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Issue 610-02/06/14- Visit us on
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Two wildlife biologists post fence makers for sage grouse project. two sage grouse face eachother in an open area. Two Youth Corps members poes for a photo. A woman poses with her adopted mustang. Both sitting on the ground. Dirt bike racer trying to get over boulders.


- Headlines and Highlights:
Assorted topics from your public lands in California
- Sage Grouse
- Wild Horse and Burro
- America's Great Outdoors
- Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week
- Upcoming Events
- National and Department of Interior Items

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Renewable Energy Policy Enters Final Act
(My Desert, 02/01/14)
The goal of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), shaped by the state of California, the Department of Interior and dozens of important landowners and stakeholders, is to strike balance between protecting species and spaces, while appropriately furthering renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal development.

RELATED: Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan
(DRECP Website)
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP Website), a major component of California' renewable energy planning efforts, will help provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy projects.

Photo of public lands poised for protection. Obama Poised to Protect Public Lands in New Mexico, California
(The Washington Post, 02/02/14)
The Obama administration is preparing to designate areas in New Mexico and California off-limits to development under its executive authority, according to individuals familiar with the matter, a move that signals a bolder public-lands policy in the president's second term.

Point Arena Lighthouse with a rizing moon. Travel: Point Arena is a Gem along the Mendocino County Coast
(Sacramento Bee, 02/05/14)
Over the decades, the citizenry has saved and rehabilitated the lighthouse. But the most sustained civic effort, aided by governmental programs and nonprofits, has been the preservation of the Stornetta Public Lands. http://ow.ly/tjCG6

RELATED: Stornetta Public Lands
(BLM Website)
The 1,132 acre Stornetta Public Lands are located along the Mendocino County coastline just north of the town of Point Arena.

Photo of desert landscape and the Kingston Range Wilderness. BLM photoA Gift for the 50 Anniversary of the Wilderness Act- Lands Added to the Kingston Ranger Wilderness in California Mojave Desert
(News.Bytes Extra)
The BLM has acquired the 140-acre Lee parcel within the Kingston Range Wilderness in California, adding an important public ownership addition to its rugged desert mountains, diverse wildlife, and rare plants.

RELATED: Kingston Range Wilderness
(BLM Website)
The Kingston Range Wilderness is approximately 15 miles northeast of Baker, California. Except for its northernmost tip (Inyo County), this wilderness is in northern San Bernardino County, California. It is located 8 miles north of I-15 and 9 miles east of Highway 127.

Photo of a map with land boundaries outlined. Years Later, BLM Still Studying Land Swap with Tribe
(My Desert, 02/04/14)
Two years after the federal BLM sought public input on a proposed land trade with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the agency is still putting together its study looking at the impacts of such a deal.

RELATED: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
(BLM Website)
The National Monument's boundary encompasses about 272,000 acres, including 65,000 acres within the San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest, and 89,500 acres within the BLM's California Desert Conservation Area.


Two sage grouse facing eachother in open landscape. Juniper Reduction Project Shows Promise for Sage-Grouse in Northeastern California
(News.Bytes Extra)
"If you build it, they will come," a famous movie line, could be the motto for a large-scale juniper reduction project in northeast California, as greater Sage-Grouse appear to be moving into the area and using part of it as a mating ground. The BLM Eagle Lake Field Office has been working on the 10,162-acre North Horse project since 2008, removing junipers to reduce hazardous fuel loads and improve the condition of the sage-steppe ecosystem near Horse Lake.

Two wildlife biologists put up fence makers. Three Federal Agencies, Public Come Together on Fence Marker Project to Prevent Sage-Grouse Mortalities
(News.Bytes Extra)
The BLM's Bishop Field Office, the U.S. Forest Service's Bridgeport District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service Minden Field Office recently coordinated the marking of approximately 16 miles of fence to prevent sage-grouse mortalities or injuries. Fence marker and perch deterrent installation was completed in habitat for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of sage-grouse.

RELATED: Sage-Grouse Lek Video
(BLM YouTube)
Video taken at the Mount Biedeman Wilderness Study Area in the Bodie Hills. The strutting grouse sound like coffee percolators. This is one of the larger leks; BLM wildlife crew counted 116 birds the day before. Video by Bob Wick, BLM



A young mustang is being led by a BLM wrangler. BLM photoBLM Offering Halter-Trained Wild Horses for Adoption in Ferndale Feb. 8 and 9
(BLM News Release)
You can adopt one these beautiful animals at the the annual Back Country Horsemen's Association pack clinic. More burros and horses are available for adoption throughout the year, at the Litchfield and Ridgecrest corrals.

RELATED: Videos of Two Mustang Horses for Adoption
A sorrel Mustang for Adoption in Ferndale in February (BLM YouTube)
http://youtu.be/Bsd-s7UaK3c and Mustang for Adoption in Ferndale in Februray (BLM Video) http://youtu.be/YcC1zOlyNdQ

An adopted mustang lies down with her owner.Napa Native Trains Mustang, Competes in Texas Show
(Napa Valley Register, 01/29/14)
As a full-time student at Napa Valley College, Willow Newcomb is a somewhat unlikely competitor for an event as time-consuming as Extreme Mustang Makeover. The mustang, Patches, was rounded up in Elko County, Nev. and assigned to Newcomb just over a year ago. After spending several months in the Litchfield Wild Horse Corrals, the mare was loaded into Newcomb's trailer and brought to The Olive Branch Ranch in Napa to begin training.

RELATED: Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Facility
(BLM Website)
The facility covers approximately 80 acres with numerous pastures and corrals. Today the Litchfield Corral serves as the regional preparation center for wild horses and burros gathered from public lands in northern California and northwestern Nevada.

Mustang trotting around in corral. BLM photoWild Mustang Joins the San Diego Border Patrol
(BLM Facebook)
The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program went the extra mile to find a good home for a three-year old sorrel mustang.

Agency Seeks Comments on Wyoming Horse Sanctuary
(SF Gate, 02/05/14)
The BLM is seeking people's thoughts and ideas for a proposed eco-sanctuary north of Lander, Wyoming, that would take in as many as 250 wild horses.

RELATED: BLM California Wild Horse and Burro Program
(BLM Website) http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html

Nature Notes: Wild Horse Program is Reaching the Boiling Point
(Elko Daily Free Press, 02/01/14)
...the 40,000 wild horses living on Western HMAs; while the BLM's Appropriate Management Levels said the land can only support 26,677 horses.



Two Youth Corps members pose for a photo. BLM photoYouth Corps Return to California Desert District
(News.Bytes Extra)
New enthusiastic faces recently started work on public lands conservation projects in the BLM California Desert District (CDD). Working primarily on units of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), this "Youth Corps" has returned for a third year.

Dirt bike rider trying to get over large bolders. Photo by CA State ParksKing of the Hammers 2014
(BLM Facebook)
Punctuated by steep red rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, dry lake beds and sandy washes, it's a place that challenges participants in a Off-highway race event. King of the Hammers at BLM's Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area.

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. Elevations range from 4,600 feet at Hartwell Hills to 2,300 feet at Melville Dry Lake. Vegetation consists of creosote scrub, annual grasses, wild flowers and Joshua Trees.

New River Access Point Now Open on Trinity River
(BLM News Release)
The new access is part of the Lorenz Gulch Channel Rehabilitation Project designed to increase salmon and steelhead habitat downstream of Lewiston Dam, and to improve wildlife and fishery habitat while improving public river access and recreation opportunities.



Two sage grouse.

In sage grouse breeding, which of the following statements are true?

(a) Only males with loud drumming sounds will be chosen as a mate.
(b) All performing males will be chosen as a mate by one of more females in the lek.
(c) Males that win initial fights, with other males, and perform strongly during the dance rituals will be chose to mate.
(d) Only one or two males get picked to mate with females in the lek.
(e) Males are selective in which female they will mate with.
(f) c and d

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


Feb. 8 and 9: Alabama Hills Volunteer Work Day Planned
(BLM News Release)
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and the BLM's Bishop Field Office will sponsor a volunteer work day in the Alabama Hills. Rehabbing impacted areas by planting native plants, vertical mulching, delineating walking paths and picking up trash.

Young girl sits with her dog on a guided hike. BLM photoFeb. 8: Photo Hike! Indian Pass Arches
(BLM News Release)
Want to learn how to use that DSLR you got over the holidays? Or finally figure out how to use the one you already have? Photographers from the Imperial Valley Friends of Photography Club will join us on the hike to give you pointers on composition, exposure, techniques, etc.

Feb. 11 and 12: BLM Solicits Public Comment to Prepare Environmental Impact Statement on Oil and Gas Leasing and Development
(BLM News Release)
seeking public comments on how oil and gas resources on lands with federal mineral estate should be managed in the BLM's Hollister Field Office and whether the BLM should include areas of California beyond the Hollister Field Office in this process.


Feb. 14: BLM Announces Application Period for Dunes Subgroup
(BLM News Release)
The BLM's California Desert District Desert Advisory Council announces an open application period for membership on its Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area subgroup.

Historic black and white photo of Piedras Blancas lighthouse.Feb. 15: Piedras Blancas Birthday Celebration Living History Tour
(BLM Website)
The Piedras Blancas Light Station was first illuminated on February 14, 1875. In celebration of the 139th birthday of the lighthouse there will be a living history tour on Saturday, February 15, 2014. Guides and assistants will be dressed in period attire. Enactors will bring light station history to life.

Feb. 15: Indian Pass Arches-Dog Hike
(BLM Facebook)
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act by taking a hike over President's Day Weekend! Join a BLM park ranger for a moderate hike in mostly sandy/cobble wash, with slight elevation gain/loss, approx. 3.5 miles roundtrip. Granitic boulders and volcanic spires dominate the scenery, and everywhere geology speaks.

Feb. 15: Striking It Rich- Fan Hill Hike
(BLM CA Facebook)
The Fan Hill hike is
near Sky Valley and the Joshua Tree National Park Wilderness. This is the first of seve hikes that are planned for 2014 in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

Feb. 25 and 27: Public Meetings Scheduled to Solicit Comments on Route 66 Management Plan
(BLM News Release)
The BLM, in coordination with the California Historic Route 66 Association, will prepare a corridor management plan for the segment of the historic Route 66 within the BLM California Desert District that extends from the western city limits of Barstow, California to the Colorado River.


Photo clip of the DOI weekly video. Image of President Obamat State of the Union Address.DOI Weekly Video/Jan. 29: Here's What Happened this Week
(DOI YouTube)
Energy, climate change, conservation and jobs all a central theme of the President's State of the Union Address; Secretary Jewell hosts a special ceremony celebrating milestones in the land buyback program for American Indian tribes...


WILDLIFE TRIVIA ANSWER and related information

Two sage grouse face eachother. In sage grouse breeding, which of the following statements are true?

(f) c and d:

(c) Males that win initial fights, with other males, and perform strongly during the dance rituals will be chose to mate.
(d) Only one or two males get picked to mate with females in the lek.

SOURCES: All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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