A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 514 - 1/20/11

close-up of bald eagle's head two firefighters battle flames around a house Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar A group of young people remove invasive weeds. a man raises his arms as he stands in front of a drilling rig


- Renewable energy
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wildfires and prevention
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Selected upcoming events
- More wildlife news from your public lands
This issue of News.bytes is online at:

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

Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar"Secretary Salazar and Governor Brown sign Agreement" (News.bytes Extra)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed an agreement to expand a state and federal partnership that has, over the last two years, paved the way for more than a dozen utility-scale solar energy projects and more than 130 renewable power projects in California.

RELATED: "Secretary Salazar, Governor Brown expand partnership to expedite renewable energy projects in California" (Department of the Interior news, 01/13/2012)
These projects, which underwent rigorous environmental review, will generate thousands of construction jobs and power local economies. If all of these projects were built today, California would have enough renewable power to meet the state's 33 percent goal.

RELATED: "Gov. Brown signs pact to streamline energy transmission projects" (Sacramento Bee, 1/14/12)
"In a move to create jobs and help preserve California's leadership in renewable energy, the state and the federal government have expanded a partnership to bring more solar, wind and other clean energy sources on line."

"Large-scale solar plants fast-tracked" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/18/12)
"Two large-scale solar plants planned for public land east of the Coachella Valley are on the list of high-priority projects federal and state officials have targeted for approval this year. NextEra Energy's 750-megawatt McCoy project near Blythe and enXco's 150-megawatt Desert Harvest project near Desert Center were among those on a new list of nine solar 'priority projects' that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday."

"Solar program EIS threatens to kill industry, county claims" (Pahrump Valley Times, 1/20/12)
"A supplement to the programmatic environmental impact statement for the solar industry threatens to undermine and even halt the industry," Nye County, Nevada officials said in a letter to the BLM. "The EIS identifies solar energy zones, including a site in Nye County" near the California border "that has now been reduced from 31,625 acres to 8,479 acres out of concern for Death Valley National Park and the desert tortoise."

"USFS studies proposed NV wind farm harm to eagles" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15/12)
"Midway through a two-year study about the potential impacts of a proposed wind farm on golden eagles in northern Nevada, wildlife biologists say they've identified nearly a dozen nesting sites in the area of the $200 million project in the mountains 20 miles northeast of Sparks."

a man raises his arms as he stands in front of a drilling rig"Project to pour water into volcano to make power" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15/12)
"Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise." Geothermal energy projects have been "hampered by technical problems and worries that tapping it can cause earthquakes .... the federal government, Google and other investors are interested enough to bet $43 million on the Oregon project...." The BLM "released an environmental assessment ... that does not foresee any problems that would stop it."

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

a large crowd cleans up the dunes"Volunteers help clean the Imperial Sand Dunes" (News.bytes Extra)
Hundreds of volunteers gathered in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend for the 15th Annual Dunes Clean Up. This event is coordinated by the Bureau of Land Management's El Centro Field Office and the United Desert Gateway, with help from many other organizations helping promote stewardship and care for the recreation area.

A man works to plant a palm tree."Eagle Scout Project takes hold of the Dos Palmas Preserve" (News.bytes Extra)
The Dos Palmas Preserve is a 14,000-acre Area of Critical Environmental Concern, managed by the BLM's A group of young people remove invasive weeds.Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, that protects many important biological resources. Last weekend, 17-year-old Devin Hampton hosted his Eagle Scout Project at the Dos Palmas Preserve. He convinced local nurseries to donate 105 plants and recruited 30 volunteers for cleaning up invasive plants and planting the natives.

RELATED: "Dos Palmas Preserve" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
This oasis with its hundreds of swaying fan palms offers sanctuary in the midst of the dry Colorado Desert.  Pools fed by artesian springs and seepage from the nearby Coachella Canal form a lush wetland area. The exceptional habitat shelters a variety of both threatened or endangered and more common animal species.

a man gestures toward the skyline as two others listen"Ken Salazar calls for Fort Ord national monument" (Monterey County Herald, 1/14/12)
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ended a visit to Monterey County on Friday with a call to President Barack Obama to designate Fort Ord as a national monument. Conducting an informal poll of the audience in a town-hall type meeting in Marina, Salazar described the designation as the best way to conserve the coastal lands in perpetuity."

Secretary Salazar listens to public comments in a crowded room.RELATED: "Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar hosts Listening Session at Fort Ord" (News.bytes Extra)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar hosted a public listening session Friday to engage with the public, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority and friends groups on exploring the best path forward to preserve the public lands at Fort Ord for the enjoyment of all Americans.  "Today I heard broad-based community support from many diverse stakeholder groups and organizations who want to protect the unique natural resources of Fort Ord and to build upon the great recreational opportunities that the public lands have to offer," said Salazar.

RELATED: "America's Great Outdoors: Salazar Holds Dialogue on Fort Ord, Applauds Local Commitment to Preserve Site" (BLM News Release, 01/13/2012)
Secretary Salazar was joined by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, U.S. Congressman Sam Farr, and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird. The listening session was part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to support locally-driven efforts to preserve and protect places that hold special historical and cultural meaning to communities across the country.

"BLM offers guided eagle hikes at Cache Creek" (BLM news, 1/18/12)
The Bureau of Land Management will host free guided hikes to look for wintering bald eagles in the Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County on Saturdays in January and February. Hikes will be held Jan. 21 and 28 and Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 -- cancelled in rainy weather. Those interested in participating should reserve space early for a specific date by calling the BLM Ukiah Field Office at (707) 468-4000.

RELATED: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM Ukiah Field Office)
This secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral is a combination of over 70,000 acres of BLM managed lands and 4,700 acres of State and County lands. The Natural Area is traversed by Cache Creek, with its year-round water flow. Along the creek, wetland grasses, rushes and sedges grow under a canopy of cottonwoods, willows, oaks and alders providing excellent wildlife habitat.

"Program introduces youths to desert animals" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 1/12/12)
"Two of the Barstow area's rarely seen residents, the desert tortoise and Mohave tui chub fish, will be the focus of 'Animals of the Mojave Desert.' The event, which will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, kicks off a five-month after-school program co-sponsored by the Desert Discovery Center."

hikers on a rocky area near water"Sonoma County's Cedars a rare geologic wonder" (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16/12)
"At an old mining camp in the mountains above Cazadero in Sonoma County is a Mars-like panorama of steep crumbling red slopes, bizarre mineralized formations and green serpentine rock. The 11-square-mile area, called the Cedars, is a mysterious land of one-of-a-kind geological phenomena .... A conservation easement was purchased on some of the land, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management now owns 2,000 acres in the center, but the vast majority of this important geologic region is private property .... A recent acquisition will create an ecological preserve to provide scientific research and educational outreach."

.. visit the McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area which is managed to provide for a variety of uses including wildlife conservation, livestock grazing, and recreation. Recreational activity in the area includes camping, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, photography, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) use. Two overlooks offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and desert offering spectacular views of Carrizo Gorge and its surrounding area, and views of the north end of Carrizo Canyon and the desert below.



close-up of bald eagle's head What does a bald eagle's white head and tail signify?
(a.) It is a male.
(b.) It is ready to move out of its parents' nest.
(c.) It is at least five years old.
(d.) It has offspring.
(e.) Received W-2s and started using tax preparation software.


three U.S. Marines pose atop horses near the Grand Canyon"Marine Corp Color Guard gains BLM mustangs" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the United States Marine Corps Color Guard recently added to their ranks, by adopting three mustang palominos from the BLM's Litchfield Corrals in California and two mustang palominos from BLM's Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center in Sparks, Nevada.

"Fort Worth Stock Show hosting Mustang Magic" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/19/12)
"Jerry Jones ... says he decided to become a professional horse trainer the day he heard the preacher's words at his grandfather's funeral -- he was always happiest around horses.' It was true for him, too, he realized." Jones is one of the competitors in the Mustang Magic Trainers Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, working with mustangs adopted from the BLM by the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

a woman sits in a saddle on her horse"Bladen County rider, mustang win national trail-ride competition" (Wilmington, Delaware Star News, 1/20/12)
"By its very definition, winning the title of America's Favorite Trail Horse is about overcoming obstacles -- on the trail course, of course. But for ... Mary Miller Jordan and her mustang mare, Lindsay's Faith, their connection to each other and their success together were more a labor of love than obstacle on the way to winning a reality TV show competition's top honors." Horse and rider also competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, "where competitors had 100 days to gentle a wild mustang" from the BLM.

"BLM not gelding stallions now in wild horse roundup, but doesn't rule it out" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 1/15/12)
"Faced with legal action by wild horse advocates, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has backed off plans to castrate 200 stallions as part of a roundup of up to 1,000 mustangs 30 miles west of Ely, but the agency might geld wild stallions in the future, officials said. Gelding the stallions was part of a plan to help control the excess horse population on the range."

"Caution: Burros crossing Highway 95" (Yuma Sun, 1/18/12)
"According to the BLM, wild burros normally live along the Colorado River during the summer months because of the water source but during the winter months spend more time inland, searching for vegetation."


two firefighters battle flames at a house"Washoe Drive Fire: 26 homes lost, US 395 still closed" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 1/20/12)
The Reno-area fire has destroyed more than 20 homes. The Reno-Gazette-Journal has updates with the latest information. (Headline changes as the information is updated.)

sketch shows land cleared around a house"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 offering volunteer firefighter training" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 1/17/12)
"The Bureau of Land Management, Elko District is offering training for individuals seeking to become or already are volunteer firefighters in Elko County as part of the Ready Reserve Program. This program provides wildland fire training to rural fire departments to enhance safety, effectiveness and local response capability in initial attack of wildland fires in or near their communities."


"BLM Schedules Meetings to Address West Mojave Desert Routes of Travel Designation" (BLM news, 1/18/12)
The BLM has scheduled eight open-house public scoping meetings to gather public comments and recommendations on the preparation of environmental assessments for eight travel management areas within the West Mojave Planning Area. Area residents and interested members of the public are encouraged to attend. The BLM will solicit public input relative to local area knowledge, issues and opportunities, including changes to route access.

RELATED: "BLM hosts routes scoping meeting" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 1/19/12)
"Nearly 25 residents" attended the BLM's West Mojave Routes Project open house in Ridgecrest.

"BLM Seeks Nominees for California Desert Advisory Council" (BLM News Release, 01/19/2012)
The BLM's California Desert District is soliciting nominations from the public for six members of its California Desert District Advisory Council. The council's 15 members provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on the management of 11 million acres of public lands in eight counties of Southern California. The six positions to be filled include representatives with interests in specific areas.

a diagram shows drilling underground and fracking"Oil fracking in state and county raises questions" (Ventura County Star, 1/16/12)
The controversial practice called fracking used to extract oil and natural gas has made headlines .... Now, a California lawmaker is pushing for a law that would require all oil and gas companies to disclose where they are fracking and what chemicals are being forced into the ground during the process." Among other efforts, a group "recently filed a request asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for information on fracking practices" in the Los Padres National Forest.

"Victorville delays vote on Cemex bill" (Santa Clarita Signal, 1/18/12)
"The Victorville City Council this week tabled support for a bill that would stop a large-scale gravel mine in Soledad Canyon, saying it needs more information on the bill. Santa Clarita officials had asked the Victorville City Council to support Senate legislation aimed at halting the proposed Cemex sand and gravel mine .... In exchange for banning mining in Soledad Canyon, the Bureau of Land Management would buy back the contracts it granted to Cemex in 1990 by selling BLM land outside Victorville."

RELATED: "Stance on Cemex land swap again delayed" (Victorville Daily Press, 1/19/12)
"Victorville had supported a similar bill" in 2008.

a view from a hill down to a lake"BLM considers closing Bly Tunnel valve" (Lassen County Times, 1/17/12)
"After years of debate at the Lassen County Board of Supervisors, public hearings and study sessions, a pair of letters from the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Fish and Game requesting the closure of the valve on the pipe running through the Bly Tunnel may cause a resolution of the issue."

RELATED: "Eagle Lake" (BLM Eagle Lake Field Office)
Eagle Lake is 5100 feet above sea level in north eastern California about 16 miles north of Susanville in Lassen County. It is the second largest natural freshwater lake wholly in California.

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


Jan. 21 and 28 - Bald Eagle Hikes - guided hikes to look for wintering bald eagles in the Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County.  RSVP to BLM Ukiah Field Office 707-468-4000.

Jan. 31 - "Live Reptile Adventure" - Redway
Part of the King Range National Conservation Area 2012 Winter Lecture Series

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) It is at least five years old.

SOURCE: "Bald Eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus" (BLM California wildlife database)
The characteristic adult plumage consists of a white head and tail with a dark brown body. Juvenile eagles are completely dark brown and do not fully develop the majestic white head and tail until the fifth or sixth year.

-->Check "Selected Upcoming Events" above for BLM guided bald eagle hikes.


"BLM to Use State, Regional Data in Identifying Wildlife Corridors, Crucial Habitat" (BLM news, 1/13/12)
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it will use state and regional data and maps to help it identify wildlife corridors and crucial habitat in future land-use planning and management efforts. The maps will be available for the BLM to use as a result of the Western Wildlife Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool, known as 'CHAT,' an initiative of the Western Governors' Association. Information developed through the CHAT will facilitate an organized and comprehensive approach to obtaining wildlife-related data and maps by the BLM and other federal agencies.

"Scientists on watch for bat-killing fungus" (Oregon Public Broadcasting, 1/18/12)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is estimating that more than five million bats in the U.S. have died from a fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome .... Officials are increasingly worried that the disease tearing through bat colonies in 16 eastern states will spread to caves on public land in the Pacific Northwest. The white powdery fungus destroys the flesh in bats' wings and causes them to leave winter hibernation in search of food and water. Ultimately, they starve to death."
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