A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 391 - 7/15/09

young kit fox in the dirt A volunteer waits for a mock rescue of a CPR manikin A close-up of the rock arch in the Alabama Hills Two mustangs grooming each other Three young men sit for a group portrait


- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Youth and BLM: Volunteers, Eagle Scouts, employee profile
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Electric transmission lines
- Recreation issues
- Special areas: Alabama Hills, wilderness proposal, Chumash Indians
- Headlines and highlights: Wildfire protection, law enforcement, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: BLM nominee delayed, mining law, more
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


young kit fox in the dirt
San Joaquin kit fox
Which of these apply to the entrance of a San Joaquin kit fox burrow?
(a.) They are constructed to look like rabbit burrows, to lure unsuspecting prey
(b.) They decorate them with shiny objects they find on the ground, perhaps to frighten away predators
(c.) They may have three dozen separate entrances to the place
(d.) None -- they don't use burrows, but shelter in thick stands of brush or tall grass
(e.) They are rougher around the edges but more colorful and creative than the pre-assembled fox burrows

------>See answer -- and read about the danger to kit foxes of volleyball/sports nets -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Department of the Interior color logo features a buffaloYOUTH AND BLM
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently established an Office of Youth in Natural Resources, "to provide jobs, outdoor experiences and career opportunities for young people." News.bytes will feature occasional stories on youth who take part in BLM-California programs.

Two people use metal detectors amid tall grassVolunteers use rafts to get to one area"Volunteers help BLM mark sites of historic log flume" (News.bytes Extra)
Fifteen volunteers, ages 10 and up helped the BLM mark the route of the historic Blue Ridge Flume. The artificial waterway helped carry logs from a then-remote area of California, to feed an 1870s construction boom.

Three Eagle Scouts salute at a ceremony"Troop honors three Eagle Scouts" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 7/12/09)
Two youth completed requirements for their Eagle Scout badge on the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument, co-managed by BLM-California: Mitchell Neff, 18, "organized the removal of debris and shrubs, transplanted indigenous plantings, removed unnecessary drainage and cleared an area for public picnics..." Brendan Saunders, 18, "developed a description of the Randall Henderson Trail stretching out more than 5 miles into the foothills ... produced a color brochure of the trail" and coordinated volunteers who "placed 24 trail marker posts at points of interest along the trail."

RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument " (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)

Three young men sit for a group portraitEMPLOYEE PROFILE: The Federal Career Intern Program...
...is designed to help agencies recruit and attract exceptional individuals into a variety of occupations. Upon successful completion of the internships, the interns may be eligible for permanent placement within an agency. Four FCIP interns were brought on board BLM-California's resources division this summer, to assist with a variety of  projects in the realty section: Dan Ryan, Brandon Anderson, Timothy Wing and Dan Krekelberg.


A volunteer waits for a mock rescue of a CPR manikinA simulated victim waits near a fallen bike"Trail assistance group train for medical emergencies at Fort Ord public lands" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the Bicycle Equestrian Trail Assistance group conducted training to deal with medical emergencies on the Fort Ord Public Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The mock casualty training exercise included victims, each with specific medical conditions.


Two mustangs grooming each otherA boy and a girl watch horses in the holding pens"Volunteer halter project horses adopted at Angel's Camp" (News.bytes Extra)
Wild horse program volunteers around central California are working on halter projects in preparation for National Adoption Day on Sept. 26. An event is planned for the Sacramento area in conjunction with Adoption day, with details to be announced.

"Wild horses available for adoption in Lakeside" (BLM-California news release, 7/7/09)
This weekend: Residents of Southern California will have the opportunity to add a wild horse (mustang) to their families when the Bureau of Land Management brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to Lakeside, July 17-19. The BLM will offer about 36 horses, mostly yearlings.


"BLM schedules scoping meetings for solar project in California Desert" (BLM-California news release, 7/14/09)
The BLM will hold public scoping meetings as part of an environmental review on the impacts of the proposed Lucerne Valley Solar Project in San Bernardino County, Calif.  Chevron Energy Solutions has applied to the BLM for a right-of-way on public lands to construct the solar photovoltaic power plant on approximately 516 acres about eight miles east of the community of Lucerne Valley.

"BLM and CPUC schedule public scoping meetings for the Southern California Edison ElDorado-Ivanpah Transmission Project" (BLM-California news release, 7/14/09)
The Bureau of Land Management and the California Public Utilities Commission will hold public scoping meetings as part of a joint environmental review on the impacts of this project in San Bernardino County, Calif. and Clark County, Nev. Southern California Edison has applied for a right-of-way to upgrade approximately 36 miles of an existing 115 kV transmission line on public lands with a new double circuit 220-kV transmission line, to handle renewable energy projects.

"Geothermal lease sale generates more than $9 million" (BLM-California news release, 7/14/09)
A competitive auction of lease parcels for geothermal energy resources on federal public lands in California, Nevada, and Utah generated $9,098,304 in revenue for 255,347.158 acres. Revenues are shared with state and local governments. California's 15 parcels were leased for $131,126.

Close-up of part of the mechanical part of a geothermal plant"Quake fears stall energy extraction project" (New York Times, 7/13/09)
"Two federal agencies are stopping a contentious California project from fracturing bedrock miles underground and extracting its geothermal energy until a scientific review determines whether the project could produce dangerous earthquakes, spokeswomen for the Energy and Interior Departments said on Monday."
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Sketch shows water piped deep underground to create steamWinding pipes carry steam generated by underground heatRELATED: "Small town fears quakes from geothermal energy project"
(Sacramento Bee, 7/13/09)
Residents of Anderson Springs have complained for years about small earthquakes generated from geothermal projects near their homes. They fear a new project by AltaRock Energy Inc. to drill "a hole more than 2 miles deep ... the company plans to inject high-pressure water to crack the solid, 500-degree Fahrenheit bedrock, creating an artificial reservoir of superheated water. The steam will then be used to drive electrical turbines."
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"State green power plan will cost consumers billions" (North County Times, 7/11/09)
"In a report issued last month, the California Public Utilities Commission examined in detail the costs associated with moving to a grid filled with sun, wind, geothermal and other clean, renewable power. And the regulatory agency concluded that the price tag for the accelerated green venture will approach $115 billion for new power plants and lines, and other utility infrastructure. The commission also concluded ... that California isn't likely to reach the goal until several years after the target date."

"7 trends that will dominate the Intersolar Show" (Earth2Tech on Reuters, 7/13/09)
The Intersolar conference in San Francisco this week "will see over 15,000 solar execs meeting, mingling and doing business ... Massive solar thermal plants that need large areas of dedicated land -- and permits and approval from state and federal regulatory bodies -- have long been frustrated over the long time tables and opposition from environmentalists to building the projects. But recently, the Bureau of Land Management decided to fast track studies for 24 areas of BLM land for solar projects."

"A solar land rush" (New York Times' Green, Inc., 7/13/09)
"The Department of the Interior’s move last month to accelerate development of large-scale solar power plants on federal land in six Western states could give an edge to companies that have already staked lease claims in 24 new 'solar energy study areas.' The initiative covers 670,000 acres overseen by the department’s Bureau of Land Management in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah."


"Updated: TANC power line terminated" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/15/09)
"TANC commissioners this morning unanimously approved unplugging planning for a proposed 600-mile long power line. The decision cheered local property owners who have been fighting the power line since they learned late this winter the Transmission Agency of Northern California was going to consider running the transmission corridor through or near their land ... The decisions by Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District to pull out of planning has made it financially impossible for that planning to continue." But uncertainty about a federal agency's planning "left some STOPTANC activists uneasy."

RELATED: "TANC opponents rally in Redding" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/9/09)
After "the biggest backer" of the TANC proposal withdrew, protests continued. In Redding last week, "Nearly 200 green-shirted 'Stop TANC' activists ... heard reports from power line opponents who had traveled from as far as Davis to attend the rally."

"Powerlink may hinge on Cleveland National Forest Supervisor" (East County Magazine, 7/9/09)
Groups are "urging Cleveland National Forest Supervisor William Metz to reject construction of the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line project across the forest ... The Sunrise Powerlink transmission line through southern San Diego County was approved by two state and federal agencies, the California Public Utilities Commission and the Bureau of Land Management, in December and January 2008. Appeals have been filed..."


Green grass, brush and trees"Cottonwood resident envisions jewel in the rough" (Anderson Valley Post, 7/14/09)
""[A]pproximately seven miles due east of Cottonwood, lies a sleepy 38-acre jewel called Reading Island Park ... jointly developed in the 1960s by the ... Bureau of Land Management and the California Department of Fish and Game ... Today, vast parts of it are overgrown with dense raspberry, grape and elderberry vines ... the aging asphalt access road is still serviceable, but desperately needs some attention soon." Local officials and Bill Kuntz, outdoor recreation planner for BLM-California's Redding Field Office, would like to see more people involved.

"BLM receives $8.3 million from state" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 7/12/09)
"BLM’s California Desert District received about $8.3 million in grants from California’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program on Thursday, according to a release. The funds will go toward the operation and maintenance of OHV areas, the support of programs in the Dumont Dunes, El Mirage and Imperial Sand Dunes recreation areas, as well as increased law enforcement in those areas."

"The trashing of Fort Ord: Effort aims to curb roadside dumps"
(Monterey County Herald, 7/10/09)
"An illegal dump site at Fort Ord that was cleaned up 10 days ago is once again littered with trash ... the 23,000-acre post has been carved up into a number of jurisdictions -- FORA [Fort Ord Reuse Authority] , the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, CSU-Monterey Bay and the Army" which have now teamed up "to coordinate cleanup and report and cite violators. "

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


A close-up of the rock arch in the Alabama Hills"Alabama Hills group seeks input on designation for famous rocks" (Inyo Register, 7/7/09)
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group is gathering input "about possible designations for the 30,000-acre recreation area that includes the jumble of famous, dark and rusty-red rocks at the foot of Mount Whitney." Potential designations include "a National Monument, a Scenic Recreation Area, an area of Outstanding Natural Resource, a Conservation Area or the current designation as a Special Recreation Management Area. These are all possible under the Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System."

"Issa proposes 21,000 acres of wilderness" (North County Times, 7/11/09)
"Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, is proposing to build on the foundation of recent wilderness additions in Riverside County and protect more than 21,000 acres of chaparral, canyons and forest next door in northern San Diego County from development and vehicles ... Both areas are directly across the county line from the new Beauty Mountain Wilderness and newly expanded Agua Tibia Wilderness in Riverside County east of Temecula."

RELATED: "Wilderness areas" (BLM-California)
Includes recently-designated Agua Tibia and Beauty Mountain wilderness areas.

Native American rock paintings show round diagrams"Those who came before" (Santa Maria Sun, 7/9/09)
"The signs are everywhere: in place names like Nipomo, Lompoc, and Sisquoc, in art and rock carvings hidden among dim caves and wind-swept valleys, and buried deep in the soil under our feet. They’re the remnants of an ancient maritime Native American civilization that once prospered on the Central Coast, but today is struggling to keep its culture alive: the Chumash Indians." Tammy Whitley of BLM-California's Bakersfield Field Office is among archaeologists cited in the story.

RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument - Fact sheet and mission statement"(BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Among the cultural artifacts on the monument is Painted Rock, a sacred, ceremonial site of the Chumash People.


"Inyo and Mono County Community Wildfire Protection Plans" (BLM-California news release, 7/13/09)
The Inyo and Mono County Community Wildfire Protection Plans have been completed and will be available to the public beginning Friday. The CWPPs help the communities apply for more funding to create and maintain fuel breaks, emergency evacuation routes, and other fuel load reduction tactics.  These plans serve as a working document and will be updated annually.

"11,214 plants eradicated in Mendocino County" (Redwood Times, 7/10/09)
"According to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and agents from the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, DEA, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service served six search warrants on properties adjacent to BLM and the Forest Service and believed to house a large commercial marijuana growing operation."

"Three hurt in I-5 crash near Willows" (Colusa County Sun-Herald, 7/9/09)
"Three people were hospitalized today after a highway maintenance truck was rear-ended on Interstate 5 south of Willows" including two BLM officers.

"Water dispute centers on Lassen County irrigation tunnel" (Sacramento Bee, 7/10/09)
"Ranchers below the Bly Tunnel believe they have rights to the water that trickles through the tunnel ... Residents above it at Eagle Lake believe the tunnel on the east shore is responsible for lowering the lake level, leaving their boat ramps high and dry." The BLM is reviewing the issue.
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"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

July 25 - Interpretive hike - "Tidepool Exploration"
King Range National Conservation Area

July 30-31 - Northern California Resource Advisory Council Meeting
Arcata, plus field tour


"McCain opposes Interior nominees over Obama's position on Ariz. mine"
(Greenwire, in the The New York Times, 7/10/09)
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he will oppose the confirmation of two Interior Department nominees until the Obama administration takes a position on his legislation that would make way for a copper mine in an Arizona national forest. McCain told Bob Abbey, nominated as Bureau of Land Management director, and Wilma Lewis, nominated as Interior assistant secretary for land and minerals management, that he would oppose their confirmation over the issue."

"Salazar: Time has come to reform outdated mining law" (Department of the Interior news release, 7/14/09)
"As part of President Obama’s agenda for reform, the time has come to update the nation’s 19th century mining law to ensure reasonable royalty payments for extracting gold, silver and other minerals from federal land and to provide more effective regulatory, clean-up and reclamation tools, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today." Includes link to Secretary Salazar's testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"DOI approves California's plan for the Coastal Impact Assistance Plan" (Department of the Interior news release, 7/13/09)
"The Interior Department today announced its approval of California’s plan for the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, a major step toward providing more than $24.7 million in federal grant money to the state and 17 of its coastal counties. The approval of California’s plan allows the state to submit grant applications for projects involving conservation, restoration, and protection of natural coastal resources."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) They may have three dozen separate entrances to the place

SOURCE: "San Joaquin Kit Fox - Vulpes macrotis mutica" (BLM California wildlife database)
They excavate dens in loose soil, with up to 36 entrances and from three to 24 separate dens within, reaching depths of up to 10 feet.

Rescued kit fox resting its head on its paws with its eyes closedRELATED: "Kit fox's plight highlights danger of nets" (Bakersfield Californian, 7/10/09)
A year-old San Joaquin kit fox, hanging by her neck from a volleyball net, is rescued but has to have her left hind leg amputated. "Just this year there have been six Bakersfield incidents of kit foxes getting caught up in nets, with two pups dying ... 'We’re asking sports groups, anyone who uses nets in the process of recreation, to remember (to take them down) when they’re through with them,' said a curator of the California Living Museum in Bakersfield."

close-up of face of recovering kit fox with closed eyesRELATED: "Vets amputate leg of fox caught in net" (NECN Boston, 7/13/09)
Video of the rescued kit fox, interview with the veterinarian who had to amputate his badly injured leg in order to save him. "Once rehabilitated, the kit fox will live with three other 3-legged kit foxes at the California Living Museum in Bakersfield."

"Bear scare closes Forest Falls picnic area" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/15/09)
A lesson from earlier wildlife trivia questions: Don't feed the bears! "A bear scare has closed a picnic area and some hiking trails in a San Bernardino Mountains community and a state biologist blames people who have been feeding the creature."
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
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