A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 297 - 9/5/07

"Test" wedding in the Alabama Hills Meet your Advisory Committee members Lynn Scarlett speaks at the Coachella Valley F Extreme Mustang Makeover - California contestant Wildlife Trivia question mark

- Land purchase helps conservation efforts
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Our readers write: Still sad?
- Wild horses and burros
- Volunteers needed
- Headlines and highlights: "Test" wedding, jobs, more
- Meet your Advisory Committee members - and upcoming meeting
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Mineral cost-recovery fees

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


"Land dedicated to Fringe-Toed Lizard Preserve" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/5/07)
"More than 300 acres of land was dedicated Tuesday to the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard Preserve. The 321-acre parcel is part of an 8,880-acre acquisition that serves as a wildlife movement corridor between the preserve and Joshua Tree National Park."

"Government patching up public lands" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 8/31/07)
"The government is buying 9,000 acres in seven Western states, the first such purchases under a 2000 law intended to help land managers patch up fragmented national parks, forests, refuges and other public lands. Among the 19 places being purchased for $18 million from private landowners are lands around the Coachella Valley in California...."

Lynn Scarlett speaks at the Coachella Valley F"Key wildlife habitat added to Coachella preserve" (News.bytes Extra)
Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett joined a group of federal, state, and local officials and leaders to dedicate a key wildlife habitat acquisition in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs yesterday. The 321-acre parcel is part of a larger acquisition effort that combines available funding from Federal, State, local, and private sources to piece an 8,880-acre addition to the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard Preserve, also a BLM Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

"More than 300 acres added to Coachella Valley Preserve" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/5/07)
"About 20 years ago, the 20,000-acre preserve was created as a way of protecting the fringe-toed lizard and allowing development elsewhere in the Coachella Valley. The lizard -- found only in the Coachella Valley -- thrives in sand dunes located on the preserve."
(May require free registration)


"Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett joins Coachella Valley partners to dedicate lands acquired under the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act" (BLM California news release, 9/4/07)
The Bureau of Land Management and three other federal land-management agencies are acquiring 19 parcels of land in seven western states with $18 million from a special conservation fund set up under the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act.  Approximately $850,000 of these  funds  are going toward the acquisition being added to the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard Preserve -- part of a critical linkage.

"Watchable Wildlife site: Coachella Valley Preserve" (BLM California website)
More than 183 bird species have been recorded here. Other animals include black-tailed jackrabbits, bobcats, and sidewinders. Reptiles may be seen in the summer. Spring through fall for fish is the best time to look for fish in the pools.

"Coachella Valley Preserve" (Center for Natural Lands Management)
More information and photos.

"Ongoing sale of public lands in Coachella Valley" (BLM California, California Desert District)
On June 19, 2007, the BLM opened written bids submitted between May 28 and June 18, 2007. BLM received 2 bids for parcel 51. The high bid for parcel 51 was $120,010. BLM did not receive bids on other parcels in the land sale. The sale is intended to transfer public lands that are difficult and uneconomic for BLM to manage into private ownership and; to generate funds to acquire lands under the Federal Lands Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA).BLM will accept written bids for parcels on the revised parcel list, as described on this web page:


Wildlife Trivia question mark

Panamint, short-nosed, Marysville, Merriam’s, Ord’s, desert, Fresno, giant, Heermann’s, California, chisel-toothed, Stephen’s, Tipton, agile, big-eared -- what animal are these subspecies of?
(a.) Fringe-toed lizard
(b.) Long-nosed snake
(c.) Banded gecko
(d.) California newt
(e.) Kangaroo rat
(f.) Western toad
(g.) Deer mouse
(h.) Spotted bat
(i.) California sea lion
(j.) Chinook salmon
(k.) They're not actually animals – they're carbonated beverage brands specializing in unusual flavors.
------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


What!!? No Wildlife Trivia question? I am sad...
      - P.G.

We were too...but we hope you like this week's question. AND next week we hope to include both a new question and a "bonus" from one of our readers:  a wildlife "tall tale" inspired by last week's Wildlife Trivia question.


Extreme Mustang Makeover - California contestant"Ride the Wind" (Tehachapi New, 9/3/07)
"Trainer Jeremy Dunn, who was featured a few weeks ago, is doing well with his 'Mustang Makeover' horse, Ojos. Dunn, who grew up in Tehachapi and now trains near Rosamond, recently put Ojos through his paces by riding him in the Tehachapi Mountain Festival Parade. The two are on track to participate in the 'Makeover' on Sept. 22 at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Texas. After the competition, the Mustangs will be adopted through auction the following day."

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule - 2007"(BLM California website)
The next BLM California adoption will take place September 15 at Camp Pendleton.

Wild Horses and Burros are also available from one (or both) of our California Wild Horse and Burro facilities:

The Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro facility is located along U. S. Highway 395, about 21 miles northeast of Susanville.

The Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse & Burro facility is four miles east of Ridgecrest. Adoptions are by appointment only, call (760) 384-5765 or 1-800-951-8720 for details. The facility is available for individual and group tours and has a nice little dirt perimeter road allowing the motorist a quality view of the animals.

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


"National Public Lands Day: Lend a hand for America's public lands" (BLM California)
In California there are 13 events scattered throughout the spring and summer to commemorate National Public Lands Day, the largest hands-on volunteer effort to preserve America’s lands. Join one of the events near you for the 14th annual National Public Lands Day and help us care for your land.

"Volunteers needed for Carrizo Plain National Public Lands Day projects" (BLM California news release, 9/5/07)
Members of the public interested in improving conditions on public lands are invited to take part in projects on the Carrizo Plain National Monument on Sept. 29, National Public Lands Day. “Anyone who wants to help us make Carrizo a better place is welcome to join us,” said Johna Hurl, Bureau of Land Management monument manager." http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2007/september/CCNews0768_Carrizo_NPLD_event.html

"Free pizza for Homestead helpers" (Hi-Desert Star, 9/4/07)
"Bureau of Land Management officials need 200 volunteers to participate in a variety of work projects in the Homestead Valley area Sept. 22....Volunteers will help erect an interpretive kiosk and signs, remove graffiti and generally clean up the areas."


"Test" wedding in the Alabama Hills"'Test' wedding in the Alabama Hills" (News.bytes Extra)
It certainly wasn't a "test wedding" for the participants -- but the event last weekend could help determine the future of BLM and community stewardship of the Alabama Hills.
More details, plus photos:

"Day at the beach" (The Eureka Reporter, 9/4/07)
"The Ma-le’l Dunes has a rich cultural history that is reflected in the Wiyot name 'Ma-le’l,' as well as an abundance of contrasting habitats found within the 450 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.... Public access to the northern portion of the Ma-le’l Dunes is currently limited to Friends of the Dunes’ guided walks until an environmental review of public access improvements is completed."http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=27961

"California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee" (USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region)
"The California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) is a citizen's Federal Advisory Committee that provides recommendations on creating new or changing existing recreation fees managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in California. The California RRAC is comprised of 11 members as authorized under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which was signed in to law in December, 2004."

"Lake County leads California in pot growing" (Lake County Record-Bee, 9/4/07)
"Lake County is the number one pot-growing county in the state for the second year running, authorities say. More than 320,260 plants have been seized so far this growing season in Lake County...." The latest garden was found " in the rolling hills approximately two miles west of Highland Springs Reservoir, a popular recreation site where children and families hike, pick blackberries, and plop into the water from rope swings."

"A record bust" (Amador Ledger Dispatch, 9/5/07)
"The two sites, which together stretched more than a mile through numerous draws and uneven, rugged terrain, were reportedly separate operations tended by different means....The Amador County Sheriff's Office led the operation, receiving aid from the California Department of Justice, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and a Jackson police officer. Investigators found five gardens overall..."

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

Meet your Advisory Committee membersMEET YOUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Raymond Watson...
...was appointed to represent the Kern County Board of Supervisors on the Carrizo Plain National Monument Committee. Elected to the board in November 2002, Supervisor Watson has a long and distinguished history of community service. Read more:

RELATED: "Carrizo Advisory Committee plans September meeting" (BLM California news release, 9/5/07)
The Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee will meet Sept. 22 at the Carissa Elementary School to discuss management planning for the monument and other issues.

RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)

SEE ALSO: "Volunteers needed" section above.

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

Santa Rosa San Jacinto National MonumentSeptember 6 - Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument hike
Palm Desert

September 8 - Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Palm Desert

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument:

September 8, 9 and other dates- - Guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve

September 12 - Oil and gas lease auction

...and much more!


"BLM updates mineral cost-recovery fee schedule" (BLM national news release, 9/5/07)
The updated regulations adjust fees charged to recover costs for processing documents related to mineral operations on public lands.  The fees, which are being adjusted to account for inflation, cover costs for such actions as lease applications, certain exploration permits, name changes, and corporate mergers, as well as lease consolidations, transfers, and reinstatements. 

Stephen's kangaroo ratWILDLIFE TRIVIA ANSWER and related websites
(e.) Kangaroo rat

At left: Stephen's kangaroo rat (BLM California wildlife database)

SOURCE: "Search results for 'kangaroo rat'" (BLM California wildlife database)

Kangaroo rats in recent news:

"Super rodents build super habitat" (High Country News, 8/9/07)
"Here, the presence of ecosystem engineers, such as kangaroo rats and prairie dogs, adds to the desert’s diversity. These rodents dig burrows and disperse seeds, providing shelter and food for hundreds of other animals. The changes trigger ripple effects that cascade throughout all levels of the ecosystem, influencing everything from top predators, such as sharp-eyed eagles, to chemical processes, such as nutrient cycling."

"Freeway bridges could aid wildlife" (North County Times, 8/29/07)
"In what could be a first for Southern California, bridges may be built over a new Riverside County freeway for neither cars nor pedestrians, but wildlife. In unveiling a preferred route recently for the $3.1 billion Mid County Parkway, a 32-mile east-west freeway that may be built next decade, officials said project features include two exclusive bridges for coyotes, bobcats and Stephens kangaroo rats."

"Habitat at center of debate over San Jacinto park land" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/4/07)
"Environmentalists say they are worried about destruction of wildlife habitat at the long-vacant San Jacinto River Park.... The site contains habitat suitable for the San Bernardino kangaroo rat, Los Angeles pocket mouse, burrowing owl and other sensitive grassland species...."
(May require free registration.)


"More species face threat from urban expansion" (CanWest News Service, National Post, 8/13/07)
"The kangaroo rats of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta are disappearing along with the sand dunes they call home....The Ord's kangaroo rat, as the furry rodent is more formally known, most resembles a gerbil, but with larger hind legs and a longer tail. It hops around like a tiny kangaroo....Although kangaroo rats are found in other parts of the world, this population is the only one in Canada."

Photos and information:

"Dipodomys stephensi - Stephen's Kangaroo Rat" (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
Stephen's Kangaroo Rat is endangered, chiefly due to habitat loss. It lives only in isolated populations in three counties of southern California. The Kangaroo Rats maintain a network of aboveground trails that follow the lines of their tunnels and connect burrow openings." With photo and sketch.

"Dipodomys stephensi - Stephens's kangaroo rat" (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web)
More information, and links to other sources.

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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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