A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 456 - 11/10/10

Two cartoon characters touch boxing gloves in cartoon boxing poster Bright orange tree and shrubs, with a backdrop of black hills A brown furry creature peers up from human hands in blue rubber gloves Group of bicyclists pauses along trail near an information kiosk A young lady works with weed loppers


- Funny.bytes: New edition
- America's Great Outdoors
- Not for Educators Only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Veterans honored
- BLM-related wildlife stories: Pacific fisher, desert tortoise app
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Funny.bytes logo includes a cartoon man laughingTwo cartoon characters touch boxing gloves in cartoon boxing posterFUNNY.BYTES: "Battle in the Desert"
"The Cutter" Glass versus "The Dreaded Tread" Tire are about to battle it out. This is one fight we want to stop before it starts. Funny.bytes is an occasional Flash video feature of News.bytes. It includes a sound track -- you may want to be ready to adjust the volume on your computer.

America's Great Outdoors logo sports snow-capped peaksAMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

"BLM waives Dumont Dunes and El Mirage fees for Veteran's Day holiday weekend" (BLM news release, 11/8/10)
Recreation fees at Dumont Dunes and El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Areas will be waived for the four-day holiday weekend beginning with Veteran’s Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, and extending through Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010.

Bright orange tree and shrubs, with a backdrop of black hillsBright orange shrubbery lines a gully through black ground"Fall color in northeastern California" (News.bytes Extra)
Northeast California's high, cold desert has a unique beauty. These public lands are rugged, remote and undeveloped. Volcanic outcrops and lava flows provide compelling texture to the vastness. For most of the year, however, the region isn't particularly colorful, dominated by the muted green of sage and the flat gray of rocky canyons and mountains. Those venturing into the back country in fall find a new vividness to this landscape...

Group of bicyclists pauses along trail near an information kiosklarge group of cyclists waits in a grassy field"Almost 300 join 'Iconic Bike Ride'" (News.bytes Extra)
Nearly 300 bicyclists of all ages and abilities joined the BLM Redding Field Office and its trail building partners last Saturday to celebrate improvements to the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail. The "Iconic Bike Ride" event provided riders the opportunity to celebrate by cycling from one Shasta County icon, Shasta Dam, to another, the Sundial Bridge in Redding.

dozens of cyclists wait in a grassy fieldTwo helmeted bicyclists pause to converseRELATED: "Cyclists celebrate linking of trails" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/6/10)
"The grand-opening celebration included an interpretive bike tour that stopped at several historic locations. Guides discussed points of interest related to the dam, mining, rail and other historic spots."

Several people talk together around a table of refreshmentsWoman speaks from next to a coastal poster"'Stop & View the Rocks' contest and rock cookies part of California Coastal National Monument 10th anniversary festivities in Mendocino" (News.bytes Extra)
Recent festivities at the historic Ford House in Mendocino honored the 10th anniversary of the California Coastal National Monument. This was part of a string of events held up and down the California coast during 2010 to celebrate the monument’s establishment a decade ago.

"'How Do You Love Your Favorite Public Land?' video contest" (National Public Lands Day website)
"Tell us about your favorite public land: What makes it special? What is your favorite activity to do on this land? What have you done to or how will you keep it that way for the next generation? You’ve explored and enjoyed the natural wonders on America's public lands, now here’s your chance to show us what makes your favorite public land special." Deadline extended: Dec. 1, 2010. (Sorry for the short notice; we at News.bytes just learned of this.)

A young lady works with weed loppersA group of young men and women in helmets crosses a footbridge over a stream"Whitewater: Jobs program allows trail improvements" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/6/10)
"Deep in Whitewater Canyon as the desert approaches the San Gorgonio Pass, people from nonprofit groups and federal land management agencies met Friday to celebrate the Pacific Crest Trail work of about 60 young adults whose jobs were funded by federal stimulus money. Half a dozen crew members fresh from working in mountains up north shared the basics of trail work with agency leaders and how they had developed an appreciation for the land as well as the work experience."

Two people hike past rocky outcroppings"National treasure in our backyard" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/9/10)
"Cahuilla Indians and Spanish explorers, gold miners and cattle ranchers, movie stars and spring breakers … if there's one thing they've had in common, it has been the view south from the Coachella Valley. Whether their eyes turned toward the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains in 1510 or 2010, the precipitous mountain terrain has hardly changed .... the legacy of this enduring landscape was assured with establishment of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, part of the National Landscape Conservation System ... both of which are celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2010."

rock wall on a flat desert landscapepetroglyph of human on a rock"On Foot: Exploring Fish Slough Road is easy enough" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 11/7/10)
"Sometimes, what we expect to spend hours hunting down takes just a few minutes to find along a well-marked road .... It's times like these that make up for the days we've spent driving around, overthinking our instructions and eventually giving up to go get dinner. The petroglyph sites along Fish Slough Road a few miles north of Bishop were one of those easy-peasy moments during a trip to the eastern side of the Sierra."

RELATED: "Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (Bishop Field Office)

Mountain bikers on a trail among treesBackpacker looks down hillside at a lake"New ways to connect: Konocti Regional Trails system develops around the county" (Lake County News, 11/7/10)
Lake County boasts "100 miles of existing trails and 355 miles of forest roads" including BLM trails, but many are "a significant distance from populated areas and often require traveling by car to enjoy them." A system of new trails is "meant to provide nonmotorized pathways between communities, local services, recreational areas and other points of interest" for "bicyclists, mountain bicyclists, hikers, birders, pedestrians, dog walkers, individuals in wheelchairs and strollers, skateboarders, horseback riders" and more.

"'Building Connections to Success' public lands forum"
(News.bytes Extra)
About 70 people participated in the "Building Connections to Success" fall forum in Bishop sponsored by the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association’s Public Lands Partnership Program in partnership with Inyo National Forest and BLM Bishop Field Office.


a furry brown creatures climbs a tree
Pacific fisher in the wild
The Pacific fisher is one of the few animals who are able to use this as food source:
(a.) rattlesnakes
(b.) pine needles
(c.) porcupines
(d.) snails
(e.) beehive wax
(f.) mountain lions
(g.) turducken
------> See answer -- and wildlife stories -- near the end of this issue.

Renewable energy graphics represent solar, wind and geothermal power, plus transmission linesRENEWABLE ENERGY

A woman in hard hat works on chain link fence"Energy developers need better tortoise counts, officials say" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/4/10)
"More tortoises than expected were found in the path of a large-scale solar project in northeast San Bernardino County ... Federal wildlife officials say more thorough tortoise surveys are needed before energy companies are allowed to build on public land. BrightSource Energy Co.'s project in the Ivanpah Valley is one of seven commercial-scale solar developments approved in the past few weeks and the first to start construction .... dozens of applications are pending."

More on desert tortoise counts: see "Desert tortoise iPhone app now available" below.

"CEC staff still opposed to solar project" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 11/9/10)
"The California Energy Commission staff continues to have concerns about Solar Millennium's proposed solar-energy project to be located just south of Ridgecrest. In its latest status report, the staff stated the applicant recently filed its proposed study plan for the Mohave ground squirrel habitat-connectivity study. Staff is reviewing the study plan and will file comments by Friday, Nov. 12 and hold a workshop Nov. 18 in an attempt to finalize the plan."

"Cost of green power makes projects tougher sell" (New York Times, 11/7/10)
In Virginia, electric rate regulators balked when "wind power would have increased the monthly bill of a typical residential customer by 0.2 percent .... a growing number of projects are being canceled or delayed because governments are unwilling to add even small amounts to consumers’ electricity bills .... Renewable energy supporters argue that higher fossil fuel prices will eventually make renewable energy more competitive .... Fold in the higher costs of extracting and burning fossil fuels on human health, the climate and the environment, many advocates argue, and renewable technologies like wind power are already cheaper."

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

two white horses look up from field at the camera"Government involvement in care of wild horses stirs controversy" (Tulsa World, 1/10/10)
"Tens of thousands of horses roam free in the western United States, particularly in California, Nevada and Idaho. With no natural predators, a herd can double its size in less than four years. Left unchecked, the horses will overgraze the available grass until the process triggers a massive die-off from starvation. By then, however, the grassland itself would be so devastated that it would take 30 to 40 years to recover, says Lili Thomas, from the Bureau of Land Management's 'wild horse' office in Reno, Nev." Includes photos and video.

brown horse looks at the camera"Osage County Ranch home to Oklahoma's wild horses" (KOTV Oklahoma, 11/9/10)
"The tall grass and wide open prairie of Osage County is one of the most beautiful places in Oklahoma. Just as impressive as the scenery, are the wild horses that now call the area home .... 3400 wild horses roam the ranch as part of the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro program." Includes photos .

"Nevada men who used wild horses for target practice receive 6-month prison sentences"
(Los Angeles Times, 11/4/10)
"A federal judge Wednesday ordered prison time for two men who admitted to using wild horses as target practice but sought leniency, telling them that 'drunken and boneheaded is not an excuse' for the crime." One of the defendants, who pled guilty in June, "said the two had been drinking and were looking for places to do some trapping when they came across the horses in the rangeland about 150 miles northwest of Reno."


"Lueck warns RACVB of new movie trend that could cost area money" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 11/5/10)
"Film companies may be less willing to travel these days," and to replace location shots with digital technology, said Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director Doug Lueck. "This shift could mean a loss of revenue for local hotels, restaurants, and other agencies that cater to filming companies." The bureau's response "will be more aggressively marketing what the community has to offer filming crews" especially since it is "only a short drive from Hollywood."

RELATED: "Filming permits" (BLM Ridgecrest Field Office)
The Ridgecrest Resource Area contains many popular film locations on public lands. These areas include the Trona Pinnacles, Cuddeback Dry Lake, Jawbone Canyon, Dove Springs, Spangler Hills, and the Olancha Dunes. The BLM and the Ridgecrest Film Commission are able to provide efficient service to the film community through a cooperative agreement.

"BLM plans public meeting on Clear Creek mining claims" (BLM news release, 11/8/10)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Hollister Field Office will hold a public meeting for mining claimants on Nov. 30 concerning the potential impact to mining claims from the proposed mineral withdrawal for the Clear Creek Management Area.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include maintenance worker, safety and occupational specialist, assistant fire engine operator and hotshot wildland firefighter.

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

Nov. 14 - "Acorns: A Native American staple"
Horse Town Clear Creek Preserve

Nov. 20 - Volunteer opportunity - seedball planting and preparing
Dos Palmas Area of Critical Environmental Concern

Dec. 10-11 - BLM California Desert Advisory Council meeting
Riverside (field tour Friday)


"Salazar, Berry and Johnson kick off week of federal activities honoring veterans" (Department of the Interior press release, 11/8/10)
Military band playsAgency heads honor veterans, speak of "a coordinated federal government-wide effort to enhance veteran recruitment and training programs." Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, "Our aim is to fill the ranks of federal employees with men and women who possess the technical and leadership skills, dedication, and sense of duty that Americans deserve from their public servants. Few embody those qualities like our nation’s veterans."

RELATED: Photo gallery

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) porcupines

SOURCE: "Pacific Fisher - Martes pennanti" (BLM California wildlife database)
Fishers are well-known for being one of the few predators of common porcupines.

A brown furry creature peers up from human hands in blue rubber glovesRELATED: "Fishing for fishers: Catch-and-release program for weasel cousin begins on Humboldt County timberland" (Eureka Times-Standard, 10/31/10)
"Local timberlands have become a source for a seldom-seen predator biologists are reintroducing to the northern Sierra Nevada, where they have been extinct for decades. As part of the second year of the project, biologists trapped a Pacific fisher on Green Diamond Resource Co. land at the Humboldt-Del Norte County line on Thursday. They are hoping to trap several more animals in the coming days, transfer them to a canyon outside of Chico and then monitor the large weasel to determine how they take hold."


part of a screen shot from a desert tortoise app includes photo of tortoiseDesert tortoise iPhone app now available
This "is a tool for people to use when they are out in the desert and happen to come across this threatened species …. to give the user an opportunity to submit their findings of this rare species and learn interesting facts as well."  Fon Allan Duke, Department of Defense coordinator with the Desert Managers Group says that the group hopes to have a version for Android cell phones available by the end of the year.

RELATED: "Desert Managers Group"
"The California Deserts are vast, harsh yet fragile lands within a day's drive of 40 million people.... and include two national parks, one national preserve, six military bases, 72 wilderness areas, 14 state parks and extensive holdings of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management" with "conflicting demands .... The DMG was established as the forum for government agencies to address and discuss issues of common concern. Through cooperative management each agency achieves greater operational efficiency, enhances resource protection, and the public is better served."

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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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