A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 300 - 9/27/07

BLM History - The First 60 Years Lake Keswick Western snowy plover Employee Profile: Ryan O'Dell Strolling in the fog along the Lost Coast

- Free offer: BLM history DVD
- This weekend:
      - Wild horse and burro adoption
      - National Public Lands Day
      - Rails to Trails Festival
      - More
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Archaeology
      - "Test your knowledge" online quiz question
- Land use planning: Advisory tour, Carrizo meeting
- Recreation on public lands: Lost Coast, quail hunting, off-roading season
- Headlines and highlights: Solar power boom, campus site, bighorn, fire restrictions, marijuana busts
- Wildfire - and some restrictions lifted
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Conversation with the BLM Director

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

BLM History - The First 60 YearsFREE OFFER: "BLM history video"
300th issue of News.bytes
To help mark the 300th issue of News.bytes, we are offering 300 copies of our DVD, "History of the Bureau of Land Management; First 60 Years," free while supplies last.

THIS WEEKEND: National Public Lands Day, Rails to Trails Festival

"National Public Lands Day: Lend a hand for America's public lands" (BLM California)
In California there are 16 events to commemorate National Public Lands Day, the largest hands-on volunteer effort to preserve America’s lands. Many of these are being held Saturday, Sept. 29. At several locations, volunteers can just show up the day of the event. Follow the links on this page for more details:

Here are some of the events that are still looking for volunteers this weekend:

"Volunteers welcome on Trinity River cleanup" (BLM California news release, 9/24/07)

"Fort Ord National Public Lands Day event" (BLM California news release, 9/11/07)

"National Public Lands Day events near Bishop" (BLM California news release, 9/10/07)

"Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California news release, 9/5/07)

THIS WEEKEND: Rails to Trails Festival, more

"Rails to Trails Festival" (BLM California, Eagle Lake Field Office)
"Each year in the early Fall, visitors and residents flock to the Susanville Depot...for the Rails to Trails Festival. This is one of those events that will draw families and enthusiasts year after year so be prepared to get 'hooked.' Come prepared for weather changes and you will thoroughly enjoy yourselves!" (Sept. 28-30, 2007)

For more events this weekend, see BLM California's online Calendar of Upcoming Events:

THIS WEEKEND: Wild Horse and Burro Adoption

"Wild horses, burros available for adoption in Bishop" (BLM California news release, 9/18/07)
Young and healthy wild horses and burros from public ranges will be looking for new homes when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption Sept. 29 and 30 in Bishop. The BLM will offer 10 gentled horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5 years old, along with three burros, at the Tri-County Fairgrounds, Sierra Street and Fair Drive. The adoption is being held in conjunction with the seventh annual California Horse Show, which also runs Sept. 29 and 30 in Bishop.

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

Wild Horses and Burros are also available from these California 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 located four miles east of Ridgecrest. Adoptions are by appointment only, call (760) 384-5765 or 1-800-951-8720 for details or tours.

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

"BLM center closed after horse deaths" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 9/26/07)
"Federal officials today closed the Palomino Valley animal adoption facility [north of Reno/Sparks, Nevada], where 132 horses died because of salmonella and other health problems. Tests on some of 983 horses recently placed in the facility operated by the Bureau of Land Management revealed high levels of salmonella that can infect domestic animals and humans. Others had pneumonia."

"Nominations open for wild horse and burro advisory board" (BLM news release, 9/20/07)
The Bureau of Land Management is requesting public nominations to fill three vacancies on the national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The categories to be filled represent Wild Horse and Burro Advocacy, Veterinarian Medicine and General Public Interest. The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises federal managers for the BLM and the Forest Service on the management, protection, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by those agencies.


Western snowy plover
Snowy plover - US Fish & Wildlife photo

How do snowy plovers find their food?
(a.) With a keen sense of smell.
(b.) With a sensitive hearing, that can locate food sources such as buzzing insects
(c.) With sensitive nerve endings in their feet, that can feel movement underground
(d.) By pecking at likely places in the sand until they strike something
(e.) With their eyes
(f.) They don't find it, they grow it – thus the name, "plowers" that somehow evolved into "plovers"
------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Take the quiz on the homepage of the BLM California website. Currently: Currently: "Approximately ___ acres of BLM public lands in California are designated wilderness through law."


"Lost & Found - Archaeologists investigate new historical find" (Victorville Daily Press, 9/17/07)
"Only the wind knew their names -- these men who drank whiskey and bitters and tossed the broken, brown bottles aside. They pulled out of this obscure camp but left their tent stakes pounded into the desert pavement. Left behind piles of glass and metal scrap and perhaps left behind a hard life scratched out of the desert environment....Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Jim Shearer said, "The artifacts are intact enough to interpret them, what they were drinking, what they were eating, how they were actually living...."


Lake Keswick RAC hike"Northwest RAC members see partnership successes with Redding Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council tour included areas along the Sacramento River where the BLM's work with partners is creating a rapidly growing recreation trail system, the Chappie-Shasta Off Highway Vehicle Area, where joint projects are creating new access and new opportunities for motorcyclists, ATV enthusiasts and four-wheel-drive owners. The tour also included views of Keswick Reservoir and a hike on parts of the recently-completed Hornbeck Trail.

"Calm descends on Carrizo Plain" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 9/26/07)
"When an advisory committee met Saturday to approve the framework for a Carrizo Plain National Monument management plan, the panel’s chairman, Neil Havlik, was surprised there was no bickering over cattle grazing. 'It was surprisingly low key,' said Havlik, whose day job is natural resources manager for the city of San Luis Obispo, of the daylong meeting."

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

"BLM Northeast Resource Advisory Council meets Oct. 4-5" (BLM California news release, 9/26/07)
On Oct. 4, the council will convene at 9 a.m. at the BLM Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, for a field tour in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (NCA). The council will discuss how the BLM Surprise and Winnemucca field offices coordinate on NCA management issues. The tour will conclude in Gerlach, Nev., where members will meet the next day.
Members of the public are welcome on the tour, but they must provide their own transportation in a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle and bring their own lunches.


Strolling in the fog along the Lost Coast"The Lost Coast" (Modesto Bee, 9/23/07)
"Few places offer the Lost Coast kind of solitude that makes you feel strong and insignificant at the same time." After three days of hiking, "What I saw sat me down....I woke up early the next morning to rediscover the waterfall -- the waterfall of my dreams -- that had awaited me for so long. If we'd started at Black Sands Beach, I might have just stayed here and spared my legs."

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area - The Lost Coast" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office)
The King Range covers 64,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Here the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing State Highway 1 and U.S. 101 inland. The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads.

RELATED: "King Range guided hike: Scat and tracks"
This interpretive hike is provided through a partnership with Sanctuary Forest and requires advance reservations. For details, see BLM California's "Calendar of Upcoming Events:"

"No shortage of quail for upcoming season" (Lake County Record-Bee, 9/25/07)
"The Mendocino National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in Lake and Mendocino counties offer excellent hunting opportunities."

"The air is crisp and the leaves are changing" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/25/07)
"Fall is just around the corner. Enthusiasts know this means the main off-roading season is just beginning. And so we can do it legally, here's a current rundown from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department naming legal places to take an off-highway vehicle. In eastern Riverside County the Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides an array of Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation opportunities on designated routes of travel."

RELATED: "Off-highway vehicle riding" (BLM California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)

"BLM adjust long term visitor area fees" (BLM California news release, 9/26/07)
"The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Palm Springs/South Coast, El Centro and Yuma field offices have adjusted Special Recreation Permit fees for recreational use of Long Term Visitor Areas in Imperial and Riverside Counties, CA and La Paz County in AZ, and have also revised supplementary rules applying to the LTVA program.


"Green energy: Solar's big boom" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/26/07)
"California's push for energy from the sun could turn the Golden State into the Saudi Arabia of the solar power industry....backers of 34 projects that could produce as much as 24,000 megawatts of power have filed right-of-way requests for federal land [with the BLM] in California....Challenges remain, perhaps paying for and building transmission lines from remote desert locations to energy users being the most significant one." Includes link locator map of possible sites.
(Note: If you are not already registered, this newspaper site requires one-time free registration.)

"COD chooses Palm Springs as site for West Valley campus" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/21/07)
"College of the Desert's Board of Trustees announced at its board meeting today its support for Palm Springs as the site of the college's Western Coachella Valley Campus. The Campus will be located on 142 acres....The parcels include a developed park with a Community Center, seven acres of ready-to-be-developed City-owned land, and a 115-acre parcel owned by the Bureau of Land Management."

"BLM hopes wilderness guzzler helps bighorn thrive" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/20/07)
"The federal Bureau of Land Management has authorized the California Department of Fish and Game to place a wildlife guzzler in the Sheephole Valley Wilderness, about 20 miles east of Twentynine Palms. The guzzler will provide water for the desert bighorn sheep that live there. The controversial decision sets a precedent for allowing construction of new drinkers in wilderness and is likely to be contested in court by environmental groups. However, this is a major step to restore and enhance desert sheep populations. Sterling White, BLM's Needles field manager, said the decision carefully balances the need to maintain healthy bighorn sheep populations with that of minimizing human impact on the wilderness."

"Nearly 34,000 marijuana plants eradicated in county this week" (The Eureka Reporter, 9/21/07)
"A multi-agency effort resulted in the eradication of approximately 34,000 marijuana plants this week from six locations throughout the county....Participating agencies included the Sheriff’s Office, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Eureka Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management." More than 200,000 plants have been destroyed this year, compared to 103,000 in 2006.

"Humboldt anti-pot tally this year: 300,00 plants" (Eureka Times-Standard, 9/22/07)
"Eight warrants were served, leading to the discovery of 4,600 plants on Bureau of Land Management property in the Redwood Valley, 11,500 plants on Forest Service land about 22 miles south of State Route 299, and 12,000 plants on Pacific Lumber Co. land in the McCann area of southern Humboldt County."

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


"Fire restrictions lifted for eastern Sierra" (BLM California news release, 9/20/07)
Due to recent rainfall, cooler temperatures, and the subsequent reduction in the risk of wildfire, fire restrictions ont he Inyo National Forest and BLM lands managed by the Bishop Field Office were lifted as of September 21.

"Fire restrictions to be lifted on BLM-managed lands in Northeast California" (BLM California news release, 9/20/07)
With the onset of cooler autumn weather, fire restrictions will be lifted Saturday, Sept. 29, on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s northeast California field offices and the Modoc National Forest.The easing of restrictions affects lands managed by the BLM’s Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise field offices in Modoc, Lassen, Sierra, Plumas, eastern Shasta, and eastern Siskiyou counties in California and parts of Washoe County Nevada.

"BLM Redding Field Office to lift fire restrictions" (BLM California news release, 9/26/07)
Cooler fall weather is beginning to reduce fire dangers on public lands in northern California, and the Bureau of Land Management’s Redding Field Office has announced it will lift seasonal fire restrictions on Friday, Sept. 28. BLM Fire Management Officer Tim Bradley stressed that people should continue to be careful with any use of fire outdoors.  Many wildland areas are still dry and carelessness can lead to wildfires.

"Out of the ashes" (News 10, Sacramento, 9/26/07)
"The sound of nail guns and skill saws has replaced the roar of wind-whipped flames that tore through the Angora Ridge community near South Lake Tahoe....Many who lost everything are beginning the process of rebuilding their homes....mong the whispers of rebirth, there are screams of new life. Three to four foot tall aspen trees have erupted from a soot-stained grave on the southeast side of the fire."

Employee Profile: Ryan O'DellEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Ryan O'Dell...
...came to BLM's Hollister Field Office as natural resources specialist, for the chance to work with serpentine soil habitats. Many of the plants that grow in these soils - with high concentrations of toxic metals -- are rare and endangered. Read more:

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

September 29 - Geology Field Trip
Hollister to Carrizo Plain

September 29 - BLM California Desert District Advisory Council meeting

October 6 - Family excursion to Garner Valley
Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, Palm Desert

October weekends - Guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve

October 7 - Trail hike
Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, Palm Desert


"A conversation with Jim Caswell" (People, Land and Water, Department of the Interior)
"Jim Caswell was appointed to the position of director of the Bureau of Land Management and confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 2007.  Following are excerpts from his television broadcast to BLM employees on Sept. 6...."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(e.) With their eyes

SOURCE: "Western Snowy Plover - Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus" (BLM California wildlife database)
"Snowy plovers are primarily visual foragers, using the run-stop-peck method of feeding typical of Charadrius species."

"Shorebird recovery plan relies on public" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/25/07)
"The sparrow-sized shorebird lives on sandy beaches from Baja California to Washington, including several sites in San Diego County. About 28 major nesting areas remain in the habitat range, and they often are fenced off during the nesting season to keep out people and dogs." If the plan works, " the Western snowy plover could be removed from the federal endangered species list by 2047."

"Agency announces recovery plan for bird" (Associated Press, 9/25/07)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its recovery plan for the Western snowy plover 17 months after the agency rejected petitions to end the shorebird's designation as a threatened species. The 292-page document lays out population targets for six coastal areas in California, Oregon and Washington and other criteria that would have to be met for such a delisting to take place."

"U.S. recovery plan for threatened snowy plover attacked as weak" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/25/07)
" The federal government released a recovery plan Monday for the threatened western snowy plover, a sparrow-size shorebird living on sandy beaches in California, Oregon and Washington. Environmentalists immediately attacked the plan as weak."

"Western Snowy Plover - Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
More information, and photo.

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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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