A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 606- 01/09/14   -  
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Students pet and watch a burro at the outdoor youth summit. BLM photoSage Grouse. BLM photoPiedras Blancas Water Tower. BLM photoVisitors tour Midway-Sunset oil field. BLM photoSecretary Jewell looks out over the Pacific ocean. BLM photo

- BLM Year in Review
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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In 2013, we shared 175 field stories in our weekly News.Bytes publication and provided daily posts on our social media pages to better inform and connect you to our programs and landscapes. Here are a few of our highlights:


Secretary Jewell looks out over the Pacific ocean. BLM photoSecretary Jewell Visits Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands in Mendocino County
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
More than 300 residents of the Mendocino Coast turned out for a public listening session hosted by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to share the community vision to conserve a scenic and significant area of coastal public lands in Mendocino County. Secretary Jewell was joined by Congressman Jared Huffman, BLM Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze, and BLM California State Director, Jim Kenna.

Iraqi Delegation learns about oil and gas operations. BLM photoIraqi Delegation learns about Oil and Gas Operations
(News.bytes Extra Archive)
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.

Visitors tour Midway-Sunset oil field. BLM photoMidway-Sunset oil field tour highlights energy issues
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times San Francisco Bureau chief, interviews Jeff Prude, petroleum engineer and Gabe Garcia, Minerals Division chief, both from the Bakersfield Field Office, during a tour of the Midway-Sunset oil field. Oil production in California has received national media interest due to potential production in the Monterey Shale formation and proposed state and federal fracking regulations.


Piedras Blancas Water Tower. BLM photoThe Piedras Blancas Replica Water and Communication Tower
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
The recently constructed replica water tower, located at Piedras Blancas Light Station, will carry on the tradition of Point Piedras Blancas as a place of safety communications.

Sage Grouse. BLM photoSuccessful Sage-Grouse Habitat Protection in Spring Peak Fire Management
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
In the Spring Peak Fire and the nearby Indian Fire of 2012, the Bishop BLM and the US Forest Service worked with the Incident Commander and the fire team to keep firefighters and public safe, protect the ghost towns, and allow for some wildlife habitat to remain in the form of unburned islands, primarily made up of sagebrush and bitterbrush. These green islands provide a natural seed source to help the area revegetate after the fire.

Students clean up trash from the beach. BLM photoInternational Coastal Cleanup Day at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
(BLM Twitter Timeline)
The BLM partnered with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and others on a beach cleanup to celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day. See photos, videos, and links from our September 21, 2012 #DiscoveryTheCoast Twitter timeline.

Volunteers grouped together to prepare for dune cleanup project. BLM photoUnited Desert Gateway 16th Annual Dunes Clean-Up
(Imperial Sand Dunes Facebook)
The clean-up, one of the largest in the state, typically draws more than 1,000 volunteers and is funded through a BLM partnership with the United Desert Gateway and private sponsors. An important component of BLM California's Strategic Framework, this partnership enhances recreation, increases public safety and develops community participation and involvement.


Students pet and watch a burro at the outdoor youth summit. BLM photo2013 Outdoor Youth Summit Multicultural Experiences in America's Great Outdoors
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
The BLM and US Forest Service hosted the 2nd Annual Outdoor Summit for Youth. The focus was on multicultural experiences and the importance of connecting diverse youth with the outdoors. In addition to a rich and diverse youth panel discussion, breakout sessions, and Expo, participants explored ways to expand opportunities to better connect young people with the outdoors and the field of natural resources.

Twitter Timeline for the California Outdoor Youth Summit:

Youth group talk about their fire rehab project. BLM photo Youthful Talent and Enthusiasm are Benefitting the Public Lands
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
More than 30 youth hires, including interns, college graduates and high school students, are helping with recovery from last summer's Rush Fire, establishing rangeland monitoring points, working on the new South Side Recreation Trail, assisting with sage-grouse conservation, and improving conditions at the Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area near Doyle.

BLM corral manager talks with potential horse and burro adoption applicants. BLM photoYouth Engaged in the Wild Horse and Burro Program
(News.Bytes Extra Archive)
The Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals partnered with the Kern County Fair to create the Kern County Youth Wild Horse and Burro Project.

A BLM employee and youth volunteer work together on a beach cleanup. BLM photoNational Public Lands Day Events 2013
(BLM CA Facebook)
Photos of various 2013 Natioal Public Lands Day activities with BLM California. #NPLD

Western grey squirrel

Which of the following western gray squirrel stereotypes is false?

(a.) They seem to be everywhere because their population just keeps growing.

(b.) They hide acorns underground to dig up later for food.

(c.) They sleep and nest in holes in trees.

(d.) They prefer to jump from tree to tree rather than travel on the ground.

(e.) They were the subject of the second-most-read story ever on the World Weekly News' website: "Gray squirrels really space aliens in disguise; May control your neighbors' thoughts with radio wave 'acorns.'"

------> See answer near the end of this News.bytes.


Jan 25: Wind Caves Day Hike for You and Your Canine Companion

(BLM CA Facebook)
Join a BLM guided hike to Wind Caves in the Coyote Mountain Wilderness. This is a moderate to strenuous day hike, through a stunning and rugged landscape, in southern California


Landscape image of hike area.Learn How to Track Animals
(San Diego Union-Tribune, 01/03/14)
A walk and talk analyzing animal tracks is Sunday at Elfin Forest. The 784-acre reserve includes open space park and a recreational area, established by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority and U.S. Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management.

RELATED: Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve
(Olivenhain Municipal Water District Website)
The 784-acre Reserve was developed by OMWD in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority and the U.S. Department of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management, as an element of the Olivenhain Water Storage Project and the Authority's Emergency Storage Project.

OHV rider on dunes.Off-Roaders Being Safety Conscious after Dunes Death
(KSWT, 01/06/14)
More off-road enthusiasts are hitting the Imperial Sand Dunes to relax and get some thrills. But with more people out riding, there's also higher chances for accidents to happen. 13 On Your Side spoke with experienced duners and officials from the Bureau of Land Management park rangers for some safety tips.

RELATED: Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
(BLM Website)
Located in the southeast corner of California, the Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in the state.

Oil mining equipment.'Fracking' the Monterey Shale -- Boon or Boondoggle?
(LA Times, 12/27/13)
" Eureka!" reads the California motto, originated in the 19th century Gold Rush. Now some believe the state is on the cusp of a 21st century bonanza, only this time it will be oil that fuels a Golden State boom.

RELATED: BLM California Oil and Gas Program
(BLM Website)
The BLM manages 15.2 million acres of surface and 47 million acres of mineral estate in California.

Desert landscape with a dirt road. Unusual Delay For Palen Solar Project
(KCET, 12/24/13)
In an about-face, the proponents of a large solar project in the desert portions of Riverside County have asked for a delay in a state agency's final decision on the project. In a filing with the California Energy Commission on Monday, Palen Solar Holdings, which wants to build a 500-megawatt concentrating solar project halfway between Blythe and Indio...

RELATED: BLM California Solar Energy Program
(BLM Website)
On public lands, solar development for large-scale electricity projects is just beginning, but the future looks bright.

Terry Corwin and Robert Stephens: Do We Want a National Monument on Our North Coast?
(Santa Cruz Sentinel, 12/21/13)
The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County looks at the idea of a National Monument on the North Coast through the lens of our Conservation Blueprint. There are 17 National Monuments managed by the Bureau of Land Management already, including Fort Ord in Monterey County. National Monuments are part of a larger National Conservation Lands system that protects more than 27 million acres. These lands include some of the most spectacular scenic, historic, natural, cultural, and archaeological sites in our country.

RELATED: BLM National Monuments
(BLM Website)
National Monuments are special areas of public land designated by public proclamation by the President or by Congress, to protect historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest.


Secretary Jewell Announces $1 Million Private Funding Commitment to Advance Youth & Conservation Initiative
(DOI News Release)
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. is First Company to Pledge to Newest Public-Private Partnership to Develop Next Generation of Outdoor Stewards.

This Year at Interior 2013:
Photo clip from DOI video opening. Part One
(DOI YouTube)
Part one of our look back at the Top Stories of 2013 from This Week at Interior.

Photo clip of DOI video scene. Part Two
(DOI YouTube)
Part two of our look back at the Top Stories of 2013 from This Week at Interior.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites

Grey SquirrelWhich of the following western gray squirrel stereotypes is false?
(a.) They seem to be everywhere, because their population just keeps growing.
Note: While answer (e.) may also be false, it is not a common stereotype.

SOURCE: "Western Gray Squirrel - Sciurus griseus"
(BLM California wildlife database)
Gray squirrels typically occur in oak-conifer woodlands from California up to Washington. The range was expanded as people started planting more oak and walnut trees, but recently their range has been decreasing. The populations are becoming smaller and fragmented as urban sprawl and other developments destroy their habitat. In addition, introduced species are taking over prime habitat.

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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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