A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 279 - 5/1/07

Tule elk make their way across the Carrizo Plain Route 66 road sign Tule elk male Carrizo Plain National Monument manager Johna Hurl working the horses

- Funny.bytes: Route 66
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: tule elk
      - Tule elk and the Carrizo Plain
      - Employee Profile: Carrizo Plain National Monument manager
- Energy on public lands: Award, upcoming seminar
- Sunrise Powerlink and energy across public lands
- Headlines and highlights: Aspen award, wildfire threat, discover Cache Creek, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Route 66 road signFUNNY.BYTES: Route 66
Take a cartoon drive along America's Mother Road, with our two road adventurers.
Funny.bytes is an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues.
Note: this link will work in browsers that have the Macromedia/Adobe "Flash" plug-in -- which should be most browsers. Warning: soundtrack: you may want to adjust the volume on your computer.


Tule elk male
From a photo by Robert Potts, California Academy of Sciences

Which of these is true about Tule Elk?
(a.) Their age can be told from the number of points on their antlers
(b.) The male takes care of the young while the females hunt for food
(c.) They were once thought to be extinct
(d.) They were thought to be able to walk across the top of water, because they lived in tules, or marshy areas
(e.) They aren't elk at all, but very large -- and very angry -- tule chipmunks
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


Tule elk make their way across the Carrizo Plain"Carrizo Plain National Monument's tule elk increase" (News.bytes Extra)
Recent information from the California Department of Fish and Game shows a continuing increase in the number of tule elk using the Carrizo Plain National Monument, administered by BLM in partnership with CDFG and The Nature Conservancy.

Carrizo Plain National Monument manager Johna HurlEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Johna Hurl...
...is a long-time resident of the Carrisa Plains, and the newly appointed manager for the Carrizo Plains National Monument, which operates out of the Bakersfield Field Office. She has been the acting manager since 2005. Confused about Carrizo and Carrisa? Johna offers a short explanation...


"Wild horse gentling training offered in Roseville" (BLM California news release, 4/24/07)
A northern California horse trainer will offer free tips and advice on gentling wild horses when the Bureau of Land Management brings its wild horse and burro adoption program to the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville this Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6. The BLM will offer 64 horses ranging in age from under 2 to about 5, along with 20 burros.

"Wild horses, burros for adoption in Clovis" (BLM California news release, 4/30/07)
Young and healthy wild horses and burros, direct from public ranges, will be looking for new homes when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption, May 12, at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. The BLM will offer 30 horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5 years old along with 10 burros.

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule - 2007"(BLM California website)
Includes an adoption April 28 in Ridgecrest - follow the link on this page for contact information.

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM national website)


"BLM oil and gas operator seminar" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
BLM is planning its fifth annual daylong seminar for all Federal Operators on May 24 in Bakersfield. The seminar is to provide an update for federal operators on their responsibilities on federal leases and information on permitting, leasing, split estate issues, assignments/transfers, bonding, field operations, BLM’s inspection, idle well and royalty rate reduction programs and other items of importance. A half day seminar more oriented towards field personnel will be held May 22. Seating may be limited, so register early.

BLM Californiak, Bakersfield Field Office acting director Patty Gradek with Les Clark, Executive Vice President of the IOPA"BLM Bakersfield Acting Field Manager Gradek recognized with oil industry award" (News.bytes Extra)
The Independent Oil Producers' Agency presented its Jim Gilstrap Award to BLM Bakersfield Acting Field Manager Patty Gradek, "for your success in fostering a greater understanding between government and the petroleum industry." Read more:


"Powerlink OK could fall to federal agency" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/27/07)
"The federal government could have the final say on whether to build the controversial Sunrise Powerlink power line under a proposal announced yesterday to designate San Diego County part of a key electric transmission corridor. The corridor designations, authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, would let the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission override local and state opposition to new transmission lines if the agency deemed the lines necessary to eliminate power-grid bottlenecks."

"Region targeted for 'national electric corridor'" (North County Times, 4/27/07)
"The nation's top energy official on Thursday proposed naming a pair of 'national interest electric transmission corridors,' including one covering San Diego, Riverside and five other Southern California counties, as well as parts of Arizona and Nevada. Designating national power corridors could make it easier for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to build a high-voltage power line across the county's desert and backcountry."

"Proposed national power corridor cuts through San Diego" (KPBS radio, San Diego State University)
"The federal government could override state decisions on where new power lines could be built. The Department of Energy has declared two parts of the country critical to the nation's electricity grid. One of those national corridors includes most of Southern California. KPBS environmental reporter Ed Joyce explains." (Links to mp3 audio report)

"U.S. seeks more sway in power line routes" (Los Angeles Times, 4/27/07)
(May require free registration to view story.)


"National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors and Congestion Study" (U.S. Department of Energy)
Look under "announcements" for links to maps, a public comment form, public meetings, and more related information.

"PG&E for wave power study off Fort Bragg coast" (Fort Bragg Advocate-News, 4/26/07)
"The waters off Fort Bragg would play host to a showdown between different wave energy machines still in the imagination stage....PG&E is seeking the exclusive right to study for a period of about three years an area 17 miles north to south by 4 miles wide, starting about one half mile off the Mendocino Coast and extending up to six miles offshore....there would be problems connecting a power plant with a 60 KV line system found along the coast, but there were real possibilities of linking to the grid over the hill."


Presentation of the 2007 Conservation Partner Award at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference"California effort wins BLM-Forest Service award" (News.bytes Extra)
Each year, the Bureau of Land Management Director and USDA Forest Service Chief host an awards reception at the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference, to recognize outstanding individual achievements by natural resources professionals in each agency, as well as significant partner contributions to wildlife, fish and native plant conservation. This year, a collaborative effort in California won the award for "Conservation Partner."

"Cache Creek Discovery Day on May 19" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 4/27/07)
"Cache Creek Discovery Day is geared toward all ages, and provides special emphasis for youth outdoor-learning...relevant to the watershed. Guided hikes...wildlife viewing, Native American basketry and demonstrations, displays highlighting stream biology, local geology, birds, wildlife tracks and signs, native plants, habitat restoration, and goats (on-site) conducting natural vegetation management are among the activities available for all who come....The location is at the new BLM 'Cowboy Camp' equestrian trail head on Highway 16, just one mile south of Highway 20 in Colusa County."

"High fire risk seen for West, Southeast" (Associated Press on CNN)
"In the West, the report predicts a low snowpack will melt away quickly, causing forests at higher elevations to dry out. Such conditions may happen in forests in...California's Sierra -- where the snowpack is near its lowest level in almost two decades....Other areas with an increased fire risk include...The lower third of California, which has received less than half of normal precipitation since October, leaving dried-out vegetation plus areas of freeze-killed vegetation that could catch fire."

RELATED: "National wildland fire outlook - May through August, 2007" (National Interagency Fire Center)
More details, maps, plus weather and drought outlook.
PDF file, five pages:

"$100 million landfill project begins" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/27/07)
"A Friday morning groundbreaking ceremony near the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area marked a major milestone for Imperial County’s growth. About 75 public and private stakeholders from the region gathered along an arid tract of land five miles east of Glamis, where the $100 million Mesquite Regional Landfill will be built. The landfill, to be finished in 2009, will be the first of its kind in Southern California to get its waste by rail."

"Feds pitch spotted owl recovery plan" (Eureka Times-Standard, 4/27/07)
"A draft federal plan to rebuild a faltering population of protected northern spotted owls hinges on controlling a competing cousin of the bird -- a marked departure from earlier concepts that viewed habitat as the key concern. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...outlines two options that could be used to help the spotted owl recover. The underlying blueprint for both focuses on dealing with the barred owl, an eastern bird that crossed the northern plains in the 1800s and now challenges the spotted owl through much of its range." Land with spotted owls includes some northern California forested areas managed by BLM California.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)

Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more items -- online at:

May 5 - Carrizo Plain National Monument plan scoping meeting
California Valley, CA

May 5 - Wildflower walk
Cache Creek Natural Area

May 12 - Wildflower tours
Pine Hill Preserve, western El Dorado County

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer -- and related links
(c.) They were once thought to be extinct -- in fact, they almost were.

SOURCE: "Tule Elk State Reserve" (California Department of Parks and Recreation)
"Some 49ers found it more profitable to hunt than to work in the mines; by 1850 the entire Sacramento Valley tule elk population had been wiped out....In 1863 market hunters claimed to have killed the last elk cow and calf left in the tules of the San Joaquin Delta....When the lawmakers banned all elk hunting in California in 1873, there was doubt that any tule elk still existed. However, in about 1874 or 1875, a single pair of elk was observed in the tule marshes near Buena Vista Lake" believed to be "the last of their kind."
PDF file, 220 kilobytes, five pages:

"Tule Elk - Cervus elaphus nannodes" (BLM California wildlife database)
Of the three species of elk that occur in California, two are found on the BLM-managed lands: Roosevelt elk and tule elk. Tule elk are native to the Owens Valley, but there are now more than 20 different areas throughout California where these animals can be found. Unlike the Roosevelt elk that also lives in Oregon, Washington, and Canada, the tule elk can only be found in California.

"Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office)
One of the few free-roaming tule elk herds in California wanders over the area's grasslands and chaparral. In summer, they seek out the creek's reliable water and shade.

"Elk return to the Bay Area" (Quest, KQED-TV San Francisco, 3/20/07)
Another place where Tule elk populations have been established, is Point Reyes National Seashore. A video by the public television station shows tule elk, and discusses their history.

"Discuss the 'Elk return to the Bay Area' TV story" (Quest Science Blog, KQED-TV, San Francisco)
Related to the above item: "By the mid 19th century, it was believed that the tule elk were completely wiped out. But in 1874 a small handful were found hiding in a marsh-thicket near Bakersfield. Cattle Baron Henry miller felt compelled to save these last survivors and set aside land for them to graze on."

"Tule elk" (Oakland Zoo)

"Tule elk" (Fresno Chaffee Zoo)

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

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