A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 437 - 6/23/10

a coiled snake Smokey Bear shows off a wildfire prevention poster in which he stars 3 mustangs run in shallow snow A young woman helps a girl color her picture Close-up of a man


- Wild horses and burros:
      - FREE poster
      - Adoptions
      - Interview
- Wildfire and prevention
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- America's Great Outdoors: Celebrations, improvement projects
- Headlines and highlights: Environmental issues, Rand, Cemex, jobs, more
- Meet your Advisory Committee members
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items: PILT, Klamath dams
This issue of News.bytes is online at:

3 mustangs run in shallow snowFREE POSTER
While supplies last: request a free poster from the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Click the link and fill in the online form to request one.


Silhouette of a horse and a burro"Wild horses, burros are ready for adoption" (Ventura County Star, 6/20/10)
"It’s an experience of a lifetime when a wild horse makes the first sign that it accepts its new owner," said Art DeGrazia, manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s wild burros and horse program facility in Ridgecrest. "Once that animal takes its first step toward you, it’s saying at that time, 'I trust you,' and you will get goose bumps up and down ... It’s an unbelievable feeling when these animals bond and they become your friend,” DeGrazia said.

RELATED: "Horses, burros available for adoption in Ventura" (BLM news release, 6/17/10)
This weekend: "Residents of the Ventura area will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families when the Bureau of Land Management brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Saturday June 26. The BLM will offer about 20 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 25. The event gates will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

"California wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM website)
This schedule is subject to change. Please check back frequently or call the contact numbers listed. Adoptions also available by appointment.

Wild horses in the wild"All Things Considered with Ben Adler" (Capitol Public Radio, 6/21/10)
"Wild Horse Roundup: The Bureau of Land Management is considering re-working it's wild horse and burro policy to make the program more sustainable. A public comment period is currently open. Today on Insight, we'll discuss the current policy, problems with it and potential solutions." (Streaming audio.)

"BLM, USFWS counting wild horses in NV, OR" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21/10)
Federal land managers launched an effort Monday to update their count of wild horses roaming parts of northwest Nevada and southwest Oregon, garnering rare praise from horse protection advocates" although some critics "are urging the agency to suspend all gathers until the new census is complete ... The BLM maintains the roundups are necessary because an overpopulation of horses is harming native wildlife and the range, and threatening the mustangs with starvation."

RELATED: "BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct joint wild horse population survey in Nev., Ore." (BLM-Nevada news release, 6/18/10)
"Federal land managers launched an effort Monday to update their count of wild horses roaming parts of northwest Nevada and southwest Oregon, garnering rare praise from horse protection advocates. The BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are joining forces this week to conduct the aerial census over about 4 million acres of federal land" including lands managed by BLM-California's

"BLM seeks nominations for Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board" (BLM news release, 6/21/10)
The Bureau of Land Management is requesting public nominations to fill three vacancies on its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, representing: Natural Resource Management, Wild Horse and Burro Research, and a new position: Public Interest with special knowledge of equine behavior.  The board advises the BLM and the USDA Forest Service on the management, protection, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands and national forests administered by those agencies.


Smokey Bear shows off a wildfire prevention poster in which he starsA wildfire fighter stands in front of a green fire truck2010 wildfire season - podcasts from news conference (U.S. Forest Service website, 6/17/10)
Perspectives on the upcoming wildfire season, and preparations so far. Includes a podcast from Karen Barnette, BLM-California Deputy State Director for Support Services: "Over the past year we've completed more than 7,500 acres of hazardous fuels reduction which of course aides our firefighting efforts." (2:53) Also links to transcript.

A firefighter in a smokey field near a fire truckFlames blaze above a home's deckRELATED: "How is CalFire preparing for fire season?" (CBS13.com Sacramento, 6/17/10)
TV video report on how several agencies are preparing to prevent and fight wildfires, and a local grass fire that threatened a home.

"Fire officials stress caution for Fourth of July holiday" (BLM news release, 6/22/10)
Northeast California fire officials are reminding area residents and visitors to be careful with fire and fireworks when they celebrate Independence Day. Possession and use of all fireworks, including those approved by the State of California and sold at fireworks stands, are illegal in national forests, national parks and on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  County and city governments have various regulations regarding fireworks, and holiday revelers should be familiar with local laws before purchasing or using the devices.

"BLM announces fire restrictions on lands managed by Hollister Field Office" (BLM news releases, 6/22/10)
The Bureau of Land Management has placed precautionary fire restrictions in public lands managed by the Hollister Field Office. Also, the BLM advises homeowners to "Take Responsibility" and keep 100 feet of clean, open space around their homes to provide defensible space and improve the chance that their homes and families can be saved in an uncontrolled wildfire.

"Take Responsibility: Living in the wildland urban interface" (California Fire Alliance)
Learn how you can create defensibly space. Includes links to a tip card, brochure, online video, signup for Twitter updates, and more.


A coiled snake
Why might you not want to share dinner with a sharp-tailed snake?
(a.) They inject poison into their prey, so other animals can't steal it.
(b.) They store their prey underground in hot sand for several days, to tenderize it.
(c.) They eat around the clock during the few months they are awake, to store up body fat.
(d.) They eat slugs.
(e.) Mom says they might poke your eye out.

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


A man blows out the candles on a rectangular cakeA young woman helps a girl color her picture"North Coast residents celebrate Fish Festival, Coastal Monument, NLCS" (News.bytes Extra)
Last weekend's Trinidad Fish Festival was an occasion to celebrate the 10th birthday of the National Landscape Conservation System and the California Coastal National Monument. On Saturday, the BLM and Trinidad Museum Society hosted a birthday party to celebrate the milestones. On Sunday, the BLM helped 2,000 visitors celebrate Trinidad's fishing and arts heritage.

RELATED: "Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History hosts Coastal Monument, National Landscape Conservation System, 10th Birthday Party" (BLM news release, 6/17/10)
As part of their Science Saturday program, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History will host 10th anniversary celebrations for the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument and Natural Landscape Conservation System on June 26. This month’s program, with the theme Habitats and Biomes, Past and Present, will feature the opening of the BLM exhibit A Spectacular Interplay of Land and Sea, trolley tours, scientists engaging the public and lots of youth activities.

"US Departments of Labor, Interior and Agriculture jointly announce new federal partnership to provide support for youth to work in the great outdoors" (Department of the Interior press release, 6/21/10)
Leaders from the U.S. Departments of Labor, Interior and Agriculture announced the launch of a $20 million federal grant opportunity and an initiative to help disadvantaged youth prepare for jobs in the outdoors. "Through a national grant competition, funds will be awarded to enable ex-offenders ages 18 to 24 to give back to their communities through service and conservation work, while simultaneously acquiring solid employment skills."

"Bizz Johnson Trail to remain open during trestle reconstruction" (BLM news release, 6/18/10)
Construction is underway on a project to rebuild the fire-damaged Devil’s Corral Trestle on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail west of Susanville. Detours around the construction area are in place for hikers, runners and bicyclists. Completion is scheduled for October.

"Improvement project will cause temporary access limits on Headwaters Trail" (BLM news release, 6/18/10)
The Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve will be temporarily closed beyond the two-mile mark while workers improve drainage and stabilize the trail. Work begins Monday, June 21, and will last no later than July 15. The closure is necessary for public safety and to allow work to proceed efficiently. The first two miles of the Elk River Trail will remain open and accessible for those with limited mobility.


A man stands next to a large solar panel"Bill seeks to expedite land leases to solar developers" (Las Vegas Sun, 6/22/10)
If the American Solar Energy Pilot Leasing Act of 2010 becomes law, land for power projects "would be auctioned to the highest-bidding solar developers ... But some solar companies are wary it could keep them from developing new energy plants if the same approach winds up applied to all Bureau of Land Management property ... Getting a project out the door quickly is key in the renewable energy business, where developers are scrambling to roll out projects in time for states such as California to meet their renewable energy portfolio standards."


Bicycle rider on a forest trailDetail of map of trails"Several Sierra trails are toxic, group says" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23/10)
"The thousands of mine shafts that pockmark the Sierra Nevada and testify to California's Gold Rush riches have also left a legacy of toxic contamination in some of the state's popular recreation areas, according to a new study. Soil tests on a handful of trails near mine mouths in the foothills have revealed extremely high levels of lead, arsenic and asbestos...." A 2008 federal audit said the BLM must do more "to clean up arsenic, lead and mercury near the shafts or to erect barriers around them."

"BLM closes two routes at Rand Mountains pending federal court ruling" (BLM news release, 6/21/10)
The two routes in question are part of a legal challenge involving the BLM's West Mojave Plan, approved in 2006. The routes had been previously closed as part of an earlier Federal Court settlement. BLM developed a new plan for the area to protect sensitive resources and still allow vehicle use under permit, but a recent new ruling of the Interior Board of Land Appeals remands the plan to the BLM, pending the outcome of a Federal lawsuit soon to be heard in San Francisco. The closure is expected to impact a significant number of off-highway vehicle recreationists.

"City supports county's reopening of Clear Creek roads" (Hollister Free Lance, 6/23/10)
"Hollister City Council members this week formally supported San Benito County's move to reopen roads leading into the Clear Creek Management Area ... The Bureau of Land Management-run Clear Creek Management Area has been off limits since mid-2008 when the federal government called for a temporary closure due to an Environmental Protection Agency study showing dangerous levels of asbestos in a portion of the public attraction...."

"Summer raids on illegal pot gardens begin with arrest near Oak Run"(Redding Record Searchlight, 6/22/10)
Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Solus "said it wasn’t clear Tuesday whether the grow was on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property or private land. Solus advised those on public lands as well as private landowners with large pieces of property to keep an eye out for the signs of marijuana grows, which include people hauling supplies and irrigation equipment in and out of wooded areas, often late at night."

"Thieves are burning insulation off copper wire, damaging remote desert areas" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/22/10)
"With the rising price of copper, federal officials are noting an increase in cases of 'wire burning' in which thieves set stolen electrical wire ablaze to get rid of the insulated covering and increase their recycling profits. The practice causes serious environmental damage and possible health problems ... The burning insulation releases harmful substances, including dioxins, lead and chemical compounds, into the air, soil and water."

"Cemex lobbying trip said to be a success" (Santa Clarita Valley Signal, 6/21/10)
"A delegation of Santa Clarita city officials who traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to lobby against the proposed Cemex mine report it’s optimistic about the efforts ... 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 proposal."

"Feds warn cross on BLM land violates law" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 6/19/10)
"A cross illegally installed on land in La Quinta has prompted federal officials to issue a warning to residents that open space isn't a blank canvas for anyone to do as they please. The 8-foot-tall white, wooden cross erected on the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument was removed twice by representatives of the Bureau of Land Management in less than a month after they received complaints about the religious symbol ."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include horse wrangler (motor vehicle operator), archaeologist, contact representative, and SCEP/STEP ( Student Career Experience Program/Student Temporary Employment Program) and internship opportunities.

Close-up of a manMEET YOUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Jim Patterson ...
...is the San Luis Obispo County supervisor for the 5th District and representative to the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee.  The monument is located almost entirely within the 5th District. 

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

June 26 - Pacific Grove
California Coastal National Monument 10th Anniversary Celebration

June 28 - Public meeting related to Contact and Sonoma mercury mines cleanup

June 29 - Public meeting related to Helen mercury mine cleanup


"Interior announces FY2010 PILT payment schedule" (Department of the Interior press release, 6/18/10)
"The following is a statement from Department of the Interior Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff: 'The Department of the Interior will issue the Fiscal Year 2010 PILT payments not later than July 15, 2010. We regret the delay in payments and we are moving as quickly as possible to get funding to counties ... The 2010 payment amounts were delayed because of late reporting by some entities and the complexity of evaluating prior year payment amounts authorized by the Mineral Leasing Act and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-determination Act'."

"Joint news release: Public input sought for decision on Klamath River dam removal" (U.S. Department of the Interior/California Department of Fish and Game news release, 6/21/10)
"Federal and state agencies are seeking public input on an upcoming decision on whether to remove four Klamath River dams ... to help restore the Klamath River salmonid fishery."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) They eat slugs.

SOURCE: "Sharp-tailed snake - Contia tenuis" (BLM California wildlife database)
The diet of sharp-tailed snakes is made up almost entirely of slugs. They rarely eat anything else, but on occasion they may prey on some salamander species.

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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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