A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 454 - 10/28/10

Man holds a small object in rubber glove man hugs horse California governor and Secretary of Interior at podium rows of solar panels on desert floor Three people holding awards.


- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- America's Great Outdoors
- Archaeological and cultural resources
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics
- Wildfires and prevention
- Selected upcoming events

This issue of News.bytes is online at:

renewable energy logo features graphics for wind, solar and geothermal power, plus transmission linesRENEWABLE ENERGY

"Solar power plant breaks ground in Mojave Desert" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/28/10)
"California's long-awaited boom in the construction of large-scale solar power plants has finally begun. BrightSource Energy of Oakland broke ground Wednesday on its Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which will use fields of mirrors in the Mojave Desert to concentrate sunlight and generate enough power for 140,000 homes."

California governor and Secretary of Interior at podiumRELATED: "Salazar lauds private-public collaboration on the new energy frontier at solar ‘power tower’ plant groundbreaking" (Department of the Interior press release, 10/27/10)
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar ... celebrated the groundbreaking of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, an innovative 'power tower' project in San Bernardino County .... Along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and representatives from BrightSource Energy, the developer, and the Department of Energy, Secretary Salazar lauded the cooperation that launched the thermal solar technology project...."

RELATED: "Solar plant in Mojave Desert to start construction" (Los Angeles Times, 10/23/10)
"Las Vegas-bound travelers nearing the Nevada border rarely take notice of the vast, empty stretch of the Mojave Desert surrounding them. But that may soon change. On Wednesday" ground was broken "for a massive solar thermal plant spanning about 3,600 acres and involving 346,000 mirrors, each about the size of a billboard."

rows of solar panels on desert floor"Massive area solar plant gets OK" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/26/10)
"Construction of the largest solar project ever planned on U.S. public lands soon could be under way ... triggering what area officials hope will be a chain reaction of jobs and clean energy production that will help diversify the region's flagging economy. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Monday the final approval of Solar Millennium's 1,000-megawatt solar thermal plant that is scheduled to break ground by the end of the year."

RELATED: "Huge solar array approved near Blythe" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/25/10)
"Salazar said the solar array would be the largest in the world and provide enough power for about 700,000 average American homes. Building the 1,000-megawatt complex of parabolic mirrors and heating elements will produce as many as 1,000 construction jobs, Salazar said...."

RELATED: "Salazar approves sixth and largest solar project ever on public lands"(Department of the Interior news release, 10/25/10)
The project, proposed by Palo Verde Solar I, a subsidiary of Solar Millennium, LLC, will cover 7,025 acres of public lands eight miles west of Blythe in Riverside County, California. It is expected to create 1,066 jobs at the peak of construction and 295 permanent jobs.

"Solar power projects could employ thousands" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/27/10)
"The 42- year-old unemployed laborer from Needles grabbed the chance to work ... one of thousands of construction workers suffering from Inland Southern California's housing crash and subsequent economic malaise who hope to find economic salvation in the solar energy industry's desert emergence .... If all nine large-scale solar projects approved or under government review in Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial and Kern counties are built, in about two years they could employ more than 8,000 construction workers, according to the California Energy Commission. And after construction is finished, more than 1,000 workers will be needed to operate them. "

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

"Event to highlight improvements to 200 miles of Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail" (BLM news release, 10/26/10)
The BLM and the U.S. Forest Service used $4 million for trail-related projects and put 58 young adults to work upgrading nearly 200 miles of the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail, in the first year of a two-year project. The past year of accomplishments will be celebrated at an event Nov. 5 at the Whitewater Preserve, highlighting work by Student Conservation Association trail crews.

Two men shake hands and hold an award."Field and Stream Magazine Conservation Hero of the Year" (News.bytes Extra)
Gale Dupree, a representative on the Bureau of Land Management's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council, received Field and Stream Magazine's "Conservation Hero of the Year" award for his work with sage grouse in northwest Nevada.

"BLM offers second Fall Colors Bike Shuttle on Bizz Johnson Trail" (BLM news release, 10/26/10)
A cold autumn rainstorm hampered the annual Fall Colors Bike Ride on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail on Saturday, Oct. 23, so the Bureau of Land Management is offering a second outing on Saturday, Oct. 30.  Colors are vibrant along much of the trail.

A river runs through a deep, steep canyon"Tuolumne River Plan presents many options" (Union Democrat, 10/2/10)
Yosemite National Park "is preparing a long-delayed plan to protect the federally declared Wild and Scenic status of a 54-mile section of the Tuolumne River within the park. The declaration came in 1984. Twenty-nine additional miles of the river under U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management already have a management plan in place."

boaters on inflatable raft tied up near river rocksRELATED: "Tuolumne River" (BLM website)
California's premier whitewater river is a slalom course of boulders of escalating intensity. Staircase rapids, chutes, and pools by the score and Yosemite National Park create the ultimate river adventure, a journey by turns exciting and pristine on this world-famous river.

"Desert Discovery Center expansion open house"
(BLM news release, 10/21/10)
BLM will host an open house at the Desert Discovery Center to announce plans for the center’s expansion and renovation. The center, constructed in 1973, will be renovated incorporating sustainable technologies and energy efficient design features. In addition, the center will be expanded to include an outdoor classroom, as well as public park land that will allow visitors to explore the natural, cultural, and historic resources associated with the California Desert.

Man stands by rocks jutting from groundHorseback riders on a rugged trail"National monument land swap draws protest"
(Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/25/10)
"Hikers, bikers and horseback riders are protesting a planned 7,269-acre land swap between the federal government and a Palm Springs Indian tribe, saying the trade gives up an irreplaceable public gem and threatens access to popular trails within the Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Under the plan, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would exchange 9 square miles in the northern part of the monument for 2.3 square miles belonging to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians."

Man walks dog on canyon trailRELATED: "Hikers fear land swap plan could limit access to trails" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/22/10)
"A proposed land swap between the federal government and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians would put parts of some of the Palm Springs area's most popular mountain trails in tribal hands, a concern for local hikers. The federal Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments until Nov. 19 on a proposed land exchange...."

RELATED: "Tribe has no intention of closing trails" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/23/10)
In this article by the Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Richard Milanovich addresses concerns about access to trails.


A man puts a harness on a wild horse.man hugs horse"Wild Horses and Burros adopted in San Francisco Bay Area and in Bishop" (News.bytes Extra)
"California residents from San Francisco Bay to the high Sierras got a chance to see wild horses and burros in the flesh last week. The Bureau of Land Management held wild horse and burro adoptions at the Cow Palace in San Francisco -- in conjunction with the Grand National Rodeo -- and in Bishop. Two horses halter gentled by Jerry and Laurie Boots and Michele DeCamp were adopted at the San Francisco event."

Man and mustangMan works in ring with mustang"Breaking a mustang with a gentle hand" (Merced Sun, 10/27/10)
"In a small pen in Winton on Tuesday morning, a mustang horse that spent six years of his life being a wild animal on the range was breaking Gary Wedemeyer. The horse, a dark palomino, snorted through his nose while Wedemeyer quietly walked around the animal, a lead rope in his hand and only one thought in his mind: Make this horse trust me. He wants to break the horse. And the horse seemed to have the same idea about the man."

"BLM announces media tour of two long-term wild horse holdings pastures in Midwest" (BLM national news release, 10/27/10)
The Bureau of Land Management announced that it is hosting an all-day tour for credentialed media of two long-term holding pastures in the Midwest. The tour will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at wild horse holding ranches in Pawhuska and Foraker, Oklahoma, both located within two hours of Tulsa.  

Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week is on break this week, because the editor was on break this past week. We plan to return next issue.


Historic-looking train depot"Supporters plan train service from Barstow to outpost" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/25/10)
"When the Kelso Flyer left the train station in Barstow and passed wild canyons, towering sand dunes and rocky mountain ranges on its journey into the heart of the East Mojave, it carried people packed with expectations .... Promoters hoped the train, with its load of public officials, media and train fans, would build interest -- and financial support -- for their idea to offer regular, one-day tourist trips to Kelso." The Kelso Depot "was saved from destruction in the mid '90s by local preservationists and Bureau of Land Management officials...." Includes photo gallery and links to more photos.

Man holds a small object in rubber gloveMan digs for fossil"Bone buffs dig chance to explore Shark Tooth Hill"
(Bakersfield Californian, 10/22/10)
"Shark Tooth Hill's ultra-rich fossil bed boasts one of the most concentrated fossil deposits in the world...." Last weekend, Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, with the cooperation of a private landowner, allowed "rock hounds and amateur paleontologists" to conduct a dig at the site. "I'm not sure this is a bone or not, but it's got a tooth embedded in it," said one participant as he examined a "bowling ball-size stone. What he found appeared to be what paleontologists call a concretion, sedimentary rock that has solidified, said Gregg Wilkerson, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management geologist."

Old building with American flag"Kaweah Post Office to celebrate 100 years" (Visalia Times-Delta, 10/22/10)
"In 1890, mail first came to Kaweah. It was delivered to a 'tent town' called Advance that the colonists used while they were building the road into Sequoia. Today, Advance is a site on Bureau of Land Management land .... In 1910, former colonists, apple farmers and ranchers ... built the 10-by-12-foot building with a front porch .... In 1926, it was put on logs and rolled to Postmistress Ida Purdy's property." Kathleen McCleary, who "owns the historic building and the 32-acre horse ranch it sits on," hosted a 100th birthday celebration for the post office building.


Three people holding awards."BLM Director Bob Abbey presents awards to agency employees for extraordinary public service" (BLM News Release, 10/26/10)
Congratulations to BLM California awardees Lynda Roush, Arcata Field Office, and Jeff Fontana, public affairs officer for the Northern California District and member of the Wild Horse and Burro Communications Team. Lynda received the Director’s Excellence Through Leadership Award for building and sustaining partnerships that help protect California's coastal resources and treasured landscapes managed by the BLM in the northernmost part of California. Jeff received the Director’s Team Accomplishment Award for supplemental communications support to the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

"BLM plans oil and gas competitive lease auction" (BLM news release, 10/27/10)
 The Bureau of Land Management will conduct an auction of oil and gas leases on federal land on Wednesday, Dec. 8 in Bakersfield. The competitive lease auction involves five parcels for a total of 2,743.76 acres of public lands in Kings and Kern counties.

black and white old photo of loggin men on truck"Yuba's place in nature: Forestry group celebrates 20 years with new book" (Nevada County Union, 10/27/10)
"In 1990, residents on Nevada County's San Juan Ridge founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to forest stewardship. Within a year, the Yuba Watershed Institute entered into a unique partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to collaborate in the planning and management of nine forested BLM parcels on the Ridge. Since then, this joint effort has resulted in a 200-year management plan for 1,800 acres of federal forest lands."

"Ceremony will mark transfer of former Centerville Beach Navy facility" (BLM News Release, 10/25/10)
The Bureau of Land Management and the U. S. Navy formally completed the transfer of the Centerville Beach Naval Facility near Ferndale to BLM management for future public access in a ceremony this morning. “After much planning and excellent work by the Navy to return the former base to its natural condition, we are excited to be able to complete the transfer and open up this stunningly beautiful landscape to the public,” said Lynda Roush, manager of the BLM Arcata Field Office.

"BLM seeks public comment on draft abandoned mine lands environmental assessment" (BLM news release, 10/25/10)
The Bureau of Land Management California Desert District Office has released a Draft Abandoned Mine Lands Remediation and Closure Process Programmatic Environmental Assessment for public review and comment. The public comment period closes on November 23, 2010. The increased incidence of injuries and deaths associated with abandoned mines results in an increased need for the BLM to address closure and remediation of these features on public lands.

backhoe works in dirt"Doe Mill gets makeover"
(Paradise Post, 10/21/10)
"A multiple agency effort to restore Doe Mill Road ramped up Tuesday as workers from the Redding and Susanville offices of the Bureau of Land Management ran heavy equipment over the rutted rocky road." The Butte County Resource Conservation District "is the leading agency for the final stage of a three-prong, grant-funded watershed protection project .... Re-grading roads may seemingly have little to do with water quality, but when Doe Mill is done, it will more effectively and cleanly shed water without allowing silt to enter Butte Creek...."

"Overflow crowd shows concern for Auburn State Recreation Area at forum" (Auburn Journal, 10/26/10)
"Concerned about the future of the 26,000-acre Auburn State Recreation Area, a crowd packed the Placer County Board of Supervisors chambers and spilled out into the hallway .... With decreased Bureau of Reclamation spending in yearly state Parks Department contracts to patrol and maintain the canyon land near Auburn on the middle and north forks of the American River, about 140 people turned out for a forum...." One proposal offered was "to transfer the land to the Bureau of Land Management, which already has 11,000 acres of land in the Auburn dam project area."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Now accepting applications for assistant fire engine operator, GIS specialist, administrative technician, and environmental protection specialist.


"BLM Redding Field Office plans prescribed burns through Fall" (BLM news release, 10/20/10)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Redding Field Office has planned several prescribed burning projects this fall and winter to improve landscape health and remove brush piles remaining from vegetation improvement projects. All burn dates are tentative. Burns will be ignited only if weather conditions allow for safe and successful burning and smoke dispersion.

"BLM lifts campfire restrictions in the California Desert District" (BLM news release, 10/20/10)
BLM's California Desert District has lifted its campfire restrictions on all BLM-managed public lands in southern California within the California Desert Conservation Area. BLM-managed lands in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and western Riverside County that are designated as “State Responsibility Areas” remain under Stage II restrictions. These areas only permit campfires within approved fire pits and grills provided for in developed recreational sites.

"BLM Ukiah Field Office lifts fire restrictions" (BLM news release, 10/27/10)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Ukiah Field Office has lifted fire restrictions on public lands in Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Solano counties. The BLM asks people to still be careful with fires.

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

October 30 - Carrizo Plain Advisory Committee

November 4 - Kanaka Valley Community Planning Meeting

November 7 - Autumn Natural History Walk at Clear Creek

November 14 - Acorns: A Native American Staple

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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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