A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 422 - 3/4/10

Top view of a wide gray lizard among gray sand A man looks over a green valley A brown-colored mustang looks expectantly from a corral David Hayes and Linda Roush stand among redwood trees Close-up of  Bernadette Lovato


- Wild horses and burros: Upcoming adoptions, Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge
- Wildflowers
- Headwaters 11th anniversary
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Fort Ord: Wild pigs and sheep
- Volunteer opportunities
- Recreation on public lands
- Headlines and highlights: New public lands, drug cartel problem, several meetings, more
- Jobs: Current openings, engineering fair, interns
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National BLM and Department of the Interior items: National monuments, budget
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


"Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Redlands, Valley Center" (BLM-California news release, 3/2/10)
Starting this weekend: These living legends are available for adoption at Sundance Ranch in Redlands, on March 6 and Apr. 24, and Valley Center Parks & Recreation Center on March 20 through the BLM Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program. The mustangs and burros were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health.

"Horses, burros available for adoption in Los Banos" (BLM-California news release, 3/1/10)
On Saturday, March 20, the BLM will offer 30 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at about 3 p.m. on Friday, March 19. "With spring and summer days ahead, this is a good time to begin training an adopted mustang or burro," said Doug Satica, manager of the BLM's Litchfield wild horse and burro corrals. "Our horses and burros are certified to be healthy and they are ready to begin training."

A brown-colored mustang looks expectantly from a corralClose up of a mustang's head and shoulders"Paso Robles trainers pick up BLM wild mustangs for Norco Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge" (BLM-California news release, 3/2/10)
David Kheller and Krista Koenig of Paso Robles received mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management in mid-February as the first step in the Norco Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge. They are two of the 39 specially-selected horse trainers who have 90 days to gentle and train their assigned mustangs for the competition. Trainers from California, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Nevada and Arizona are participating in this event May 14-16.

RELATED: "Norco Extreme Mustang Trail Challenge May 14-16" (Extreme Mustang Makeover)
Information about the event, and a slide show of horses in the competition.


David Hayes and Linda Roush stand among redwood trees"Recalling Headwaters drama" (News.bytes Extra)
Eleven years ago this week, the Bureau of Land Management was part of an event that included "suspense, high stakes, and a great deal of drama" -- in an attempt to preserve thousand-year-old redwood trees in an area called the Headwaters Forest Reserve in California." David Hayes, now Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, recalls those days.

RELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM-California, Arcata Field Office)
The Headwaters Forest Reserve is 7,472 acres of public land located 6 miles southeast of Eureka. The reserve is set aside to protect and preserve the ecological and wildlife values in the area, particularly the stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon.

"Beyond the brochure: Headwaters Forest Reserve"(BLM-California)
A video visit to this special area.


orange poppies spread out over a green and brown hillsideclose-up of an area of purple and white flowers"Wildflowers burst across Panoche Hills" (News.bytes Extra)
A BLM employee photographed wildflowers including California poppies, phacelia and goldflowers, as they spread across the Panoche Hills managed by BLM-California's Hollister Field Office.

"Wildflower Festival --Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center" (Friends of the Desert Mountains)
This weekend: Saturday, March 6: Flyer for the event (PDF file). "Free admission and free parking. Fun for the whole family!"

RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM-California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)

"Wildflowers" (BLM-California)
Tips on viewing wildflowers on public lands.

"Wildflowers"(Theodore Payne Foundation)
This non-profit organization gathers reports of wildflower blooming status at various California locations. This year's hotline was scheduled to start to tomorrow, March 5.


Top view of a wide gray lizard among gray sand
flat-tailed horned lizard
Flat-tailed horned lizards require habitats that offer fine sand with little vegetation. Why?
(a.) Their favorite food is the Mojave Desert sand mite, which lives only in the sand.
(b.) They do not run over the ground, but move from place to place under the surface of the sand.
(c.) They swallow the sand to help grind up their food.
(d.) They use the sand for insulation.
(e.) They need the exercise and stress-relieving benefits of beach volleyball (in which their flat tails offer them a distinct advantage over, say, scorpions).

------> See answer below -- with more news about this lizard.


"Officials have success trapping wild pigs on Fort Ord" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/28/10)
Feral pigs were "hammering" the wetlands and endangered plants on the Fort Ord public lands, but "the Bureau of Land Management, employing a trapping program so as not to spook the feral pigs deep into hiding, have rooted out more than 100 of the animals, whittling their numbers down to about five to 10."

A flock of sheep graze on green grass"Sheep fill their bellies, help environment" (Salinas Californian, 3/2/10)
"Almost 2,000 ewes and their lambs are back grazing on 2,500 acres of Fort Ord Public Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management." Photo.

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


"Steele Peak - Stephen's Kangaroo Rat Reserve cleanup" (BLM-California Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
The cleanup scheduled for February 27th was postponed to Saturday, March 27th due to weather. The Palm Springs-South Coast Bureau of Land Management Office will be hosting this volunteer event 9:15 AM to roughly 2:00 PM at the Steele Peak SKR Reserve located approximately 4 miles west of Perris.

"Chalfant Public Land Stewardship and BLM plan public lands cleanup" (BLM-California news release, 2/25/10)
The Chalfant Public Land Stewardship and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office are asking for volunteers to help clean up of public lands east of Chalfant Valley on Saturday, March 20.


"South Cow Mountain OHV Area to be partially closed for event" (BLM-California news release, 3/3/10)
The closure is for public safety during the Sonoma County Sport Cycle Association's "Outlaw Hare Scrambles" motorcycle race. A portion of the area will be closed to general recreation use and through traffic from Friday, March 12, through Sunday, March 14.

"BLM invites public review of OHV grant applications" (BLM-California news release, 2/24/10)
The public is invited to comment on the 2010 applications the BLM has submitted to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, through April 1. The annual OHV grant applications are a key part of the partnership between BLM and the state of California, which issues grants to a variety of entities to improve or mitigate off-highway vehicle recreation. (Repeated from last week.)


A man looks over a green valleyLooking over a pond at green fields"14,800 acres of range goes public" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 2/25/10)
"A deal heralded as a conservation coup and a big plus for Northern Nevada's wildlife has put 23 square miles of privately owned range into the public's hands. The Home Camp Ranch, in the far northwest corner of Washoe County about 170 miles north of Reno, was sold by the Jaksick family to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in a $5.8 million transaction funded by the sale of federal land near Las Vegas."

RELATED: "BLM, Nevada Land Conservancy announce Home Camp Ranch acquisition" (BLM-California news release, 2/22/10)
The BLM’s Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, Calif. will manage the area which will be open to the public for a wide variety of recreation pursuits. (Repeated from last week's News.bytes.)

An agent walks by discarded trash from a raided drug growClose-u of discarded packages including pesticide"Drug gangs taking over US public lands" (Associated Press at San Francisco Chronicle, 3/1/10)
"Not far from Yosemite's waterfalls and in the middle of California's redwood forests, Mexican drug gangs are quietly commandeering U.S. public land to grow millions of marijuana plants and using smuggled immigrants to cultivate them. Pot has been grown on public lands for decades, but Mexican traffickers have taken it to a whole new level: using armed guards and trip wires to safeguard sprawling plots that in some cases contain tens of thousands of plants offering a potential yield of more than 30 tons of pot a year."

"Mining ban bill in both houses" (Santa Clarita Signal, 3/2/10)
"The bill could resolve a 20-year-old mining dispute between the city of Santa Clarita and Cemex. The fight goes back to 1990, when the Bureau of Land Management awarded Cemex two consecutive 10-year contracts to extract 56 million tons of sand and gravel from a site in Soledad Canyon ... The city, however, strongly opposed Cemex's mining operation expansion."

"BLM offers public information meeting on Bodie Hills report" (BLM-California news release, 3/2/10)
The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office and The Nature Conservancy have been developing a conservation action plan for the Bodie Hills, which could be used to guide future site-specific vegetation management projects to protect and enhance the ecological integrity of the area. They will host a public informational meeting to present a final report, on Monday, March 15.

"County cracks down on dumping in desert" (The Inyo Register, 2/23/10)
"Recreators flock to the Dumont Dunes each winter, and some leave their garbage in Southern Inyo. Local officials recently orchestrated a sting to stop illegal dumping which resulted in more than 20 citations and two arrests ... 'A coordinated response was mobilized after the Sheriff’s Department received numerous complaints from residents regarding the dumping of sewage, waste water and trash along Old Spanish Trail Highway,' Sheriff Bill Lutze said."

RELATED: "Dumont Dunes Off-highway Vehicle Area" (BLM-California, Barstow Field Office)

A view down to a bend in the Sacramento River"Back off Bend" (Red Bluff Daily News, 3/3/10)
"Tehama County residents are pushing against a congressional proposal to turn public land in the Bend Area into a National Recreation Area. Public sentiment at a Tuesday meeting of the Board of Supervisors was overwhelmingly negative, with only one speaker out of more than a dozen expressing full support for a bill drafted by Sen. Barbara Boxer."

RELATED: "Tehama County Fish, Game denounces Bend plan" (Red Bluff Daily News, 2/25/10)
"The Tehama County Fish and Game Commission has all but unanimously agreed not to back a plan to turn 17,600 acres of Bureau of Land Management land in the Bend Area into a National Recreation Area."

"Alabama Hills Stewardship Group plans public meeting" (BLM-California news release, 3/3/10)
The community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will hold a public meeting on Thursday, March 18, regarding the future management of the Alabama Hills.

"BLM grants interim right-of-way to Navy in San Diego County" (BLM-California news release, 3/1/10)
The Bureau of Land Management has decided to grant an interim right-of-way to the Department of the Navy so they may carry on important national defense training at the La Posta Mountain Warfare Training Facility located in southeastern San Diego County. 

"Editorial: Planes and birds can't mix safely" (Sacramento Bee, 2/25/10)
Editorial calls for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to reverse a planning commission approval of "a new public airport on land adjacent to the Cosumnes River Preserve, 20 miles south of Sacramento."

RELATED: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (BLM-California, Mother Lode Field Office)


"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
See many listings with various closing dates.

Students watch man demonstrate equipment controlled by a computer"BLM engineers help students consider careers" (News.bytes Extra)
Engineers from the BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office discussed career opportunities with high school students during a recent engineering career day. Nearly 500 juniors and seniors and their teachers from 22 area high schools swarmed the campus of California State University, Bakersfield, for the 10th annual Engineers Day event.

"Nick’s Interns program seeks applicants" (Redwood Times, 3/3/10)
"Interns take part in a variety of projects such as stream restoration, habitat assessment surveys, trail building, fire fuels reduction, native seed collection, and invasive species removal. Participating organizations include the Mattole Restoration Council, Sanctuary Forest, the Mattole Salmon Group, the Institute of Sustainable Forestry, and the Bureau of Land Management. Wages begin at $9.50/hr and increase depending upon prior experience."

Close-up of  Bernadette LovatoEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Bernadette Lovato...
...became the BLM's Bishop Field Office manager in December 2009.. Most of Bernadette's career has been in natural resource and land management agencies which she says, "has provided excellent opportunities to engage in public-private partnerships."  Read more:

Find more details -- and more events -- online at:

March 5 - Wild horse and burro adoption preview day

March 6 - California Coastal National Monument 10th Anniversary Event
Rancho Palos Verdes

March 9 - Public meeting to discuss Chevron solar application
Lucerne Valley

March 12 - Guided tour of Alabama Hills
See the calendar listing and news release


"Salazar denies 'hidden agenda' for monuments" (Denver Post, 3/4/10)
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a Senate committee Wednesday that there is no 'hidden federal agenda' to unilaterally designate national monuments across the West."

"Senate turns back bid to block White House on national monuments" (The Hill, 2/26/10)
"The Senate on Thursday rejected ... [a] bid to block White House authority to designate national monuments in western states." A senator " wanted to attach the amendment to legislation approved yesterday aimed at bolstering tourism in the U.S. The issue flared this month with the leak of an internal Interior Department document that lists 14 potential national monuments in nine states."

"Secretary Salazar’s testimony on President's proposed Fiscal Year 2011 Budget for the Interior Department" (Department of the Interior news, 3/3/10)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified yesterday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, regarding the Obama Administration’s proposed 2011 budget for the Interior Department. PDF file, 11 pages, 76 kilobytes:

"Oil and gas bonds: Bonding requirements and BLM expenditures to reclaim orphaned wells" (Government Accounting Office, January 2010)
"The bond amount for individual leases was set in 1960, while the statewide and nationwide bond amounts were set in 1951." Links to highlights page, full report, and accessible text.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) They use the sand for insulation

SOURCE: "Flat-tailed horned lizard - Phrynosoma mcallii" (BLM California wildlife database)
Flat-tailed honed lizards require habitats that offer fine sand with little vegetation. They burrow into the sand to avoid temperature extremes and stay for hours buried just beneath the surface.


Close-up of the pointed features of a lizard head"Hearings set for horned lizard inhabiting Imperial Valley" (Imperial Valley Press, 3/2/10)
The public can comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on a proposal to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as threatened species. "The lizard, a beige- or buff-colored one with horns on its head and fringed scales over its body, lives in flat desert areas, like Ocotillo Wells, desert land surrounding Mt. Signal, the East Mesa area near Holtville and the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, said Bureau of Land Management acting Field Director Daniel Steward." Public comment can be made until April 27.

"Hearing takes up lizard protections" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 3/2/10)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife will hold two sessions of hearings March 23 in Palm Desert, at which the agency will reconsider a 1993 proposed rule to list the desert lizard as threatened under the Endangered Species Act."

"Comment period reopened on reinstatement of 1993 proposed rule to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as threatened: Public hearings scheduled" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news release, 3/1/10)
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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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