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Issue 638-08/21/14- Visit us on
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Folsom Lake Veterans fire crew pose with Secretary Sally Jewell. BLM photo Trinidad School teacher Stephanie Strasser reads to her third graders during an outing on public lands. BLM photo A volunteer wilderness ranger uses a handsaw to remove a fallen Live Oak from a trail. BLM photo A large array of solar panels. Bright stars in a night sky over the Kingston Range Wilderness. BLM photo


- Discover the Coast

- Headlines and Highlights
- Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week
- BLM and Department of Interior Highlights
- Upcoming BLM California Events

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Trinidad School teacher Stephanie Strasser reads to her third graders during an outing on public lands. BLM photoHands on the Land Benefitting a Teacher and her Pupils (News.Bytes Extra) A primary school teacher on California's spectacular North Coast has been inspired by the beauty of the public lands to develop a "place-based" curriculum to expose her pupils to the wonders of the great outdoors. http://ow.ly/AxNYQ

A volunteer wilderness ranger uses a hand saw to remove a downed Live Oak tree from the Horse Mountain Creek Trail in the King Range Wilderness.  BLM photoWilderness Volunteer in the King Range Wilderness
(BLM Facebook) Two volunteer wilderness rangers, Chris and Bryce, donated a combined 725 hours of work this year to BLM's King Range National Conservation Area. They cleared downed logs and helped maintain hiking trails, they rehabbed campsites and packed out trash and debris. http://ow.ly/Axz5p

BLM and interagency partners talk with the public about the Wilderness  Act 50th Anniversary at the Humblodt County Fair. BLM photoWilderness 50th Celebrated at the Humboldt County Fair
(BLM Facebook) The U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined BLM in talking with folks about wilderness and recreation opportunities on public lands during the Humboldt County Fair. Backpacking clinics and the kid zone games and prizes were other hightlights of the event. http://ow.ly/AxEcE

Aerial photo of hiking trails at Fort Ord National Monument. Explore Hiking Trails of Former Military Base
(San Benito County Today, 08/14/14) Since the closure of Fort Ord in 1994, the 28,000 acres that comprised the military base have been spun off into various civilian uses. As a part of that process, President Obama set aside 14,650 acres--half of the former base--as Fort Ord National Monument. http://ow.ly/AxvBx

Save the Point Arena Field Station by Selling It
(Ukiah Daily Journal, 08/14/14) For over two years the sale of the former LORAN station that is now surrounded by the national monument has been discussed with those of us who are partners with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the California Coastal National Monument Point Arena Gateway Group. http://ow.ly/Axw8G

Text graphic of Discover the Coast. Visit Our Discover The Coast Website
(BLM website) Learn more about the Discover the Coast initiative, our partnerships, and events. http://ow.ly/voNJ2



Can you name this rail species? Here are a few hints…

(a.) It is one of the largest rail species

(b.) It looks like a chicken with a long, slightly downward-curving bill

(c.) The upper parts of its body are colored olive-brown and the breast is cinnamon-buff

(d.) Their habitat is salty and brackish water marshes with pickleweed and cordgrass

(e.) They prefer to walk or run rather than fly or swim

(f.) They are a secretive endangered bird in California

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


A boy scout group helps assemble an outdoor bench along the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. BLM photoScout Enlists Community Support, Improves Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail (News.Bytes Extra) An Eagle Scout candidate from Susanville enlisted a cadre of community volunteers and has completed a project to add three resting benches at scenic overlooks on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. http://ow.ly/Ay4Mc

Stars shine in a night sky over the Kingston Range Wilderness. Photo by Bob Wick/BLMPhotogenic Kingston Range Wilderness
(BLM Tumblr) BLM California's Kingston Range Wilderness was one of the nine BLM wilderness areas named as the "15 of America's Most Photogenic Wilderness Areas" by The Wilderness Society. http://tmblr.co/Z9wNeu1OEGzTF

BLM Initiates Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Eagle Mountain Land Exchange in Riverside County
(BLM News Release) The BLM published a Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to comply with a federal District Court Order which set aside a land exchange (the Eagle Mountain land exchange) pending... This initiates a 30-day scoping period focused on identifying issues related to the purpose and need for the exchange and the range of alternatives. Comments may be submitted in writing... http://ow.ly/AxFAQ

A California drought map with color variations for drought areas. West's Historic Drought Stokes Fears of Water Crisis (The Washington Post, 08/12/14) ...across California's vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state's epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers -- always a backup source during the region's periodic droughts - are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable. http://ow.ly/Axuuq

BrightSource Responds to Critics about Bird Deaths at Ivanpah CSP Plant
(CSP World, 08/20/14) A lot has been written about the impact solar thermal power tower technology - like that used at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - has on birds. Like any infrastructure project, there are environmental impacts. These are legitimate concerns that must be addressed. But it needs to be put in context. That is where many have by and large missed the point. http://ow.ly/AzPkC

A large array of solar panels. 'Alarming' Rate Of Bird Deaths As New Solar Plants Scorch Animals In Mid-Air
(The Huffington Post, 08/18/14) Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays. http://ow.ly/AxLdD


BLM and DEPARTMENT of the INTERIOR Highlights

BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Fire Crew pose with Secretary Sally Jewell. BLM photoLAST WEEK AT THE BLM, August 11-15, 2014 (BLM Tumblr) Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited with members of the interagency fire leadership team and employees; BLM issued guidance to its state and field offices on how to evaluate activities on thousands of miles of public land that was granted to railroad companies as rights-of-way under a 19th century law; and more. http://tmblr.co/Z9wNeu1OZtwOj

Image clip from DOI weekly video. Image of firefighters talking to Secretary Sally Jewell. VIDEO- This Week at Interior: August 15, 2014
(DOI YouTube) One million dollars in additional funding for a San Diego wildlife refuge; Secretary Jewell travels to California to meet with members of the interagency fire leadership team, as that state battles wildfires and an epic drought; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announces three areas of the coast of North Carolina for possible wind energy development; and more. http://youtu.be/Qvia0DeMqro


Aug. 21: BLM Announces Desert Advisory Council Subcommittee Meeting (BLM News Release) The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan subcommittee to the Desert Advisory Council has scheduled a public meeting for August 21, at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center... The DRECP is intended to help provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy projects. http://ow.ly/AxH6H

Aug. 11- Oct.: Delays, Closures will Affect Butte County Roads During Improvement Projects
(BLM News Release) Visitors planning to travel on Doe Mill road in Butte County will be subject to delays and closures as construction gets underway on road improvements and a bridge replacement project. The road, also known as Ponderosa Way, will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during construction. The road will be open on weekends. http://ow.ly/AcpxC

Aug. 19-21: Public Meetings During Scoping Phase for Environmental Review of Major Transmission Line in California Desert
(BLM News Release) During the scoping period, the BLM and the CPUC will solicit public comments on planning issues, environmental concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be included in the analysis of the proposed action. http://ow.ly/Acrsw

Aug. 21: BLM Seeks Organization to Administer Wetland Waterfowl Hunts
(BLM News Release) The BLM is seeking a qualified organization to administer waterfowl hunting for youth, women and disabled hunters on its Cougar Wetland at the Cosumnes River Preserve during the 2014-15 hunting season. http://ow.ly/AcqGw

Aug. 28: Webcast Scheduled to Solicit Comments on Route 66 Management Plan
(BLM News Release) The California Historic Route 66 Association and BLM California Desert District have scheduled the third in a series of four webcasts to continue soliciting public comments on the preparation of a corridor management plan for Historic Route 66 from Barstow to Needles, California. Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects will host the webcast on to address transportation-related issues. http://ow.ly/AxHH4

WILDLIFE TRIVIA ANSWER and Related Information

Can you name this rail species? Here are a few hints...
California Rigway's rail, previously called the California Clapper rail. Photo by Len Blumin/Flickr
Photo by Len Blumin/Flickr

ANSWER: As of this year, the name has changed from the California Clapper rail to the California Ridgway's rail,” named after Robert Ridgway, the ornithologist who first described the birds.

RELATED: There's a New Bird Species in California, Sort Of (KQED, 08/04/14) An endangered bird that lives in the Bay Area is not what scientists thought it was. The California clapper rail is a noisy, rare bird that looks a little like a small chicken and only lives in marshes around San Francisco Bay. But it's not, in fact, a clapper rail. It's a subspecies of something else. http://ow.ly/AxUZL

RELATED: California Clapper Rail (USFWS Website) http://ow.ly/Ay6qs

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