A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 352 - 10/8/08

River and land mascots dance to the music of a live band A fringe-toed lizard rests partially buried in the sand A tumble-down historical cabin on the tour Visiting scouts enjoy Burt the mustang at the Sheriff's Rodeo and Camporee Father and son fishing

- Wild and Scenic Rivers: 40th Anniversary, continued
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Our readers write
      - Hands on the Land teaches science
- Volunteer opportunities
- Outdoor recreation: Salmon festival, Rails to Trails Festival, visitor center in 360 degrees
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Wildfire aftermath and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Cultural sites, legislation stalled, more
- Selected upcoming events

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

WILD & SCENIC RIVERS: 40th anniversary
The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act turns 40 this month, and News.bytes continues to mark the event:

River and land mascots dance to the music of a live bandA live band, "The Trespassers" entertained the crowd"Groveland celebrates Wild and Scenic Rivers" (News.bytes Extra)
Sierra Nevada residents see wild and scenic rivers such as the Merced and Tuolumne as natural treasures. On last weekend’s rain-soaked Saturday, Groveland celebrated those treasures with a festival in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

A top view of a Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard
Thumbnail from a photo by John H. Tashjian, California Academy of Sciences

Where is the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard found?
(a.) on the fringes of valleys throughout southern California
(b.) only in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County
(c.) they are named after the Coachella Valley, but in fact are found in desert habitats across southern California and Arizona
(d.) they are found throughout most southern California desert regions -- but ironically, not in the Coachella Valley
(e.) hitting the web-toed 2.0 chat rooms at this very moment, disputing whether the above statement accurately uses the term “ironically” and arguing about whether anyone besides themselves really "gets” what irony is

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

OUR READERS WRITE (Regarding last week's wildlife trivia question):

"Love your wild life trivia. There was no mention of great blue herons as pocket gopher predators. They are often busy eating gophers on our parkland areas."
Dave Hattem
Chief of Landscape Services
Marin County Parks

"For comparison, the species here in Southern California - T. bottae - seems to be the principle prey of barn owls. Owl pellets collected from beneath urban trees here in the Riverside typically contain pocket gopher bones."
James M. Bryant
Curator of Natural History
Museum Department, City of Riverside

And our editor says:
Thank you for emailing us! We are happy to hear from our readers, including experts in the field -- and include our email address at the bottom of each issue of News.bytes.

If you missed it, you can catch up with last week's News.bytes and trivia question at:


Students sample water from the San Joaquin River Gorge"'Hands on the Land' teaches science" (News.byes Extra)
For years, elementary school students have learned about natural and heritage resources through programs at BLM’s San Joaquin River Gorge.
This year, 19 middle school and high school students from the Sierra Unified School District worked and learned through a new, month-long, “Hands on the Land” Summer Science program.

National Public Lands Day logoVOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Our National Public Lands Day observation continues, as BLM-California areas with more extreme climates plan their events for cooler weather.

"Volunteers sought to restore Bonanza Springs" (BLM-California news release, 10/7/08)
Volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves for a day are needed to help restore Bonanza Springs.  As part of the 15th annual National Public Lands Day, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, volunteers will help eradicate tamarisk and arundo, which have endangered the spring’s vitality, as well as install a pedestrian pass-through gate, maintain and reclaim trails, and install natural stones from the wash as stepping stones.   

RELATED: "2008 National Public Lands Day project - Bonanza Springs restoration" (BLM-California, Needles Field Office)
More details, and two photos of the site.

And, as previously announced in News.bytes:
Oct. 18 - Radamacher Hills viewshed
Volunteers will help improve recreational access roads, recreation vehicle routes, non-vehicular multi-use recreation trails, trailheads, picnic day use sites and Ron Henry Interpretive Site. 


"Fewer fish, still fun" (Sacramento Bee, 10/2/08)
"The good news is that salmon have been spotted already in the American River. The not-so-good news is that there likely will be a diminished salmon population for the upcoming 12th annual American River Salmon Festival on Oct. 11-12 ... Bruce Forman, festival coordinator ... says the festival offers great recreational and educational experiences, salmon or no salmon. ... It attracts more than 20,000 people to the Nimbus Hatchery and Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova each year" with "salmon in the giant aquarium and ... salmon in the river." BLM will be represented at the festival this weekend.

"Looking and learning at the Salmon Festival" (News.bytes Extra 2007)
A look back at last year's American River Salmon Festival, with photos.

Visitors to the Rails to Trails Festival ride a railroad handcar"Rails to Trails Festival 2008 celebrates Bizz Johnson Trail" (News.bytes Extra)
Spicy chili, railroad handcar rides and classic bluegrass music made for a lively time last weekend in Susanville, as the community celebrated its Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. Events were held at the historic Susanville Railroad Depot, a trailhead and visitor center managed jointly by the Lassen Land and Trails Trust, Bureau of Land Management, Lassen County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Susanville.

A youngster enjoys her free fishing day"Take it Outside program teaches art of angling" (Needles Desert Star, 10/2/08)
"A dozen volunteers taught 18 youngsters the finer points of angling ... during a BLM ‘Take it Outside' exercise at Moabi Regional Park. Officers from the Needles Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management teamed up with park rangers and the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department ... Organizer Murl Shaver III [of BLM-California's Needles Field Office] conducts several outreach programs for the BLM at schools and events throughout the Tri-state area under the auspices of the Take It Outside program."

Father and son fishingRELATED: "Take it Outside free fishing Day 2008" (BLM-California, Needles Field Office)
Kids ranging in age from 5 to 15 tried their hand at casting, reeling and at times untangling equipment provided through the Needles Take it Outside Program. The event took advantage of the second of California Department of Fish and Games Free Fishing days to get Families out on public lands to enjoy a day in nature. BLM’s Take it Outside Program emphasizes healthy outdoor recreation for the whole family. With photos.

El Mirage visitor center, inside view"360-degree virtual tour: El Mirage Visitor Center" (US360.com)
Indoor and outdoor views of the new visitor's center at El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area. The visitor center's grand opening is Oct. 25.

"El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area" (BLM-California, Barstow Field Office)
The El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area is located in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County Line. As of Oct. 1 of this year, each vehicle driven into the area is required to have a special recreation permit.

"What's the deal with the host?" (Imperial Valley Press, 10/2/08)
Reader question: "What’s up with the Bureau of Land Management paying for the room and board of some guy from Oregon to 'manage' the campsite at the Hot Springs in Holtville?" Answer: "Actually, the person you are writing about is likely one of three managers, or what the BLM refers to as "hosts,' of the Hot Springs long-term visitor area outside Holtville..."
Note: this site may require free registration to view its online content.

RELATED: "Long term visitor areas" (BLM-California, El Centro Field Office)
Every year, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered at BLM´s Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs), where visitors may camp for as long as seven months. Check this page for information on locations, permits and rules.

"BLM's 'Take it Outside!' offers Girl Scout treasure hunt" (BLM-California news release, 10/8/08)
The Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District Office is partnering with the San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council and Hidden Valley Wildlife Area to provide a day of global positioning system (GPS) training and "Leave No Trace" activities for 50 Girl Scouts and leaders on Saturday, October 11, at the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area. Girl Scouts and leaders will receive basic compass skills and learn how to use maps and GPS devices to collect and mark waypoints, as well as find a hidden geocache or "treasure" placed just for them.


BLM geologist Gregg Wilkerson with his horse assistants"Wild horse helps BLM geologist inspect mining claims and abandoned mines" (BLM Extra)
A task that usually involves a long hike into the backcountry and would have taken two to three times as long, was completed in two days with the help of "Mouse," a BLM stallion.

Visiting scouts enjoy Burt the mustang at the Sheriff's Rodeo and Camporee"Mustangs help teach gentle backcountry use at San Bernardino Sheriff's 9th Annual Rodeo"
(News.bytes Extra)
BLM and the Back Country Horsemen's Association teamed up at the annual event, to teach Boy and Girl Scouts about pack with animals -- and spread the word on "Leave No Trace" and "Gentle Use" while doing it.


"Inland area prime spot for renewable energy, says state utilities commissioner" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/3/08)
"You have the sun, you have the wind, you have the primary resources that we can advance," Timothy Simon of the state's Public Utilities Commission told the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. "'We also have challenges in terms of transmission.' Simon admitted he has mixed feelings about how to take advantage of the alternative-energy options available in the region." Many local residents and governments have protested routes for transmission lines. "'The NIMBYism has to stop,' he said, referring to the Not In My Backyard acronym. 'We're not going to achieve our renewable goals if we're being fought every step of the way on what we need to improve the infrastructure in California.'"
Note: this site may require free registration to view its online content.

"Arizona firm plans solar-power plant near Blythe" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/7/08)
"A solar energy plant planned near Blythe could be the start of an alternative power boom in Southern California deserts. Tempe, Ariz.-based officials with First Solar Inc. seek a permit to erect photovoltaic panels ... about 1.5 miles south of Blythe Airport ... The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is processing 78 applications to put solar plants on more than 1,000 square miles of public land between Ridgecrest and El Centro" but this project is proposed for 200 acres of private land.
Note: this site may require free registration to view its online content.

"Geothermal energy development gathers steam" (Associated Press at Forbes.com, 10/7/08)
"An unusual combination of economic and environmental forces have created a 'perfect storm' that could help geothermal shed its back-seat status to its renewable cousins wind and solar energy, experts said at an international conference ... The financial meltdown on Wall Street, soaring oil prices, the volatility of the natural gas market, concern about global warming and a new administration assuming the White House are driving increasing demand for the energy produced by harnessing heat from beneath the earth's surface, they said." California has "21 projects in the works," second behind Nevada.

RELATED: "Plan worries Oak Glen"(Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/4/08)
"Visitors to Oak Glen this fall are getting a dose of environmental politics along with their cider, apple pie and fresh apples. A large billboard on Oak Glen Road where tourists enter the apple-growing enclave proclaims that Los Angeles' mayor wants to spoil the area with utility towers ... A second billboard at Los Rios Rancho carries the same message. Apple growers throughout the glen are displaying posters about the LA Department of Water and Power project, called Green Path North, with an artist's rendering of what the power lines will look like. A computer-generated photograph shows a bucolic apple orchard against a backdrop of green hills dominated by gigantic transmission towers."
Note: this site may require free registration to view its online content.

"Renewable energy on contaminated land and mining sites" (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
"EPA is encouraging the development of renewable energy by identifying currently and formerly contaminated lands and mining sites that present opportunities for renewable energy development. These pages contain information and resources for developers, industry, and anyone interested in renewable energy development on formerly contaminated land and mining sites."


"New defensible space law" (KPBS San Diego, 10/2/08)
"A new law in California seeks to reduce the spread of wildfires ... the new law updates existing rules for clearing vegetation around homes in fire-prone areas" and also applies to fences, decks, and other items. "The law requires maintaining a defensible space no greater than 100 feet or the property boundary, whichever is closer, from all sides of a structure."

"BLM announces fire rehab work in Mariposa County" (BLM-California news release, 10/2/08)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Folsom Field Office will focus rehab efforts on the Bull Creek Road (Burma Grade) area in Mariposa County for the next month to repair damage from this summer’s Telegraph Fire. The work will include some closures. The public needs to use caution in the steep burned areas because trees and rocks could roll down the slopes, especially with the forecast rain.

"'Heli-mulching' project planned for Noble Fire stabilization" (BLM-California news release, 10/2/08)
Crews from the Bureau of Land Management will be working on a week-long project to stabilize fire-scarred hillsides near Platina next week.   There will be short traffic delays on Highway 36 while a helicopter passes over the road with sling loads of straw. The project is set to start Monday, Oct. 6 and will last five to seven days.

"BLM lifts fire restrictions on North Coast public lands" (BLM-California news release, 10/2/08)
With the onset of rainy weather, the Bureau of Land Management is lifting fire restrictions on public lands managed by the Arcata Field Office in Humboldt, northern Mendocino and western Trinity counties. Easing of restrictions means that campfires can again be used outside of developed campsites.  Campfire permits are required."Even though we've had rain, people still need to be careful with fire," said Tim Jones, fire management officer for the BLM in Arcata. "Fires should never be used on windy days, and it is imperative that campers fully extinguish campfires before leaving a campsite."

"BLM plans prescribed burn near Nelson Corral Reservoir" (BLM-California news release, 10/1/08)
Crews hope to begin the 1,700-acre Arrowhead Prescribed Fire project during mid-October. Burning will continue for several weeks on days when weather conditions allow for safe and successful burning. Jerry Wheeler, fire management officer for the BLM Alturas Field Office, said the fire is designed to improve wildlife habitat by removing encroaching Western juniper trees and creating a vegetation "mosaic" of brush, grasses and trees. The fire will also improve forage for livestock.


"Wilderness bill waits in Washington" (Sierra Wave, 10/3/08)
"After a September hearing in the Senate, the outlook for the Boxer-McKeon Wilderness bill remains uncertain. Lindsey Mask  with Congressman McKeon’s office reports that the Eastern Sierra San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act has been rolled up into a larger omnibus bill which combines 150 land use issues into a single piece of legislation ... Mask reports that this larger piece of legislation could be back on the floor of the Senate in November."

RELATED: "Senate plans lame-duck session for land bills blocked by Coburn" (Congressional Quarterly, 10/2/08)
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has warned his colleagues to prepare for a lame-duck session the week of Nov. 17, when they’ll be in Washington anyway for the biennial meetings to elect party leaders. The lame ducks will vote on a massive package of public land bills that couldn’t get through the Senate individually because of a single persistent foe: Sen. Tom Coburn. Coburn, R-Okla., has a variety of objections. In some cases, he has concerns about preventing oil and gas development or the loss of revenue for the Treasury."

"Cemex swap bill stalled in House committee"(Santa Clarita Signal, 10/2/08)
"The Soledad Canyon Mine Act (H.R. 5887) remains stuck in committee without a hearing as the 110th Congress' second session comes to a close, and representatives are focused on the nation's financial crisis. Rep. Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) today said he will reintroduce the bill in the 111th Congress, scheduled to start in January ... The legislation would cancel two 10-year contracts Cemex has with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to mine in Soledad Canyon. The cancellation would end the possibility of mining at the site, and the added traffic and pollution Santa Clarita officials say would adversely affect the city."

A tumble-down historical cabin on the tour"RAC members learn about cultural sites" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council traveled into a rugged and remote corner of northwest Nevada recently, during a field tour and meeting focusing on cultural resource management. At several stops on public lands managed by the Surprise Field Office, the members saw examples of the cultural and historic sites protected by the agency.

"BLM announces Notice of Intent to amend CDCA Plan" (BLM-California news release, 10/1/08)
The Notice of Intent to amend the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan with an associated environmental assessment that would make all or a portion of the 223,000-acre Valley Wells Allotment, located in eastern San Bernardino County, unavailable for grazing livestock.  The proposal to make a portion or all of the allotment unavailable for grazing does not conform to the CDCA Plan and, therefore, requires the development of a plan amendment.

"Tom Pogacnik selected as deputy state director for Natural Resources Division" (BLM-California news release, 10/2/08)
Tom Pogacnik, a twenty-six year career government employee, has been selected as the deputy state director for the natural resources division for the Bureau of Land Management in California. 

"BLM offers firewood permits at Lacks Creek, King Range" (BLM-California news release, 10/2/08)

"Illegal immigrant arrested at marijuana garden on Six Rivers"
(Eureka Times-Standard, 10/2/08)
"Federal agents arrested an undocumented immigrant from Mexico at a pot grow on the Six Rivers National Forest ... an undocumented immigrant was found on site and arrested for allegedly growing and processing marijuana. Agents from the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in August located a marijuana garden near Grouse Mountain and put together an operation that was carried out on [last week]."

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

Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:

October 11-12 - Free guided hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve - call for reservations

October 19 - Autumn walk
Clear Creek area (BLM Redding Field Office)

October 23 - Public meeting - Twentynine Palms Marine Corps withdrawal application
Twentynine Palms

October 24 - Public meeting - Twentynine Palms Marine Corps withdrawal application

October 24 - "Is anybody home?" nature walk
Palm Desert

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) only in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County

SOURCE: "Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard - Uma inornata" (BLM California wildlife database)
Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizards live in desert habitats, and they are restricted to the Coachella Valley in Riverside County.


A fringe-toed lizard rests partially buried in the sand"27 endangered species get help" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/2/08)
"The Coachella Valley's historic plan to protect 27 endangered and protected animals and plants goes into effect today. The permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife arrived on Wednesday, the final step in a 12-year process to create the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan." BLM is one of many partners in the plan.


"Coachella Valley Fringe-Toed Lizard Facts (Uma inornata)" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hosted at the State University of New York at Buffalo)
Also links to a graphic version with sketches.

- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above links to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's "Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some publications remove news stories from the Web soon after publication. If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the Web page to your computer.

DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those sites, or of products or advertisements on those sites.

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

We appreciate feedback. Send comments to the News.bytes team at:

To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to:
OR visit our News.bytes subscription page at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/caso/getnewsbytes.html.