A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 385 - 6/3/09

man shoos sea lion pup with a broom Wildfire overtakes a house Three riders on horses in the parade close-up of AnaStasia Lytle Tents pitched near a tree


- Spotlight on partners
- Wildfire season!
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Employee profile: Environmental education and more
- Recreation on public lands
- Award-winning
- Headlines and highlights
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:

Group on a brush-covered hillsideSPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Steering Committee
Innovation and partnership in rangeland conservation have been the hallmarks of the Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Steering Committee in three decades of advising the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service in northeast California and northwest Nevada. Established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangeland Improvement Act, the Experimental Stewardship Program was tasked with finding innovative solutions to rangeland management issues and providing incentives for rangeland improvements.


"The California Fire Alliance and Bureau of Land Management launch 'Take Responsibility' Campaign" (BLM-California news release, 5/28/09)
The BLM and partnering agencies of the California Fire Alliance held a press conference to launch the "Take Responsibility" campaign, aimed at raising awareness among homeowners who live in the wildland-urban interface about the importance of creating and maintaining defensible space around their homes.  There are five easy steps to create an effective defensible space around homes:

The BLM's Karen Barnette at the podium in above a canyon, with TV photographerRELATED: Photo from the launch
Karen Barnette, Deputy State Director for Support Services, addresses the media during a press conference launching the California Fire Alliance and Bureau of Land Management’s “Take Responsibility” campaign.

Wildfire overtakes a house"Take Responsibility: Living in the wildland urban interface" (California Fire Alliance)
Learn how you can create defensibly space. Includes links to a tip card, brochure, online video, signup for Twitter updates, and more.

"Podcast: DOI invests $15 million to reduce fire danger/create jobs" (Department of the Interior, 6/1/09)
"This podcast features an interview with Kirk Rowdabaugh, the Director of the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination." Includes links to audio and to written transcript.

"Lighting strikes start fires in S. Oregon, N. California" (KDRV TV 6/1/09)
"The Oregon Department of Forestry says more than 20 lightning sparked fires were reported on both Bureau of Land Management and private lands over the weekend ... As of Monday in Northern California, the Cal Fire Office in Yreka says it knows of 14 fires on state-protected land and eight more on USFS land. Fire managers say Monday is the first day of fire season in Siskiyou County, but they won't be fully staffed until July 1st."

"Quick response holds fire in Canebrake to 65 acres" (Kern Valley Sun, 6/2/09)
"Thanks to ongoing drought conditions, rising temperatures and an ever ready source of fire fuels, fire personnel from Kern County Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service likely have their work cut out for them again this summer season ... Thanks to the swift mutual aid response from the three agencies, the ... fire was brought under control quickly ... Citizens are encouraged to remember the quickly approaching June 9 Defensible Space deadline."

"Temblor brush fire held to 25 acres" (Taft Midway Driller, 6/1/09)
"Kern County and Bureau of Land Management firefighters teamed up to control a grass fire in a remote area of northwest Kern County before it damaged any structures ... Approximately 70 Kern County and BLM firefighters responded to the incident..."

"Be fire safe, Mammoth" (Mammoth Times, 5/30/09)
"The purpose of the Fire Safe Council is to preserve both natural and man-made resources through community education, being proponents of defensible space, obtaining grants and working with local fire agencies." BLM-California helps support Fire Safe Councils around the state.

"Fire information: National fire news" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Currently updated Fridays, "unless significant activity occurs."


close-up of California sea lion
California sea lion
What are the main predators of California sea lions?
(a.) electric eels and jellyfish
(b.) dolphins, protecting their near-shore breeding grounds
(c.) whales and squid
(d.) orcas and sharks
(e.) humans
(f.) other sea lions
(g.) loan sharks

------> See answer -- and related news story-- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

close-up of AnaStasia LytleEMPLOYEE PROFILE : AnaStasia Lytle...
...came to her position as outdoor recreation planner and interpretive specialist with BLM-California's Redding Field Office because she felt BLM offered a great opportunity to work on natural interpretation projects and environmental education. Read more:


Large group of docents poses for photo outside"BLM Recognizes Big Morongo Canyon volunteers" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office recently recognized 67 volunteer docents at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Thirty volunteers attended a luncheon provided by the Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. The docents provide all the visitor services, interpretation, environmental education, and facilities maintenance at the Preserve. Because of these volunteers, the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a well known destination for birders, hikers, and nature lovers from throughout the region and from around the world.

close-up of plaque described in story"Clear Creek overlook wins public works award" (News.bytes Extra)
One of the newest developments on BLM-managed land in Shasta County is the Clear Creek Gorge trailhead and salmon viewing overlook. It is drawing rave reviews from recreation users who now have access to a scenic creek canyon and a perch from which to view spawning salmon. Now the project has been recognized for the engineering achievements with an award from the American Public Works Association's Shasta Cascade Branch, Sacramento Chapter.


"Renewable energy sparks a probe of a modern-day land rush" (Los Angeles Times, 6/1/09)
"A rush to stake claims for renewable energy projects in the California desert has triggered a federal investigation and prompted calls for reforms to prevent public lands from being exposed to private profiteering and environmental degradation." One issue is whether speculators may be trying to sell applications for solar power sites -- applications which in do not have any value in themselves, because they are not complete and could still be rejected. Also of concern: " any company that might receive federal stimulus money."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Salazar announces public workshops on offshore renewable energy program" (Department of the Interior news release, 6/1/09)
"The offshore renewable energy framework we have created for the Outer Continental Shelf will create new opportunities for clean power off our coasts, while providing certainty to industry and investors," said Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. "
[W]e want to ensure that everyone with an interest in the future of offshore renewable energy has opportunity to learn about this program, gather the information they need, and participate in their government." A San Francisco workshop is on the schedule for June 26.

"Geothermal market poised to erupt" (Reuters, 6/2/09)
"Wind and solar power have been growing rapidly in the U.S., but the next few years will see geothermal power awaken from its dormant state to become the fastest growing renewable resource. The federal government is driving much of the renewed interest ... the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service are working together to streamline permitting for new geothermal projects on federal lands."

"Clearing a path for development at the U.S.-Mexico Border" (The New York Times, 6/2/09)
"In the last year, economic development officials and local elected leaders in San Diego County, Baja cities in Mexico and the sprawling Imperial Valley about 90 miles to the east have used a grant of $220,000 of government and private seed money for an initiative aimed at turning this area into a global powerhouse for commercial growth ... Since then, the concept of Imperial Valley as a haven for alternative energy -- solar collection, wind energy farms, geothermal heating and biofuels from algae -- has taken off."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)


Three riders on horses in the parade"Photo: BLM mustangs win prizes in Mule Days parade" (News.bytes Extra)
Three "working" mustangs and their riders represented BLM's Ridgecrest Corral in the Bishop Mule Days Parade Memorial Day weekend. The riders and their mustangs came home with three first place prizes in the "Working Class."

"Extreme Mustang Makeover"
(Western States Horse Expo)
The Extreme Mustang Makeover returns to the Western States Horse Expo, June 12-14 in Sacramento. The event will include a wild horse adoption Saturday evening.

"Horses, burros available for adoption in Salinas" (BLM-California news release, 5/22/09)
Residents of the Salinas area will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families, when the Bureau of Land Management brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Salinas Rodeo Grounds on Saturday June 20. The BLM will offer about 30 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at about noon on Friday, June 19.


"Another shot at Cemex" (The Santa Clarita Signal, 6/1/09)
Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon is preparing "a bill aimed at keeping a massive sand and gravel mine out of the Santa Clarita Valley ... The bill would keep Mexico-based cement giant Cemex Inc. from setting up a multimillion-ton sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon..." BLM issued Cemex a permit in 2000.

"H.R. 689" (Library of Congress)
This bill, just passed by the House of Representatives, would transfer control of a nearly 12,000-acre pocket of land within BLM's Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area from the Forest Service to the BLM. In exchange, BLM would transfer approximately 5,000 acres of scattered wilderness parcels and other BLM-managed lands to the Forest Service.

RELATED: "2009 Congressional testimonies: H.R. 689, To interchange the administration jurisdiction of certain Federal Lands between the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management" (3/24/09)
Statement of Michael Nedd, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management, to the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands - regarding proposed transfer of 11,760 acres within The Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area from Forest Service to BLM management.
Note: click on the link to open the testimony as a PDF file.


"Army completes FORA land transfer" (Monterey County Herald, 5/31/09)
"The final transfer of 3,300 acres of land from the Army to the Fort Ord Reuse Authority was recently completed." After cleanup of munitions "the land will be ready for reuse ... Safety access corridors have been established through the parcels and the public is asked to stay on paved roads, obey work area signs and observe posted speed limits. Signs directing hikers, bicyclists and drivers to U.S. Bureau of Land Management public lands have been posted."

RELATED: "Fort Ord Public Lands" (BLM-California, Hollister Field Office)

Tents pitched near a tree"To Big Sur with love ... of camping in California" (Stockton Record, 6/3/09)
"Camping is a real bargain, and with five national parks, 150 state parks and more than 1,300 privately owned, Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management campgrounds located in the most beautiful outdoor spots in California, there are sites to accommodate every activity or leisure pastime."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Elk River Trail access limited as trail improvements completed" (BLM-California news release, 6/1/09)
The Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve will be temporarily closed beyond the one-mile mark during construction projects to replace culverts, improve drainage and stabilize the trail. Work begins Monday, June 1, and will last through August 1. Trail closure is necessary to for public safety and to allow work to proceed efficiently.


"BLM Resource Advisory Council meets June 4-5 in Alturas" (BLM-California news release, 6/1/09)
Members of the Bureau of Land Management’s Northeast California Resource Advisory Council will discuss land use plans for public lands, when they convene for a field tour and meeting, Thursday and Friday. The tour and meeting are open to the public.

"Inland desert power line projects unearthing possible murder mysteries" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/31/09)
"As energy officials begin surveying Southern California's deserts to prepare for solar power development, they are making some unexpected discoveries: human remains..." Applications to the BLM "require surveys to determine what sensitive plants and animals are in the project's path." A law enforcement official hopes "having so many people on the ground ... will help solve murder and missing person cases..."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include supervisory outdoor recreation planner and more.

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

June 6 - Spring tour
Pine Hill Preserve/Salmon Falls

June 12 - Meeting on proposed plan for Carrizo Plain National Monument
See entry for location

June 13 - Cosumnes River Preserve and habitat restoration team event: wetlands work

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) orcas and sharks

SOURCE: "California Sea Lion - Zalophus californianus" (BLM California wildlife database)
The main predators of California sea lions are killer whales [orcas] and various species of sharks.

man shoos sea lion pup with a broomsea lion face in close-upRELATED: "Sea lion pups invade Monterey boat ramp, parking lot" (Monterey County Herald, 5/29/09)
"[S]everal hundred sea lions have moved into the launch and dock area ... near the Coast Guard station in Monterey. The sea lions spend most of their time on the dock napping, sunbathing, cuddling and barking. But the popular Monterey Bay residents appear to have a wanderlust that inspires them to venture farther inland -- into the parking lot, the public bathrooms and beyond. That creates a nuisance for Monterey Harbor's workers, whose main hope is that the invasion won't reach the levels of 2002, when the shores were overrun with so many sea lions that the problem was mostly unmanageable."
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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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