A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 346 - 8/26/08

Lodgepole chipmunk caught in the animal survey Hikers silhouetted against the sunrise at the monument Rocky the wild burro at the California State Fair A rock arch on public lands managed by BLM-Colorado Employee Profile: Judith Sackett close-up

- BLM across the West
      - Virtual tour: BLM-managed lands across the West
      - Virtual Visitor: Take a virtual tour of BLM in Colorado
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wildfires and prevention
- Recreation
- Alternative energy
- Jobs: BLM-California seeking two field office managers
- Headlines and highlights: Rocky the BLM burro at the State Fair, Clear Creek, proposed wilderness
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Gulf Coast oil and gas sale

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

VIRTUAL TOUR: BLM-managed lands across the WestLogo of the Bureau of Land Management
A snowy mountain range along BLM-managed lands in the WestThe BLM manages 15 million acres of public lands in California. Did you know that the BLM also administers 258 million acres nationwide, more than any other land management agency in the USA? In the coming weeks, News.bytes will offer you "Virtual Visitor" tours of the public lands in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and other states. To introduce you to this feature, take a fast trip with us for a quick overview of some of these 258 million acres -- Your Public Lands.
Credit: Produced by BLM employees/graduates of the BLM's National Leadership Academy in Phoenix, AZ, where the public land managers of the future are trained.

A rock arch on public lands managed by BLM-ColoradoWhitewater rafting, BLM-ColoradoVIRTUAL VISITOR: BLM in Colorado
The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado manages 8.3 million acres of public lands in Colorado -- ranging from 4,000 to over 14,000 feet in elevation -- along with 27 million acres of subsurface mineral estate. This virtual visit highlights BLM-Colorado's units of the National Landscape Conservation System, recreation, wild horses and burros, minerals, and environmental education.

Lodgepole chipmunk sitting quietly on the ground
Thumbnail from a photo by Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles, California Academy of Sciences

The two most important foods in the lodgepole chipmunk’s diet are seeds and …
(a.) grubs
(b.) ferns
(c.) tree leaves
(d.) pine needles
(e.) fungi
(f.) not a food item, but ego nourishment from YouTube appearances.

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


"Agencies stress Labor Day Weekend fire safety" (BLM-California news release, 8/19/08)
With Labor Day weekend approaching and various hunting seasons already open, many people are looking forward to recreating on public lands. Susanville Interagency Fire Center reminds everyone that fire danger remains high and fire restrictions remain in effect.

"Fire planning session draws sparse crowd" (Sonoma News, 8/21/08)
"Did you know if your home is overgrown with vegetation, firefighters can chose not to defend it during an approaching wildfire? Did you know a homeowner is legally required to create 'defensible space' for firefighting? Are you aware that certain kinds of plants are actually fire retardants and are recommended for landscaping in high fire-hazard areas like Sonoma Valley? Local, county and state fire agency representatives presented this information at an Aug. 6 meeting ... also organized to encourage citizen participation in a Sonoma County Wildfire Protection Plan that is being developed with funds from the federal Bureau of Land Management."

"National fire news" (National Interagency Fire Center)
"August 26, 2008: Dry and windy weather will continue today over portions of the Great Basin, Wyoming and Montana. Gusty winds and low humidity are also on tap for northern California and Minnesota." This website includes national fire news, plus details by state. The site is updated daily during fire season.


Hikers silhouetted against the sunrise at the monumentHikers in the monument pass a barrel cactus, with the valley behind them"Hikers keep standing date with Coachella Valley's desert" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/24/08)
"At 6 a.m., a half-dozen people gather at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument before heading into the craggy mountains overlooking the Coachella Valley. The Thursday Morning Hikes program attracts the adventurous and the fitness-minded ... Hikes and presentations are scheduled through the rest of the year and in 2009 ... hikers return from encountering a desert many only see in brochures." Includes slide show of photos with audio narration.
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its content online.

RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
Includes a link to Fall 2008-Spring 2009 schedule of events at the monument.

"Border Patrol agents assist ATV injured sand dune enthusiast" (Imperial Valley Press, 8/25/08)
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area: "Border Patrol agents were flagged down by a friend of the victim near the Buttercup Valley ... This is the second incident in which the Border Patrol has assisted an off-road enthusiast injured due to an ATV accident within the past 15 days. With the fall months approaching, riders are encouraged to use sound safety practices in order to prevent serious injury."

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area" (BLM-California, El Centro Field Office)

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes rules and regulations" (BLM-El Centro Field Office)
Brush up on what you need to do to prepare for a fun and safe trip to the dunes. Rules are designed to promote public safety in the Imperial Sand Dunes and have been in effect since 1983.


"New rays of hope for solar power’s future"
(Christian Science Monitor, 8/22/08)
"Today the United States has 420 megawatts of solar-thermal capacity ... less than 1 percent of US grid capacity. But ... Efforts to generate another 4,500 megawatts of solar thermal power are now in development across California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico -- all of which have the flat, near-cloudless skies most desirable for solar thermal ... Solar thermal ... is nearing the cost of a natural gas-fired turbine power plant -- making it a winner with several power companies that have signed long-term contracts to purchase solar-thermal power. In fact, there’s a land rush at the federal Bureau of Land Management."

"Power-hungry California is hot for the Northwest's clean energy" (Portland Oregonian, 8/23/08)
"Competition for renewable energy has whipped up a wind war in the West. California is the big dog in the fight, reaching into the Northwest to buy large amounts of wind power from Columbia River Gorge projects ... The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco are among those securing long-term contracts for hundreds of megawatts of wind power in Oregon and Washington."

"Alternative energy" (BLM-California, California Desert District Office)
Geothermal, wind, and solar projects within BLM's California Desert District currently supply power to thousands of southern Californians.


Field Office Managers:
BLM-California is currently advertising for two Field Manager positions: one in Bishop, and the other in Needles. We invite those interested in these key leadership positions to submit your application. Please visit the following USAJOBS websites for further information and filing instructions: (These vacancies are open to all current career or career conditional federal employees, former federal employees with reinstatement eligibility, and persons eligible under Special Hiring Authorities.)

Bishop Field Manager:

Needles Field Manager:

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Other current job openings with BLM-California.


Rocky making a face"Rocky at the State Fair" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM-California wild horse and burro program volunteer Ginny Freeman brought her adopted BLM burro, Rocky, to the California State Fair. Here, in Rocky's "own words" is his account of his experiences there.
Warning: this is a "cute" photo essay that anthropomorphizes burros. Only you can determine your receptiveness to such an item.

"BLM releases scoping report for Clear Creek Management Area" (BLM-California news release, 8/22/08)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Hollister Field Office has released the scoping report for the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/ EIS). The scoping report summarizes public comments and identifies land use planning issues to be addressed in a draft RMP/EIS, which will affect approximately 75,000 acres of public lands in San Benito County and a portion of western Fresno county

"New wilderness proposals for Inyo" (Inyo Register, 8/21/08)
"Senator Dianne Feinstein is looking at several new wilderness designations in Southern
Inyo that top officials are saying would hinder potential revenue sources, job
opportunities and recreation in the area." Supervisors said legislation has not been drafted, but described a proposal that could apply to some BLM-managed areas.

Employee Profile: Judith Sackett close-upEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Judith Sackett...
...says she likes to learn new things. She certainly came to the right place. After concentrating on the business world for most of her life, Judith came to BLM in 2008 to work with the public and be outdoors watching nature in open areas. Judith is the outreach and support technician at the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Read More:

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

August and September weekends - Free guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve - hikes must reserve space for specific dates.

Sept. 6 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain National Monument advisory committee meeting
Palm Desert

Sept. 10 - Oil and gas competitive lease auction


"Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale 207 attracts $487,297,676 in high bids" (Department of the Interior news release, 8/20/08)
The oil and gas lease sale was conducted by the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service, and had 53 companies submitting 423 bids on 319 tracts comprising over 1.8 million acres offshore Texas.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(e.) fungi

SOURCE: "Lodgepole Chipmunk - Tamias speciosus" (BLM California wildlife database)
The most important foods in their diet are seeds and fungi, but they also eat flowers, fruit, and insects.


Lodgepole chipmunk caught in the animal survey"
Sierra climate change puts range's species on the run" (Sacramento Bee, 8/24/08)
"One century ago, alpine chipmunks owned the upper half of Yosemite. They skittered under logs and darted across rocks from the rugged Sierra crest down to the conifer forests at 7,800 feet. Today, they are missing in action below 9,800 feet." A lodgepole chipmunk makes a cameo appearance in a photo for this story.

"Photo gallery: Joseph Grinnel resurvey" (Sacramento Bee, 8/24/08)
Eleven photos related to the above story.

"Life history accounts and range maps" (California Department of Fish and Game)
Select "Lodgepole Chipmunk" from the Mammals pull-down list, then click either "Life History" or "Range Map" to view those items (PDF files).


"Desert tortoise numbers continue to decline" (Associated Press, 8/26/08)
"It's been 18 years since the federal government decided to protect the shy, slow-moving Mojave desert tortoise, and wildlife officials fear little has been accomplished ... The long list of threats -- urbanization, predators, wildfire, disease -- isn't letting up."

"Desert tortoise - Gopherus agassizii" (BLM-California wildlife database)

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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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