A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 398 - 9/2/09

A California condor with folded wings, and a red tag for identification Firefighters carry equipment on a hilly trail the developer of truck-mounted power auger shows volunteers how to operate the controls An airplane drops bright red fire retardant powder


- Wildfires and prevention
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- National Public Lands Day: coming up
- Wild horses and burros
- BLM advisory councils and committees
- Headlines and highlights: Jawbone Friends invent, BLM receives historic award, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Firefighters from the BLM in California and other states are helping battle many of the state's wildfires, and some of the blazes include lands managed by BLM-California.

Firefighters carry equipment on a hilly trail"U.S. Alert Level Raised As Wildfires Spread" (NPR, 9/1/09)
"With thousands of homes threatened in six states, the nation's wildfire response system has kicked into a higher level of alert and preparedness."

"Inland wildfires" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/2/09)
Special section with updated stories on wildfires in inland southern California.
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Southern California wildfires" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/2/09)
Links to many stories, plus photos and video, on the home page.

"California wildfires" (Los Angeles Times, KTLA-TV and KSBW-TV, 9/2/09)
Updated stories on southern California wildfires.
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Firefighters died in effort to escape" (Los Angeles Times, 9/1/09)
"Authorities believe Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones were searching for a way out for personnel trapped at Camp 16 when overrun by fire. Their vehicle plunged down a mountain, killing the two men."
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

RELATED: "Mourning loss of two heroes" (Ventura County Star, 9/2/09)
Editorial: "The more we learn about the two Los Angeles County firefighters who perished Sunday in the Station fire, the more we appreciate the hard work and sacrifice being made by those facing down the roaring walls of fire."

An airplane drops bright red fire retardant powderA helicopter drops water"Firefighters keep blaze from reaching Wofford Heights area homes"
(Bakersfield.com, 8/31/09)
"A quick and massive response by firefighters kept a series of fires near Wofford Heights Monday morning from reaching any nearby homes, Kern County fire officials said ... The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management helped fight the fires."
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Chaparral that hasn't burned in decades keeps the Oak Glen Fire raging" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/31/09)
"Firefighters battling the Oak Glen Fire are up against thickets of dry and dead shrubs and small trees that haven't burned in 85 years ... By not letting fires follow their natural course, the region has greatly increased the risk of more severe fires," an earth sciences professor said. Chaparral hosts wildlife, but "'There are just a few areas left for these plants,' said Joyce Schlachter" a wildlife biologist with the BLM.
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

Community members look at potential fire prevention projects from the roadway"District hopes to get grants to help reduce fire risk" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/30/09)
"If a fire comes through here, we'll all lose our houses," said one resident. "As each year passes without thinning work, the vegetation covering the wildland in the Keswick Basin continues to grow, said Tim Bradley, fire management officer for the Bureau of Land Management's Redding office."
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Fire plan gives Keswick basin a fighting chance" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/31/09)
Editorial: "Everybody knows we have a fire problem in Shasta County ... That makes community fire plans like the one recently drawn up for the Keswick area a potentially life-saving tool ... One shortfall in the plan ... Target shooters argue that the Bureau of Land Management needs to do more to clear zones for safe shooting."

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

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


A California condor spreads its wings while on a perch
California condor
The condor gets its name from:
(a.) An American Indian name for the hills on which they range, as mispronounced by early European settlers to the American Southwest
(b.) An 1820s anthropomorphic novel starring Kondour, exotic larger cousin to the more familiar Crow.
(c.) The Latin “condire,” meaning “to pickle.” Condors became associated with making use of all resources as in pickling, since the condor eats carrion (dead animals).
(d.) South America
(e.) “Con” meaning “against” and “Dör”, a village in Hungary. Immigrants from Dör to the American Southwest were feeling very guilty about recently stealing the livelihood of their neighboring villagers in Windö Rock, when a flock of huge birds of a type they had never seen before began circling overhead. Terrified, the villagers abandoned the town and dispersed across the U.S., leaving behind their only legacy, the name for this bird.
------> See answer -- and how condors are being restored to their mythical beginnings -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


"National Public Lands Day 2009" (BLM-California website)
Calling all volunteers: BLM-California is celebrating National Public Lands Day this year with 13 events. Most them need volunteers to be fully successful. Find out if there is one for you. The "official" date is Sept. 26, but please note that dates vary depending on local conditions:


"Horses, burros available for adoption in Buellton" (BLM-California news release, 8/18/09)
On Saturday Sept. 12, the BLM will offer about 20 horses 18 months and younger and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at about noon on Friday, Sept. 11.

"Letter to the Bureau of Land Management"(Billings, Montana Gazette, 9/1/09)
Rep. Raul Grijalva, chairman of the subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, in a letter addressed to Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, urges the BLM to suspend all wild horse roundups.

"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for September 28 in Arlington, Virginia" (BLM national news release, 9/1/09)
The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.


"Solar Millennium responds to concerns" (Pahrump Valley Times, 8/28/09)
"Officials from Solar Millennium didn't respond to concerns expressed over their solar project in Amargosa Valley during the four public hearings over the last two weeks," saying the meetings were just to gather concerns. "But officials decided to respond to some concerns that were aired" including "a primary concern over water," distance of the project from a school, and an explosion at a plant using an older technology. The company is one of several to apply for BLM right-of-way permits in the area.


"Salazar announces new appointments to BLM Desert Advisory Council" (BLM-California news release, 8/27/09)
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has appointment four new members and re-appointed one member to the Bureau of Land Management's citizen-based California Desert District Advisory Council which advises the BLM on public land issues.

"Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee members re-appointed" (BLM-California news release, 9/1/09)
The nine-member committee advises the Secretary and the Bureau of Land Management on resource management issues at the monument, which sits on the border between San Luis Obispo and Kern counties.

"Northeast California Resource Advisory Council meets Sept. 9-10 in Susanville" (BLM-California news release, 8/28/09)
Agenda topics include the Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, status of projects planned under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, status of a proposed land exchange in northern Lassen County, and reports from managers of the BLM Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise field offices.

"BLM's Central California Advisory Council plans meeting in Cambria"(BLM-California news release, 8/19/09)
Land management issues for the Bakersfield Field Office will be on the agenda when the Bureau of Land Management’s Central California Resource Advisory Council meets in Cambria on Sept. 11-12. On Sept. 11, the advisory council will tour Piedras Blancas Light Station from 9 a.m. to noon.


"DesertXpress train aiming for March construction start" (Las Vegas Sun, 9/1/09)
"Official says 10,500 construction jobs possible with $4 billion project ... The leader of the effort to build the proposed DesertXpress high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California said his company has launched a worldwide search for vendors and suppliers so that construction on the $4 billion project could begin by the end of March." The proposed route would cross BLM-managed public lands.

"Taft's Airport: Fix it up, or build a new one?" (Taft Midway Driller, 9/1/09)
"Everyone agrees Taft Airport needs some serious upgrading. The lone runway is too short, too steep, too narrow and too thin." Facing obstacles to adapting the current site, the city is looking at several sites to relocate, including land managed by BLM-California.

the developer of truck-mounted power auger shows volunteers how to operate the controlsMembers of the Friends of Jawbone stand near a sign they just installed"Friends of Jawbone speeds up desert task" (News.bytes Extra)
The Friends of Jawbone, one of BLM's partners in the Ridgecrest Field Office, promotes wise off-highway vehicle use on public lands in the California Desert, including in the Jawbone recreation area near Mojave, Calif. Part of this effort is to install signs in OHV areas, to educate riders on the importance of staying in approved areas or on approved routes.

"BLM receives historic preservation award" (BLM-California news release, 9/1/09)
The Bureau of Land Management has received a national award for a data-sharing system to help preserve archaeological and historic sites -- the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation for its cultural resources data sharing project. Among those receiving the award on behalf of the BLM was BLM-California's Bishop Field Office acting manager and data sharing partnership coordinator, Kirk Halford.

Several people pose for the camera with an awardRELATED: "BLM receives historic preservation award"
The awards were presented by Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman John L. Nau, III, in Washington, D.C.. Nau was joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks (and the Interior Secretary’s designate to the ACHP) Will Shafroth; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management, and Budget Robert G. Stanton, in making the presentations.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include wildlife biologist, assistant fire engine operator and other wildfire fighting positions.

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

Sept. 4 - King Range interpretive hike, "Rising Moon Setting Sun"

Sept. 9 - Oil and gas lease auction, Bakersfield

Sept. 12 - Cosumnes River Preserve and Habitat Restoration Team, wetlands work

Sept. 26 - National Public Lands Day

Sept. 26 - National Wild Horse Adoption Day

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) South America

SOURCE: "California Condor - Gymnogyps californianus" (BLM California wildlife database)
The name "condor" is derived from the Quechua "cuntur," a name for the Andean condor of South America.


Condor flying in the AndesA condor with a red tag stands with wings folded"Scientists work to repopulate Colombia's skies with condors" (Los Angeles Times, 8/30/09)
"Reporting from Sogamoso, Colombia - In ancient times, they were revered as messengers of the gods." Later, Andean condors were "hunted to near extinction." But 70 of them have been released in Colombia since 1989 after being hatched and raised in 20 U.S. zoos, most often at the San Diego Zoo." BLM-California manages critical habitat for the endangered California condor, mostly in Central California, including the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
(Note: his news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

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

"Tribe hopes condor will soar above North Coast" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 8/19/09)
"The tribes of the lower Klamath River have since ancient times decorated themselves with condor feathers when they performed the dances designed to heal a world gone wrong ... Now the Yurok Tribe is using modern science in hopes of restoring condors, which have not soared above the northern coast of California since 1914."
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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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