A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 257 - 11/21/06

Northern flying squirrel, not flying at the moment BLM history - "Millions of acres in Iowa and Nebraska" poster Weed of the Week: Wavyleaf thistle Burros await adoption at BLM's new Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center An Imperial County sheriff's deputy patrols the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area

- Video slide show: "60 years of the BLM"
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Alternative energy
- Wild horses and mules
- Headlines and highlights: firefighting, filming, marijuana, mushrooms, more
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Will wildfires exceed firefighting?

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

BLM history - "Millions of acres in Iowa and Nebraska" posterBLM celebrates 60 years, part 1: "Building a nation"
November, 2006 marks the Bureau of Land Management's 60th anniversary as a multiple-use, land management agency. Created by Congress in 1946, BLM's roots go back to 1812 with establishment of the General Land Office -- and even further back to the creation of the United States. Join us for part one in this series of video slide shows revealing BLM's history.
Video - broadband:
Video - dial-up:


Northern flying squirrel, not flying at the moment

How does the Northern Flying Squirrel fly?
a. it doesn't fly, so much as jump great distances straight up in the air
b. it flattens its body into an aerodynamic shape
c. it flaps the skin between its forelimbs and hind limbs
d. it glides on extra skin between its forelimbs and hind limbs and uses its tail like a rudder
e. it inflates unique air bladders under its belly, with its own warm breath
f. coach
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Weed of the Week: Wavyleaf thistleWEED OF THE WEEK: Wavyleaf thistle... native from Nebraska to Texas, unintentionally introduced into California. It invades waste areas and rangelands, meadows of sagebrush communities.

RELATED: "Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng.; wavyleaf thistle" (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Photos, some information, plus references.


"Court rules Medicine Lake geothermal plant null, void" (Mt. Shasta News, 11/15/06)
"In a Nov. 6 decision, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 40 year extension of leases in 1998 awarding Calpine Corporation the right to build geothermal plants at Medicine Lake violated federal laws and are null and void. The decision reversed an earlier district court decision. The opinion...found the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service failed to consult with the Pit River Tribe and undertake appropriate environmental reviews before deciding to extend the leases."

RELATED: "Court pulls plug on power plant" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/14/06)
"For now, the Medicine Lake highlands will remain free from geothermal power development. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week reversed a lower court ruling, rejecting federal leases for a proposed geothermal power plant near a volcano about 30 miles east of Mt. Shasta. ... The Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which had issued the leases to Calpine, were listed as defendants with the energy company in the lawsuit brought by the Pit River tribe and some environmental groups. "
(May require free registration),2232,REDD_17533_5142502,00.html

"Valley green energy boosted" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/21/06)
Southern California Edison "will buy 324 megawatts of 'green' energy from five California companies that harness wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel sources. The 10- to 20-year contracts, signed last week and awaiting approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, will give SoCal Edison enough power for 190,000 average homes....The Bureau of Land Management is considering approval for as many as 58 new wind turbines in the area."


A curious young horse munches a breakfast of alfalfa held out by a human visitor"Babies steal the spotlight at wild horse and mule adoption" (News.bytes Extra)
Some adopters traveled more than 100 miles for the chance to adopt a weanling mustang (between six months and a year old) or a yearling mule (about a year old). Read more, and see photos.

Burros await adoption at BLM's new Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center"A new home for wild animals" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 11/19/06)
"The Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center has been a project eight years in the making. The Center, which is run by the Bureau of Land Management...held a grand opening Friday for its new building."

"Own a piece of the West" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 11/21/06)
"The federal Bureau of Land Management collected eight foals from the Black Mountain herd [in of Los Padres National Forest] last week, and those young horses will soon be available through the bureau's adoption program" in Ridgecrest. Includes an online slide show with 11 photos.

"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for December 11 in Las Vegas" (BLM national news release, 11/15/06)
The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet on December 11, 2006, in Las Vegas, Nevada, to discuss issues relating to the management and protection of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands.


"The future of the Alabama Hills" (News.bytes Extra)
Diverse groups, from Native Americans to movie producers, agree the Alabama Hills is a special and unique place. Central California Resource Advisory Council approved a motion to Lone Pine residents, other stakeholders and the BLM to begin work on a community stewardship strategy for the area west of Lone Pine.

"Trolling for debris" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/16/06)
"One of the best salmon fishing holes along the Sacramento River has also become one of its worst illegal dumping sites." Crews picking up trash "found a ton. Well, several tons." Said a coordinator of the cleanup, "I bet we get close to 25 tons." BLM workers planned to "place two-ton boulders along the road to the fishing hole, retaining access to the river [for fishing] while cutting off the places to dump or camp.",2232,REDD_17533_5147863,00.html

"Marijuana gardens leave mark on the environment" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/21/06)
"The agency that manages the land where a pot garden is grown, be it the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, is left to find crews to do the dirty work." Includes links to four other related stories in the newspaper's "Hidden Harvest" series. Today's story: "Cultivating solutions: Police, pot advocates debate marijuana use."
(Free registration required.),2232,REDD_17533_5156503,00.html

"BLM to burn brush piles at Fort Ord" (BLM California news release, 11/20/06)
The Bureau of Land Management plans to burn thirty to fifty brush piles at the former Fort Ord military base in December through March, weather permitting. The piles are part of the hazard fuel reduction program along the trails at Fort Ord. This fuel break system is designed to protect firefighters, help suppress wildland fire and aid public safety by reducing the threat of an uncontrolled fire in the area.

RELATED: "BLM plans tour of Fort Ord hazard fuel reduction project" (BLM California news release, 11/20/06)
The one-hour tour Dec. 2 is to educate the public on the hazard fuel reduction efforts and pile burning on the public lands at Fort Ord. These projects are part of a fuel break system designed to protect firefighters, aid in public safety and assist in suppression of wildland fires.

"BLM offers personal and commercial permits to gather mushrooms" (BLM
California news release, 11/16/06)
The BLM is issuing permits for mushroom gathering on public lands in Humboldt and Mendocino counties within King Range National Conservation Area. Commercial and personal use mushroom gathering permits will be issued for specific times and quantities.

California Coastal National Monument RMP Receives Third Planning Award
BLM's California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) Resource Management Plan (RMP) recently received its third planning award within a year when the California Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (CCAPA’s) presented BLM with their California-wide award of excellence for planning implementation/large jurisdiction. The CCAPA awards committee jurors recognized that a key aspect of the CCNM RMP is that it “bring[s] together multiple players with multiple agendas for a common purpose."

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California)
Designated by presidential proclamation on January 11, 2000, the California Coastal National Monument runs the entire length of the California coast (1,100 miles) between Oregon and Mexico, extends 12 nautical miles from the shoreline, and encompasses thousands of BLM administered islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles above mean high tide.

An Imperial County sheriff's deputy patrols the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area"Patrol funds run dry" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/15/06)
"Funds allocated from the state Off-Highway Vehicle Commission have yet to make their way to Imperial County for dunes season" at the Imperial County Sand Dunes Recreation Area, managed by the BLM. "Imperial and San Diego county sheriff’s deputies and other local law enforcement agencies joined in policing the dunes forming the Off-Highway Safety Enforcement Unit five years ago after an article in the New York Times called the sand dunes one of the most unlawful places on Earth.

RELATED: "Imperial County Sand Dunes Recreational Area" (BLM California, El Centro Field Office)

"ATVs tearing up the coast, county" (Fort Bragg Advocate-News, 11/16/06)
"Dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel-drive trucks, cars and sport utility vehicles have left their tracks across the county in areas ranging from State Park forestland and beaches to private properties. Evidence of off-road trespassing is as obvious as illegal dumping, leaving tracks, ruts, erosion and often vehicle parts in its wake.... The state and county feature areas where off-road vehicle use is permitted. Though no such areas exist on the coast, the county's most popular area is Cow Mountain..." managed by the BLM.

RELATED: "Cow Mountain" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office)
Named for the longhorn cattle that once roamed wild, the 52,000-acre Cow Mountain Recreation Area offers a variety of recreational opportunities. The Recreation Area is divided into three management sections to provide quality recreational opportunities for a wide variety of users.

"Committee looking at criteria for new state university site" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 11/19/06)
Third proposed site for a California State Polytechnic University campus in the high desert "is Bureau of Land Management-managed federal land. 'We’re looking at the possibility of getting one of the BLM parcels as a site for a research facility,” said the chair of the Cal Poly High Desert Master Plan Group. “When things go bang, we don’t want to have them near population centers.”

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include park ranger, firefighting jobs and various intern positions.


"Fires likely to exceed agencies' resources" (Portland Oregonian, 11/21/06)
Fire officials warn Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne: "More and more people live in and near flammable forests but are not acting to protect their homes from wildfires because they expect fire crews to rush to their rescue....At the same time, they told Kempthorne...forests are increasingly overgrown, the climate is getting warmer and drier, and the government is running short of money to employ firefighters." Said one: "You can't expect firefighters to go down a dead-end road surrounded by brush that puts them in harm's way without the homeowner taking some responsibility for themselves."

d. it glides on extra skin between its fore and hind limbs and uses its tail like a rudder.

SOURCE: "Northern Flying Squirrel - Glaucomys sabrinus" (BLM California wildlife database)
These squirrels can't actually fly, but as they jump from tree to tree they spread their legs so that the extra skin is stretched out to act like a sail. Their flattened tails help the animals steer themselves to an appropriate landing place. Just before landing they pull their body to an upright position so that they can land gently. They can glide for almost 300 feet, almost the length of an entire football field.

RELATED: "Myotis yumanensis (Yuma Myotis)" (Idaho Museum of Natural History)
"Range: The western portion of British Columbia southeast into western Montana and the western half of Idaho. Largely absent in Nevada and Utah, this species is found in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona to central Mexico, and extends along the Pacific Coastal areas of Baja California, California, Oregon, and Washington."

- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above links to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's "Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some publications remove news stories from the Web soon after publication. If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the Web page to your computer.

DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those sites, or of products or advertisements on those sites.

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

We appreciate feedback. Send comments to the News.bytes team at:

To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to:
OR visit our News.bytes subscription page at: