A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 452 - 10/14/10

Poster shows desert vegetation A runner takes a sharp corner at the end of a wooden bridge Orange, yellow and green foliage An off-road motorcyclist on a dirt trail through trees Close-up of man's face


- America's Great Outdoors
- Fall foliage: Some hotspots
- FREE offer: Poster
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Our readers write: Correction
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics
- Meet your advisory committee members - and upcoming meeting
- National BLM and Department of the Interior items
This issue of News.bytes is online at:

America's Great Outdoors logo features snow-capped mountainsAMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

A runner takes a sharp corner at the end of a wooden bridge"Big weekend on the Bizz"(News.bytes Extra)
Lassen County residents and athletes from across the country celebrated the long-awaited reopening of the Devil's Corral Trestle on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail near Susanville, over the Columbus Day weekend. Restoration of the 1913-era bridge was made possible by with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The ribbon cutting and marathon were on the same weekend as the 18th annual Rails to Trails Festival, a community celebration of the Bizz Johnson Trail.

Young woman shows children items found near riverWoman shows boy the inside of an off-road vehicle"Two Californians win 2010 BLM interpretation/education awards" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM's national Gold Award winner is Rachel Sowards-Thompson, outdoor recreation planner at the BLM's King Range National Conservation Area. One of two Silver Award winners is Joyce “Joya” Szalwinski, park ranger with BLM's El Centro Field Office.

"Halloween hike with a ranger: Look for bats" (East County Magazine, 1/6/10)
"Oct. 22: Join Ranger Lisa, and BLM’s Biologist Joyce, a bat expert, in watching a short bat movie, and take a bat hike with bat-sensing equipment on October 22 from 6-7 p.m.. Families are encouraged to attend, and also get to know their local National Wildlife Refuge in Rancho San Diego...."

A man holds his motorcycleOff-raod cycles parked next to cacti"October Touring Month brings motorcyclists, other visitors to Eastern Sierra" (News.bytes Extra)
Motorcycle riders enjoyed fall weather in the Eastern Sierra as part of the annual October Touring Month celebration. The ride covers over 600 miles utilizing multiple loops of public highways and lands managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service. Other events include a vintage car rally and Jeep tours.

Sign for Chappie-Shasta OHV AreaAn off-road motorcyclist on a dirt trail through trees"Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area management consolidated under BLM" (News.bytes Extra)
The transfer of approximately 11,700 acres within the Chappie-Shasta OHV area from the Forest Service to the Bureau of Land Management was completed this summer thanks to HR 689, a bill authored by Congressman Wally Herger and co-sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein. BLM now manages the entire Chappie-Shasta OHV area located near Redding, offering 200 miles of roads and trails on more than 52,000 acres.

"Trail completes link: Sutter's Mill to Sutter's Fort" (Mountain Democrat, 10/5/10)
Over the past 20 years, "The American River Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management acquired 2,632 acres parcel by parcel along the South Fork of the American River." Besides a scenic hike, “It's really about protecting the water and wildlife conservation,” said ARC executive director Alan Ehrgott said .... it's cheaper to buy the land to protect water quality than build treatment plants along the length of the river. Rivers provide 60 percent of California's water supply."


Orange, yellow and green foliage"Fall color hot spots" (BLM Bishop Field Office)
Update Oct. 12: We had rain, snow (above 8,000') and cold temperatures several of the days last week. Most of the trees at higher elevations that were in the process of changing color have dropped their leaves or the leaves have turned black. However trees at lower elevations (below 9,000’) that were still green, still have leaves that may soon change.

Fall foliage below snow-capped peaksFoliage turning color below snow-capped peaksRELATED: "Fall foliage in the Eastern Sierra" (News.bytes Extra)
Two photos taken last weekend in the Eastern Sierra, in the area of BLM-Bishop's Conway Summit Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

"Fall colors highlight weekend bus shuttle for Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail" (BLM news release, 10/7/10)
Oct. 23: Autumn colors are starting to pop along the Bizz Johnson Trail between Susanville and Westwood in northeast California, and a great way to enjoy the scene is from the saddle of a mountain bike. The BLM will make a fall color outing easy with the annual Fall Colors Ride and bus shuttle on Saturday, October 23. The shuttle enables mountain bikers, runners and hikers to organize one-way rides without the logistics of arranging their own vehicle shuttles. There are two options this year.

Poster shows desert vegetationFREE OFFER: Algodones Dunes poster
While supplies last, request this free poster of another scene in BLM's National Landscape Conservation System: North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area. NOTE: This offer will be activated at 10 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow (10/15/10), to try to give a chance to people who do not receive News.bytes immediately. Public lands posters are very popular, and go very quickly each time we are able to offer them.


Small furry animal barely visible in center of photo
Pacific shrew
It is unusual that the Pacific shrew is nocturnal because:
(a.) all other shrew species are diurnal
(b.) they are very vulnerable to owls in their habitat, and would be safer venturing out during the day
(c.) most shrews need to eat constantly in order to stay alive
(d.) it is so cold in their environment
(e.) it is so hot in their environment
(f.) they're not so young anymore, and you'd think they'd have learned by now that their bodies can't take that all-night partying

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

OUR READERS WRITE: Correction to last week's Wildlife Trivia Question

"Your answer to the wildlife trivia question -- 'Pygmy rabbits are the only member of the Leporidae family to... (b) dig its own burrows" - is correct only if you are limiting you consideration to North America .... the European or Old World rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus - the ancestor of the domestic rabbit) digs extensive burrow systems or 'warrens' in the wild. Being colonial in behavior, 100 or more European rabbits may occupy a large warren."
Glenn R. Stewart, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Zoology and Environmental Science
Biological Sciences Department
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

We thank you for the clarification, and have changed the wording of the summary in our BLM-California online wildlife database! -Your editor

RELATED: "Oryctolagus cuniculus - European rabbit" (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web)
More information plus photos, at this "educational resource written largely by and for college students."

renewable energy logo includes symbols for solar, wind and geothermal power and transmission linesRENEWABLE ENERGY

Close-up of a desert tortoise"Biologists scour Mojave in desert tortoise roundup" (Los Angeles Times, 10/9/10)
"More than 100 biologists and contract workers fanned out across a nearly pristine stretch of the eastern Mojave Desert on Friday to start rounding up tortoises blocking construction of the first major solar energy plant to be built on public land in Southern California .... Federal wildlife biologists said it was needed to make way for construction of BrightSource Energy's 3,280-acre, 370-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation System."

"As decisions near on more solar power plants, opponents urge alternatives"(Sunpluggers, 10/11/10)
" Giant utility-scale solar power plants of the type recently approved for construction in California and under review in Colorado, although they would bring new jobs and cleaner energy, are not universally welcomed because of the drawbacks they include. Some individuals and groups have been vocal opponents of large centralized solar energy complexes on rural lands such as Southern California's vast deserts or Colorado's scenic San Luis Valley."

"Renewable energy fast track projects" (BLM California)
Fast-track projects within the State of California are those renewable energy projects that have made significant progress in the permitting process and have either formally begun or will soon begin the environmental review and public participation process. 

silhouettes of a horse and a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Horses, burros available for adoption in Bishop" (BLM news release, 10/4/10)
Residents of the Eastern Sierra 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 Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds on Oct. 23. 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, Oct. 22.

"BLM completes post-roundup population survey for Twin Peaks Herd Management Area" (BLM news release, 10/8/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management has completed a post-roundup count of wild horses and burros in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area, finding that 793 wild horses and 160 wild burros remain on the range. BLM Northern California District Manager Nancy Haug noted that while the final population numbers are slightly over the upper end of the appropriate management level range set in the BLM’s land use planning process, she remains confident that the goals for the roundup were achieved."

Wild horses running"Madeleine Pickens purchases Nevada ranch, hopes to relocate wild horses there" (Los Angeles Times, 10/11/10)
"Madeleine Pickens, the wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, has bought a sprawling Nevada ranch to serve as a wild horse sanctuary that would keep mustangs on the range instead of in government-funded holding facilities. .... Under Pickens' latest proposal, a nonprofit foundation would care for the animals with a government stipend of $500 a head, per year. An education center and lodging facilities would be built, and the preserve would be fenced to confine horses."

"Students dig deep to help foal" (Redding Record Searchlight, 10/12/10)
Redding-area fourth graders " raised about $140 for Honey Bandit, a wild horse foal rescued after being severely injured after a Bureau of Land Management wild horse roundup in September .... The students said Tuesday they went to work raising money in a variety of ways: rummaging around the house for spare change, doing chores for cash and even asking relatives for money."


"Mine rescue has vital lessons" (San Bernardino County Sun, 10/13/10)
"News footage showing Wednesday's rescue of Chilean miners provided an opportunity for some teachers in the region to develop lesson plans that incorporated the event into lessons on economics and the importance of smart decision making. The rescue also gave land-management officials in California a chance to talk about the dangers presented by the thousands of abandoned mine shafts scattered around the state. A large number of those abandoned mines are in the Mojave Desert." The article quotes Bureau of Land Management geologist Steve Kupferman.

Poster warns of abandoned mine hazardsRELATED:
"Abandoned mine lands - safety and education" (BLM national website)
Includes links to more information: types of hazards, "Stay Out-Stay Alive" campaign and more educational resources.
Related pages link to an informational poster.

"Comment period extended on proposed Agua Caliente land exchange" (BLM news release, 10/13/10)
In response to public requests, the Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on a proposed land exchange with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians an additional month to November 19, 2010. The proposed land exchange would occur within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

"A creek is reborn: State Parks restores picturesque valley at Coast Dairies" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/10/10)
Work crews "re-engineered the course of Laguna Creek .... to make the watershed more hospitable to threatened steelhead and coho ... prevent the flooding of nearby farmland" and "restore one of the most sensitive habitats" at the former Coast Dairies. "State Parks bought the seven-mile coastal stretch of the former Coast Dairies property four years ago in hope of restoring much of it to its natural state as well as supporting the private farm operations. The federal Bureau of Land Management is hoping to acquire the inland part of Coast Dairies for a similar cause."

Map detail of proposed monument straddling California-Oregon border"Siskiyou Crest Monument plan hits resistance" (Redding Record Searchlight, 10/10/10)
A group proposed that "the mountains in the Siskiyou Crest, which covers about 600,000 acres as it straddles the border between Yreka and Ashland" be designated a national monument. "That’s drawn opposition from people who say the effort could crimp the rights of property owners whose land is next to or surrounded by the public land." The nearby Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is managed by BLM-Oregon.

"Officials wrestle with Auburn rec area solutions" (Auburn Journal, 10/14/10)
"The Auburn State Recreation Area is in danger of losing its State Parks management as a depleting Bureau of Reclamation budget allots for fewer park rangers .... two Auburn city councilmen have different ideas about how to work out a solution .... Transferring ownership of the recreation area from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Bureau of Land Management is one possible solution," said one of them, but funds are still an issue.

"Marijuana grow eradicated near Madeline" (Lassen County Times, 10/11/10)
"Law enforcement officers eradicated 3,500 mature marijuana plants after a group of hunters reported they had found a cultivation site .... The sheriff’s office reminds people to be aware of their surroundings while in the outdoors and to report any suspicious activity."

"Fire restrictions lifted for public lands managed by BLM Redding Field Office" (BLM news release, 10/8/10)
"The Bureau of Land Management has announced that restrictions on outdoor use of fire have been lifted for BLM-managed public lands in Butte, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties. Campfire permits are required.

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

Close-up of man's faceMEET YOUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER: Dale Kuhnle...
... has operated ranches and farms within or adjacent to the Carrizo Plain National Monument for more than 20 years and represents those who graze livestock within the monument's boundary.

RELATED: "Carrizo Advisory Committee plans October meeting" (BLM news release, 10/13/10)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee will meet Oct. 30 at the Carrisa Elementary School to discuss management planning for the monument.


"Salazar lauds innovation, job-creation on the New Energy Frontier at Solar Power Conference" (Department of the Interior press release, 10/13/10)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar's remarks yesterday at the Solar Power International 2010 Conference and Exhibition in Los Angeles.

"Departments of the Interior, Homeland Security announce $6.8 million in conservation projects" (Department of the Interior press release, 10/13/10)
The agreement represents the first of a series of efforts designed to mitigate impacts from the construction of fencing and other security measures along the U.S. Border with Mexico. Projects include studying the movement of bighorn sheep in California.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related website
(c.) most shrews need to eat constantly in order to stay alive

SOURCE: "Pacific Shrew - Sorex pacificus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Most shrews are active day and night to fulfill their dietary requirements, but Pacific shrews are truly nocturnal in that they have very low activity during the day. At night, these animals exhibit high activity levels.
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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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