A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 405 - 10/21/09

A red bat hangs upside down A grinning Alanis Morrisette is among the three runners in this photo A parachute billows out behind a slowing car on the desert flats A dog wearing a red volunteer T-shirt looks expectantly up a human volunteer Gary Pritchard-Peterson wearing a King Range T-shirt and BLM cap


- BLM ARRA projects
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Volunteers
- Volunteers and children in national monument
- Recreation on public lands
- Wildfires and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Rare earth mine, marijuana, land issues, jobs, more
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items: Wild horse policy, seed banking
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Circular logo for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with white starts on blue, a white leaf on green background and white gears on a red backgroundARRA - BLM FUNDS UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The projects below were funded with part of approximately $40 million in ARRA funds appropriated to BLM-California.

A man operates a rock spreaderA man digs with a shovel near a cement mixer"BLM's Mother Lode Field Office finishing three ARRA projects" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office is winding up construction on three projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The projects improve visitor access to recreation areas, and provide a new water distribution system.


A red bat hangs upside down
a red bat hangs upside down
Some red bats
migrate, but others:
(a.) Ignore the seasons
(b.) Hibernate in caves
(c.) Hibernate in trees
(d.) Are unable to fly during migration season
(e.) Overwinter in abandoned animal burrows
(f.) Stay behind for a busy schedule of Halloween appearances
------> See answer and more near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


"National Public Lands Day event planned for Fort Ord" (BLM-California news release, 10/13/09)
This weekend: Three agencies managing lands at Fort Ord will host volunteer events Oct. 24 in honor of National Public Lands Day. Volunteers at the free, family-friendly, event will repair trails and collect native seeds for winter planting (BLM-managed lands), restore maritime chaparral habitat (Army lands) and clean up illegal dumping and litter (Fort Ord Reuse Authority).

RELATED: "Fort Ord public lands" (BLM-California, Hollister Field Office)

Children and adults in period costumes stand in a doorwayYoung students hold various reproductions of old wooden toys"'Pennies for Piedras' gains recognition, donations" (News.bytes Extra)
A unique partnership between dedicated school students and those who care for the Piedras Blancas Light Station has been recognized with two recent articles in Lighthouse Digest magazine. A student fundraising effort wrapped up its fifth year with a record-breaking collection of sixteen hundred “Pennies for Piedras” ($1,600), to bring the total to $5,280.01. The money will be put toward the restoration of the 132-year-old lighthouse near San Simeon administered by the BLM.

A dog wearing a red volunteer T-shirt looks expectantly up a human volunteer"Volunteers help clean up Alabama Hills for Film Festival" (News.bytes Extra)
More than two dozen volunteers, including members of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and staff from the BLM office in Bishop, cleaned up trash in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area before the annual Lone Pine Film Festival in October. The cleanup was also a celebration of National Public Lands Day -- a way to give back to your public lands. The Alabama Hills have been the backdrop for many famous films.


"Volunteers pitch in to save special pinyon pines" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/20/09)
"Volunteers are clearing brush from beneath small outcroppings of pinyon pine trees in the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains to help them survive wildfires. They are not an endangered species, but the Parry pinyon pine is culturally important to the Cahuilla and Serrano Indian tribes, which have long used the tree's nuts for food."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Friends of the Desert Mountains offering free nature class to children" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/20/09)
"The Friends of the Desert Mountains is offering a Jr. Trail Guide Program to children ages 9-12 on the second Saturday of each month. Participants will learn about the local fauna, geography and native cultures of the Coachella Valley and surrounding mountains ... The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument was designated 'as both a national treasure and a scenic landscape' in 2000 and is noted for its rich biodiversity."

"Events and activities" (Friends of the Desert Mountains)
The Friends of the Desert Mountains group is the primary nonprofit support organization for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, managed by the BLM and other agencies.

"Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
Providing a picturesque backdrop to local communities, the National Monument significantly contributes to the Coachella Valley's lure as a popular resort and retirement community. It is also a desirable backcountry destination that can be accessed via trails from both the valley floor and the alpine village of Idyllwild.


A smiling woman among others finishing the marathonA grinning Alanis Morrisette is among the three runners in this photo"625 run in Bizz Johnson Marathon" (News.bytes Extra)
Beautiful fall weather and ideal running conditions greeted 625 athletes who converged on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail in northeast California for the recent Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon. The trail is managed by the BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office and the Lassen National Forest. Among this year's runners was Grammy Award-winning singer Alanis Morrisette.

RELATED: "Regional runners dominate Bizz Johnson races" (Lassen County Times, 10/20/09)
"More than 600 long distance runners from all across North America converged in Susanville for the sixth annual Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon events on Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11, including Canadian pop star Alanis Morissette. But when the dust finally settled and all the participants caught their breath, regional competitors had taken most of the top spots."

A black parachute billows out behine a slowing white car on the desert flatsA speeding motorcyclist on El Mirage Dry Lake"The need for speed" (Victorville Daily Press, 10/16/09)
"For 61 years," members of the Southern California Timing Association "have raced at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, pushing the pedal to the metal ... Nine racers are members of the El Mirage 200 MPH Club ... and five hold membership in the elite 300 MPH Club ... There is no speed limit on the open lakebed, but vehicle operators are responsible for their own safety."

The driver in the racing suit on the left is blindThe car used by a blind driver to attempt a new land speed recordRELATED: "Blind man attempts land-speed world record in El Mirage" (Victorville Daily Press, 10/16/09)
A blind man from Manchester, England traveled to El Mirage Dry Lake "brimming with anticipation of setting a new world land speed record by an unassisted blind man and raising funds for charities devoted to blind and dyslexic children." Mechanical problems with his car ended his quest -- for now.

RELATED: "El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM-California, Barstow Field Office)
Most visitors ride motorcycles or off-highway vehicles. This area is also often used for competitive racing events and commercial filming by permit. El Mirage's unique flat lakebed is a destination for many visitors. Note: There are many deep mine shafts in the riding area! Please avoid these areas and camp away from mine shafts!

"BLM extends Rand Mountain education and permit program" (BLM-California news release, 10/14/09)
The permit program addresses the complex management issues in the Rand Mountain area in regards to critical desert tortoise habitat and avid off-highway vehicle use. The goal of the program is to increase compliance with rules and regulations pertaining to the sensitive limited use area with a heavy focus on designated route system compliance.


A firefighter walks in a burned-out forested area"Living with fire" (Grass Valley Union, 10/17/09)
"As California's 2009 fire season comes to a rainy end, it may seem as if Nevada County is off the hook. A relatively low number of acres burned in the county this year ... In a year of record dryness, however, these figures stand in stark contrast to other California counties this year ... The continuous occurrence of fire is a historic fact, demonstrated by years of records kept by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other agencies."

Fire restrictions lifted on BLM-managed lands in several areas of California
See BLM-California news releases for details:

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


A man stands at the edge of a water-filled pitIdle machinery at the Mountain Pass Mine"California metal mine regains luster" (Los Angeles Times, 10/18/09)
"Fear of a shortage of rare-earth metals used in high-tech military and industrial products has spawned global efforts to reopen abandoned mines, including the formidable Mountain Pass Mine in California's Mojave Desert." The BLM facilitated a land exchanged which leaves the mine completely on private lands. Public lands are no longer involved.

RELATED: "Funds for rare-earth mineral mine sought" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/15/09)
"Deep underground in San Bernardino County's High Desert lies one of the world's richest deposits of rare-earth minerals, key to producing everything from DVD players to hybrid cars and guided-missile systems ... Now, amid fears that China will reduce its mineral exports, a group of investors is poised to jump-start operations at [The Mountain Pass Mine]. Their push is getting a boost from Inland Rep. Jerry Lewis, who is attempting to steer $3 million in federal funds toward the project."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Environmental concerns delay solar projects in California desert" (Los Angeles Times, 10/18/09)
"Across the desert flatlands of southeastern California, dozens of companies have flooded federal offices with applications to place solar mirrors on more than a million acres of public land. But just as some of those projects appear headed toward fruition, environmental hurdles threaten to jeopardize efforts to further tap the region's renewable energy potential."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Waging war on marijuana: Despite efforts, cultivation on the rise" (Sonora Union Democrat, 10/16/09)
"Law enforcement officials have yanked more than 200,000 plants in Tuolumne County -- double the previous record, set last year" and "more than 4.4 million plants statewide, compared to last year’s record of 2.9 million ... Even when gardens are raided, the damage to the environment has already been done. 'They’re destroying our public lands,' said Kevin Mayer, special agent with the Sierra National Forest. 'They’re killing wildlife -- mountain lions, bear and deer. They’re killing fish. They’re poisoning our water system'."

"Amador vs. feds on PG&E land ownership" (Amador Ledger-Dispatch, 10/16/09)
Due to its bankruptcy several years ago, "PG&E must give up parcels in three wild or semi-wild areas in the Sierra Nevada, some in a pair of Amador County river drainages, the North Fork Mokelumne and the Bear ... Public-benefit resources to be conserved and enhanced on the lands include recreation, sustainable forestry, open space, wildlife habitat, agriculture and cultural resources." The BLM and the U.S. Forest Service are among applicants to receive the land.

"BLM proposes to transfer public lands to Navy in San Diego County" (BLM-California news release, 10/16/09)
The BLM has released an environmental assessment for public review on the proposed action to transfer public lands to the Department of Navy and issue the Navy a right-of-way on additional public lands for expansion of the La Posta Mountain Warfare Training Facility located in eastern San Diego County.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include IT specialist (SA), wildlife biologist and assistant fire engine operator.

Gary Pritchard-Peterson wearing a King Range T-shirt and BLM capEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Gary Pritchard-Peterson...
...manages the King Range National Conservation Area -- the first national conservation area, marking its 40th anniversary this month. Gary has been there since 1992. He'll tell you, that since he has been there, he does pretty much any type of task.

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM-California, Arcata Field Office)
Established by Congress on October 21, 1970, by Public Law 91-476, the King Range NCA covers 68,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. 

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

Oct. 24 - National Public Lands Day Event at Fort Ord

Oct. 24 - Invasive vegetation removal and treatment at Cosumnes River Preserve

Oct. 24-25 - "Wonderful Outdoor World" El Mirage Dry Lake trash clean-up and campout

Oct. 30 - "David Burton to Lecture at Sierra College Natural History Museum" (Rocklin & Roseville Today, 10/13/09)
Aspen tree expert David Burton discusses the natural history of quaking aspen trees on Friday, October 30, 2009 at 7:30 PM as part of the Sierra College Natural History Museum Lecture Series. David Burton is principal coordinator of the Aspen Delineation Project, a collaborative effort including the BLM.


"Wild horse plan rekindles cattle grazing debate" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/17/09)
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last week proposed moving thousands of mustangs to preserves in the Midwest and East to protect horse herds and the rangelands that support them. Many horse defenders and others ... might have been expected to welcome Salazar's solution instead stampeded the other way. They want Salazar to remove livestock to make room for the mustangs and argue that cows are the real threat to the range and native wildlife."

"BLM congratulates UK's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for seed banking flora" (BLM national
news release, 10/15/09)
BLM Director Bob Abbey congratulated the United Kingdom's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in its milestone accomplishment of collecting, banking, and conserving 10 percent of the world’s wild plant species. For nearly ten years, the BLM has been a partner with Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Program in its native seed collection effort.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) Hibernate in trees

SOURCE: "Red Bat - Lasiurus borealis" (BLM California wildlife database)
Red bats are solitary, although they tend to migrate in groups. Some do not migrate and instead hibernate in trees. Their preferred roost sites are in trees or shrubs, and occasionally some are found roosting on the ground.


A flying bat is reflected in a pool"A post-Halloween bat conservation workshop at Oregon Zoo" (Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News, 10/14/09)
"With Halloween just around the corner, bats have assumed their usual place in holiday decorations ... But while the flying mammals' creepy image is as healthy as ever, real bats aren't doing so well, with disease, habitat loss and development threatening their survival. On Nov. 3, the Oregon Zoo is teaming up with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to host a daylong bat conservation workshop aimed at helping these threatened animals."
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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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