A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 548
- 9/14/12   -   Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!

a sea otter appears to wave as it lies on its back in the waterbright flowers in close upa car approaches as a burro stands in the roadwaya sand rail speeds down a sand dunea black bird with orange beak stands on rocks

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


"Volunteers needed for King Range Trail Projects" (BLM news, 9/13/12)
Volunteers can help build new hiking and biking trails in the King Range National Conservation Area on California's Lost Coast by participating in projects scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22. The Bureau of Land Management will offer free camping and a barbecue for participants. The projects are part of National Public Lands Day.

"National Public Lands Day 2012" (BLM California)
National Public Lands Day is the largest volunteer event for America's public lands. NPLD is held on a Saturday in late September when thousands of Americans volunteer to improve and enhance our nation's public lands. National Public Lands Day 2012 will officially take place on September 29, 2012. In BLM California, NPLD events will also take place on other days during the fall.

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

a sand rail speeds down a sand dune among manyImperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Facebook page:
"The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area has launched a Facebook page! 'Like' us on Facebook to receive information regarding off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation, safety and educational programs, permit information and much more!

"Imperial Dunes recreation management plan released" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/7/12)
"The BLM analyzed eight alternatives for the popular off-highway area to address concerns raised during public hearings on draft plans released in 2010. One of the alternatives proposes less motorized vehicle use and another advocates more. The recommended option, Alternative 8, seeks to balance recreation with protection of cultural resources, wilderness, renewable energy development and critical habitat for the threatened Peirson's milkvetch, according to the BLM. The documents include a point-by-point comparison of the various alternatives."

bright flowers in close up"Owens Peak Wilderness, BLM" (Share the Experience Photo Contest)
This photo is of "poppies on a flowery slope of the Sierra Nevada Range in Grapevine Canyon" in the Owens Peak Wilderness -- but make sure to enter your photos from BLM public lands, too!

"BLM, partners offering Kids Bike Weekend event" (BLM California, 9/14/12)
Events including a bike safety rodeo and guided trail rides will be part of Kids Bike Weekend, hosted in the Redding area by the U. S. Bureau of Land Management, the Redding Mountain Bike Club and Healthy Shasta, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7.

a smiling man puts trash bags in the bag of a pickup trucka group of smiling women"Patriot Day - Leave No Trace Outreach 2012" (News.bytes Extra)
Visitors who stopped at the Coachella Valley Overlook in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument on Patriot Day 2012 received Spanish- and English- language Leave No Trace cards. Monument outdoor recreation planner Steve Harris used the outreach as a way to encourage visitors to partner with Caltrans in an adopt-a-spot clean-up program.

"Docent classes to begin at Cosumnes River Preserve" (Lodi Sentinel, 9/13/12)
"Amateur nature lovers can train to be experts starting next month when the Cosumnes River Preserve begins a program to train volunteers to be docents ... Participants will be trained by naturalists on all aspects of the preserve and its project, as well as wildlife-friendly farming, birds, cultural history and plants." Classes begin Oct. 3.

"Warning to mussel-bound boat owners" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/9/12)
A boat was sunk to subject it to invasive mussels, then "dried out, sealed with a protective coating and taken to Clear Lake ... to become the biggest symbol in the Western United States urging boaters to stop the spread of mussels from lake to lake. It also will be used to teach boat inspectors ... Invasive mussels can clog and pollute waterways, overeat nutrients and leave high amounts of waste behind. They also block pipes and pumps, coat docks and boat hulls, and get inside boat motors and clog cooling."

RELATED: "Invasive species watercraft sticker to be required" (Laughlin, NV Times, 9/10/12)
The Nevada Department of Wildlife's Aquatic Invasive Species watercraft sticker program "will help fund efforts to prevent the spread of such invasive species as quagga mussels and milfoil ... users of any watercraft that can be removed from a body of water and still hold water will be required to purchase and affix an AIS decal to the watercraft before launching on any Nevada waterway, including Lake Mohave and the Colorado River. The requirement becomes effective Jan. 1, 2013 ... The requirement affects all boats ... even if they launch from Arizona or California."

"Red Bluff police hosting K-9 fundraiser" (Red Bluff Daily News, 9/11/12)
"The Red Bluff Police Department is hosting a Dog Gone Run and Ride fundraiser for its K-9 program ... The event combines running and biking. There will be a short version, long version, and a relay team. The event also offers a 5k run for those not interested in the cycling aspect." The event will be held in the BLM's Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area.

RELATED: "Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area" (BLM California, Redding Field Office)
The Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area is a valuable historic and natural resource that presents many recreational and educational opportunities.

"America's Great Outdoors: Salazar, Ashe Announce More than $29 Million to Expand Refuge System, Conserve Wetlands" (Department of the Interior, 9/12/12)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved the investment of nearly $11 million in revenue from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to add an estimated 10,640 wetland acres to seven units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The commission also approved $18.4 million in federal funding to conserve more than 95,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitat in the United States under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. They include the Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area in California.

"Legislative Hearing: H.R. 4969, California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act" (Congressional Testimony, 9/11/12)
Statement of Carl Rountree, Assistant Director, National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. H.R. 4969 would add approximately 1,255 acres of public land along the coast of northern California (in the area of Point Arena Lighthouse and the Stornetta Public Lands) to the existing California Coastal National Monument.

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California)


"Will clean-up volunteers find debris from tsunami?" (Vallejo Times Herald, 9/9/12)
"More than a year after a tsunami struck Japan's east coast, California beachcombers are preparing for a wave of debris expected to hit the U.S. Pacific Coast in coming months ... Next Saturday, as tens of thousands of volunteers participate in California's 28th annual Coastal Cleanup Day, identifying potential tsunami debris on beaches will be part of the undertaking."

RELATED: "Odd items make for unusual cleanup effort" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/12/12)
"Thousands of volunteers on Saturday will collect tons of typical trash -- cigarette butts, bottles, fast-food containers -- during annual Coastal Cleanup Day work parties across the state and the country. But San Elijo Lagoon on the North County coastline promises to yield something different -- an unusual challenge involving a submerged, decades-old dump site. Last spring, a snorkeler discovered roughly 20 large objects, including car engines, motorcycles and water heaters -- in the shallows of the lagoon's main channel. He also may have spotted a wagon wheel, creating an intriguing possibility that the sunken debris includes items of historical interest. Coastal Cleanup Day is among the largest environment-themed volunteer events in the world, drawing upward of 70,000 workers in California alone."

RELATED: "Coastal Cleanup cleans up own waste" (Stockton Record, 9/11/12)
The San Joaquin County effort is trying not to use as many disposable latex gloves, water bottles, or garbage bags as it cleans up trash - - replacing them with reusable items.

A sign for Big Bar Launch on the Mokelumne Riverkayakers on a rock-lined stretch of riverGET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
... Kayaks, canoes and inner tubes go with the flow on this scenic three-mile course of the Mokelumne River past the Gold Rush towns of Jackson and Mokelumne Hill. Easy access and a series of short but peppy rapids make this a popular spot for novice whitewater fans and kayakers in training for more advance runs.

The season is usually March to September, so check out conditions before you go, via links on this page or BLM's Mother Lode Field Office:


a black bird with a bright orange beak
black oystercatcher
The black oystercatcher often...
(a.) ...swallows pebbles to help it grind up the oysters it has eaten.
(b.) ...builds nests out of rocks.
(c.) ...shares a nest with other black oystercatchers, and raises the chicks cooperatively.
(d.) ...creates small "sculptures" out of pebbles to impress a prospective mate.
(e.) ...is mistaken for the paisley clamdigger.
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"BLM seeking public comments on environmental analysis for wild horse gather" (BLM California, 9/11/12)
BLM California's Surprise Field Office is seeking public comments on an environmental assessment addressing wild horse population management including a proposal to gather and remove excess wild horses from two wild horse herd management areas in northeast California and far northwest Nevada. The EA, titled "Buckhorn and Coppersmith HMAs Wild Horse Population Management Plan," is available online.

a burro with long earsclose-up of a burro face"Officials working to catch 30 wild burros in Blue Diamond" (KVVU-TV Las Vegas, 9/10/12)
A group of wild burros has gotten so used to being fed by tourists and locals along Nevada Route 159 that -- even though the roadway is completely fenced -- they still manage to get through and "stand on, and along the roadways begging for food ... since October 2010 at least 13 burros were killed or had to be euthanized due to vehicle collisions." They also cause property damage in the community. "The burros are being lured into a baseball diamond within the Blue Diamond community near the Red Rock National Conservation Area..."

a car approaches as a burro stands in the roadwaytwo women wrangle a small burro into a corralRELATED: "'Nuisance burros' rounded up in Blue Diamond" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/12/12)
"There's nothing terribly wild about the wild burros that frequent the town of Blue Diamond. When a crew of people from the Bureau of Land Management went to round up some of the animals earlier this week, they didn't need lassos or helicopters or tranquilizer guns. All it took was three women, a small corral and a bag of pretzels."

a man pulls a mule along a reproduction western street"Festival salutes cowboys" (Branson, MO Tri-Lakes News, 9/11/12)
The BLM will offer Three wild horses at the National Harvest Festival in Branson, Missouri Sept. 13 to Oct. 27 -- which also features visits from Rin Tin Tin and a cast member from TV's "Gunsmoke" and "features craftsmen, western music, a stunt show and more."


"Likely Fire" (InciWeb)
The Likely Fire was 95 percent contained at 9,838 acres, but dry conditions are expected to continue as firefighters continue to mop up "hot spots." The Likely Fire burned east of U. S. Highway 395 in the Bureau of Land Management Tule Mountain Wilderness Study Area.

"Fire restrictions lifted in Eastern Sierra" (BLM California, 9/13/12)
Officials from the Inyo National Forest and Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management announced that Eastern Sierra fire restrictions put into place June 20 were rescinded as of today. Although the land management agencies are lifting the fire restrictions, they would like to remind the public when recreating outdoors to continue to use caution to decrease the chance of human-caused fires and avoid resource and property damage.

"Sprint, Verizon, AT&T sign $12 million settlement over 2007 Malibu Canyon fire"(KPCC Southern California Public Radio, 9/13/12)
Santa Ana winds in Malibu Canyon in October of 2007 knocked over three utility poles, that in turn "sparked a fire that burned nearly 4,000 square acres ... destroyed 14 structures and three dozen cars. Cell phone companies had antennas on the poles, or shared pole ownership with other telecommunication companies. The California Public Utilities Commission investigated whether these five companies contributed to the fire by unsafely mounting equipment there." The commission"is still investigating two more companies, Southern California Edison and NextG. Regulators say the settlement can help deter other utilities that maintain electronic equipment in wildland or fire-prone areas."

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

a quarter sits for scale near fragments of fossils"Mammoth fossils found at solar project site" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/9/12)
"The trail is faint -- a layer of prehistoric soil, a few fragments of ivory, thousands of years old. Mammoths, not woolly, but 12 feet tall at the shoulder, with wildly curving ivory tusks, may once have roamed what is now the desert east of the Coachella Valleysketch of mammoth fact sheet ... The fragments are part of a major discovery of hundreds of prehistoric fossils unearthed on the site of BrightSource Energy's proposed Rio Mesa solar project, 13 miles southwest of Blythe ... The company had hoped to have the project approved by June 2013, but that date could be at risk as state officials are requiring additional tests to determine the scope and significance of the find."

"EPA Maps Thousands of California Renewable Energy Sites" (KCET, 9/10/12)
"The EPA, through its Repowering America's Lands initiative, has been diligently cataloguing parcels of land that are damaged, contaminated, or otherwise without much ecological value, but potentially suitable for renewable energy development. With help from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), they've put their California sites database into map form as the just-launched Renewable Energy Siting Tool, with 11,000-plus sites listed in a map layer viewable with Google Earth."

"U.S. solar market spikes in second quarter" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/10/12)
"The amount of photovoltaic solar panels installed across the country reached 742 megawatts in the second quarter, up from 512 megawatts in the first quarter ... Much of the growth in the second quarter was fueled by the completion of more than 20 large solar power plant projects in key states like Arizona and California. Utility installations accounted for 477 of the 742 megawatts."

a two-bladed wind turbine, viewed from below"Wind potentially could power the world, study says" (Associated Press at Weather.com, 9/11/12)
"Earth has more than enough wind to power the entire world, at least technically, two new studies find. But the research looks only at physics, not finances. Other experts note it would be too costly to put up all the necessary wind turbines and build a system that could transmit energy to all consumers. The studies are by two different U.S. science teams and were published in separate journals on Sunday and Monday. They calculate that existing wind turbine technology could produce ... more than 10 times what the world now consumes."

"Museum calls for county support" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/11/12)
The director of the Imperial Valley Desert Museum told county supervisors the museum "gets about five visitors a day, had a successful summer youth program and a stable of 27 volunteers who give 200 hours every month. But the museum has no record of performance, lacks a stable source of revenue and doesn't have permanent staff. The museum doesn't meet U.S. Bureau of Land Management standards, [he] said, and artifacts 'collected today from any energy projects on federal lands (are) removed from the county'." A Quechan cultural committee member said that decisions needed to be made before an artifact is displayed.


"U.S. to auction state shale for drilling" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/12)
"A nearly 18,000-acre stretch of land extending from California's Central Coast to the San Joaquin Valley is the setting for a brewing debate over an oil-extraction method that has little governmental oversight. The land, which spans Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties, rests on a large chunk of the Monterey Shale, a formation of underground minerals long eyed by the energy industry for its potential to yield billions of barrels of oil."

"Fracking in California takes less water" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/12)
In Pennsylvania, "fracking can consume 4.5 million gallons of water per well ... In parts of Texas, fracking a well often takes 6 million gallons. But in California, where fracking is starting to spread, the average amount of water involved is just 164,000 gallons, according to industry data ... Why the difference? Geology. ... An Olympic-size swimming pool contains about 660,000 gallons of water. A golf course typically uses around 300,000 gallons per day."

"Results of BLM oil and gas lease sale" (BLM Nevada, 9/11/12)
BLM Nevada generated $194,828.50 during its quarterly oil and gas competitive lease sale held in Reno on Sept. 11, selling 20 parcels that comprised 32,328 acres.

"Climate change challenges power plant operations" (Washington Post, 9/9/12)
"Drought and rising temperatures are forcing water managers across the country to scramble for ways to produce the same amount of power from the hydroelectric grid with less water, including from behemoths such as the Hoover Dam. Hydropower is not the only part of the nation's energy system that appears increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change ... Warmer and drier summers mean less water is available to cool nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants. The Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Conn., had to shut down one of its reactors in mid-August because the water it drew from the Long Island Sound was too warm to cool critical equipment outside the core."


sample of a locator map of the Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range"Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Land withdrawal renewal"
The Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range (CMAGR) includes "approximately 459,000 acres located within desert mountain terrain in Riverside and Imperial counties in southern California" used for training by the U.S. military. "The current military withdrawal for the CMAGR expires in October 2014. Because there is a continuing military need for the range, the Department of the Navy (DoN) is asking Congress to renew the land withdrawal for at least 25 years, although withdrawals of other alternative duration are considered. The renewal request process requires the preparation of a Draft LEIS in accordance with NEPA."

a truck parked on a dried-out boat launch area"Eagle Lake, native trout devastated by drawdown" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/11/12)
"For those unfamiliar with the lake, note that it is a natural lake, not a reservoir constructed to ship water south and therefore subject to drawdowns, like Oroville, Shasta and so many others. As a natural lake, Eagle Lake, and its great native fish and wildlife resources, is supposed to be protected from that kind of manipulation. The lake has instead been drawn down to the point that several boat ramps and marinas are high and dry. Visitors who show up from out of the area and see it for the first time like this are shocked at the conditions. September, October and early November are usually the peak of the season here. Now it's a disaster and everybody is pointing fingers at each other."

RELATED: "Eagle Lake" (BLM California Eagle Lake Field Office)

"Sheriff's Department looks to stop littering" (Inyo Register, 9/11/12)
"To help catch anyone who is dumping illegally, local authorities are asking residents who witness anyone disposing of waste on public lands to call the Sheriff's Department ... 'Try to provide as much information as possible, such as the time and location of the incident, items dumped and if a license plate on the vehicle was spotted'," Sheriff's Deputy Brian Howard said.

"Raid near Lone Pine takes in $10 million worth of marijuana plants" (Mammoth Times, 9/13/12)
On Tuesday, "agents from the Inyo Narcotic Enforcement Team, with assistance from the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, conducted a marijuana eradication operation in the Inyo National Forest."

"Keep them out of the water; Blue-green algae bloom poses fatal threat for the furry family member" (Eureka Times-Standard, 9/11/12)
"Humboldt County is heading into the months that historically bring the best weather -- September and October. Good enough to take the family dog for a swim in one of the local rivers or lagoons. Don't do it." Humboldt County health officials warned that blue-green algae blooms "that can be blue-green, brown or white ... can be quickly fatal to dogs that come in contact with the toxic growth. It often appears as foam or mats on the water's surface ... 'Dogs are more vulnerable than people to the effects of blue-green algae because they can swallow the algae when they lick their fur ... Dogs have died within 30 minutes to one hour after leaving the water'."

"Inland Fish and Game is history" (Highland Community News, 9/10/12)
"Inland Fish and Game, once a hub of activity attracting members and visitors from a wide area of Southern California, is no more." The club "was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation on Oct. 1, 1945. On Aug. 13, 1984, the Bureau of Land Management approved extension of the club's lease for 20 years, expiring in 2004. At that time, the BLM renewed the lease over objections of some Highland neighbors who complained about the shooting noise. The club made many concessions at that time as to hours of operation and increasing a berm to help reduce the noise." But a lawsuit by a developer finally brought about the closing.

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


"Nevada drought as 'bad as any seen;' fires, food prices increase amid severe conditions" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 9/9/12)
"Wildfires are racing across a parched landscape in what stands to be among the most damaging fire seasons in history, putting lives and property at risk. And Nevadans will be paying more for food ... 'The vegetation is very, very dry. There really isn't much forage for livestock or wildlife. It's a tinderbox for fire.It catches very quickly' ," says Mark Coca, BLM vegetation management specialist ... "This is as bad as any I've ever seen," said Nevada rancher David Hussman, of his brown fields brittle with stubble. "You hate to walk across the pasture and hear it go crunch. It's not good."

a man stands looking at a rocky red cliff"A 210-Million-Year-Old Puzzle" (New York Times, 9/7/12)
"Randall Irmis, curator of paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and assistant professor at the University of Utah, is investigating the rise of dinosaurs in southeastern Utah ... This research is supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, and is conducted with research permits from the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Utah."

"Commission approves shooting range" (Mojave Valley Daily News, 9/12/12)
The Mojave County planning and zoning commission "approved a permit for a shooting range on 315 acres of land in Mohave Valley administered by the Bureau of Land Management and deeded to the Arizona Game and Fish." The range, about seven miles east of Highway 95, "would include a skeet and trap range along with pistol bays and a 500-meter rifle range. A clubhouse and restrooms are also planned." Berms are planned as a buffer to surrounding BLM-managed lands.


Sept. 22 - Fort Ord National Monument - "Introduction to Shrubs of the Monterey Bay Area"

September National Public Lands Day events (various dates) - Volunteers needed!

More information on the following events at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument can be found at:

Sept. 22 - Early morning "fresh breeze" hike

Sept. 26 - Ernie Maxwell Hike in the higher elevations of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain ranges

Sept. 28 - "What's Up There" - Plants of the forest

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(b.) …builds nests out of rocks.

SOURCE: "Species Fact Sheet - Black oystercatcher - Haematopus bachmani" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
"The typical nest bowl is a small depression in the sediment containing rock flakes, pebbles, and shell fragments."

More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):

a black bird with orange beak stands on rocks"Black oystercatchers need the public to share the offshore rocks" (Mendocino Beacon, 9/13/12)
The black oystercatcher "is usually heard before it is seen and is a favorite among coastal birdwatchers and spectators." They "nest on the offshore rocks and nowhere else ... The oystercatcher is territorial, but it can also be easily frightened away when disturbed and abandon its nest" -- and that raises concerns about abandoned nests in the face of human activity. "Rick Hanks, California Coastal National Monument Manager under U.S. Bureau of Land Management, dubbed the black oystercatcher as the unofficial mascot of the CCNM last November. "

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument " (BLM California)

a sea otter munches on a sea urchin"Sea otters strike a blow for the environment?" (National Geographic, 9/10/12)
"When hungry sea otters whack spiky urchins against rocks on their chests, the mammals may also be striking a blow against global warming. By preying on urchins -- which themselves devour greenhouse gas-absorbing kelp forests -- the sea otters encourage the plants to flourish. The result? An otter-assisted kelp forest "can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 [carbon dioxide] from the atmosphere than if it were subject to ravenous sea urchins," according to the study ... in the journal Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment."

a sea otter lies on its back in the water
RELATED: "Are sea otters secretly climate crusaders?" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/12/12)
"It has long been known that sea otters, nursed back from brink of extinction in the past several decades, provide huge benefits for the vitality of undersea kelp forests. But a pair of UC Santa Cruz scientists recently found that those benefits extend into the atmosphere, finding a strong connection between otters, kelp and global warming."

"Viewpoints: 1937 law continues to pay dividends for conservation" (Sacramento Bee, 9/9/12)
"The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, better known as the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, extended and earmarked revenue from the sale of firearms and ammunition used for sport hunting. It directed those funds be collected by the federal government and apportioned to the states for wildlife restoration. The law, signed Sept. 2, 1937, fundamentally reshaped our nation's wildlife conservation policies by establishing a dedicated and stable funding source for natural resource management. -Charlton H. Bonham is the director of the California Department of Fish and Game."
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