A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 408 - 11/12/09

Old scientific sketch of a Sacramento perch One of the flying wind power generators About a dozen motorcyclists are bunched up at the start of a race A hand cups black-eyed susans, yellow flowers with dark center Employee profile: John Melhoff


- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Traditional energy
- ARRA and the BLM
- Recreation on public lands
- Headlines and highlights: Eagle Mountain landfill, land protection, jobs, more
- Law enforcement: Marijuana on public lands
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National BLM: Seed bank
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


Old scientific sketch of a Sacramento perch
An old scientific sketch of a Sacramento perch
Very young Sacramento perch eat mostly small crustaceans. As they get older they begin eating aquatic insect larvae. Once they are adults, they tend to eat:
(a.) Larger aquatic insects
(b.) Smaller fish
(c.) Underwater vegetation
(d.) Flying insects that they shoot down with water from their mouths
(e.) Unsuspecting small birds unclear on the concept of a "perch"

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


"Draft environmental study available for proposed Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation Project" (BLM-California news release, 11/6/09)
The joint DEIS/FSA between the BLM and the California Energy Commission is now open to public comment through February 11, 2010. BLM and CEC will hold at least one joint public hearing/meeting on the project. Bright Source Energy applied for four right-of-way authorizations to construct solar power plants on approximately 4,000 acres of public land in California about 4.5 miles southwest of Primm, Nevada. The project would be the first commercial scale thermal solar power project constructed on public land in the United States.

"Salazar highlights fast-track renewable energy projects" (Department of the Interior news release, 11/5/09)
Citing what he called America’s urgent need for a diverse energy supply, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today detailed several renewable energy projects that are on a fast track, including a 400-megawatt solar tower development available for public review and five others that are poised to begin environmental impact studies. Five of these are solar projects and one is a wind farm; all are located in California.

“Getting Past Gridlock: Models for Renewable Energy Siting and Transmission” (2009 Congressional Testimonies, BLM, 11/5/09)
Click the link on the following page to open a PDF file of "Statement of Marcilynn Burke, BLM Deputy Director, U.S. Department of the Interiorb before the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy & Mineral Resources, Subcommittee on Water & Power."

Sketch of flying objects designed to capture wind powerOne of the flying wind power generators"Inventors' high-flying kites harness wind power" (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6/09)
"Driven by the need for more renewable power, inventors and entrepreneurs are testing ways to tap the strong winds high in the atmosphere, out of the reach of conventional wind turbines. Some of the ideas seem outlandish, at least at first glance ... Their inventors see in them the potential for a steady source of renewable power that could be used most anywhere. Some of the people pursuing this dream gathered Thursday in Oroville for what organizers say is the first conference for the budding high-altitude wind power industry."

"Solar project squeezed by area plan" (Pahrump Valley Times, 11/6/09)
"Solar Millenium officials said the Amargosa Valley area plan would interfere with the siting of their two, 250-megawatt, solar power plants, but Nye County commissioners said they would negotiate a development agreement with the company, superseding the area plan approved Tuesday.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management would have to consider the plan when making decisions."

"Board OKs looking at new mitigations for Bottle Rock Power Plant" (Lake County News, 11/10/09)
"The Lake County Board of Supervisors voted last week to have county staff work on adding mitigations to the use permit for the Bottle Rock Power Plant ... The geothermal lease for the proposed steamfield expansion was the largest lease in US history, Rich Burns of the Bureau of Land Management's Ukiah office told Lake County News."


"Federal Oil and Gas Operators Seminar 2009" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM staff from the Bakersfield Field Office and the State Office hosted 170 representatives from the oil and gas industry at the 6th biennial Seminar for Federal Oil and Gas Operators, intended to help operators through the permitting process.

"BLM will collect $6,500 processing fee for each new oil and gas drilling permit application" (BLM national news release, 11/4/09)
The Fiscal Year 2010 Interior appropriations bill ... directs the Bureau of Land Management to charge a $6,500 processing fee for each new oil and gas drilling permit application, known as an Application for Permit to Drill (APD). The fee took effect November 2; the previous fee was $4,000 per APD. The money generated by APD fees constitutes a reimbursement to the U.S. Treasury for the estimated cost of processing new APDs.

Circular logo of the American Recovery and Reinvestment ActARRA AND BLM: THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The projects below are funded with part of approximately $40 million in ARRA funds allocated to BLM-California.

"Fort Ord receives $1.1M in grants from feds" (Monterey County Herald, 11/6/09)
"Two grants worth more than $1.1 million have been awarded to the local office of the Bureau of Land Management, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to improve roads for fire suppression and emergency medical services in Fort Ord. The construction and deferred maintenance funds will be used to conduct repairs on fuel break roads, with work beginning in December and lasting through October."


A motorcylsit races along a dirt path among bushes
About a dozen motorcyclists are bunched up at the start of a race"Nearly 700 off-road motorcycle riders race at Chappie Shasta" (News.bytes Extra)
Beautiful  fall weather greeted enthusiastic riders at the beginning of this month, when they participated in off  highway motorcycle races at  the Chappie Shasta  Off Highway Vehicle Area near Redding.

"Decline in dunes crowd bad sign for season" (Yuma Sun, 11/6/09)
"The Bureau of Land Management reported there was a significant drop in the number of people off-roading and relaxing in the Imperial Sand Dunes west of Yuma this past Halloween weekend. Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been seen as the big kick-off of the winter sand duning season as huge numbers of local people and others from California and elsewhere take their RVs, dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles out for some fun."

"Floating Fence Holding Strong"
(KYMA, 11/9/09)
"It has been one year since the U.S. Border Patrol built its floating fence in the Imperial Sand Dunes. Stretching 11 miles long and 15 feet high, its steel metal beams separate Mexico from the United States. Designed to sit on top of the sand and have sand blow through it instead of pile up next to it, agents say it has been doing its job."

"Permits required for mushroom picking" (BLM-California news release, 11/4/09)
Permits for collecting mushrooms on North Coast public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management will be available in limited numbers through the fall and winter.

RELATED: "It’s mushroom season along the North Coast"
(The Press Democrat, 11/8/09)
"There is a special allure to the mystery of the mushroom, bringing seekers and tasters to Mendocino County where there are more than 500 edible species. Fall marks the beginning of the wet, rainy season that nurtures fungi in dank places throughout the North Coast. But that allure also can turn deadly for the unknowing and overeager who mistakenly pick the poisonous kind, especially the aptly named 'death cap.'"


"Agency holds horse, burro adoption at Sundance Ranch in Redlands" (San Bernardino County Sun, 11/7/09)
"Seven horses and 10 wild burros were brought to Sundance Ranch in San Timoteo Canyon from the BLM base of operations in Ridgecrest, where more than 1300 wild horses and burros roam. The owners of Sundance Ranch contracted with the BLM so the agency can board wild horses and burros there without having to cart them back and forth from the Ridgecrest base."

Burros seem to pose for the cameraA man holds the reins of a horse"Finding new homes" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/9/09)
Photos from the adoption event.
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)


"Court nixes proposal for dump near Joshua Tree" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/11/09)
"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower court's rejection of a plan -- 20 years in the making -- that sought to turn a former iron ore mine near Joshua Tree National Park into the 'largest landfill in the United States,' according to the decision ... U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin said in September 2005 the proposal was based on a flawed land swap between the Bureau of Land Management and developer Kaiser Ventures because the government undervalued the property."

RELATED: "New setback for proposed Eagle Mountain landfill" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/10/09)
"A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a proposal for the nation's largest landfill, near Joshua Tree National Park, failed to evaluate alternative sites and consider how the project would affect the desert ecosystem ... At issue is a 1997 land swap between Kaiser and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"The dangers of mine shafts" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 11/10/09)
"It is sad when it takes a tragedy to wake us up to the dangers around us. Last week, a young woman lost her life in an abandoned mine shaft ... In talking to Linn Gum of the Ridgecrest Bureau of Land Management, I learned that there are tens of thousands of these sites ... 'Some of the mines are on public lands, others are on private land, but all of them are dangerous. They pose a real and present danger to anyone using public lands for recreation,' Gum said. “The BLM has been trying to educate the public for over 15 years about the dangers of entering a mine ... You don’t want to go there'."

RELATED: "Stay out - stay alive" (BLM website)
"Stay Out–Stay Alive" is a national public awareness campaign aimed at warning children and adults about the dangers of exploring and playing on active and abandoned mine sites. The campaign is a partnership of more than 70 federal and state agencies, private organizations, businesses and individuals.

A woman uses gestures to emphasize her point to the group"Big Morongo Canyon Preserve hosts Sonoran Institute briefing and tour" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the Sonoran Institute Board of Directors were in the Morongo Basin last week to review progress regarding key wildlife corridors in the region. They stopped by the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve for a briefing and tour of the area provided by the BLM's Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office staffthe Preserve's host/administrator and representatives of the Coachella Valley Association of Government and Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy.

"BLM will conduct burning projects in various North Coast locations" (BLM-California news release, 11/4/09)
Crews from the Bureau of Land Management’s Arcata Field Office will be conducting burning projects in several North Coast public land areas throughout the fall and early spring. The burns are related to fire breaks and reducing hardwood stands to restore Douglas fir.

"Sam Farr's bill seeks funding, protection for Big Sur area of Los Padres" (Monterey County Herald, 11/7/09)
"A federal bill seeking to make the Big Sur portion of Los Padres National Forest a separately funded unit and expand protected wilderness areas in Monterey County was introduced Friday ... Farr's bill also would add 2,287 acres to the Ventana Wilderness from land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and adjust some of the boundaries."

"Marines get taste of Afghan challenge in Eastern Sierra" (The Sacramento Bee, 11/8/09)
"For thousands of U.S. Marines, the road to Afghanistan goes through an isolated training facility in the Eastern Sierra where they share the rugged Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest with civilian hunters, backpackers and skiers. The Marine Corps has expanded training eastward beyond the national forest into flatlands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Tuleyome looks to buy 72 acres of Cold Canyon" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 11/9/09)
"Tuleyome, a regional conservation organization based in Woodland, is engaged in a new campaign to purchase 72 acres of wildlands to protect the headwaters of Cold Canyon, a well-known research and recreation area near Lake Berryessa. The protected lands at Cold Canyon include land owned by the California Department of Fish and Game, the Bureau of Land Management, and the University of California. Tuleyome's purchase will fill in a gap between BLM and UC land at the top of the watershed."

"HSU Academic Senate considers rangeland and soils program elimination" (Eureka Times-Standard, 11/11/09)
"With about 60 supporters of the Rangeland Resources and Wildland Soils program waiting Tuesday night, the Humboldt State University Academic Senate ran out of time before it could decide on the program's fate ... Jennifer Wheeler, a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management's office in Arcata and an HSU rangeland resources graduate, said HSU graduates dominate currently dominate the natural resources field and eliminating the program would be taking away a program that makes the university unique. "

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include petroleum engineering technician and assistant fire engine operator.


"Lake County takes No. 2 spot for marijuana eradications statewide" (Lake County News, 11/7/09)
"For another year records were broken in statewide marijuana eradications ... Lake County was once again in the top five counties for eradications -- with billions of dollars in marijuana seized locally -- but for the first time in three years Lake fell from the top spot. The participating agencies in CAMP -- created to help counties eradicate illegal marijuana growing and trafficking -- include ... the Bureau of Land Management."

"Special meeting to discuss illegal marijuana's impact on habitat" (Lake County News , 11/9/09)
"With Lake County being No. 2 in the state for the amount of illegal marijuana eradicated during the 2009 growing season, a special upcoming meeting will look at the impact of illegal marijuana on the environment. Speakers will include representatives from the Bureau of Land Management."

"Sheriff's department receives federal money"
(Corning Observer, 11/10/09)
Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker said he "'received a commitment of $20,000 from the Bureau of Land Management for the county's marijuana eradication program,' ... The funds will be used to support the county's expense of equipment and manpower used to locate, investigate, raid, and clear illegal outdoor marijuana gardens in the county," many of which are on public lands.

Employee profile: John MelhoffEMPLOYEE PROFILE: John Mehlhoff...
...brings a broad range of experience in public land management to his new position as acting associate state director for BLM-California, having served at every level of the BLM. Read more:

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

Nov.14 - Invasive vegetation removal and treatment
Cosumnes River Preserve

Nov. 14 - Volunteer event, tamarisk removal
Santa Rosa Wilderness

Nov. 15 - Mushroom hunting hike
King Range National Conservation Area


A hand cups black-eyed susans, yellow flowers with dark center"A hunt for seeds to save species, perhaps by helping them move" (New York Times, 11/9/09)
Scientists disagree on whether it is a good idea to help plants doomed by climate change, move to new locations. "While the debate proceeds, scientists at the botanic garden are building the seed collection and assessing the adaptability of different populations of species ... a Bureau of Land Management project called Seeds of Success ... intends to collect seeds of the entire flora of the United States, except for species already under protection and recalcitrant species, or those that cannot survive long-term storage."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) Smaller fish

SOURCE: "Sacramento Perch - Archoplites interruptus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Very young fish (less than one year old) eat mostly small crustaceans that are found in the substrate. As they get older they begin eating aquatic insect larvae, and once they are adults they tend to eat mostly smaller fish.

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

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