A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 415 - 1/13/10

Detail from the coastal monument poster shows waves among rocksNeil Hamada in a dune buggy at the Imperial Sand DunesSeveral people stand atop a grassy plateau at the top of a seaside cliffSolar turbines gleam white under a rising moonBrad Mitzelfelt in a jacket and cap


- Imperial Sand Dunes:
      - In the Field video visit
      - Funny.bytes
      - Cleanup this weekend
- Happy birthday, California Coastal National Monument
      - Birthday party at Point Arena
      - Free poster offer
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Volunteer opportunities
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: New Desert District manager, Chalfant planning, earthquakes, faults, jobs, more
- Meet your advisory council members
- New and re-appointed advisory council members
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items: Oil and gas drilling rules, award nominations extended
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


Neil Hamada in a dune buggy at the Imperial Sand DunesIN THE FIELD at the Imperial Sand Dunes
In our occasional "In the Field" online videos, BLM-California managers introduce you to the public lands that they manage. Here, let Neil Hamada introduce you to the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, which he manages.

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM-California, El Centro Field Office)

"13th annual dunes cleanup" (KXO-radio Imperial Valley, 1/6/10)
This Saturday: Jan 16: "The cleanup is held each year over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and is attended by over 3,000 volunteers. The event keeps our local dunes clean and open and is always a family affair. Registration sites will be set up in both the north and south Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area."

"13th Annual ISDRA Martin Luther King Weekend Cleanup" (United Desert Gateway)
Online poster about the event.


Several people stand atop a grassy plateau at the top of a seaside cliffChildren and adults stand newar a birthday cake"Happy Birthday, California Coastal National Monument!" (News.bytes Extra)
It was a "rockin'" birthday party as Point Arena residents and visitors joined BLM staff to
celebrate the 10th birthday of the California Coastal National Monument -- the first of a series of events to be held in California to mark the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System, composed of special public land areas cared for by BLM.

Detail from the coastal monument poster shows waves among rocksFREE POSTER: California Coastal National Monument 10th anniversary poster
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the California Coastal National Monument, we are giving away these posters, free to the first 200 people to request them. Update: All posters have been spoken for.

"California Coastal National Monument"
The California Coastal National Monument is a biological treasure. Its thousands of islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles are part of the nearshore ocean zone, which begins just off shore and ends at the boundary between the continental shelf and continental slope.


A rubber boa on a rock, looking rather like a fat red worm
a rubber boa
Rubber boas are mainly crepuscular – meaning they:
(a.) live almost entirely underground and have no eyes
(b.) have digestive tracts and bodies that stretch to accommodate larger prey that they swallow whole
(c.) eat mainly decomposed plants and fungi
(d.) are active at dusk and dawn
(e.) can say "rubber boa baby buggy bumper" rapidly five times without error

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


"Fort Ord musical planting event planned" (BLM-California news release, 1/13/10)
Bluegrass and native grasses will be the order of the day January 23 at the annual Fort Ord Public Lands Musical Volunteer Planting. Local musicians will serenade volunteers with live jazz and funky bluegrass music while they plant approximately 800 native plants. The plantings will help reduce erosion, reduce non-native invasive plants and support the growth of rare and valuable plants and animals historically found on Fort Ord.

"Steele Peak - Stephen's Kangaroo Rat Reserve cleanup volunteer opportunity" (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
Scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23, approximately 4 miles west of Perris. Using a variety of hand tools such as rakes and garbage pickers, volunteers will assist BLM staff in performing a general cleanup of the area. Gloves and some tools will be provided, but quantities are limited, so volunteers are encouraged to bring their own supplies as well. See this listing for more information:

"Tamarisk removal - volunteers needed" (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
The new date for the latest tamarisk removal event in the Santa Rosa Wilderness, is Jan. 30. Hand saws, loppers and gloves will be provided, but quantities are limited, so volunteers are encouraged to bring their own tools as well. In addition, light snacks and drinks will be provided. See listing for more information:

"Volunteers in Calif remove fences to save antelope" (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/8/10)
"Suffering bloody scrapes and punctures, they dismantle rusty barriers and modify others to give the antelope of the Carrizo Plain National Monument a fighting chance against coyotes that vastly outnumber them ... The fence volunteers' work is painstakingly slow. It must be done by hand ... there is an incredible amount of work to do: Volunteers put in more hours than the Bureau of Land Management could afford to hire out. (A story on this subject also appeared in last week's News.bytes.)


Solar turbines gleam white under a rising moonProposed solar projects cover a wide area of desert"Green civil war: projects vs. preservation" (New York Times, 1/12/10)
"Environmentalists are more openly at odds over two goals: the preservation of wide open spaces vs. the use of public lands for renewable energy projects ... on public lands, how does the federal government balance protection of natural resources with the Obama administration’s goal of promoting renewable energy?" Six experts weigh in on the issue.
Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.

"Renewable energy projects challenge California counties" (Public CEO, 1/12/09)
"Expect the landscape of California’s counties to change. That’s the message in Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent announcement of 244 proposed renewable energy projects in varying stages of the state’s expedited review and permitting process ... The Bureau of Land Management currently has 14 fast-track California energy projects ... that are eligible for the Stimulus funding deadline of December, 2010 ... One thing is certain: renewable energy projects will continue despite financing setbacks and unanswered questions about energy storage and transmission."

"County to grapple with pluses, drawbacks of solar gold rush" (Bakersfield Californian, 1/11/10)
"This year county planners will be able to process 12 photovoltaic solar power plant projects that, together, would cover thousands of acres of Kern County ... the county has heard from proponents of about 60 potential solar projects. Of those, about 22 projects seem likely to move into the planning process." They "could cover nearly 20 square miles of ground with solar cells -- an area slightly larger than the cities of Delano and Tehachapi ... The biggest challenge to these projects is their voracious need for land."

"BLM initiates environmental review of PV solar project in California desert" (BLM-California news release, 1/13/10)
First Solar Inc., has requested a right-of-way authorization to develop a solar PV generating facility in Riverside County, with a proposed output of 550 megawatts and a project footprint of approximately 4,410 acres. The PV generating facility and most of the corridor for the project’s transmission line will be located on BLM-administered lands. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing -- see this news release for details.

"LA Department of Water and Power shelves Green Path North, lines to carry electricity across the desert" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/8/10)
"All work on a controversial plan to route 80 miles of electrical transmission lines through undisturbed desert near Joshua Tree National Park has been suspended as part of cost-cutting measures by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ... The hotly debated project would move geothermal, solar and wind power from the Salton Sea area ... to an electrical substation near Hesperia en route to Los Angeles." The LADWP had filed a right-of-way application with the BLM.
Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online.

"Wind farm projects raise environmental concerns" (San Bernardino County Sun, 1/6/10)
"Two wind farms proposed near Barstow and Apple Valley would help the state meet its renewable energy goals, but at least one poses a significant threat to desert tortoises and other wildlife and plant habitats, officials say."

"Virginia company proposing wind farm visible from Barstow" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 1/10/10)
"Thirty-three wind turbines could be sprouting up on 1,957 acres ... about six miles southeast of Barstow. The turbines could be visible from within Barstow city limits ... AES Wind Generation, a Virginia-based company, plans to build the 82.5 megawatt wind farm -- enough to power about 60,000 homes -- on about 1,577 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and 380 acres of private land."


"Halter trained mustangs and burros available for adoption in Ferndale" (BLM-California news release, 1/8/10)
Wild horses and burros, all certified healthy and halter trained, will be offered for adoption when the Bureau of Land Management brings them to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale, Saturday, Feb. 6, as part of a packing clinic organized by the Back Country Horsemen of California. Interested adopters can preview the animals when they arrive at about 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.

"Wild horses: How do you manage a myth?" (St. Louis Beacon, 12/30/09)
"George B. Johnson's 'On Science' column looks at scientific issues and explains them in an accessible manner." Johnson is "professor emeritus of Biology at Washington University."


Close-up of Teresa Raml at an awards ceremony"Raml named Desert District Manager for Bureau of Land Management" (BLM-California news release, 1/12/10)
"Teresa A. Raml has been selected as the new Desert District manager for the Bureau of Land Management's vast, 10.5 million-acre California Desert District in Southern California. Raml is currently working in the BLM Arizona State Office as the program manager for the Restoration Design Energy Project. She was previously the Phoenix District manager.

Detail from a map"Proposed national monument would protect land northwest of Palm Springs"(Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/11/10)
"The Sand-to-Snow Monument would protect the in-between places on the north side of the San Gorgonio Pass, places where a mountain-dwelling black bear might forage low enough to meet a tortoise, where snow-fed rivers and creeks soak into desert sands and rock formations formed eons apart lie side by side. Supporters say it's an evolutionary hot spot."
Note: This news site may require free registration to view its content online,

"Journey down San Andreas with fault expert Dr. David Lynch" (Santa Clarita Signal, 1/11/10)
"Everyone has heard of the San Andreas Fault, but almost nobody knows what it is. Or where it is. Or what it looks like. Or what it means. In the Carrizo Plain ... the fault is more beautifully exposed than any place in California." On April 2, "Dr. David Lynch, author of 'Field Guide to the San Andreas Fault' ... will present photographs and detailed maps ... based on a series of driving trips from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border, with emphasis on southern California."

A man stands in front of a meeting of people"Chalfant residents plan for access to public lands" (News.bytes Extra)
Residents of the Chalfant area are planning for the future as the community has grown and more people are using the adjacent public lands managed by BLM’s Bishop Field Office. At a Jan. 6 meeting, members of the Chalfant Public Land Stewardship and other residents discussed options for motorized and non-motorized recreation in the area.

RELATED: "Chalfant public land stewardship field trip planned" (BLM-California news release, 1/11/10)
The Chalfant Public Land Stewardship and the BLM Bishop Field Office will conduct a field trip on Saturday, Jan. 23, regarding management of the public lands surrounding the community of Chalfant.

"BLM announces public meeting for Desert Discovery Center parkland development in Barstow" (BLM-California news release, 1/13/10)
The BLM and its Desert Discovery Center partners are holding the third of five public meetings to discuss the proposed outdoor classroom and park developments on eight acres adjacent to the center, that would create a new community parkland and educational facility. Community members and business owners are encouraged to participate in the grass roots planning meeting. In particular, input is needed to identify recreation features, review site location and access, and provide design ideas for parkland beautification. The meeting is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 20.

"Boxer, Herger should find way to say yes" (Redding Record Searchlight, 1/13/09)
Editorial: Shasta County supervisors have several times endorsed "the creation of the Sacramento River National Recreation Area ... But the stark differences in political philosophies between our [congressman and senator] have held up progress on a bill to actually do the job ... The result is that the Bureau of Land Management has assembled nearly 20,000 acres of gorgeous oak savannah along the river ... but doesn't have the resources to adequately care for the land as word gets out and recreational use swells."

A man wearing a jacket labeled "Police" looks over a wide expanse of desert"The inside man" (Preservation, January-February 2010)
"The country’s public lands are underprotected, underfunded, and increasingly vulnerable. This special agent works to protect them." Among those interviewed are Jim Shearer, archaeologist with the BLM Barstow Field Office.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include natural resources specialist (fire biologist), rangeland management specialist, fire lookout, lead hotshot wildland firefighter and more.

Brad Mitzelfelt in a jacket and capMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Brad Mitzelfelt...
...represents is the supervisor for the First District in the county of San Bernardino, and is the elected official on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council. Read more:


Secretary Salazar and the BLM announce new appointments...

...to Northeast California Resource Advisory Council

Those named to the council, and their areas of representation are:  Ken McGarva,  of Likely, federal grazing permit holders; John Erquiaga, Lake City, grazing permit holders; Nancy Huffman, Tulelake, public at large; Jack Razzeto, Trinity Center; timber interests; and Frank Bayham, Chico, history and archaeology interests.  Lassen County Supervisor Jim Chapman, of Susanville, was named to fill an unexpired term representing local government.

...to Northwest California Resource Advisory Council
Those named to the council, and their areas of representation are:  Rondal Snodgrass, of Bayside, environmental interests; Bob Warren, Redding, commercial recreation; Stan Leach, French Gulch, timber interests; and Julie Rogers, Ukiah, public at large.

BLM Announces Appointments to Central California Resource Advisory Council
Members re-appointed are Paul McFarland, Lee Vining, representing national/regional environmental groups; Marshall “Leigh” Marymor, Point Richmond and Walt Pachucki, Bishop; both representing the public at large.

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

Jan. 13, 14, 20 - Public meetings, Clear Creek draft plan
Various locations

Jan. 19 - "Mesmerizing marine mammals"
King Range

Jan. 22 - Chalfant public stewardship field trip

Jan. 22 - Fort Ord musical Planting event

Jan. 23 - Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Council meeting
Carrissa Plain Elementary School


"Salazar announces tougher rules on drilling" (Associated Press in San Luis Obispo Tribune, 1/6/10)
Reactions to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement of "policy changes he said will bring more scrutiny and a greater public voice in how oil and gas leases are awarded on public lands."

"Interior Secretary Salazar launches onshore oil and gas leasing reforms" (Taft Independent, 1/8/10)
More reactions to the reforms.

"BLM extends deadline for accepting nominations for Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards" (BLM national news release, 1/13/10)
The BLM has extended the filing deadline to March 19, 2010.  These awards recognize solid mineral (non-coal) development operations that embody the principles of sustainable development or represent outstanding examples of reclamation or environmental stewardship.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) Are active at dusk and dawn

SOURCE: "Rubber Boa - Charina bottae" (BLM California wildlife database)
Rubber boas are mainly crepuscular, meaning that they are active at dusk and dawn.


A bighorn peers down on the Living Desert from nearby rocks"The Living Desert celebrates 40 years of preservation, education" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/10/10)
"Today, The Living Desert is considered unique among zoos in the U.S. for its ever-growing collection of desert plants and animals, from the valley's own desert tortoise to rare and endangered species such as Mexican wolves and Arabian oryx, a species of antelope ... The park's mission to conserve desert lands was also a driving force in its first major expansion in 1976, when the city of Indian Wells bought 640 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management and donated it to the zoo."

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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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