A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 590- 8/15/13   -  
Visit us on Facebook -- follow us on Twitter - Share us with friends and colleagues!

A group of people observe an oil and gas operationA information kiosk.A woman rides a former wild horseA group of people work together to wrap and haul a large pile of trashA snake

- America's Great Outdoors
- Get Outdoors Tip of the Week
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Renewable energy
- Traditional Energy
- Wild horses and burros
- Wildfires and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- National and Department of the Interior items
- Upcoming Events

If this message does not show up properly in your email, you can see it online at:

Renewable energy graphics represent solar, wind and geothermal power, plus transmission linesRENEWABLE ENERGY

Yucca ruling nearly steals show at Vegas energy conference touting solar, geothermal projects (The Washington Post, 8/13/13)
Solar projects in the desert, geothermal power in the mountains and wind energy off the East Coast were cited as examples of progress from top U.S. officials and industry leaders during a green energy conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Solar, geothermal projects touted at Vegas summit (San Jose Mercury News, 8/13/13)
Solar projects in the desert, geothermal power in the mountains and wind energy off the East Coast were cited as examples of progress from top U.S. officials and industry leaders during a green energy conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Secretary Jewell Underscores Importance of Landscape-Level Approach, Mitigation in Meeting President's Renewable Energy Goals on Public Lands (DOI News, 8/13/13)
During a keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today underscored the Interior Department's commitment to meeting President Barack Obama's clean energy goals by employing a landscape-level approach that addresses mitigation and conservation objectives. In her remarks, Jewell cited the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), as an example of landscape-level planning. This unprecedented state-federal collaborative effort, which covers over 20 million acres in California's Mojave and Colorado Deserts, will identify "development focus areas" for renewable energy while providing for the conservation and management of the unique and important plant and wildlife communities in this desert region.

RELATED: Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Energy Project (BLM website)
Near the town of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, California.

RELATED: West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area (BLM Website)
The West Chocolate REEA is located in north central Imperial County. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/nepa/wcm.html

BLM Signs Record of Decision for Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project (BLM News, 8/13/13)
The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service Inyo National Forest signed the Record of Decision approving a new 40-megawatt geothermal project near Mammoth Lakes in Mono County. The project will include construction of a new geothermal power plant, up to 16 new production and injection wells, multiple pipelines and an electric transmission line.



The front cover of the Great California Roads Trips guideGreat California Road Trips, by Oh Ranger!
This 64-page guide features the crown jewels of the 15 million acres of public lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. The guide is the result of a partnership between the BLM and American Park Network. The guide is a wonderful resource for those planning a trip to the Golden State or for the armchair traveller who just wants to learn about places less known but worth visiting. The guide is free but regular shipping charges apply. Order a free guide here:

A information kiosk.History Speaks... Anza Trail Revisited (News.bytes Extra)
Two hundred thirty eight years ago, 240 men, women and children followed Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza on a colonizing expedition to San Francisco, travelling through the arid desert west of El Centro. Today, the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (ANHT) marks this historic event, and recent trail improvements along the section that bisects the BLM El Centro Field Office area will help tell the story. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2013/590_extra-anza.html

RELATED: Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (BLM website)
Today, over 1200 miles of the trail can be traveled by car, and there are several hundred miles to be traveled on foot.

RELATED: Download an Audio Tour of the Yuha Desert (BLM website)
When you visit the Yuha Desert today, it is hard to imagine the environment's history. The landscape is millions of years old. Can you believe that the Yuha Desert once laid as an ocean's floor?

Campground Host Needed
Are you tired of freezing during the winter months? Do you like viewing beautiful scenery and rugged mountain formations? Do you have a self-contained camping vehicle? Then come spend your winter in the warm climate of Southern California by being a camp host at the Mule Mountains Long Term Visitor Area! Get a free camp spot for the season (Sept 15-April15) and a volunteer experience you will always remember.

The Bizz Johnson Trail crosses the Susan River...watch a variety of wildlife in their natural habitats along the Bizz Johnson Trail/Susan River. Hike or bike the trail to see the multitude of animals inhabiting the area, including birds, beavers, and muskrats. Patient observers may catch glimpses of bats, porcupines, coyotes or even a black bear!

Best bike trail nobody knows about (9-pic gallery) (SF Gate, 8/13/13)
The best mountain bike trail in California that nobody knows about -- the 26.6-mile Bizz Johnson Trail -- had only two Bay Area bikers on it last weekend.


A snake
red diamond rattlesnake
Which fictional character might a rattlesnake be most afraid of?
(a.) Woody Woodpecker
(b.) Wile E. Coyote
(c.) The Roadrunner
(d.) Lassie
(e.) Huey, Louie and Dewey
(f.) American Idol judges

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


A group of people observe an oil and gas operationIraqi Delegation learns about Oil and Gas Operations (News.bytes Extra)
Petroleum, chemical and environmental engineers from an Iraq delegation, sponsored by the State Department, visited the Bakersfield Field Office to learn more about baseline environmental information and developing new approaches to mitigate environmental impacts.

BLM California Launches Planning and Science Review Regarding Oil and Gas Development on Public Lands (BLM News, 8/2/13)
As part of a cooperative effort with the State of California and in response to a series of legal challenges, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will launch a broad science review and a planning review of oil and gas development on public lands managed by the Hollister Field Office in California. The process will evaluate a full range of options, including whether such development is appropriate and if so, where and how it could be carried out safely and responsibly. Information resulting from the planning and science review will further inform future oil and gas leasing decisions.

Feds, State to Study Fracking in California (Valley Public Radio, 8/5/2013)
The federal government has announced a sweeping study of fracking and other oil and gas extraction techniques in California. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will lead the study. BLM California State Director Jim Kenna says it's in response to lawsuits attempting to block oil and gas development on public lands.

BLM Reconsiders Oil Development on California Public Lands (Monterey County Weekly, 8/4/13)
A federal judge in April ordered the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to stop and take stock of just what might really happen if plans to lease rights to underground oil and gas went forward as planned. BLM is listening, according to an announcement Friday.

FRACKING: Feds will study controversial oil extraction process (Press Enterprise, 8/5/13)
The Bureau of Land Management has agreed to commission a study of fracking in California in response to a lawsuit by environmentalists who say the oil production process damages the Earth.

Fracking environmental analysis for California (Environmental Technology Online, 8/5/13)
Natural gas drilling is to be the subject of a new detailed study in California, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The study will provide a full environmental analysis of the effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other activities used in the extraction of natural shale gas.

Obama administration defends fracking safety -- again (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/5/13)
For years, the most common rap used to discredit hydraulic fracturing — the sharply improved drilling process that uses precisely targeted underground water cannons to free up oil and natural gas reserves a mile or more below ground -- is that it triggered environmental nightmares in Pennsylvania. The most incendiary claim is that hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, has been so destructive that in some Pennsylvania communities tap water polluted by local drilling catches fire.


California lawmakers call for review of offshore fracking (Los Angeles Times, 8/7/13)
A group of state lawmakers is calling for an investigation by federal regulators into reports of oil companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, off the California coast.


Officials scramble to get Palen solar project OK'd by target date (The Desert Sun, 8/5/13)
BrightSource Energy's Palen solar project could fall further behind an end-of-the-year target for final approval, which could in turn make it harder for the company to nail down the private financing it needs to put two 750-foot solar towers and thousands of reflecting mirrors on public land east of the Coachella Valley. Financing concerns, not the company's contracts to sell power from the project to Pacific Gas & Electric, are the drivers behind the company's goal to have the 500-megawatt Palen permitted by the end of year and online by June 2016, said Scott Galati, BrightSource's attorney, speaking at a public hearing on the project Monday in Sacramento.

Ocotillo Residents Complain of Turbine Noise Similar to Jet Engines (East County Magazine, 8/12/2013)
When Pattern Energy presented its proposed Ocotillo Express Wind Facility project to Imperial County Supervisors, the company promised that massive industrial wind turbines would be no louder than a refrigerator or a library. But now residents are complaining that noise levels are far louder -- and they've provided a video to bolster their claim. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/13769

Documentary critical of Bureau of Land Management (The Ely Times, 8/9/13)
For filmmaker Robert Lundahl, the idea of the west and the desert inspired him from an early age. The vastness of the land and the symbol of having the open wilderness ahead of you was an image that has stuck with Lundhal throughout his life. Now, he's hoping to preserve that feeling with his latest documentary "Who Are My People," which examines at U.S. energy policy and its effects on desert ecosystems, Native American tribes and the communities of the west.


silhouettes of wild horse and of a burroWILD HORSES AND BURROS

BLM educates about wild horses at Nevada County Fair (The Union, 8/8/13)
For many, wild horses roaming a vast and trackless range is an enduring and iconic symbol that represents a certain feral freedom unique to the United States and particularly the West. "It's a romantic notion and it's a cultural thing," said Amy Dumas, Wild Horse and Burro Program manager for the Bureau of Land Management. "It's part of the myth of the American West." Dumas operates a booth at the Nevada County Fair that seeks to serve as a public platform to educate the public regarding the BLM's wild horse management program, which has been a magnet for embittered controversy.

A woman rides a former wild horseNevada County Fairgoers Learn About Wild Horses & Burros (News.bytes Extra)
Fairgoers at the Nevada County Fair learned about wild horses and burros and saw them in action. Volunteers also gave demonstrations in the arena using their own horses and burros.

Wild horses: Slaughter is one answer (The Salt Lake Tribune, 8/4/13)
It's an odd window into the vagaries of human behavior: why we revere certain animals and ban their killing while turning our backs on others that live only to provide us with meat.


California Wildfires Updates & Maps: 'Silver Fire' Ignites In Southern California, Rips Through 5,000 Acres, Dozens Of Homes (Latinos Post, 8/7/2013)
A wildfire ignited on Wednesday afternoon in Riverside County, Calif., and has since blazed completely out of control, destroying dozens of homes and structures and sparking fast-paced evacuations of communities in the vicinity.

SILVER FIRE: Burn victim was mountain biker, not involved in start of fire (Press Enterprise, 8/10/13)
The person who was burned Wednesday shortly after the start of the Silver Fire was riding a mountain bike on a dirt road south of Banning when he was overrun by the fast-moving flames, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson said in a news release.

RELATED: Silver Fire Incident Information (State of California website)
Maps, news releases, and more.


A group of people work together to wrap and haul a large pile of trashYour Law Enforcement Team (News.bytes Extra)
Law enforcement officers from the Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office and other agencies recently removed about 6,000 plants and 30 pounds of processed marijuana from public lands managed by the BLM.

BLM Invites Public Comments on King Range Fee Proposal (BLM News, 8/2/13)
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a proposal for a new permit and fee system in the King Range National Conservation Area on northern California's Lost Coast.

Toxic mine site in Lode needs fix (The Stockton Record, 8/15/13)
Cottonwoods now grow in the once-barren gulch leading from the Penn Mine, and fish no longer die by the thousands when rain runoff washes from the mine into nearby Camanche Reservoir. But there's still plenty of evidence of the mine's toxic past, including crusty mineral formations along creeks and bright red and orange water trickling down the gulch that leads from the place where 350,000 cubic yards of waste from the former copper and zinc mine lie buried in a landfill. Officials with the federal Bureau of Land Management, which manages the Poison Lake Mill Tailings Site, and EBMUD, which seeks to protect the waters of nearby Camanche Reservoir, will hold a public meeting to discuss options for remediating the mine waste next Thursday.

Open House Planned Regarding Arsenic Investigation Plans (BLM News, 8/13/13)
The Bureau of Land Management and East Bay Municipal Utility District will hold an open house for residents of Ione and surrounding communities on Aug. 22 to discuss proposed remediation alternatives at an abandoned mine land site in Amador County. "Since public health and safety is our top priority, we want the local community to be fully aware of our plans and actions and address any comments or questions the residents may have," said William Haigh, BLM Mother Lode Field Office manager.

A timeline of the desert tortoise's slow and steady decline (High Country News, 8/5/13)
Because the desert tortoise's Mojave range is largely on federal land, conservationists believe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) should have better managed the animal's recovery once it was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1989. Instead, the species has steadily declined.

Can we save Mojave desert tortoises by moving them out of harm's way? (High Country News, 8/5/13)
Kristin Berry's khaki hat flaps in the wind as she bends to inspect the skeleton of a desert tortoise. Remnants of its head and neck are still attached to the carapace, and bleached bones protrude from it. It's been dead for about four years, she suspects, and "appears to have died in a relaxed position," she says, "with its legs out." That suggests starvation and dehydration, but the 70-year-old biologist can't be sure. It's the second week of April, when wild tortoises typically emerge from hibernation to forage on the spring wildflowers that briefly brighten the Mojave Desert. Berry -- who does long-term research on the desert tortoise for the U.S. Geological Survey -- is the acknowledged authority on where the now-threatened reptiles once thrived. The rock outcropping where she stands is not far from I-15, halfway between L.A. and Las Vegas. Basalt hills rise to the north and

Bureau of Land Management to replace 78-year-old Butte Creek bridge (Chico Enterprise-Record, 7/31/13)
An "orphaned" bridge that was constructed over Butte Creek in 1935 as part of an 800-mile- long fire road is going to be replaced.
The 78-year-old bridge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the U.S. Forest Service as part of a project to establish a road, called Ponderosa Way, from Kern County to Shasta County. Tuesday, Bill Kuntz, program lead for engineering and recreation with the Redding office of the federal Bureau of Land Management, explained the bridge replacement project to the Butte County Board of Supervisors.

Fall hunting opportunities announced (Orlands Press Register, 8/13/2013)
he California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement Program and the California Waterfowl Association have partnered to offer fall hunting opportunities on private lands from Orland to Lost Hills. Approximately 250 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management land adjoin these ranches, and the Los Padres National Forest backs up to both ranches, providing extra access if needed.


This Week at Interior (August 9, 2013)
Secretary Jewell visits North Dakota and tours oil and gas production facilities and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and, as part of the President's Climate Action Plan, inspects innovative technologies to capture methane emissions; in Wyoming Secretary Jewell announces a public-private partnership to renovate Grand Teton National Park's popular Jenny Lake Trails; Education Secretary Arne Duncan joins Secretary Jewell in Wyoming to spotlight education and tribal issues; and there's still time to take part in our Summer in America's Great Outdoors photo project... send us your summer photos on America's public lands to newmedia@ios.doi.gov


Aug. 22, 2013 - Open House Planned Regarding Arsenic Investigation Plans

Sept. 21, 2013 - Wild Horses and Burros Arrive
at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville

Sept. 22, 2913 - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption
El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
Which fictional character might a rattlesnake be most afraid of?
(c.) The Roadrunner

SOURCE: "Red diamond rattlesnake - Crotalus ruber" (BLM California wildlife database)
Kingsnakes, roadrunners, and owls are the most common predators of this snake.

RELATED: "Geococcyx californianus - greater roadrunner" (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web)
"The diet of G. californianus is omnivorous and varied, a good strategy for survival in the typically harsh environments of the southwest. They eat large insects, scorpions, tarantulas, centipedes, lizards, snakes, and mice. They have even been known to eat rattlesnakes, although this is rare."

- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above links to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's "Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some online news sites require free registration to view their content online. Some news sites remove news stories from the Web soon after publication. If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the Web page to your computer.
DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those sites, or of products or advertisements on those sites.

News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

We appreciate feedback. Send comments to the News.bytes team at:

To subscribe to News.bytes, visit our News.bytes subscription page at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/caso/getnewsbytes.html.