A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 218 - 2/14/06

Jim Haagen-Smit, BLM Central California Resource Advisory Council close-up of Legenere, special status plant Doug Wreden, BLM Bakersfield Field Office close-up of a Giant kangaroo rat on the Carrizo Plain BLM at the Super Bowl - with a giant pterodactyl

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Giant rat
      - Special Status plant of the week
      - Electronic field trip
- Headlines and highlights: New Hollister manager, BLM at the Super Bowl, jobs, plans, Cemex, more
- Tours on public lands: Lighthouse, wildflowers
- Meet your advisory council members: Jim Haagen-Smit
- Call for nominations to BLM advisory councils
- Profile: Doug Wreden
- Energy: Medicine Lake geothermal, Sunrise Powerlink, border power
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: National trails plan
- Public lands sale?


close-up of Legenere, special status plantSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Legenere
Herbaceous annual, stems weakly erect or somewhat reclining on the ground with the tips ascending, simple or branched, sometime forming mats, smooth and glabrous. Flowers between May and June. Found in Tehama County in grassland or oak woodlands.

RELATED: "Glossary of plant terms" (BLM California website)
Not sure what "glabrous" means? Find out here.

close-up of a Giant kangaroo rat on the Carrizo PlainWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Giant rat
Why are Giant kangaroo rats called "kangaroo" rats?
(a) They carry their young in pouches on their chests, just like kangaroos;
(b) They are adapted for two-footed hopping like a kangaroo;
(c) They are native to Australia, so people named them after what they knew about Australia;
(d) When born, they strongly resemble kangaroos.
(e) They are as large as kangaroos (unlike the Miniature giant kangaroo rat)
---> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

"POWERful Choices" with wind turbinesELECTRONIC FIELD TRIP: "POWERful Choices"
Join an electronic field trip to explore Renewable Energy: POWERful Choices. This web-based program for middle school students features three segments:
1) A "virtual visit" focusing on five major renewable resources and the role of public lands in their use and development;
2) An "Ask the Experts" segment in which our very own BLM California geologist and Geothermal Program Lead, Sean Hagerty, will help answer student questions on-line, and
3) A student journal which allows educators to assess student learning.
This field trip is now available for viewing (free registration required), and the "Ask the Experts" session will be held February 27 - March 1. For more information see:

RELATED: "Electronic field trip archives" (BLM Learning Landscapes, Teaching Resources)
With links to information from past online events, including topics such as habitat, wildland fire, and "discovering dinosaurs."


"Hollister Bureau of Land Management office gets new manager" (Hollister Freelance, 2/9/06)
"The more than 300,000 acres of land overseen by the federal Bureau of Land Management's Hollister office will soon come under the supervision of a new field manager." Rick Cooper, who is set to take over in April, "said he hopes his experience and focus on fostering trust and building partnerships will be an asset as he prepares to take the helm of Hollister's 35-employee BLM office."

BLM at the Super Bowl - with a giant pterodactyl"Super Bowl commercial filmed on public lands in Owens Valley" (News.bytes Extra)
The use of BLM public lands for shooting commercials, films and TV shows got a big national boost last week, with one of the Super Bowl's advertising highlights, the so-called "Caveman" commercial for Federal Express. The commercial was filmed on two sites within lands managed by the BLM's Bishop Field Office.
If you missed the commercial, you can view it online via Google video (Macromedia Flash file):
The link to this advertisement is for informational purposes only and does not represent an endorsement of any commercial product, service or enterprise by the Bureau of Land Management or the government of the United States.
Read more and see photos of crews setting up for the shoot - plus alternate link to video.

RELATED: "What does it take to get a film permit?" (BLM California, Bishop Field Office website)
Movie making in the Alabama Hills began in the early 1920's and continues today on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.  Major movies filmed in the last ten years include: Stallions, The Searcher, Danger Zone III, Tremors, An Army of One, Maverick, The Shadow, Digital Man, Shadowlands, Star Trek series, Star Trek Generations, New Age, and G.I. Jane.

"Officials conduct complicated move of tule elk" (Vallejo Times-Herald, 2/14/06)
"A small army of state officials and volunteers, employing a helicopter and net gun, began capturing and removing a small tule elk herd from a shuttered naval ammunition depot Monday, ending one of the state's most successful breeding programs....A total of 14 elk were captured, with most heading to open ranges in the Cache Creek area in Lake and Colusa counties, under Bureau of Land Management control."

RELATED: "Watchable wildlife site: Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office website)
This secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral is cut by Cache Creek, with its year-round water flow. Showcasing the area is about 35 miles of the main fork of Cache Creek and 2.5 miles of the north fork. Cache Creek offers visitors spectacular views of the endangered bald eagle, free-roaming tule elk herds, wild turkey, black bear, blacktail deer and other upland species.

"Federal weed spraying debated" (USA Today, 2/10/06)
"The federal government's largest land agency is proposing to triple the number of acres it sprays each year to kill weeds in the West. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to treat nearly 932,000 acres....The annual spraying would be in parts of 17 states from Alaska to Texas."

"Marysville joins county calling for heavy-equipment training" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 2/9/06)
"The Marysville City Council wants a heavy equipment school in the Yuba Goldfields....The project includes a heavy equipment school on 57 acres of federal land along the Yuba River east of Marysville, an area already heavily mined by dredgers....Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, whose Joint Apprenticeship Committee proposed the project, would lease the land for 40 years from the Bureau of Land Management."

RELATED: "Yuba Gold Fields public recreation access map" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office website)
Shows the mix of private property and recreation area in the Yuba Goldfields.
PDF file, 520 kilobytes:

"BLM considers Caltrans application for Independence Material Pit" (BLM California news release, 2/11/06)
The proposed use of the material pit would authorize removal of up to 550,000 cubic yards of material over a 5-year period. The majority of materials would be used for the expansion of Highway 395 to four lanes. The material would be removed from an already disturbed 31-acre area of public land west of Highway 395 between Ft. Independence and Independence, California.
News release

"BLM to hold Sierra planning meeting" (BLM California news release, 2/10/06)
The Folsom Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management is asking the public to help identify social and economic issues and concerns regarding future management of public lands in portions of California's Mother Lode region, at a public workshop on Wednesday, March 1 in Jackson.
News release

"Public meetings scheduled for proposed Border Mountain Plan amendment" (BLM California news release,
The BLM has scheduled an open house and public scoping meetings to gather public comment regarding the proposed San Diego Border Mountains plan amendment to the BLM South Coast Resource Management Plan. The dates are Feb. 22 in Campo and Feb. 23 in Dulzura.
News release

"Court upholds Cemex ruling" (Santa Clarita Signal, 2/14/06)
"A panel of judges has denied the city of Santa Clarita’s appeal of a May 2004 federal consent decree that green-lighted Cemex Corp.’s proposed mine in Soledad Canyon....The consent decree was negotiated among Cemex, the federal Bureau of Land Management and Los Angeles County, but did not include the city, which has spent several years in court and several million dollars fighting the mine."

RELATED: "Court OKs canyon mine deal" (Los Angeles Daily News, 2/14/06)
"One of the city's pivotal bids for scaling down the 56.1 million-ton gravel mine planned in Soledad Canyon has been hammered by a federal appeals court decision that upholds an agreement allowing the mine project to proceed." Santa Clarita's attorney said, "We are reviewing all of our options as to how we're going to respond to this."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include human resources assistant, outdoor recreation planner, range technician, realty specialist and firefighting jobs.

"BLM plans pile burning near Stones-Bengard" (BLM California news release, 2/14/06)
BLM fire crews plan to burn piles of limbs and brush, in a project scheduled for Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 15 through 17, near the Stones-Bengard subdivision at the north shore of Eagle Lake. The piles are from thinned buildups of hazardous fuels, including juniper trees, in a 700-acre project area.
News release


"Public invited to tour historic Piedras Blancas Light Station on California coast" (BLM California news release, 2/14/06)
As a romantic get-away along the magnificent central California coast, take your loved one on a tour this weekend, February 18. If you can't make it this weekend, tours are offered at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. on March 18, April 15, May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16, October 21, November 18 and December 16.
News release

"Spring Wildflower Tours at Pine Hill Preserve" (BLM California news release, 2/10/06)
The BLM has scheduled five springtime guided field trips to view wildflowers and other features at the Pine Hill Preserve in western El Dorado County. The Preserve includes 4,002 acres in five separate units to protect rare plants that grow in gabbro-associated soils. According to BLM Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Williams, the Pine Hill Preserve may be one of the most botanically diverse areas in California.
News release

Jim Haagen-Smit, BLM Central California Resource Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Jim Haagen-Smit... an avid mountain bike enthusiast with a strong involvement in mountain bike recreation organizations and advocacy. He represents recreation interests on BLM's Central California Resource Advisory Council. Read more.


"BLM issues call for nominations for Central California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM California news release, 2/8/06)
The BLM is seeking nominations to fill four, 3-year term positions on the 12-person Central California Resource Advisory Council, a citizen's panel which advises the BLM on the stewardship of federal public lands. The central California council works closely with BLM managers in Bakersfield, Folsom, Bishop and Hollister. The nomination period closes Friday, March 24.
News release

"BLM issues call for nominations for Northwest California citizen advisory council" (BLM California news release, 2/8/06)
The Northwest Council, which works closely with BLM managers in Arcata, Redding and Ukiah, has four openings. The nomination period closes Friday, March 24.
News release

"BLM issues call for nominations for Northeast California citizen advisory council" (BLM California news release, 2/8/06)
The Northeast Council, which works closely with BLM managers in Alturas, Cedarville and Susanville, has five, full-term openings and one unexpired term vacancy. The nomination period closes Friday, March 24.
News release

Doug Wreden, BLM Bakersfield Field OfficeEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Doug Wreden... at the Carrizo Plain National Monument, managed out of BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. He is responsible for a wide variety of projects, designing, procurement, building and maintaining, "Whatever it takes to keep the monument operating," he says. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"Calpine project draws fire" (San Jose Mercury News, 2/12/06)
"The two power plants that Calpine has proposed building in Siskiyou County represent a valuable asset for the financially struggling energy producer, at a time when demand for so-called green or renewable electricity is on the rise. They may also be a test of whether competing social interests can co-exist." BLM issued permits for the project.
(Free registration required.)

RELATED: "Medicine Lake geothermal project draws protests" (Modoc Record, 2/9/06)
"Geothermal energy is often referred to as 'green' or 'clean' when viewed beside high-polluting and potentially dangerous fossil fuels, but a controversial geothermal project on nearby Native American ancestral land has led to a fierce court battle and organized protests."]

RELATED: "Protesters promise geothermal plant resistance" (Mt. Shasta News, 2/8/06)
"A coalition of opponents of Calpine Corporation's two proposed geothermal electrical generation plants at Medicine Lake staged a protest at the company's San Jose headquarters January 27th to protest the construction that is slated to begin this year."

RELATED: "Calpine says it has agreed to 1,100 mitigations" (Mt. Shasta News, 2/8/06)
After the protest, Calpine's "public relations director Kent Robertson said the two proposed Medicine Lake geothermal plants are 'important to the region's energy.' 'Geothermal energy is environmentally beneficial. That's indisputable,' said Robertson. 'The electricity in Siskiyou County comes from coal fired plants in Wyoming. Coal is a highly polluting technology. It contributes to climate change. Geothermal is one of our cleanest sources of energy.'"

RELATED: "Telephone Flat geothermal project (Glass Mountain KGRA, Medicine Lake)" (BLM issue update, 2/14/06)
Calpine Corporation proposed the development of a 49-megawatt geothermal powerplant on leases at Telephone Flat, within the Glass Mountain known geothermal resource area (KGRA) in the Medicine Lake area of Siskiyou County, California. The project was approved on November 26, 2002 by both the DOI's assistant secretary - lands and minerals management and the Department of Agriculture's chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
Issue update.

"Residents charged up against power project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/9/06)
"From most remote locales in North County, to Ramona and even into Rancho Peñasquitos, groups of angry residents are forming to battle the Sunrise Powerlink. San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s proposed 120-mile, $1.4 billion, 500-kilovolt power line is opposed by numerous environmental organizations and by several residents groups outraged about the prospect of a massive power line, on poles 100 to 150 feet tall, running near their homes." BLM would be involved through permits required for rights-of-way on public lands.

RELATED: "Groups ask Kennedy for meeting on power line" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/11/06)
"Two local groups are putting pressure on a company headed by former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II over its involvement in a plan to run a new electricity transmission line across Anza-Borrego Desert State Park."

"Border energy lawsuit can stand" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/11/06)
"A federal judge has issued a ruling favorable to environmental groups that want to force developers of power plants along the U.S.-Mexico border to adhere to U.S. pollution standards if emissions affect both countries. The original intent of...the lawsuit was to compel the U.S. Department of Energy and the US Bureau of Land Management to conduct a complete environmental impact study." BLM is involved through rights-of-way permits for the power lines.


"Bureau of Land Management releases final National Trails Plan" (BLM national news release, 2/13/06)
The plan sets out how the agency will manage its National Scenic and Historic Trails Program over the next 10 years. The Strategy and Work Plan will enhance visitor services and recreation management along the trails, provide consistent direction for protecting and developing trail resources in a multiple-use environment, and advance BLM's partnerships with trail organizations and other agencies in managing the trails under the Bureau's jurisdiction.


"Sale of public lands proposed; White House hopes to replace funds lost to logging cutbacks" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/11/06)
"The Bush administration identified Friday more than 300,000 acres of national forest, including about 85,000 acres in California, that could be sold to pay for services in rural areas across the country. National Forest Service officials said they want to sell about 200,000 acres to raise about $800 million over the next few years to pay for schools and roads in rural counties hurt by logging cutbacks on federal land. The Bureau of Land Management has said it also plans to sell federal lands to raise an estimated $250 million over five years."

"Forest land on the block" (Sacramento Bee, 2/11/06)
"The Bush administration on Friday proposed selling as many as 85,465 acres of national forest land in California, prompting harsh reactions from lawmakers across the political spectrum. The California acres that could be getting new "for sale" signs include isolated chunks of the Tahoe, Stanislaus and Sequoia national forests. They are part of a much larger administration package designed to raise $800 million for rural schools."

"Forestland sale proposed" (Redding Record Searchlight, 2/11/06)
"An estimated 50,000 acres of federal forestland in the north state soon may be available to the highest bidder, if lawmakers approve a provision in President Bush's proposed 2007 budget....Under Bush's budget, the US Bureau of Land Management also could sell land that had been identified at the local level through land-management planning....Northern California BLM spokesman Jeff Fontana said it is too early to tell what local parcels may be eligible.",2232,REDD_17533_4459447,00.html

"Large sale of forest planned" (Los Angeles Times, 2/11/06)
"The Bush administration Friday laid out plans to sell off more than $1 billion in public lands over the next decade, including 85,000 acres of national forest land in California. Most of the proceeds would help pay for rural schools and roads, making up for a federal subsidy that has been eliminated from President Bush's 2007 budget."
(Free registration required.),1,2039960.story

"Editorial: Budget calls for sale of public land" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 2/9/06)
"If the president wants to push his agenda, he must find a way to pay for it. Selling off public land is not the way."

(b) They are adapted for two-footed hopping like a kangaroo.

RELATED: "Endangered species: Giant kangaroo rat" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office website)
Giant kangaroo rats are curious and bold inhabitants of the most arid, southwestern edge of central California's San Joaquin Valley and adjacent valleys and plateaus of the Inner Coastal ranges - including the Carrizo Plain National Monument, managed by BLM.

RELATED: "Giant kangaroo rat" (US Fish and Wildlife website)
More information, plus a link to a giant photo.

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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