A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 367 - 1/27/09

Dog in rescue cradle is raised from abandoned mineMap of proposed southern California transmission linesDesert bighorn sheep in the wildThe San Andreas Fault runs through the Carrizo PlainBLM employee profile: Amy Fesnock

- Abandoned Mines
- Energy
- Off-Highway Vehicles

- Headlines and Highlights:
- Earthquakes and Fault Lines
- North State C
- Border Fence
- Jobs/Careers
- Selected Upcoming Events
- National and/or Department of the Interior News

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


Dog in rescue cradle is raised from abandoned mine"Dog raised safely from mine shaft" (Sonora Union-Democrat, 1/23/09)
"Members of the Tuolumne County Search and Rescue Team Wednesday rescued a dog that had fallen into a 40-foot hole, part of an abandoned mine. Rawhide Road resident Denny Bettencourt was walking her own dogs Tuesday on the Bureau of Land Management land near where she lives when she heard barking. It wasn't until she was on her way back that she realized the dog was in trouble, she said."

RELATED: "FAST Program (Fix A Shaft Today!)"
At one time, these abandoned mine lands were considered remote but due to urban sprawl and the increased ability of the public to access these sites accidents continue to occur. The BLM is proposing a partnership initiative with mine claimants, landowners, the mining industry, recreational user groups, and non-government organizations to eradicate unsafe abandoned mine land features.
PDF file, 162 kilobytes:


Map of proposed southern California transmission lines"Southern California utilities eye Inland desert as energy goldmine" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/26/09)
"Inland Southern California's desert backyard is ground zero in the state's efforts to cut back on polluting fossil-fuel-burning power plants and lead the nation's conversion to renewable energy ... Environmental concerns about protecting the desert are making it difficult to get these projects built. Also a freeze in the financial markets already has prevented at least one geothermal company from obtaining capital to start construction on an approved project in the Imperial Valley. 'The economy is working against what we are trying to do,' said Robert M. Doyel, lands branch chief with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
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"Environmental group asks court to block Powerlink" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/23/09)
"An environmental group is asking the California Supreme Court to stop the controversial Sunrise Powerlink, saying that the state Public Utilities Commission violated state law in approving it ... In the court filing, the Arizona-based environmental group said state regulators wrongly passed over better alternatives, such as putting in solar collectors in urban and suburban San Diego, running the power line along Interstate 8 instead of through the desert, mountains and forest, or requiring that the line be used substantially for clean power from the sun, the wind and geothermal sources ... On Tuesday, the federal Bureau of Land Management approved the use of 85 miles of its land in San Diego and Imperial counties for the power line."

Desert bighorn sheep in the wild"Mapping for projects, protection" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/26/09)
"State officials are mapping the California desert to identify what to designate for renewable energy projects and what to protect. At the direction of the governor, energy and wildlife experts are trying to get ahead of potential solar, geothermal and wind projects that could lead to acres of solar panels and miles of transmission lines... Initial assessments indicate potential renewable sites for 6,748 gigawatt hours per year in the region that includes Palm Springs, Twentynine Palms and eastern Riverside County, and there are dozens of applications for renewable projects on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in the desert."
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RELATED: "State balances energy needs, wildlife protection" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/25/09)
"Regulators, developers and environmentalists alike are watching a new large-scale solar project in San Bernardino County to see how the need to protect rare wildlife can be balanced with the need to cut greenhouse gases. More than 170 solar and wind projects sought on public land between Ridgecrest and Calexico could consume hundreds of square miles of wildlife habitat. But they also would help the state's utilities increase their reliance on renewable energy, a mandate legislators imposed in 2006 to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Leading the pack is Oakland-based BrightSource Energy, which plans to break ground later this year on a solar array that will carpet more than 4,000 acres of desert with mirrors southwest of Primm, Nev. Desert tortoises and several rare plants, among other wildlife, live there."

RELATED: "Plan to move power from Salton Sea to Los Angeles under fire" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/26/09)
"An example of how such projects can generate controversy is the debate over the Green Path North transmission project to move geothermal and other renewable power near the Salton Sea to Los Angeles and other southern California communities. Even though the project has yet to enter the formal environmental assessment, it has sparked criticism from local governments as well as local citizen groups." Portions of several proposed routes would cross lands managed by BLM-California.
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"Desert Hot Springs residents say 'no' to geothermal energy lines" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/23/09)
"Desert Hot Springs residents and land conservationists on Thursday continued to speak out against a proposal to build transmission lines near the city and high desert area to provide energy to Los Angeles. At least 100 people filled the Desert Hot Springs City Council chambers during a public forum on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's proposal, and the dozen or so residents who took the podium said they opposed the idea ... If completed, the Green Path North project could install lines that may cut through Desert Hot Springs and areas in the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and the San Bernardino National Forest."
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"Off-road enthusiasts to BLM: Keep riding areas open" (Visalia Times-Delta, 1/26/09)
"Ed Tobin just wants a place where he can ride the trails again. With the San Benito County's Clear Creek Management Area temporarily closed to off-road vehicles, and with a dwindling number of areas where he can ride his motorcycle, the Salinas resident is one of a growing number of off-road enthusiasts who have taken the fight to the Bureau of Land Management. At the bureau's local planning meeting for off-highway vehicle recreation in Visalia Saturday, Tobin and about 30 fellow riders from all over the state lobbied a citizens' advisory council to keep their riding areas open."

"Marines want to take over Amboy Road" (Mojave Daily News, 1/26/09)
"The U.S. Marine Corps wants to expand its Twentynine Palms, Calif., air-ground combat training base to the east, taking over Amboy Road, which Southern California drivers use to reach the Colorado River cities. The Laughlin Chamber of Commerce recently found about the military's expansion effort for its live-fire training and is concerned that eventually the key artery from the Palm Springs to Laughlin will be closed permanently." The Marines proposal involves potential withdrawal of BLM-administered lands.

"No more warnings for illegal off-roaders" (Bakersfield Californian, 1/26/09)
"Authorities say they’re adopting a 'zero tolerance' policy toward off-road vehicle use on private land in the southern Tehachapi Mountains following a series of complaints from property owners. Riders found on private land without permission will no longer be given a warning and instead will be cited for trespassing, said Sgt. Richard Wood, of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Tehachapi substation."

"Dunes enforcement: Conscientious or overzealous?" (Yuma Sun, 1/24/09)
"BLM spokesman David Briery said the agency has never been lax in enforcing regulations at the dunes and that the level of law enforcement there has remained constant over the past several years. 'I wouldn't say we have been overzealous. I haven't heard anything about us being stricter,' Briery said. 'I would say we have been zealous in enforcing the laws in the interest of everyone's safety.'"

"BLM's Bakersfield office plans travel management workshops" (BLM-California news release, 1/22/09)
"We're asking the public to comment on the route inventory, to ensure it is an accurate representation of all routes on the ground within the planning area." said Peter DeWitt, BLM recreation planner. "Comments on specific routes are encouraged and identification of anything missing is vital to getting a complete inventory for the route designation process."


"Study finds troubling pattern of Southern California quakes" (Los Angeles Times, 1/24/09)
"Large earthquakes have rumbled along a southern section of the San Andreas fault more frequently than previously believed, suggesting that Southern California could be overdue for a strong temblor on the notorious fault line, a new study has found. The Carrizo Plain section of the San Andreas has not seen a massive quake since the much-researched Fort Tejon temblor of 1857, which at an estimated magnitude of 7.9 is considered the most powerful earthquake to hit Southern California in modern times ... The findings are significant because seismologists have long believed this portion of the fault is capable of sparking the so-called Big One that officials have for decades warned will eventually occur in Southern California."
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The San Andreas Fault runs through the Carrizo PlainRELATED: "The San Andreas Fault and the geology of the Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Nowhere does the Carrizo Plain flaunt its geologic past as it does on the eastern edge of the plain where the San Andreas Fault cuts along the base of the Temblor Range. Stream channels course suddenly northward as they cross the fault line, and ridges rise sharply from the plain to form the Panorama and Elkhorn Hills. This complex and corrugated topography, the most spectacular along the fault's 800-mile long corridor, is best viewed in the long, soft shadows of early morning and late afternoon.

"Environmentalists push for massive north-state conservation area" (Sacramento Bee, 1/27/09)
"[A] Woodland-based environmental nonprofit organization working to establish a National Conservation Area – the third in California – encompassing nearly half a million acres in six counties...[t]he designation, which must be approved by Congress, provides a more logical way to properly care for an ecosystem, which doesn't acknowledge political boundaries." The proposal includes public lands managed by BLM's Ukiah Field Office.

RELATED: "BLM's Ukiah Field Office " (BLM-California)

"Trust key to rangeland partnership, rancher says"(Capital Press, 1/22/09)
"Where Yolo, Colusa and Lake counties meet, a 10,000-acre patch of U.S. Bureau of Land Management-owned grassland is the site of a special grazing project. Historically a forage ground for elk, cattle and sheep, the parcel began showing signs of over-grazing by the 1960s, but grazing continued into the 1990s. That's when the land's previous owner contacted the BLM about a sale of the property. The sale was completed about three years ago, and the BLM's original goal was to restore habitat for the bald eagle and other species and to preserve the land's cultural values ... But as a result of a noxious weed problem, grazing is back on the grassy plot under a partnership between the BLM, Elk Creek rancher Chet Vogt and a local environmental group called Tuleyome."

"$50 million promised to soften border fence impact" (Associated Press, 1/15/09)
"The Department of Homeland Security will allocate as much as $50 million to mitigate the environmental impact of the U.S.-Mexico border fence ordered by the Bush administration. The agency signed an agreement Wednesday with the Department of the Interior to set aside funds for projects that the Interior department determines will soften the environmental damage caused by the fence." The Border Patrol has similar projects along the U.S.-Mexico border in California.

"BLM continues fire rehab work in Mariposa County" (BLM-California news release, 1/22/09)
Crews from the Bureau of Land Management's Folsom Field Office and helicopter crews under contract to BLM will spread straw on the Sherlock Creek/Mosher Road area in Mariposa County starting next week.

"BLM announces openings for summer 'Weed Warrior' jobs" (BLM-California news release, 1/23/09)
The Bureau of Land Management is recruiting "weed warriors," seasonal employees who will work this summer to combat the spread of invasive and noxious weeds on public land in northeast California and far northwest Nevada. The BLM plans to fill eight positions -- four in Susanville, two in Alturas and two in Cedarville -- for a season that begins in mid April and runs for up to six months.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Now accepting applications for human resource assistant, fire lookout technician, firefighters, and more.

RELATED: "BLM Careers" (BLM National website)
Explore a new career with the BLM.

BLM employee profile: Amy FesnockEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Amy Fesnock...
... tells the story of how she became interested in ecology and wildlife as a Girl Scout.  She came home from Scout camp really disappointed that the lake at the camp, which she had swum in and learned to canoe in the previous year, was dry that summer. Read more about how this influenced Amy, now threatened and endangered program specialist with BLM's California state office.

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

January 28 - Keysville Recreation Area Public Workshop

January 28 - Chalfant Public Land Stewardship Group Meeting

January 31 and February 7 - Bald Eagle Hikes


Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks to employees"Secretary of the Interior Salazar pledges accountability and change in employee listening session" (Department of the Interior news release, 1/22/09)
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar gave an enthusiastic address to a packed auditorium of employees on his second day at the Interior Department today, followed by what he expects will be the first of many listening sessions with employees. 'I want to transform this Department from what is perceived as the Department of the West to the Department of all of America,' he told the crowd. 'Through our service together we can remake America and change our world.'"

RELATED: "Secretary's Memorandum to Employees on Ethical Responsibilities" (DOI website)

"Bush legacy leaves uphill climb for U.S. parks, critics say" (Los Angeles Times, 1/25/09)
"Current and former officials say the National Park Service has taken an unaccustomed back seat to its sister agency, the Bureau of Land Management, which began calling the shots on public lands. The BLM handles the bulk of federal oil and gas leasing that Bush said was key to increasing the nation's energy independence."

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Bureau of Land Management
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(916) 978-4600

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