WELCOME to our 500th issue of News.bytes
Issue 500 - 9/29/11

A smiling manA young man with a hoea hand holds a tiny fishHelicopter spraying tamarisk.A smiling man


- "A Look Back" at News.bytes
- News.bytes "A Look Ahead"

- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Wildfires and Prevention

- Renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Employee profiles
- Selected upcoming events

If this message does not show up properly in your email, you can see it online at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes/2011/500.html
A look back at News.bytes
On January 12, 2001 BLM California News.bytes debuted as an email message with a few news stories, and no thumbnail photos or special features. It was designed to replace print publications for internal (California Highlights) and external (Newsbeat) audiences -- reducing publication costs, and getting news to our subscribers in a more timely fashion. For those of you who have been with us for the past 10 years, or those of you who have subscribed since then, we thank you!
First BLM Newsbytes logo Second BLM News.bytes logo New BLM News.bytes Logo

OUR READERS WRITE: News.bytes, a look back:
We asked readers to share a favorite feature from past issues of News.bytes...

"I can't remember a particular favorite article or factoid in News Bytes -- it's all my favorite! I find the newsletter extraordinarily helpful, particularly since you include in nearly every issue information that is of direct pertinence to the Maturango Museum and to the nature-loving people of Ridgecrest."

Liz Babcock
History Curator
Maturango Museum

...and we asked if you recalled any favorite Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week:

Western rattlesnake
Western rattlesnake
Here is my favorite Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week (from Issue 380). I saved it on my computer around April 29, 2009.
--Eric Heinitz, Pleasanton

Western rattlesnakes hibernate during the winter. They are active during mild and warm weather. What do they do during the summer?
(a.) Migrate
(b.) Pronate
(c.) Congregate
(d.) Estivate
(e.) Procreate
(f.) Refrigerate
A gray whale breaches the surface
Gray whale
Thumbnail from a photo by NOAA

Another question mentioned (from Issue 388, 6/24/09):
How far do gray whales migrate?
(a.) about 100 miles each way, from southern to central California
(b.) about 400 miles each way, from southern to northern California
(c.) almost 1200 miles each, from Mexico to Washington state
(d.) about 10,000 miles round trip
(e.) they don’t
(f.) so far north into cold water, that they turn into blue whales

A nice comment on Wildlife Trivia from early this year:
Time for my biennial fan letter. I love Wildlife trivia. I have put almost every non-business email into the junk mail category. But I not only hang onto CA News Bytes, but read it (I confess) before more important emails because I love Wildlife trivia so much. It’s great when I get it right and even better when I am dead wrong and learn something new. I suspect it is not easy to come up with facts that are both funny and educational every month, but the result is wonderful.

Funny.bytes logo includes a cartoon man laughingFUNNY.BYTES: A look back
Since its introduction five years ago, Funny.bytes has attempted to convey serious messages about our public lands, through a less-than-serious medium. Here, a sampling of those efforts:

Attack of the Impact Monster movie credit "Attack of the Impact Monster" was inspired by classic horror movies of the past...
... to help prevent future horrors on your public lands.

a red-eyed dangerous weedOld movies and a classic radio broadcast inspired "The War of the Weeds."
an ant talks to a grasshopper over a rail fence"Defensible Space: The True Story of the Ant and the Grasshopper" - An old fable inspired this take on the timeless message of helping protect your home in the wildland urban interface from wildfires:
one wind turbine rotor asks another what's wrong"As the Rotor Turns" -- a classic soap opera, played out in the modern world of renewable energy.

NEWS.BYTES: A look ahead

News.bytesDo you have suggestions for new features? Can't be sure we can implement them all -- and we do have to keep our focus on what News.bytes does best, gathering and referring our readers to news about public lands in California -- but what would you like to see in News.bytes?

Send your ideas to the News.bytes team at: mailto:canewsbytes@blm.gov

"I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well … until I subscribed to News.bytes!" -Robert Benchley

Okay, that's not exactly what he said ... but surely he would have. If you know a friend, or colleague, or a near stranger, feel free to forward News.bytes to them, and suggest they subscribe at http://www.blm.gov/ca/caso/getnewsbytes.html.


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a hand holds a tiny fish
pit sculpin
Where are pit sculpin found?
(a.) in abandoned gravel pits filled with overflow from rivers
(b.) in the Shasta Lakes area and its tributaries
(c.) along the northern California coast, in cavities of pitted rocks that fill with water at high tide
(d.) in the Pit River and Sacramento drainage
(e.) tending the milk bar in pittoons

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

America's Great Outdoors logo features a family paddling together in a canoeAMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

"BLM, Bike Club Sponsoring Kids Mountain Biking Day" (BLM News)
"Mountain bike riders aged 6 to 16 are invited to join the Bureau of Land Management and Redding Mountain Bike Club for a free guided bike ride on Sunday, Oct. 2, starting at 9 a.m. at the Swasey Recreation Area in west Redding."

"Mr. Bob at Jawbone Station" (KGET TV, 9/27/11)
Cody Bruntlag of the Kern County Board of Trade and Film Commission visited Jawbone Station, "... and while I was there, Mr. Bob came over to help me out. I snapped some pictures and video of him and sent it to..KGET TV-17 in Bakersfield. Lo and behold, your very own Mr. Bob got his 15 minutes of fame on TV today!"

: "Jawbone Off-Highway Vehicle Open Area "
(BLM California)
From cross-country play to advanced technical routes, the Jawbone Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area offers over 7,000 acres of open-use public land where you can ride anywhere your skill and machine will take you.

"Boat ramp ready for use at Big Bar"
(Stockton Record, 9/27/11)
"A new parking area for boaters is finished and open for use at Big Bar, where Highway 49 crosses the Mokelumne River, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced. 'This opens up more recreation opportunities, is safer and avoids trespass on private property,' said Jim Eicher, associate manager for the bureau's Mother Lode field office."

National Public Lands Day logo"Volunteers to weeds: You're out!" (Hi-Desert Star, 9/28/11)
Weeds met their match...when volunteers from Friends of Giant Rock, Marines from the Single Marines Program in Twentynine Palms and Bureau of Land Management firefighters brought their trash bags to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. The weed pullers focused on a large field west of the preserve's nature center, where they pulled cheatgrass and red brome, carrying the invasive grasses to two roll-off Dumpsters for disposal.

A young man with a hoe"National Public Lands Day, 2011- Big Morongo Canyon Preserve"
(News.bytes Extra)
Using a variety of hand tools and lots of teamwork, volunteers managed to remove all the weeds identified along the Mesquite Trail. Even the youngest volunteers, whose ages ranged from five years to twelve years, helped remove excess brush to open up the trail even wider. All in all, approximately 30 cubic yards of compressed vegetation was removed.

"National Public Lands Day" (BLM California website)
National Public Lands Day is the largest volunteer event that benefits America's public lands. Volunteers are needed for events in October.

Movie Road self-guided tour brochure coverGET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
... Enjoy a bit of Film History at Alabama Hills.  Download the Movie Road Touring Brochure  and take a nostalgic drive through the Alabama Hills visiting film sites from movie greats like "How the West Was Won"!   The outstanding features and environment of the Alabama Hills have attracted movie makers, commercial companies and tourists from all over the world. Since the early 1920's, movie stars such as Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and the Lone Ranger, have been shooting it out with outlaws. Classics such as Gunga Din, Springfield Rifle, and How the West was Won, were filmed at sites now known as "Movie Flats" and at Movie Flat Road.


"Fire 50 Percent Contained Near Palm Springs - More Than 540 Acres Scorched In Weekend Fire" (KESQ, 9/26/11)
A brush fire has consumed at least 541 acres of mountainside and grasslands near the San Gorgonio Pass, northwest of Palm Springs. The fire was burning on land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Palm Springs and the Agua Caliente Resort.

"Helicopters aid firefighters in battling Windy Point fire near Palm Springs" (The Desert Sun, 9/26/11)
"A blaze that scorched 541 acres of mountainside and grasslands near the San Gorgonio Pass northwest of Palm Springs was fully contained today. The fire was burning on land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Palm Springs and the Agua Caliente Resort." Includes photos and slide show.
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110926/NEWS0803/109260317/Crews-continue-make-progress-Windy-Point-fire-containment OR http://blm.gov/yyjd

"Trinity County blaze burns over 1,300 acres"
(Eureka Times-Standard, 9/25/11)
"Fire crews continue to battle a blaze in Trinity County today...the fire is still only 20 percent contained. The fire, which is expected to grow another 200 to 400 acres throughout the day, had destroyed one residence and two outbuildings." BLM is one of several agencies joining together to combat the blaze.

"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.

"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."

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

"Helicopters working on transmission line grounded"
(Sacramento Bee, 9/28/11)
"California regulators on Tuesday temporarily grounded helicopters working on construction of a nearly $2 billion transmission line east of San Diego after a newspaper found that two accidents went unreported." The Sunrise Powerlink Project will cross approximately 49 miles of public lands in Imperial and San Diego counties.

RELATED: "Sunrise Powerlink Project" (BLM California)
The California Public Utilities Commission approved a proposal by San Diego Gas & Electric Company to construct a new, 90-mile, 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the Imperial Valley Substation (in Imperial County, near the City of El Centro) to a new Suncrest Substation (near Alpine, Calif.) and a new 27-mile 230-kV transmission line that includes both overhead and underground segments from the new Suncrest Substation to the existing Sycamore Canyon Substation (near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar). The BLM approved a temporary right-of-way grant for construction and a long-term right-of-way grant for the operation and maintenance of the transmission lines where they cross approximately 49 miles of public lands in Imperial and San Diego counties.

"News staff barred from solar site" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 9/23/11)
"A Press-Enterprise reporter and photographer were barred this week from entering the BrightSource Energy Co. solar development site on public land, despite assurances from the federal agency that manages the property that access should be allowed. The reporter and photographer wanted to observe efforts to remove desert tortoises from the path of the development. The animals are protected under the Endangered Species Act. 'It is our absolute, firm belief that (journalists) should have been allowed on public lands as escorted by our BLM folks to see what is going on at the Ivanpah site,' [BLM spokeswoman Erin] Curtis said. 'It is public land, and we want the public to have access to information about what is happening on public land.'"

"Tortoises moved from harm's way
" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 9/23/11)
"More than 100 wildlife biologists scoured a desert valley this week, clearing desert tortoises from the path of a solar energy plant under construction in northeast San Bernardino County. 'It takes a long time, and it is tedious,' Larry LaPre, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management biologist, said as he steered a four-wheel-drive SUV to the solar site...where BrightSource says it will generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes."

"Locals press First Solar on job opportunities" (Desert Dispatch, 9/25/11)
Jobs were the main concern for community members who attended the public meeting held in Barstow for the proposed Stateline Solar project near the California/Nevada border. A dozen people from around San Bernardino County attended a public meeting ...where First Solar employees and contractors explained the current status of the Stateline Solar Project, a 300 megawatt project that will power 90,000 homes when completed."


Helicopter spraying tamarisk."Aerial Spraying of Tamarisk" (News.bytes Extra)
"The Bureau of Land Management has taken to the air in an effort to control invasive shrubs. Helicopters remove the barriers associated with travel over uneven terrain and allows for relatively targeted herbicide application."

"Autumn is for Apples: An Interview With Carol Fall"
(Northern California News Cafe, 9/24/11)
"The North State has many rich legacies. One of them is heirloom apples... Carol Fall, Program Representative for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Trinity, has been working year-round trying to trace and document this very legacy for the Trinity Heritage Orchard Project. THOP got its start in early 2006 with an effort to save and document old trees around the historic Lowden Ranch in Lewiston. Now owned by the Bureau of Land Management, Lowden Ranch has just a few remaining trees - including 'Sweet Bough' and 'Siberian Crab' apples."

"Should more of Beauty Mountain be declared wilderness?"
(Sign on San Diego, 9/23/11)
"All of the 14,063-acre wilderness study area at Beauty Mountain was determined to be unsuitable for final adoption in a 1991 report by the Bureau of Land Management. The decision was largely due to private land “inholdings” that complicated management of the area, but those parcels have since been acquired by the bureau and agency officials said they no longer present a challenge."

"Klamath deal needs a boost from Congress"
(Sacramento Bee, 9/26/11)
"Up on the Klamath River...irrigators, environmentalists, Indian tribes and the utility that owns dams on the Klamath have brokered an armistice in the region's water wars. Not only that, they have held together as a group to support the deal, and now have a workable, peer-reviewed plan for implementing it. Under that plan, the parties have agreed to remove four dams on the Klamath River that hurt water quality in the river and prevent passage of salmon and other fish."

RELATED: "Wild and Scenic Rivers" (BLM California)
"Just south of the Oregon Border, BLM's Stateline boat ramp and primitive campground is used as a take-out point on the Klamath River for the 17 mile stretch of class I-V whitewater upriver."

"BLM Releases Draft South Coast Resource Management Plan Revision for Public Review" (BLM News)
"The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released for public comment a Draft South Coast Resource Management Plan (RMP) Revision and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that provides guidance for the management of approximately 300,000 acres of BLM administered public lands in portions of five highly urbanized Southern California counties: San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
BLM is currently accepting applications for an Environmental Protection Specialist, a Realty Specialist, and a Business Support Assistant. Apply on-line at:


It is uncommon to have new employees for two key position come on-board the same day! BLM California welcomes a State Director, Jim Kenna, and Deputy State Director for External Affairs, Doran Sanchez.

A smiling manBLM California State Director, Jim Kenna...

began his federal career as a wildland firefighter and has held numerous key agency positions such as State Director in Arizona, Associate State Director in Oregon, Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning in Washington, D.C., Budget Analyst for the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., and Field Manager of the BLM’s Palm Springs Field Office in California.

A smiling manDeputy State Director for External Affairs, Doran Sanchez...
was previously the Chief of Communications for BLM in Nevada and began his federal career as a Public Affairs Specialist in the California Desert District where he committed 17 years.


Oct. 2 - Kids Mountain Biking Day

Oct. 15
- National Public Lands Day at King Range

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites:
(d.) in the Pit River and Sacramento drainage

SOURCE: "Pit Sculpin - Cottus pitensis" (BLM California wildlife database)
Of the seven freshwater species native to California, six occur in BLM-managed waters. Pit sculpins are found in the Pit River drainage and the upper Sacramento drainage. Whereas most sculpins prefer slower waters with muddy, sandy, or gravelly bottoms, the pit sculpin prefers rocky riffles in fast-moving waters.

California Fish Species - Pit Sculpin" (University of California California Fish website)
Pit sculpins are found predominantly in streams with temperatures below 25°C and oxygen levels near saturation. These waterways include fast rocky streams, spring fed creeks, and large boulder filled rivers.

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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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