A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 550
- 9/28/12   -   Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!

fall foliagea deer with antlers in the woodsa truck drives away from an advancing wall of flamea man holds a rather large salmonan oil pump with houses in the background

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


volunteers gather for a cleanup"National Public Lands Day 2012" (BLM California)
This weekend: Saturday, Sept. 29 is National Public Lands Day -- the largest volunteer event for America's public lands. NPLD is a day when thousands of Americans volunteer to improve and enhance our nation's public lands. NPLD projects are taking place at several BLM locations in California:

"Volunteers welcome at National Public Lands Day project in Trinidad" (BLM, 9/25/12)
Volunteers can celebrate National Public Lands Day and help improve North Coast public lands by working on an invasive weed removal project Saturday, Sept 29 in Trinidad. The first 40 volunteers will receive National Public Lands Day T-shirts. Lunch will be provided near the work site when the project is completed around 1 p.m. Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots and long-sleeved shirts. The project organizers will provide tools and gloves.

"2012 National Public Lands Day Meetup" (BLM)
The Bureau of Land Management is hosting a 2012 National Public Lands Day Social Media Meetup on Sept. 29. Share your experiences volunteering on National Public Lands Day! Join in on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. The BLM National Office will retweet, reblog, like, and share the best pictures and posts throughout the day.

"National Public Lands Day"
More than 170,000 volunteers are expected at more than 2,100 sites across the country, to take part in the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. Volunteers in every state will visit parks, public and community gardens, beaches, wildlife preserves or forests and chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all Americans. They will improve and restore the lands and facilities the public uses for recreation, education, exercise and connecting with nature. Click on "Find a Site" to find the one nearest you.

...Not able to take part in National Public Lands Day events this weekend? Because of high temperatures in parts of California, or for other reasons, BLM California's NPLD events will also take place on other days during the fall. For instance, Oct. 13 in the areas of Redding and Ridgecrest and Nov. 10 in the El Centro area. Check with BLM Field Offices for details:

"National Public Lands Day: Fargo Canyon cleanup" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
On Saturday, Oct. 27, volunteers will assist the BLM staff and local community groups with the cleanup of Fargo Canyon, an area just north of Indio. They will be picking up garbage, tires, yard waste, target-shooting remnants, and other household refuse littering the sides of the road. Please RSVP by Oct. 24 to ensure enough lunch for everyone!

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

fall foliage"Fall color hotspots 2012" (BLM Bishop Field Office)
The fall colors are beginning to show up and down the Eastern Sierra. As of this past weekend (9/21-23/2012) small pockets of aspen were beginning to turn yellow and orange throughout the area. Places to check out include Bishop Creek (the aspen stands above Apendell, Lake Sabrina and North Lake), the Rock Creek Drainage, Hilton Creek near Crowley Lake and Lundy Canyon up near Mono Lake.

"Too early for fall colors? Not in California's Eastern Sierra" (Los Angeles Times, 9/25/12)
"Though it's barely autumn, fall colors in California are coming on fast at high elevations in Bishop, Mammoth Lakes and other parts of the Eastern Sierra ... Colors are popping as aspens turn bright gold at higher elevations in the Bishop Creek area in Bishop, Calif., specifically at Table Mountain Camp, Surveyors Meadow and Lake Sabrina."

"Bizz Johnson trail shuttles planned for October" (BLM, 9/27/12)
Beautiful fall weather and colors await bicyclists, joggers and hikers on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail near Susanville, and two upcoming bus shuttle opportunities will make visits convenient. The season’s last two weekend shuttles are Saturdays, Oct. 6, (coinciding with the Lassen Land and Trails Trust’s annual Rails to Trails Festival), and Oct. 20, the yearly fall colors ride.

a woman displays coastal objects to a group of youngsters"Fort Ord National Monument partners with Point Lobos Adventures camp" (News.bytes Extra)
The two-week day camp offered by California State Park employees gets more popular every year. The enrollment cutoff is at 35 students and there is a waiting list every session. The idea of hiking on trails, picking berries, visiting parks and learning about wildlife, are big reasons why kids want to attend.

RELATED: "Fort Ord National Monument" (BLM Hollister Field Office)

a deer with antlers in the woods"Firearms safety stressed as deer hunt underway in Placer County" (Auburn Journal, 9/23/12)
With the start of the deer-hunting season in Placer County, state Fish and Game Department officials are saying there are plenty of deer in the woods -- but for hunters to be safe and watch out for fire ... Detailed fire information is located on several websites including those maintained by Cal Fire, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service."

RELATED: "Hunting" (BLM)
State of California hunting regulations must be followed on Federal lands.

a man holds a rather large salmon"Sacramento River fall run hits stride" (Stockton Record, 9/26/12)
"Salmon have arrived en mass on the upper reaches of the Sacramento River that are open for fishing, from the Deschutes Road bridge at Anderson to Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area, east of Corning, fulfilling scientists' predictions of a record-breaking year for the fall run."

RELATED: "Fishing" (BLM)


wildlife question mark

As of this week, California has an official state marine reptile. What is it?
(a.) The Pacific Hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata bissa
(b.) The Coastal Whiptail, Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri
(c.) The Pacific leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea
(d.) The Delta crocodile, Crocodylus Californii
(e.) The Hollywood stereotypical slimyagent, Slitherin slithererii
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.


an OHV cruises along a dirt traila sign announces the Johnson Valley OHV area"Johnson Valley decision delayed as Marines review comments" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/21/12)
"A decision expected this month on plans to expand the Twentynine Palms Marine base into the Johnson Valley off-roading area has been pushed back to November or December because the Marine Corps is still reviewing comments. About 1,000 comments from individuals and groups about the proposed expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center poured in by the Aug. 27 deadline, according to the corps. A Navy environmental impact report found the expansion could whittle down the off-roading area by more than half and cut off access to some of its most popular areas for two months a year."

a dirt trail can be seen on a large rocky area
RELATED: "Decision delayed on expansion of Marine base at Twentynine Palms" (Los Angeles Times, 9/22/12)
"The Navy and Marine Corps have delayed a decision on a controversial proposal to expand the Marine base at Twentynine Palms to include parts of Johnson Valley, a popular spot with off-road vehicle enthusiasts ... an environmental impact report done for the Marine Corps drew more than 1,000 comments in a month, many highly negative" and the Navy and Marine Corps need more "time to review the comments, the Marine Corps announced Friday ... The expansion plan would be included in the annual defense budget, which would allow members of Congress to have a say."

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

"Imperial Sand Dunes management plan open for comments" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/20/12)
"The reopening of thousands of acres for recreational vehicles while protecting what the Bureau of Land Management calls '100 percent of the critical habitat' of a native plant was proposed in the recently unveiled Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area management plan. 'The main purpose of writing this plan is for the agency to develop a balance-management plan -- protecting and conserving our natural resources, while still providing off-highway vehicle recreation for public land visitors,' said ISDRA manager Neil Hamada."

RELATED: "Dunes may expand off-roading area" (Yuma Sun, 9/26/12)
"About 40,000 acres currently closed to recreation in the Imperial Dunes could be re-opened to off-roading enthusiasts under one of several possibilities outlined in a new plan ... The proposal includes eight options for land management, with the alternative allowing the most off-highway vehicle, or OHV, use being the preferred plan for the Imperial Dunes ... Currently, about 75,000 acres are closed out of the roughly 215,000 that comprise the dunes. With the proposed switch, about 35,000 acres would remain closed."

RELATED: "BLM releases Imperial Sand Dunes Proposed Recreation Area Management Plan" (BLM, 9/24/12)
The BLM released the Imperial Sand Dunes Proposed Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement. The RAMP also includes proposed amendments to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan. The RAMP provides guidance for the management of approximately 215,000 acres of BLM-administered public lands in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area and surrounding public lands in southeastern Imperial County, Calif.

"BLM El Centro hosts interagency EMS Conference" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM El Centro Field Office hosted a conference of partner agencies and organizations on Wednesday, Sept. 19, to help prepare for the upcoming Imperial Sand Dunes off-road season. The conference, held at the El Centro Chamber of Commerce, included representatives from agencies or organizations that assist BLM staff manage and respond to Emergency Medical Service calls in the sand dunes.

"Kids still OK in side-by-sides" (Yuma Sun, 9/26/12)
A provision of Assembly Bill 1595 "required passengers to be able to ride with both feet flat on the floorboard, while strapped in, back against the backrest and holding onto the grab bar ... it would have prevented children and small adults from riding in the vehicles." But AB 1266, eliminated the "feet flat on the floorboards section ... It also delayed a provision banning non-factory seats, allowing a more permanent fix to be drafted and sent through committees ... The law still requires the vehicle operator to be at least 16 years old (or supervised by a parent or other adult), and for operators and passengers to wear helmets along with seatbelts and shoulder belts or safety harnesses."

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

"Salazar approves transmission line for Campo Verde Solar Project" (Department of the Interior, 9/26/12)
As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved construction of the transmission line for First Solar’s Campo Verde Solar energy project, which will cross public lands southwest of El Centro. The 139-megawatt solar energy project is expected to support more than 250 jobs through construction and operations, generate $17.5 million in local tax revenue over the life of the facility, and provide an estimated $239 million of financial benefits to local, county and state economies. At full capacity, when built, the Campo Verde Solar facility will produce enough electricity to power 41,700 homes.

RELATED: "Imperial County transmission project OK'd for 'Area of Critical Environmental Concern'" (KCET, 9/26/12)
The Interior Department approved two possible routes "across protected public lands for a 230-kilovolt radial generation tie line ... that would connect the 139-megawatt Campo Verde Solar Project to San Diego Gas & Electric's Imperial Valley Substation. Campo Verde, a project of First Solar, is slated for 1,443 acres of private agricultural land near the Imperial County town of Seeley.Each of the two possible routes for Campo Verde's Gen-Tie line would cross public land, which triggered federal environmental assessment of the cumulative impacts of the entire project."

"Pre-construction testing approved for Tule Wind Energy Project" (BLM, 9/25/12)
The BLM has approved a Notice to Proceed (NTP) to conduct pre-construction geotechnical testing for the Tule Wind Project (NTP No. 1). The NTP authorizes the use of public land for geotechnical testing exclusively -- all other activities related to civil construction will require additional requests for NTPs. The Tule Wind Project is located on 12,200 acres of BLM-managed lands.

"Taxpayers, ratepayers will fund California solar plants" (Los Angeles Times, 9/20/12)
"Taxpayers have poured tens of billions of dollars into solar projects ... Government and solar officials say the subsidies are no different from long-standing federal support for the oil, gas and nuclear industries. They say generous incentives are necessary to incubate the fledgling renewables industry ... Energy Department officials say solar energy prices will fall as the industry matures, and the cost of power from future conventional plants will be higher. Critics, however, say that despite the righteous goal of combating climate change, solar entrepreneurs are getting too much government money."

RELATED: "Guest post: The true cost of renewable energy -- Reality vs. the LA TImes" (GreentechSolar, 9/26/12)
"The contracts that the LA Times article derides as 'three to four times' the price of market power are in fact at or below the long-term market price of electricity from status quo natural gas power plants ... I'm not a big fan of large-scale desert-based solar projects ... and the transmission required to bring them on-line. I'm a proponent of 'community-scale' solar projects ... However, the criticisms the article levels against BrightSource will surely bleed over onto solar in general -- and entirely unjustifiably."

"Co-op gets nod from CAISO board" (Pahrump Valley Times, 9/21/12)
The California Independent System Operator Corporation board of governors "approved an application by Valley Electric Association and its subsidiary, Valley Electric Transmission Association LLC, to be a participating electrical transmission owner ... While many Nevadans like to shun California, joining the association that supplies electricity to 80 percent of the California grid was seen as a way to get power from solar generators to market."

"Blythe Solar Project may be built with FirstSolar Panels" (KCET, 9/28/12)
"Thin-film photovoltaic panel manufacturer First Solar may have an in for supplying solar panels for the one gigawatt Blythe Solar Power Project," according to documents submitted to the California Energy Commission. "The solar project, on 5,950 acres of public land west of Blythe, California, was picked up by Florida-based NextEra after its initial developer, Solar Millennium, filed for bankruptcy in April. Originally proposed as a parabolic trough concentrating solar thermal facility, the Blythe project was stalled after PV prices started to drop in 2009-10."

"San Diego City Council unanimously votes down Quail Brush Power Plant" (KPBS, 9/24/12)
"A proposal for a power plant adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park, the state's largest municipally owned park," was voted down by the council, which said that the Cogentrix "proposal for a 'peaker plant' -- which would be turned on only during periods of high energy demand -- was simply in the wrong location ... But the final decision on whether the plant will be allowed rests with the California Energy Commission." Plant backers said it would provide backup power for wind and solar projects.

RELATED: "San Diego City Council Unanimously Denies Quail Brush Power Plant" (East County Magazine, 9/24/12)
"Cogentrix has claimed that the Quail Brush gas power plant is needed for 'when the wind doesn’t blow', a reference to wind energy projects slated to come online in our region." A four-hour session, with two hours of public testimony, included a crowd that alternately "screamed" and "broke into applause."

"BLM Seeking Public Comments on Geothermal Exploration Project" (BLM Nevada, 9/24/12)
BLM Nevada is seeking public comments on a preliminary environmental assessment for the Coyote Canyon South Geothermal Exploration Project proposed by TGP Dixie Development Company, LLC. The proposed geothermal exploration project is located in Dixie Valley, Churchill County, approximately 50 miles northeast of Fallon, Nevada.


"Oil regulators hint at upcoming rules" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/20/12)
Among topics discussed at the California Oil & Gas Workgroup meeting at the BLM's Bakersfield Field Office were "how upcoming rules could protect groundwater during fracking ... and what disclosure requirements these regulations may contain ... State Department of Conservation officials also took questions about how they may respond to recent legal challenges to state environmental reviews of oil projects, and they hinted at how they may tackle the thorny issues of underground waste injections and leakage of oil field fluids in the oil-rich diatomaceous geological formations in West Kern."

a complex-looking industrial operation "California: The Next Fracking Frontier?" (Capital Public Radio, 9/27/12)
"The oil industry has been drilling in California for decades, and as a result, most of the 'easy' oil is gone. But there's still a lot of oil left ... it's possibly the largest oil reserve in the lower 48 ... The US Energy Information Administration estimates that there's still 15 Billion barrels of recoverable oil, mostly trapped in the impermeable 'tight' rock of California's Monterey formation."

an oil pump with houses in the background"Study on fracking in Baldwin Hills area to be released next month" (Los Angeles Times, 9/22/12)
"The field is surrounded by a handful of communities, including Culver City, Baldwin Hills and Inglewood -- making it the largest urban oil field in the country. Plains Exploration is hoping to tap into the oil reserves in the field's shale formations identified in 2003. Residents say their properties have been damaged by mysterious land shifts, and that has increased their fears about the use of fracking. Some homeowners say they suspect the movements may be related to drilling operations. The cause is unclear, however, given that the area sits on top of the Newport-Inglewood fault."

"Gas drilling protests held in US, other countries" (Associated Press in San Jose Mercury News, 9/22/12)
Demonstrators, including some in California, "protested Saturday against the natural gas drilling process known as fracking that they say threatens public health and the environment ... scientists disagree on the risks of hydraulic fracking ... The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many state regulators say fracking can be done safely, and the American Lung Association says it can help reduce air pollution. Opponents say the process can pollute water and sicken residents."

"Administration announces NPR-A Oil & Gas Lease Sale in November" (BLM, 9/27/12)
The lease sale will include 400 tracts and cover approximately 4.5 million acres in the NPR-A, and builds on the December 2011 NPR-A sale that made 283 tracts and three million acres available.


a truck drives away from an advancing wall of flamea man points out a spot on a map"Stewardship Committee tours burn area, discusses recovery" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Steering Committee toured areas burned by last month’s Lost fire near Cedarville and discussed the BLM’s plans for emergency stabilization and recovery. A big part of the tour focused on fire impacts on livestock grazing operations and grazing management changes that will be needed to allow the area to recover.

"Firefighters fully contain deadly Shockey Fire" (KUSI San Diego, 9/27/12)
"Firefighters on Thursday fully contained the 2,556-acre Shockey Fire that claimed a man's life and destroyed 11 back-country homes in rural southeastern San Diego County ... Within hours of the fire breaking out, dozens of residents in Tierra del Sol, Jewel Valley and Boulevard were told to flee their homes. A retirement- age man was later found dead in Tierra del Sol ... At the height of the fire early this week, there were near 1,000 fire personnel assigned to the incident" including BLM firefighters.

"State fire fee notices in county mailboxes" (Willits News, 9/26/12)
"In envelopes marked 'urgent,' area residents have now received advance notices to pay California's $150 Fire Prevention Fee. The notice tells property owners they will be receiving bills soon and then will have 30 days to either send a payment or protest the amount of the bill in writing ... The California Legislature approved the fee in 2011 as a budget plan to raise $50 million initially and up to $200 million per year. It had to be called a fee because the Legislature could not secure the two-thirds vote needed to impose a new tax. Whether it is a tax or a fee is a topic likely to be resolved in court."

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"BLM holds burro adoption in Grass Valley" (BLM, 9/21/12)
The BLM will hold a “burro only” adoption in Grass Valley on Oct. 12 and 13, at the Nevada County Horsemen's Facility. The burros will arrive Friday, Oct. 12, with an evening competitive bid adoption on Friday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee. Saturday, Oct. 13, will be pick-up day and first-come, first-serve, for any unadopted burros from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

"BLM to Begin Antelope and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas Wild Horse Gather" (BLM Nevada, 9/21/12)
The BLM Nevada, Elko District, Wells Field Office and Ely District, Schell Field Office are scheduled to begin on or about Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, to gather and remove 200 excess wild horses from the Antelope and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas, located about 60 miles south of Wells and 50 miles north of Ely, Nevada. The helicopter gather is necessary to prevent a further decline in animal condition caused by minimal forage growth and reduced water availability due to severe drought conditions.


a man prepares a presentation at a tablea woman points to an object opn a display table"Great California ShakeOut - BLM presents activities for earthquake preparedness"(News.bytes Extra)
The Great California ShakeOut will take place on October 18, 2012, but Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument volunteers did some shaking with the public ahead of time! Ozzie Edwards and Heidi Schneck teamed up with Rob Howard of California State Parks to staff an interactive booth at Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage to help people get ready for the "big one."

"BLM announces scoping meetings for Hollister Resource Management Plan Amendment" (BLM, 9/26/12)
The Hollister Field Office intends to prepare a Resource Management Plan Amendment with an associated environmental assessment for the public lands in the San Joaquin Desert Hills, including the 56,000-acre Panoche-Coalinga Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The BLM public lands in the western San Joaquin Valley stretch from the Panoche Hills southwards to Coalinga, connecting a vast landscape of ancient desert-like habitats and open space with outstanding scenic and recreational values.

"BLM schedules collaborative workshops for the El Paso and Ridgecrest Travel Management Subregions" (BLM news, 9/25/12)
The BLM has scheduled four public workshops for the El Paso and Ridgecrest travel management subregions 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 for motorized and non-motorized travel and also input on effects on all forms of recreational use.

"BLM takes comments on Bishop Mill environmental assessment" (BLM, 9/20/12)
The BLM Bishop Field Office is taking public comments on an environmental assessment (EA) of a proposed plan to re-activate the Bishop Mill in northern Inyo County. Issues and alternatives identified through public scoping have been incorporated into this environmental review. The EA completed for this proposed project has been posted on the internet for a 30-day public review and comment period. To be considered in the environmental review, comments must be received by Friday, Oct. 19.

"Special meeting for Cadiz project slated for Monday" (Victorville Daily Press, 9/26/12)
"The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors plans to conduct a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday to consider various actions related to the proposed Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project ... The county will issue a news release and make an announcement on Twitter as soon as the documents are made available to the Board of Supervisors and the public on the county's website."

RELATED: "Water: Special meeting set for Cadiz project" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/27/12)

children watch a helicopter land"Safety careers excite students" (Victorville Daily Press, 9/26/12)
"The Academy of Academic Excellence held their first “Safety Day” at the Corwin Campus in Apple Valley, a 2nd through 4th-grade school that teaches close to 300 students ... Event coordinators focused on highlighting the different careers within the realm of public safety by exposing students to the various jobs they entail ... 'Why are the tires so big?' one student asked Vince Spina and Alberto Camba Jr., two firefighters that work on a fire engine for the Bureau of Land Management..."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Listings include Helitack Squad Leader, Wild Horse and Burro Facility Manager and Land Surveyor, open to U.S. citizens; and Visual Information Specialist with BLM California's State Office, open to Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles).


"Two marijuana grows in forest found, eradicated" (Porterville Recorder, 9/22/12)
"Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department S.T.E.P. Unit and federal officers from the U. S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Teams have continued the war on illegal marijuana gardens with two operations, one on Sept. 13 and the other last Tuesday, by raiding and eradicating two large mountain marijuana grow sites in the Sequoia National Forest, near Speas Creek and Rube Creek."

"Pot plants removed from forest lands" (Inyo Register, 9/20/12)
"Local law enforcement kept millions of dollars worth of drugs off the streets Tuesday by eradicating a large-scale marijuana cultivation operation near Lone Pine. The Inyo Narcotic Enforcement Team, Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management worked together to destroy approximately 4,000 marijuana plants that were discovered on Forest Service land in the Lubken Canyon area."

"Feds charge men in marijuana grow operation" (Eureka Times-Standard, 9/25/12)
"The federal government is prosecuting three men arrested Thursday by the Bureau of Land Management in connection with a suspected King Range marijuana grow."

"More than 400,000 marijuana plants removed from Valley farms" (The Business Journal, 9/26/12)
"Operation Mercury" involved local and federal agencies including the BLM. "The goal of the operation is to find and eradicate large marijuana farms being grown in the middle of traditional crops like cotton, grapes, tree fruit or vegetables. The program was developed when federal and local officials determined that marijuana growers were leaving federal forests and planting their crops on farms where they could claim the marijuana was grown for medical uses. Authorities insist however, that the marijuana was being trucked to other states as far away as New Jersey."

"$7 million in marijuana is unearthed at Mount Charleston" (Las Vegas Sun, 9/27/12)
A Southern Nevada task force including the BLM "removed more than $7.4 million worth of marijuana plants from a remote area of Mount Charleston during a recent raid ... the fifth outdoor grow site discovered in Clark County this year."


"BLM-managed lands contributed $130 billion to the U.S. economy in FY 2011" (BLM, 9/27/12)
Public lands and resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy while supporting more than 600,000 American jobs in Fiscal Year 2011, BLM Acting Director Mike Pool announced today at a Public Lands Commemoration Forum in Phoenix, Arizona. The figures from FY 2011, which ended September 30, 2011, are the latest available for a complete fiscal year.

a huge dump truck on a rocky mine floor"Journey to jewelry takes millions of years and dollars" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/23/12)
"Today's miners move mountains to extract microscopic bits recognizable as gold only in the assay lab. Barrick will use those lab reports to peg gold percentages and map the best places to mine ... Lower-grade ore might hold less than a tenth of an ounce per ton ... [Barrick Gold Corp.] will explore for two years at Goldrush and develop a mine plan. Then it will complete an environmental impact statement with the Bureau of Land Management ... It'll take up to 10 years and tens of millions of dollars to finish the statement and get mining permits."

"BLM Announces 2012 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Award Winners" (BLM, 9/26/12)
The awards recognize the efforts made in implementing the principles of sustainable development to balance environmental, economic, and social concerns in planning for mining operations. The 2012 BLM Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award winners are Barrick Golden Sunlight Mine of Whitehall, MT, and Taiga Mining Company of Anchorage, AK. The winner of the 2012 BLM Community Outreach and Economic Security Award is Newmont Mining Corporation - Community Investment and Sustainability Programs, of Elko NV.

"BLM to Partner with Local Groups to Provide Firewood or Heating Gift Cards to Help Families in Need to Stay warm this Winter" (BLM Nevada, 9/24/12)
Volunteers from Hilltop Community Church and Bridge Ministries will collect firewood from the site of the former Airport Fire, near Markleeville, California. This fire burned 81 acres of BLM and Alpine County land during the 2011 fire season. Volunteers have a goal of collecting between 40 and 50 cords of firewood. The BLM is authorizing the removal of fire-killed trees to meet this goal. Families who don’t have a wood stove or fireplace will receive NV Energy gift cards, which will be purchased by proceeds from the firewood.

"'All the dots have been connected'" (Medford, OR Mail Tribune, 9/26/12)
"The location of the Battle of Hungry Hill, the largest clash in the Rogue River Indian Wars of 1855-56, has been discovered after being lost in the dust of time for more than a century ... The team bushwhacked up and down steep hills and pored over old records, from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, Calif., following every clue during its three-year search" and located the historic battlefield on lands managed by the BLM. [Note: this site allows visitors to view three free articles per month.]

"Private forests closed to hunters due to fire danger" (KVAL Eugene, OR, 9/26/12)
"The fire danger created by hot, dry weather has forced many private forest owners to close their lands to hunters ahead of the opening of rifle season for deer Saturday ... Hunters will need to find public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management or USDA Forest Service on which to stalk deer, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said" -- but cautioned hunters to check for closures and fire restrictions.

"Target shooting OK'd on BLM land in southern Ariz." (Associated Press San Francisco Chronicle, 9/21/12)
The BLM "has finalized a plan that allows recreational target shooting on 1.4 million acres in south-central Arizona ... Conservation groups had argued that the BLM didn't explain its rationale for target shooting and said the proposal could harm cultural resources and that the BLM's road system was inadequate. BLM officials say the protests carefully were considered ... They say they'll promote responsible recreational shooting. The management plan covers the Lower Sonoran Field office and the Sonoran Desert National Monument."

"Study finds public land along Front is driver of growth" (Helena, MT Independent Record, 9/20/12)
A new report "says that communities along the Rocky Mountain Front have seen slow, steady growth with per-capita income and average earnings per job being 10 to 15 percent greater than elsewhere in Montana." The report "also says future income and job growth can be experienced if residents and businesses take steps to preserve their natural resources." People "flocking to areas where public lands create wide, open spaces" include telecommuters and retiring baby boomers.


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:

Oct. 1 - Guided hike

Oct. 6 - Star Party

Oct. 7 - Dog hike

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) The Pacific leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea

SOURCE: "Endangered turtle named state marine reptile" (Los Angeles Times, 9/27/12)
a man checks a huge sea turtle on the beachCalifornia now has "an official state marine reptile ... the Pacific leatherback sea turtle, or Dermochelys coriacea. (There already was an official reptile, the desert tortoise.) The turtle is the world's largest living reptile, growing to 2,000 pounds and more than 6 feet in length. Every year, it migrates thousands of miles across the ocean to eat jellyfish along the California coastline. It's also extremely endangered," and the bill was written in order to "draw attention to the animals' plight."

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

a large bird with spiky feathers"Watch some sage grouse birds 'strut their stuff'" (CBS News, 9/27/12)
"I'll be honest: I had absolutely no clue what a Sage Grouse was before today. I even made sure to include the word 'birds' in the headline for those like myself who had never come across this species. And as strange and foreign as they were to me going into the video, their 'strutting' behavior and appearance only add fuel to the bizarre fire ... The fascinating and odd YouTube video was shot by Bob Wick and posted by the Bureau of Land Management in California ... So is it just me or do they kind of seem like a punk rock version of a peacock?"

RELATED: "Sage grouse strut their stuff" (BLM National Facebook page)
This video was taken at the Mount Biedeman Wilderness Study Area in the Bodie Hills. The strutting grouse sound like coffee percolators. Learn more about sage-grouse...

a whale tail flips out of the water"Ocean habitat to shift north with warming seas" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/24/12)
"Sharks, loggerhead turtles and blue whales stand to lose potentially large swathes of suitable habitat as seas warm, according to modeling by a group of marine scientists at NOAA and institutions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Princeton and Stanford. They said some critical ocean zones could shift 600 miles north of where they are now under climate change scenarios, creating challenges for some species and coastal communities that have come to depend on specific fish for harvest and tourism."

"Global fisheries are declining but can still recover, study says" (Washington Post, 9/27/12)
"The vast majority of the world’s fisheries are declining but could recover if properly managed, according to a paper ... in the journal Science. The statistical analysis marks the first time researchers have assessed the globe’s roughly 10,000 fishing areas, more than 80 percent of which are unregulated."

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM)
Located off the 1,100 miles of California coastline, the California Coastal National Monument comprises more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon. The scenic qualities and critical habitat of this public resource are protected as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, administered by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.

a lab tray with mosquitoes"Researchers find malaria turning up in Alaska birds" (Anchorage Daily News, 9/23/12)
"A new study reports that a form of malaria, generally considered a tropical disease, is being contracted by birds as far north as Fairbanks ... 'It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming,' it says ... Avian malaria cannot be transmitted to people."
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