BLM and CSU Bakersfield researcher take soil samples looking for spores
The Bureau of Land Management's Bakersfield Field Office teamed up with Antje Lauer, a research professor at California State University, Bakersfield, to conduct soil samples for the detection of Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) spores within the Temblor Range Special Recreation Management Area.
In early November, BLM Natural Resource Specialist Tiera Arbogast and Antje Lauer collected nearly 40 samples for the detection of Valley Fever within the Temblor Range, where thousands of visitors enjoy off-highway vehicle recreation every year.
The Valley Fever fungus (coccidioides) is found within the top layer of soil and is particularly prevalent within the San Joaquin Valley. Inhalation of the Valley Fever fungus can cause a mild to severe infection resembling the flu.
Through soil sampling, the BLM and Antje want to determine whether the fungus exists within the Temblor Range and what risks this may pose to off-highway vehicle recreationists.