A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 409 - 11/18/09

Close-up of a San Joaquin kit fox with long snout and ears A helicopter lowers a man on a cable to simulate a rescue A view down a hillside in the Carrizo Plain A young lady lops off some invasive tamarisk Wind turbine towers against a mountain backdrop


- Carrizo Plain National Monument plan
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Carrizo animal
      - BLM and youth: Mojave Desert WOWs inner-city kids
- Volunteers
- Renewable energy
- Advisory meetings
- Headlines and highlights: OHV safety party, land preserved, marijuana hazards, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events
- National BLM: BLM director testifies on FLTFA Reauthorization Act
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


"Officials struggle to strike a balance on Carrizo Plain" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 11/16/09)
"The two agencies that manage the Carrizo Plain -- the federal Bureau of Land Management and state Department of Fish and Game -- are struggling to find the proper role for cattle grazing in the fragile and mostly arid region. Increasingly, grazing is being used as a tool to control invasive plant species and modify vegetation in order to benefit the multitude of rare and endangered animal species that live in the plain."

"Carrizo National Monument proposed resource management plan published" (BLM-California news release, 11/13/09)
The proposed plan "balances public access with protection of the monument's special resources," according to Johna Hurl, monument manager.  The monument, which covers 206,000 acres of public lands administered by the BLM's Bakersfield Field Office, is managed in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game and The Nature Conservancy, which both own land within the monument.

A panoramic view down a hillside of the Carrizo Plain to a small lake"Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM-California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Includes links to much information about the monument, including a self-guided audio tour to download and bring with you on a visit.

The "Carrizo Plain National Monument Fall 2009 Visitors' Guide" includes photos, information, an introduction from monument manager Johna Hurl and an article on sandhill cranes by BLM biologist Kathy Sharum. The Taft Chamber of Commerce is the official Visitors Center for the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and visitors can pick up the guide at chamber offices Mon-Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and at various hotels and businesses in Taft and the Cuyama Valley.


Close-up of a San Joaquin kit fox with long snout and ears
San Joaquin kit fox

One of the endangered animals found on the Carrizo Plain is the San Joaquin kit fox. What is this animal's main food?
(a.) Large grasshoppers

(b.) Small rodents
(c.) Small jackrabbits
(d.) Small birds
(e.) Zebra
------> See answer -- and more willdife stories -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Department of Interior logoYOUTH AND BLM 
News.bytes features occasional stories on youth who take part in BLM-California programs, or the Department of the Interior's Office of Youth in Natural Resources.
Kids pose for a group portrait"Mojave Desert WOWs inner-city kids" (News.bytes Extra)
They were 28 kids from inner-city Los Angeles on a campout in the Mojave Desert. They‘ll surely remember the tarantulas, jack rabbits, and lizards ... but they'll have much more to remember, too.

"Special junior pheasant hunts planned for Sacramento River Bend Area" (BLM-California news release, 11/17/09)
Young bird hunters will test their skills in special pheasant hunts planned for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21 and 22, on public land in the Sacramento River Bend Area north of Red Bluff. About 100 participants are expected ... most permits have been issued by drawing, but organizers said there may some openings for hunters up to age 16. The hunts are sponsored by the BLM, California Department of Fish and Game and the Shasta County Sportsmen’s Association. The sportsmen’s group obtained and planted the birds on BLM-managed lands.


A young lady lops off some invasive tamariskVolunteers lop invasive tamarisk"Volunteers remove more invasive tamarisk in Santa Rosa Wilderness" (News.bytes Extra)
Twenty-three volunteers, including youth, worked on a tamarisk-cutting event in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument this past weekend. They hiked into Sheep Canyon, an area important to the federally endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, to continue work started on National Public Lands Day in September. More volunteers are welcome for the next event, Dec. 12.


"Solar flare ups"(California Lawyer, November 2009)
Extensive review of solar power issues in the California desert, and related issues such as the proposed Sunrise Powerlink to move that energy to cities. "At first blush, it seems to be about competing priorities -- protecting wilderness versus curbing global warming ... Rather, the fight is over direction: Who has the best technology, which are the best locations for it, and what is the proper role for utilities in producing the renewable energy that our well-being, as well as the planet's, depends upon."

"Wind farm plan irks activists" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/15/09)
"A remote corner of East County is shaping up as a battleground between companies pushing wind farms as clean and cheap power generators and activists who view them as a blight on the landscape. It has put environmentalists in the position of opposing renewable energy because, they say, it's in the wrong place ... Tule Wind would stretch for miles from a spot about a mile north of Interstate 8, across land controlled by the federal Bureau of Land Management and into the Ewiiaapaayp Indian Reservation."

"Mitzelfelt: Put solar project somewhere else" (San Bernardino County Sun, 11/15/09)
"Environmental groups and County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt say a massive solar energy project planned for a site near the Nevada border should be built elsewhere to protect pristine desert habitat that is home to several endangered species ... BrightSource Energy wants to build a solar power plant on a 4,000-acre site in the Ivanpah Valley ... The California Energy Commission, which, along with the federal Bureau of Land Management, is in charge of the permitting process for the proposed power plant, will hold public hearings on the draft environmental report."

Wind turbine towers against a mountain backdrop"Wind turbine proposal denied" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/23/09)
"A proposal to build a dozen wind turbines, part of a larger project to build as many as 100 in East County, has been denied by the Boulevard planning group ... with residents saying they felt it would hurt their property values while providing no benefits to the high desert community. Iberdrola Renewables wants to build turbines that would produce 200 megawatts of electricity. The turbines would be built on federal Bureau of Land Management, Indian and state lands. Twelve of the turbines ... come under county jurisdiction and review by the planning group."

A man stands near a stand of plants amid rocky surroundings"Rush to tap Mojave Desert resources raises botanist's concern" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/16/09)
The California desert: "Despite its austere appearance, the mostly unspoiled land sustains a diversity of plants on par with the state's ancient redwood forests; 37 percent of California plant species are found in the desert." Says a botanist: "Extinctions are likely. And we won't even know what we lost' ... Greg Miller, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's renewable energy coordinator for California, said other solar options aren't feasible on such a large scale."
(Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.)

"Weighing in on solar proposals" (Pahrump Valley Times, 11/13/09)
Ranchers and environmentalists register opinions on proposed solar energy zones in southeastern Nevada and the Amargosa Valley bordering California.

"Amargosa Valley solar plant to use less water" (Las Vegas Sun, 11/17/09)
"A California-based solar developer has abandoned plans to use one of the most water-intensive technologies at a solar thermal power plant it has planned for Amargosa Valley ... If the plant had gone forward with wet-cooled technology, as the company at first proposed, it would have used about 20,000 acre feet of water per year -- about 2.6 million gallons per megawatt generated ... Dry-cooled solar thermal technology uses far less water -- about 130,340 gallons per megawatt. The change came after talks with locals, the Bureau of Land Management and environmentalists, the company said."


"BLM sets meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for December 7 in Reno" (BLM-California news release, 11/12/09)
The Board will meet Monday, Dec. 7 to discuss issues relating to the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. 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. 

RELATED: "California wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM-California)
BLM-California makes wild horses and burros from the range available for adoption by the public. The next events are Dec. 5 in Winchester, and Dec. 12 in Redlands.

"BLM Desert District Advisory Council to meet in Palm Springs" (BLM-California news release, 11/16/09)
The Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District Advisory Council will participate in a field tour of BLM-administered public lands on Friday, December 11, 2009 from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm and meet in formal session on Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Palm Desert.


A helicopter lowers a man on a cable to simulate a rescueA BLM ranger works with a dog before an audience"More than 100 attend OHV Safety Party" (News.bytes Extra)
On Saturday October 31, the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office and the Friends of Jawbone hosted the first annual Safety Awareness Kick Off and Halloween Party at Jawbone Station. The theme of the event was to “Gear Up for Safety: Accidents Don't Need an Appointment!"

"Stevens, Hagemeier, Puckett named Exchange Club Firefighters of the Year" (Kern Valley Sun, 11/17/09)
More than "100 valley residents were on hand to honor firefighters from the Kern County Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management." Brian Puckett was the honoree for the BLM. "Puckett started an EMT program for BLM, enabling the group to respond to other calls than they would usually be able to."

"Marijuana impacts on public lands subject of meeting" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 11/16/09)
"Illegal marijuana grows on public lands and the environmental damage they cause is the focus of a Lake County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee meeting ... Thursday ... in Lakeport. Speakers include representatives from the Bureau of Land Management ... The impacts include illegal damming of streams and water diversion, wildlife poaching, the use of poisons to kill small mammals, fertilizers poured in streams and garbage left in forest lands..."

"Wild and Scenic status talk draws crowd" (Amador Ledger Dispatch, 11/13/09)
"Around 35 people attended a discussion of Wild and Scenic status for the Mokelumne River on stretches of its north and main forks on Tuesday. The federal Bureau of Land Management in 2006 found a 20-mile stretch of the river - between the Tiger Creek confluence and Salt Springs Reservoir - 'suitable' for a wild-and-scenic designation by an act of Congress."

A view of Mount Konocti across the fields below it"Lake County finally owns Mount Konocti" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 11/13/09)
"After a century in private hands, Mount Konocti’s tallest peak and more than 1,300 acres of surrounding land became public property on Friday ... The $2.6 million purchase will preserve Clear Lake’s most recognizable backdrop and open the land and its spectacular views to hikers ... The county’s new acquisition is adjacent to 821 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include petroleum engineering technicians and administrative technician.

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

Nov. 24 - "Discovering phytoplankton"
King Range


"H.R. 3339, FLTFA Reauthorization Act" (BLM 2009 Congressional testimonies, 11/17/09)
Statement of Robert V. Abbey, Director of the Bureau of Land Management, before the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands -- on the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act. (Click the link on the following page to open the testimony as a PDF file.)

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) Small rodents

SOURCE: "San Joaquin Kit Fox - Vulpes macrotis mutica" (BLM California wildlife database)
The main component of their diet is small rodents, but they will also eat lizards, insects, and wild berries.


"Local Bighorn Institute struggles amid success" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/18/09)
"The main objective of the nonprofit institute is to research the wild Peninsular bighorn sheep population, which exists exclusively in this part of the world. These 200-pound beasts tread only in the desert mountain ranges from Palm Springs south into Baja California, Mexico ... The irony of their success is that many have forgotten the sheep still need protection and that the institute still needs support."

RELATED: "Spotlight on Partners: Bighorn Institute" (BLM-California News.bytes, 11/15/05)
The Bighorn Institute was profiled as a BLM-California partner in this 2005 Spotlight.

"The Mojave Desert tortoise population is losing ground and facing increasing threats" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/16/09)
"Desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert continue to decline, despite years of study and protection since the reptile was designated a threatened species in 1990, experts say." Many of the desert tortoises are found on public lands managed by BLM-California.

"California wildlife" (BLM-California)
Search for more information, photos and related links in the BLM-California wildlife database.
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Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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