A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 552 - 10/12/12 - Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- 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
- More wildlife stories from your public lands (and elsewhere)
This issue of BLM California News.bytes is online at:
|AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS
"Rails to Trails Festival 2012" (News.bytes Extra)
Susanville area residents and visitors swarmed the city’s historic railroad depot last Saturday, to celebrate the 20th annual Rails to Trails Festival. Events included railroad handcar racing, a popular chili cook-off, live music, and vendors offering food, beverages and regionally-produced crafts. The annual Bizz Johnson Marathon and associated races were held Saturday and Sunday on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.
RELATED: "Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail" (BLM Eagle Lake Field Office)
"Proud to show the colors!" (News.bytes Extra)
Pink was a popular color last Saturday at Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area, as race participants and spectators gathered for the 7th Annual Powder Puff, sponsored by Mojave Off-Road Racing Enthusiast (M.O.R.E.). The Powder Puff is a unique off-road racing event, for only ladies are allowed to drive the race vehicles, and proceeds from the event are donated to Cedars Sinai Breast Cancer Research.
RELATED: "Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Barstow Field Office)
"Monument hosts LaQuinta Public Service Academy students" (News.bytes Extra)
Students from the La Quinta High School Public Service Academy -- focusing on police, fire and court services training and instruction -- complete part of their training at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
"Volunteers help mark National Public Lands Day at Big Morongo" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM, National Parks Conservation Association and Friends of Big Morongo teamed up to host a National Public Lands Day event at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. A total of 47 volunteers -- from the Twenty-nine Palms Marine base, Friends of Big Morongo, College of the Desert, and local Morongo Valley youth -- helped BLM staff trim back vegetation surrounding the boardwalk trails throughout the Preserve. BLM firefighters from Black Rock were also there to trim overgrown mesquite trees and to provide extra help and emergency medical support, if needed.
RELATED: "Big Morongo Canyon Preserve" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
"Imperial Sand Dunes announces the opening of ranger stations" (BLM, 10/11/12)
The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area launches its new season when its ranger stations open on Friday, Oct. 12. Both the Cahuilla and Buttercup Ranger Stations (north and south dunes, respectively) will staff park rangers available to provide both information and emergency medical services to dunes’ visitors.
"Ivanpah Dry Lake" (BLM Needles Field Office)
As of Oct. 11: Both east and west sides of Ivanpah Dry Lake are "Closed" due to flooding.
|GET OUTDOORS TIP OF THE WEEK...
...Explore the rugged volcanic formations, including islands, fissures, and domes that checker the landscape of the Lava Wilderness Study Area. Many of the domes are lava tubes or caves; other domes have collapsed, forming interesting profiles and miniature valleys. A variety of pines, oaks, and junipers grow amid the volcanic formations. In the fall, the changing leaves of the deciduous trees and brush species paint the landscape orange and red. The greens of the conifers and the blacks of the volcanic scenery provide a constant backdrop to the seasonal colors. Recreational opportunities include mountain biking, wildlife viewing, hiking and fishing.
NOT for EDUCATORS ONLY:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION of the WEEK:
What are juvenile red foxes called?
(f.) whelps -- or, if teenagers, they may be referred to as "ungrateful whelps"
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.
| RENEWABLE ENERGY
"Unplugging wind subsidies; Looming end of wind subsidy could rattle industry" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/4/12)
"Three wind projects near San Diego -- at the McCain Valley, the desert town of Ocotillo and across the Mexican border -- are likely to move forward without help from the wind production tax credit. Yet the future of the decades-old subsidy is likely to change San Diego’s mix of clean energy and how much customers pay for it. At issue is this year’s political debate is whether the wind industry can survive without subsidies that grew out of the 1970s energy crisis. The timing could be especially severe this year..."
"Salazar approves massive Wyoming wind farm project" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/10/12)
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week "authorized what he described as potentially the largest wind energy project in the United States, if not the world: A Wyoming wind farm with up to 1,000 turbines that would provide electricity to some 1 million homes. Roadwork and groundwork could begin next year ... After that, turbines could go up over a three-year period within an area covering 350 square miles of the hilly sagebrush country south of Rawlins in south-central Wyoming," most of it on lands managed by the BLM.
RELATED: "Salazar authorizes landmark Wyoming wind project site, Reaches President’s goal of authorizing 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy" (DOI news release, 10/9/12)
"Pressure mounts for California to import renewable energy" (KCET, 10/10/12)
"Due to a combination of technical issues with the grid and Jerry Brown's policy, California has officially been planning to meet most of its Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements with renewable energy generated inside state lines. That policy has been prompting complaints from renewable energy providers outside California for some time. Now, renewables companies in Nevada are talking about having tapped their own state's market out: without sales to California, they say, their industry has grown as much as it can."
"Inglewood Oil Field fracking study finds no harm from the method" (Los Angeles Times, 10/10/12)
"A long-awaited study released Wednesday says the controversial oil extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, would not harm the environment if used at the Inglewood Oil Field in the Baldwin Hills area. The yearlong study included several issues raised by residents living around the field, such as the potential risks for groundwater contamination, air pollution and increased seismic activity."
"Group says petroleum 'fracking' occurred near Los Padres National Forest" (Ventura County Star, 10/7/12)
An environmental group says a controversial oil and gas extraction practice commonly called fracking was used recently at several wells next to Los Padres National Forest ... in the Sespe Oil Field ... U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said last year that it was safe to assume that fracking has occurred 'in all or virtually all' of the 200 wells within the Sespe Oil Field, based on the agency's knowledge of the area.
|WILDFIRES AND PREVENTION
"Fuel-reduction efforts under way in Big Pine" (Inyo Register, 10/9/12)
The focus of the Big Pine Fire Safe Council's Big Pine clean-up day, Saturday, Oct. 13, is "on residents doing fuel reduction around their own homes, creating defensible space to reduce fire risk. 'We are asking neighbors to help those people who may not be able to perform the physical work themselves or need assistance in getting the waste to the dump or dumpsters,' said Debra Hein, fire mitigation specialist with the Inyo National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management."
"BLM Redding Field Office plans prescribed burns throughout fall" (BLM, 10/11/12)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Redding Field Office has planned several prescribed burning projects this fall, winter and spring to improve landscape health and remove brush piles. Burns will be conducted only if weather conditions allow for safe and successful burning and smoke dispersion.
|HEADLINES and HIGHLIGHTS
"Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Subgroup to meet" (BLM, 10/10/12)
The California Desert Advisory Council Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area subgroup will meet Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the BLM El Centro Field Office. Scheduled agenda items include the ISDRA business plan update, which includes a proposed fee increase, and management updates.
"Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, Proposed land withdrawal renewal" (Department of the Navy)
"The CMAGR supports military aircrew training ... 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 is asking Congress to renew the land withdrawal for at least 25 years, although withdrawals of other alternative duration are considered." Open houses will be held starting Oct. 22. Locations are in Yuma, El Centro, Palm Springs and Oceanside. Find details by following the link for "Newsletter 3 - August 2012" (PDF file):
RELATED: "Notice of change of public meeting location..." (Federal Register Notice, 10/9/12)
The public meeting/open house in Oceanside will now be held at the Oceanside City Council Chambers.
"BLM seeking public comments on draft Lost Coast Headlands plan" ( BLM, 10/11/12)
The Lost Coast Headlands Activity Plan details objectives and management actions, including improvements and visitor facilities, for the 463 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean west of Ferndale in Humboldt County. The site features coastal bluffs, rolling hills and pockets of forest. In addition to hiking trails providing beach access, the area includes the site of a former U. S. Navy station with vistas of the Pacific and coastal landscapes.
"BLM schedules public meeting on resource damage" (BLM, 10/10/12)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will hold a public meeting in October to discuss options to prevent resource damage in the Volcanic Tableland. The Meeting will be held Saturday, October 27 ... The BLM has implemented an emergency road closure along a portion of Roadside Boulders Road, a dead-end road, to ensure no further resource damage occurs. The area remains open to foot traffic.
"Explosive growth in sudden oak death" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/9/12)
"The number of oak trees in California that died from the virulent forest disease ... has increased tenfold in just a year's time ... Aerial and ground surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service documented 375,700 new cases of dead live oak and tan oak trees over 54,400 acres of California where the pathogen is known to exist. That's compared to 38,000 dead trees covering 8,000 acres a year ago The sudden increase in deaths is believed to have been caused by two years of abnormally high rainfall followed by this year's dry weather."
"Federal lawsuit challenging Cadiz pipeline project dismissed" (San Bernardino County Sun, 10/5/12)
The lawsuit against "alleged violations of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and that the Bureau of Land Management failed to conduct a proper review of the cultural and environmental impacts of the project and prepare a plan that would allow the project to move forward in the specially designated California Desert Conservation Area." A Cadiz attorney "said the proposed pipeline is not a federal water project and that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
|NATIONAL, OTHER STATE AND DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR ITEMS
"New rules for meteorite hunters unveiled" (Space.com, 10/11/12)
BLM Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-182. "provides guidance to the BLM’s field office managers for administering the collection of meteorites on public lands in three 'use categories,' said Derrick Henry, a public affairs specialist for BLM in Washington, D.C." The policy recognizes "that there is interest in collecting meteorites by hobbyists" but it also recognizes "that there are science and commercial interests as well' ... It is the first time the BLM has formally addressed rules regarding collection of meteorites on public lands..."
|SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Oct. 22 - 25 - Public open houses, Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunner Range, Proposed land withdrawal renewal
More information on the following events at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument can be found at:
Oct. 13 - Weed warriors - Volunteer!
Oct. 20 - Jr. Trail Guides Explorer Program - RSVP required
Oct. 24 - Monument anniversary hike
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
SOURCE: "Red Fox - Vulpes vulpes" (BLM California wildlife database)
More wildlife news from your public lands (and elsewhere):
"House cats: Why I don't let mine outside" (KCET, 10/2/12)
"Most cat lovers look at a cat and see an individual not unlike themselves: a "person," someone with distinct likes and distastes, with idiosyncrasies, with a life history that deserves respect. I'm one of those people. I suspect that for most people, that identification doesn't fully extend to wild animals other than a few popular kinds..."
"Sierra beaver dams targeted by U.S. Forest Service" (Sacramento Bee, 10/7/12)
The U.S. Forest Service recently tore down a beaver dam near Lake Tahoe "to protect a tourist facility that celebrates the non-native kokanee salmon, sparking criticism from some environmental groups ...
What's happening here is more than a flap over a furry, flat-tailed rodent with a penchant for gnawing down trees and damming up streams. It is part of a wider controversy over the role of beaver in nature and their provenance -- native, non-native or both? -- in the Sierra Nevada."
"Squirrel exposed to plague bacteria near Idyllwild" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/9/12)
"A ground squirrel found at a campground north of Idyllwild has tested positive for exposure to the bacteria carried by fleas that can cause plague ... No human cases of plague have been reported in the county for at least 20 years, said Barbara Cole, director for disease control at the Riverside County Department of Health. She stressed the importance of prevention of the disease, and seeking help if it has been contracted. 'Plague can be fatal, but it is treatable'."
"Fill out an online survey to aid study of red fox" (Sacramento Bee, 10/11/12)
"Red foxes in the Sacramento Valley were long thought to be the non-native offspring of foxes imported more than a century ago for the fur trade. Recent genetic research at UC Davis has revealed that they are a unique native species now known as the Sacramento Valley red fox. Because the species was confused with other foxes for so long, scientists are not sure how many exist or what its population trends are. The new survey aims to assess public understanding about the species to help refine a new field survey..."
RELATED: "Sacramento Valley fox survey" (UC Davis)
Take the 5-minute survey, learn more, or report a sighting.
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News.bytes published by
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