A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 311 - 12/20/07

Painted Rock on the Carrizo Plain Reindeer vs. caribou BLM Central RAC member Reb Monaco A wave energy bouy off the Oregon coast Wild horse adopter in training

- Carrizo Plain National Monument
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Energy issues: Wave energy, West-wide Energy Corridor, Sunrise Powerlink
- Headlines and highlights: Mustang Makeover, Imperial Sand Dunes, Cemex, much more
- Meet your Advisory Council members
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: California and water deal, filming permit issue

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: News.bytes will not be issued next week.


Painted Rock on the Carrizo Plain"Beauty, in Plain site" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/17/07)
"The grassy flatland may not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for ways to entertain the children during winter break or relatives from out of town, but Carrizo Plain is worth exploring. The area’s walking trails also offer an opportunity to burn off some of those holiday indulgences. Plan to spend at least five hours traveling to and from California Valley, and exploring Soda Lake, the remains of a prehistoric sea, and Painted Rock, a Chumash ceremonial site with pictographs." http://www.sanluisobispo.com/183/story/222346.html

RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
The Carrizo Plain, 100 airline miles north of Los Angeles, is an area by-passed by time. Soda Lake, its centerpiece, is a glistening bed of white salt, set within a vast open grassland, rimmed by mountains. The plain is home to diverse communities of wildlife and plant species, and is an area culturally important to Native Americans.

RELATED: "Explore: Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Links to visitor information, questions and answers, photos and more.


Reindeer vs. caribou
Reindeer thumbnail from a photo by Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, National Park Service

Something a little different this week -- we look at animals that are only spotted in California one day a year, and only by a select few at that.
Why might Santa's reindeer want to leave extra presents for a family of caribou?
(a.) They share the same upbringing: Reindeer and caribou are both domesticated to pull heavy loads
(b.) They're related: Caribou are the product of interbreeding between a reindeer and a moose
(c.) They share the same upbringing: Reindeer and caribou are both trained to stand still while their coats are shorn for a wool-like fabric
(d.) They're related: Reindeer and caribou are the same species
(e.) Both are raised to follow the commands of overweight bearded men wearing red suits – and since people of this description are a quite rare occurrence across their range, they spend most of the time not listening to anyone at all

------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A wave energy bouy off the Oregon coast"PG&E agrees to buy power from Canadian firm's proposed 'wave park'" (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/18/07)
"The dream of generating electricity from the ocean's waves will take a major step forward today when Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announces its support for plans to build the nation's first commercial wave power plant off the coast of Northern California, the latest step in the state's efforts to combat global warming. The plant will consist of eight buoys bobbing in the water 2 1/2 miles offshore, each buoy generating electricity as it rises and falls with the waves." BLM will be involved in the licensing process through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, because of BLM's management of the California Coastal National Monument.

RELATED: "PG&E to invest in wave energy" (San Jose Mercury News, 12/18/07)
"PG&E will become the first U.S. utility to agree to buy energy from the ocean when it announces a deal today to get 2 megawatts of power by 2012 from the cold, choppy waters off the Northern California coast....Experts see lots of potential for wave energy, but they concede it's all just beginning.....'Wave energy is in the early stages of development,' said Uday Mathur, an energy-procurement principal for Pacific Gas & Electric. 'It's where wind power was 10 to 15 years ago'."
(Site requires free registration.)

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California website)

RELATED: "Federal Energy Regulatory Commission"
Lead agency in the permit process for wave-power plants.

"Agencies publish draft environmental impact statement on energy transport corridor designations in 11 western states" (BLM national news release, 11/9/07)
The agencies will solicit comments during a 90-day public comment period on the draft programmatic environmental impact statement.  Public meetings will be held in each of the 11 states and in Washington, D.C.  During this period, briefings and consultation will continue to occur with each governor’s office, tribes, Congress, and historic preservation officials. Scheduled meeting include Jan. 8 in Sacramento and Jan. 10 in Ontario, Calif.

RELATED: "West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS Information Center" (Cooperative web site)
Includes links to much more information. For public meeting locations, click on the link under public participation for "getting involved" and then "public meetings."

"Sun rising on more hearings on power line" (North County Times, 12/16/07)
"A new round of public hearings set to begin in February will give those for and against San Diego Gas & Electric's controversial proposal to build high-power lines across the county, known as the Sunrise Powerlink, a chance to voice their opinions. The hearings, and the Jan. 8 deadline for the release of an environmental review of the project, have SDG&E and the project's opponents ready to renew the debate over the proposed 150-mile line." Parts of the proposed route require rights-of-way grants from the BLM.

RELATED: "SDG&E's Proposed Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project" (California Public Utilities Commission)
More information on the proposal before the PUC.

RELATED: "Split Oceanside council backs Sunrise Powerlink" (North County Times. 12/20/07)
"The City Council on Wednesday got behind the Sunrise Powerlink, but it wasn't without some sparks flying."


Wild horse adopter in training"Extreme Mustang Makeovers" (Kern Valley Sun, 12/19/07)
"In the first event of this kind, the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management brought together 'America's passion for its living legends and the challenge of training wild horses'....It was time that America got to see what these multi-talented equines are capable doing and how fast they can learn. They have a willingness to create an extraordinary bond with their human, making their first-rate performances in such a variety of equine disciplines possible."

"Imperial Sand Dunes 2007-2008 monitoring protocols announced" (BLM California News.bytes, 12/18/07)
The Bureau of Land Management , in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the University of California, Davis, plans to conduct two new study protocols at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, while postponing a third due to lack of rainfall.

"Bureau of Land Management in Hollister enters into new partnership" (BLM California news release, 12/18/07)
The Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office signed a memorandum of understanding with three local motorcycle shops to assist BLM with selling season passes to the Clear Creek Management Area. 

"McKeon bill takes aim at Cemex" (Santa Clarita Signal, 12/15/07)
"Congressman Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon said Friday he will introduce new legislation to block a planned gigantic gravel mine in Canyon Country....McKeon expects his staff to finish drafting the new bill in a couple of weeks. 'I think then we'll be at a point where the city of Santa Clarita's leadership will be very happy, Victorville is very happy, and Cemex should be very happy,' he said. 'Then I will introduce the legislation. That should be done before the end of January.'"

RELATED: "City extends truce with Cemex" (Santa Clarita Signal. 12/20/07)
"The one-year truce between the city of Santa Clarita and global cement company Cemex Inc. was extended another six months Wednesday, as discussions continue regarding plans for a massive sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon....The truce, which was set to expire Dec. 31, prevents the city from campaigning against the proposed 69-million-ton mine and will prevent Cemex from moving ahead in acquiring the necessary permits to operate the Canyon Country mine." The BLM approved the Cemex project in 2000.

"Alleged seabird disturbance won't stop Gualala fireworks" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 12/18/07)
"Come July next year, Gualala Patriot Days will go on as planned without a hitch....'They'll have to bring the police in to stop us,'" said an organizer. The event's fireworks display has been challenged by some nearby residents because of "the allegation that the explosives disrupted sea birds nesting on a federally protected near-shore island in previous years." The island is part of the California Coastal National Monument, managed by the BLM.

"Searles Valley Minerals fighting to protect business, waterfowl" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 12/18/07)
"From the air, the 52-square-mile Searles Lake looks like a wonderful place for waterfowl to rest and relax, but doing so can be hazardous to their health. Any bird spending any length of time on Searles Lake soon becomes 'salted' and will perish if not rescued." The company extracts minerals under a lease with BLM.

"Timber payments up in the air, again" (Eureka Times-Standard, 12/15/07)
"A provision in the energy bill that would have extended payments to Humboldt County and other rural counties hurt by federal logging cutbacks was removed by the Senate this week....Before the 2000 law, many rural counties received payments from 1908 and 1937 laws, which specified that the government share 25 percent of U.S. Forest Service receipts and half of Bureau of Land Management O&C land receipts with counties in states that have federal land where timber is cut. In the mid- to late-'90s, however, federal timber sales declined over 70 percent nationwide and revenues shared with rural counties declined drastically, hurting school and road funding."

"BLM fire crews will begin debris pile burning" (BLM California news release, 12/10/07)
Fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management will be burning debris piles during the coming weeks in various areas of Shasta, Butte, Trinity, Tehama and Siskiyou counties. The piles of brush and limbs were created during construction of shaded fuel breaks and timber sale activities.

"All-terrain vehicles tearing up public lands, survey finds"(Gannett News Service in Reno Gazette Journal, 12/12/07)
"The survey, conducted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, comes as the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are working on plans to set aside certain roads, trails and tracks that can be used for off-road vehicles."

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

...is a San Benito County supervisor and and serves as a the elected official representative on BLM's Central California Resource Advisory Council. Read more:

See more details about some events BLM offices have planned around the state:


"Secretary Kempthorne signs historic decision for new Colorado River management strategies" (Department of the Interior news release, 12/13/07)
"Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today signed an historic decision that will implement innovative strategies for management of the Colorado River, reflecting 'a remarkable consensus' among stakeholders about sharing water during the current drought and charting a water management course for the future.“ California is one of the seven states involved.

RELATED: "Remarks...Secretary of the Interior [to the] Colorado River Water Users Association" (Department of the Interior, 12/13/07)
"The bad news is that the historic drought continues in the Colorado River Basin with no sign of ending. The good news is that we have achieved remarkable victories in the basin that chart a course for the future through times of drought and surplus alike. Landmark accomplishments that change for the better the way we manage our water -- providing more security, more transparency, and more flexibility to all seven basin states."

RELATED: "Colorado River water deal is reached" (Los Angeles Times, 12/14/07)
"The guidelines, more than two years in the making, come in the eighth year of the worst drought in the century-long historic record of the Colorado River, which supplies water to 25 million people and 1 million acres of farmland....Although California's senior rights put it in the best position of the lower basin states, the agreement benefited the state by preventing 'bloody legal fights in Congress or the courts,' said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California."
(Site may require free registration.)

"Land of the fee for photos?" (McClatchey Newspapers, on Scripps News, 12/13/07)
"The Bush administration is trying to hide its mismanagement of federal lands by using new permit requirements and fees to limit filming and photography in national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, a congressional leader charges." The proposed regulations cover "the national parks, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges. The regulations would require a permit and payment of a fee by those engaging in commercial filming or photography on federal lands. The only exception would be for journalists covering 'breaking news.'"

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) They're related: Reindeer and caribou are the same species

SOURCE: "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
"Caribou and reindeer are the same species (Rangifer tarandus). Reindeer are a domesticated variety of caribou that are herded by humans and used for pulling sleds....In Siberia, caribou are referred to as 'wild' reindeer. Caribou are found in Alaska and Canada."

MORE INFORMATION: "Reindeer/caribou" (Bering Land Bridge National Preserve)
Both male and female caribou grow antlers...and more information about reindeer and caribou.

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

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