A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 570 - 3/8/13   -  
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- America's Great Outdoors
- On our Facebook pages
- Wild horses and burros
- 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 and Department of the Interior items

- More wildlife stories from your public lands (and elsewhere)
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A smiling manThe Bureau of Land Management in California bids farewell to Gus Szlosek, editor of News.bytes for over 10 years. Gus was instrumental in the development of 569 issues of News.bytes and was very well known for his wildlife trivia humor. We wish him happiness in his retirement. He will be greatly missed.

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

"And the award goes to..." (News.bytes Extra)
To showcase investigation, nature, and the outdoors, the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office presented Desert Studies Awards at the Palm Springs Unified School District Science Fair.

white wildflower"BLM Hollister Field Office Hosts Wildflower Tour" (BLM, 3/4/13)
The Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office will host a wildflower tour of Monocline Ridge/Monvero Dunes (Lat. 36.538859, Lon. -120.566479) in western Fresno County on Sunday, March 10. Participants should meet at the Apricot Tree Restaurant parking lot, 46272 West Panoche Road, Firebaugh, at 10 a.m. The restaurant located at Interstate 5 near Firebaugh.

"Ford Ord Dedication" (News.bytes Extra)
A new trailhead at the Bureau of Land Management's newest national monument was officially opened for business. Del Rey Oaks mayor Tom Edelen (chairperson of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority Board), Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter, Congressman Sam Farr and BLM California State Director Jim Kenna joined Toro Park Elementary School third graders and others to dedicate the Badger Hills Trailhead at Fort Ord National Monument.

people standing under rock formation"American Conservation Experience Crew" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of an American Conservation Experience crew built trail, removed trash and did other work to benefit the Eastern Sierra's natural resources during a 16-day assignment with the Bishop Field Office.

"CCNM Part of Environment for the Americas Shorebird Program for Latino Interns"
(News.bytes Extra)
Two interns participating in the Environment for the Americas (EFTA) shorebird program will be working with the CCNM and a variety of its partners in the Monterey Bay area from March through August 2013.

Man taking photo of formation"Hikes Planned for Alabama Hills in March" (BLM, 2/28/13)
The Bureau of Land Management will hold hikes in the Alabama Hills in March to discuss film history and view scenic arches. "Film History in the Alabama Hills" hikes will be held March 2 and 16. An "Explore the Arches" hike will be held March 17. Participants in any of the hikes should meet at 10 a.m.at the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, corner of Routes 395 and 136 in Lone Pine, to carpool to the site. The driving time is about 10 minutes. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/february/hikes_alabama_hills.html

"Evolution of Amphibians is Topic for Next King Range Lecture" (BLM, 2/28/13)
"The Evolution of Amphibians" is the topic for a free lecture to be offered Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m., at the Healy Senior Center, 456 Briceland Rd., in Redway. Dr. John Reiss, Ph.D., a professor in Humboldt State University's Department of Biological Sciences, will discuss his research on the morphology of amphibian metamorphosis from an evolutionary perspective. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/february/free_lecture_amphibian_evolution.html

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (Arcata Field Office) http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/arcata/kingrange/index.html



desert tortoise...After a winter of beauty sleep, Mojave Maxine emerged this Saturday at 10:17 a.m. and was looking better than ever. Check back later for our contest winners announcement ... more photos ... and more information!


rock formation...On the BLM National Tumblr page, the Shoofly Oolite is an unusual soil that can be found along the Mud Flat Road west of Bruneau, Idaho. Plus more photos, and stories from the next generation of BLMers as they share their experiences on the public lands. http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/


giant garter snake

One of the many animals you might see at the Cosumnes River Preserve is the giant garter snake. Why would they like this area?

(a.) The river brings carp, one of their favorite foods
(b.) They prefer habitat with valley oak trees, which are found on the Preserve
(c.) They have a symbiotic relationship with great blue herons, which pick parasites off their backs
(d.) They need habitat with water
(e.) They can find the rare jumping pocket lizard, one of their favorite foods
(f.) They need habitat with giant discarded stockings to go with their giant garters, but try to avoid the giant shoes found elsewhere
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

"Judge Rules in Favor of Federal Government and Pattern Energy in Two Lawsuits Over Ocotillo Wind" (East County Magazine, 3/2/13)
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Quechan Indians over cultural resource impacts of the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility. In addition, the federal judge denied a motion sought by the Desert Protective Council to protect raptors at the site. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/12607

"ENERGY: Photos used in heat study kept secret" (Press-Enterprise, 3/5/13)
An environmental study for a big solar energy project in the California desert got a bit too graphic for public consumption, according to officials with California Energy Commission and BrightSource Energy Co. who agreed to keep part of it secret.

"Research Team Studies Wind Turbine Syndrome in Manzanita Tribal Members" (East County Magazine, 3/5/13)
A university research team that specializes in studying health and social challenges of minority populations is now focusing on quantification of reported illness among Manzanita tribal members who live along the row of wind turbines erected five years ago by the neighboring Campo tribe.


"Illinois deal on fracking could be national model" (SF Gate, 3/7/13)
If approved by lawmakers, participants say, the rules would be the nation's strictest. The Illinois model might also offer a template to other states seeking to carve out a middle ground between energy companies that would like free rein and environmental groups that want to ban the practice entirely.

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

burros"REDLANDS: Wild Horses and Burros"
(Press-Enterprise, 3/5/13)
Eight mustangs and four burros will be available from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management during a adoption event scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Sundance Ranch, 27273 Pilgrim Road (off San Timoteo Canyon Road), Redlands.

"Humane Society blasts BLM on removal of wild mustangs in Nevada" (Los Angeles Times, 3/6/13)
A national animal advocacy group excoriated the federal government, saying it misled the public about last week?s removal of 11 wild mustangs that had coexisted for years with residents of a populated area outside Carson City, Nev.


bobcats"Legislation would ban trapping of bobcats for commercial purposes" (Los Angeles Times, 3/4/13)
Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced AB 1213 in response to the fury of thousands of people angered by the recent discovery of bobcat traps set along the boundaries of the national park. They responded with petition drives, social media campaigns and telephone calls to lawmakers.

"Federal grazing fee stays the same, rekindles debate" (Sacramento Bee, 3/2/13)
The federal grazing fee will stay at the minimum allowable level for a seventh consecutive year, a development that has rekindled a longstanding debate in the West between conservationists and ranchers.

"Sale to become final once BLM approves transfer of land at hospital" (Needles Desert Star, 3/4/13)
With city and hospital board approval, Community Healthcare Partners, Inc., took over management of Colorado River Medical Center on March 1. Initial closing will occur 30 days after the Bureau of Land Management has approved the interim lease agreement.

ohv going up sand dune"4 Wheel to Heal and More at 51st Annual Desert Safari" (East County Magazine, 3/4/13)
The 51st annual Tietra del Sol Desert Safari, a large meeting of off-road enthusiasts, convened at the California State Vehicular Area at Ocotillo Wells over the weekend. Among the many thousands who came out were active duty Navy personnel, including Chief Mark Shultz, who serves as the President of 4 Wheel to Heal in his off duty time. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/12623

"BLM Issues the Rapid Ecoregional Assessment for the Sonoran Desert" (BLM, 3/5/13)
The BLM released its Rapid Ecoregional Assessment, or REA, summarizing the conditions of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion. The Sonoran Desert REA encompasses land in two states, Arizona and California. It has an area of 20,552 square miles and includes land administered by 14 BLM field offices.

RELATED: "REA Documents" (National BLM) http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/Landscape_Approach/reas/docs.html

"Current job openings - BLM California"
(USAJOBS website)
The outlook for hiring is uncertain in light of current federal budget negotiations and the possibility of "sequestration."


"Interior Dept. Nominee Is Questioned on Public Land Use" (New York Times, 3/7/13)
Sally Jewell, President Obama?s nominee for interior secretary, deflected many of the questions she faced at her confirmation hearing Thursday but made clear she supports expanded oil and gas development on public lands and waters, including exploratory drilling off the North Slope of Alaska and seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Federal Agencies Announce Action Plan to Guide Protection of Indian Sacred Sites"
(Department of the Interior, 3/5/13)
As part of President Obama?s commitment to honoring a nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country, four cabinet-level departments joined the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in releasing an action plan to strengthen the protection of Indian sacred sites and provide greater tribal access to these heritage areas.


March 10 - Hollister Field Office Wildflower Tour

March 12 - Evolution of Amphibians - King Range Lecture

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

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites

(d.) They need habitat with water

SOURCE: "Giant Garter Snake" (BLM California wildlife database)

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

"More than 550 wolves taken by hunters and trappers in Rockies" (Los Angeles Times, 3/6/13)
Wildlife managers are calling it an ecological success story. Conservation advocates say it threatens to undermine years of work to recover a once-endangered species. The debate: A total of 553 wolves that have been killed by hunters and trappers in the Northern Rockies this season, the second since hunting of the furtive predators was made legal.
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