A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 457 - 11/17/10
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- National Landscape Conservation System
- In the Field at the Headwaters Forest Reserve
- Funny.bytes: Search for the Lost Coast
- Free offer: NLCS poster
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- ARRA Projects
- Renewable energy
- America's Great Outdoors
- Wild Horses and Burros
(update on Honey Bandit)
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics
- Selected upcoming events
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
National Landscape Conservation System
"Salazar orders conservation focus for 27M acres of nationally significant public lands in West" (Los Angeles Times, 11/15/10)
"Interior Secretary Ken
Salazar's order clarifies that the Bureau of Land Management should treat conservation as a top priority in managing the 27-million acre National Landscape Conservation System."
"Interior secretary makes conservation a top priority on BLM lands" (Las Vegas Review Journal, 11/15/10)
"The policy direction means conservation of the 186 units that make up the national conservation lands -- including 16 national monuments, 220 wilderness areas and 16 scenic and historic trails -- will always be preserved despite the push for renewable energy projects such as wind and solar projects and other public uses of the federal lands."
IN THE FIELD: Headwaters, with Chris Heppe
FUNNY.BYTES: Search for the Lost Coast
In our occasional "In the Field" online videos, BLM-California managers introduce you to the public lands that they manage. Here, Chris Heppe introduces you to the Headwaters Forest Reserve, a unit of the National Landscape Conservation System.
Can pirates find the treasure in the treasure chest? And what is it? 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.
RELATED: "Happily stranded on California's Lost Coast" (Los Angeles Times, 11/14/10)
Pounding rain, wrong turns, steep hikes down trails turned into streams by the rainfall that "didn't let up for three days." But the backpackers "took wet but gorgeous day hikes" and felt better for the experience: " So, yes, the Lost Coast ate us for breakfast ... But being consumed by this last stretch of wild California coast isn't such a terrible way to go."
RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
Here the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing State Highway 1 and U.S. 101 inland. The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads. The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape. The Douglas-fir peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and abalone divers to name a few.
RELATED: "If you go to the Lost Coast" (Los Angeles Times, 11/14/10)
"Most of the Lost Coast Trail is north of Shelter Cove, in the King Range Conservation Area (managed by federal Bureau of Land Management). The southern end of the trail lies within Sinkyone State Wilderness, with different rules, fees and administration." Plus more information.
FREE OFFER: Another National Landscape Conservation
System poster (while supplies last)
Continuing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System, we are offering this poster of Surprise Canyon Wilderness Area. The free offer will be available beginning Thursday, November 18, at 3:00 p.m. until supplies last.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
desert night lizard
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
Desert night lizards have a special affinity for:
(a.) fallen cacti
(c.) desert sunflower
(f.) the distant lights of Barstow, and the siren call of its after-hours establishments
------> See answer near the end of this issue.
|ARRA - BLM FUNDS UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The project below was funded with part of approximately $40 million in ARRA funds appropriated to BLM-California.
ARRA funds help preserve Congressionally-designated Wilderness (News.bytes Extra)
Hundreds of acres of sensitive habitat in San Luis Obispo County for threatened and endangered species have been restored or protected by the Bureau of Land Management’s Bakersfield Field Office in projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
RELATED: "Displaced in the Desert" (New York Times, 11/16/10)
"Concerns as Solar Installations Join a Desert Ecosystem" (New York Times, 11/16/10)
On the construction site of the $2 billion Ivanpah solar power plant here, burly laborers slowly walk around their trucks, dropping to their knees to peer underneath before turning the ignition. Hanging on each rearview mirror is a placard warning workers to “Look under your car for desert tortoise before you drive away!”
"EDITORIAL: Traditional uses" (Las Vegas Review Journal, 11/17/10)
"Bruce Babbitt, former governor of Arizona [and former U.S. Interior Secretary], says it won't be easy to tap wind and solar energy sources in the West while at the same time preserving wildlife, native cultural sites and landscape views across millions of acres."
"Solar plant recommended for
Patton training plot" (The Desert Sun, 11/13/10)
"The stretch of Colorado Desert that Gen. George S.
Patton used to train soldiers for desert combat
during World War II may soon become a solar plant.
The California Energy Commission on Friday
released a recommendation for approval of the
project — called the Rice Solar Energy Project —
which would put a 150-megawatt solar thermal
plant on Patton's old base, about 40 miles northwest
of Blythe. The
project will also need approval from the Bureau of
"Planned solar field draws protesters" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/16/10)
"Monday a group protested the 709-megawatt solar farm planned for more than 6,000 acres of public land.
Some of the reasons for camping out and protesting were to bring awareness of the issues with the project, said Terry Weiner, a spokeswoman for the group.
The Quechan tribe alleged in a complaint against the Department of the Interior that the installation could damage 'cultural and biological resources of significance.'”
"Quechan elders protest construction of solar power plant" (Yuma Sun, 11/13/10)
"Several members of the Kwatsan Pipa A'Koots are very unhappy with the government, which has given Tessera Solar North America a green light to begin the construction of a massive solar power plant in Imperial County .... The Quechan Tribe has filed suit in an attempt to prevent construction of the Imperial Solar Two site near Ocotillo. The project has already won approval from the California Energy Commission and the Bureau of Land Management."
"San Diego utility signs solar PV pact; Project to yield up to 250 new jobs" (The Solar Home & Business Journal, 11/11/10)
"California’s three large private utility companies continue to sign contracts to deliver solar electricity to their customers in historic amounts. The latest announcement is from San Diego Gas & Electric Co., which said in a news release that it has signed a 25-year power-purchase agreement for up to 130 megawatts of capacity from a planned solar photovoltaic power plant" in Imperial County. "Without the Sunrise Powerlink, San Diego Gas & Electric said, many renewable energy facilities in the Imperial Valley would have no clear path to the San Diego County market."
"National Conservation Lands: Energy projects raise concerns" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/13/10)
"With solar and wind energy projects targeting vast areas of the West, protectors of some 27 million acres known as National Conservation Lands" met last weekend to draft suggestions to the BLM on "better policies to ensure that some 800 sites including national monuments, parks and conservation areas can coexist with renewable energy development." Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, speaking at the meeting, "acknowledged that the task will be challenging ... But he said he believes it can be accomplished only with Bureau of Land Management playing a pivotal role."
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Meteors to light up the sky " (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/14/10)
"The Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, offering stargazers a chance to see more than 15 meteors an hour. With a half-full moon setting after midnight, the best time to view the shower is just before dawn, according to NASA scientists .... For those who live in Barstow, the best place to escape the light pollution locally is to drive out to Harper Dry Lake or Rainbow Basin, said Brad Mastin, a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management."
"BLM seeking volunteers for planting projects" (BLM news release, 11/10/10)
Volunteers who love to get their hands dirty are needed by the Bureau of Land Management for late fall and winter planting projects on public lands in the Redding area. Crews will be planting native plant seedlings at the following areas:
- Clear Creek Greenway: Saturdays, Nov. 20, Dec. 18 and Jan. 15
- Sacramento River Bend: Saturdays, Dec. 4 and Jan. 8
- Sacramento River Rail Trail: Saturday, Dec. 11.
"Desert cleanup event to be held by off-road enthusiasts" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/12/10)
Off-road enthusiasts did "their part to keep the desert clean on Saturday by picking up trash and illegally dumped items in the off-highway vehicle area near Outlet Center drive at the 4th annual Barstow Desert Cleanup event." The cleanup was "organized by Clean-Dezert, which is a group of off-road enthusiasts who are concerned about educating the younger generation about the maintenance and improvement of desert resources."
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"Starving colt on the mend" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/15/10)
"2 Lovelock, Nevada, men
begin serving federal prison
terms in wild horse killings" (Reno Gazette Journal, 11/1610)
"The pair had pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of causing the death of a wild horse. They admitted to fatally shooting one horse in November 2009 about 150 miles northwest of Reno, near the Nevada-California state line."
" The BLM rounded up Honey Bandit’s herd in late August. After a week of being penned, his mother quit lactating and the other horses attacked him. When he arrived at Armstrong’s Big Sky Ranch the foal was covered in bite marks and his skin hung off his visible ribs. Monday the sunlight lit up his blondish mane as he pranced around the ranch."
HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Reunited and it feels so good; Lost Journey of Maggie Has Happy Ending" (The Taft Independent, 11/13/10)
This is the remarkable story of Maggie, a 4-year old Jack Russell terrier from Taft who survived a 20-mile, 21-day journey by herself across the Temblor Range, ending up at Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo and Kern counties. Found by a BLM consultant studying the cultural site, Maggie was finally reunited with her owner, Kathy Johnson, who "after weeks of searching....had just about given up hope seeing her again." Kathy wrote the following story that appeared in the Taft Independent's Westside Watcher. Taft has been designated as a gateway community to the Monument, a unit of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System.
"Rewarded for safe response" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/14/10)
Sheriff's deputies reward boys for "for doing the right thing by turning in" a gun they found. Their reward: "a memorable high-speed ride at the Stoddard Wells off-highway vehicle area" in a Sheriff's Department dune buggy. "I'm always going to remember this,” said one of the boys," as he stepped out of the buggy...."
"Trail Should Remain Open and Free to All" (The Desert Sun, 11/17/10)
"Understandably, the hiking community is nervous about the proposed exchange of about 5,800 acres of Bureau of Land Management property for nearly 1,500 acres of land owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The land is part of the federally protected Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, but land swap discussions were in progress even before the monument was established 10 years ago."
BLM-California employee presented DOI's Distinguished Service Award
Jan Bedrosian, BLM-California's Deputy State Director for External Affairs, was recently presented the Department of the Interior's Distinguished Service Award at a ceremony in Washington D.C. According to the citation, the award is "the highest Departmental honor award presented to a career employee who has demonstrated extremely significant contributions to Departmental programs." Jan, shown here with BLM Director Bob Abbey, who also presented her with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol, was given the award at DOI's annual convocation November 10.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Currently accepting job applications for fire positions in northern California.
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:
Nov. 20 - Seed Ball planting and construction at Dos Palmas Area of Critical Environmental Concern
Nov. 30 - Public Meeting on Clear Creek Mining Claims
- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above links to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's "Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some online news sites require free registration to view their content online. Some news sites remove news stories from the Web soon after publication. If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the Web page to your computer.
DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those sites, or of products or advertisements on those sites.
News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
We appreciate feedback. Send comments to the News.bytes team at:
To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to:
mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/caso/getnewsbytes.html.