A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 383 - 5/21/09

Very close-up of a colorful Gila monster Volunteers work among a pile of tires retrieved from the desert A girl swings her arms wide, as her mustang takes a jump Humvees in the Alabama Hills Close-up of Greg Mangan

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Outdoor education
- Volunteers: Awards, desert cleanup
- Wild horses and burros: Extreme competition, performances, adoptions
- Wildfire and prevention
- Outdoor recreation
- Energy and renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: Films, advisors
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Secretary of the Interior interview, new No. 2
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


Very close-up of a colorful Gila monster
Gila monster
The Gila monster is the only ___ lizard in California.
(a.) warm-blooded
(b.) venomous
(c.) endangered
(d.) blind
(e.) subterranean
(f.) flying

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


Youngsters laughing as they plan the night campingBoys gather around a grill, with a tent in the background"City kids spend a night outdoors" (KCAL-TV Los Angeles, 5/15/09)
Video feature: "City kids often spend too much time inside and they never learn how to have fun outdoors" but some "are learning how to pitch at tent, grill their own food, and just lay back and look at the stars." BLM-California is a major partner in this Los Angeles program. At this event, the BLM's Noël Stephens conducted interpretive and outdoor education programs and Chuck Robbins offered lessons in fire prevention and fire safety at the nighttime campfire.

RELATED: "Wonderful Outdoor World" (City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks)
"For many of us, our first camping experience was one of the most memorable events of our childhood ... Unfortunately, changing family structures and declining resources are leaving many of today's young people without an understanding or interest in the world outside their doors ... WOW ... believes that outdoor recreation plays an important and positive role in American culture." WOW works with youngsters ages 8-12.


"BLM presents 2009 national awards to volunteers who are 'Making A Difference' on public lands" (BLM news release, 5/18/09)
Two California groups were honored for their work with BLM: Nick's Interns, working in the King Range National Recreation Area; and the Sea Ranch California Coastal National Monument Task Force.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar chats with California award winnersRELATED: "'Making A Difference' award presentations" (News.bytes Extra)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar spoke with representatives of California winners: Nick's Interns and the Sea Ranch California Coastal National Monument Task Force. Learn why they won, and see more photos from the ceremony.

Volunteers pause before a pile of trash in the desertVolunteers work among a pile of tires retrieved from the desert"Public lands near El Centro get a face-lift" (News.bytes Extra)
The Holtville Rotary Club recently organized a volunteer effort to clean up an  unofficial "dump" on public lands near El Centro, so the public and recreationists can once again enjoy it. According to Bill Thornberg, Rotary president, the project was "huge" and took the work of many partners.


A girl swings her arms wide, as her mustang takes a jump A contestant in Native American dress rides her mustang"Napa horse event draws 350" (News.bytes Extra)
Northern California wild horse adopters and trainers had the chance to show their successes last Saturday when the Napa Valley Horsemen's Association hosted their second annual Napa Mustang Days.  A BLM adoption was part of the event -- nine mustangs and three burros went to new homes.

A rider takes to the hills with his horseRELATED: "Norco competition for tamed wild mustangs begins" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/15/09)
Story and video from the Extreme Mustang Makeover Trail Challenge. "Competitors had 90 days to train an unbroken horse from Western federal rangelands to carry a rider, obey commands and complete rural and urban obstacle courses."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its stories online.)

RELATED: "Auction of tamed mustangs in Norco raises $47,500" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/19/09)
Includes winners of the competition.

"Extreme Mustang Makeover horses surprise trainers" (KCAL-TV Los Angeles, 5/15/09)
Video: "The plan was to train the wild mustangs for competition and then after the event put them up for adoption. But trainers got something they didn't expect."

"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for June 15 in Sacramento" (BLM news release, 5/18/09)
The board will discuss issues relating to the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM.

"I-Team: Progress made on wild horse plan" (KLAS-TV Las Vegas, 5/18/09)
"This fall, wild horse advocates working with the BLM will stage a nationwide wild horse adoption event to help relieve overcrowding inside government corrals, where more than 33,000 mustangs are warehoused." Includes video.


"The California Fire Alliance and the Bureau of Land Management launch the 'Take Responsibility' campaign" (BLM-California media advisory, 5/22/09)
The “Take Responsibility” campaign will urge residents to protect their property and create 100 feet of clean open, defensible space, as fire season heats up this summer. Homeowners, especially those who live in the wildland urban interface, are urged to take simple measures that will help protect homes, families, pets and fire fighters throughout California. This May 28 event will include a defensible space maintenance demonstration and fire safety training in the community of Talmadge, in San Diego.

The fire crew lines up at the new Taft fire station"New BLM Midway fire station officially open" (Taft Midway Driller, 5/15/09)
"The Bureau of Land Management’s new Midway Fire Station is officially open, and its hard to say who’s happier -- the city to have the station in Taft, or the BLM which finally has a station over on the Westside ... and held a ribbon cutting Friday morning before about 50 people..."

RELATED: "Community dedicates new BLM fire station in Taft" (News.bytes Extra)
Firefighters from other agencies and officials from the City of Taft joined the Bureau of Land Management’s Midway fire crew on May 15 to dedicate the BLM crew’s new quarters in Taft.

"BLM implements Stage I fire restrictions for the California Desert District" (BLM-California news release, 5/15/09)
Stage I general area of influence includes BLM lands north and east of the Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests. All BLM-managed lands within Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties, designated as “State Responsibility Areas” shall be in Stage II Fire Restriction.

"County releases draft of wildfire protection plan" (Lake County News, 5/15/09)
Lake County and the Lake County Fire Safe Council "released the public draft of the Lake County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and are inviting public review and comment." The plan is meant "to reduce risks and hazards from wildfire while exercising due care of natural resources." BLM-California joined many other stakeholders in developing the plan, and supports other Fire Safe Councils in the state.


Mountain bikers pose on BLM Lands"Club invites racers, public to mountain bike series" (Redding Record Searchlight, 5/16/09)
Today: "The Shasta Orienteering and Adventure Racing club ... hosts the first ride of its Blazing Saddles series at the Bureau of Land Management's Swasey Recreation Area in Redding. '(It's) a grassroots mountain bike race series that focuses on all levels of riders - from (beginners) to experts,' said Tracy Evans, one of club's founders and an event coordinator."

"Runners cowboy up for Wild West Marathon" (Inyo Register, 5/12/09)
"More than 200 runners attended the Wild, Wild West Marathon on Saturday, May 2 ... The route includes several steady climbs and declines ranging in altitudes of between 3,700 and 6,600 feet ... To the west are some of the most impressive peaks in the Sierra Nevada Range: Mt. Whitney, Lone Pine Peak and Mt. Williamson, while to the east is the Alabama Hills, famous for its movie history."

The BLM's Scott Justham staffs the refreshment table as a marathon runner approaches, with snow capped peaks behineRELATED: "BLMers help with Wild West Marathon" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM folks were on hand to help as "the United State’s third oldest trail marathon" returned to the eastern Sierra foothills earlier this month. The Wild West Marathon was assisted by many local volunteers, including ranger Scott Justham and recreation planner Jim Jennings, of BLM-California's Bishop Field Office. BLM-managed lands also played a big part in the marathon route.


"Hundreds meet to oppose power line" (Redding Record Searchlight, 5/14/09)
"Nearly 350 people" gathered "to organize against a proposed 600-mile power line stretching from northeastern California to the San Francisco Bay area that would bisect Shasta and Tehama counties." County supervisors "urged the standing room only crowd to telephone, send e-mail and write letters to the Western Area Power Administration and the Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC)..."

"BLM announces availability of oil and gas lease auction environmental assessment" (BLM-California news release, 5/15/09)
The Bureau of Land Management has completed the environmental assessment for the oil and gas lease auction scheduled for September 9, 2009. A 30-day public review and comment period runs from May 15 to June 15.

"Business partners plan to reopen Bieber Mill" (Lassen County News, 5/19/09)
"[I]f all goes according to plan, the sawmill and power plant in Bieber may reopen soon." Lance Forest Products "plans to work projects with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The company hopes to work biomass projects that could supply wood chips for the power plant and convert some of the quality trees into higher value posts and poles."


Humvees in the Alabama Hills"Recent filming projects take many unusual forms" (Inyo Register, 5/8/09)
A down economy has meant many fewer car commercials are being filmed in the Bishop area. But other projects are helping to take up the slack. The Alabama Hills are standing in for Afghanistan in a new military training simulation, two major feature films opening this summer were filmed in the area, and some unusual projects are in the works. BLM-managed lands are often used in Bishop-area film shoots.

"Open house, special events to celebrate Headwaters anniversary" (BLM-California news release, 5/19/09)
An open house at the Headwaters Forest Reserve will be held Saturday, May 30, at the new Headwaters Education Center, kicking off a series of summer events celebrating the 10th anniversary of the reserve's establishment.

"BLM announces application period for Dumont Dunes subgroup" (BLM-California news release, 5/13/09)
Persons interested in serving on the subgroup should meet at least one of the following qualifications pertaining to the Dumont Dunes Recreation Area:  be a user, stakeholder, reside in a neighboring community, or qualify by virtue of knowledge of or experience with the Dumont Dunes Recreation Area.

"BLM announces application period for dunes subgroup" (BLM-California news release, 5/20/09)
BLM's California Desert District Desert Advisory Council announces an open application period for membership on its Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area subgroup. Persons interested in serving on the subgroup should meet at least one of the following qualifications pertaining to the ISDRA: be a user or stakeholder, reside in a neighboring community, have knowledge of or experience with the ISDRA.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include GIS specialist, hotshot wildfire fighter, motor vehicle operator and more.

Close-up of Greg ManganEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Greg Mangan...
...is manager of the Cache Creek Natural Area for BLM-California's Ukiah Field Office. He got his start in land management as a volunteer with BLM's Bishop Field Office -- and as a county skunk trapper. Read more:

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

May 23 - Cosumnes River Preserve and Habitat Restoration Team

May 23 - Interpretive hike: "Grasses and geology"
King Range

May 27 - Public scoping meeting for abandoned mine lands

May 28 - Public scoping meeting for abandoned mine lands
Yucca Valley

May 30
- Spring tour, Pine Hill Preserve
Cameron Park


Secretary of the Interior Salazar in his online video interview"Voices of power: Ken Salazar" (Washington Post, 5/17/09)
Interview with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Includes video interview, plus transcribed text.
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its stories online.)

"Senate confirms No. 2 official at Interior"
(Associated Press at San Francisco Chronicle, 5/20/09)
"David Hayes, an environmental lawyer, was confirmed by voice vote after the GOP senators who had opposed his nomination said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had promised to review a recent decision to revoke 77 oil and gas leases in Utah."

"Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes" (Department of the Interior)
Biography and photo.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) venomous

SOURCE: "Gila monster - Heloderma suspectum"(BLM-California wildlife database)
Gila monsters are the only venomous lizards in California.

A Gila monster in underbrushRELATED: "Cuesta group finds Gila Monster on field trip" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 5/13/09)
"A group of Cuesta College faculty and students made an unusual find during a trip earlier this month to the Mojave National Preserve -- a Gila monster, a large and colorful desert lizard ... seldom seen in California. Prior to the group’s sighting, there had been only 26 individual sightings in California since 1861," said the chairman of the college’s biological sciences division.
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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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