanging upside-down from branches deep inside brush-covered hillsides -- and the young do not move from the spot until a parent returns
(c) They are left in "maternity dens" -- with as many as 500 young packed into a square foot
(d) The weave mini-fortresses from tree branches and leaves -- with a small opening that only allows access by the tiny bats and similar small animals that are not a threat
(e) They bring them along in the Batmobile.
       (See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.)

Several white blooms on Rawhide Hill onionSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Rawhide Hill Onion
Steep eroding serpentine slopes with sparse vegetation and little shrub or tree cover. Associates include buckbrush, foothill pine, California melic, squirreltail, Red Hills soaproot.


"Revisions to mining law put on hold" (Los Angeles Times, 12/14/05)
"Republicans in Congress...stripped proposed mining law revisions from a budget bill that critics said could have led to the sell-off of millions of acres of federal land, including portions of national parks and forests, such as Death Valley National Park and Mojave National Preserve. The package faced mounting bipartisan opposition from Western senators, whose support was crucial, after scores of groups, including a coalition of hunting and fishing interests, complained. A Senate spokesman said opposition to the mining law revisions could have jeopardized passage of the budget bill."
(Free registration required.),1,6644418.story

RELATED: "Public mining lands won't go on market" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/15/05)
"House Republicans vowed this week to again introduce legislation that would allow the federal government to sell millions of acres of public land -- including property in and around Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve and the San Bernardino and Cleveland national forests."
(Free registration required.)

(c) They are left in "maternity dens" -- with as many as 500 young packed into a square foot. A typical maternity den has approximately 500 bats per square foot, yet each mother is able to find her own pup by sound and smell. The young are weaned at about six weeks.

RELATED: "Tadarida brasiliensis (Brazilian free-tailed bat)" (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology website)
These webpages have quite a bit of information, plus a photo.

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

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