A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 580 - May 16, 2013 

kayaks on a lake at sunsetperson giving a dog waterBLM fire engine going up a steep hillflat-tailed horned lizardman standing in front of a lighthouse


- 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
- Energy
- Preparing for fire season
- 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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rocks and brush with hills in backgroundTake your kids to ride OHVs at Stoddard Valley Off-highway Vehicle Area, where you will enjoy steep rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, winding sandy washes, and elevations that range from 5,000 feet on Stoddard Peak to 2,800 feet at Turtle Valley. This 53,000-acre open riding area will offer a challenge to every degree of expertise and type of vehicle from the motocross racers to the beginning Quad rider. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow/stoddard.html

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

"BLM Announces Trail Reopening in Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM, 5/08/13)
The Little South Fork Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve has been reopened following a temporary closure for an erosion control project. Officials at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said the trail is dry and in great condition. The trail starts about three miles from the Elk River Trail parking area near Eureka. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/may/trailreopening.html

treesRELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (Arcata Field Office)
The Headwaters Forest Reserve is 7,472 acres of public land located 6 miles southeast of Eureka, CA. The reserve is set aside to protect and preserve the ecological and wildlife values in the area, particularly the stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/arcata/headwaters.html

"BLM, Partners Announce Free Summer Guided Hikes" (BLM, 5/15/13)
A series of free summer guided hikes, with topics ranging from geology to seaweed, will be held this summer at various locations in the King Range National Conservation Area. The hikes begin Saturday, June 8, with "Plants and Geology of the Coastal Cliffs." The hike, ranging from 2 to 4 miles in length, begins at 10 a.m. at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) trailhead at Black Sands Beach in Shelter Cove. Hikers should wear sturdy hiking boots, bring food and water and be prepared for walking in sand.

man standing in front of lighthouseIN THE FIELD: King Range National Conservation Area
Gary Pritchard-Peterson, manager of the King Range National Conservation Area shows some of the sights and recreation opportunities in the King Range NCA.


person giving water to a dog...An amazing partnership for the Hollister Field Office is their work with Working Dogs for Conservation. This group uses search dogs to find scat from threatened and endangered species, such as the Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard and the San Joaquin Kit Fox. These dogs help BLM Ecologists gather an incredible amount of data in a very short period of time so they can better understand these species of interest. (BLM Photo: M. Westphal)


forest with mountains in background
...It's National Love a Tree Day! Approximately 69 million acres of diverse forests and woodlands are managed by the BLM throughout the western United States.


flat-tailed horned lizard


What does the Flat-tailed Horned Lizard feed on primarily?
(a.) beetles
(b.) ants
(c.) smaller lizards and mammals
(d.) scorpions
(e.) pancakes, tortillas, flat noodles and unleavened bread

See answer near the end of this News.bytes.


"Sequester Cuts Force Halt to California Oil, Gas Lease Sales"
(The Washington Times, 5/14/13)
The Obama administration canceled onshore oil and gas lease sales in California for the rest of this year, blaming the "sequester" budget cuts -- but acknowledging they were breaking yet another federal law that requires them to hold the sales. The Bureau of Land Management's California office acknowledged canceling the three sales conflicts with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, which requires each state office to conduct four sales a year. But spokesman David Christy said they had a choice between granting new leases or allowing companies to continue exploring on existing leases. He said the operators in California noted they'd prefer to work existing leases if given the choice. http://www.ca.blm.gov/c4kd

"Oil Industry: BLM Prevents Job Creation in Calif." (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/09/13) Leading oil industry groups said federal land managers are blocking new energy development and job creation by postponing all oil and gas lease auctions on prime public lands in California until October. Officials with the American Petroleum Institute, the largest lobbying group for the oil and gas industry, said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's recent announcement that it will temporarily put off energy leasing in the state will prevent economic growth. http://www.ca.blm.gov/g4kd

condor"Companies Won't Face Charges in Condor Deaths"
(Los Angeles Times, 5/10/13)
Federal wildlife officials took the unprecedented step Friday of telling private companies that they will not be prosecuted for inadvertently harassing or even killing endangered California condors. In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains (Alta East Wind Project) will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project. http://www.ca.blm.gov/h4kd

RELATED: "Alta East Wind Project" (Ridgecrest Field Office)
The Alta East Wind project would tie into Southern California Edison's Windhub substation and would generate enough electricity to power 90,000 homes.


BLM fire engine going up steep hill"Department of the Interior Wildland Fire Engine Academy" (News.bytes Extra)
Fighting wildland fire is inherently a dangerous job, including operating engines. A two-week-long engine academy at state facilities near Sacramento trained engine crews from Department of Interior agencies on how to safely and aggressively fight fire. Engine crews from the Bureau of Land Management, Parks Service and Fish and Wildlife Service learned a variety of skills.

Secretaries Vilsack and Jewell Highlight Federal Preparedness for 2013 Western Wildfire Season" (BLM, 5/13/13)
During a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell outlined the Federal Government's efforts to ensure collaboration in protecting Americans from wildfire, and urged homeowners and local communities to take steps to reduce their risks during the 2013 fire season. The outlook for the fire season is severe across much of the Western United States. http://www.ca.blm.gov/d4kd

"Take Responsibility...Protect your home. Create 100 feet of defensible space!"
In California, the number of homes and businesses are growing in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) - and fire is an increasing threat. Reduce your home's fire danger and prevent wildfires from spreading by taking responsibility today. http://takeresponsibility.cafirealliance.com/


"BLM Seeks Nominees for Special Recreation Permit Subgroup of the California Desert Advisory Council" (BLM, 5/15/13)
The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) California Desert District is soliciting nominations from the public for nine members of its Special Recreation Permit (SRP) Subgroup of the California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) to serve two-year terms. Selection and appointment of subgroup members is by the DAC with the concurrence of the Designated Federal Official. Persons wishing to apply for consideration as a member of the Special Recreation Permit Subgroup of the DAC should submit their application no later than June 17, 2013. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/may/srpsubgroup.html

"Central California Resource Advisory Council' (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the Central California Resource Advisory Council discussed a variety of issues and visited giant sequoias during their meeting last week in Visalia. On Thursday, the RAC Off-Highway Vehicle Subgroup met and RAC members received an overview of laws and policies that guide the BLM and the RAC.

"King Range to Reopen May 31" (BLM, 5/15/13)
The King Range National Conservation Area and Wilderness on California's Lost Coast will remain closed to public access through May 30 as law enforcement officers from various agencies continue searching for a triple homicide suspect. Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are coordinating with the Humboldt and Shasta County Sheriff's offices to keep the closure in place for public safety and to reduce the number of people in the backcountry while the search continues. Officials said the closure could end before May 30 if suspect Shane Miller is apprehended. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/may/kr-reopen5-31.html

clean hill at Steele Peak Reserve"Steele Peak Reserve Cleanup" (News.bytes Extra)
The Palm Springs-South Coast BLM Field Office, in cooperation with Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency, Riverside County Waste Management, and members of Calguns.net hosted a volunteer cleanup at Steele Peak Stephen's Kangaroo Rat Reserve. Approximately 65-70 volunteers showed on a recent Saturday to remove garbage, including broken target boards and spent shells, from the hillsides of the reserve.

"Authorities Scale Back Mattole Valley Manhunt; Outside Agencies Leave Area as Search Continues" (Times-Standard, 5/16/13)
The manhunt for triple murder suspect Shane Franklyn Miller was scaled back Wednesday night after a week-long search, authorities announced during a community meeting at Honeydew Elementary School. Law enforcement officers have conducted foot searches along King Range National Conservation Area trails as well as door-to-door searches in Petrolia, Honeydew and Shelter Cove, traversing an area childhood acquaintances say the Southern Humboldt native knows like the back of his hand. Downey said outside agencies that were brought in to aid in the search will be returning to their respective areas. http://www.ca.blm.gov/l4kd

"Cattle Grazing Can Promote Cheatgrass Dominance, Study Finds"
(Los Angeles Times, 5/13/13)
Ranchers often argue that cattle grazing is the best way to combat cheatgrass, an aggressive invader that has taken over vast areas of the Great Basin, destroying the native sagebrush ecosystem and fueling huge wildfires. But a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology arrives at the opposite conclusion. Reseachers who studied 75 Great Basin sites invaded by cheatgrass found that greater grazing intensity promoted the alien's spread. http://www.ca.blm.gov/93kd

"Cruel or Necessary? The True Cost of Wild Horse Roundups" (NBC News)
The BLM, which is responsible for protecting wild horses under federal law rejects that charge, insisting the roundups are "necessary and justified." Joan Guilfoyle, head of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, says the wild horse population doubles every four years and needs to be thinned to preserve ecological balance on the public land. "If we stopped gathering animals, the population would continue to grow and grow and grow and the rangelands would continue to be overgrazed," she said. The BLM says there are currently 7,831 "excess" mustangs and that the "appropriate management level," the number of wild horses which can be supported in official herd areas, should be only 23,622.


kayaks and a lake"Department of the Interior Announces Start of 2013 'Share the Experience' Photo Contest" (BLM, 5/10/13) The Department of the Interior today announced the start of the 2013 "Share the Experience" contest, giving amateur photographers the chance to join the ranks of Ansel Adams, Thomas Moran, and others who have found recognition for their photographs of the nation's public lands. The "Share the Experience" photo contest showcases our nation's public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and recreation areas - and draws entries from all across the United States. It is the largest national park and public land photo contest for amateur photographers. http://www.ca.blm.gov/b4kd


May 18 & 19 - "Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in Oakdale" (BLM, 5/13/13)
Residents of Oakdale and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Oakdale Saddle Club, 1624 F St., on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19. The BLM will offer 30 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at about 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17.

(b.) ants

SOURCE: "Flat-tailed horned lizard" (BLM California wildlife database)
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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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