A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 563 - 1/17/13   -  
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students hike on a rocky trail a dog sunset over a frozen lake piled with ice close-up of a raccoon face volunteers work on a rocky trail


- America's Great Outdoors
- 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. other state 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 logo features a family paddling a canoeAMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

a large group at a dunes cleanup event"Save the date! MLK Dunes Clean-up this weekend!" (News.bytes Extra)
This Saturday, Jan. 19 - join the United Desert Gateway for a day of fun when they host the 16th Annual Dunes Clean-Up. A popular event at the Imperial Sand Dunes, the day begins with a free T-shirt as you sign up, grab your trash bags, and get ready to head out. Each bag of trash collected earns you a chance to win a fabulous prize. Don't worry about lunch, we've got you covered -- so go ahead and work up an appetite!

snow-capped peaks are a backdrop to the Alabama Hills"Movie Flat hike planned for Alabama Hills" (BLM, 1/14/13)
This Saturday, Jan. 19, the BLM will hold a hike to see movie locations in the Alabama Hills. There have been more than 400 movies and countless commercials filmed in the Alabama Hills. Hear interesting and amusing stories about numerous productions as you explore the camera locations. "This walk covers an area of Movie Flat that includes locations from memorable films such as "Gunga Din," "Bad Day at Black Rock," and "Tremors,'" said Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the BLM's Bishop Field Office. The hike will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours and is a relatively easy walk covering less than a mile.

students hike on a rocky traila young man explains something about desert plants to students"Public lands boot camp marches forward" (News.bytes Extra)
Ten young adults from the Coachella Valley took on the challenge of a 10-day "Public Lands Boot Camp" during their winter break. Boot camp participants survived many miles of adventurous (and often strenuous) hiking while learning about nature. Their efforts helped them present environmental education programs to local underserved children, during which they gained valuable public speaking experience that will serve them for years to come.

volunteers work on a rocky trailvolunteers work on a trail"Coachella Valley volunteers continue strong support of trails" (News.bytes Extra)
Coachella Valley Hike Club members gathered on a recent cool morning, ready for trail work at the popular Randall Henderson trail in Palm Desert, California. This club and other local trail coalition clubs frequently provide numerous hours of volunteer work to the Friends of the Desert Mountains on projects in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. It often takes this diversity of clubs, cities, communities, non-profit and federal or other local partnerships to make things happen on the ground in the National Monument.

"Pine Hill Preserve spring tours planned" (BLM, 1/14/13)
The Bureau of Land Management's Mother Lode Field Office will host the annual spring tours at the Pine Hill Preserve beginning in April. Led by a naturalist, each tour educates the public about the habitats of the preserve. Although the emphasis will be on the plants, wildlife and geology will also be introduced. The first tour begins April 27 in the Cameron Park unit. Tours are limited to 25 participants -- see the news release for more information.

a doga couple walks their dog on a desert trail"Happy tails, happy trails ... BLM El Centro goes to the dogs!" (News.bytes Extra)
A hardy group of hikers and their outdoor-loving pups enjoyed a nippy and blustery hike to view three arches in the Indian Pass Wilderness on Saturday, Jan. 12. The hike, specifically designed to attract dogs and their owners, was the first ever offered by the El Centro Field Office, and a tail-wagging success.

volunteers fill a trash bag in the desert"Desert cleanup - Goler Gulch" (News.bytes Extra)
Student Conservation Association (SCA) crew members and BLM staff led by Lori Ford removed more than than 1,000 lbs. of trash and debris from the Edith E mine site in Goler Gulch. This is an area the heart of Southern California's El Paso Mountain range used by the public for recreation, that also contains a legacy of abandoned mines.

"Nick's Interns topic of Civic Club meeting" (Redwood Times, 1/15/13)
Marie and Ray Raphael's son, Nick, died in a car crash " about ten years ago. The Raphaels wanted a way to honor the person Nick was ... To honor him the Raphaels wanted to give other young people the experiences that Nick had so valued. They wanted to recreate the experiences of young people being paid for doing crucial work outdoors. Nick had worked with the Mattole Restoration Council, in the King Range with BLM, and with the Redwood Community Action Agency, groups who had tried for years to get the youth working in the summer. The Raphaels got together with these organizations and figured out the logistics of the Nick's Interns program."

"Federal agencies announce national council to build 21st Century Conservation Corps" (Department of the Interior, 1/10/13)
The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is a national collaborative effort to put America's youth and returning veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing America's great outdoors. By signing the Memorandum of Understanding , the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, as well as the EPA Administrator, Chair of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works) established the National Council for the 21CSC.

sunset over a frozen lake piled with iceON OUR FACEBOOK PAGES...
...scenic photos of ice at Eagle Lake ... a photo from the Alabama Hills (see "movie hike" information above) ... wildlife photos ... and more. And get advance copies of some News.bytes Extras at our BLM California Facebook page!


a raccoon
common raccoon
Raccoons can carry roundworm and rabies - how can a person avoid these diseases?
(a.) Leave raccoons alone and enjoy them from a distance.
(b.) Discourage raccoons from frequenting your home or yard
(c.) Never touch a raccoon.
(d.) Wash raccoon droppings away quickly and thoroughly.
(e.) Call animal control if you suspect a raccoon is rabid.
(f.) All of the above.
(g.) All of the above, plus do not encourage them to bring a dish of raw gathered foodstuffs to the office "This Winter is Going on Forever" Party.
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

"BrightSource puts Rio Mesa project on hold" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 1/12/13)
BrightSource Energy is pulling the plug on its proposed Rio Mesa solar project -- at least for the time being -- and shifting its focus to the Palen project it bought last June from bankrupt Solar Trust of America. "We are suspending, not withdrawing," a company spokesman said. "The project had been awaiting final approval from the federal Bureau of Land Management before the Solar Trust bankruptcy last year."

wind turbineswind turbines before installation"Wind turbine blades spin in Ocotillo" (Imperial Valley Press, 1/12/13)
"Although the Ocotillo Wind Express wind turbine project is still under construction, the blades of many of the turbines in place are already spinning, producing energy for San Diego, despite some efforts to stop it. And though it may have been announced earlier this week, what has been one of the most discussed and perhaps imposing renewable energy projects the county has, actually came online in late December after some seven months of construction. ... the project's completion is expected in the spring..."

wind turbines"Energy company halts plans for wind project" (Hi-Desert Star, 1/11/13)
A proposed utility-scale wind energy project slated for Black Lava Butte and Flat Top Mesa will not move forward. The Bureau of Land Management received a notification Thursday from Desert Mesa Power, LLC that it plans to terminate its right of way grant for wind testing. Desert Mesa is owned by Element Power." After testing with two metrological towers, the company told the BLM that the site is apparently not suitable for "utility scale wind energy generation." Opponents said the area should be protected from "industrial development."

RELATED: "Controversial wind farm plan scrapped" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/11/13)
"The application for a commercial-scale wind farm project proposed for two scenic mesas northwest of Joshua Tree National Park has been withdrawn, Bureau of Land Management officials said Friday, Jan. 11. Desert Mesa Power, a subsidiary of Element Power, began testing wind conditions on Black Lava Butte and Flat Top Mesa in Pipes Canyon, northwest of Yucca Valley, in 2011. But public opposition began shortly after the Portland, Ore., company erected two 197-foot meteorological towers on the site."

a geothermal project"Geothermal takes a technological step forward" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 1/12/13)
"The project is at Newberry Crater, the remains of an ancient volcano in central Oregon's Cascade Range. The site has plenty of heat in rocks deep below the surface to boil water into steam, but none of the cracks and fissures in the rock needed to serve as a steam reservoir for a geothermal power plant ... In another recent Enhanced Geothermal Systems breakthrough, Calpine Corp. connected two depleted wells to create a new source of power at the nation's largest natural steam resource, the Geysers in Northern California." Both areas involve BLM permits.


a man gestures while speakinga BLM ranger speaks with a group"Ranger Carman Prisco concludes BLM career" (News.bytes Extra)
Carman Prisco, a law enforcement ranger with the BLM's Alturas Field Office in northeast California, has retired after a 31-year federal career, 21 of those with the BLM. More than 80 well-wishers were on hand to congratulate Prisco in a retirement celebration held Jan. 11 in Alturas.

"Debris barrier vs. fish: Englebright in middle" (Appeal Democrat, (1/13/123)
When Englebright Dam was built more than 70 years ago, "the principal impetus was preventing sediment from being washed down the Yuba from hydraulic gold mining in the foothills, clogging the rivers and raising flood risk" as well as toxic waste from the mines. "The idea worked: A 2004 study by the US Geological Survey estimated as much as 99 percent of all sediment washed down the Yuba River is deposited behind the dam ... But for groups like the South Yuba Citizens River League that are concerned about the Chinook and steelhead salmon runs on the Yuba River, Englebright is a hindrance, not a help."

RELATED: "South Yuba River" (BLM Mother Lode Field Office)
The South Yuba River is a combination of history, scenic beauty, and whitewater excitement.

"Re-opened public comment period" (Department of the Navy)
"Public comments received by the Navy during the initial public comment period for the Draft EIS/LEIS indicated that certain key reference materials supporting the environmental impact analysis within the Draft EIS/LEIS were not made available to the public. During this re-opened public comment period, the Draft EIS/LEIS and the additional key reference materials have been made available for public review until February 11, 2013."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
Current listings include horse wrangler (motor vehicle operator), natural resources specialist, wildland firefighter and more.


"Secretary Salazar to return home to Colorado" (Department of the Interior,
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Wednesday that he will return to his home state of Colorado, having fulfilled his promise to President Obama to serve four years as Secretary. Secretary Salazar has informed President Obama that he intends to leave the Department by the end of March.

rocks and treeshikers on a hilly trail"Pinnacles becomes a national park -- the closest to Bay Area"(San Jose Mercury News, 1/10/13)
"In a move that increases the profile -- and most likely the tourist draw -- to Pinnacles National Monument near Hollister, President Barack Obama on Thursday signed legislation upgrading the area to full national park status ... a 26,000-acre expanse featuring rocky spires, caves and California condors that was first set aside as a monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt ... The new Pinnacles National Park becomes the 59th full national park in the United States."

black and white historic photoRELATED: "A brief history of Pinnacles National Park" (KCET, 1/16/13)
"As with so many other origin stories about the national forests, monuments, and parks in the United States, President Theodore Roosevelt was present at the creation of Pinnacles National Monument."

RELATED: "America's Great Outdoors: Salazar, Jarvis celebrate Pinnacles' new status as 59th national park" (Department of the Interior, 1/10/13)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis celebrated the establishment of America's 59th national park. "This ancient and awe-inspiring volcanic field with its massive monoliths, spires, cave passages and canyons is a place that restores our souls and energizes our bodies with its beauty and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation," Salazar said.

"Secretary Salazar announces new members of Invasive Species Advisory Committee" (Department of the Interior, 1/17/13)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has appointed 14 new members to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the National Invasive Species Council, established to ensure that federal programs and activities to prevent and control invasive species are coordinated, effective and efficient. California appointees are: Joseph DiTomaso, Ph.D., University of California, Davis; Susan Ellis, California Department of Fish and Game ; and Robert Van Steenwick, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

"Miners May Pay U.S. More in Royalties Under 1872 Overhaul" (Bloomberg, 1/16/13)
"The U.S. government could reap hundreds of millions of dollars in the next decade by collecting royalties from gold, silver and other mines exempt under an 1872 law President Ulysses S. Grant signed to promote the frontier." Several legislators "are seeking to overhaul the General Mining Law of 1872, which was signed by Grant to help populate the West. Miners say they don't oppose paying royalties, though a proposal to charge a 12.5 percent royalty, the same that's now applied for oil and gas development on federal lands, is too costly..."


Jan. 19 - Movie Flat hike - Alabama Hills

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

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(f.) All of the above. Okay, and it would also be a good idea -- if the occasion does happen to arise -- to follow this advice:
(g.) All of the above, plus do not encourage them to bring a dish of raw gathered foodstuffs to the office "This Winter is Going on Forever" Party.

SOURCE: "Common raccoon - Procyon lotor" (BLM California wildlife database)

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

close-up of a raccoon face"Mystery of fatal raccoon disease solved" (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/14/13)
A phone caller to a wildlife rescue center would say, "There's a raccoon sitting on my porch and he hasn't moved all day, and I open the door and he doesn't move." If workers brought these raccoons into the centers, "their condition would only worsen and the animals would eventually die. Their symptoms were unlike those of any disease the center's staff had seen before ... after veterinary scientists at UC Davis spent two years collecting raccoons from Sonoma, Marin and Contra Costa county wildlife centers, they found an answer: Each of the diseased raccoons had a brain tumor as well as a previously unknown virus. Tumors are rare in raccoons..."

a human hand holds a salamander"Salamanders' tunnel to Cotati breeding grounds a success" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 1/15/13)
"California tiger salamanders are 8-inch amphibians with bright spots that live in gopher holes but come out during the first evening rains of winter, migrating as far as a half-mile to breed in ponds. One such breeding area is near Cotati, where the tiger salamanders live in the uphill grasslands on one side of Stony Point Road. The breeding ponds, where they lay their eggs, is on the other side of the road ... Before the tunnels were built, the half-mile stretch of Stony Point Road was a 'blood bath' as the salamanders were crushed by cars as they tried to cross the road..."
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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(916) 978-4600

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