BLM California News.Bytes Issue 891

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news bytes - bureau of land management californiaCalifornia quail.

California quail (Callipepla californica), Eagle Lake Field Office

ISSUE 891- February 28, 2020

  • Headlines and Highlights
  • BLM and DOI Highlights 
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

Headline and Highlights

BLM employee Emily Ryan holding a dog

Emily Ryan named manager of BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, Susanville

Emily Ryan, a natural resource management professional with wide-ranging experience, has been named manager of the Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville. “Emily has already proven herself to be an effective leader in the Eagle Lake Field Office, having served as associate field manager since 2014,” said Alan Bittner, manager of the BLM’s Northern California District. (BLM news release)

A photo of King Range National Conservation area.

BLM announces artist in residence opportunity at King Range National Conservation Area

Applications are now being accepted until Friday, March 6, from artists interested in becoming an artist in residence at the King Range National Conservation Area on California’s Lost Coast. The AIR program is sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management and the Shelter Cove Arts and Recreation Foundation. Detailed information on the program and an application are available at (BLM news release)

Dirt bike motorist in the desert.

BLM seeks comments on 2020 off-highway vehicle recreation proposals

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, off-highway vehicle recreation proposals, which are available for review from March 3 to May 4 (BLM news release)

An image of a desert area with Joshua trees growing throughout.

The BLM approves Castle Mountain mine plan modification

The Bureau of Land Management has approved Castle Mountain Venture’s modification to their plan of operations. The Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impact released today authorizes the construction of five new monitoring wells and expansion of the project footprint. (BLM news release)

Guests at a festival

Celebrate the desert in bloom at the Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival

The upcoming 13th annual Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the desert’s vibrant flora that will soon be in full bloom, while also enjoying a variety of health and wellness activities. The festival is a City of Palm Desert "First Weekend" featured event, taking place at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park on Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. (Desert Sun)

A group photo of volunteers.

Thank you AmeriCorps for helping make America's public lands safe and accessible!

This month, an AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region Team worked alongside staff the at the BLM Needles Field Office to install fencing at the Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed and re-condition trail at Amboy Crater. The new fence will encourage visitors to stay on safe developed paths and prevent damage to the fragile lake bed. (BLM CA Facebook)

BLM and DOI Highlights

A photo of two ladies walking on Edmund Pettus bridge

Saluting African American History Month at the Department of the Interior

 From honoring leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Union soldiers in the Civil War to highlighting African American art and cultural sites, the Department shares our nation's rich history. (DOI news release)


U.S. Senate Confirms Katharine MacGregor as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior

MacGregor has worked on issues that include improving responsible domestic energy and mineral development, combating missing and murdered American Indians and Alaskan Natives, enhancing rural broadband and executing on other Administration priorities. (DOI news release)

A photo of Yosemite National Park

This Week at Interior, February 28, 2020

This Week: The number of visitors at America’s National Parks in 2019 was up by nine million over the previous year; Kate MacGregor is confirmed as Deputy Secretary; the Bureau of Reclamation announces water allocation amounts for Central Valley Project contractors in California and more! (DOI video)

Wildlife Question of the Week

A photo of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Cuckoo facts

The yellow-billed cuckoo (western distinct population segment) is a medium-sized bird of about 30 cm (about 12 inches) in length and weighing about 60 g (about 2 ounces).

What do you call a group of cuckoos?

Keep scrolling to find out!

Upcoming Events

A photo of a rock formation set against a blue sky.

The Alabama Hills under our Feet

Saturday February 29, from 10 12 p.m.

This ancient landscape captures the stories of the ages. Hear geological and cultural tales on a short walk through corridors and crags nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Free Community Program open to the public. (BLM CA Facebook)

A desert valley with solar panels and wind turbines.

BLM seeks public comment for the Camino Solar Project in Kern County

Deadline for submitting comments is March 16

The Bureau of Land Management, Ridgecrest Field Office, is seeking public comments on the Camino Solar Project located in the Antelope Valley, west of Rosamond in Kern County. (BLM news release)

Cows graze on lush green hills.

BLM seeks public input on draft Cotoni-Coast Dairies management plan

The 30-day public review period ends on March 19.

The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office is seeking public input on an environmental assessment and draft amendment to the Resource Management Plan for the California Coastal National Monument that will provide management direction for Cotoni-Coast Dairies public lands in Santa Cruz County.

Two open house meetings will be held during the review period from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

Wednesday, March 4, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District, 1492 Pine Flat Rd., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Thursday, March 5, Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (BLM news release)

A photo of a group of people meeting in  the desert with windmills visible in the background.

BLM Desert Advisory Council to meet in El Centro, April 3-4

The Bureau of Land Management will hold a field tour and public meeting of the BLM California Desert District Advisory Council, consistent with BLM’s commitment to partnerships and public input necessary for managing sustainable, working public lands. (BLM news release)



A group of cuckoos can be called an "asylum" or a "cooch" of cuckoos.

Yellow-billed cuckoos (Coccyzus americanus) live alone or in pairs in the breeding season. It is thought that they may be territorial. They are patient feeders, and will sit motionless on hidden perches, frequently with their shoulders hunched in order to disguise their white belly and chest while waiting for their prey to move.

Plumage is grayish-brown above and white below, with red primary flight feathers. The tail feathers are boldly patterned with black and white below. The legs are short and bluish-gray. Adults have a narrow, yellow eye ring. Juveniles resemble adults, except the tail patterning is less distinct, and the lower bill may have little or no yellow.

On the cuckoo’s feet, two toes point forward and two point backwards. Most other birds have three pointing forward and one back. Feathers make up almost half of the yellow-billed cuckoos body weight.

The yellow-billed cuckoo is a member of the avian family Cuculidae. Some ornithologists have separated the species into eastern and western subspecies, which is a controversial distinction. However, the listed western population is a distinct vertebrate population segment.

Related Links: FWS Species