A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 438 - 7/1/10

A boy holds a snake around his neck A horse nuzzles a man with a beardtop view of a striped lizardRafters tackle whitewater A man smiles at the camera


- America's Great Outdoors
- River recreation
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
- Follow us!
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- In the Field
- The Taylor Grazing Act
- Meet your Advisory Committee members
- Advisory Councils
- Wildfires and prevention
- Renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights
- Selected upcoming events
- Department of the Interior
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

A boy holds a snake around his neckA girl looks at a photo"Pacific Grove residents and visitors join celebration of NLCS, California Coastal National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
The opening of a BLM temporary exhibit, a cake cutting, trolley tours, Roscoe the snake and remarks by Congressman Sam Farr were on the program for a 10th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument and National Landscape Conservation System Saturday in Pacific Grove.

Looking over a pool of waterView down a slope to a river with forested hills beyond"New FB Trail is a gem"
(A News Cafe, 6/28/10)
"The new FB Trail along the east side of the Sacramento River and Keswick Reservoir is an important addition to the Redding area’s trail system for two reasons: It links two heavily used trails, and it provides a new and unexpected perspective of Keswick Reservoir. The Bureau of Land Management officially opened the FB Trail from Keswick Dam Road to the Hornbeck Trail earlier this month."


Rafters tackle whitewater"First triple-digit day sends residents into dangerously cold rivers" (The Sacramento Bee, 6/28/10)
"Those looking to beat triple-digit temperatures today may head to the water to cool off, but the National Weather Service is warning to think twice before jumping into area rivers that are nearly 50 degrees colder than the air. Water temperatures in the the Sacramento and American rivers ... could put waders and swimmers, particularly children, at risk for hypothermia...."

RELATED: "Area rivers high and rising, users cautioned"(BLM news release 6/9/10)
Due to area rivers experiencing unseasonably colder, swifter, and more dangerous flows, the Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Office is asking river users to exercise caution when enjoying local river recreation. These conditions contributed to three near drownings on the Merced Wild and Scenic River in recent weeks. (Repeated from News.bytes issue 435.)

"Rafting firms look to wave of business" (Sacramento Bee, 6/27/10)
"Rafting companies are counting on higher-than-normal snowmelt to rescue their season after a chilly spring kept customers on shore." The article cites "36 rafting companies operating on the popular south fork of the American River, mostly in El Dorado County .. While the south fork is most suitable for beginners, the middle and north forks of the American are also favored whitewater destinations."

"River recreation" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
The Mother Lode Field Office administers river recreation on the South Fork of the Yuba River, the North and South Forks of the American River, the Mokelumne River, the Merced River and a portion of the Tuolumne River. Permits are issued to private concessionaires to conduct whitewater rafting trips down the rivers.

View down to a man loading a rubber raft"Wild and Scenic Rivers" (BLM California)
The Bureau of Land Management manages 38 Wild and Scenic rivers including more than 2,050 river miles and 1,002,000 acres. The Bureau’s National Landscape Conservation System provides national level management and policy guidance for these rivers and represents the Bureau on the Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council.

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.
Power shovel cleans up trashMen in orange vests check abandoned building for waste"ARRA funds help reduce mercury hazard in Fresno County" (News.bytes Extra)
Mining waste at an abandoned mercury mine in Fresno County has been removed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Hollister Field office using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The project at the Archer Mercury Mine, near the southeast boundary of the Clear Creek Management Area, will reduce the downstream transport of mercury mine waste into the White Creek watershed.

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top view of a striped lizard
Panamint alligator lizard
The Panamint alligator lizard once ranged over a wider area, but became isolated to Inyo and southeastern Mono counties. What is the most likely reason?

(a.) Urban sprawl drove it out of other areas.
(b.) Wildfires destroyed much of its former habitat.
(c.) Much of its former range dried out.
(d.) Overpopulation of its major predators reduced its numbers below sustainable levels.
(e.) Insect infestations destroyed the plants it relied on for food.
(f.) Crocodile lizards.
------> See answer near the end of this issue.

Silhouette of a horse and a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

A child leans over a fence and looks upside down at a horse"Burros, horses find homes at adoption event" (Ventura County Star, 6/26/10)
"Kimmy, 14, and Josie, 10, ... excitedly watched as wranglers loaded two pink burro yearlings into their large horse trailer at Seaside Park in Ventura on Saturday during the Bureau of Land Management’s burro and horse adoption. The girls’ mother ... said the animals would be a wonderful addition to the family’s menagerie, which includes horses, cattle, buffalo, and lots of cats and dogs ... her daughters are accomplished equestriennes and understand the responsibility of caring for animals."

A horse nuzzles a man with a beardA hand offers hay to a horse"Palm trees, mustangs and burros" (News.bytes Extra)
Palm trees and an ocean view provided the setting for BLM-California's most recent wild horse and burro adoption event, as animals were offered for adoption in Ventura over the weekend of June 26. At day's end, mustangs and a pair of wild burros found new homes with southern California families.

"BLM announces three selections for National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board" (BLM news release, 7/1/10)
After a review of 51 nominations received, the BLM has selected H. Paul Durbin as a new appointee for the category of Wildlife Management, Timothy J. Harvey as a new appointee for the category of Humane Advocacy, and Gary Zakotnik as a re-appointed member for the category of Livestock Management. These individuals will each serve three-year terms as members of the Advisory Board.

Looking up at a man on a horseA man riding among horsesIN THE FIELD...
...recap, with Art DiGrazia, program manager at BLM-California's Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals. "In the Field" is a video visit with a BLM-California manager at work in the field. Visit online with Art, as he goes about a day working with the wild horses and burros. (Repeated from an earlier issue of News.bytes.)

...was passed 76 years ago this week, on June 28, 1934.

"Grazing" (BLM national website)
During the era of homesteading, Western public rangelands were often overgrazed. In response to requests from Western ranchers, Congress passed the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, which led to the creation of grazing districts in which grazing use was apportioned and regulated. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes created a Division of Grazing to oversee grazing districts; this later became the U.S. Grazing Service. During a 1946 government reorganization under President Truman, the Grazing Service was merged with the General Land Office to become the Bureau of Land Management.

"The Taylor Grazing Act" (BLM Wyoming, Casper Field Office)
The first grazing district in the U.S. was established in Wyoming on March 20, 1935. This page summarizes various provisions of the Act.

A man smiles at the cameraMEET YOUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Carl Twisselman ...
...has spent more than 40 years as a cattle rancher. He is a BLM permit holder and has experience in rangeland health, outdoor recreation, land management and mineral extraction. He is a veteran member of the BLM's Central California Resource Advisory Council, and represents the RAC on the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee.


"BLM reopens nominations to Resource Advisory Council" (BLM news release, 6/29/10)
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it is seeking public nominations for six open positions on its Central California Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public land issues. If you previously submitted a 2010 nomination you do not need to resubmit.

"BLM seeking members for Northeast California Resource Advisory Council"
(BLM news release, 7/1/10)
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public nominations for five open positions on its Northeast California Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public land issues in the northeast part of California and far northwest Nevada. Nominations are due by July 29. Those who previously submitted 2010 nominations are not required to provide new nominations.


"Time for wildfire coalition in Monterey County" (Monterey County Herald, 6/30/10)
"Two years ago this week, Monterey County residents struggled with what was arguably the largest wildfire ever to strike our county ... Under the leadership of the Monterey Fire Safe Council, representatives from virtually all areas of the county, including the Monterey County Fire Chiefs Association, Cal Fire, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and community-wide stakeholders, spent thousands of hours to produce this plan" to reduce wildfire danger.

BLM announces fire restrictions on public lands...

...managed by Mother Lode Field Office:

...managed by Ukiah Field Office:


"Water subject of solar workshop" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 6/28/20)
"Water was one of several topics of discussion at a joint Bureau of Land Management – California Energy Commission workshop for the proposed Solar Millennium solar-power project. Other topics were land use, traffic and transportation and biological resources. The two agencies held the final workshop on the project in Ridgecrest Thursday. Another is scheduled for July in Sacramento."

"Steering Committee opposes solar project" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 6/29/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management Steering Committee, at its meeting Thursday, voted 12-1 to approve a letter stating its opposition to Solar Millennium's proposed solar-power-plant project ... The vote comes on the heels of a workshop held earlier in the day on the project."


A woman points out locations to youngsters in yellow T-shirts"Students consider future careers during summer camp" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 6/28/10)
Barstow Community College's Career Technical Education summer camp "aims to give students an early taste of career possibilities, which officials hope will encourage them to pursue college and a lofty job prospects. ... Among other things, students will dabble in film production, marketing ... public relations ... robotics ... Students will also meet with local business professionals from the Barstow Police Department, Bureau of Land Management and more."

"BLM seeks comment on land use rules" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 6/28/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management seeks public comment as it works to make its rules and regulations consistent throughout the California desert. The rules include restrictions on people riding in truck beds; burning metal such as nails in firewood, public nudity and the use of metal or wooden stakes ... saving camping spaces" and keeping "trash picked up at their campsites ... the rules haven’t always been the same in every part of the desert."

"BLM proposed competitive sale of public lands in Tehama County" (BLM news release, 6/29/10)
The BLM is proposing to offer three parcels of public land totaling about 244 acres in Tehama County for competitive sale. The public is invited to submit comments by Aug. 9.

"Hidden illegal pot gardens cause environmental damage" (KTXL-TV Sacramento, 6/30/10)
"The Department of Fish and Game is trying to make people aware of the damage caused by criminals who tend illegal marijuana gardens in wilderness areas. It has produced a video to show what Fish and Game wardens are up against ... Fish and Game works with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, various county sheriff''s departments and the State Justice Department to find and eliminate the secret gardens."

RELATED: "Investigations of illegal marijuana gardens yield arrests " (Lake County News, 6/24/10)
"Local law enforcement officials have made several arrests over the past week relating to suspected illegal marijuana gardens ... members of the Sheriff’s Department, the California Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Land Management, conducted Campaign Against Marijuana Planting eradication operations on multiple illegal grows in a remote area about 8 miles southeast of Lower Lake."

"BLM issues trust patent to Chemehuevi Indians" (BLM news release, 6/29/10)
The final trust patent for the Chemehuevi Tribe's existing 32,500-acre reservation along the Colorado River in eastern San Bernardino County was issued officially today by the Bureau of Land Management.

"BLM discusses cleanup plans for Helen mercury mine" (Lake County News, 7/1/10)
"The BLM hosted a nearly 80-minute-long meeting ... to discuss plans for the Helen mercury mine cleanup. The original mine site, located four and a half miles west of Middletown ... includes 35 acres that is a mix of private property and land managed by BLM ... Of special concern are three tributaries to Dry Creek that run through the site ... Dry Creek flows into Putah Creek and then into Lake Berryessa in Napa County."

"Mendo Lake Road closed for construction" (BLM news releases, 6/24/10)
A portion of the Mendo Lake Road west of Lakeport will be closed to all traffic from July 6 to August 20 for construction.

Brown ground with a fault line through it"Tiny clays tame earthquake faults" (Live Science/Our Amazing Planet, 6/29/10)
"California's San Andreas Fault is associated with some of the most destructive earthquakes in U.S. history, but some parts of the fault system are much quieter than others, rubbing smoothly against each other rather than sticking and then jerking loose in a huge rupture ... The question of why some fault zones creep slowly and steadily while others lock for a time and then shift suddenly and violently, spawning earthquakes, has long puzzled scientists."

RELATED: "Geologic features. Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
The San Andreas fault is the longest fault in California, and one of the longest in North America. Because of the aridity of the Carrizo Plain, the trace of the San Andreas Fault has not been significantly eroded. Photographs of the stark hills and clear trace of the fault in the Carrizo Plain have been used in numerous earth science text books.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Listings include administrative technician, geodetic technician, archaeology technician, range aid/technician and positions for which lists of candidates are being prepared.

Find more events and details online at:

July 9 - BLM Northeast California Resource Advisory Council meets


"After congressional nudge, feds send money and California counties breathe easier" (Public CEO.com, 6/29/10)
"When the feds released an overdue payment of $571,585 June 29," Modoc County Treasurer Cheryl Knoch said, "We can breathe easier, way easier. We don't even have to sweat it out right now for payroll July 15." Payments in Lieu of Taxes "reimburses counties for taxes not paid on land in national forests and parks, the Bureau of Land Management, managed by the Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water projects."

RELATED: "Local Governments will Receive $358 Million To Compensate for Tax-Exempt Federal Lands (PILT)" (Department of the Interior press release, 6/29/10)
"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. Each of these statutes and the PILT statute include requirements that impact the development of county payment amounts under a multi-factor formula."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) Much of its former range dried out.

SOURCE: "Panamint Alligator Lizard - Elgaria panamintinus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Geographical studies have shown that the populations occurred in areas where water used to be more abundant. As the desert dried out over time, these alligator lizards became isolated to Inyo and southeastern Mono counties.

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News.bytes published by
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