A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 381 - 5/6/09

Color-coded rattles on a snake A youngster joins the post-work celebration at Moose Anderson Days Robert Lynk places a straw hat on his mustang A motorcyclists takes a jump off a sand dune Nancy Lull in close-up

- BLM funds under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
- Spotlight on Partners: National Conservation System Foundation
- Funny.bytes encore: Rocky
- Fire season: Get ready!
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Catching up with earlier wildlife stories
- Off-highway vehicles
- Recreation and preservation
- Wild horses and burros
- Alternative energy
- Headlines and highlights: Grazing, fast train, jobs
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

BLM funds under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

"BLM to get $300 million for stimulus projects" (Associated Press at San Francisco Chronicle, 5/2/09)
"The Interior Department is sending more than $300 million in federal stimulus money to the Bureau of Land Management to update its facilities and jump-start renewable energy projects across the country, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Saturday. Salazar said the 650 approved projects will "restore our landscapes and our watersheds" and help fulfill the Obama administration's target for renewable energy development."

RELATED: "Department of the Interior recovery investments" (Department of the Interior website)
"The Bureau of Land Management announced $305 million to fund more than 650 projects across the country under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The investments will restore landscapes and habitat, spur renewable energy development on public lands, and create jobs." Includes a link to all BLM projects by state, including $36 for California.

Kevin McKernan of the National Conservation System Foundation, stands on the Carrizo Plain with Soda Lake in the backgroundPiedras Blancas Light StationSPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: The National Conservation System Foundation...
...was founded in 2007 to help BLM advance the conservation mission of the National Landscape Conservation System. The Foundation is awarding its first grant to the Piedras Blancas Light Station Association, for the development of a history program targeted at youth.

Rocky loses his topFunny.bytes graphicFUNNY.BYTES: "Rocky, the lonely lighthouse"
An encore performance of this episode -- on the first anniversary of legislation designating Piedras Blancas Light Station as one of three U.S. "outstanding natural areas." Rocky has given years of faithful service guiding ships away from the hazardous coast in Central California. Now that modern equipment has replaced tradition, will he be forgotten? Funny.bytes is an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues. NOTE: includes a sound track - you may want to check the volume setting on your computer.


Sketch of wildland home fire safety steps"Take Responsibility..." (California Fire Alliance)
"Protect your home. Create 100 feet of defensible space! ... In California, the number of homes and businesses are growing in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) – and fire is an increasing threat. Reduce your home's fire danger and prevent wildfires from spreading by taking responsibility today."

"Fire managers predict busy season in West" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 5/1/09)
"Federal fire managers predict relentless drought and low snowpack in northern California will bring a busy wildfire season this summer, a troubling outlook for a region of the West that got scorched last year ... In northern California, where nearly 1 million acres burned last year, the report says a dry spring is expected to exacerbate several years of drought and bring on an early wildfire season."

"Californians reminded to "Take Responsibility" during Wildfire Awareness Week" (BLM-California news release, 5/1/09)
During Wildfire Awareness Week, May 4-10, the BLM reminds Californians to "Take Responsibility" for creating and maintaining 100 feet of clean, open space around their homes to reduce fire danger and the risk of fires spreading. BLM and the California Fire Alliance recently launched the “Take Responsibility” campaign in order to raise awareness among homeowners who live in the wildland urban interface about the importance of creating and maintaining defensible space around their homes.

"Wildfire Awareness Week" (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
"This year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared May 3-9 Wildfire Awareness Week, to remind Californians to be vigilant as the state approaches peak fire season and to highlight the importance of the homeowner’s role in preparing their property ahead of time to survive a wildfire." Includes links to more information.

"'Keep Your Home Safe from Wildfire' workshop educates homeowners, public" (Kern Valley Sun, 5/5/09)
Public workshop hosted by agencies including the BLM offered information on how to "ultimately create a wildland fire-safe community in the Kern River Valley." A car caravan let participants see a fuel reduction project, and visited actual homes for an assessment of fire hazards.


California red-legged frog among plant stalks
California red-legged frog

What distinction does the California red-legged frog have?
(a.) It is California’s smallest native frog.
(b.) It is California’s largest native frog.
(c.) It is California’s most venomous native frog.
(d.) It is California’s most colorful native frog.
(e.) It is the most susceptible to sunburn, but stubbornly refuses to come in.

------> See answer -- and news updates on the California red-legged frog and other wildlife stories -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A rider takes his motorcycle to the dunesA motorcyclists takes a jump off a sand dune"Weekend adventure: Riding the dunes" ("Good Morning America Weekend, ABC News, 5/3/09)
"When the best freestyle motocross riders in the world want to have some fun and catch a little air, they head to the Southern California desert and the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area in Glamis, Calif. A vast expanse of sand dunes near the Mexican border, this sea of sand is a rider's paradise and considered some of the best natural terrain in the world." Story and video of motocross riders riding and jumping on dunes.

Motorcycle riders and specators flock to the start of a raceA cluster of riders near the beginning of the race"Dirt bike riders converge on Fort Sage for races" (News.bytes Extra)
Dirt bike riders of all ages and abilities converged on the BLM's Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area in Lassen County May 2 and 3, for the Cinco de Mayo 100 motorcycle races.  The event was organized by the Lassen Motorcycle Club and the Motorcycle Racing Association of Northern Nevada, under a special recreation use permit issued by the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office.


The BLM's Jeff Horn takes to a section of trail"The Good Life: Trailblazers ready to forge a missing link" (Sacramento Bee, 5/3/09)
New trail will "traipse along some of the most beautiful river canyons in Northern California ... Never mind the roads that run through it, or the proximity of towns and cities, this is still rough and wild country. It's also gorgeous, historic country, and it rolls right down to the south fork of the American River, one of the nation's three most popular whitewater recreation spots, according to the BLM ... this new addition will connect up to the existing Cronan Ranch Park on the east and make for 20 miles or so of spectacular trails in a stunningly beautiful expanse of the foothills."

"Bill puts Bend on map" (Red Bluff Daily News, 4/30/09)
"Bureau of Land Management Natural Resource Specialist Kelly Williams is baffled more Tehama County residents do not know about the 17,600 acres of recreational land the Bureau of Land Management operates a few miles north of Red Bluff. A bill from Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico, may change that. In 2007, Herger drafted a bill that would create the Sacramento River Bend National Recreation Area."

Kids load trash into a dumpsterA youngster joins the post-work celebration at Moose Anderson Days"Volunteers support Moose Anderson Days" (News.bytes Extra)
A swarm of nearly 200 volunteers descended on the Jawbone Visitors Station for the recent Moose Anderson Days. Their goal: to help enhance our public lands in the Jawbone Canyon and Dove Springs areas in Eastern Kern County. BLM’s Ridgecrest Field Office Staff led five projects, and volunteers were treated to a barbecue lunch prepared by the Kern County Search and Rescue Team.

"Saluting Taft: Gateway to the Carrizo" (KERO-TV Bakersfield, 5/5/09)
"The city of Taft is known as the gateway city to the Carrizo Plain National Monument, a natural wonder seen by thousands every year. The relationship promotes education for the public, as well as boosts tourism for the monument and the city ... Johna Hurl, a manager for the monument with the Bureau of Land Management ... took ABC 23 on a tour of the Carrizo Plain for our week saluting Taft, showing some of the natural wonders that make the plain so special." Includes video.

RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)


Robert Lynk places a straw hat on his mustangRobert Lynk hugs his mustang"Taming horses calms the trainer" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/3/09)
"Over the past decade, Robert Lynk has taken in, trained and found homes for about 50 wild horses ... Lynk, who earns a living as a crane mechanic, said the key to working with animals is to remain patient and calm ... Lynk has acquired some horses from individuals but most have come from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which conducts wild horse and burro adoptions." Includes photo gallery plus video.
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Bloomington woman trains wild mustangs" (Redlands Daily Facts, 5/3/09)
"If Michelle Davis had a lot of money she would buy every wild mustang and race horse past its prime and save them. At 20, she doesn't have that kind of money yet. So for now the Bloomington [San Bernardino County] resident is training a wild mustang and entering the horse in an event in Norco to draw attention to how well [wild] horses can be trained ... the Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge in Norco from May 15-17. "

RELATED: "Calendar: Norco Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge" (BLM-California upcoming events calendar)
May 15-17: Trainers will compete for a part of the $10,000 purse at the Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge at “Horsetown USA,” Norco, Calif., on May 15-17.

"Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Napa" (BLM-California news release, 4/28/09)
Residents of the Napa Valley and surrounding areas have the opportunity to adopt a wild horse or burro during the Napa Mustang Days celebration, Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16.

"BLM seeks bids for new pasture facilities to care for and maintain wild horses" (BLM national news release, 5/6/09)
One solicitation is for pasture facilities holding 200 to 1,000 wild horses; the other is for facilities holding 1,000 to 5,000 wild horses. Both solicitations are open for 60 days, and the pasture facility must be able to provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for four one-year extensions.

"National Wild Horse Adoption Day set for September 26" (BLM national news release, 5/4/09)
The Bureau of Land Management, wild horse groups, and other animal advocates from across the nation are joining forces for a single cause – to encourage the American public to consider and act on the adoption of a wild horse or burro. A goal of 1,000 adoptions has been set for the first National Wild Horse Adoption Day, which will be held September 26, 2009.

"House panel approves bill to ban slaughter of wild horses" (Federal Times, 4/30/09)
"A key House panel approved legislation Wednesday that would bar federal officials from slaughtering healthy wild horses and burros ... Democratic leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee said sterilization of herd members and an expanded adoption program are more humane options ... The bill will now be sent to the full House for a vote. It has not yet been taken up by the Senate."


"Secretary Salazar pledges to open four renewable energy permitting offices, create renewable energy teams" (Department of the Interior news release, 5/5/09)
"To expedite production of renewable energy on public lands while protecting land, water, and wildlife, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today pledged to create four Renewable Energy Coordination Offices, one each in California, Nevada, Wyoming, and Arizona, along with smaller renewable energy teams in New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Oregon ... The renewable energy offices and teams ... will cut red tape by expediting applications, processing, reviews and permitting of renewable energy projects..."

"New recreation area is no home for power lines" (Redding Record Searchlight, 5/2/09)
Editorial: "Throughout the swath of the north state that proposed new power lines would cross, residents are rousing for a fight ... As voices arise in opposition, the Transmission Authority of Northern California has extended its "scoping period" for taking comments and concerns through May ... In northern Tehama County, the transmission lines would run south from Cottonwood and cross through the heart of the proposed Sacramento River Bend National Recreation Area ... in a park that has been painstakingly assembled by the Bureau of Land Management in the past two decades specifically to preserve, undeveloped, one of the most beautiful and rugged reaches of the river before it reaches the farm country of the valley floor."

RELATED: "Op-Ed: New power line route threatens habitat" (Sacramento Bee, 5/3/09)
OpEd by Bob Schneider, president of Tuleyome, a conservation organization based in Woodland, on Transmission Authority of Northern California proposal "to construct new large-tower, high-voltage lines from northwestern California to Redding, Sacramento, Tracy, and Santa Clara." One proposed would "s
lice and dice the Cosumnes River Preserve, cut through the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and then bisect the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area..."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Our opinion: We need action, not talk" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/29/09)
Editorial: "...we are cautiously pleased to see that the county Board of Supervisors and the Imperial Irrigation District board have adopted a joint resolution to develop a program aimed at promoting renewable energy investment. Now if they can just stick to the agreement -- that will be the hard part ... But we are hopeful because this approach is necessary for our region to truly move toward the goal of being a renewable energy hot spot. These projects can be very complex and take time to plan and build. We need everyone working together on this."


"BLM Folsom Field Office announces move to El Dorado
The office name will be the Mother Lode Field Office effective with the move. The BLM will move the weeks of May 4 and 11, so there will be limited service during that time.

"Study: Grazing threatens wildlife habitat in West" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 5/1/09)
"Conservationists say livestock grazing poses a threat to a wide variety of fish and other wildlife across more than three-fourths of their dwindling habitats on federal land in the West ... The bulk of the federal land studied is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which issued grazing permits and leases to 15,799 ranchers and other operators covering 128 million acres of U.S. land in 2006." A BLM spokesperson said "well-managed grazing provides numerous ecological and environmental benefits'."

"City reps criticize high speed train project" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 4/30/09)
"During a public comment session in Barstow Wednesday night on a proposed high-speed rail line that would run from Victorville to Las Vegas, city officials and residents remained critical of the project’s lack of plans for a stop in Barstow ... The DesertXpress train is a privately funded project proposed by DesertXpress Enterprises." Proposed routes would include sections on BLM-managed lands.

"BLM releases EA on proposed Bodie Hills mineral exploration" (BLM-California news release, 5/1/09)
The BLM initiated a 30-day public review and comment period for an environmental assessment on a proposed mineral exploration project in the Bodie Hills, Mono County, Calif. Cougar Gold LLC, Denver, Colo., has submitted a proposal to conduct mineral exploration drilling activities on public lands near Paramount Mine in the Bodie Hills.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include business support assistant, wildland firefighters, biological aid/technician (wildlife), laborer and more.

Nancy Lull in close-upEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Nancy Lull...
...is the district manager of BLM's new Northern California District. She was born in Japan, began her career in a temporary position with the BLM in Boise in 1990, and ... read more:

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

May 7 - Geothermal workshop

May 9 - Habitat Restoration Team wetlands work
Cosumnes River Preserve

May 9 - Summer interpretive hike - "Fire ecology"
King Range

May 9 - Dog Day
Fort Ord


"Remarks to All Employees" (Department of the Interior website, 4/28/09)
Transcript of remarks by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, on the first 100 days of the new administration.

"Department of the Interior progress report"
(Department of the Interior website)
Links to more information, plus video of Secretary Salazar's remarks.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) It is California’s largest native frog.

SOURCE: "California Red-legged Frog - Rana aurora draytonii" (BLM California wildlife database)
California red-legged frogs are California's largest native frogs. Adults have been found that are over five inches in length.

California red-legged frog in the news:

California red-legged frog on a map of its habitat"Habitat for threatened frog could cost tens of millions"
(Stockton Record, 4/30/09)
"Call it the $44 million frog. That's the estimated cost to designate 'critical habitat' for the threatened California red-legged frog, believed by many to be the inspiration behind Mark Twain's 'The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.'... The report's release gives the public another chance to comment on the frog habitat ... Much of the $44 million in direct costs would be because of delayed construction as developers or private property owners consult with scientists, the report says."
Note: this news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

RELATED: "Fish and Wildlife Service releases study of economic costs for revised California red-legged frog critical habitat"
(U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news release, 4/28/09)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today re-opened the comment period on a proposal made last September to designate 1.8 million acres as critical habitat for the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii). The new 30-day comment period coincides with the release of an estimate of possible economic impacts from designating critical habitat."

Followup to last week's Wildlife Trivia subject: rattlesnakes

Color-coded rattles on a snakeA student holds a rattlesnake in a plastic tube"Poly students conducting innovative research on Carrizo Plain rattlers" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4/30/09)
Students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo swarm ridges at the edge of the Carrizo Plain, temporarily capturing rattlesnakes and color-coding their rattles, fitting them with radio transmitters and with "iButtons", which record their body temperature every two hours. These devices allow the biologists to find out how much the snakes move around, how they find mates, what habitats they prefer and how they use their rocky environment to control their body temperature."

Followup to earlier wildlife stories in News.bytes:

"Study: Wolverine in Sierra most likely from Idaho" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 5/3/09)
"A wolverine spotted two straight winters in the northern Sierra Nevada most likely came from Idaho, according to a study. The findings of 10 federal, state and university scientists, published in the latest edition of Northwest Science, show the predator is most closely related to the Rocky Mountain population."

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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