A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 282 - 5/23/07

Not the Ugly Duckling Children meet a mustang during Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day at BLM California's state office Aerial view of Ocean Day - students and volunteers lay on the beach to outline picture of whale and the word "protect" Hikers pause along the Lost Coast of Northern California Employee Profile: Art DiGrazia, manager of BLM's Ridgecrest Corrals

- Wild horse and burro adoptions:
      - Funny.bytes: The Lonely Burro
      - Upcoming adoption events
      - Employee profile: Ridgecrest Corrals manager
- Lost Coast/King Range
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife Trivia question of the Week
      - Environmental Education
      - "Take it Outside"
- Wildfire
- Wildlife
- Advisory meetings
- Headlines and highlights: Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day, more
- Sunrise Powerlink
- Selected upcoming events

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Not the Ugly DucklingFUNNY.BYTES: Not the Ugly Duckling:
No, it's a tale of another sort...
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.


Burros rest their heads on the backs of pals at an adoption event"Something wild" (Napa Valley Register, 5/20/07)
A look at last weekend's adoption event in Napa: "A burro would make a perfect addition to her farm, which already includes chickens, llamas, goats, sheep and ducks. She arrived at the ranch early Saturday to win the auction on the burro she named Freckles and a 2-year-old mustang she named Levy."

"Wild horses, burros available for adoption in Bishop" (BLM California news release, 5/16/07)
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 25-28 in Bishop. The BLM will offer 20 horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5 years old, along with 10 burros.

Wild horse and burro adoption - June 2 at the Ridgecrest Corrals

"Wild horses, burros available for adoption in King City" (BLM California news release, 5/10/07)
June 9 at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds: The BLM will offer 30 horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5 years old along with 10 burros. The event runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adoption event opens with an hour of silent bidding beginning at 8 a.m. Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at the rodeo grounds at about 2 p.m. on June 8.

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule - 2007"(BLM California website)

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

Employee Profile: Art DiGrazia, manager of BLM's Ridgecrest CorralsEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Art DiGrazia
Who would have thought a person from New Jersey would become a wild horse and burro corral manager out West? But when Art DiGrazia was young, he had a love for horses and took on an after-school job cleaning stables near his home in Plainfield, New Jersey. Read more in this News.bytes Employee Profile:


Hikers pause along the Lost Coast of Northern California"Northern California's coast is a rugged, wild extension of Pacific Northwest terrain" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/16/07)
"It's a mighty lonesome feeling when you're backpacking into 20- to 30-knot winds with sheets of rain in your face, and your truck is parked 25 miles down a rugged ocean shore known as the Lost Coast....the Lost Coast is one of the longest stretches of virtually undeveloped ocean shoreline in the lower 48 states....For hikers, the masterpiece of this insanely beautiful place is the Lost Coast Trail, stretching more than 50 miles in two sections. 'It is absolutely spectacular, stunning, rugged, wild,' says Scott Adams, a recreation planner at the Bureau of Land Management's King Range office."

Looking down on the Lost Coast from the heights"King Range National Conservation Area/The Lost Coast" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office)
Here the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing state highways inland. California's Lost Coast is only accessed by a few back roads. The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape. The Douglas-fir clad peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and abalone divers to name a few.

"King Range National Conservation Area - hiking and backpacking"(BLM California, Arcata Field Office)
Most of the trails are strenuous. The King Range backcountry was designated as official wilderness on October 17, 2006 and the BLM manages it accordingly, so expect no facilities and minimal signing on trails. Some of the lesser used trails may be somewhat overgrown and difficult to follow. Its best to carry a map and compass with you, and call the BLM office before your trip to get the latest trail conditions. Pay attention to the Bear Alert!

"Bear alert!" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office)
Black bears are becoming increasingly aggressive and have recently torn into backpacks and occupied tents in search of food or other scented items. To stop this association of humans with easy access to food sources you MUST use a hard sided bear-proof food storage container (manufactured specifically for this purpose) for storing ALL food, trash, toiletries and other scented items. Bears are very successful at retrieving items hung in trees, buried in the ground, covered with rocks or logs, and left in tents or packs.


black bear in the woods
Thumbnail from a photo by Tom Brakefield, California Academy of Sciences

Black bear appear clumsy when walking. How clumsy are they?
(a.) they cannot run faster than a human
(b.) they are unable to swim
(c.) once they reach adulthood, they can no longer climb trees
(d.) they run up to 30 mph and can swim and climb very well
(e.) they can jump from treetop to treetop
(f.) very clumsy: they regularly embarrass themselves and others by making insensitive jokes in delicate social situations
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


Aerial view of Ocean Day - students and volunteers lay on the beach to outline picture of whale and the word "protect""Day at the beach" (The Eureka Reporter, 5/23/07)
"Approximately 750 elementary school students from 18 elementary schools participated in the annual Ocean Day beach cleanup at the South Spit of Humboldt Bay. Students removed non-native plant species European beach grass and yellow bush lupine, as well as any garbage they found, from 7 acres of land on the South Spit. Afterward, the students positioned themselves into a design that depicted a gray whale and spelled out the word 'protect'....The event was organized by Friends of The Dunes in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management."

"Cache Creek habitat showcased" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 5/22/07)
"A steady stream of visitors saw examples of the wildlife and habitat at the Cache Creek Discovery Day held Saturday....Sponsored by the Cache Creek Watershed Forum...of natural resource, agricultural and educational partners, the event was designed to raise awareness about the new campground and visitor's facility." It was held at at the BLM's new 'Cowboy Camp' equestrian trail head, and sponsors included the BLM.

RELATED: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office)
The Cache Creek Natural Area is a primitive area, closed to motorized vehicles. There are no developed campgrounds or facilities. Non-hunting (target) shooting is not allowed. Instead, the area is managed to improve habitat for wildlife and rare plants, to protect cultural resource values, and to offer primitive recreation opportunities, including wildlife viewing, river running, hiking, equestrian use, hunting and fishing.


Take It Outside! graphic"BLM launches new initiative to connect children and families to public lands" (BLM news release, 5/22/07)
Recent studies have documented a trend in the U.S. toward less connection between people, especially children, and nature. The loss has been accompanied by an increase in both physical and mental health-related issues, in part caused by inactivity, and a disconnect with the natural environment. “The BLM has a unique opportunity to reconnect children and families to the outdoors,” said acting BLM Director Jim Hughes. “The BLM manages lands located throughout the U.S. that are backyards to many rapidly growing, urbanizing communities. These lands provide great opportunities for outdoor recreation and education.”


"Dry season sparks early fire prevention" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/20/07)
"When the deadly Esperanza wildfire raged through the mountain communities near Idyllwild, it surrounded homes in Poppet Flats but spared them partly because of earlier efforts to clear brush and trees. Local fire crews hope the millions of dollars they spent for the removal will lead to the same success stories this year - one of the driest in Southern California's history....There's a 'carpet of grass' and trees in the higher elevations, and with little rain lately, it's all drying out, according to Ron Woychak of the Bureau of Land Management....State law requires property owners to create a 100-foot defensible space around their homes and other buildings."

"Agencies gear up for fire season" (Red Bluff Daily News, 5/16/07)
"The Lassen, Modoc and Plumas national forests as well as Bureau of Land Management, CAL FIRE and Lassen Volcanic National Park are staffing up to seasonal levels....'I've noticed recently that vegetation is much dryer than it appears and sage brush fuels, which should have higher moisture content this time of year, are drying out much earlier than usual,' said Paul Whitcome, BLM fire management officer."

"Wildfire near I-80surpasses 400 acres" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 5/23/07)
Firefighters from California and Nevada. including the BLM, were fighting the fire just inside California. The Highway Fire "grew to more than 400 acres Tuesday in timber about 20 miles west of Reno near Interstate 80....Making the fight difficult were steep terrain, rolling boulders and rocks and dangerous access from the interstate."

"Keene firefighters assist at Wofford fire" (Tehachapi News, 5/21/07)
Firefighters from several agencies including BLM control a wildfire "that burned 525 acres in an area one mile southeast of Kernville." Incident commanders from the Kern County Fire Department and the BLM "stressed the importance of residents to keep their property fire-safe by clearing the acreage around their properties."


"Where have all the flowers gone?" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 5/18/07)
"As this weather season draws closer to becoming the driest on record for Southern California since 1877, seeds of native desert plants simply bide their time until the next big rain. Sensitive species of animals in the desert and nearby mountains could bear the brunt of the dry weather, however, with less food and water available. Even some species that have adapted to cycles of drought could be harder hit because they are already under stress from human impacts....Anthony Chavez, a rangeland management specialist with the Bureau of Land Management in Barstow, called the conditions 'horrible' but said such cycles are natural. "

"Spotted owl in a tight spot: Recovery plan flaps familiar debate" (Roseburg, OR News-Review, 5/20/07)
"Unless spotted owl numbers rebound and stabilize, the surveys could continue for years, maybe decades. Research has shown that spotted owl numbers from Washington to Northern California are declining an average 3.7 percent annually while its competitor for habitat, the barred owl, is increasingly taking up residence in the region. A new plan, however, is now aimed at spotted owl recovery with the removal of barred owls in its sights."
(May require free registration.)

RELATED: "Recovering the northern spotted owl: The road ahead" (Redding Record Searchlight, 5/20/07)
Representatives of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management: "On Wednesday [tonight], we will hold a public meeting in Redding to give citizens the chance to comment on the federal government's draft plan for recovering one of our region's icons, the northern spotted owl. We urge people to attend."
(May require free registration.)

RELATED: "Spotted owl draft recovery plan is a no-go for non-industry" (Roseburg, OR News-Review, 5/23/07)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepared for a throng and a ruckus. Instead a polite gathering came. In less than two hours Tuesday night, commenters had their say on the 2007 Northern Spotted Owl Draft Recovery Plan" in Roseburg, Oregon.
(May require free registration.)

RELATED: "The Endangered Species Program" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Includes a section for "Northern Spotted Owl draft recovery plan released" - with links to a news release, questions and answers and the draft of the recovery plan.


"Alabama Hills stewardship meeting set" (BLM California news release, 5/16/07)
The community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will conduct a field trip to the Alabama Hills on May 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The purpose will be to begin discussing actions to implement the community-based stewardship strategy for the Alabama Hills, said Chris Langley, Inyo County Film Commission Director.

"BLM Northeast Resource Advisory Council to meet in Burney " (BLM California news release, 5/17/07)
Land use planning topics will highlight the agenda, when the Bureau of Land Management’s Northeast California Resource Advisory Council (RAC) convenes for a field tour and meeting Thursday and Friday, May 31 and June 1.

"BLM Northwest Resource Advisory Council to meet in Fortuna" (BLM California news release, 5/17/07)
Members of the Bureau of Land Management’s Northwest California Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will discuss land use planning projects and other natural resource conservation topics, when they meet Thursday and Friday, June 7-8.


Children meet a mustang during Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day at BLM California's state office"Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" (News.bytes Extra)
Last week, 30 students took part in "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" at BLM California's State Office in Sacramento. "Tour guides" showed the visitors some of the BLM does, with activities ranging from experiments, to animated cartoons, to computer wizadry -- and meeting two horses.

"BLM approves sale of public lands near Palm Springs" (BLM California news release, 5/23/07)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved to offer for sale approximately 265 acres of public land in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County.  The public lands to be offered for sale, encompassing 49 parcels, are mostly small, 5-acre tracts in areas known as Sky Valley and Indio Hills.

RELATED: ""Coachella Valley sale of public lands" (BLM California, Palm Springs South Coast Field Office)
BLM will accept written bids beginning May 28, 2007. Bids must be received by 3:00pm June 18, 2007.

"BLM announces availability of oil and gas lease auction environmental assessment" (BLM California news release, 5/22/07)
The Bureau of Land Management has completed the environmental assessment (EA) for the oil and gas lease auction scheduled for September 12.  A 30-day public review and comment period runs from May 25 to June 25.

"BLM, Lassen Rural Bus set summer trail shuttle schedule" (BLM California news release, 5/17/07)
These stops provide options for 7, 18, 30 and 25-mile return trips to Susanville using the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail (and in the Fredonyer Summit stop, connecting Lassen National Forest Roads).

"Oregon pilot fears more could meet Kim family's fate" (Los Angeles Times, 5/21/07)
A helicopter pilot who found the family of James Kim -- after they were stranded in snow on a remote logging road in Southern Oregon, and Kim died going for help -- worries the same thing could happen to others unless officials "do something radical" to warn of the danger. "A U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman said a panel of federal, state and local officials was considering how strongly motorists should be warned about the winding and narrow mountain road...."
(May require free registration.)

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

The BLM is involved in rights-of-way permitting for the proposed powerline.

"State puts another Powerlink option on the table" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/22/07)
"Another possible route for San Diego Gas & Electric's proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line is under consideration by the state. The route was added last week in response to belated concerns expressed by Cleveland National Forest officials. It would avoid all but a few small parts of the forest...."

"PUC unit isn't convinced that power line is needed" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/22/07)
"A state consumer division says the proposed $1.3 billion Sunrise Powerlink isn't needed to ensure that SDG&E will be able to reliably meet San Diego County's electricity needs by the end of the decade....An SDG&E spokeswoman said that despite its conclusion, [the Division of Ratepayer Advocates] did not call for the rejection of Sunrise."

"Federal DOE hearing short-circuits over Sunrise Powerlink" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/17/07)
"Despite efforts by Department of Energy representatives to keep a Thursday public hearing focused on designation of key electricity transmission corridors, most of the morning discussion was dominated with comments about the controversial Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. The hearing...drew about 130 people and was intended to gather public comment on the designation of most of Southern California, along with parts of Nevada and Arizona, as a key transmission corridor."

"DOE corridor plan faces mostly backlash at local hearing" (KPBS radio, 5/17/07)
"A Department of Energy proposal to designate part of our region as a key transmission corridor drew mostly negative comments today. The plan would allow the federal government to override local and state land use decisions on energy projects." Includes link to an mp3 audio report.

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

May 26-27 and in June - Guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Preserve

June 1 - Geology field trip
Owens Valley - Mono Basin

June 5 - Dumont Dunes Technical Review Team meeting

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) they run up to 30 mph and can swim and climb very well.

SOURCE: "Black Bear - Ursus americanus" (BLM California wildlife database)
"They are mostly nocturnal, but they can occasionally be seen during the day. They are clumsy walkers, but don't be fooled by that - these large mammals can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour! They are also good swimmers and climbers."

"Living with wildlife: black bears" (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Including "don't feed the bears" and "is it a black bear or a grizzly?"

"Ursus americanus (American black bear)" (University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web)
Information and photos at this "educational resource written largely by and for college students."

"American black bear (Ursus americanus)" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Species account and sketches.

- 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: http://www.blm.gov/ca/caso/getnewsbytes.html.