A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 393 - 7/29/09

A green Pacific treefrog sits on a tree trunk A person sits in a chair near the Smokey head she had been wearing An airplane drops bright red fire retardant Shadows outline rounded ridges in an area of crevasses Three young students smile for the camera as they work near a computer terminal


- Wildfires and prevention
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Youth and BLM: Employee profile
- Renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: Visitor center, oil and gas leases, geological discovery, jobs, more
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Recovery Act

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


"Knight Fire grows to more than 1,300 acres" (Sonora Union-Democrat, 7/29/09)
"The Knight Fire, burning in the Middle Fork Stanislaus River Canyon near Mount Knight, more than doubled in size from Tuesday to this morning. As of today, the fire had scorched 1,332 acres." Agencies including the BLM were battling the fire. A spokesperson said "historically August and September are the worst months for wildfire in the area ... And fuels are drying up with recent heat waves. 'We’re just entering into the worst of the fire season...'"

Flames burn on a forested hillsideRELATED: "Knight Fires Grows To Over 1,300 Acres" (MyMotherLode.com, 7/29/09)
"Committed resources include 658 personnel, 22 Type One hand crews, three Type Two hand crews, nine helicopters, six air tankers (two from Columbia, four from Stockton), 27 engines, 11 water tenders, seven dozers and 93 support personnel."

An airplane drops bright red fire retardant"Lightning fire threatens Bodie State Historic Park" (News.bytes Extra)
A law enforcement ranger for BLM-California’s Bishop Field Office was patrolling when he saw a lightning strike that ignited a wildfire in the Bodie Hills. After calling his dispatch center. he got closer and realized the brush fire had quickly reached flame lengths of 10 to 15 feet, and was heading toward structures in the Bodie State Historic Park...

"Take Responsibility..." (California Fire Alliance)
"Protect your home. Create 100 feet of defensible space!" The BLM is a member of the California Fire Alliance.

"White House wants overhaul of federal firefighting funding" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/21/09)
"In seven of the last 10 years, federal fire agencies have seen their money run out at the height of California's autumn fire season. That forced the U.S. Forest Service and the federal Bureau of Land Management to borrow funds from fire-prevention programs, including the thinning of dead trees from local forests." Proposals would set aside funds specifically for agency use when "annual firefighting budget is depleted."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

A person sits in a chair near the Smokey head she had been wearing"At 65, Smokey Bear is still fighting fires" (Los Angeles Times, 7/24/09)
"He's a war hero who became a media mogul, celebrity pitchman, pop icon and philanthropist. He's so famous he was given his own ZIP Code, 20252, to handle the fan mail. He is 65 years old but has no intention of retiring. In fact, he looks fitter than ever. Working outdoors with a shovel will do that." Critics say his message was damaging, "creating a very flammable forest."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"National Fire News" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Updated daily during fire season.


A green Pacific treefrog sits on a tree trunk
Pacific tree frog - from a photo by U.S. Geological Service
The Pacific tree frog can be difficult to spot. Why?
(a.) They are usually in the trees.
(b.) They fly from treetop to treetop, hidden among the leaves.
(c.) They change color with the seasons, making them harder to spot.
(d.) They can quickly change colors to match their backgrounds.
(e.) Contrary to their names, they spend most of their time underground.
(f.) When a Pacific tree frog feels threatened, it imitates an Atlantic tree frog, thereby confusing the viewer.

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

Department of the Interior logo features a buffalo in a circleYOUTH 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.

Three young students smile for the camera as they work near a computer terminal
EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Focus on youth
This summer, Zack Graves and James Sy are working under the Student Temporary Employment Program and Lauren Szlosek is volunteering, all of them with BLM-California's External Affairs Office. Read more:


"Update: Quake fears from EGS project appear overblown" (Energy Current, 7/23/09)
"While AltaRock Energy's proposed enhanced geothermal system to extract energy from a portion of The Geysers geothermal field in northern California will produce some earthquakes, the earthquakes will likely be of the magnitude of 2.3 of smaller, according to David Oppenheimer, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey."

RELATED: "Geothermal project review under way" (Lake County News, 7/26/09)
"A decision to delay a new geothermal project in The Geysers until further study is completed appears to have come directly from the top of the federal Department of Energy. The decision regarding AltaRock Energy's engineered geothermal systems project -- scheduled to take place on a federal land leaded by the Bureau of Land Management to the Northern California Power Agency -- came down earlier this month..."

"Solar projects could sprout at old Riverside County landfills" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/26/09)
"Large-scale solar energy projects could be built on 1,800 acres of closed landfills and vacant property owned by Riverside County." One of the companies is also "planning two other California solar projects that are among the largest in the world" near Barstow and El Centro, "pending environmental reviews and permits from the California Energy Commission and U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its contents online.)

"Agencies extend public comment period for solar energy study areas" (BLM national news release, 7/27/09)
The Department of Energy and the Bureau of Land Management will extend the public comment period on solar energy study areas and maps by an additional 45 days. Under a renewable energy initiative, 24 tracts of Bureau of Land Management-administered land in six western states, known as Solar Energy Study Areas, would be fully evaluated for their environmental and resource suitability for large-scale solar energy production, allowing a more efficient process for permitting and siting responsible solar development.

"BLM changes public meeting location for solar project in California desert" (BLM-California news release, 7/24/09)
The BLM has changed the location of the July 29 public scoping meeting for the proposed Lucerne Valley Solar Project from the Lucerne Valley Community Center to the Lucerne Valley Elementary School. The meeting will be from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. tonight.


3 men paint the porch ceilingA new display of information brochures inside the renovated Briceburg Visitor Center"Briceburg Visitor Center sports renovations, extended summer hours" (News.bytes Extra)
In July 2008, it wasn’t certain if the Bureau of Land Management’s Briceburg Visitor Center on the Merced River would be left standing as the Telegraph Fire burned nearby. The Visitor Center has not only survived, but been remodeled and expanded hours through partnerships.

RELATED: " Merced River Recreation Area" (BLM-California, Mother Lode Field Office)

"BLM plans September oil and gas lease auction"
(BLM-California news release, 7/24/09)
The Bureau of Land Management is conducting an auction of oil and gas leases on federal land on September 9, 2009 in Bakersfield. The competitive lease auction involves 5 parcels for a total of 2096.56 acres of public lands in Kern County.

"BLM releases draft plan amendment and draft EIS for a proposed land exchange in the Santa Ana River Wash" (BLM-California news release, 7/24/09)
The draft plan amendment and draft EIS describe and analyze alternatives for a proposed land exchange with the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District. The document will be available for public comment until October 22, 2009.

RELATED: "Draft EIS for Santa Ana Wash land exchange" (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)

Shadows outline rounded ridges in an area of crevasses"Formula found to explain earth's evenly spaced valleys" (LiveScience, 7/22/09)
"Airplane passengers who like to gaze out at Earth's surface from the window seat have probably noticed this weird phenomenon -- many valleys and ridges seem to be evenly spaced ... For decades, scientists have suspected that this strange but widespread regularity emerges from a geological tug-of-war between streams carving rock to create valleys and soil gradually creeping or falling downhill due to disturbances." One of the sites used to test a new mathematical model of this process was the Carrizo Plain.

RELATED: "The San Andreas Fault and the geology of the Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)

"BLM Northwest California Resource Advisory Council to meet in Arcata" (BLM-California news release, 7/24/09)
The RAC will hear reports on public lands projects to be completed with American Resource and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds, when they meet Thursday and Friday, July 30 and 31. On Thursday, they will tour Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve near Eureka.

"Deputies Seize Over $11.3M In Marijuana" (TurnTo23.com Bakersfield, 7/28/09)
Deputies found three marijuana plots in eastern Kern County. "The suspects had already harvested more than fifty percent of the plants. Deputies seized the remaining 2829 Marijuana plants. One of the plots of plants was located on BLM property while the other two were on private property."

"Marijuana gardens near Blue Lakes raided Tuesday " (Lake County News, 7/23/09)
"Local, state and federal law enforcement officials raided several illegal marijuana grows on Tuesday, seizing thousands of plants as part of the annual summer eradication effort ... One of the five grows was on private property ... while the other four were on BLM land."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

July 29-30 - Scoping meetings for solar project proposal
Various locations

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


"Secretary Salazar cites progress under Recovery Act" (Department of Interior news release, 7/24/09)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today testified before the House Budget Committee that the Department of the Interior is making “swift progress” on making investments and creating jobs using the $3 billion entrusted to Interior under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Includes links to more information.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related wildlife news
(d.) They can quickly change colors to match their backgrounds.

SOURCE: "Pacific Tree frog - Hyla regilla" (BLM California wildlife database)
These frogs have the ability to change their color rapidly to match their background, which can make them difficult to find.


"Biologists rediscover endangered frog population" (U.S. Geological Survey news release, 7/24/09)
"For the first time in nearly 50 years, a population of a nearly extinct frog has been rediscovered in the San Bernardino National Forest’s San Jacinto Wilderness. Biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey ... and scientists from the San Diego Natural History Museum retracing a 1908 natural history expedition both rediscovered the rare mountain yellow-legged frog in the San Jacinto Wilderness near Idyllwild, Calif."

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Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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