A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 578 - May 2, 2013 

hand holding up paper to rock formationkids wearing capesOrange California bee plantwoman standing with horsegrey whale


- Let's Get Outside
- America's Great Outdoors
- On our Facebook page
- Other social media pages
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Oil and gas news

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rockTake your kids Rockhounding! California's geological forces have created one of the widest varieties of rocks and minerals found in any state. This rock and mineral wealth has long been recognized by rockhounds even before the gold rush days. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/recreation/rocks.html

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

"Exploring Cache Creek Nature Area's Blue Ridge Trail" (The Sacramento Bee, 4/28/13)
Poised like a massive wave forever about to break, a mighty ridge looms on the west rim of the Sacramento Valley. Yet despite its high visibility to drivers speeding past Fairfield on Interstate 80, this lofty geologic neighbor - Blue Ridge - retains an air of mystery. But it's a mystery that can be probed. While it soars up to more than 3,000 feet and extends about 29 miles in length, Blue Ridge only looks like a barricade. Actually, the mountain forms a gateway to a wildlife haven and outdoor sport mecca dubbed the Cache Creek Natural Area.

tree with field in the background
RELATED: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (Ukiah Field Office)
This secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral is a combination of over 70,000 acres of BLM - managed lands and 4,700 acres of State and County lands. The Natural Area is traversed by Cache Creek, with its year-round water flow.

"Nature Lovers Ventured to Bishop City Park for 2013 Earth Day Celebration"
(News.bytes Extra)
The event featured crafts, games, activities and food, but more importantly, raised awareness of the need to protect the planet. The occasion was well attended and the Bureau of Land Management's Bishop Field Office took part in the festivities. "We had lots of people stop by the booth and pick up educational materials, maps and ask questions. We had sage grouse activity books, crayons and tables set up. The kids really enjoyed sitting down in the shade to color" said Rich Williams, BLM outdoor recreation planner.

"Round Valley School Celebrates Earth Day" (News.bytes Extra)
On April 26th the Bishop BLM along with the Friends of the Inyo teamed up with Round Valley School to plant 10 trees and build a nature trail in the Horton Creek Campground. A total of fifty 4th, 5th and 6th graders, volunteers and teachers came out to lend a hand to their public lands.In between project work the kids learned about water science from the Bishop Union High School students. Students rotated from planting trees, trail building, weed pulling and water science every fourty minutes or so.

rock and sign"SCA, Spring Cleaning, and the Imperial Valley" (News.bytes Extra)
A Student Conservation Association (SCA) crew from Phoenix School (Phoenix, AZ) visited the El Centro Field Office and helped with some spring cleaning in the local deserts earlier this month. The nine-member crew had only a few days in the area, yet managed to use every minute of it sprucing up the desert.

"BLM Attends Annual Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off Event" (News.bytes Extra)
And they're off! More than 1,000 hikers and supporters of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) attended the 15th Annual Day Zero PCT Kick-Off event at Lake Morena County Park April 26 and 27. The PCT starts on BLM-managed public land on the US-Mexico border near Campo in San Diego County, and continues north for 2,650 scenic miles to the Canadian border.


orange California bee plant...One of our botanists was out at King Range's Mattole Beach conducting threatened and endangered species plant monitoring and came across these beautiful wildflowers. Adjacent to the parking lot, the orange California bee plant (Scrophularia californica) is blooming. Learn more about the wildflowers found in all around California public lands at

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (Arcata Field Office)
A spectacular meeting of land and sea is certainly the dominant feature of King Range National Conservation Area (NCA). Mountains seem to thrust straight out of the surf; a precipitous rise rarely surpassed on the continental U.S. coastline. King Peak, the highest point at 4,088 feet, is only three miles from the ocean.


kids wearing capes...Superhero Day is observed nationally on April 28, in an effort to recognize the unsung heroes that make life a little bit better. The Jacobson family have a tradition of imparting love and respect for public lands and acting as superheroes for public land stewardship. Photo of Dave Jacobson's children provided by Dave. For more on this story visit


grey whale

Photo: NOAA


How far do gray whales migrate?

(a.) about 100 miles each way, from southern to central California
(b.) about 400 miles each way, from southern to northern California
(c.) almost 1200 miles each, from Mexico to Washington state
(d.) about 10,000 miles round trip
(e.) so far north into cold water, that they turn into blue whales

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

"Land Management Rule Will Facilitate Renewable Energy Development on Public Lands" (BLM, 4/29/13)
In support of the Administration's strategy to develop environmentally responsible renewable energy on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing a regulation that will facilitate right-of-way applications for lands with wind and solar energy development potential. The Final Rule to be published in the Federal Register will allow the BLM, when necessary for the orderly administration of the public lands, to temporarily segregate lands in a wind or solar energy right-of-way application from the location of mining claims or other land appropriations.

"Energy: Desert Residents Want Say in Planning" (The Press Enterprise, 4/16/13)
San Bernardino County supervisors and their High Desert constituents agreed that residents need to be much more involved in a multi-agency effort to identify which parts of the desert should be developed with renewable energy and which should be set aside for wildlife and other natural resources. http://www.ca.blm.gov/p3kd

"Salton Sea Can be Energy Resource" (Imperial Valley News, 4/27/13)
Officials initially focused on small-scale goals, projects that are more easily implemented as state and federal budgets continue to shrink. "We can sit around and lament the fact that we don't have $9 billion or $14 billion or whatever it is (to fund restoration). We can spend a lot of unproductive time doing that. Or, we can focus in on concrete action," said Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anne Castle. http://www.ca.blm.gov/s3kd

silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Norco Annual Horseweek Parade" (News.bytes Extra)
On a recent Saturday morning in Norco, California, vintage mustangs and their owners awaited their turn to parade up Sixth Street. Along the nearly two-mile parade route, hundreds of kids and their parents cheered the start of the parade. But this was a different kind of parade - anyone expecting a deafening roar from a throng of 1960s Ford Mustang racing up "Main Street" was in for a surprise. There was no nostalgia here for the power of Detroit. After all, Norco is Horsetown USA - where a parade begins with a cattle drive, followed by the sounds of clip clops and occasional neighs.

woman standing with horse"Fairfield Teacher Trains Wild Mustangs for Adoption"
(Daily Republic, 5/2/13)
You wouldn't think that the calm equine Sweet Pea was a wild mustang from the high deserts of Nevada. Alyssa Radtke and Anthony Weytjens collected their current horses in late January from the Bureau of Land Management corrals in Nevada, where the mustangs were kept for a year after they were captured. Radtke spent the past 90 days working with Sweet Pea to get her ready to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, which is taking place Thursday and Friday in Norco in Southern California.


hands holding up paper to rock formations"In California's Backcountry, Seeking Movie Backdrops"
(Los Angeles Times, 4/30/13)
Every year, thousands of film fans become location scouts of sorts as they search for scenes shot in the Alabama Hills, a badlands that has appeared in more than 700 movie and TV productions.

RELATED: "The Alabama Hills" (Bishop Field Office)
The Bureau of Land Management and the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group care for this area with the goal of preserving the hills in as close as natural state as possible for the enjoyment of future generations. This area hosts numerous and varied types of recreation. Motor touring, photography, rock climbing, exploring natural arches and viewing the swaths of wildflowers that bloom every spring are just a few of the over 40 activities that take place here.

"Bureau of Land Management to Conduct Prescribed Burn in Laguna/Sweetwater" (BLM 4/26/13)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Hollister Field Office plans to conduct a prescribed burn May 6-19 in southern San Benito County. About 100 acres will be burned in the Laguna Mountain/Sweetwater area to reduce hazard fuels and improve wildlife habitat.

"Rep. Juan Vargas introduces Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range Transfer Bill"
(Imperial Valley Press, 4/27/13)
Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, introduced his second bill this week, the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Transfer Act of 2013, according to a press release from Vargas' Office The bill would transfer the administrative jurisdiction of certain public lands in the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, from the Bureau of Land Management to the Secretary of the Navy. http://www.ca.blm.gov/w3kd

"Agents Uncover Marijuana-growing Operation" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/27/13)
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents and Bureau of Land Management collaborated to uncover a massive marijuana growing operation. Following a citizen's report of a possible outdoor marijuana growing operation, agents met with a BLM ranger in the vicinity of the suspected grow operation. http://www.ca.blm.gov/t3kd


"BLM Holds Public Forums to Kick Off Updates to Onshore Oil and Gas Orders"
(BLM, 4/30/13)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has begun gathering stakeholder feedback on updates to several Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Orders (Orders) that would help ensure that the American people get a fair return for the development of these resources on public lands. To kick-off the effort, the BLM held a two-day public forum April 24 and 25 at the Department of the Interior headquarters that attracted representatives from Indian lands, environmental groups, the Federal government, and the oil and gas industry in person and via the Internet. The group discussed potential revisions to the Orders that affect how oil and gas is measured for royalty collection.

"Lawmakers Advance Bill to Halt Oil Fracking" (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/29/13) Critics of hydraulic fracturing urged lawmakers Monday to impose a moratorium on the controversial drilling technique, saying there is too much uncertainty about its health and environmental effects. More than two dozen opponents of "fracking" lined up to share their concerns at an Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing, where lawmakers advanced three bills to prohibit the practice temporarily.


(d.) about 10,000 miles round trip

SOURCE: "Gray Whale" (BLM California wildlife database)
Gray whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal, traveling about 10,000 miles round trip.
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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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