A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 428 - 4/22/10

A girl looks from behind her fishing rod A Marine in uniform offers treats to a horse Students dig invasive plants out of the sand A girl looks through plastic magnifying lenses A hand holds a very fat gray-colored woodrat


- America's Great Outdoors:
      - Young anglers
      - Earth Day on the coast
      - Wanted: Your ideas
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
- Wildflowers:
      - Free brochure
      - Updates
- Wild horses and burros:
      - Young trainers
      - Upcoming adoptions
      - Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Plans for public lands: Imperial Sand Dunes, Carrizo Plain, more
- Wildfires and prevention
- Jobs with BLM-California
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


A girl looks from behind her fishing rodA mom holds her fishing daughter's shoulders"Youth fishing derby brings them in" (News.bytes Extra)
Hobo Camp, a  picnic area along the BLM's Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail near Susanville, was a popular spot last Saturday, as families flocked to the river in hopes of landing a trout and maybe even winning a prize, during the Lassen Sportsmen's Club  annual youth fishing derby.  The event drew nearly 600 participants who fished in the river and Pauite Creek, a Susan River tributary, for fish provided by the California Department of Fish and Game and planted by local volunteers. 

A girl looks through plastic magnifying lensesA girl looks up into plastic magnifying lenses"Earth Day Aquarium visitors discover California Coastal National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium was the site for a well-celebrated Earth Day event, where people of all ages learned more about the offshore rocks and islands comprising the monument. The day started early with a coastal clean up at Point Fermin State Marine Park and Cabrillo beaches. Families could then spend the rest of  the morning and the afternoon learning about coastal resources, with workshops and activities.

"Join the conversation on America's Great Outdoors" (Department of the Interior)
"The White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors ... brought together some of the top leaders from around the country that are working to protect outdoor spaces. President Obama also signed a Presidential Memorandum establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors."

RELATED: "America's Great Outdoors" (Department of the Interior)
Read President Obama's remarks at the White House Conference, read the presidential memo, and submit your own ideas about "how we can reconnect Americans with the great outdoors and support public and private conservation efforts across the country."

"Cache Creek Discovery Day to celebrate watershed stewardship May 1" (Lake County News, 4/18/10)
Saturday, May 1: "The public is invited to attend Cache Creek Discovery Day, a free, family-friendly outdoor event ... at the Bureau of Land Management's Cowboy Camp Equestrian Campground in Colusa County ... The event is geared toward all ages, with special emphasis on youth outdoor-learning about a broad range of topics relevant to the watershed." Includes link to an event flyer. The BLM is one of the sponsors.

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 project below was funded with part of approximately $40 million in ARRA funds appropriated to BLM-California.
Students dig invasive plants out of the sand"Students in the wild" (News.bytes Extra)
Spring break in Palm Springs was more than wild parties this year. A University of Nevada, Las Vegas student group organized students to eradicate non-native invasive species in the Coachella Valley sand dunes near Palm Springs. In essence, thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, students pulled weeds in the dunes instead of pranks in the streets.


Close-up of a yellow flower, on the cover of a brochureFREE WILDFLOWER BROCHURE
Follow the link below and fill in the information for this brochure -- with tips on wildflower viewing in the Mojave Desert area of California. Free while supplies last.

A cow stands before a field of blue flowers"Flowers go wild in wake of spring rains" (Salinas Californian, 4/21/10)
"The flowers are out in Toro Park, in the Bureau of Land Management's public lands and in many other areas" along the Highway 68 corridor between Monterey and Salinas. The season was expected to peak right about now. "It may be a week behind the norm, because late rains and cloudy weather have slowed things," said BLM botanist Bruce Delgado, speaking of wildflowers on the Fort Ord public lands.

RELATED: "Virtual herbarium" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
Fort Ord supports a beautiful and diverse group of plant communities, rare plants, and many showy wildflowers. On a single visit to Fort Ord you can enjoy quiet and majestic coast live oak woodland, aromatic maritime chaparral, wide open grasslands, and freshwater marshes or vernal pools busy with bird and other animal life. For many of the rare plants on Fort Ord, 50-90% of their worldwide habitat occurs here.

"Wildflower Update – April 15, 2010" (BLM Bishop 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.


Two teen girls lead a horseA girl pets a young colt lying on the ground"Young trainers show off efforts at San Jose adoption" (News.bytes Extra)
Four mustangs gentled by young equestrians, were among those who found new homes at the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption Saturday in San Jose. Over the course of five weeks, the students tackled a list of 32 tasks for the mustangs, including walking on a ramp, walking on a tarp and loading and unloading from a trailer. The group is training four more horses for a future adoption.

Smiling women look into a horse corralSeveral horses make their way into a corral.RELATED: "Forty wild horses and burros gallop into the big city to be auctioned off to the public" (San Jose Mercury News, 4/17/10)
More on the San Jose adoption: "As restless as blown dust, 40 wild horses and burros arrived ... to start new lives of domesticity .... As Friday's sun set over the corrals, an admiring crowd leaned against fences, seeking a favorite. 'I like the look of Number 1071,' said one. 'Look at that appaloosa. What an attitude,' said another. A young girl squealed with delight: 'There's a baby! What a cute face!' "

"Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Redlands" (BLM news release, 4/20/10)
This weekend: Choice wild horses and burros from the rangelands of the American West are available for adoption at the Sundance Ranch in Redlands. The mustangs and burros were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health. Animals available for adoption may be previewed from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, April 23. Approved adopters will receive a lottery number, which is required to participate in the lottery adoption Saturday starting at 9 a.m.

An older man with a cane is escorted past mounted Marine ridersA Marine in uniform offers treats to a horse"Yermo man honored for starting Marine Mounted Color Guard" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 4/20/10)
"The newly named Lt. Col. Robert A. Lindsley, USMC Ret. Base Stables is currently home to seven wild mustangs. The Marine base receives horses from the Bureau of Land Management after the native horses get broken in at the Warm Springs Correctional Facility in Carson City, Nev., in a program where prisoners work as trainers."

"BLM seeks bids for new pasture facilities to care for and maintain wild horses" (BLM national news release, 4/19/10)
As part of its responsibility to manage, protect, and control wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting bids for new long-term pasture facilities located in the continental United States that provide a free-roaming environment. One solicitation is for pasture facilities accommodating 200 to 1,000 wild horses; the other is for facilities accommodating 1,000 to 4,000 wild horses.


A side view of a ratlike creature
bushy-tailed woodrat
Why might an otherwise reasonable adult say a bushy-tailed woodrat reminds them of their teenager?
Bushy-tailed woodrats:
(a.) cannot hear sound frequencies that include most adult voices.
(b.) will eat anything that moves, as long as it is not larger than them.
(c.) are inordinately sensitive to peer pressure, ostracizing members from the colony for seemingly minor infractions to their code.
(d.) prefer to lounge around their dens, often procrastinating until the last minute, to gather food for the winter.
(e.) insulate themselves from the outside world behind piles of clothing, discards and borrowed items.
------> See answer -- and more -- near the end of this issue.


"Imperial County dunes management plan critiqued at public comment meeting" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/14/10)
"Brawley resident Kevin Hutchinson was concerned about fees, Susan Massey of Holtville doesn’t want wind farms to impact the desert’s beauty and Nicole Gilles with the American Sand Association was opposed to closing some camping down. They were three of more than 40 who attended the Bureau of Land Management’s dunes management plan forum Wednesday night to discuss issues about the plan that provides direction for the bureau to manage recreation land in Imperial County."

Blue flowers in a field, with a large rock outcropping looming behindYellow flowers spread on a hillside among trees"Carrizo Plain: 'This land has always brought people together'" (Taft Midway Driller, 4/15/10)
Carrizo Plain celebration of the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System: "The Carrizo’s natural beauty and human history provided the backdrop for the observance on a cool breezy day. From Painted Rock, a sacred site to the Native Americans and a nesting area for rare raptors, to El Saucito Ranch, the first European settlement on the plain, and wildflower tours later in the day, it was a celebration of the land and its importance to those who know it."

RELATED: "Finally, a plan for the Carrizo Plain" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4/15/10)
"Nearly a decade after it was created, the Carrizo Plain National Monument has its first resource management plan. The plan uses grazing as a management tool for helping rare plants and animals and provides additional protections for those parts of the monument that have wilderness qualities. The plan will determine how the monument is managed for the next 20 years. Jim Abbott, the Bureau of Land Management’s state director, formally approved the plan Saturday at a celebration at the monument...."

"BLM announces public scoping for Sawtooth Camping Area improvements" (BLM news release, 4/16/10)
This proposed project would enhance the existing recreation opportunities for rock climbers and remote campers with 12 new camp sites, one new restroom, a new kiosk, a picnic area and a host site. Community members and interested parties are invited to participate in the environmental assessment by providing written comments by the close of business May 16.


"Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior and Homeland Security announce partnership to develop comprehensive wildfire management strategy" (Department of the Interior press release, 4/21/10)
"Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the formation of a federal partnership with state, regional, local and tribal leaders to develop a strategy to more effectively address America’s wildland fire challenges."

"Wildfire Safety Expo debuts May 2" (Lake County News, 4/21/10)
Sunday May 2, 2010 - free event: "Lake County’s first Wildfire Safety Expo" will offer "community members and homeowners information on how to prepare for wildfire danger." Demonstrations, exhibits and vendors will offer information on "fuel reduction methods, new fire-resistant building materials, home fire safety information and fire safe landscaping tips ... Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be on hand for the kids, along with the Kid’s Fire Safety House. Live fire demonstrations will be conducted and various pieces of equipment will be on display..."

RELATED: "Wildfire Safety Expo" (Lake County)
The Lake County Fire Safe Council presents Lake County’s first Wildfire Safety Expo in Kelseyville -- how you can protect your home in a wildfire! Plus kid's fire safety, firefighting demonstrations, a vendor fair, landscaping tips and more. The BLM is a partner in the event. (Link to information flyer, PDF file)

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current listings (some closing soon) include natural resources specialist, realty specialist, outdoor recreation planner, wildland firefighting jobs, and more.


April 22-23 - Workshop/meeting for Ridgecrest Solar Power Project

April 24 - Guided wildflower field trip
Cameron Park - pre-registration required

April 27 - Public Land Foundation Stewardship Award Presentation
Palm Springs

May 1 - Guided birding trip - limited space, pre-registration required
Salmon Falls

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

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(e.) insulate themselves from the outside world behind piles of clothing, discards and borrowed items.

SOURCE: "Bushy-tailed Woodrat - Neotoma cinerea" (BLM California wildlife database)
Also known as packrats, woodrats will steal anything they can get their paws on, including sticks, bones, clothing items, and especially anything shiny such as coins, silverware, and jewelry. Their dens are usually constructed by stacking up all of their stolen items into large piles that look messy on the outside. The thick pile of debris provides the insulation they need to survive, since bushy-tailed woodrats live at high elevations where the temperature is generally very cold.

A hand holds a very fat gray-colored woodratA bighorn sheep makes its way down a slope."Checking up on Whitewater Canyon's wild things" (Los Angeles Times, 4/15/10)
"With rain soaking their clothing and fogging up their binoculars, 50 researchers and university students armed with butterfly nets and specimen bottles fanned out across Whitewater Canyon ... to take the first full accounting of wildlife in the oasis a few miles northwest of Palm Springs. The two-day 'Whitewater Canyon Spring 2010 Bioblitz' aimed to survey 17 miles of the canyon ... through overlapping biological zones including sandy desert, boulder fields, grasslands and forests." This project took place in the BLM's Whitewater Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the BLM portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. BLM staff also participated.
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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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