A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 464 - 1/13/11

birds jockey for position crew members pose by their dune vehicles rocks dot a stream through green bushes large round solar collectors on the desert floor a fuzzy face topped by fox ears


- America's Great Outdoors
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted public lands topics
This issue of News.bytes is online at:

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

"Fourth annual Winter Bird Festival Jan. 29" (The Galt Herald, 1/5/11)
"The city of Galt, in collaboration with the Cosumnes River Preserve and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, is pleased to announce the return of the winter bird festival for 2011." Besides fun learning sessions, the festival will feature "unique vendors, youth art show, youth craft station with hands-on activities for your kids to make and take home, and all the good food that can be found at the bird festival all day long."

birds jockey for positionRELATED: 2009: "Crowds view birds at Cosumnes River Preserve" (News.bytes Extra)
Scenes from Cosumnes River Preserve during the festival Galt Winter Bird Festival two years ago. The Cosumnes tours have filled up quickly in the past.

birds flap wings landing in shallow watermany large birds on a grassy field, January 12, 2011RELATED: "Cosumnes River Preserve - Live webcam" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
Nestled in the heart of California's Central Valley, The Cosumnes River Preserve is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Over 250 species of birds have been sighted on or near the Preserve. Best wildlife viewing occurs October through February, when waterfowl and other water birds spend their winters. The BLM webcam operates 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily.

RELATED: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
The Cosumnes River Preserve is home to California's largest remaining valley oak riparian forest, and is one of the few protected wetland habitat areas in the state. This habitat has been reduced by more than 90% of its historical occurrence in California. The Preserve includes 46,000 acres of central valley grasslands, vernal pools, wetlands and valley oak forests. Nine partners plus private land owners share in Preserve efforts.

"BLM finalizes Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness designation"
(BLM news release, 1/13/11)
The area in Mendocino County was designated as a potential wilderness area by the 2006 Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act. This interim designation provided time for the BLM to assess and, if necessary, restore 1,565 acres of private lands acquired for public ownership shortly before the Act’s passage. The Act required that the area be designated as wilderness once conditions were compatible with the Wilderness Act, or no later than five years after the Act’s passage.
a stream runs over rocks and between tree-covered walls
RELATED: "Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness photo" (BLM California)
A photo from the newly-designated area.

"King range geology to be featured in free talk" (BLM news release, 1/12/11)
The dramatic geology of the King Range and California’s Lost Coast will be featured in a free talk Tuesday, Jan. 18 in Redway. "We will have hands-on activities, making this a nice event for the entire family," said BLM Interpretive Specialist Rachel Sowards-Thompson. Call to sign up.

"Annual dunes cleanup is Jan. 15" (Yuma Sun, 1/2/11)
"The 14th annual Sand Dunes Cleanup will be Jan. 15, and the United Desert Gateway invites all “desert enthusiasts” to join in the effort to rid the dunes of trash ... 'The annual cleanup is an important date on any duner's calendar and is vital to the sustainability of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area'." (repeated from last week's News.bytes)

crew members pose by their dune vehicles"'Service First' enhances safety at the Imperial Sand Dunes" (News.bytes Extra)
Peak holidays can bring more than 180,000 visitors to the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. The BLM’s El Centro Field Office is provides public safety for the thousands of off-highway vehicle enthusiasts as they tackle the sand dunes in this 40-mile long, five-mile wide area. Over the busy Thanksgiving holiday week, more than 140 emergency services and support staff from numerous agencies came together to ensure public safety.

A dog seems to be smiling at the camera"Dog-friendly trails equal wagging tails in Palm Desert"
(Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/13/11)
"Tuesday morning's slight chill and clear skies made perfect hiking weather for a group of dog lovers. Eight people with their canine friends joined three members of the Bureau of Land Management, including ranger Emily Hoerner who led the trek, for the monthly three-mile Happy Tails Dog Adventure hike in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. For some, it was their first time hiking."

Redding Marathon circular logo"Marathon mania returns to Redding on Sunday" (anewscafe.com, 1/11/11)
The Redding Marathon returns Jan. 16. At least 200 runners are expected; "last year’s field had runners from 15 states, Canada and the United Kingdom ... Because the Bureau of Land Management paved the rail trail last year-- it was a gravel road -- most competitors’ running times are expected to be a bit faster this year."


eyes look out from bushes around question mark
A family of these animals may use more than 15 dens -- switching when food becomes scarce or when their current den has too many fleas or parasites:
(a.) wandering tattler
(b.) vagrant shrew
(c.) wandering garter snake
(d.) kit fox
(e.) rover plover
(f.) all of the the following: western firefox, chrome gopher, interweb explorer whale and opera chipmunk.

------> See answer -- and more -- near the end of this issue.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Government reins in wild horses using birth control" (NPR, 1/6/11)
"Mustangs often evoke great nostalgia for the lost American West. But today, there are too many of them, and they're causing problems for their government caretakers. For decades, the Bureau of Land Management has struggled to reduce the size of its herd through adoptions and roundups. But it's also trying another method: birth control." Includes audio (4:21).

"Wild horses and burros available for adoption at Pierce College Equestrian Center" (BLM news release, 1/5/11)
There are 30 young animals -- 20 wild horses, and 10 burros -- available for adoption in Woodland Hills, Jan. 21-22. Spectators are welcome. The mustangs and burros were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health. Animals arrive at noon on Friday, Jan. 21, and potential adopters may view the mustangs and burros from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

couple look at papers as horse stands nearby"BLM holds mustang, burro adoption in Redlands" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/8/11)
"Bob and Jamie McDaniel arrived just before the adoption event began at 8 a.m. to be sure they could adopt a horse if they decided they really wanted to get one. 'We've been without a horse for about a year and a half now,' Bob McDaniel said. "The kids are grown and we're thinking it might be time to get one again'." Said Art DiGrazia of the BLM: "Two things you have to have: time and patience ... A general rule of thumb to gentle one of these horses is, if you work with them three or four times a week, it takes a couple months."

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

"Bureau of Land Management urges caution on renewable energy plans" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/13/11)
"The push to fast-track renewable energy projects in America has led to some missteps along the way, Marcilynn Burke, deputy director for Programs and Policies with the Bureau of Land Management, said Wednesday at a tribal summit on renewable energy ... 'We need to work at all levels to improve our consultation' on projects that may affect tribal and aboriginal land, Burke said. 'We need to look at landscapes and realize our boundaries are not the same as your boundaries'."

fish-eye lens view of solar fieldslarge round solar collectors on the desert floor"With solar power, it's Green vs. Green" (Reuters on CNET News, 1/6/11)
"When Mike Peterson ... flew over the remote Central California valley that he now hopes to turn into a solar plant, he saw sunshine, flat land that would require little grading, and two big transmission lines to tap into. 'Wow,' he remembers thinking ... 'God made this to be a solar farm.' But when Kim Williams looks out at that same land from her lowslung ranch house, she sees an area rich with wildlife that is helping support her grass-fed chicken farm, her neighbor's cattle operations, and her peaceful way of life. She supports solar energy on a small scale ... but says when she learned about the solar plant she felt shock and disbelief. Now, she's suing to block it."


"Local race group questions BLM's newly enforced policy" (Imperial Valley PRess, 1/13/11)
"The future of off-road racing in the Superstition Mountain has been questioned, as local race organizers try to deal with newly-enforced procedures and costs ... The change stems from an accident in mid-August where eight spectators of the California 200 in Johnson Valley were killed and a dozen more injured. The bureau released a report in November, saying the bureau did not adhere to its own permitting procedures for the race." Supervisor Gary Wyatt said at a board meeting that "the race where spectators were killed was tragic, but the results seem like an overreaction...."

"BLM announces open house on arsenic investigation plans at Longfellow Hill" (BLM news release, 1/7/11)
The Bureau of Land Management will hold an open house for the residents of Big Oak Flat, Groveland and surrounding communities on Thursday, Feb. 10, to discuss the status of the abandoned mine investigation project on public lands at the Longfellow Mill at Big Oak Flat in Tuolumne County.

"2 Bay Area men sentenced in Lassen pot grow" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 1/12/11)
"Two San Francisco Bay area men have been sentenced to prison for growing marijuana on federal land." The men "were arrested after a raid and shootout with sheriff's deputies and two Bureau of Land Management rangers at an outdoor marijuana garden in Lassen County in June 2009."

Calendar of upcoming events
Our calendar of selected BLM-California events is back online.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Listings include assistant fire engine operator, natural resources specialist, wildlife biologist, archaeologist, and more.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(d.) kit fox

SOURCE: "Kit Fox - Vulpes macrotis" (BLM California wildlife database)
kit fox sits on dried grassKit foxes are the smallest animal in the Canidae family, but they require a lot of space! One family has between seven and seventeen dens that they rotate through. They switch dens when food becomes scarce or when their current den has too many parasites, such as fleas. Kit foxes eat small rodents, lizards, insects, and wild berries.

a fuzzy face topped by fox earsA fuzzy teddy bear looking cub looks out from a box"Firefox Live"
"Firefox" was an incorrect answer -- but you can see some firefoxes here: via a live web cam of red panda cubs (also known as firefox because of their bright orange and red coloring). Click to select from several cameras -- or click on "Meet the Cubs" or "Highlight Reel" for some video.
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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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