A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 526 - 4/13/12

orange poppy blooms cover a slope between trees a colt puts its front legs on a mare's back a solar tower glows near an oil well "grasshopper" pump hikers amid tall redwood trees a person stands inside a large wooden sculpture on the desert floor


- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Wild horses and burros
- Renewable energy
- Traditional 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 of News.bytes is online at:

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

"Interpretive Hike to view natural arches planned for the Alabama Hills on Saturday" (BLM, 4/11/12)
This weekend: Another in the series of interpretive hikes to view arches in the Alabama Hills is planned for Saturday, April 14 (weather permitting). Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the Bureau of Land Management's Bishop Field Office, will lead the hike. "There are hundreds of arches throughout the Alabama Hills," Kirk said. "Find out what geologic processes lead to their formation." This is a relatively moderate hike that enables you to view several arches in a seldom visited corner of the hills including the elegant 'Hitching Post' Arch.

RELATED: "Alabama Hills Day April 14 in Lone Pine" (BLM news, 3/9/12)
This weekend: The 1st Annual "Alabama Hills Day" is Saturday, April 14 from 9am to 3pm at the Lone Pine Museum of Film History. Admission is free - come celebrate this incredibly scenic landscape and learn about the wide variety of groups/activities that interface with the Alabama's. Nearly 30 different sponsors/user groups have committed to booths/exhibits. The museum will also host a variety of exhibits, films and information. Corresponding field trips and self-guided tours will also be taking place in the Alabama Hills themselves.

girls explore a rocky sandy areaa girl peers into dark recesses of a cliff opening"Girl Scouts in El Centro discover America's Great Outdoors" (News.bytes Extra)
Girl Scout troops from the Imperial Valley took advantage of park ranger-led hikes into El Centro's Coyote Mountains Wilderness, and discovered for themselves the rich geologic history of the valley. The girls, ranging in age from 7-10 years old, laced up hiking boots and hauled backpacks into Fossil Canyon in search of ancient seas...

orange poppy blooms cover a slope between treesorange poppies cover slopes among trees along a river"Poppies along the Merced River" (News.bytes Photo Extra)
Poppy blooms are the best they've been in years, on BLM-managed lands along the Merced River. These photos were taken last Friday, April 6, by staff from the BLM Mother Lode Field Office.

RELATED: "Merced River Recreation Area" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
Beginning in the high country of Yosemite National Park, the Merced River makes a headlong rush through glacially-carved canyons, rugged mountains and foothills to the San Joaquin Valley.

children raise their hands to answer questions"BLM rocks the Orange County Children's Water Education Festival" (News.bytes Extra)
The Festival educates students about local water issues and to help them understand how they can protect water supplies and their environment. The BLM area introduced them to the California Coastal National Monument, then launched into a loud and interactive game of Let's Get Rockin....

students pose for a photo in front of a school"Students teach students in Youth Interpreter program; kids learn through hands-on activity" (Redwood Times, 4/10/12)
"Six South Fork High School juniors have been sharing their interest in natural science with younger kids at Redway Elementary School through a pilot Youth Interpreter program sponsored by the Lost Coast Interpretive Association in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, Kings Range." The students teach two classes a month on "subjects including plant and animal life, weather, geology, local history, and more."

a family rides bikes on a paves trail among green vegetationhikers amid tall redwood trees...enjoy the Elk River Trail with not only your kids, but your dog too! The first three miles of the trail is unique in that it allows hiking and biking with your furry companion alongside. The first mile of the trail is an interpretive learning experience with posted signs explaining the trail's natural and cultural history. The last two-mile hike leads to the old growth forest where you and your family can hug a tree, kiss a banana slug or find the nesting site of a woodrat. For those wanting a guided private hike, the Salmon Trail Pass is also open.


an elk with large antlers grazes
tule elk
The tule elk female…
(a.) …leaves the herd when it gives birth.
(b.) …"nests" for the last week or so of its pregnancy, and lets the male bring her food.
(c.) …usually gives birth to twins.
(d.) …is larger and more aggressive than the male.
(e.) …generally hangs out with other females in social groups or "ilks."
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

a woman pets a horse in a corralTHIS WEEKEND: "Redlands: Seventeen Animals Seeking a Home" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/9/12)
"Nine horses, seven burros, and one mule are looking for new homes through the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. On Saturday, the Sundance Ranch in Redlands will host an adoption from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"Horses, burros available for adoption in San Jose, including halter-gentled yearlings"
(BLM California, 4/5/12)
San Jose area residents will have opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families, when the BLM brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Santa Clara County Horsemen's Association on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22. Thirty horses will be available for adoption: 10 yearling geldings, 10 yearling fillies, five geldings 2-3 years old and five mares 2-3 years old. Five Jack burros and five Jenny burros also will be offered for adoption. Horses can be previewed on Friday, April 20, from 2-5 p.m.

a colt puts its front legs on a mare's backside view of a colat"Spanish Springs woman adopts horse from BLM and finds out it's pregnant" (KRNV Reno, 4/8/12)
Ever since horse lover Carol Lindsay had to put down her mare, "she's been searching for another mare to act as a companion to her thoroughbred horse, Indigo. But she wasn't having any luck because most of the horses for sale weren't vaccinated. 'I didn't want a sick horse so I just turned them down,' says Lindsay. That's when her search led to her Nevada's Bureau of Land Management. 'I think everything happens for a reason. And the reason was I was meant to adopt this mare,' says Lindsay." Her unexpected bonus: her new colt, "Cowboy." Includes video.

"Information sought in shooting that killed two wild horses in Lassen County" (BLM California, 4/11/12)
BLM officials are investigating the apparent shooting deaths of two wild horses in the Newland Reservoir area, near the Nevada state line in northeastern Lassen County, Calif. The BLM is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Anyone with information about this crime should contact Kynan Barrios, BLM law enforcement special agent in charge, at (530) 224-2181.

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

"Fossil fuel power plant owner Tenaska moves into solar with project by First Solar" (Forbes, 4/9/12)
"Tenaska, a long-time developer of fossil fuel-based power plants, has lined up $500 million in loans for its first solar power plant, a 130-megawatt project in California that will supply power to customers of San Diego Gas & Electric .... Construction of the project, called Imperial Solar Energy Center South, began last December, and it's set to start delivering power in 2014. Tenaska expects to ship the power via a transmission line under construction called Sunrise Powerlink...."

RELATED: "Imperial Solar Energy Center (CSolar) South" (BLM El Centro Field Office)

"Oakland's BrightSource Energy shelves IPO, announces it will pull S-1" (San Jose Mercury News, 4/11/12)
The solar thermal startup "shelved its year-long plans for an initial public offering" this week "amid a turbulent stock market, a challenging year for solar energy companies and tepid interest from investors …. Rather than the photovoltaic solar panels visible on rooftops across California, BrightSource builds massive solar thermal power projects in desert locations" but the technique "faces growing competition" from photovoltaic solar panels and "cheap" natural gas. The company's "flagship project is the massive ... Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System currently under construction on federal land in California's Mojave Desert."

"Green groups sue to stop California wind project that threatens condor" (Forbes, 4/13/12)
Three national environmental groups today sued the BLM over its approval of the North Sky River project "a planned NextEra Energy Resources wind farm in the Tehachapi region of California that state and federal wildlife officials had warned threatens the critically endangered California condor."

"Solar Trust lights up sale plans" (The Deal Pipeline, 4/12/12)
Solar Trust of America LLC, the "subsidiary of bankrupt German solar company Solar Millennium AG wants to sell its four incomplete projects in California and Nevada. The debtor's largest asset includes the rights to develop one of the world's largest solar power facilities near Blythe, Calif. ... to be built on 7,025 acres of public land in Riverside County .... Also for sale are Solar Trust's 500-megawatt facilities near Desert Center, Calif., and Amargosa Valley, Nev., as well as another project near Ridgecrest, Calif., that is still in early development stages.

“Solar Done Right Supports Local Alternatives To Remove Massive Energy Projects” (East County Magazine, 4/9/12)
"It is currently cheaper, on a per-watt basis, to install a small rooftop system in Germany than it is to install a giant desert installation in the US," says the Solar Done Right coalition. Its members "view with concern the rush to develop our public lands for industrial solar energy and wind energy. Their mission is to urge government, utilities, the mainstream environmental movement, and the public to abandon this destructive path and to work toward generating the power we need in the already built environment."

"Groups appeal Pattern Energy Wind project" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/11/12)
"The approval of a 112-wind-turbine project set to be built west of here was appealed by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, a Viejas official confirmed." The tribe expects the the Imperial County Board of Supervisors to hear the appeal April 24. "The Ocotillo Express LLC Wind Energy Project was approved by the Imperial County Planning Commission on March 28 after a lengthy meeting."

"Obama Administration announces new partnership on unconventional natural gas and oil research" (Department of the Interior, 4/13/12)
This new partnership will help coordinate current and future research and scientific studies undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior -- better positioning the Obama administration to ensure that continued expansion of natural gas and oil production happens safely and responsibly as part of an all-of-the-above approach to American energy in which science plays a guiding and critical role.

RELATED: "What rights do media outlets have?" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/9/12)
Q: "I attended the Planning Commission on March 28 to listen to the Ocotillo Wind project .... What right do San Diego media outlets ... have to tell us what to do here?" A: "[O]ur county reporter ... attended the entire seven-hour meeting last week ... described the entire proceeding as long and intense, saying there were about 20 people on each side speaking for and against the project." The editor in question "asked mostly about insurance related to the wind turbine project in light of a turbine collapse in Campo and wildfires that raced through the back country in 2007."

"Secret Ingredient To Making Solar Energy Work: Salt” (Forbes, 4/5/12 or 4/23/12)
"The solar thermal power plant business is all about big: Square miles of mirrors in the desert that surround 600-foot-tall towers to generate massive megawatts of electricity for multibillion-dollar price tags. Big Solar's ability to compete against fossil fuels, though, could come down to grains of salt." Scientists at a startup company "are sifting through thousands of mixtures of molten salt. They're searching for the right combinations that will allow solar thermal energy to be stored cheaply and efficiently so it can be dispatched to generate electricity after the sun sets. In other words, the 24/7 solar power plant.”

"Renewable sources of power survive, but in a patchwork" (New York Times, 4/10/12)
"Though the waters ahead are choppy, with businesses laying off workers and shutting down, the prospects for renewables continue to grow. Major companies like General Electric, Dow Chemical and ConocoPhillips are developing or investing in new technologies. Many projects -- some rushing to start in time to qualify for federal tax breaks before they disappear -- are going forward .... And the Obama administration has been using some of its powers to promote clean energy, taking steps to open public lands and waters to private development of solar and wind power, while the Defense Department has been aggressively pursuing alternatives...."

"Winds of change: County planning commission to consider wind ordinance april 13" (East County Magazine, 4/12/12)
The San Diego County Planning Commission was set today to consider "a proposed wind ordinance that would make it easier for industrial-scale wind facilities as well as smaller turbines to be built in unincorporated areas -- primarily in East County communities .... Vast tracts of land in East County, including many mountain, rural and desert areas, could be opened up for wind energy development if the proposal is approved, including scenic areas such as the Julian region." Opponents and advocates are both quoted.

"Arizona's solar energy plans vex military" (Arizona Republic, 4/7/12)
"A solar tower nearly twice the height of the Empire State building. Hundreds of spinning 200-foot-tall wind turbines. A 500-mile high-voltage power line from central New Mexico to southern Arizona. Those are among the projects the renewable-energy industry sees in Arizona's future. But for the U.S. military, that vision translates into fears of unusable airspace, equipment failures and plane-crash risks .... Energy developers in states such as Oregon, Nevada and California have spent years and made costly changes to projects to satisfy military objections."


"BLM announces availability of oil & gas lease auction environmental assessment" (BLM California, 4/5/12)
The BLM has completed the environmental assessment for the oil and gas lease auction scheduled for Sept. 12. A 30-day public review and comment period runs through May 3. The EA was prepared to analyze the environmental impacts of leasing the mineral estate for oil and gas exploration and development. The parcels are in Kern and Kings counties.

a solar tower glows near an oil well "grasshopper" pump"Solar steam helps coax heavy oil from old fields"
(Scientific American, 4/9/12)
"The Coalinga oil field in California has been pumping out crude since 1887, and the remaining oil has gotten heavier and heavier and harder and harder to extract -- but it will soon get a boost from the sun. Specifically, the old field will use steam generated by concentrated sunlight to help melt the remaining heavy oils and make them liquid enough to be pumped to the surface .... But it will be 'challenging' for any solar steam to compete with falling natural gas prices ... which suggests the technology may only find a future in places where natural gas is either unavailable or expensive."

“Natural gas glut means drilling boom must slow” (AP on Yahoo! News, 4/8/12)
"So much natural gas is being produced that soon there may be nowhere left to put the country's swelling surplus ... The underground salt caverns, depleted oil fields and aquifers that store natural gas are rapidly filling up after a balmy winter depressed demand for home heating.  The glut has benefited businesses and homeowners that use natural gas. But with natural gas prices at a 10-year low --and falling -- companies that produce the fuel are becoming victims of their drilling successes. Their stock prices are falling in anticipation of declining profits and scaled-back growth plans."

"Fuel to burn: Now what?" (New York Times, 4/10/12)
America's energy supplies have seen "a reversal of fortune in recent years .... Cheaper fuel produced domestically could reduce the cost of shipping and manufacturing, trim heating and cooling bills, improve the auto market and provide tens of thousands of new jobs. It might also pose new environmental challenges, both predictable and unforeseen, by damping enthusiasm for clean forms of energy and derailing efforts to wean the nation from its wasteful energy habits."

"Fracking bill moves forward in California legislature" (Los Angeles Times, 4/10/12)
California lawmakers considered "the first of several bills" regarding fracking ... a measure that would require energy firms to give 30-day notice to property owners "before using the procedure near their land .... While fracking is widely used in California to tap oil deposits, state regulators have yet to develop rules or reporting requirements, causing growing anxiety in communities across the state." Oil industry representatives "supported separate legislation that requires public disclosure within 60 days after fracking."


"BLM announces fire restrictions for lands managed by Hollister Field Office" (BLM California, 4/12/12)
The Bureau of Land Management is placing precautionary fire restrictions in public lands managed by the Hollister Field Office. No vehicles, campfires or open flames will be allowed on BLM lands in the Panoche, Griswold, Tumey and Ciervo hills effective April 16. All campfires and barbeques, even within camp sites, are prohibited in the closure area. The restrictions are needed due to dry fuels and fire danger throughout central California.

"Wildfire Safety Expo" (Lake County, California)
May 12 - Kelseyville. With homeowner information on how YOU can protect your home in a wildfire, training demonstrations, kid's fire safety, information booths, landscaping tips and more. Link to flyer (PDF file):


"Kanaka Valley proposed plan released for public comment" (BLM California, 4/11/12)
The proposed plan for the 695-acre “Kanaka Valley” property near Rescue covers management issues from fire to recreation and would allow limited hunting on part of the property. A comment period for the plan runs through May 16. A public meeting to discuss the proposed plan will be held April 26 in Cameron Park. A field tour is being scheduled.

white clouds billow over rolling green hills with cows"Coastal Commission approves Coast Dairies preservation deal" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4/12/12)
The California Coastal Commission approved a deal to protect "a sprawling, 7 1/2-mile stretch" land along the coast. The 6,800-acres "surrounds Davenport and includes redwood forests, agricultural fields, coastal bluffs, several watersheds and an array of historic and biological resources .... A strip of coastal land west of Highway 1 has already been transferred to the state .... The deal also allows the transfer of 5,750 acres to the federal Bureau of Land Management, as well as the conservation of three other parcels for agricultural uses."

"South Cow Mountain OHV area to be temporarily closed for public safety" (BLM California, 4/5/12)
The BLM will close the South Cow Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle Area to general recreation use and through traffic from Friday, April 20, through Sunday, April 22, for public safety during two motorcycle races. The North Bay Motorcycle Club has been granted an exclusive-use permit to use the trails throughout the OHV area for the 2012 Crosscut Family Enduro and Sawmill Enduro events.

workers kneel amid bags of trasha line of horses with riders and burros makes its way along a trail"The Jack Canyon Project, Cache Creek Wilderness" (News.bytes Extra)
A BLM supervisor involved in a cleanup of an illegal marijuana grow in the Cache Creek Wilderness says, "This area was designated wilderness by Congress. The wilderness values have been lost in areas where marijuana has been illegally cultivated." He filed this report, showing just how much planning and resources it takes to clean up the damage done by marijuana growers on public lands.

"5 questions with Jim Foote, manager of national monument" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/11/12)
Short interview, starting with: Q - "What does your job as manager entail?" A - "The 280,000-acre [Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National] Monument is made up of lands managed by a variety of entities. So on one level, my job is to coordinate actions of the two federal co-managers of the Monument -- Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service -- as well as work with our partner agencies and organizations to preserve resource values, secure opportunities for recreation and support delivery of interpretive and environmental education programs."

"Recreational miner rescued from pit" (Bakersfield Californian, 4/9/12)
Firefighters rescued the man, "who suffered major injuries when he became trapped in a pit near Randsburg in eastern Kern County" when a "side wall ... caved in on him." The man "was dry mining a 3- or 4-foot-deep open pit when dirt and rocks sloughed off a wall and trapped him," a Kern County Fire Department spokesman said. "About 10 firefighters from Randsburg and Ridgecrest used tools including shovels" to get him out. The pit was "in a popular prospecting area" near Duisenburg mining camp.

a man looks at a metal barrier"BLM moves to seal off Willow Hole-Edom Hill preserve" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/11/12)
The BLM "is looking to spend more than $550,000 to build a new cable and steel post fence nearly 4 miles long" around the preserve -- "home to the federally protected fringe-toed lizard plus Coachella Valley milkvetch, desert pupfish, the round-tailed squirrel and the burrowing owl .... A barbed wire fence is "constantly being sliced by ATV, motorcycle and dirt bike riders who ignore signs warning them away .... Most off-road vehicle riders are responsible and won't go where they aren't permitted, said [BLM Palm Springs South Coast field manager John] Kalish, but 'there's always a percentage, and it's hard to tell what percentage, where it doesn't matter what you put in front of them, they won't pay attention'."

"WEMO Route Network Project Subgroup meeting set" (BLM California, 4/5/12)
The BLM's California Desert Advisory Council West Mojave Route Network Project subgroup will meet Tuesday, April 10 in Barstow. All subgroup meetings are open to the public. The subgroup is assisting the DAC in preparing a report on West Mojave route recommendations for BLM in the eight Travel Management Areas of the West Mojave Planning Area. Tuesday's meeting will concentrate on open routes in the Afton and Broadwell sub-regions.

"Baja earthquake shook up view of Southern California faults" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/8/12)
The Easter Day quake in northern Baja California on April 4, 2010 "triggered surface movement on many faults in the Imperial and Coachella valleys," including faults "not previously known to scientists" that are now "registered as Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zones, in accordance with a 1970s California law to prohibit most development across active faults .... But many of the new faults are in remote areas of federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and are unlikely for development."

"Honoring Inyo's behind-the-scenes lifesavers" (Inyo Register, 4/10/12)
The law enforcement community is taking time "to recognize and thank their support staff ... instrumental in serving and protecting the communities of the Eastern Sierra." The second week in April "is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers.  Locally there are four dispatch centers .... on the federal side, Owens Valley Interagency Communications Center dispatches for the Inyo National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Field Office, and is responsible for mobilizing resources in support emergencies both locally and nationally."

"Viewpoints: Plan to tap groundwater for profit shows need for better state policy" (Sacramento Bee, 4/13/12)
OpEd: "Imagine a lake half as large as Lake Tahoe, containing 17 million to 34 million acre-feet of water. That is what lies under the Cadiz and Bristol valleys in the Eastern Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County. Cadiz Inc., a privately held company, owns 34,000 acres that overlie this vast groundwater basin. The company plans to extract 2.5 million acre-feet of the water, a public good, over the next 50 years and sell it back to the public at a profit."

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


“Salazar: Protect planet while using resources” (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 4/9/12)
The Colorado River Compact "that outlines how seven Western states and Mexico will share the river system's water was created without the best science or knowledge .... the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is reviewing ideas for how to address a projected imbalance in Colorado River basin supply and demand." Salazar in a speech also said that "under Obama, there have been advances in development of oil, natural gas, renewable energy and nuclear power, helping push down imports of oil. 'We will support oil and gas development -- in the right places'," he said.

"Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk to conclude successful tenure at Interior"
(Department of the Interior, 4/9/12)
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk will be leaving the Department of the Interior after nearly 3 years of leadership.

“Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder Announce $1 Billion Settlement of Tribal Trust Accounting and Management Lawsuits Filed by More Than 40 Tribes” (DOI, 4/11/12)
The 41 tribes alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes. The announcement followed a 22-month-long negotiation between the tribes and the United States that has culminated in settlements between the government and tribes totaling more than $1 billion.  These settlements resolve claims dating back more than 100 years and will bring to an end protracted litigation that has burdened both the plaintiffs and the United States.

BLM Nevada:

"Little opposition over Burning Man crowd size plan"
(Associated Press in Reno a person stands inside a large wooden sculpture on the desert floora man rides a bicycle on the desert among ornamental polesGazette-Journal, 4/7/12)
"When it drew much smaller crowds in the 1990s, the Burning Man festival generated strong opposition from the Sierra Club and other groups over its impact to the northern Nevada desert." But so far, "organizers' request to boost the event's maximum allowable crowd size by 20 percent to 70,000 is attracting only scant opposition -- and none from the environmental organization" -- possibly because of a "track record of cleaning up and addressing environmental concerns at the largest outdoor arts festival in North America."

“BLM puts Gold Butte cattle roundup on hold” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/11/12)
"Safety concerns for people involved with rounding up hundreds of renegade cattle belonging to Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy prompted the Bureau of Land Management to suspend indefinitely its plan to impound the herd, the local BLM manager said Wednesday. "Our goal has always been to get these cattle off public lands in a safe way," said Mary Jo Rugwell, manager of the BLM's Southern Nevada District Office."


April 14 - Alabama Hills Day - Free admission

May 12 - Wildfire Safety Expo - Kelseyville
Homeowner information on how YOU can protect your home in a wildfire, training demonstrations, kid's fire safety, information booths, landscaping tips and more. PDF file:

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(a.) …leaves the herd when it gives birth.

SOURCE: "Tule Elk - Cervus elaphus nannodes" (BLM California wildlife database)

More wildlife news from your public lands:

a deer peeps over vegetation"California deer population declines as habitat disappears" (Sacramento bee, 4/8/12)
"The decline has been almost too small to see on an annual basis. But since 1990, California has lost nearly half its deer population, according to the state Department of Fish and Game. "Our deer are surviving, they're not thriving," said Craig Stowers, deer program manager at Fish and Game .... This forest icon is on the wane mainly for one simple reason: habitat loss."

northern spotted owlbarred owl"Invasive barred owls interfere with spotted owls in critical ways" (US Geological Survey, 4/12/12)
"High densities of invasive barred owls appear to be outcompeting the threatened northern spotted owl for critical resources such as space, habitat, and food, according to a study released today by Oregon State University. The three-year study ... also confirms that barred owls not only use similar forest types and prey species as spotted owls, but also that a high density of barred owls can reduce the amount of those resources available to spotted owls."

"Conservation easements will protect north county's Tule elk" (Willits News, 4/11/12)
"The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has acquired conservation easements on 8,544 acres along the Eel River northeast of Willits." One parcel "is surrounded by and adjacent to several large pieces of Bureau of Land Management land" with "significant stands of old growth timber. The properties are close to the northern edge of the Tule elk range, the smallest of the elks native to California." The new easements "are part of a larger project envisioned by the Elk Foundation: the Eel River Peninsula Conservation Project" to "include more than 65,000 acres of contiguous habitat along eight miles of the Eel River."

"Governor creates new Sage Grouse Advisory Committee" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/12/12)
"Apparently responding to U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval ... issued an executive order creating a new nine-member Greater Sage Grouse Advisory Committee to provide recommendations no later than July 31 of this year in an effort to prevent a federal Endangered Species Act listing which could 'have significant adverse effects' on Nevada's 'custom, culture and economy'."

"Dam-raising threat: Certain wildlife live only around the lake" (Redding Record Searchlight, 4/7/12)
"With a price tag of $1.07 billion, raising Shasta Dam would be one of the north state's largest public works projects in decades .... But before workers start moving earth and mixing batches of concrete, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has to figure out how raising the dam would affect certain species of snails, salamanders and other wildlife that live only around Lake Shasta. The bureau is weighing the effects on more than 45 plants and animals."
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