A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 348 - 9/11/08

A scenic view of mountains and valley on BLM-managed lands in the West close-up of a black salamander - Thumbnail from a photo Copyright © 2006 Henk Wallays, from AmphibiaWeb A student attacks Scotch thistle Desert tortoise seeks safe ride back to California Tom Pogacnik at his desk

- National Public Lands Day:
      - Plan to join us!
      - Photo contest
- BLM across the West: a video overview
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Energy: Oil and gas lease sale, solar energy
- Headlines and highlights: Weed fighters, employee memorial, outdoor walks, wilderness, wildfire blame, jobs, more
- Employee Profile
- Selected upcoming events

This issue of News.bytes is online at:

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 just some of the volunteer opportunities BLM-California will host to mark this event. The events below will be held on Sept. 27. Make plans now to join us!

"Clear Creek Greenway cleanup" (BLM-California, Redding Field Office)
Volunteers will float down Clear Creek for over 10 miles picking up trash along the creek banks and road, fix signs and paint over graffiti. Volunteer teams will also drive collection vehicles to pick up the trash.

" Volunteers Needed for Clear Creek Cleanup Project"
(BLM-California news release, 9/4/08)

"Santa Rosa Springs Campground"
(BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
Volunteers and BLM staff will make improvements to tent-pads and fire-rings; trails will be constructed leading to camping sites; and the site will be cleaned up after a summer of activity.

"Fort Ord Public Lands along the Monterey Bay"
(BLM-California, Hollister Field Office)
Volunteers will perform trail maintenance, native seed collection, invasive weed removal, habitat restoration.

RELATED: "Fort Ord hosts volunteer work projects on National Public Lands Day, Saturday, Sept. 27" (BLM-California news release, 9/10/08)

RELATED: Volunteers at work near a river, on an earlier National Public Lands Day"National Public Lands Day photo contest" (NPLD website)
The Eighth Annual National Public Lands Day Photo Contest is open to all National Public Lands Day volunteers. "The contest will allow you to celebrate the natural beauty of our country's public lands and show us why you have lent a hand for our public lands! ... photographs must be taken at a work site on National Public Lands Day 2008. Prizes will be awarded for the best photos of Volunteers in Action." See the website for rules and more information.

VIRTUAL TOUR: BLM-managed lands across the West
A scenic view of mountains and valley on BLM-managed lands in the WestAnother view of BLM-managed lands in the WestIn recent issues, News.bytes reminded our readers that while we concentrate on California public land issues, BLM is a national organization responsible for 258 million acres, more than any other land management agency in the USA. In the coming weeks, we'll take you on more "Virtual Visitor" tours of public lands in other States -- watch for our next feature on Utah in an upcoming issue. To whet your appetite, we present another visual overview of these spectacular public lands and resources – all on 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.


close-up of a black salamander - Thumbnail from a photo Copyright © 2006 Henk Wallays, from AmphibiaWeb
Thumbnail from a photo ©2006 Henk Wallays, from AmphibiaWeb

What do Black Salamander females do with their eggs after they are laid?
(a.) she lays them in a well-hidden location and then abandons them to fend for themselves once they hatch
(b.) she usually guards her eggs
(c.) she carries them in a pouch on her back
(d.) the Black Salamander has live young - so she does nothing with eggs
(e.) she immediately signs them up for piano, soccer and salamander self-defense lessons
------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


"BLM oil and gas lease auction tops $500,000" (BLM-California news release, 9/10/08)
Eight oil and gas lease parcels in Kern and Kings counties were auctioned for a total of $525,327 in revenues, including administrative fees, by the Bureau of Land Management’s Bakersfield Field Office.

"Eager applicants line up to build plants" (Las Vegas Sun, 9/11/08)
"Earnest builders and land speculators ... have staked claims in Southwest states in the hopes of developing large power plants or flipping the sites to companies that will. But the Bureau of Land Management ... has yet to approve a single solar plant on federal land. And the agency has no uniform policy or system for handling applications, unlike the system in place for other kinds of renewable energy." A short-lived plan for a moratorium on new solar power applications was rescinded. "The BLM says the moratorium would have allowed a cooling-off period instead of allowing solar developers to engage in a free-for-all, picking up leases here and there, sometimes sight unseen. 'The whole idea of doing the (study) was ... to develop an orderly, thoughtful process for future solar energy development,' [BLM project manager Linda] Resseguie said."

RELATED: "Solar energy" (BLM-California)
On public lands managed by BLM-California, solar development is just beginning, but holds significant promise. The BLM, in conjunction with the California Energy Commission, is currently processing applications for three solar thermal power plants and shared infrastructure on federal lands located in the Ivanpah Valley.

RELATED: "Solar energy projects" (BLM California Desert District)
Includes map of applications and more information.


A student attacks Scotch thistle"Ohio students attack Scotch thistle in northeastern California" (News.bytes Extra)
A group of college students from Ohio came to the assistance of the BLM's Surprise Field Office recently, helping to eradicate a significant stand of Scotch thistle, an aggressive noxious weed.

Bicyclists pass an empty white bike leaning against a post"Bicyclists gather in memory of Greg Jennings" (Eureka Reporter, 9/8/08)
"About 40 bicyclists made their way from the Giuntoli Lane on-ramp to Blue Lake on Sunday in honor of Greg Jennings, who was struck and killed by a pickup while bicycling on Highway 299 on Aug. 25 ... Jennings, 42, worked at the Bureau of Land Management in Arcata, from which he commuted to his home in Blue Lake."

"BLM, Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve offer free outings" (BLM-California news release, 9/8/08)
Topics ranging from birds of prey to local mining history will highlight a series of free outdoor walks to be offered this fall and winter by the Bureau of Land Management and the Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve. 'These outings are designed for families to enjoy,' said Bill Kuntz, an outdoor recreation planner with the BLM’s Redding Field Office. 'They are a great way to learn more about our natural world.'

"Table Mountain back in wilderness bill" (Inyo Register, 9/9/08)
"With the Eastern Sierra/Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act scheduled to go to the Senate on Thursday, the bill’s co-authors have reincorporated Table Mountain into the mix" of "the Wild Heritage Act by co-authors Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita). The addition of Table Mountain, which was removed from the bill earlier this summer as part of a compromise that allowed for the 9,000-acre White Mountain proposed wilderness, has some on edge...." The final bill could apply to some BLM-managed areas.

"Supervisors ask community for $2.5 million for Mt. Konocti" (Lake County Record Bee, 9/6/08)
"Preserving more than 1,600 acres on top of Mount Konocti is the focus of a fundraising campaign approved Tuesday by the Lake County Board of Supervisors. Organizations including the Bureau of Land Management, Lake County Land Trust and Sierra Club, among others, are contributing, according to Lamb. He said the county is counting on individual donations to make up most of the purchase price."

"Damaged power lines blamed for wildfires" (New York Times, 9/3/08)
"A new report by state regulators has blamed improperly maintained power lines by two companies, one of which impeded investigators, for some of the most devastating wildfires in Southern California last year ... The commission plans to review the findings and could impose financial penalties against the two companies, San Diego Gas & Electric and Cox Communications, which investigators said failed to adequately maintain lines at the site of the Guejito, Witch and Rice fires ... Both companies denounced the report as riddled with inaccuracies and said thin or misleading evidence led to premature or baseless conclusions." The Witch and Rice fires included lands managed by BLM-California.
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its online content.

RELATED: "SDG&E under fire for post-firestorm actions" (KNSD-TV San Diego, 9/3/08)
"[T]he utility's parent company strongly disagreed with the report's assessment. The Public Utilities Commission Report ... concluded that SDG&E -- and, to a lesser degree, Cox Communications -- violated state regulations. The report maintains that SDG&E's power lines weren't safely designed, constructed and maintained, and that the company failed to properly inspect them." Includes links to: the 32-page report, a video report, and a company statement in response.

"BLM Northeast California Resource Advisory Council meets Sept. 18-19" (BLM-California news release, 9/5/08)
Members of the Bureau of Land Management Northeast California Resource Advisory Council will hear a comprehensive briefing on cultural resource management, when they meet Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18 and 19, at BLM-California's Alturas Field Office.

"Longfellow Stamp Mill future uncertain" (Mother Lode Union Democrat, 9/8/08)
"The future of the historic Longfellow Stamp Mill in Big Oak Flat, which was consumed by a fire almost four months ago, is still uncertain. The site is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. The mill has been fenced off to deter vandalism and theft. Scorched sheet metal from the exterior of the building is piled up around the fence. Blackened wood, random pipes and machinery are scattered around the dirt."

"Expansion of desert base faces opposition" (Marine Corps Times, 9/8/08)
"As the Marine Corps looks to expand its largest training base, off-road enthusiasts prepare to fight for a coveted piece of the Mojave Desert. Marine officials have asked the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to set aside 442,000 acres adjacent to the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms so the service can study those parcels for the proposed expansion."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include law enforcement rangers.

Tom Pogacnik at his deskEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Tom Pogacnik...
...enjoys the challenge of finding an old house, visualizing its potential, then tearing it apart and rebuilding it. He finds, however, that since becoming the assistant deputy state director for the resources division, he doesn't get to do that as much as he used to. (Tom is also Acting Deputy State Director for the resources division, until that position is filled.) Read more:

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

September 13 - OHV subcommittee hearing

September 13-14 and following weekends - Free guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve - Hikers must reserve space for specific days

September 15 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Palm Desert - SRSJNM advisory committee meetings are open to the public

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
Answer: (b.) she usually guards her eggs

SOURCE: "Black Salamander - Aneides flavipunctatus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Female black salamanders are sometimes found guarding their eggs, which are laid underground or in rock crevices. They probably begin breeding in the spring, but some have been found guarding their nesting areas as late as summer.

RELATED: "Aneides flavipunctatus - Black Salamander, Speckled Black Salamander" (University of California, AmphibiaWeb)
Extensive information, plus more than a dozen (copyrighted) photos.

Other wildlife news:

Desert tortoise seeks safe ride back to California"Hundreds volunteer to give tortoise a lift"(Coeur d'Alene Press, 9/10/08)
"Dave and Ginger Ludwick were more than willing to give a desert tortoise a ride home with them ... After all, Sadie needs to get back to the Mojave Desert, which is where the couple live." But almost 500 others had already offered a ride to the tortoise, found on the side of the Interstate in Washington state. "Having secured the proper endangered species documents enabling Sadie to cross state lines" a Blythe, CA resident planned to set out for a "Bureau of Land Management natural wildlife rehabilitation center in California. Since the tortoise came in contact with humans and could have possibly contracted germs, it can't just be released into the desert."

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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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