A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 447 - 9/9/10
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- National Public Lands Day
- Wildfires and prevention
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
This issue of News.bytes is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
This weekend: "Three-day celebration marks 40th anniversary of King Range NCA" (BLM news release, 9/1/10)
Hikes, mountain bike rides, tidepool walks and a birthday party complete with live music will highlight King Range Days, a three-day celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the King Range National Conservation Area on California’s north coast. Everyone is invited to participate in the events that begin Friday, Sept. 10, and culminate Sunday, Sept. 12, with a barbecue and entertainment in Shelter Cove.
RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
"Jawbone Station Visitor Center expands" (News.bytes Extra)
From a small travel trailer dispensing information and first aid in 1982 to today’s 1,900-square-foot complex, Jawbone Station Visitor Center serves Eastern Sierra Off-Highway Vehicle enthusiasts and travelers alike. Volunteers from the Friends of Jawbone staff the center disbursing maps, books, and friendly advice to about 6,600 visitors annually. Last week, a groundbreaking ceremony kicked off construction of an expansion that will help volunteers and staff better serve visitors.
"Carson Dunbar attains Eagle Scout rank" (Red Bluff Daily News, 9/3/10))
"Only two percent of Scouts attain the highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America. An Eagle Scout must have completed at least 21 merit badges and organized a service project that benefits his church, community or school. Dunbar led a crew that installed three-quarter miles of trail on the Bend Bureau of Land Management recreation area, which acted as a link to connect two trail systems thus connecting the north and south ends of the more than 14,000 acre recreation area."
"Presidential Proclamation - National Wilderness Month 2010" (Department of the Interior press release, 9/2/10)
In September 1964, Congress passed and President Johnson signed the Wilderness Protection Act to set aside those places that should remain untouched forever, places "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man." To mark the anniversary of the Act and to celebrate America’s love for the great outdoors, President Obama declared this September, “National Wilderness Month."
|NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
Volunteers needed: Help celebrate on Saturday, Sept. 25, by taking part in the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. In 2009, 150,000 volunteers across the country built trails and bridges, removed trash and invasive plants, planted trees and restored our water resources. Here are some of the projects planned for California:
"National Public Lands Day 2010" (BLM California)
List of projects in various parts of California. Includes links for more information, and contact information so you can take part, also! (Due to extreme heat at some locations, some events will be held in October.)
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"Pilots in Kern keep safe flying to flames of wildland infernos" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/4/10)
"The air above a wildfire is fraught with danger. There's heat, smoke and a fleet of helicopters and air tankers all trying to slow a fire without running into each other. Those who take to the air have tough jobs -- from the physical demands they feel to the emotional heartbreak they see -- and their skills are critical, including in three recent Kern County fires."
RELATED: "Bakersfield BLM firefighters battle wildfire in mountain community" (News.bytes Extra)
A community effort to create "defensible space" around structures helped firefighters to minimize damage from a recent southern California wildfire. Firefighters from the BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office helped combat the Post Fire in the nearby mountain community of Lebec. The fire spread quickly through the cured grass and oak brush and immediately began to threaten structures in the area...
RELATED: "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.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
a red fox
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What does the red fox have in common with the gray squirrel?
(a.) They prefer to nest in cavities at the base of trees.
(b.) They commonly eat mushrooms.
(c.) They often climb trees to escape predators
(d.) They often bury food underground for later.
(e.) Each of their names was taken up by professional comedians -- though Redd Foxx achieved generally greater commercial success than Native American standup comic Gray Squirrel.
------> See answer -- and related stories -- near the end of this issue.
"Solar projects still sorting out tortoises' fate" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 9/3/10)
"BrightSource Energy Co. has pounded hundreds of wooden surveyor stakes into the earth in northeast San Bernardino County while awaiting final decisions from state and federal agencies on whether to turn 5.6 square miles of public land into a solar energy plant .... A major obstacle remains, however. Still unresolved is what to do with desert tortoises living in the project's path in the Ivanpah Valley near Primm, Nev."
"Comment period extended for proposed Lake County wind farm"(Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 9/9/10)
The BLM "extended the deadline for comments on a proposed wind farm straddling Lake and Colusa counties even as officials prepared for the first of two public meetings on the project Thursday evening in Lakeport. The deadline for public comment on the Walker Ridge Wind Park is now Oct. 13...." Meetings are tonight and tomorrow night.
RELATED: "BLM announces public meetings for Walker Ridge wind project, extends comment period" (BLM news release,. 8/24/10)
Meetings were scheduled for tonight in Lakeport and tomorrow in Colusa. (repeated from an earlier issue of News.bytes)
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Twin Peaks wild horse and burro roundup" (BLM California, Eagle Lake Field Office)
BLM's goal is to leave a healthy herd of at least 450 wild horses and 72 wild burros to reach the Appropriate Management Level set by the Eagle Lake Resource Management Plan in 2008 to ensure healthy rangelands. The current populations are about five times the number of wild horses and two times the number of burros. BLM plans to humanely gather as many of the total population as possible and return to the range the most suitable animals to reach the AML. Details of the roundup are available on this website.
"Horse advocates pull for underdog in roundups" (New York Times, 9/5/10)
"More than 1,200 horses have been captured during the current roundup, much to the chagrin of people like Simone Netherlands, an animal rights advocate who says that the roundups ... are cruel, expensive and unnecessary .... The Bureau of Land Management, which is overseeing the roundup, disputes that, saying that the roundups are humane and that it must reduce the wild horse population to more sustainable levels, both for their health and for that of the other animals that live in this harsh terrain."
"Honey Bandit faces long odds for recovery" (Redding Record Searchlight, 9/7/10)
A northern California woman is caring for a sick colt, whose mother stopped lactating. Honey Bandit was gathered as part of the recent roundup east of Susanville.
Follow the Twin Peaks Gather on Facebook (including a recent video tour of the Litchfield Corrals)...
... and on Twitter:
Photos from the Twin Peaks Roundup have been posted on Flickr:
"BLM to gather up 100 burros" (Yuma Sun, 9/7/10)
"Looking to adopt a wild burro? The BLM may have one for you. The Bureau of Land Management's Yuma Field Office will begin gathering 100 burros from the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area near Blythe starting Sept. 25. The animals collected will be available for adoption...."
"BLM plans public hearing on use of motorized vehicles and aircraft in wild horse and burro management" (BLM news release, 9/1/10
The Bureau of Land Management’s Ridgecrest Field Office will hold a public hearing to present information and gather public comments about the use of motor vehicles or aircraft in the management of wild horses and burros on federal lands in the California Desert. This includes the use of helicopters to assist in both the gathering of animals and obtaining accurate census, as well as the use of motor vehicles for transporting captured animals during gather operations. The hearing will be held on Thursday, Sept. 23.
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Coast Dairies deal hung up by lawsuit" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/4/10)
"A decade-long struggle to preserve nearly 7,000 acres of coastal bluff and forest along the North Coast has hit another snag -- infighting within the conservation community. A loose-knit coalition of environmentalists doesn't like the way the conservation deal is going down and has filed suit against the county for not sufficiently scrutinizing the transfer of the property to the federal Bureau of Land Management and Agri-Culture, a local agricultural trust."
"10 indicted in pot grows on public lands" (The Grass Valley Union, 9/4/10)
"A federal grand jury has indicted 10 defendants for operating large marijuana grows on public land in three different counties .... The four cases, which are unrelated, are the most recent indictments during the 2010 harvest season involving armed growers using public lands. The U.S. Attorney's office has charged approximately 80 persons this year with marijuana cultivation offenses." One of the cases involved four armed men camped "on Bureau of Land Management lands south of Cache Creek."
RELATED: "Herger takes part in marijuana raid" (Red Bluff Daily News, 9/1/10)
"Rep. Wally Herger ... wanted an up close and personal assessment of the enormous challenges facing local law enforcement as they deal with the explosion of illegal marijuana gardens planted by Mexican drug cartels" including on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
"Agency promises to beef up presence at off-road races" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/10)
"Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California asked the Bureau of Land Management to respond to several questions they had after an accident in August ... killed eight people ... and injured 10 in the state's Mojave Desert. Bob Abbey, director of the BLM, told the lawmakers in a letter obtained Wednesday that the agency will increase its presence at all the events it approves on federal lands, but he did not provide further specifics."
"Burning Man attendance up nearly 20 percent over last year" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 9/5/10)
The Burning Man festival on BLM-managed lands in Nevada's Black Rock Desert "drew record numbers this year," a reported total of 51,515 paid campers. The festival "features spontaneous music, more than 199 registered art works, hundreds of art cars along with theme camps, lectures, bizarre costumes and general zaniness."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include environmental protection specialist, hotshot crew members, assistant fire engine operators and horse wrangler (motor vehicle operator).
|EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Christine (Chrissie) Foley...
...is labor relations specialist with the BLM's California State Office. She helps management navigate the master labor agreement and facilitates the agency's relationship with the employee union. Her public service goes back to her senior year in high school ....
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:
Sept. 10-12 - King Range NCA 10th Anniversary Celebration
Sept. 11 - Streamflow and fish hike
Sept. 17-18 - Central California Resource Advisory Council meeting
Coalinga meeting, plus field tour
Sept. 20 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
d.) They often bury food underground for later.
SOURCE: "Red Fox - Vulpes vulpes" (BLM California wildlife database)
These foxes tend to store extra food underground for times when food is scarce.
MORE ON THE RED FOX:
"Existence of rare red fox confirmed" (Los Angeles Times, 9/7/10)
"The genetic signature of canine slobber on a bait bag of chicken scraps and a fuzzy photograph from a motion-sensitive camera north of Yosemite National Park have confirmed the existence of a red fox, thought to have been all but wiped out .... The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) lives at high elevations, eating small mammals and birds. It has a reddish head, back and sides; black backs of the ears; black 'socks' on its feet; and a white-tipped tail."
RELATED: "Red fox sighting may spur federal protection" (Sacramento Bee, 9/8/10)
"The rarely seen Sierra Nevada red fox could be the next candidate for federal protection -- and perhaps controversy -- now that one has been photographed prowling near Sonora Pass."
RELATED: "Sierra Nevada Red Fox" (California Department of Fish and Game)
More information on this subspecies, including photos of its dramatic difference in appearance of red foxes in silver-dark and cross phases.
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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