A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 401 - 9/23/09

A Roosevelt elk with antlers grazes An OHV and rider in the sunset at the Imperial Sand Dunes A mustang looks at the camera Two volunteers hold skull replicas An agent attaches a bundle of marijuana to a cable dangling from a helicopter


- National Public Lands Day: this weekend!
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Recreation on public lands
- Law enforcement: Marijuana problems
- Headlines and highlights: New field office manager, mine leaks, wildfire, lighthouse, jobs more
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Improving ethics, saving plants from extinction
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


National Public Lands Day logoVolunteers at last year's National Public Lands Day event at Fort Ord"National Public Lands Day 2009" (BLM-California website)
BLM-California is celebrating National Public Lands Day this weekend -- Saturday, Sept. 26. Some field offices are holding events on other dates, depending on local conditions.

"Our view: Lend a hand to cleaning up area"(The Desert Trail, 9/16/09)
Editorial: "Morongo Basin residents will get two chances to improve their immediate world ... on Saturday, Sept. 26. We urge all those who are able to take advantage of at least one of these chances ... the Bureau of Land Management along with several local groups  is organizing a trip to cleanup the Poste Homestead Natural and Historical area ... It is the Morongo Basin sites ... that should interest our readers the most because these are the projects which will most need the participation of Morongo Basin residents."

"National Public Lands Day events scheduled for Sept. 26 for Southern California" (BLM-California news release, 9/17/09)
Lists event in BLM's California Desert District.


A Roosevelt elk with antlers grazes
Roosevelt elk
What is the Roosevelt elk's favorite place to eat?
(a.) Sunny pastures where plants don't shrivel from too much shade
(b.) The north side of trees, where they nibble off the lichens
(c.) Forests where their favorite plants don’t dry out in the sun
(d.) Moist streamsides where their favorite fiddlehead ferns grow
(e.) They are known to crash the Bull Moose parties and "monopolize" the hors d'oeuvres table

------> See answer -- and more stories on elk in California -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A mustang nuzzles a visitor"Adoption event held in SY Valley" (Santa Ynez Valley News, 9/16/09)
"A weekend getaway on the Central Coast included a different kind of window shopping for Bakersfield resident Melissa Isaac, who spent part of Saturday afternoon gazing at pens of wild horses. After learning about a Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Adoption in the Santa Ynez Valley, she and her fiance came to check out the animals. Isaac carefully wrote down numbers from the geldings and mares that caught her eye."

"Wild Horse Adoption Day Event planned at BLM Litchfield Corrals near Susanville" (BLM-California news release, 9/23/09)
Young wild horses and burros will be available for public adoption this weekend Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Bureau of Land Management Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, 21 miles east of Susanville on U. S. Highway 395. The BLM will offer 20 mares from 1 to 6 years old, and 13 burros, aged 2 to 8. The adoption fee is $125, with adoptions on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wild horses amid grassy plainA mustang shows its teeth"BLM and wild horse advocates working together for adoption day" (KLAS-TV Las Vegas, 9/20/09)
"In general, wild horse advocates don't get along too well with the Bureau of Land Management ... but differences have been set aside for a mutually beneficial cause -- National Adopt a Wild Horse Day -- with events at more than 60 locations around the country ... The hope is to find homes for 1,000 horses and burros in one swoop..." Includes four-minute video news report.

A mustang looks at the camera"Go wild on Sept. 26: National Wild Horse Adoption Day" (Cowboys and Indians Magazine, Sept. 2009)
"You are hereby encouraged to go wild on September 26 ... A collaborative effort among wild-horse and humane animal-advocacy groups across the country, 'going wild' could create a savings of more than $1.5 million for the Bureau of Land Management and the American taxpayer, if 1,000 horses find homes. And, every bit as important, it could mean happy homes for lots of wild horses."

"National Wild Horse Adoption Day" (BLM website)
This Saturday, Sept. 26.


"Solar energy firm drops plan for project in Mojave Desert" (Los Angeles Times, 9/18/09)
"Ending a bitter feud in the rush to develop solar farms, BrightSource Energy Inc. on Thursday said it had scrapped a controversial plan to build a renewable energy facility in the eastern Mojave Desert wilderness that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wants to transform into a national monument."

RELATED: Map of proposed monument"Monument plan creates rift" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/15/09)
"A plan to create a national monument across a large corner of the Mojave Desert threatens to 'halt all current planned renewable energy projects' there, the Schwarzenegger administration said in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif."

RELATED: "Desert monument idea is starting to shine" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/22/09)
"Efforts to establish a national monument in southeastern San Bernardino County appear to be gaining momentum as some solar-energy developers drop plans to build on land targeted for protection."

"L.A. may drop plans for controversial transmission line" (Los Angeles Times, 9/22/09)
"The DWP's proposed 85-mile-long Green Path North line through unspoiled desert and wildlife preserves was opposed by community and environmental groups. The agency may focus on other routes."

"BLM tackles plethora of solar, wind project applications" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 9/20/09)
"Biologists, realty specialists and air and water experts with the Bureau of Land Management shut themselves in the Desert Discovery Center for 10 full working days wading through a plethora of solar and wind energy applications. Out of more than 25 solar and 20 wind project applications proposed for the Barstow area, staff at the local field office were able to review 17, said Mickey Quillman, chief of resources at the BLM’s Barstow office."

"Coso ready to break ground at Hay Ranch" (Inyo Register, 9/22/09)
"Coso Operating Company is inching ever so closer to begin pumping water from Hay Ranch to its geothermal plant ... In May, Coso was granted permission from the county to pump, and in July, it was granted a right of way, or ROW, permit from the Bureau of Land Management to construct the pipeline."

"Birds caught in wind-farm push" (USA Today, 9/22/09)
Avian scientists " say the drive among environmentalists to rapidly boost U.S. wind-farm power 20 times could lead to massive bird losses and even extinctions ... Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is aware of the problem and says the administration is working with energy companies and wildlife groups to help lessen the deaths."

"Neighbor’s open door a boon to Nevada" (Las Vegas Sun, 9/23/09)
"Nevada’s renewable energy industry is breathing a sigh of relief after attempts by California’s legislature to ban renewable energy imports were smacked down by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Public lands are used more heavily in California than in Nevada, and Californians generally don’t like the idea of energy plants overtaking their recreation space."

"Dirty detail: Solar panels need water"(Las Vegas Sun, 9/18/09)
"Solar photovoltaic developers say not to worry about how much water their plants will use because they need only enough water to run the office bathrooms and wash the arrays of panels a couple of times a year. But people who live near proposed plants or maintain solar panels in the desert ... are willing to bet the panels will need to be hosed down more frequently."


An OHV and rider in the sunset at the Imperial Sand Dunes"Bureau of Land Management preparing for big numbers to visit Glamis dunes" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/19/09)
"As October approaches, preparations are being put into effect for upcoming travelers heading to the dunes. One of the larger projects that the Bureau of Land Management took on was the creation of a new Wash Road ... Another ... is trash receptacles ... Training will soon begin for newly hired park rangers and medical staff and will run through the second week of October..."

RELATED: "New Glamis road designation may allow off-highway vehicles" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/19/09)
County Supervisor hopes to make Ted Kipf Road a combined-use road. It was a well-used route for off-road users of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, until "enforcement of a regulation not allowing off-highway vehicles on the 1.7-mile road..."

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area" (BLM-California, El Centro Field Office)
Information on 2009-2010 permits and much more.

"It's looking like a banner quail season" (Lake County Record-Bee, 9/22/09)
"[P]rospects are the best they've been in years ... The dry spring resulted in an excellent hatch and the Mendocino National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in Lake and Mendocino counties offer excellent opportunities for hunters. Actually, these are the only counties that have public land open for hunting."

"Officials urge hunters, visitors to be aware in the Mendocino National Forest" (Lake County News, 9/19/09)
"The Yuki and Sanhedrin Wilderness Areas, established in 2006, contain Mendocino National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. Visitors and hunters are encouraged to become familiar with the new boundaries." Maps and wilderness information will be available "at stations near the boundary."

"BLM closes Airport Mesa recreational shooting for safety reasons" (BLM-California news release, 9/23/09)
The BLM has closed 210 acres of public lands near Airport Mesa in eastern San Diego County to recreational shooting due to concerns that shooting is putting U.S. Border Patrol agents in danger. Officials state that the closure order is effective as of September 23 and signs will be posted as quickly as possible.


An agent attaches a bundle of marijuana to a cable dangling from a helicopter"Mexican marijuana growers boldly operate in California" (Sacramento Bee, 9/20/09)
"With a month to go in the growing season, California is shattering records for pot seizures stemming from raids on illicit marijuana gardens. And authorities blame intricate Mexican drug networks that seek remote growing sites, supply and arm workers, and harvest and traffic the product. They are tilling vast gardens in forests, on public lands and even close to tony suburban homes near Sacramento."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

Officers stand by a marijuana plant taller than they areRELATED: "Pot farms raided in Southern Inyo" (Inyo Register, 9/21/09)
"Inyo County is popular, indeed. Tourism is up, the fishing’s great and Mexican cartels have, once again, chosen the local mountains and public lands to grow marijuana. And, once again, for the second time in two years, the weed was found and destroyed by law enforcement." Officials are concerned with the potential for violence, and warn visitors to be on the lookout. The BLM is a member of the multi-agency task force eradicating marijuana gardens.


close-up of Bernadette Lovato"Bernadette Lovato named BLM Bishop Field Office Manager" (BLM-California news release, 9/22/09)
Bernadette Lovato has been named manager of the Bureau of Land Management's Bishop Field Office. The office, with 42 employees, manages 750,000 acres the length of the eastern Sierra, from Topaz Lake to Owens Lake, including the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine.

A resident shows leaking mine material"Mercury still leaking at closed Calif. mine sites" (Associated Press at MSNBC, 9/17/09)
"Abandoned mercury mines throughout central California's rugged coastal mountains are polluting the state's major waterways, rendering fish unsafe to eat and risking the health of at least 100,000 impoverished people. But an Associated Press investigation found that the federal government has tried to clean up fewer than a dozen of the hundreds of mines — and most cleanups have failed to stem the contamination."

RELATED: "Abandoned mine lands" (BLM-California)
Of about 18,000 mines on BLM-managed lands in California and Northwest Nevada, an estimated 3,000 significant properties contain hazardous substances or physical features and/or have environmental problems. The California State Office, from mid-2000, has been conducting watershed-based projects that have and will continue to identify mine sites with environmental and/or safety issues.

Two volunteers hold skull replicas"Lighthouse tour highlights issues for advisory council" (News.bytes Extra)
Bureau of Land Management Central California Resource Advisory Council saw the importance of volunteers and partnerships during their Sept. 11-12 meeting at Piedras Blancas Light Station.

"Fire funds pulled before blaze" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 9/20/09)
"Months before a wildfire burned 280 square miles at the edge of Los Angeles, a little-known group was awarded a $178,000 grant to clear flammable brush and tree limbs to protect a mountain neighborhood in the Angeles National Forest. The work proposed for 90 acres in Big Tujunga Canyon was never done, and the grant was rescinded two days before the massive blaze ignited Aug. 26. "

"Sudden Oak Death in Mattole watershed" (Redwood Times, 9/16/09)
"The microbe that causes Sudden Oak Death has been detected in the Mattole watershed for the first time ... The Mattole Restoration Council has been monitoring for SOD since 2007, with support from" the Bureau of Land Management and others.

"BLM offers firewood permits at Lacks Creek"(BLM-California news release, 9/15/09)
The Bureau of Land Management is offering firewood permits at a designated wood cutting area at Lacks Creek, northeast of Arcata. They allow wood cutters to remove hardwoods that are already down.  Cutting live trees or standing dead trees will not be permitted.

"Experimental Stewardship Committee meets Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Cedarville" (BLM-California news release, 9/19/09)
Members of the Modoc Washoe Experimental Stewardship Steering Committee will tour public rangelands and discuss natural resource topics, when they convene for a field tour and meeting. The public is welcome.  They must provide their own transportation for the tour.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include horse wrangler (motor vehicle operator).

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

Sept. 26 - National Public Lands Day - California events

Sept. 26 - National Wild Horse Adoption Day

Sept. 26 - Cosumnes River Preserve - wetlands work and cleanup

Sept. 26 - "Take it Outside" kids fishing day


"Salazar strengthens employee ethics program at Interior" (Department of the Interior news release, 9/21/09)
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced new steps to strengthen the Department’s ethics program, providing more financial and personnel resources, increasing the authority of ethics officers, and requiring greater employee involvement in evaluating performance, accountability and compliance."

"Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe puts plant researchers under glass" (Chicago Tribune, 9/22/09)
"Visitors can study nearly 200 plant scientists ... in the Chicago Botanic Garden's gleaming new research center ... their work has far-reaching significance -- preventing a 'mass extinction' of plants over the next half-century ... It's part of a network of seed banks run by botanic gardens across the country, all of them supervised by the federal Bureau of Land Management."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) Forests where their favorite plants don’t dry out in the sun

SOURCE: "Roosevelt Elk - Cervus elaphus roosevelti" (BLM California wildlife database)
They prefer forested habitat where the plants that they eat do not dry out from the sun. Their favorite foods are grasses, herbaceous plants, and coniferous trees.


An elk grazes, from a photo by Eureka Times-Standard"Project aims to improve land for elk" (Eureka Times-Standard, 9/23/09)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is continuing efforts to reverse the trend of disappearing prairies and oak woodlands in the Lacks Creek watershed ... recreating habitat for Roosevelt elk. "

"Colusa to share in elk grant" (Colusa Sun Herald, 9/18/09)
"Colusa County is one of eight counties to share in $227,571 in grant funding from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for wildlife habitat conservation ... California is the only state with three subspecies of elk, Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt and Tule. The money slated for Colusa County will help restore riparian zone native vegetation to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife on BLM land in the Payne Ranch area."
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