A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 549
- 9/20/12   -   Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!

a woman in a helmet and rabbit earsa girl urges a horse to sit in an upholstered chaircolorful museum displaya man stands by a blocked mine shaftohvers dwarfed by sand dunes

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

National Public Lands Day logoNATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY

"BLM seeking volunteers to help build new camping area" (BLM California, 9/17/12)
Volunteers are needed to help build a new camping area on public land in the rugged and scenic Hays Mountain Range along the California-Nevada border east of Cedarville, Calif. The Bureau of Land Management has planned the project for Saturday, Sept. 29, on National Public Lands Day. Anyone interested should RSVP by calling the Surprise Field Office at (530) 279-6101.

"National Public Lands Day at the Desert Discovery Center" (BLM Barstow Field Office)
The BLM Barstow Field Office and the Desert Discovery Center are jointly hosting this year’s National Public Lands Day event on Saturday, Sept. 29. Join us for a fun activity day at the Desert Discovery Center parkland site. We will be painting shade structures and beautifying the landscape to help connect with our community’s hiking trail.

"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 Sept. 29. In BLM California, NPLD events will also take place on other days during the fall.

logo for BLM Outdoor Youth Summit"BLM California Outdoor Summit for Youth" (BLM)
Public and private partners met in Sacramento this week and Riverside last week, to discuss how we can work together to educate, engage, and employ youth in America’s Great Outdoors and the field of natural resources. Catch up at the BLM's Tumblr blog, where the discussion was updated live during the event.:

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

"Shrub hike offered at Fort Ord" (BLM, 9/17/12)
This weekend - Sept. 22: The BLM will hold a hike at Fort Ord National Monument to provide an introduction to shrubs of the Monterey Bay area. "This walk is a chance to learn to identify common local shrubs that you might encounter when you are out hiking or biking, no matter what the time of year," said Sue Hubbard, trip leader.

"Highway projects to improve safety, access to Fort Ord National Monument" (BLM California, 9/18/12)
A partnership between the California Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Bureau of Land Management will soon provide traffic safety along Highway 68 and better access to Fort Ord National Monument.

a picturesque treegreen hills
RELATED: "Fort Ord National Monument" (BLM Hollister Field Office)

ohvers dwarfed by sand dunesan ohv on a desert trail"El Centro's LTVA and Imperial Sand Dunes season begins!"(News.bytes Extra)
A new season begins in September for the BLM’s El Centro Field Office. Whether you are a snowbird longing for the temperate climate the desert offers, or a duner pining for the sand hills, the El Centro Field Office has something for you. Every year, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered at BLM’s Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA), where visitors may camp for as long as seven months with a permit. The Imperial Sand Dunes launches the new season when its ranger stations open on Friday, October 12.

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area" (BLM El Centro Field Office)

a woman in a helmet and rabbit earsoff-road motorcyclists line up in the desert"Release the hounds!" (News.bytes Extra)
On Sunday, Sept. 16 approximately 150 riders took part in the Rover’s Motorcycle Club Hare & Hound permitted event near Cougar Buttes, inside Johnson Valley OHV Area. A typical Hare and Hound event is a type of competitive off-road event where motorcycles and quads follow a marked course where participants -- the hounds -- try to catch up to the hare, who has a big head start from the rest of the participants.

RELATED: "Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Barstow Field Office)

a tortoise stands on a rock in a pool"Desert Discovery Center animal feeding time" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Barstow Field Office's Desert Discover Center has been a hive of activity over the summer months with many new and exciting programs being hosted. One of these programs is the “Animal feeding time at the Desert Discovery Center” which has been an overnight success.

a colorful museum displayclose-up of a colorful artist's "cactus""Crazy Cactus exhibition to close at the end of September" (News.bytes Extra)
A special summer exhibit, “Crazy Cactus,” closes at the end of September at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands. The Bureau of Land Management’s Barstow Field Office’s Desert Discovery Center helped arrange this showing, that grew out of last year's after-school youth program at the Center.

"Get out in the wild: September is officially National Wilderness Month" (Klamath Falls, OR Herald and News, 9/19/12)
"Looking for a reason to get out and hike? If you hurry, it’s a way to celebrate National Wilderness Month. President Barack Obama earlier this year proclaimed September as National Wilderness Month. "

...Drive the Buckhorn Byway which meanders 31 miles across the northeastern California and northwestern Nevada landscape of scattered juniper, fields of silver-blue sagebrush, volcanic rock formations, and small valleys. A lingering traveler should observe wild horses and burros feeding or resting among the sagebrush, the unique landscape of the Pine Dunes, wildlife ... and lots of wide-open country.


a young lady trains a horse to stand on a toy wagona girl urges a horse to sit in an upholstered chair"Hallwood sisters shine in mustang competition" (Marysville-Yuba City Appeal-Democrat, 9/18/12)
"With cash in their pockets and ribbons on their dashboards," two Yuba County sisters came home "as recognized mustang tamers. Sierra Sawaya, 18, was named National Grand Champion at the 2012 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover youth competition last week in Fort Worth, Texas. Her 17-year-old sister, Mikaela Sawaya, was awarded ninth place among 60 competitors."
silhouettes of wild horse and of a burro
a woman leaps onto a mustang"Review: 'Wild Horse, Wild Ride high on emotion" (Los Angeles Times, 9/7/12)
"The affecting documentary 'Wild Horse, Wild Ride' ... follows a diverse group of equine enthusiasts as they prepare to participate in the 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover ... The committed and patient entrants here include an intrepid Arizona cowgirl and single mom, a Mexican émigré working as a Wisconsin roofer, a Navajo ex-rodeo champ and his son, a bearish Texan and his seventh wife, a PhD in biomedical engineering, and a pair of soulful New Hampshire brothers. The filmmakers offer up just enough biographical data to keep these folks distinct while also nicely informing their various approaches to training."

RELATED: "Wild Horse Wild Ride" (Movie website)
Showtimes -- including Sept. 21 in San Diego, Sept. 28 in Sacramento and Palm Springs, Oct. 7 in Long Beach.

"Federal agency proposes roundups that cap wild horse populations" (Sacramento Bee, 9/16/12)
"Federal officials will gather more than 230 wild horses from ranges in northeast California and northwest Nevada if a proposed plan is adopted. A Bureau of Land Management environmental assessment proposes removing 138 wild horses from these ranges in an effort to lower the population to 109 animals, said Jeff Fontana, a spokesman for the agency in Susanville. The remaining horses targeted for roundup, half mares and half stallions, would be released back onto the range after the mares have been treated with a fertility control drug, he said. The public has until Oct. 10 to comment on the Buckhorn and Coppersmith HMAs Wild Horse Population Management Plan."


a desert tortoise makes its way across the sand
desert tortoise
Where should desert visitors keep a watchful eye out for desert tortoises, when visiting the desert?
(a.) Near trash cans, where tortoises often seek scraps
(b.) Near rattlesnake dens, where they seek protection from other predators who won’t venture near
(c.) Over desert rabbit burrows, where tortoises situate themselves to cool off in the air coming up from underground
(d.) Under their car, where tortoises often seek shade
(e.) Near their picnic cooler, as tortoises are known to run off with them, just like Togi Tortoise does in his animated movies.
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.


"Wildfires have worsened in past decade, analysis shows" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/18/12)
"Wildfires in the West have been larger and more frequent in the past decade than in any of the 30 years before that, according to an analysis of U.S. Forest Service data released Tuesday, Sept. 18. The news may come as little surprise after a summer of devastating blazes across Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada and Northern California in a season that is shaping up to be one of the worst on record in the western United States. The official fire season won’t be over for two more months."

"'Age of wildfires' sweeping across the West" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 9/20/12)
"Seven times as many giant wildfires rage across the Western states today as in the 1970s, according to a new study. The report, The Age of Western Wildfires, attributed some of the fire growth to a commonly understood factor: decades of fire suppression "may have left the forests of the West particularly vulnerable to big fires," it said. But it also pointed to climate change as a driving force likely to make the extreme wildfire season of 2012 seem less unusual in the future..."

aerial map of burned wildland area "Bagley Fire burn scar" (NASA, 9/17/12)
"Wildfires had burned a total of 8,561,803 acres in the United States by September 17, 2012; about 10 percent of the burning had occurred in California. The 2012 wildfire season in the United States will likely break the record for the most acres burned in a single year since 1960, the year that statistics published by the National Interagency Fire Center begin."

"California incidents" (InciWeb)
California wildfire information.

"Fire Information - Current wildfires" (National Interagency Fire Center)
As of this morning, eight states were reporting large fires, involving 962,057 acres.

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

"Conservation group wants more scrutiny of solar projects" (San Bernardino County Sun, 9/18/12)
A National Parks Conservation Association report recommended "how federal and state agencies could best move forward with solar projects in the Mojave Desert with minimal impact on natural resources and wildlife ... The federal government has thus far approved 11 solar projects on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management ... in California, Arizona and Nevada, and applications for 77 other projects have been submitted for consideration in those states and New Mexico, according to the NPCA."


"BLM oil and gas lease auction brings in almost $850,000" (BLM California, 9/14/12)
Nine oil and gas lease parcels in Kings and Kern counties were auctioned for a total of $846,900 including administrative fees, by the Bureau of Land Management Sept. 12 in Bakersfield.


"BLM Hollister takes comments on Resource Management Plan Amendment" (BLM news, 9/17/12)
The BLM’s Hollister Field Office intends to prepare a Resource Management Plan Amendment and associated Environmental Assessment for the Panoche-Coalinga Area of Critical Environmental Concern. A 30-day public scoping period runs until October 18, to gather public comments and identify issues to be addressed in the RMP Amendment.

a man stands by a blocked mine shaft"The Calico Hills Abandoned Mine Lands Project – Summer 2012" (News.bytes Extra)
The historic mining of hardrock minerals -- such as gold, lead, copper, silver, and uranium -- was a powerful incentive for exploration and settlement of California. But when the ore was mined out and miners moved on, they often left behind a legacy of abandoned mines -- adits, shafts, and trenches. A primary goal of the Bureau of Land Management and the California Department of Conservation's Abandoned Mine Land Unit is to provide a safe experience to the public when they are visiting public lands located in the Calico Mountains -- and to remediate the sites.

"Tehachapi City Manager named as finalist in film group awards" (Tehachapi News, 9/18/12)
Finalists for the 18th annual "California On Location Awards" were announced recently by Film Liaisons In California Statewide. Nominees for "the location industry's highest honor" include Bureau of Land Management Realty Specialist Elaine Hanson, Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett and Kern County Fire Department Captain Tony Martinez. "Awards are given for excellence while working on location in California. Public employees are recognized for delivering outstanding service and on-location support to the industry. Awards in 14 categories will be presented."

"Imperial County faces more stringent dust control rules" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/18/12)
"The first information workshop addressing a revised set of more stringent regulations for dust mitigation in Imperial County was held Monday, as compliance with the Clean Air Act and a stay on recent sanctions are being sought ... When dust mitigation measures were adopted in 2005, the county omitted requiring the state as part of the dust control plans." Reyes Romero, assistant air pollution control officer, said "We are correcting this deficiency now -- not only the BLM but also the state is required to address mitigation of OHV (off-highway vehicles) through dust control plans."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current listings include land surveyor.


Sept. 22 - Shrub hike - Fort Ord

Sept. 22 - National Public Lands Day trail projects - King Range National Conservation Area

Sept. 26 - Cougar Floodplain Restoration Project public scoping Meeting

Oct. 2,3,4 - Open houses, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake land withdrawal

Oct. 6-7 - Kids Bike Weekend - Redding area

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
(d.) Under their car, where tortoises often seek shade

SOURCE: "Desert tortoise / Agassiz's desert tortoise - Gopherus agassizii" (BLM California wildlife database)
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

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