A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 347 - 9/4/08

Trash pickup at last year's National Public Lands Day, Barstow Field OfficeVery close-up of American pika shows a furry brown creatureStudents learn the art of flint napping to make toolsCyclists on the Hornbeck TrailSigning cermony at Point Arena

- National Public Lands Day 2008: Get ready!
- Bridges and Trails

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Headlines and highlights:
      - Bighorn sheep habitat
      - Logging
      - Sunrise Power Link
      - California Coastal Monument
      - and more!
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items


National Public Lands Day 2008 - logoNATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. Below are two of the many volunteer opportunities BLM will host in celebration of National Public Lands Day. Make plans now to join us!

Trash pickup at last year's National Public Lands Day, Barstow Field Office"Desert Discovery Trail Project" (BLM-California, Barstow Field Office)
September 27, 2008: BLM-California's Barstow Field Office is hosting eight projects, including: constructing a nature trail throughout eight acres of public land adjacent to the Desert Discovery Center, building several shade ramadas for educational stations for visiting school children, removing graffiti, erecting fencing and a general clean up. Please register by September 17.

Stone arch at the Alabama Hills, BLM Bishop Field Office"Volunteer program - National Public Lands Day" (BLM-California, Bishop Field Office)
BLM-California's Bishop Field Office will mark National Public Lands Day on Saturday, October 4, "8 a.m. sharp!" Volunteers will clean up the Alabama Hills in anticipation of the Lone Pine Film Festival later in the month.

"Cosumnes River Preserve Farm Center Renovation" (BLM-California, Folsom Field Office)
Help spruce up and enhance the BLM's Farm Center at the Cosumnes River Preserve on Saturday, September 27, including planting native plants, installing a drip irrigation system, weeding, pruning, refreshing landscape bark in the native plant gardens, building a well house, and more. There will be jobs for all ages and skill levels.


"BLM is studying bridge to future of recreation" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/29/08)
"For now, the Bureau of Land Management is only studying whether it would be possible to build a pedestrian bridge across the Sacramento River downstream from Shasta Dam. The bridge might not be technically feasible, and it's easy to imagine construction costing far more anyone would be willing to pay."

"BLM expands river public access" (Tehama County Daily News, 8/28/08)
"Public access to the Sacramento River between Redding and Red Bluff will be expanded soon, with the acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management of 71 acres in the Sacramento River Bend area."

"Shasta supervisors pleased with proposal to add trails" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/27/08)
"Plans to connect more trails and possibly add a ribbon bridge to Keswick Reservoir’s north end drew praise and support from the Shasta County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Attendees also lauded the work of volunteers and the Bureau of Land Management to link several of the county’s network of trails, especially those south of Shasta Dam."

Cyclists on the Hornbeck TrailA view onto a lake with hills beyond - along the Hornbeck TrailRELATED: "Trails" (BLM-California, Redding Field Office)
The Hornbeck Trail segment, named for a volunteer who was instrumental in its development, follows the path of a historic mining railroad on the east side of the river. It features gentle grades suitable for all age groups. The new trail is the first completed segment in a trail that will eventually allow “loop” trips from Keswick Reservoir to Shasta Dam and back using both sides of the river.

"Idaho wildfire reveals hidden stretch of Oregon Trail" (Los Angeles Daily News, 9/2/08)
"A wildfire that damaged or destroyed nearly 20 homes in Idaho last month also revealed remnants of the Oregon Trail. Members of the Idaho Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association plan to mark portions of the pioneer trail now visible after the Aug. 25 fire. During his 30-year career with the Bureau of Land Management, [Wally] Meyer said, he marked about 150 miles of migrant-trail remnants on public land in southwest Idaho."

RELATED: "National Scenic and Historic Trails " (BLM)
The Bureau of Land Management is one of several agencies responsible for management of National Historic or Scenic Trails. The Oregon Trail is one of many.
California website: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/historictrails.html
National website: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/NLCS/Trails.html

RELATED: " Applegate Lassen Emigrant Trail" (BLM-California)
This was one of the major trails providing access into California and Oregon, also called the California Cutoff after it left the Oregon Trail near Fort Hall, Idaho.

"Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage have exchange on Mike Schuler Trail expansion" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/28/08)
"A story in The Desert Sun first alerted Palm Desert officials that changes to the Mike Schuler Trail were being considered...The original trails were approved through a collaboration among the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Fish and Game, the cities of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert, and property owners."


Very close-up of American pika shows a furry brown creature

What do American Pikas eat?
(a.) green plants, mostly grasses and sedges
(b.) insects that they find in rotting wood with their big incisors
(c.) flowers and pollen and fruit
(d.) mostly fungi, especially woodland mushrooms
(e.) apple pie and baseballs

------> See answer -- and related news stories -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


Students learn the art of flint napping to make tools"Owens Valley Paiute Environmental Education Camp" (News.bytes Extra)
A weeklong camp with tribal youth, elders, and program mangers from the Paiute Tribes of the Owens Valley, was successful with two BLM sponsored events involving hunting and tool making techniques used by prehistoric peoples.

Signing cermony at Point Arena"California Coastal National Monument Signs Pact to promote Geotourism" (News.bytes Extra)
The signing ceremonies were a first step in an effort to develop a National Geographic Mapguide for the California coast. Opportunities for extensive public participation will be announced.

"BLM, Partners Endorse Geotourism Principles on California Coast" (BLM-California News, 8/28/08)
"Officials from the BLM and its north coast partners in the California Coastal National Monument signed agreements that incorporate a series of "geotourism approaches and principles" into their existing partnerships."

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM-California)
Located off the 1,100 miles of the California coastline, the California Coastal National Monument is comprised of more than 20,000 BLM administered small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles. 

"Federal plan would cut habitat for endangered peninsular bighorn sheep nearly by half" (Los Angeles Times, 9/2/08)
"U.S. Gypsum Co. is applying for permits to expand its Imperial County operations into former critical habitat, according to the Bureau of Land Management. A final environmental impact report for the project was released in March. It included measures to restrict access to undisturbed land and to educate mine employees about avoiding sheep."
"Sheep are losing ground" Photo Gallery:
"Shrinking critical habitat" Map:

"More mountain land for endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep sought" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 8/28/08)
Federal wildlife officials are proposing to expand by about 36,000 acres the amount of land they consider essential for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep to survive in the mountains above the Coachella Valley."

RELATED: "Peninsular Bighorn Sheep" (BLM-California Wildlife Database)
This population of bighorn sheep has been identified as the Peninsular bighorn sheep because they are isolated to the arid and rugged Peninsular Ranges of California. This range extends from central Baja California Mexico to the San Jacinto Mountains.

"Reward offered in death of Yuma-based agent" (Yuma Sun, 08/29/08)
The FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are offering up to $350,000 for information leading
directly to the location and arrest of the prime suspect in a Yuma-based agent's death that occurred at the Imperial Sand Dunes, managed by Bureau of Land Management in California.

"Salvage logging: Is there really any question?" (Redding Record Searchlight, 9/1/08)
Opinion Columnists, Dennis Bebensee, a registered professional forester, states his opinion on a study that BLM stopped funding and the salvage logging issue.

"Firefighting aircraft at risk" (Truckee Sierra Sun, 9/3/08)
"In 2004, the concern over the safety of two air tankers similar to the one that crashed in Reno Monday caused the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to ground the 1960s tankers during middle of fire season."

"Growers Pose Green Hurdle In California" (Wall Street Journal, 9/2/08)
"Growers and ranchers in the southern reaches of California are posing the latest obstacle to the state's push for green power. Facing the possibility of losing land to power transmission lines, they have urged state commissioners to avoid their property when selecting a route for a project linking consumers on the coast to renewable energy operations in the Southern California desert."

RELATED: "SDG&E's Proposed Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project" (State of California Public Utilities Commission)
The CPUC is the lead agency for California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). More links and sources of information.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Horse Wrangler at the Litchfield Corrals in Ridgecrest.

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

September 9 - Alabama Hills Stewardship Public Meeting

September 10 - Oil and Gas Competitive Lease Auction

September 13 - Central California Resource Advisory Council Off-Highway Vehicle Subcommittee Meeting


"Guest Opinion: Narrow changes proposed to species act rules" (Billings Gazette, 9/2/08)
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne discusses proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act.

"More danger for endangered" (Denver Post, 9/2/08)
Editorial "Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is proposing a new rule whereby federal agencies would not have to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine if construction of dams or roads and such would or could harm any wild or marine life."

"Gazette Opinion: Rule change would harm species protection" (Billings Gazette, 9/1/08)
"The Bush administration plans to cut back on the reviews that federal agencies must perform as part of the Endangered Species Act. We join with more than 100 citizens groups that have gone on the record to say this sounds like a bad idea."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(a.) green plants, mostly grasses and sedges

SOURCE: "American Pika - Ochotona princeps" (BLM California wildlife database)
American pikas eat a variety of green plants, primarily grasses and sedges. Just before fall pikas begin foraging for excess food, which is taken back to their dens and stored for the cold winter months.

American pika in the news:

"US, state lawsuits seek help for 'boulder bunny'"
(Redding Record Searchlight, 8/21/08)
"The debate over whether the “boulder bunny” should be listed for state and federal protection has rolled into the courtroom. A nonprofit conservation group filed lawsuits in state and federal courts — in San Francisco and Sacramento — this week, in an effort to win government protection for the American pika, which the group says is endangered by global warming" and impacted by decreasing snowpack and higher temperatures.

Another close-up of the American pike, from the Sacramento Bee"Global warming threatens pika, lawsuit claims" (Sacramento Bee, 8/20/08)
"Weighing only 4 to 6 ounces, this rabbitlike mammal with thick brown hair, which lives on boulder-covered slopes in Western mountains, could represent the latest effort to use the Endangered Species Act to combat global warming." Claimed spokesperson for the lawsuit filed to list the animal as endangered: "The pika is the American West's canary in the coal mine ... As temperatures rise, pika populations at lower elevations are being driven to extinction, pushing pikas further upslope until they have nowhere else to go."
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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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