A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 507 - 11/17/11

two horses look at the camera side view of an alert-looking lizard in the desert Smokey Bear sits on an all-terrain vehicle a student holds some sort of measuring device a dramatic rock spire rises from the desert


- Wild horses and burros
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Report urges Congressional protections for BLM lands
- Renewable energy
- Wildfires and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- National and Department of the Interior items
This issue is online at:


"Horses, burros available for adoption in Santa Maria" (BLM news,
silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroThis weekend: Residents of the Santa Maria area will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families, 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.

a woman holds the reins while a girl pets the horsea woman pets a horse and holds its reins"Mustangs visit Napa, in movies and real life" (News.bytes Extra)
Attendees at the Napa Valley Film Festival last week took part in a multi-media program on BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, with films, a panel discussion and opportunity to meet mustangs. Volunteers held a meet and greet for the public with their mustangs, Dakota, Sparky and Ruby and the Mustang Heritage Foundation presented a movie of trainers preparing to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

two horses look at the cameraseveral horses together"High Rock roundup wraps up" (News.bytes Extra)
Wild horse roundup operations have been completed in the High Rock Complex, a group of five herd management areas overseen by the BLM-California’s Surprise Field Office on public lands in northwest Nevada. A total of 1,334 wild horses were captured in the effort to return the HMAs to their appropriate management levels, which are populations that the public rangelands can sustain while supporting other users including wildlife and domestic permitted livestock.


side view of an alert-looking lizard in the desert
zebra-tailed lizard
Zebra-tailed lizards live mostly in areas...
(a.) ...with many sand dunes
(b.) ...with lots of rocky hiding places
(c.) ...with lots of creosote bush
(d.) ...without any snakes
(e.).. represented on maps by areas that are white and black and red all over

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

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

two smiling women holds awards"El Centro’s 'Yuha Desert Audio Tour' wins national interpretive award" (News.bytes Extra)
Carrie Simmons, archaeologist for the El Centro Field Office, accepted an "Excellence in Interpretation or Education" Silver Award at the National Association of Interpretation conference in Minnesota last week. Carrie shared the Silver Award with Jenny Blanchard, archaeologist for the Anchorage Field Office (and formerly of El Centro) for creating a downloadable audio tour of the Yuha Desert and an accompanying poster.

Smokey Bear sits on an all-terrain vehiclehands hold a model helicopter"Jawbone visitors learn about OHV safety from BLM and other agencies" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Ridgecrest Field Office and the Friends of Jawbone hosted the third annual OHV Safety Awareness Day recently at the Jawbone Station Visitors Center with a theme of "Safety in the Desert." More than 100 guests came to Jawbone Station to learn from the many agency representatives and take part in the day’s activities.

a student holds some sort of measuring device"Student data helps shape policy on Salinas-area creek" (Salinas Californian, 11/15/11)
Students from California State University, Monterey Bay collect data for their Geology and Hydrology class that helps in managing a creek for wildlife and flood prevention. For instance, the instructor "gives a set of the collected data to Eric Morgan, BLM manager of the former Fort Ord lands .... stabilizing the soil becomes a priority because the creek runs close to houses. 'We have to figure out how to harden those banks, so the creek doesn't get up in those homes,' Morgan said. 'We have to manage it.'

volunteers pick up trash in a dry L.A. River bed"L.A. River placed on Great Outdoors list" (Los Angeles Wave, 11/10/11)
"The Los Angeles River Revitalization project championed by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, was highlighted as one of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect Americans with the natural world. The project was one of only two in California highlighted in a 50-state report released last week by the America’s Great Outdoors federal coalition .... Being identified in the report makes the Los Angeles River revitalization effort eligible for technical and financial support for the parks, trails and habitat restoration aspects of the effort."

...Take a drive on the Bradshaw Trail Backcountry Byway. The first road across Riverside County to the Colorado River was blazed by William Bradshaw in 1862 as a stage route from San Bernardino, to haul miners and other passengers to the gold fields at La Paz, Arizona (now Ehrenberg). The Bradshaw Trail is now a 70-mile dirt road, periodically graded by the Riverside County Transportation Department. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended due to stretches of soft sand. The trail traverses mostly public land, and offers spectacular views of the Chuckwalla Bench and the Orocopia, Chuckwalla and Mule Mountains.


several people hike past a marker post"Obama proposes protection for desert, mountains" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/10/11)
"The Obama administration ... called on Congress to pass sweeping public lands legislation that incorporates pending bills that would protect more than a million acres in Southern California. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill to create a vast national monument across San Bernardino County’s high desert and Inland Rep. Darrell Issa’s plan to preserve portions of the Beauty Mountain area, which straddles Riverside and San Diego counties, are among 18 areas highlighted in a report issued by the U.S. Interior Department."

a dramatic rock spire rises from the desert"SD backcountry featured in federal wilderness proposal" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/10/11)
"Beauty Mountain in North County, the San Juan Islands of Washington state and Castle Peak in Colorado are among 18 backcountry areas across the West that the U.S. Secretary of the Interior touted ... as deserving protection as national conservation areas or wilderness areas."

"Administration urges new wilderness protections" (AP on ABC News, 11/10/11)
"Most of the areas proposed for new protections are in the West, where the administration previously came under fire for a scuttled proposal to name new land protections as part of a presidential declaration. The administration says the new proposals have 'significant local support'."

mountains to either side of a rocky valley"Congress urged to protect 134,000 public acres in and near the Pass" (Banning-Beaumont Patch, 11/11/11)
"A proposal to create a 134,000-acre 'Sand to Snow National Monument' on public lands in and near the San Gorgonio Pass received backing ... from the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recommended ... that Congress approve monument protection for the area, which includes Whitewater Canyon and Southern California's highest point, San Gorgonio Mountain. The lands also include the entire San Gorgonio Wilderness, Sonoran desert, and Big Morongo Canyon. They border three Wildlands Conservancy preserves, the Morongo Valley community, and the west end of Joshua Tree National Park."

"Salazar highlights 18 backcountry areas deserving congressional protection as conservation lands or wilderness" (Department of the Interior news, 11/10/11)
The report 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. (Repeated from last week's News.bytes)

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

"El Centro, Palm Desert public meetings scheduled for draft supplement to solar energy development study" (BLM news, 11/16/11)
The meetings will address the federal plan to facilitate responsible utility-scale solar development on public lands in six western states -- Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The meetings will be held Dec. 7 in El Centro and Dec. 8 in Palm Desert. Other meetings will be held Nov. 30 in Las Vegas, Nev. and Dec. 1 in Phoenix, Ariz. The revised plan, the Supplement to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development, reinforces and improves upon work to establish meaningful solar energy zones with transmission solutions and incentives for solar energy development within those zones.


"End Of 2011 Fire Season" (KERO-TV Bakersfield, 11/15/11)
Bakersfield-area firefighting agencies " will officially declare the end of the 2011 wildland fire season" this Friday, Nov. 18. "The good news" is that seasonally cooler temperatures "significantly reduce the threat of damaging wildfires throughout our wildland communities; however, homeowners must always stay aware of dry fuels and changes in fire danger, especially when the Santa Ana winds begin to blow. The public is reminded to continue working on hazardous fuel reduction projects around homes and properties and continue to stay prepared throughout the winter season."

sketch shows land cleared around a houseRELATED: "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.

"BLM lifts Whitewater Canyon closures" (BLM news, 11/17/11)
The BLM, in cooperation with CalFire, is lifting the closure of more than 4,000 acres of public land in Whitewater Canyon northwest of Palm Springs, effective Nov. 21.  The canyon has been closed to the public to help protect the canyon’s valued landscape from potential wildfires.


"Email address change for BLM Bakersfield Field Office Draft Management Plan comments" (BLM news, 11/14/11)
Due to a change in the Bureau of Land Management’s email system, comments on the Draft Bakersfield Resource Management Plan submitted by email must be sent to cacalrmp@blm.gov. Some earlier information material also included an email box ending in ca.blm.gov – that address no longer works.

"BIA, USFS, Robinson Rancheria officers team up for major marijuana bust" (Lake County Record-Bee, 11/9/11)
A joint law enforcement investigation netted "five suspects ... more than $3,000 of stolen property ... firearms, ammunition, a large number of marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia .... The federal government is taking a zero-tolerance policy on water diversion for any reason on both forest service property as well as Bureau of Land Management federal property. Those found responsible can face state and federal charges as well as restitution costs for restoring the creeks and streams back to their natural state. The cost of restoration of diverted waterways can run into the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and location of the water diversion."

a sign advises hikers and mountain bikers to yield to pot growersRELATED: "Violence grows with marijuana in state's fields" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 11/14/11)
Editorial: "From home-invasion robberies to homicide, violence is becoming a fixture of California's booming marijuana industry. During one seven-week period in 2010, five suspected growers were killed in North Coast marijuana fields. Two more men were shot and killed this past summer .... Ranchers and hikers have reported warning shots being fired when they unwittingly got too close to pot fields, on public and private land."

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


"Shooters heard: Interior will not ban target practice" (U.S. News and World Report, 11/17/11)
"Under fire from gun owners concerned about draft guidelines that could limit areas for target practice on western public lands, the Interior Department today said it would make sure shooters still have access to lands long available for firearms recreation .... 'We are in no way interested in banning recreational target shooting, hunting, or fishing -- on the contrary, our goal is to develop guidance that will help land managers maximize and preserve opportunities for recreational shooting,' said the BLM statement. However, the official said it is possible that areas previously used for target practice that are too close to houses or areas of urban growth could be put off limits. The new plan would be to provide shooters with a map or guide on where they can go for target practice nearby...."

"Secretary Salazar names Rear Admiral James A. Watson as new director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement" (Department of the Interior news, 11/14/11)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar named Rear Admiral James A. Watson IV as the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. BSEE was one of the two agencies to succeed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement on Oct. 1, 2011.


Dec. 10- First Piedras Blancas Twilight Tour - reservations required - at Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) ...with lots of creosote bush

SOURCE: "Zebra-tailed lizard - Callisaurus draconoides" (BLM California wildlife database)
Zebra-tailed lizards occur in desert habitats, specifically in desert flats with an abundance of creosote. They are less common near sand dunes and in rocky desert habitats.

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