A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 605- 12/19/13   -  
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Cover of BLM 2014 PlannerWorkshop participants look out across the desert. BLM ranger talks with visitors at the dunes.Lacks Creek Managment Area sign with snow and forest.Family poses in the snow while searching for Christmas tree.

- Free Offer- Extended!
- Stories On and Off Road
- It's About the Weather
- On BLM California Facebook
Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week
- Upcoming Events
- Headlines and Highlights: Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- National and Department of the Interior items

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News.bytes will be on vacation for the next two weeks.
Have a happy holiday season, and see you in 2014!

Cover of BLM 2014 PlannerFREE OFFER- EXTENDED!
BLM California 2014 Monthly Planner
Celebrating America's 50th Anniversary of the National Wilderness Preservation System, this monthly planner features stunning photographs of BLM California Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas.

Giveaway Rules:

Limit one per person.
This giveaway is open to members of the public.
BLM employees are ineligible to participate.


BLM and volunteers pose for Route 66 Christmas light parade.Ol' Saint Nick on Route 66- BLM in the Christmas Lights Parade
(News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Needles Field Office participated in the Ol' Saint Nick on Route 66 Christmas Lights Parade. The BLM parade entry consisted of three decorated and lighted vehicles...

Christmas lights parade in Needles, CA.Ol' St. Nick Celebrates on Route 66
(Needles Desert Star, 12/09/13)
Cloudy skies, wind and chilly temperatures didn't appear to dampen the Christmas spirit as residents and visitors came to Santa Fe Park to join in the Ol' St. Nick on Route 66 Christmas Party.

RELATED: Historic Route 66 Action Plan for America's Main Street
(BLM Website)
Since towns were situated on an existing railroad line or trail, the primary trading businesses were located on that route. That led to the term 'Main Street' for a town's business. As traffic increased between towns, these became connected into a continuous road.

OHV accident with people standing around.Lawyer: $5.8M settlement in off-road race crash
(The Washington Post, 12/18/13)
Under the deal, the BLM would pay $4.825 million and race organizers and promoters Mojave Desert Racing Inc., and...

BLM rangers and law enforcement officers watch as OHV riders attempt to walk with Fatal Vision Googles. Fatal Vision, Fossils, and One Bumpy Ride!
(News.bytes Extra)
At Oldsmobile Hill in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, OHV enthusiasts joined park rangers and law enforcement officers in an exercise that demonstrated the dangers of drinking and riding.

BLM ranger talks with visitors at Imperial Sand DunesOld Plank Road is Nearly 100 Years Old
(Imperial Valley Press, 12/16/13)
In anticipation of the 100-year anniversary in 2015, tourists from all over the world travel to see the stretch of wooden planks that is part of the nation's automotive history.

Historic black and white photo of Plank Road in the Imperial Sand Dunes area. RELATED: Plank Road
(BLM Imperial Sand Dunes Facebook Page)
Plank Road: how the dunes were won...learn about the history of this unique wooden road!

Johnson Valley: Deal Will Have Marines, Public Sharing Access
(MyDesert, 12/16/13)
A nudge from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., may have helped seal a compromise between off-roaders and the U.S. Marine Corps, ensuring that more than half of Johnson Valley's 188,000 acres of prime off-roading trails and desert vistas will remain open to the public most of the year.

OHV rider in scrub natural area. JOHNSON VALLEY: Marines, Off-Roaders Compromise on Base Expansion

(The Press Enterprise, 12/12/13)
Off-road enthusiasts are celebrating a compromise that drastically scales back an expansion of the Twentynine Palms Marine base and retains most of the Johnson Valley for recreational use. Under the law passed by Congress late Tuesday, 99,870 acres will remain part of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area and be overseen by the BLM.

RELATED: Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area
(BLM Website)
Johnson Valley is a varied landscape for the off-highway vehicle driver. It is punctuated by steep red rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, dry lake beds and sandy washes.

Cook Welcomes Plan to Save Off-Highway Area
(High Desert Star, 12/1/13)
Rep. Paul Cook, who represents the Morongo Basin in the nation's capital, welcomed the announcement this week of a deal on the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013.


Desert tortoise with radio tracking apparatus on its carapace. Decline of Desert Tortoise in Joshua Tree Linked to Long Droughts
(LA Times, 12/13/13)
Dwindling populations of the reptiles with scruffy carapaces and skin as tough as rhino hide are facing an even greater threat: longer droughts spurred by climate change in their Sonoran Desert kingdom of arroyos and burrows, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

RELATED: Desert Tortoise Natural Area
(BLM Website)
The BLM, with assistance from the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, established the Desert Tortoise Natural Area. This unique habitat is managed in its natural state, free from conflict with other land uses.

Liberte Chan in front of weather map.Liberte Chan - KTLA 5 Daily Weather and Fire Conditions
(Facebook Page, 12/14/13)
Extreme fire concerns with Santa Ana winds, with warm, windy and dry conditions. A Red Flag Warning...

RELATED: CWCG Fire Prevention Committee
(CWCG Fire Prevention Facebook Page)
The California Wildland Fire Coordinating Group-Fire Prevention Committee is established to provide an interagency approach to wildland fire management and all-risk support on all land ownerships within the State of California.

'Above Average' Fire Season: Six Rivers National Forest to Discuss 2013 Blazes
(The Times Standard, 12/11/13)
Firefighters fought 68 fires -including the Corral and Butler wildfires, which burned a total of 13,000 and 38,000 acres respectively. Presenters will offer statistics on the number of acres burned, those protected and what the total number of incidents were for the season to fire, weather and tribe officials, environmental groups, BLM...

On BLM California Facebook....

Special Cold Weather and Holiday Posts:

Law Enforcement Officers and children sponsored in the Shop with a cop event in Bishop, CA.
Shop with a Cop Event


Family photo in the snow searching for a Christmas tree in the Bishop Field Office Area. BLM photo
Christmas tree hunting in the BLM Bishop Field Office Area


Wild rose bud with ice. Photo by BLM
Cold Snaps on the Biz Johnson Trail


BLM Lack Creek Management Area sign with snow and forest in background. BLM photo
Snow in Lacks Creek Management Area


Horse with wooly winter coat. Photo by Amy Dumas, BLM
Wooly Winter Coats

Coyote in the snow. BLM photo

Which of the statements about coyotes are true?
a) are considered clever and adaptable animals
b) can run up to 40-miles an hour
c) found only in remote and wild areas
d) good swimmers
e) all of the above
f) a, b, and d

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


NOW: Applications Being Accepted for Seasonal Firefighters
(USA Jobs Website)
The BLM California is currently hiring seasonal firefighters. Applications on USAJOBS.

RELATED: Firefighter Recruitment Video
(BLM NIFC YouTube)


Jan. 8, 9, 11, 2014: Public Meetings Scheduled for Soda Mountain Solar Project in San Bernardino County
(BLM News Release)
BLM has scheduled an additional public meeting for public comment on the Soda Mountain Solar Project's draft environmental document.

Close up of juvenile eagle. BLM photoJan. 11, 18, 25 and Feb. 1, 8, 15: BLM Offering Guided Bald Eagle Hikes at Cache Creek Natural Area
(BLM News Release)
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Bureau of Land Management will host free guided hikes to look for wintering bald eagles in the Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County.

People hiking in the Coyote Wilderness. BLM photoJan. 25, 2014: Dog-Hike to Wind Caves in the Coyote Mountain Wilderness
(BLM CA Facebook)
Bring your well-behaved canine friend for a guided hike to Wind Caves in the Coyote Mountain Wilderness. This moderate to strenuous hike...


Workshop participants look out across the landscape. Tribal Participant Workshop
(News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Barstow Field Office co-hosted a two-day workshop with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Legacy regarding participation of tribal representatives on the Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project.

Water tower at Piedras Blancas Light Station.Water tower at Piedras Blancas Light Station Carries a Secret
(San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/15/13)
There's a new "old" tower at the Piedras Blancas Light Station north of Cambria. The BLM runs the light station. The CHP contributed to help improve emergency communications along a corridor where cell towers are few and far between.

Commission to Prepare to Give Sage Grouse Comment
(Elko Daily Press, 12/16/13)
The multi-agency document outlines regulatory options for sage-grouse habitat on public land in Nevada and northern California. Gerber said he believed the BLM had already decided on a strategy and comments weren't likely to help shape the record of decision, which the agencies hope to finalize by September.

Sage Grouse in the snow. BLM photoRELATED: Sage Grouse Conservation
(BLM Website)

Monument Status Eyed for Former Santa Cruz Dairy
(San Jose Mercury News, 12/15/13)
California land preservationists are hoping to have a former dairy farm north of Santa Cruz crowned as a national monument, a move that backers say would bring greater protections and more federal dollars to the property. The land has remained closed to the public in the 15 years since the Trust for Public Lands acquired it to prevent development, but parts are expected to be opened for recreation after the BLM takes control of it.

Solar panels in the desert. Major Solar Energy Project in Riverside County Could Be Doomed
(KCET, 12/13/13)
Commissioner Karen Douglas proposed that the CEC refuse to amend a permit that Palen Solar Holdings...

RELATED: Palen Solar Electric Generating System
(BLM Website)
Information about the BLM Palen Solar Electric Generating System and Federal coordination process.

BLM event booth staff talk to potential volunteers. BLM photoFirst Annual College of the Desert Volunteer Fair - How Can We Help?
(News.bytes Extra)
The first annual College of the Desert Volunteer Fair was the perfect opportunity for the Friends of the Desert Mountains, University of California Riverside, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument to partner together and show students what they can do.


Happy Holidays from the Department of the Interior
(DOI YouTube)

Photo clip of DOI video opening scene.VIDEO: This Week at Interior December 13, 2013
(DOI YouTube)
Here's what happened this week at Interior: an historic agreement between the Department of the Interior and the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the land buyback program mandated under the Cobell Settlement...

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites

Coyote in the snow. BLM photoWhich of the statements about coyotes are true?
f) a, b, and d


BLM Wildlife Database: Search for information about wildlife species found on BLM California lands.

BLM News.bytes: Wildlife Trivia...what coyotes eat.

Coyotes (National Geographic Website) Did you know?
Coyotes are very good swimmers.

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Bureau of Land Management
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