A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 494 - 8/19/11

a fuzzy otter head pokes out of the water workers install solar panels on the desert floor close-up of a man near a horse's face wildfire behind a house an aerodynamic vehicle on the sand


- Renewable energy
- History retrieved by renewable energy work
- Traditional energy
- Wildfires and prevention
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Pardon our dust ... new email system coming
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- National BLM and Department of the Interior items: Lake Tahoe, Burning Man, Bonneville, Statue of Liberty, more
- Wildlife stories from your public lands in California
This issue of News.bytes is online at:

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

a crowd waits in a room"Prospect of jobs lures eager 1,200 to First Solar job fair in Coachella" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/18/11)
two men lean over chairs fill out applications"Nick Reynolds stood in line for an hour before even getting into the room where he could fill out an application for a job working on First Solar's massive solar project in the desert." He was one of "about 1,200 anxious job-seekers" looking "for the chance at one of 440 jobs at First Solar's 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight solar farm near Desert Center … Jobs on the project will range from regular laborers to forklift and heavy equipment operators and supervisors, said Dave Postma, First Solar's project manager. 'Our objective is to get as many local folks who are qualified,' he said. 'We're looking for people willing to work hard'."

RELATED: "Proposed solar project sparks fear of desert tortoise wipeout" (Fox News, 8/11/11)
"A proposed massive solar project in the California desert that is part of President Obama’s commitment to clean energy has sparked fears that rare tortoises in the area will be pushed to brink of extinction even though the Interior Department is forcing the developer to purchase habitat elsewhere ... The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm will be built in the desert east of Palm Springs on 4,100 acres of public lands ... Desert Sunlight Holdings, a subsidiary of First Solar, has entered a 30-year contract to rent the public lands, paying $1.37 million per year until the project is operational, when the rent rises to $3.9 million."

Detail of map showing solar plant location"Solar plant wants abandoned WWII-era airfield near Blythe" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/14/11)
"A 2.2-square-mile solar energy project sought for an abandoned World War II-era airfield in eastern Riverside County is moving forward without the environmental controversy faced by other projects ... By choosing disturbed lands, the company has so far avoided protests from environmentalists who want to protect desert tortoises and other wildlife ... SolarReserve still needs approvals from Bureau of Land Management for the power line right of way and financing for the roughly $1 billion project...."

"Public weighs in on guidelines for green energy" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/18/11)
California "must rethink its current focus on putting large-scale solar projects on public lands in the desert and work toward a better mix of smaller and medium-sized projects," said speakers at a public meeting on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The plan is to "establish guidelines for solar, wind and geothermal projects in the Southern California deserts" covering "more than 22 million acres, including 10 million acres of public land, in six counties ... from Inyo County in the north to Imperial in the south." About 100 people turned out for Tuesday's meeting.

workers install solar panels on the desert floor
"Solar Millennium changes Blythe project to photovoltaic" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/19/11)
"At least half" of Solar Millennium’s Blythe project "will now use solar panels rather than the more complicated and expensive solar troughs originally planned." The company will also pass on "$2.1 billion in federal loan guarantees" and fund the project "through commercial markets, without the federal support." A spokesman said the change will mean fewer jobs, but probably "more local workers because installing panels does not require as high a skill set as solar thermal." He also said "the technology change means the Bureau of Land Management will have to repermit the project," with "at least a year's delay in construction."

RELATED: "Solar Millenium sinks after largest plant switches design" (Bloomberg at San Francisco Chronicle, 8/18/11)
"The change was largely motivated by improved commercial lending conditions and cheaper access to photovoltaic devices, which have plunged in price per kilowatt-hour in recent years," said a spokeswoman for Solar Millennium. She said the second phase of the project may still use concentrated solar, but "photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight directly into electricity" would get the project up and running faster. "Concentrated solar, or solar thermal, typically reflects sunlight with mirrors to heat liquid in steam-powered generators."

"BLM reschedules public meeting for West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area" (BLM news, 8/15/11)
The Bureau of Land Management has rescheduled a public meeting on the draft environmental impact statement for the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area and proposed Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan. The meeting will be held Thursday, September 1, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in El Centro.

"Public meeting announced for proposed Stateline Solar Farm in San Bernardino County" (BLM news, 8/12/11)
The Bureau of Land Management announced a public scoping meeting as part of the environmental review process for the Stateline Solar Farm project near the California-Nevada border in San Bernardino County. The meeting will be held from 6 - 9 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31, in Nipton, Calif.

"Renewable Energy Priority Projects"(BLM California)
BLM-California is working to diversify the nation’s energy portfolio through the development of wind, solar, geothermal, and transmission siting on BLM-managed public lands within the state. Priority Projects must have potential to be cleared for approval by the end of 2011 and must be sited in an area that minimizes impacts to the environment.

"Groups challenge Topaz Solar Farm in court" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 8/16/11)
"Two local environmental groups are legally challenging the second commercial solar project on the Carrizo Plain." Their lawsuit challenges "the county’s July 12 approval of the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm. The primary contention of the suit is that the large photovoltaic facility will damage the Carrizo Plain ecosystem...." The project is not within the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

white wind power turbines atop hills"Energy in America: Dead birds unintended consequence of wind power development" (FoxNews.com, 8/16/11)
California: "Wind power is the fastest growing component in the state's green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say the marriage has an unintended consequence: dead birds, including protected species of eagles, hawks and owls ... Kern County has identified some 225,000 acres just north of Los Angeles as a prime wind resource area. Unfortunately, the area's rolling hills and mountains are prime hunting grounds for raptors and a layover spot for migratory birds...."

"National Geothermal Summit comes to Reno; tours visit Ormat plant" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 8/17/11)
"Geothermal uses the smallest amount of land for the amount of electricity it generates," said the executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association at its first national Geothermal Summit. "Reno is the geothermal hub of the West, which makes it an important city in the world," he said. "California may be the biggest producer now, but Nevada is also the biggest development state."

hig-power lines stretch across the high desert"Inyo joins four Nevada counties in land search" (Inyo Register, 8/16/11)
"With a federal grant in hand, Inyo County is on its way to identifying property that can be used for renewable energy generation and transportation." Inyo County will partner with Nye, Esmeralda, Lincoln and White Pine counties in Nevada in identifying brownfields, land for potential for renewable energy projects, but "which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant."


two women and a man pose with a framed plaquea group of people look over a desert area"Solar survey finds, returns missing WWII-era dog tag" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/18/11)
"Something caught Julie Roy's eye while the archaeologist was surveying a desolate patch of desert for a massive solar plant in Blythe." It turned out to be the dog tags of Pvt. Ova Napier, who trained "at the massive World War II Desert Training Center … On Wednesday, his daughter, Joy Harvey, and granddaughter Jennifer Fisk … were presented with a framed photo of Napier and his long-lost dog tag at the General Patton Museum in Chiriaco Summit, 30 minutes east of Indio." Napier enlisted at age 16 by getting his grandfather to say he was two years older" and served in WWII and Korea.

a family poses for a group portrainold photo of soldier in World War II uniforumRELATED: "Patton Museum Event" at BLM California's flickr photostream
Pvt. Napier's family receive the framed photo and dog tag, and posed for a group photo after the presentation at the General Patton Museum.


detail from a sketch of the fracking technique"'Frack' oil wells draw California into debate" (San Francisco Chronicle with Bloomberg News, 8/15/11)
A company "wants to try hydraulic fracturing" in Monterey County, "using a high-pressure blend of water, sand and chemicals to crack rocks deep underground and release oil locked in the stone." Fracking "has revolutionized America's natural gas business ... boosting production and driving down prices" but "has also been blamed for tainting groundwater near fracked wells, a charge that drilling companies deny." One company "fracked wells in Kern and Ventura counties this spring. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to sell oil-development leases next month in Monterey County, atop a geologic formation that may require fracking to produce much oil or gas."

RELATED: "BLM plans oil and gas competitive lease auction" (BLM news, 6/16/11)
The BLM will auction oil and gas leases on federal land in Central California on Sept. 14. The competitive lease auction involves four parcels for a total of 2,605.4 acres of public lands in Fresno and Monterey counties. BLM is required by law to periodically offer federal land for lease for oil and gas exploration and development. The oil and gas industry is encouraged to submit an "expression of interest" for federal land parcels in California that have potential for development. (repeated from an earlier issue)

RELATED: "Natural-gas fracking rules considered by U.S. agency for federal lands" (Bloomberg, 8/18/11)
"The U.S. is weighing whether to impose new rules on hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas on public lands." Companies "may be required to disclose chemicals used in the drilling and adopt well-integrity standards as part of the permit process, Robert Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management, said in an interview today," but the BLM "will wait for the final results of a task force set up by the Energy Department to review the risks of hydraulic fracturing before deciding whether to impose rules...."


a firefighter tends a prescribed burna firefighter sprays water on a fire during training"Mild Calif. fire season - but things could heat up" (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/18/11)
"The cool temperatures, dampness, clouds and fog that have lingered stubbornly this summer" have dampened wildfires in much of California so far. But fire officials warn that "the situation could change - especially with the heart of fire season still ahead of us ... the busiest time of year may be this fall ... 'This is my 38th fire season this year, and it is probably one of the most unusual'," said one fire official.

wildfire behind a housefirefighters are silhouetted by billowing smoke"Friday update: Ray May Fire containment by 8 p.m." (Reno Gazette-Journal, 8/19/11)
The Ray May Fire --south of Gardnerville, Nevada, about 10 miles from the California border -- was estimated to be at 3,600 acres and "70 percent contained" as of this morning. Note to homeowners: "Dave Fogerson of the East Fork Fire Protection District said proper use of defensible space likely saved many of the roughly 100 homes in the Pine View Estates area during the fire's height on Tuesday, when fire conditions at one point forced firefighters to seek safety."

RELATED: "Take responsibility..." (California Fire Alliance)
Protect your home. Create 100 feet of defensible space. In California, the number of homes and businesses is growing in the Wildland Urban Interface -- and fire is an increasing threat. Reduce your home's fire danger by taking responsibility today.

an air tanker drops bright red fire retardantflames leap into the air from burning dry grass"Crocker Springs fire under control" (Taft Midway Driller, 8/16/11)
"Numerous Kern County and Bureau of Land Management firefighters" held a fire to about 135 acres "with the help of four Calfire air tankers and two water dropping helicopters." The fire started when a steam pipe from a cogeneration plant exploded, "sending metal debris flying for several hundred feet." Some debris hit electrical wires, "causing sparks that ignited the dry grass ... At one point the flames rushed across a flat meadow at an estimated 30 miles per hour."


a large helicopter picks up water from a lake"Lightning strikes ignite two small fires" (Victorville Daily Press, 8/15/11)
Firefighters used a water-dropping helicopter to suck water up from Spring Valley Lake over the weekend to fight two small fires sparked by lightning strikes between Apple and Lucerne valleys." The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management "used the water-dropping helicopters to fight the two fires since the terrain made it difficult for hand crews to make their way to the area...."

"National fire news" (National Interagency Fire Center, NIFC)
Current wildfire information, updated Monday - Friday during wildfire season.

"InciWeb" (Incident Information System)
An "interagency all-risk incident information management system."


a sea otter floats on its back in the water
sea otter
Which is true? Sea otters:
(a.) Give birth to litters of three to six pups, who cling to their mothers for the first two weeks of life.
(b.) Spend most of their time in the water, coming ashore mainly for storms.
(c.) Eat mainly kelp and seaweed from shallow coastal waters.
(d.) Have little trouble navigating oil spills, due to their thick fur.
(e.) Only turn onto their backs to pose for tourists and beg for scraps.
(f.) Can grow to 30 feet long and weigh as much as a small Loch Ness monster.

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

hikers point out over a dry valley...hike the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Zigzagging its way from Mexico to Canada, the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail was designated as a National Scenic Trail by Congress in 1968. The BLM manages 180-miles of the trail, primarily in the south half of the state. This trail boasts some of the greatest elevation changes in the National Scenic Trail System and is popular with thousands of hiker and equestrian users. Whether you visit for a few hours or for a few weeks, you'll surely find a uniquely Californian scene that will rejuvenate, inspire, and surprise you.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"BLM issues decision for High Rock Complex wild horse gather"(BLM news, 8/15/11)
The Bureau of Land Management issued a decision to remove excess wild horses from the High Rock Complex of herd management areas on public lands managed by the BLM Surprise Field Office, Cedarville, Calif. in far northwest Nevada. "The current population of wild horses in four of these herd management areas is above what the range can handle," said Northern California District Manager Nancy Haug. "We have decided to move forward with the gather and other population management actions to keep the wild herds at appropriate management levels to ensure that healthy horses are living on healthy rangelands."

"9th Circuit dismisses effort to block wild-horse roundup" (Sacramento Bee, 8/16/11)
"A split federal appellate panel on Monday dismissed activists' appeal of a Sacramento judge's refusal to block last year's roundup and removal of wild horses and burros from their range in northeastern California." A year ago, a judge "denied a request ... for an injunction halting the roundup, and a motions panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency motion for an injunction. The roundup took place."

close-up of a man near a horse's faceriders take horses through a course"From prison to border patrol" (Nevada Appeal, 8/14/11)
"About a half-dozen of Nevada's wild horses are on their way to the Mexican and Canadian borders after being tamed by inmates at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City." Wild horses are "particularly suited" for "patrolling the areas along the borders where there is no road access," said the Border Patrol's National Horse Patrol manager. The horses are from BLM roundups.

Some time during the next few weeks, we will be switching to a new system for our email mailing list. One possible side effect: If you have previously had to add News.bytes to a "not spam" list or to your list of contacts, you may need to do that again to keep receiving it. If you do not receive News.bytes next week, please check your "junk mail" folder -- a message with formatted text and pictures is more likely to end up there.
ALSO: As part of a move to a more efficient system, we will be changing our email address to: canewsbytes@blm.gov. Watch upcoming issues for this new address.


"BLM targets Davis stamp mill for restoration" (Nevada City Union, 8/19/11)
"Just two miles north of Nevada City … one of the state's last standing and most intact stamp mills is undergoing a … restoration and mine tailing removal project … Elevated levels of arsenic, lead, zinc and mercury found in Little Rock Creek and in mine tailings buried in the soils at the Davis Mill site in 2003 prompted remediation efforts … Once complete, the Davis Mill site could someday open to the public for recreation such as camping and picnicking, say representatives from … the BLM."

an old building in the woodsRELATED: "Davis - abandoned mine lands project" (BLM California)
The Davis Mill was built in 1915 to extract gold and silver from ore by crushing it, pulverizing it with "stamps," then mixing it with water and then mercury, salt, and copper sulfate. The silver and gold residue was then melted in a furnace and poured into bars. The mercury was vaporized and recovered as much as possible for re-use, and the tailings dumped into a floodplain area a few hundred feet from the mill.

detail of map of proposed location"Experts say proposed Ivanpah airport could become cargo base" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/14/11)
A new airport in Ivanpah Valley "to take the load off" McCarran International Airport" in Las Vegas was proposed more than 10 years ago for "6,000 acres of desolate federal land just off Interstate 15" at the Nevada-California border. The project was "shelved indefinitely" in the recession. "The county paid $21 million for the 6,000-acre Ivanpah site in 2002, and the Bureau of Land Management also set aside 17,000 surrounding acres for compatible development."

"What happens next with Bodie Hills?" (Mammoth Times, 8/12/11)
"Following last week’s heated meeting regarding the Bodie Hills and other national Wilderness Study Areas (WSA), the Mammoth Times asked all five of the Mono County Supervisors to weigh in on the future of the process. Here is what they had to say, in their own words."

a man walks up a dirt road toward a group of old wooden buildingsRELATED: "Gold fever stirs ghost town" (Wall Street Journal, 8/18/11)
"Bodie, Calif. - A push for gold mining to return to the scrubby hills around this Central California ghost town has tapped into a national debate over land use ... The recent surge in gold's value and a bill pending in Congress are giving the fight new significance. The measure would remove more than 40 million acres nationwide -- including the Bodie Hills -- from federal 'Wilderness Study Area' and 'Inventoried Roadless Area' protection, potentially opening the land for mining, logging and other uses." NOTE: This article may be available for only a short time, as a free sample of subscriber content.

a worker cleans graffiti from a picnic table"Vandals spoil the fun" (News.bytes Extra)
The Lark Canyon Off-Highway Vehicle Area and campground’s higher elevation makes it cooler than sites in the Imperial Valley -- making it a favorite for summer riding. But BLM workers had to clean up graffiti -- time better spent preparing the site for visitors....

"Full Court Press wraps up" (Willits News, 8/17/11)
Agents "chopped down 632,058 pot plants and confiscated 1,986 pounds of processed marijuana from 86 grow sites" on the Mendocino National Forest and on nearby BLM lands. The group also removed "more than 51,000 pounds of trash, 40 miles of poly pipe, nearly three tons of fertilizer and 149 pounds of poisons" from 32 sites. A game warden said growers pollute streams, kill fish and often use powerful poisons to kill small animals, which poisons their predators. He "finds the treatment of bears to be particularly heinous."

"BLM schedules public meeting seeking input on Amargosa River management plans"(BLM news, 8/11/11)
The Bureau of Land Management will hold a public scoping meeting in Tecopa Sept. 14, to garner comments for a joint management plan for the Amargosa Wild & Scenic River and Amargosa River Area of Critical Environmental Concern -- in northeastern San Bernardino and southeastern Inyo Counties. The plans will guide management decisions and actions affecting the river and surrounding areas.

"Ex-CEO Kuhn of French Gulch mine added to fugitive list " (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/17/11)
An EPA spokeswoman said Peter Martin Kuhn, former president and Chief Executive Officer of French Gulch Nevada Mining Corporation and Bullion River Gold Corporation, "disposed of hazardous mining wastes -- including arsenic and lead -- by dumping the toxins onto a hillside and county road surrounding the French Gulch mine. The dumping occurred on Bureau of Land Management property, and on at least one occasion, in a nearby stream ... Exposure to arsenic can cause partial paralysis, blindness and cancer."

"BLM Resource Advisory Council to meet in Arcata" (BLM news, 8/15/11)
Varied natural resource conservation topics will be discussed when the Bureau of Land Management’s Northwest California Resource Advisory Council meets Sept. 7 and 8. Sept. 7 features a field tour to the Lost Coast Headlands and South Spit areas. On Sept. 8, the council meets at the BLM Arcata Field Office. The meeting is open to the public, with time reserved for public comments.

"BLM secures 40-acres in Lost Coast wilderness area" (Humboldt Beacon, 8/11/11)
"A partnership of The Wilderness Land Trust and the United States Bureau of Land Management recently resulted in the acquisition and protection of a 40-acre private inholding in the King Range Wilderness. Visible from the Lost Coast beach trail near Petrolia in Northern California, this bluff property overlooks the Pacific Ocean and hosts unparalleled views. It is now protected as wild forever with public trail access."

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM Arcata Field Office)
The King Range NCA covers 68,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.  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. 

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


"Salazar announces $43 million for Nevada and Lake Tahoe restoration, conservation and recreation projects" (U.S. Department of the Interior, 8/16/11)
The funding is a result of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, which uses proceeds from sales of federal land in Clark County, Nevada, to fund environmental restoration, conservation and public recreational projects throughout the state. "Nevada’s natural beauty and unique landscapes are economic engines for the state, and these funds will not only help restore and enhance these special areas for future generations, but the projects will create jobs and provide vital resources to hard hit communities for the benefit of all who live in and visit the state," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

detail from graph of water claritysunbathers on a sandy beachRELATED: "Tahoe clarity is second-lowest ever measured" (Sacramento Bee, 8/17/11)
Concerns raised at the annual Tahoe Summit this year included "dwindling federal funds for restoration at Lake Tahoe to rebellious Nevada politicians who -- frustrated with Tahoe's tough development rules -- this year passed a law threatening to pull out of the 42-year-old Tahoe Regional Planning Agency ... The lake itself took a turn for the worse, too," as water clarity dropped to "the second-lowest clarity level on record." Scientists blame pollution from development.

"Teen gets prison in Red Rock graffiti case" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/11/11)
"The desecration last year of prehistoric artwork at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area sparked outrage..." A 17-year-old was sentenced “to nine months behind bars, which he already has served … The judge also placed him on nine months of supervised release and ordered him to pay $23,775 in restitution to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management,” which manages the area.

"Beaver County pot farm raid yields 8,000 plants" (Salt Lake Tribune, 8/18/11)
The BLM has joined other agencies in raids on marijuana grows on public lands in Utah. "[A]thorities believe growers are being trained in Mexico and shipped to Utah. Drug cartel operators then bring in supplies so the growers don’t have to leave the mountains."

"A sold out Burning Man sparks quest for tickets" (Sacramento Bee, 8/18/11)
Burning Man tickets sold out "for the first time in its 25-year history." A previous permit lapsed, and while a new one is in environmental study, attendance is limited at 2010 levels of approximately 50,000. "BLM officials say they have a good working relationship with Black Rock and that the event does a remarkable job cleaning up after itself."

a parachute slows a speeding stock cara rider on an aerodynamic motorcylean aerodynamic vehicle on the sand"Speed on the salt flats" (Reuters- Yahoo! News, 8/15/11)
Photos from the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek race on the Bonneville Salt Flats outside Wendover, Utah - on lands managed by the BLM.

RELATED: "Speed Week: Fastest, slowest record-setters meet on the Salt Flats" (Salt Lake Tribune, 8/18/11)
More news and photos.)

RELATED: "Racers at Bonneville Salt Flats pepper potash firm with complaints" (Wall Street Journal, 7/28/11)
"Are the Bonneville Salt Flats turning into the Bonneville Mud Flats? Hot rodders who race on them think they are. The expanse of whiteness … has shrunk, they say." The flat surface used to set land-speed records for nearly a century "seems slushy and thin." The hot rodders blame a potash mine that "sucks brine from under the flats, extracts the tiny percentage of potash, and lets the rest dry out into waste heaps of table salt." Potash is used "in fertilizer, gunpowder and lethal injections."

close-up of the top of the Statue of Liberty"Statue of Liberty to close for yearlong repairs"
(Associated Press in Sacramento Bee, 8/15/11)
"The Statue of Liberty will close for a year at the end of October" for a $27.25 million renovation to make the interior safer and more accessible, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced. The renovations are limited to the monument -- Liberty Island will remain open and the statue itself will be mostly unobstructed from view...."

"Editorial: Capitol Hill must keep its role over wilderness areas" (Ventura County Star, 8/13/11)
Editorial: "Congress had excellent reasons for setting aside the nation's many wilderness areas and protecting them for the public's benefit both now and in the future ... why ... throw away that authority? ... Local citizens and groups should work in cooperation with their congressional representatives and other authorities to reach a consensus...."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) Spend most of their time in the water, coming ashore mainly for storms.

SOURCE: "Sea Otter - Enhydra lutris"
(BLM California wildlife database)
Sea otters spend the majority of their time in the water. In fact, they usually only come onto shore to wait out a storm.

a fuzzy otter head pokes out of the watera sea otter examines something in its pawsRELATED: "Sea otters have chance to expand range: U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposes lifting Southern California ban" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 8/18/11)
"A 24-year ban on threatened sea otters in the waters off Southern California could soon be lifted. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal ... also would end a program that moved 140 otters from the Central Coast to San Nicolas Island ... between 1987 and 1990." In the 18th and 19th centuries sea otters "were hunted to near extinction for the fur trade. Today, fewer than 3,000 remain in a limited range between San Mateo and Santa Barbara counties."

RELATED: "Agency seeks to end sea otter relocations, to allow them off SoCal" (Los Angeles Times, 8/18/11)
"Starting in 1987, federal officials relocated 140 sea otters from Monterey Bay to San Nicolas Island, 60 miles off the coast, to try to establish a new population of southern sea otters there in case a disaster, such as an oil spill, threatened them with extinction." As a compromise with fishing groups, the government "declared waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border a 'no-otter zone'" to keep them from eating shellfish there. "The Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for public comments on the plan in the next 60 days."

RELATED: "Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to end southern sea otter translocation program" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news, 8/17/11)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to end the 24-year-old southern sea otter translocation program in California following an in-depth evaluation that found the program is not meeting its objectives for restoring the species." The Service will accept public comments in writing and at public meetings planned for Oct. 4 in Santa Barbara and Oct. 6 in Santa Cruz.

RELATED: "Southern sea otter information" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
"Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act."

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California)
Located off the 1,100 miles of California coastline, the California Coastal National Monument comprises more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon. The scenic qualities and critical habitat of this public resource are protected as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

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