A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 556
- 11/9/12   -   Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!

an island off the coasta desert tortoise mascot and Seymour Antelopedramatic tree branches and mountains in the backgrounda woman in a balloon costume cheersa bat hangs upside down

- Veterans Day Nov. 11
- Free Fort Ord National Monument trail map & guide
- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors tip of the week
- From our social media pages
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Wildfires and prevention
- BLM Advisory Councils
- 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:


a group of firefighters gather for a photoa fire crew member lights a fuel reducing fire"Veterans Fire Crew" (BLM California)
The BLM trained a 20-person veterans' fire crew for fire suppression and fuels management. The Folsom Lake Hand Crew was assembled as part of a two-year trial, and was very successful in its first year ... starting almost immediately at this summer's Mill Fire, after eight days of initial training.

mapFort Ord National Monument Trail Map and Guide - Free
To help mark Veterans Day, we are offering this pocket trail map and guide to Fort Ord National Monument, the former military base being converted to public use. Free, while supplies last.

a veteran in an old uniform salutesRELATED: "More than 400 help dedicate Fort Ord National Monument" (News.bytes Extra)
[From News.bytes issue 532.] A number of veterans who saw Fort Ord during their military service attended the dedication of Fort Ord National Monument on May 19 of this year --Armed Forces Day.

RELATED: "Fort Ord National Monument" (BLM Hollister Field Office)
On April 20, 2012, President Obama signed a Proclamation to designate the Fort Ord National Monument. In his proclamation, the President stated that, "The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans."

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

a young man collects native seeds from a Fort Ord plant"Fort Ord National Monument Celebrates Partners National Make A Difference Day" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 100 veterans, recreationists, and nature enthusiasts joined the Bureau of Land Management at the Fort Ord National Monument during National Make A Difference Day, Oct. 27. Those who attended helped with a group holds an awardservice projects, or enjoyed a guided sneak peek tour into future Monument lands administered by the U.S. Army. The event was co-hosted by the Army Base Realignment and Closure Office, Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association, Bicycle Equestrian Trail Assistance team, and Fort Ord Recreation Trail Friends.

two volunteers use branch trimmersa view of bluffs on the coast"Volunteers pitch in at Point Arena, Stornetta Public Lands" (News.bytes Extra)
A group about 30 volunteers and BLM staff pitched in to improve the Point Arena and Stornetta Public Lands in a volunteer hike and project day organized by the California Wilderness Coalition Saturday, Nov. 3. The event, supported by the Point Arena Gateway Committee and the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, took place on a picture-perfect day overlooking the California Coastal National Monument.

a woman speaks with children as a horse stands in a corral behind"Ridgecrest Field Office represents BLM at Boy Scout Event in Palmdale" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM staff brought a mustang, burro, and tortoise to take part in the "Scout-O-Rama" last month. This event is held for Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops to display some of their favorite activities and also to visit booths and other displays.

young men clean up desert trasha volunteer stands next to a dumpster of trashFargo Canyon Public Lands Day cleanup (News.bytes Extra)
On Saturday, Oct. 27, the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office hosted a volunteer cleanup event along Fargo Canyon Road -- the second of two National Public Lands Day events held by this office.

volunteers clean up the grounda woman in a balloon costume cheers"Halloween Conservation & Safety Treats Delivered at El Mirage" (News.bytes Extra)
Before the shadows of the Moon descended on the El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area this past Saturday, visitors were treated with messages of conservation and safety (and of course, candy).

a dune buggy in the foga dune buggy comes down from the top of a sand dune"Halloween kicks off season at Imperial Sand Dunes" (News.bytes Extra)
Halloween has always been the traditional kick-off to a new riding season at the Imperial Sand Dunes, and this year, it was twice the fun. With Halloween falling in the middle of the week, visitors enjoyed the “split” – recreating on both weekends to find fewer crowds, plenty of prime camping, and pretty decent weather. All told, over 80,000 visitors enjoyed the warm, sunny days over the two weekends.

"SCA members start work with BLM Ridgecrest Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM California Desert District’s Ridgecrest Field Office welcomes 28 Student Conservation Association (SCA) members who will make up four crews, each consisting of six members and a crew leader.

a desert tortoise mascot and Seymour Antelopea woman sits astride a white horse"BLM Barstow Employees Volunteer at the L.A. County Fair" (News.bytes Extra)
The L.A. County Fair buzzed with excitement ... Eager to decorate a button, sit in the BLM sandrail, watch a clean energy wizard show, explore the General Land Office, and meet a burro from the Wild Horse and Burro Program, children pulled their parents through the gateway to the America’s Great Outdoors area. The Bureau of Land Management, L.A. County, and the U.S. Forest Service collaborated to build exhibits, provide entertainment, and staff America’s Great Outdoors.

"Ivanpah Dry Lake" (BLM Needles Field Office)
As of November 5, both east and west sides of Ivanpah Dry Lake are open for wind-powered sports. These areas were previously closed by flooding. International championship land sailing competitions, archery, kite buggying, and world championship disc throwing are just some of the activities this dry lake is used for.

"Docent-led hike of Mount Konocti planned for Thanksgiving weekend" (Lake County News, 11/8/12)
Mount Konocti docents are planning to lead a hike to the top of the mountain on Saturday, Nov. 24. The guided hike will “take approximately four hours … is moderately strenuous and will cover approximately six miles roundtrip.” Space is limited, reservations are required. "Mount Konocti County Park is an undeveloped park with somewhat rugged terrain and gravel areas ... The county-owned land is contiguous with an existing 821 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management."

"Cache Creek a place to get away to nature" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 11/3/12)
"The Cache Creek Natural Area is made up of more than 70,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and 4,700 acres of State and County public land" and is "home to one of the largest wintering habitats for bald eagles. From mid-October until mid-April you can discover the bald eagles soaring above, feeding on catfish and carp from the Cache Creek River, or nesting in trees high above your heads. And if you keep an eye out on hillsides, near brushy cover you might be able to see Tule elk and blacktail deer."

RELATED: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM Ukiah Field Office)

plants in the desert...Explore the Coachella Valley Preserve near Palm Springs. The Preserve contains several palm oases, formed because San Andreas Fault lines allow water flowing underground to rise to the surface. The spectacular Thousand Palms Oasis includes a mile-long trail past pools containing endangered desert pupfish. Native vegetation includes creosote bush, burrobush, smoke tree and desert lavender, part of this area's unique habitat for wildlife. Birds, jackrabbits, bobcats, and sidewinders frequent the area while reptiles and fish are seasonal visitors.


an island off the coast BLM California Facebook page:
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.

dramatic tree branches and mountains in the backgroundInstagram:
The Inyo Mountains Wilderness in eastern California encompasses a large portion of the Inyo Mountains, which rise to 11,000 feet.

BLM California on Facebook


a bat hangs upside down
Townsend’s big-eared bat
How might Townsend’s big-eared bats help save Christmas?
(a.) They eat moths, which might otherwise chew up indispensable wool Rudolph sweaters.
(b.) They help spread the seeds from inside pine cones, helping to assure a steady supply of Christmas trees.
(c.) They swarm wheat fields every spring to gorge on the triticum rat, thus saving wheat crops for Christmas cookies.
(d.) They eat large quantities of sugar cane borers in the southeastern U.S., thus helping to preserve one of the basic food groups of the holidays.
(e.) They hibernate in caves, where their rustling as winter deepens helps rouse Santa from his abysmal sleep as he hangs upside down in the dread Cavern of Lost Souls … wait, that's the Evil Spirit of Christmas. Let's try this:
(f.) When the night is dark and moonless and fog obscures the land, Santa relies on these bats' keen sonar-like hearing to guide his sleigh to the houses of good little boys and girls. ("They can hear when you are whining, they can hear when you're awake..."
See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.

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

"BLM releases Final Environmental Review for Desert Harvest Solar Project in Riverside County" (BLM, 11/9/12)
has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Desert Harvest Solar Project on public land in Riverside County. The proposed project would include the solar farm, an on-site substation, and a 230-kV line within the transmission corridor to the Red Bluff substation. The Red Bluff substation will connect the project to the Southern California Edison regional transmission grid.

RELATED: "Desert Harvest Solar Farm" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed California Desert Conservation Act Plan Amendment. This Environmental Impact Statement addresses the BLM's consideration of issuance of a right-of-way grant to EDF Renewable Energy for the construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of a 150- megawatt photovoltaic solar energy facility and generation-intertie transmission line. The project would be located in Riverside County, near the unincorporated community of Desert Center on land administered by the BLM.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Mustangs and burros looking for homes" (BLM, 10/31/12)
A stable full of young mustangs and burros (jennies) are looking for new homes through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. On Saturday Nov. 10, the Sundance Ranch in Redlands will host a BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All animals are healthy and are up-to-date with vaccinations and deworming. They also have a current Coggins test.


"Bureau of Land Management to begin prescribed burning on public lands" (BLM, 11/7/12)
The BLM will conduct prescribed burns during the fall and winter on public lands managed by the Arcata Field Office in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. The burns are designed to thin and restore oak woodlands, improving forest health and wildlife habitat, and to remove piles of limbs, grass and brush generated in various natural resource improvement projects. Much of the work, including broadcast and pile burning, will occur in the Lacks Creek Management Area near Arcata.


"BLM Desert Advisory Council to meet in El Centro" (BLM, 11/6/12)
The next field trip and meeting of the Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert Advisory Council will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in El Centro. The council will participate in a field tour of nearby BLM-managed public lands on Friday, Nov. 30.

"Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Council plans December meeting" (BLM, 11/5/12)
The Bureau of Land Management’s Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Council will meet Dec. 1, at the Carrisa Plains Elementary School to discuss management planning for the monument, including the proposed Travel Management Plan for the monument.


"BLM offers reward in archaeological/ceremonial site destruction" (BLM, 11/6/12))
The BLM Bishop Field Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest/conviction of the responsible individuals who damaged petroglyph panels at a major rock art site on the Volcanic Tableland north of Bishop. The perpetrators removed or damaged rock art at five locations within the site. "The individuals who did this have destroyed an irreplaceable part of our national cultural heritage," said Bernadette Lovato, BLM Bishop Field Office Manager. "We have increased surveillance of our sites and are working with other agencies to bring the responsible parties to justice and to recover the petroglyphs."

a dog from canine patrol attacks a man in a bite suit"Dumont Dunes Halloween patrol a success thanks to K9 Tessa" (News.bytes Extra)
Law Enforcement Ranger Ed Whitteaker and his K9, Tessa helped patrol the Dumont dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area during Halloween weekend, when about 8,200 people visited the dunes.

RELATED: "Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM Barstow Field Office)

two women pose among wind turbinesa woman in goggles sits in a sand rail"Associate State Director visits Imperial Sand Dunes and Yuha Desert " (News.bytes Extra)
BLM California Associate State Director Angie Lara took time out from her busy schedule during the weekend after Halloween to help kick-off a new riding season at the Imperial Sand Dunes. While in El Centro, Angie also took time to visit the Imperial Valley Solar Center South and Ocotillo Express Wind Energy project areas and to explore the open vistas of the Yuha Desert with El Centro’s acting Resources Staff Supervisor, Carrie Simmons.

a soldier sits in the open door of a helicopter as another flies nearby a tank fires practice rounds in the desert"Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Land withdrawal renewal" (Department of Navy)
The current military withdrawal for the CMAGR expires in October 2014. Because there is a continuing military need for the training 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. The renewal request process requires the preparation of a Draft LEIS in accordance with NEPA. The public comment period ends Nov. 30.

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current listing includes range technician (senior IHC member)/senior firefighter.


"National Public Lands Day celebration in Bullhead City" (BLM Arizona, 11/7/12)
This free event will be Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Colorado River Nature Center in Bullhead City. Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Friends of the Colorado River Nature Center, and the Bureau of Land Management Lake Havasu Field Office are co-sponsors for the celebration. "There will be something for everyone this year," said BLM Lake Havasu National Public Lands Day coordinator Jen House. "Some of the events planned include nature and history presentations, interactive information booths, bird watching, archery, and volunteer projects such as vegetation pruning and trash clean up."

volunteers through trash into a dumpster"Havasu 4 Wheelers cleaned up desert Monday" (Lake Havasu News-Herald, 11/8/12)
Off-road group Havasu 4 Wheelers cleared a desert area "of shotgun shells, ammunition casings, and old televisions and computer monitors. 'There were hundreds of thousands of shotgun shells...' said club spokesman Bruce Speirs. 'There was also, what were formerly, televisions and computer monitors that had been blown to bits.' ... In all, the group filled two 40 cubic yard roll-off dumpsters ... The effort was a collective effort between the club, U.S. Bureau of Land Management Lake Havasu Office; Tread Lightly; and Keep Havasu Beautiful."

people view remains of an old mine close-up of dried iron and salt deposits at the old mine"Old coal mine slated for erosion control" (Durango, Colo. Herald, 11/8/12)
An early-day coal mine west of Durango, closed since 1926, no longer is leaking toxic metals but badly needs erosion control ... The target is the Boston Mine, also known as Perin’s Peak No. 1, which operated from 1901 to 1926. The site produced more than 1 million tons of coal and left behind about 4,000 cubic yards of coal waste ... The mine is within the Perins Peak Wildlife Area, which comprises 12,000 acres of Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Bureau of Land Management holdings.

RELATED: "Abandoned mine lands" (BLM national)
BLM maintains an inventory of known abandoned mine lands on public lands. Most of the sites are abandoned hardrock mines. As of February 23, 2011, the inventory contained nearly 31,000 sites and 65,000 features. Approximately 25% of the sites have either been remediated, have reclamation actions planned or underway, or do not require further action.


Nov. 10 - National Public Lands Day volunteer event at Painted Gorge, near Ocotillo - Please RSVP

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

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(a.) They eat moths, which might otherwise chew up the indispensable wool Rudolph sweaters.

a human hand holds a bat
SOURCE: "Townsend's big-eared bat - Plecotus townsendii" (BLM California wildlife database)
They feed almost entirely on moths. In fact, 85% of their diet is made up of moths. The rest of their diet consists of beetles and a variety of fly species.

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

"State endangered species status sought for Townsend’s big-eared bat" (Lake County News, 11/4/12)
"As old mines are cleaned up or reopened throughout the Coast Ranges, the need for better protections has increased, bat advocates say. Townsend’s bat preferred roosting sites are mines and caves, where they are easily disturbed by human activities ... Townsend’s bat has been documented at old mine sites near Middletown. The Helen, Chicago and Research mercury mines are slated for cleanup – and the Bureau [of Land Management] has evidence of the bats’ presence on at least one site."
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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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