A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 402 - 9/30/09

Portrait type photo, Mike Pool in suit A man wearing a kerchief on his head digs in the ground Wild horses run in the background as a man holds on by reins Several people carry tires to a truck Close-up of Erin Dreyfuss


- Former BLM-California State Director named to national BLM post
- Wild horses and burros
- Volunteers improve the public lands
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Employee Profile
- Renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: West Mojave Plan ruling, marijuana raids, shooting range dispute, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


Portrait type photo, Mike Pool in suit"BLM appoints Deputy Director, Operations" (BLM news release, 9/28/09)
Former BLM-California State Director Mike Pool, the BLM's current acting Deputy Director for Operations, has accepted the position permanently. He will formally report in his new capacity on January 1, 2010. His duties will include supervising the BLM’s senior executive team and providing management continuity between state offices for all BLM programs. As BLM-California state director, Pool oversaw 15.1 million acres of public lands in California and another 1.5 million in northwestern Nevada.


Wild horses run in the background as a man holds on by reinstwo wild horses graze on prairie grass"California wild horses to appear on Belgian TV" (News.bytes Extra)
Northeast California's wild horses, and the BLM Surprise Field Office, will be featured on Belgian television, in a popular documentary show titled, "Tomtesterom." A five-person crew, including show host Tom Waes, recently spent two days taping the show in the Cedarville area...

"Wild Horse Adoption Day Event Planned For Sacramento"
(BLM-California news release, 9/28/09)
This weekend: Horse lovers will be able to see demonstrations by Mustang Makeover trainers and adopt a halter-trained wild horse Saturday, Oct. 3, in Sacramento. About 10 horses and one burro will be available at the event. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include gentling demonstrations and exhibitions. A silent bid adoption will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and remaining horses will be available first-come, first-served after that for a $125 adoption fee.

Burros behind a fence"Wranglers corral, cart off wild desert burros" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/29/09)
The Bureau of Land Management rounded up burros "from public lands on or near Death Valley National Park, the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and Fort Irwin National Training Center. Bureau officials say these animals are a nuisance that damage wildlife habitat and may get in the way of military training operations."
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"Activists lobby Senate to protect wild horses"
(Reno Gazette Journal, 9/29/09)
"Wild-horse advocates from throughout the nation" lobbied senators to pass a bill that "would step up fertility control measures, encourage more adoptions of the animals and provide the more than 60,000 wild horses and burros under federal control with as much as 19 million additional acres on which to roam freely." A cattleman's association opposed the bill, citing "an overpopulation of unwanted horses and burros."

A man holds a horse close"Prisoners, horses learn together"
(Associated Press in Los Angeles Times, 9/26/09)
Prisoners at the "Wyoming Honor Farm minimum-security prison" learn about horses and themselves, as they prepare wild horses from BLM-managed lands, for adoption by members of the public.


Volunteers work on a sign in a kioskVolunteers pick up trash and load it into a truck"Barstow Field Office marks National Public Lands Day with restoration and cleanup" (News.bytes Extra)
Nearly 70 people showed up for the National Public Lands Day volunteer event sponsored by BLM-California's Barstow Field Office. With their efforts, the Poste Homestead Improvement Project was highly successful, adding a new kiosk and signs, cleaning up trash and more.

A man wearing a kerchief on his head digs in the groundFour people work on trimming brush"National Public Lands Day volunteers cut invasive tamarisk in the Santa Rosa Wilderness" (News.bytes Extra)
To celebrate National Public Lands Day, BLM-California's Palm Springs – South Coast Field Office hosted an event in the Santa Rosa Wilderness. Using a variety of tools such as loppers and hand saws, 16 volunteers braved the unseasonably hot weather to remove roughly a quarter of a mile of tamarisk from an area important to the federally endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep.

Several people carry tires to a truck"BLM’s Keyesville area gets a spring-clean during Kern Valley Pride Day" (News.bytes Extra)
Visitors to the Kern Valley on Sept. 19 couldn’t help but notice all the litter picking, trash hauling and general clean-up going on. Kern Valley Pride day was started in 1986 as part of “Take Pride in America” celebrations in response to President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union address. Volunteers clean-up as much of the valley as possible and are awarded a selection of prizes.

"Alabama Hills Community Spirit Day" (BLM-California news release, 9/25/09)
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will sponsor a cleanup of the Alabama Hills on Saturday, Oct. 3, to prepare the hills for the Lone Pine Film Festival on Oct. 9 - 11. 


a gopher snake coiled on the ground
gopher snake
Erin Dreyfuss (see Employee Profile below) decided to study reptiles after handling a gopher snake in third grade at the Yuma County Fair. While doing which of these activities are you least likely to see a gopher snake?
(a.) hunting for mushrooms
(b.) looking at fields of wildflowers
(c.) panning for gold in the foothills of the Sierra
(d.) exploring near the San Andreas Fault
(e.) stopping alongside Route 66
(f.) visiting a herpetological show
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Close-up of Erin DreyfussEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Erin Dreyfuss...
...developed an interest in living things, early on in her life. That interest eventually led her to her current position as BLM-California's lead planning and environmental coordinator.


"BrightSource expands land deal in Nevada" (New York Times, 9/24/09)
A California solar power developer reached a deal to "carve out 12 square miles" of a "massive golfing community under development 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas" in order to supply renewable energy to California utilities.

"Oakland solar firm hits desert swarm" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/24/09)
"BrightSource Energy ... has been forced to scuttle its plans to build a solar energy plant in the Broadwell Dry Lake area of California's Mojave Desert" and "must deal with environmental fears" over "plans to build a solar energy field in the Ivanpah section of the Mojave. But the company believes it will ultimately prevail" and "hopes to begin construction at Ivanpah in early 2010. First, though, the company needs to obtain permit approvals from the state Energy Commission and the federal Bureau of Land Management."
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A sketch of a solar power installation with mirrors in concentric rows"Business leaders urge solar power support"
(San Francisco Chronicle, 9/25/09)
"The wide deployment of solar power across the nation hinges on federal policies that mandate renewable power and government spending to promote the technology, utilities and manufacturers told Congress" in testimony last week.

"Alternate-energy scramble on across West" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 9/28/09)
Utah state officials are examining energy proposal including "solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project that would turn salt caverns into a kind of giant battery. The caverns would hold compressed air when they're not storing natural gas." A new geothermal field in Utah will sell its power to California -- while geothermal "is ramping up in California and Nevada, already the country's leading producers of steam-powered electricity."


"Judge rejects U.S. management plan for California desert" (Los Angeles Times, 9/30/09)
West Mojave Plan: "A federal judge has rejected key provisions of a plan for managing millions of acres in the California desert, saying the U.S. Bureau of Land Management designated roughly 5,000 miles of off-road vehicle routes without properly taking into account their impact on public lands, archaeological sites and wildlife."
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RELATED: "Judge leaves Mojave Desert off-road routes in doubt" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/30/09)
"The status of more than 5,000 miles of off-road vehicle routes in the western Mojave Desert was left in doubt this week after a federal court ruling took issue with the way routes were chosen ... BLM officials responded to the court decision with a statement, 'The West Mojave plan was one of the most collaborative and extensive planning efforts ever undertaken in California'."

"BLM, bike club hosting 'Take a Kid Mountain Biking' event" (BLM-California news release, 9/28/09)
Redding area children and their families can enjoy a day of mountain bike riding in a special celebration, Sunday, Oct. 4, at the Swasey Recreation Area in west Redding.

"Task force raids marijuana site in Pioneer, catches Bay Area drug dealers" (Amador Ledger-Dispatch, 9/24/09)
The California Highway Patrol, investigating a stolen all-terrain vehicle on public land, spotted irrigation and camping equipment nearby. That led to further investigation by agents from the BLM and other agencies, destruction of 520 marijuana plants and arrest of three people.

"Authorities say ’09 a banner year for pot busts" (Sonora Union Democrat, 9/28/09)
"To date, 200,451 marijuana plants have been pulled from Tuolumne County lands, said Sgt. Craig Davis, Tuolumne Narcotics Team commander. The total street value is $4 million, Davis said. On Thursday, TNT agents — along with officials from the state Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, federal Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service — eradicated 6,703 marijuana plants in three illegal growing operations, Davis said."

"Feud between shooting range, developer set for Highland hearing Oct. 6" (San Bernardino County Sun, 9/28/09)
"The Planning Commission on Oct. 6 will consider approving a conditional-use permit for a proposed residential development next to the popular Inland Fish and Game shooting range." A partner in a proposed housing development filed suit in 2007, "resulted in the suspension of shooting at IFG. The situation has drawn the ire of some club members, who say the facility attracts about 25,000 people a year ... IFG has operated on 40 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management since 1945..."

"Bureau of Land Management to conduct prescribed burn in Condon Peak area" (BLM-California news release, 9/28/09)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Hollister Field Office plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the Condon Peak area of northern Fresno County. Forty to 80 acres will be burned in October/November, weather permitting.

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

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

Oct. 2-4 - Fire safety display at San Benito County Fair

Oct. 10 - Cosumnes River Preserve & Habitat Restoration Team event - Invasive vegetation removal and treatment

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(a.) hunting for mushrooms

SOURCE: "Gopher Snake - Pituophis catenifer" (BLM California wildlife database)
They are found in all habitat types at elevations below 7000 feet, and they are least common in dense forest habitats.

Gloved hands hold two tiny tortoises"San Diego Zoo expands to valley with tortoise center" (Las Vegas Sun, 9/25/09)
"The San Diego Zoo has moved into the Las Vegas Valley to study and help repopulate the desert with an endangered species of tortoises." The zoo plans to use the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center "for researching, breeding and raising the tortoises, training new researchers and educating the public ... The center was established in 1990. In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took over the facility, which is on more than 11,000 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management."

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

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