A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 506 - 11/10/11

cranes approach a landing against an orange sunset a man walks atop a sand dune close-up of a frog smoke billows into the air sketch of rafters on a river under a cover


- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Energy and Renewable energy
- Planning and advisory groups
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items
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close-up of a frog
California treefrog
California treefrogs are said to have a call a bit like a:
(a.) cricket
(b.) loon
(c.) fox
(d.) duck
(e.) cow
(f.) telemarketer

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

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

"Salazar highlights 18 backcountry areas deserving congressional protection as conservation lands or wilderness" (Department of the Interior news, 11/10/11)
Beauty Mountain in California, the San Juan Islands of Washington, and Castle Peak in Colorado are among 18 backcountry areas in nine states that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar highlighted today as deserving protection by Congress as national conservation areas or wilderness areas. The report issued by Secretary Salazar includes a preliminary list of areas managed primarily by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management where there is significant local support for Congressional protection, and that Secretary Salazar believes can be at the foundation of a bipartisan public lands bill that should pass under this Congress.

a man speaks with students"High school students learn about BLM careers"(News.bytes Extra)
Students at the Union Mine High School in El Dorado learned about the career options available in the Bureau of Land Management, during the school's career day Wednesday. Julie Wynia and Sophia Weinmann, interns, and Jeff Babcock, civil engineering tech in BLM's Mother Lode Field Office presented information on careers from engineering to botany.

"BLM Bishop Field Office volunteer event planned at Goodale Creek Campground" (BLM news, 11/8/11)
The Bureau of Land Management's Bishop Field Office is inviting the public to meet the Bishop Field Office staff and volunteer with them on a campground restoration project at the Goodale Creek Campground. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate. Please bring work gloves (if you have them) and wear work clothes, including long pants and closed toe shoes.

a man walks atop a sand dune"Restored beauty: Ma-le'l Dunes reopen to the public after 17 years; Humboldt habitat boasts diversity, otherworldly landscapes" (Eureka Times-Standard, 11/6/11)
"Just miles away from Arcata is a place where sand dunes, forestland and wetlands collide to create a cool-climate refuge for hundreds of species. The recently restored Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex's Ma-le'l Dunes is also a refuge for nature seekers who are looking for a different kind of hiking experience in Humboldt County .... Since the area is also connected to portions managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, some restricted areas lead into areas that are open to dogs and horses in addition to hikers," so users please "take notice of the different trail uses marked on maps and signs."

...Let's go fishing! This is the best time of the year to fish the Trinity River for steelhead and salmon. Popular with fisherman and pleasure boaters alike, the 43 miles of the Wild and Scenic Trinity River from Lewiston to Pigeon Point is a class I and II segment that flows out of the Trinity and Lewiston Lakes. This clear, cold section of the river is world famous for its fly fishing.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Ten wild horses and five burros to be available for adoption in Redlands"
(BLM news, 11/2/11)
This weekend: Ten mustangs and five burros from America's rangelands will be available for adoption at Sundance Ranch in Redlands on Saturday, Nov. 12 through the BLM Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program. The animals were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health. (None of the animals have been exposed to the EHV-1 virus.) A Friday preview runs from 1 to 5 p.m. BLM staff will approve adoption applications from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Marines in uniform ride horsesa man in an American Legion jacket and cap salutes"Parade honors veterans; Marines' last mounted color guard first in line at Shasta Lake" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/5/11)
"Saturday's Veterans Day parade here was mostly spared from forecast rain, though a downpour wouldn't have made a difference .... the 19th annual parade was a rain-or-shine event .... The U.S. Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard, the last remaining mounted color guard in the Marine Corps, led this year's parade. It was the guard's first appearance at the procession. The active-duty Marines ride palomino-colored mustangs adopted from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management through its Adopt a Mustang program and perform at rodeos and parades throughout the U.S." With link to photo gallery and video.

RELATED: "2011 Veterans Day Parade" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/5/11)
Video from the parade.

"Horses, burros available for adoption in Santa Maria"
(BLM news, 11/3/11)
Residents of the Santa Maria area will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families when the Bureau of Land Management brings its adoption program to the Elks-Unocal Event Center in Santa Maria, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19. The BLM will offer 20 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 18. After that, animals will be available for a $125 adoption fee. The event gates will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

High Rock Complex Wild Horse and Burro Roundup:
BLM symbolhttp://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/surprise.html

Renewable energy graphics represent solar, wind and geothermal power, plus transmission linesENERGY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

"Renewable energy briefs: Site near Newberry Springs taken off prime solar energy list - Calico solar plant to undergo additional environmental study - First Ivanpah tortoise released into wild" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/6/11)

"A dirty story: Powerlink's Porta-Potty pitfalls" (East County Magazine, 11/6/11)
"Why did portable toilets at SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink sites in Ocotillo blow over on multiple occasions? Why did one remain tipped over for at least three days? Where were Powerlink workers relieving themselves during that period?" East County Magazine says its "investigation has resulted in changes to procedures for SDG&E contractors regarding the handling of portable toilet facilities at Powerlink worksites on federal Bureau of Land Management properties."

"Secretary Salazar announces 2012-2017 Offshore Oil and Gas Development Program" (Department of the Interior news, 11/8/11)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017, which makes more than 75 percent of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources estimated in federal offshore areas available for exploration and development. It schedules 15 potential lease sales for the 2012-2017 period -- 12 in the Gulf of Mexico and three off the coast of Alaska.

RELATED: "Offshore drilling plan targets gulf, Arctic" (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/9/11)
"The Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled an offshore drilling plan that expands exploration in the Gulf of Mexico while allowing some development in the Arctic and ruling out access to unexplored areas along the Atlantic Coast."

"Interior distributes $11.2 billion in energy revenues to state, tribal and federal governments" (Department of the Interior news, 11/7/11)
The Department of the Interior collected $11.16 billion from energy production on public lands and offshore areas in fiscal year 2011 – a $2 billion increase over the previous year – and disbursed those revenues among federal, state and tribal governments, while funding reclamation, conservation and preservation accounts.


"BLM extends application period for dunes subgroup"(BLM news, 11/10/11)
Due to public interest, the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) California Desert District Desert Advisory Council announces an extended application period for membership on its Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) subgroup.  Applications for nomination to the subgroup will be accepted up to December 9, 2011. There are currently three vacancies on the nine member subgroup. 

"BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office announces public workshops on Draft Management Plan"(BLM news, 11/10/11)
The BLM has scheduled two public meetings on the Draft South Coast Resource Management Plan which released for public review and comment on Sept. 23. The BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office will hold public meetings on Nov. 29 at the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve and on Nov. 30 in Old Town Temecula. Meetings will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The meetings will be conducted in "open house" format with a presentation on the alternatives presented in the Draft RMP and the opportunity for the public to view maps and other sections of the Draft RMP. All comments must be in writing and submitted prior to the close of the 90 day comment period on Dec. 21, 2011.

"BLM Desert Advisory Council to meet in Redondo Beach" (BLM news, 11/9/11)
The next field trip and meeting of the Bureau of Land Management's California Desert Advisory Council will be held Dec. 2-3 in Redondo Beach. The council will participate in a field tour of BLM-managed public lands on Friday, Dec. 2 and meet in formal session on Saturday, Dec. 3.


smoke billows into the airblurry photo of a grenade in the sand"Recognize, Retreat, Report!"(News.bytes Extra)
An unexploded 40 millimeter grenade found by a camper in the Dunebuggy Flats camp area at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area was successfully (and safely) detonated by the Imperial County Arson and Bomb Unit on Saturday, November 5, 2011. The camper who found the device made the mistake of taking it back to his camp....

a man walks past water running out of a pipedesert plants"Oasis or mirage? Company wants to tap Mojave water" (Associated Press in the San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6/11)
"Off historic Route 66 in the heart of the California desert" is a "lush farm" proposed as a "partial solution to Southern California's water woes. By tapping into an aquifer the size of Rhode Island under the 35,000-acre Cadiz ranch, proponents say they can supply 400,000 people with drinking water in only a few years. If the plan sounds familiar, it is. A decade ago, Los Angeles' Metropolitan Water District narrowly rejected it when it faced widespread environmental opposition." That plan involved rights-of-way across BLM-managed public lands.

"McKeon: Cemex options waning" (Santa Clarita Signal, 11/10/11)
"Congressman Howard 'Buck' McKeon said Wednesday there's slim chance of legislation passing that would stop a large-scale gravel mine in Soledad Canyon, and there's nothing he can do about it. McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, introduced legislation in each of the previous six congressional sessions that would stop Mexico-based mining giant Cemex from building a mine on 500 acres of land in Soledad Canyon" to "extract 56 million tons of sand and gravel over 20 years .... Introduced by [Sen. Barbara] Boxer ... the bill would ban mining in Soledad Canyon and the federal Bureau of Land Management would buy back the mining contracts it granted Cemex in 1990."

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"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current openings include recreation technician and administrative technician.


"Klamath Dams plan defended; Siskiyou County misinterpreted law, official says" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/9/11)
"The Department of Interior has sent a letter to Siskiyou County officials rejecting their claims the federal government has violated laws pertaining to plans that could lead to the demolition of four dams on the Klamath River .... John Bezdek, special adviser to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's chief of staff, also denied his bosses had come to a foregone conclusion that dam removal is a good idea and that federal regulators haven't included the county in the environmental review process .... His letter includes a 1-1/2 page list of the nearly 30 times the Interior Department has spoken with county officials since 2010."

"BLM to issue guidance on existing and proposed uses within railroad's rights-of-way authorized under the 1875 Act"
(BLM news, 11/4/11)
BLM Director Bob Abbey announced that he will issue guidance shortly in light of the Interior Department Solicitor's issuance of Opinion M-37025, a legal opinion regarding a railroad's authority to authorize activities within a right-of-way authorized under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 (1875 Act). The 1875 Act was repealed by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in 1976, but rights-of-way established prior to the enactment of FLPMA were recognized by Congress as valid existing rights. The new Opinion is based, in part, on recent court decisions.

a stretch of river between hills, in the dusksketch of rafters on a river under a cover"U.S. clears art project by Christo in Colorado" (New York Times, 11/7/11)
"Federal regulators on Monday approved a $50 million installation of anchored fabric over the Arkansas River in southern Colorado by the artist Christo, whose larger-than-life vision has divided environmentalists, residents and politicians for years over questions of aesthetics, nature and economic impact .... Christo, 76, said in an interview that the project had already made history for its interconnection of art and public participation, with a federal environmental impact statement that drew thousands of comments." Local permits are still needed.

RELATED: "U.S. clears art project by Christo in Colorado" (BLM news, 11/7/11)
The Bureau of Land Management's Royal Gorge Field Office has released the Record of Decision approving the Over The River (TM) temporary art installation. The project, proposed by the artist Christo, will include suspending eight fabric panel segments totaling 5.9 miles within a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado.

"Federal geographic data committee launches new geospatial website" (Department of the Interior news, 11/9/11)
The federal government and its geospatial partners today unveiled www.geoplatform.gov, a prototype Geospatial Platform website providing an initial view of the future of user-friendly, integrated, federal data collections on common geographic maps. This prototype version of the Geospatial Platform combines map-based data and tools with the latest internet technologies to deliver geospatial information in a simple, understandable package.


Dec. 10 - Piedras Blancas Light Station twilight tour (call for reservations)

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
d.) duck

SOURCE: "California treefrog - Hyla cadaverina" (BLM California wildlife database)
If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear their call, which is a short ducklike quack.

More wildlife news from your public lands:

cranes approach a landing against an orange sunsettwo cranes on the ground flap their wings"Lodi and Delta are ground zero for sandhill crane festival"
(Sacramento Bee, 11/5/11)
"Urban sprawl threatens the sandhill cranes' Sacramento Valley roosting habitats. Despite encroachment from Elk Grove and other communities, the Central Valley is still where sandhill cranes stay from fall through winter. A total of 5 million birds use the Central Valley as a flyway ... Two species of sandhill cranes winter here: the greater sandhill crane and the lesser sandhill crane. The latter migrate the farthest – from Siberian breeding grounds. Both are monogamous birds and make good use of corn and rice fields in the Sacramento Valley. The wetlands are used for nighttime roosting as protection from coyotes and other predators." The Sandhill Crane Festival last weekend highlighted these birds.

RELATED: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)

a hand holds a dead bird near the entrance to a piperows of dead birds lie on a table"Mining claim markers blamed for thousands of bird deaths"
(Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/7/11)
Nevada is "dotted with scores" of 4-inch diameter pipes marking old mining claims -- "perhaps as many as a million of them .... Their yawning mouths point skyward to entice birds that like to nest in burrows and the hollow trunks of trees. The birds go into the pipes but can't get back out because they can't climb the slick interior or spread their wings to fly. Trapped at the bottom, the birds slowly starve to death. 'Basically they're black holes for birds, literally and figuratively .... Once they're inside, it's a one-way trip'."

"New report shows US Fish and Wildlife Service fisheries program helps support 68,000 jobs in U.S. economy" (Department of the Interior news, 11/3/11)
The fisheries program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in association with state agencies and other conservation organizations, contributes $3.6 billion to the nation's economy .... "The report confirms once again that fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreational activities are an economic engine for our country," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "When we invest in restoring fish and wildlife habitat and creating opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor recreation, we are investing in economic growth and jobs for the American people."
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