A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 576 - April 19, 2013 

burrowing owlsyellow agavepetroglyph


- Wildflowers in America's Great Outdoors
Let's Get Outside
- On our Facebook page
- Other social media pages
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Cultural resources
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- National BLM and Department of the Interior
- Selected upcoming events

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America's Great Outdoors logo features a family paddling a canoeWILDFLOWERS in AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS

yellow agave"The Grand Defiance of Agave Blooms" (KCET, 4/11/13)
Agave americana was imported into the California deserts, but two of its cousins got here on their own: Agave deserti, whose rosettes of spiny leaves get to about two feet tall and wide at most, and Agave utahensis, whose several California varieties are the size of soccer balls or smaller. Both are found at upper elevations in the easternmost parts of the California section of the Mojave Desert, and Agave deserti also grows from the Santa Rosa Mountains south through Anza-Borrego and into Baja. http://www.kcet.org/news/the_back_forty/commentary/the-hidden-desert/the-grand-defiance-of-agave-blooms.html

RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument"
(Palm Springs Field Office)
Rising abruptly from the desert floor, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument reaches an elevation of 10,834 feet at the summit of Mount San Jacinto. Providing a picturesque backdrop to local communities. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/santarosa.html

purple wildflowers and trees"BLM Lists Best Locations, Starts Webpage for Redding Area Wildflower Viewing" (BLM, 4//11/13)
Public lands in the Sacramento River Bend area are springing to life with splashes of wildflower color, and trails are in excellent condition for back country exploration. The Bureau of Land Management's Redding Field Office announced that oak woodlands in the Hog Lake Plateau, accessible off Highway 36 east of Red Bluff, and near the Yana Trail, in the Sacramento River Bend Area off Jelly's Ferry Road, are carpeted with yellow and purple blooms.

RELATED: "Wildflowers" (California State Office)
Springtime brings carpets of colorful spring blooms to large areas of California. Many of these areas are relatively unknown, visited by only a select few during the peak of color.


trees in forestTake your kids to Headwaters Forest Reserve and learn about the thousand-year-old redwoods that seem to touch the sky. Walk through one of the last large stands of old-growth redwood forest and enjoy the historic values of this unique area. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/arcata/headwaters.html


man on rock...This photographer is trying to capture the immeasurable beauty of the rocks of the California Coastal National Monument. This Monument is one of the most photographed and most unknown of all of the National Monuments in the US. Check out more amazing photos at:


purple flowers with desert in the background...Tremendous camping opportunities can be found on public lands throughout California, like the Carrizo Plain National Monument pictured here. These include developed campgrounds, dispersed camping opportunities and long term visitor areas. Give your kids cherished memories of the great outdoors. http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/

RELATED: "Camping" (California State Office)
Tremendous camping opportunities can be found on public lands throughout California. These include developed campgrounds, dispersed camping opportunities and long term visitor areas. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/recreation/camping.html


burrowing owls

In what way are burrowing owl nests/burrows distinctive?

(a.) the owls' burrows often extend under the water table and back up again, foiling predators with an underwater section
(b.) the owls arrange small rocks and sticks in mounds around the entrance
(c.) the owls line the entrance with material such as cow manure, insect parts, cotton, dead toads, plastic and tin foil
(d.) the owls build V-shaped burrows with two entrances converging at one point
(e.) the owls seek out underground burrows with active wasps' nests, to help deter any mammals that would prey on their young
(f.) the owls express a preference for imported Swedish furniture with which to furnish their burrows, often camping out for hours before the grand opening of new stores offering such goods

See answer - and more wildlife stories - near the end of this News.bytes.


petroglyph"BLM Still Deciding Future of Recovered Ancient Artifacts"
(Inyo Register, 4/1/13)
The investigation into the theft of six priceless artifacts chiseled from the rocks of a local petroglyph site continues, as the pieces of ancient artwork sit in evidence storage at the Bureau of Land Management. BLM Field Manager Bernadette Lovato said last week that no official plans have been made for the six petroglyph panels that were stolen late last year and anonymously returned in late January.

"Boom to Bust" (News.bytes Extra)
Fifteen hikers joined a BLM Park Ranger on a Saturday in early April to learn more about the historic Tumco area, a 19th century gold mining community located about 50 miles east of El Centro. Now a ghost town, little remains of the once bustling community save crumbling foundations, mine shafts, and mountainous flows of tailings. By the time the town was renamed Tumco in 1910, the boom and bust of the typical mining town, with all its drama and adventure, was over. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2013/576_extra_-_boom_to.html


"Congressman Huffman Introduced Legislation to Include Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands in CCNM" (News.bytes Extra)
The fog retreated and the sun covered the Arena-Stornetta Public Lands as more than 100 people gathered on a point above Arena Cove on March 29, 2013, for an announcement ceremony held by Congressman Jared Huffman. The congressman informed the gathering that he is introducing into the U.S. House of Representatives the "California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act of 2013." This is a companion bill to a similar bill, S. 61, introduced last January by California's two U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Both bills would add the more than 1,300 acres of the federally-owned Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to the CCNM as the first onshore portion of the CCNM.

small water fallRELATED: "Stornetta Public Lands" (Ukiah Field Office)
The 1,132 acre Stornetta Public Lands are located along the Mendocino County coastline just north of the town of Point Arena. They include over 2 miles of coastline, the estuary of the Garcia River and adjacent beach, and a small island accessible during low tide. Stornetta borders the Pacific Ocean and the historic Point Arena Lighthouse on the west.. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ukiah/stornetta.htmll

"Solar Project Could Have Significant Effect on Desert Views" (KCET ReWire, 4/15/13)
The proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System east of Desert Center could be visible from as far away as the Mojave National Preserve, Mount San Jacinto, and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, according to preliminary calculations by ReWire. The project, proposed by BrightSource Energy and Abengoa, is currently being evaluated by the California Energy Commission.

ohvs on the dunes"Latest Dunes Visitation Numbers Suggest Another Dip"
(Imperial Valley Press, 4/10/13)
Although the dunes season is not technically over, preliminary figures show a decrease from last year's total visitations. With no more holidays remaining in advance of the hotter summer months, the current tally suggests this year's dunes visits will be lower than last year's. To date, 900,308 individuals have visited the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area so far this season, which officially ends in September. That figure trails behind the 1,133,132 that visited during the October 2011 to September 2012 season, said Bureau of Land Management spokesman Stephen Razo.

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area" (El Centro Field Office)
Located in the southeast corner of California, the Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in the state. Widely known as "Glamis" and a favorite location for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts, the dunes also offer fabulous scenery, opportunities for solitude, and a home to rare plants and animals. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/isdra.html

trail with mountain in background"SCA Wildcorps and BLM Barstow Team Up to Renovate Trail" (News.bytes Extra)
The Salt Creek Hills interpretative trail has a fresh look. Student Conservation Association WildCorps members renovated the Salt Creek Hills walking trail north of Baker, Calif. last month. When BLM Barstow employees installed the trail in the mid-1990s, they won an award for the new resource. But years of exposure to harsh desert sun, wind, and grit cracked and wore the signs, plants had overgrown the path and picnic grove, and Salt Creek washed away part of the trail.

"BLM Extends Nomination Period for Central California Resource Advisory Council"
(BLM, 4/16/13)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public nominations for six open positions on its Central California District Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public land issues. The BLM will consider the nominations until April 29. The Central California RAC advises BLM officials for the Hollister, Mother Lode, Bakersfield and Bishop field offices.

ohn vehicle driving amongst rocks"No Roads, No Problem" (ridgecrestca.com, 4/12/13)
Dust flew, engines roared and the scent of fuel and rubber filled the air as more than 100 vehicles hit an intense 60-mile lap, 250-mile overall race in Spangler Hills and Old Wagon Off-Highway Vehicle staging grounds on Saturday. It was the first time the High Desert Racing Association hosted a major event in the Ridgecrest area, as contestants vied for points, cash and prestige ahead of the Reno 500 event in July. http://www.ridgecrestca.com/article/20130409/NEWS/130409743/0/SEARCH

RELATED: "Spangler Hills Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (Ridgecrest Field Office)
The Spangler Hills Off-Highway Vehicle Area (OHV) offers over 57,000 acres of open public land where you can ride anywhere your skill and machine will take you. It provides a wide variety of riding opportunities including cross country play, trail riding, advanced technical routes, 4-wheel drive trails, and Enduro, Technique Trials, European Scramble and Hare Hound competitive events. The area provides an uncrowded riding opportunity in the Western Mojave Desert three hours north of Los Angeles. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/spangler.html


"Sally Jewell Gets to Work as Secretary of the Interior"
(BLM, 4/15/13)
Assuming her responsibilities as the 51st Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell spent her first full day in the office meeting some of the Department's more than 70,000 employees. She also began to hold meetings on important issues before the Department, including energy development, conservation, Indian Affairs and youth engagement.

RELATED: "Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell addresses Interior Employees" (YouTube) http://youtu.be/m_5yB7mK2uc

"Fed Fracturing Rules Seen as Imminent" (My San Antonio, 4/11/13)
The government will unveil federal regulations governing hydraulic fracturing and drilling on public lands. "The rule is imminent," said Ken Salazar, testifying before a House subcommittee during his final such appearance as interior secretary. "I expect my successor will be announcing it in the very near future."


"Experimental Stewardship Committee to Meet in Cedarville" (BLM, 4/11/13)
Discussions on natural resource topics affecting public lands are on the agenda for a meeting of the Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Steering Committee, Thursday, April 25, at 9 a.m. at the Bureau of Land Management Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., in Cedarville. The public is welcome. Agenda items include a status report on the BLM's process to amend resource management plans by adding conservation measures for greater sage-grouse. Locally, the effort will result in plan amendments affecting public lands managed by the BLM Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise field offices. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/april/expstewardship.html

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) the owls line the entrance with material such as cow manure, insect parts, cotton, dead toads, plastic and tin foil

SOURCE: "Natural history of burrowing owls" (Oregon State University)
Information from the Burrowing Owl Research Program, in which BLM California's Bakersfield Field Office takes part: "Nest burrows are very distinctive because the owls line the entrance with material such as cow manure, insect parts, cotton, dead toads, plastic and tin foil."
PDF file, 375 kilobytes: http://oregonstate.edu/~rosenbed/articles/Brochure.pdf

"Burrowing Owl"
(BLM California wildlife database) Burrowing Owls in the western United States are only rarely known to construct their own burrows, in contrast to those in Florida. Many researchers and observers have noted a strong association between Burrowing Owls and burrowing mammals, especially ground squirrels. The species will also occupy man-made niches such as banks and ditches, piles of broken concrete, and even abandoned structures. http://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/wildlife/details.php?metode=serial_number&search=2445
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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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