A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 441 - 7/22/10

A rider sits on a horse that in turn is standing in a pond Volunteers hold trash bags near a natural pool Flames blaze through a stand of trees A man leans against a wind turbine blade wider than he is tall close-up of smiling man


- America's Great Outdoors: Award, youth events, trails, listening session, more
- Wild horses and burros
- Wildfires and prevention
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy: RAC tour, Sunrise Powerlink, Employee Profile
- Headlines and highlights: Other news items
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


A group of people surround a man holding a plaqueTake Pride in America logo"BLM's Eric Morgan wins 'Take Pride in America' Award"(Department of the interior news release, 7/16/10)
The Department of the Interior honors one deserving manager in each of its bureaus annually with this award. BLM Director Bob Abbey selected Eric Morgan, manager of the Fort Ord Public Lands Project in BLM-California's Hollister Field Office, from a number of candidates -- based on his work with the community and partners, to restore natural and recreational resources on the public lands on the former Fort Ord military base.

Volunteers hold trash bags near a natural pool"Youth cleanup project in the Eastern Sierra" (News.bytes Extra)
The Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra outdoor education program teamed with the Bureau of Land Management's Bishop Field Office to pick up trash at the Long Valley Hot Tub sites. Five youth and two leaders from Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra worked with BLM staff at the two heavily-used hot tub sites, “Wild Willy’s" and "Hill Top.” Spirits were high and the kids were anxious to help out.

Three youngsters examine the activities at a BLM boothA young boy bends over his coloring project"California Coastal National Monument continues Its 10th anniversary celebration at Coastal Discovery Fair" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM’s California Coastal National Monument hosted a booth at the Coastal Discovery Fair in San Simeon. Kids colored, cut and assembled pelican headbands, made bookmarks, and measured tidepool animal replicas, while their parents or grandparents discussed the California Coastal National Monument and the NLCS with BLM personnel.

A view of snow-capped mountains through the treesA view down through trees toward a distant freeway"Find serenity on the trails" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/17/10)
"By this fall cyclists will be able to ride the 15 miles from the Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam along the Sacramento River. The Bureau of Land Management plans to have the last few miles of the trail near the dam paved by October and will leave a generous margin of bare ground along the trail for equestrians." The BLM and other agencies and groups are also working on several other trails in the area.

"Alabama Hills closer to federal designation" (The Inyo Register, 7/17/10)
The "Alabama Hills Stewardship Group has drafted a boundary map for two proposed designations and is seeking the public’s input on it. After four public input meetings, this map is the fifth revision ... The two designations being considered are a National Scenic Area or an Outstanding Natural Area." Stewardship group committee member Kevin Mazzu "said these two have been considered as they are both 'low level' designations that allow for continued access and use the way it is currently being used."

"The public is heard at Los Angeles listening session" (News.bytes Extra)
Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, among a host of other top government officials, took on a barrage of questions and suggestions from opinion leaders, public-land stakeholders, and the general public.  The session was part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative for hearing the public’s ideas for building a 21st Century conservation and recreation agenda that reconnects Americans with their "great outdoors."

RELATED: "America's Great Outdoors" (Department of the Interior)
"Even in times of crisis, we’re called to take the long view to preserve our national heritage –- because in doing so we fulfill one of the responsibilities that falls to all of us as Americans, and as inhabitants of this same small planet. "

RELATED: "Another view: Support funding for land preserves" (North County Time, 7/18/10)
Op-Ed from a Coachella Valley business owner: "...the America's Great Outdoors initiative will help set the priorities and bring about environmental and economic balance for decades to come in our region ... I urge everyone to ... find out more information and submit your ideas. All of us can help our leaders in Washington create a better future for our beloved desert and all of Southern California by sharing our ideas and speaking our minds to protect and preserve our economy and our environment."

silhouettes of a horse and a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

A burro, side view"Wild horses and burros find homes at Lakeside adoption" (News.bytes Extra)
Ten horses and three wild burros were adopted last weekend during the BLM's Lakeside wild horse and burro adoption held at the Pillsbury Ranch near San Diego. The ranch is home to Joan Embery, known for championing environmental, conservation and preservation issues, and as a spokeswoman for the Zoological Society of San Diego. One of the burros was adopted by Embery herself.

two burros inspect the cameraA horse looks out of a pen"Horses looking for homes" (KFMB-TV San Diego, 7/16/10)
Includes a video report of wild horses and burros from last weekend's adoption event in Lakeside, California.

"Lawsuit filed to stop wild horse roundup"(Sacramento Bee, 7/16/10)
"A group of wild horse enthusiasts and animal rights organizations have filed suit against the U.S. Interior Department in a bid to stop the planned round up of 2,300 wild horses and burros next month in a rugged area near Susanville ... The BLM, which announced its final decision earlier this month to go ahead with the planned "gather," has said the action is necessary to protect the wildlands from overgrazing by the animals and to protect the herd itself."

"Nevada roundup of wild horses in need of water resumes"
(Associated Press in Washington Post, 7/19/10)
"Federal land managers have removed about 250 more wild horses from a Nevada range after a judge allowed a controversial roundup of the animals to resume." Note: The Tuscarora roundup concluded after 656 horses were gathered, some suffering from dehydration. The animals have been rescued and are currently at BLM wild horse and burro facilities.

"BLM moves gathering to new area" (Elko Daily Free Press, 7/22/10)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to resume gathering wild horses today in another herd management area after ending the emergency Tuscarora roundup Tuesday ... The BLM called the Tuscarora gathering an emergency action after horses died of dehydration, and the agency mounted a watering campaign to reach horses on the range, [BLM spokeswoman JoLynn] Worley said."

Two visitors look at the wild horses in a temporary corralA horse looks out at the camera"Bureau offers horse adoptions" (Delaware News Journal, 7/18/10)
"Tracey Snyder squealed in delight as the sorrel gelding shot forward out of the holding pen and into her long, red horse trailer. The wide-eyed yearling stopped abruptly as it reached the front wall, then turned around to examine its surroundings ... Snyder and her husband, Robert, of Denton, Md., were among a crowd who gathered ... to check out -- and hopefully take home -- just over 40 horses and burros that previously had run wild on federal land west of the Mississippi."


Workers unload boxes of supplies from a truck, to support fire crews"Incident command post at Desert Empire Fairgrounds" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 7/21/10)
"The Desert Empire Fairgrounds have been transformed into an Incident Command Post for firefighters working the Owens Peak Complex wildfires-- Sand 2 and the Indians Fire just west of Highway 14. Bureau of Land Management Public Information Officer Michelle Puckett calls this a Type 2 fire, meaning there are less than 1,000 firefighters on the job."

Smoke billows from a mountaintop"Fires rage in nearby mountains" (Ridgecrest News Review, 7/21/10)
"Three wildland fires occurred in the area this past week — one being the Bodfish fire near Lake Isabella, the other two a little closer to home. Both Bodfish and Sand 2 fires were a result of lightning during the July 15 thunderstorms that rumbled through the area. The Indian fire remains under investigation." Includes link to video footage of the fires, and interviews.

"Indian Fire remains 80-percent contained" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 7/21/10)
"The Indian Fire remains 80-percent contained, said Bureau of Land Management Information Officer Michelle Puckett. She said the fire burned approximately 2,281 acres, and full containment is expected by Friday. The fire started Saturday, July 16 near Indian Wells Canyon Road northwest of Ridgecrest."

Flames blaze through a stand of trees"Bodfish fire contained, 560 acres burned" (Kern Valley Sun, 7/20/10)
"Changing winds pushed the fire in all directions and across the roadway ... The number of fire fighting personnel soon swelled to 650 as the fire blackened approximately 560 acres." The fire was declared "100 percent contained" Tuesday. The cause was determined to be lightning strikes.

"Learn how you can create defensible space" (California Fire Alliance)
How to create defensible space around your property, to reduce the risk of losing your home - even in severe wildfire.


Animal eyes look out of plants overlaid with a question mark
Botta’s, Townsend’s, mountain, northern, western -- these are subspecies of what California animal?
(a.) kangaroo mouse
(b.) pocket gopher
(c.) banded gecko
(d.) opossum
(e.) trout
(f.) L.A. Basin lounge lizard

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


Wind turbines loom over a passing vehicleA man leans against a wind turbine blade wider than he is tall"BLM Advisory Council members tour wind energy project" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council toured the Hatchet Ridge Wind Energy Project when they met July 15 and 16 in Redding. While the project is not on BLM-managed public land, RAC members were interested in seeing a project under development as they prepare to advise BLM on wind energy proposals in northwest California. The tour provided good information on the magnitude of a wind power project and the phases involved in construction.

renewable energy logo includes symbols for wind, solar, geothermal power plus transmission lines"San Diego Week: Sunrise Powerlink clears major hurdle" (KPBS San Diego, 7/16/10)
"This week, the U.S. Forest Service approved San Diego Gas and Electric's plan to build a portion of 120-mile Sunrise Powerlink transmission line through the Cleveland National Forest ... The Bureau of Land Management approval has been legally challenged in court. The California Public Utilities Commission approval has been challenged in court, and the opponents of the Powerlink say they will be filing legal challenges to the U.S. Forest Service decision to approve it as well." Video, plus transcript.

"Schwarzenegger asks Calif. regulators to delay 33% RPS" (Greenwire at New York Times, 7/21/10)
"California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has quietly asked state regulators to delay final action on a 33 percent renewable portfolio standard to give legislators in Sacramento more time to pass a bill that would give the mandate more teeth as standing law."

close-up of smiling manEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Cedric Perry...
...is one of several new project managers for the numerous proposed renewable energy developments in the California Desert. He provides oversight for all aspects of renewable energy land use authorizations and National Environmental Protection Act requirements for various BLM field offices in the vast, 11 million-acre California Desert District.



"McClintock proposes U.S. takeover of 'Plymouth Rock' in his district" (Sacramento Bee, 7/16/10)
"Republican Rep. Tom McClintock is proposing that the Department of Interior take over a 271-acre ranch near Coloma as a national historic site. ... McClintock has an unlikely ally in his endeavor, Democrat Barbara Boxer, who has introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Under their plans, the federal government would use private money ... to buy the Gold Hill Ranch in western El Dorado County." The site of the former Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony "would be preserved as a national site of historical and cultural value ... Boxer said the land would be acquired and managed by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management...."

"Editorial: Land-swap bill is small victory for the taxpayer" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/20/10)
HR 689"is effectively a land swap between two federal agencies -- the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM will take stewardship of all of the land in the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area, west of Shasta Dam. Meanwhile, the Forest Service will now oversee nearly 5,000 acres in the Trinity Alps Wilderness that had been under the BLM’s stewardship ... juggling the jurisdiction streamlines the operation of Chappie-Shasta."

RELATED: "Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Redding Field Office)
Just 10 miles northwest of Redding, the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway area offers 200 miles of roads and trails over 52,000 acres for off-road enthusiasts.

Aerial view of lake surrounded by hills with trees"Proposed Coast Range conservation area has supporters, opponents" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 7/19/10)
"Out of the 436,077 acres proposed for the area known as Berryessa Snow Mountain, 42,190 acres are located in Glenn County. The proposed area also includes land in Colusa, Lake, Yolo, Napa, Mendocino and Solano counties. Creating the area would allow various federal agencies to work together, such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management," said a proponent.

"Six positions open for BLM's Central California RAC" (Porterville Recorder, 7/19/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public nominations for six open positions on its Central California Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public-land issues. The nomination deadline is July 29."

"Girl drowns in Clear Creek; 2 others rescued by CHP helicopter" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/19/10)
"An 11-year-old girl drowned Sunday evening in Clear Creek west of Redding after she and two other people were tossed from flimsy blowup rafts they had attempted to ride through a white-water gorge." The tragedy occurred just outside a portion of the creek that flows through public lands, but the BLM continues to remind people to be very careful while boating, rafting or recreating in waterways.

RELATED: "River safety" (BLM California)
Important reminders for boating or rafting on rivers.

"Rancher furious over oil sump on his property" (KBAK/KBFX-TV, 7/20/10)
A rancher's land is a "split estate" -- the mineral rights are leased out by the BLM to an oil company that must then have a "surface use agreement" with the property owner, or a "surface use bond." The rancher "is angry about an oil drilling sump on his land and worried about its impact on wildlife and his animals ... the drillers were ordered to remove oil from the material in the sump and get it cleaned up." Includes video report.

RELATED: "Oil and gas" (BLM-California website)
California is the nation's 3rd largest onshore producer of oil and gas from federal lands.  During the fiscal year 2008, production from federal lands totaled more than 20.8 million barrels of oil, along with 5.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

"CAMP eradicates more than 85,000 plants" (The Willits News, 7/21/10)
"The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting eradicated 85,393 plants in 13 different sites in garden raids from Usal to Yorkville ... the group concentrated on Bureau of Land Management lands, corporate timberland and as requested by property owners."

"Railroad museum on the right track"(Grass Valley Union, 7/19/10)
"The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum's mission is to acquire, document, restore, preserve and organize information pertaining to Nevada County's transportation history...." The museum involved "a cooperative land venture" among several entities including the BLM.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)

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

July 23 - Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Desert Advisory Council Meeting
El Centro

July 24 - King Range hike: Rising Moon, Setting Sun
Sign up to obtain information

July - August - Wild horse and burro adoption events
Call contact numbers for the latest information.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) pocket gopher

SOURCE: "BLM California wildlife database"

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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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