News.bytes
News.bytes
A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 4/18/02


This week in News.bytes:

- OLDEST LIVING PLANT - ON BLM LAND?
- ENERGY RIGHT OF WAY CONTROVERSIES:
----- Valley Rainbow Interconnect powerline
----- North Baja Pipeline
- PLANT OF THE WEEK - ASH VALLEY MILKVETCH
- EARTH DAY EVENTS CO-SPONSORED BY BLM FIELD OFFICE
- OTHER VOLUNTEER PROJECTS THIS WEEKEND
- VOLUNTEERS PICK UP TRASH -- AND MORE
----- Long Valley cleanup
----- More cleanups this weekend
- NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY: Rangelands in the Eastern Sierras
- MORE ON THE EASTERN SIERRAS:
----- The Old West still there - in movies
----- Deer populations
- WILD HORSE AND BURRO ADOPTIONS - two this weekend!
- VISIT US: North of the San Francisco Bay/Delta
- OFF-ROAD ISSUES, including:
----- Rand Mountain interim closures
----- Sacramento River Trail debate
- DESERT TORTOISES
- MINERALS: Searles Lake
- HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS, including:
----- Cadiz underground water supply project
----- Desert tortoises
----- BLM and National Guard clean up marijuana gardens
----- Grant to ease fire danger
- SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS

OLDEST LIVING THING -- IS IT ON BLM LAND?

"THE OLDEST LIVING THING IS A QUIET SURVIVOR" (High Country News, 04/15/2002)
Essay on a visit to what may be the oldest living thing on earth, "King Clone" -- at 11,700 years, centuries older than redwoods and bristlecone pines we usually think of as ancient. The humble creosote bush was discovered more than two decades ago -- in the midst of the Johnson Valley Off-Road Recreation Area, which is managed by BLM California's Barstow Field Office.
http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=11165

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THIS STORY:

"PALM SPRINGS: FAMOUS FOR GOLFING, SUNSHINE -- AND A REALLY OLD BUSH" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 02/07/2002)
Earlier article on a ompetitor to "King Clone" -- visited by the essayist above -- in the category of oldest living thing.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories/local/1013039046.shtml

"UNASSUMING CALIFORNIA BUSH MAY BE WORLD'S OLDEST LIVING THING" (San Diego Union Tribune, 01/30/2002)
More on the creosote bush that may be older than "King Clone" - also found on federally-managed land.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20020130-1443-wst-ancientshrub.html

"THE WORLD'S OLDEST LIVING THING" (Wayne's Word: A Newsletter of Natural History Trivia)
Short but comprehensive discussion of what "world's oldest living thing" may mean. Part of a rather large Web page.
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0601.htm#oldest

"MEDIA UPDATE: Preliminary information on creosote bush released" (Palm Springs Desert Museum press release, 3/25/02)
First tests inconclusive, on the challenger to King Clone for title of "oldest living thing." Researchers plan to test more samples they hope will prove the plant to be older.
(Note: this press release is part of a rather long Web page)
http://www.psmuseum.org/performances/Press%20Releases1.htm#creosote

Bushes in Johnson Valley"JOHNSON VALLEY OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE AREA" (BLM California Web site)
"Creosote scrub dots the landscape" of this area - as discussed in the stories above.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/barstow/johnson.html

 

ENERGY RIGHTS OF WAY CONTROVERSIES

- VALLEY RAINBOW INTERCONNECT POWER LINE:

"SDG&E POWER LINE PROPOSAL HITS RESISTANCE IN CONGRESS" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 04/18/2002)
Proposed Valley Rainbow Interconnect power line would also cross BLM-managed lands.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20020418-9999_1mi18sdge.html

"FEDERAL PANEL CHIDES UTILITY'S LINE PLAN" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/18/2002)
House Resources Committee not receptive to San Diego Gas & Electric's effort to route Valley Rainbow Interconnect power line through proposed Indian Reservation expansion. Members say other routes for the line should be considered.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/southwest/stories/PE_NEWS_nsline18.87449cfa.html

"MURRIETTA TO SUPPORT GROUP OPPOSING POWER-LINE PLAN" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/18/2002)
City council votes to support fight against proposed route of Valley Rainbow Interconnect power line project, which would also cross BLM-managed lands.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/southwest/stories/PE_NEWS_nspower17.820b9826.html

- NORTH BAJA PROPOSED PIPELINE:

"GREENPEACE REPORT SLAMS POWER PLANS" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/18/2002)
At issue: North Baja pipeline to supply natural gas to new power plants in northern Mexico. Group says solar, wind, geothermal power could provide cleaner source of energy than gas-fired power plants; others, including wind turbine manufacturer, say alternative power is not yet able to produce that much energy.
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/April/17-1901-news02.txt

"VON WERLHOF DESPERATE TO SAVE SACRED SITES FROM PIPELINE" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/14/2002)
Archaeologist worries vibrations from work on North Baja Pipeline project could harm sacred Native American site including petroglyphs.
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/April/14-542-news01.txt

Related:
"KUKUMAT AND THE CREATION OF YUMANS"
Sidebar to above story.
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/April/14-543-news02.txt

"BAJA PIPELINE REHEARING DENIED" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/11/2002)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will not reconsider its Jan. 16 ruling that allows "North Baja Pipeline" under Imperial County land, for Mexicali power plants. Part of the line would cross BLM-managed public lands. Officials say construction should begin "in a few weeks."
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/April/11-1679-news02.txt

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK - ASH VALLEY MILKVETCH
Ash Valley MilkvetchThis BLM "Sensitive" plant is known from only one large occurrence in Ash Valley. This perennial herb has hairs on lower stems and leaves that are 3/4 - 2 inches long with notched leaflets. Numerous purple striped with white winged flowers bloom May through June.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/alturas/altasan.html


EARTH DAY EVENTS CO-SPONSORED BY BLM FIELD OFFICE

"YOU CAN GET DOWN TO EARTH IN A VARIETY OF WAYS SATURDAY" (San Bernardino County Sun, 04/18/2002)
Celebrate Earth Day in Barstow or Victorville with events co-sponsored by BLM California's Barstow Field Office.
http://www.sbsun.com/Stories/0,1002,1295%257E534500%257E81%257E%257E,00.html

"IT'S A GARDEN PARTY" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 04/16/2002)
More on Earth Day celebration in Barstow, with BLM California's Barstow Field Office as a partner. Description of events.
http://www.desertdispatch.com/ourtown/helpinghands.html

"A HEALTHY PLANET NEEDS HEALTHY PEOPLE" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 4/18/02)
"This Saturday you can learn how to clean up your health and then clean up the environment, all in one stop at the Health Fair Expo and then at the Earth Day Garden Party next door."
http://www.desertdispatch.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1019147001,17220,


OTHER VOLUNTEER PROJECTS THIS WEEKEND:

"VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR KING RANGE TRAIL CLEANUP PROJECT" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2002)
Outdoor enthusiasts can help spruce up the King Range National Conservation Area (NCA) on California's "Lost Coast," in a volunteer project Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21. The Bureau of Land Management will offer free camping for participants.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/03/nr/NCnews34_kingrange_trail_project.html

"VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR TRAIL DAYS PROJECT" (BLM California news release, 03/29/2002)
The BLM, Yolo County Parks and Facilities Dept., and the Yolo Hikers need volunteers to help clear and maintain hiking, equestrian and mountain bike trails. Workers can also help clean up the recently acquired public lands along Cache Creek and Bear Creek on the former Payne Ranch. This year's volunteer projects are planned for Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, in the southern portion of the Cache Creek Natural Area in Yolo County.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/03/nr/NCnews39_ukiah_trails_day_project.html


VOLUNTEERS PICK UP TRASH - AND MORE

Long Canyon - before volunteer cleanup"VOLUNTEERS CLEAR DESERT DUMPING GROUNDS" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 04/14/2002)
Fifty volunteers joined BLM and other partners to clean up illegal dump sites in Long Canyon, near Joshua Tree National Park. "Vehicles and appliances containing toxic fluids, tires that take 10,000 years to decompose, asphalt shingles and other items in various degrees of breakdown are not just eyesores -- they pose a real threat to the valley's groundwater.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories/local/1018743729.shtml

"SOME VIEWS OF LONG CANYON BEFORE VOLUNTEER CLEANUP" (BLM California Web page)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/longcanyoncleanup_4-01.html

"CUB SCOUTS FIND BOMBS DURING CLEAN-UP ACTIVITY" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 04/16/2002)
Cub Scouts discovered five pipe bombs during a BLM-volunteer cleanup in Long Canyon, just south of Joshua Tree National Park. Bomb squad member praises scouts for keeping people out of the area until the squad arrived. The devices were moved to another area and detonated.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories/local/1018918447.shtml


NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY: Rangelands in the Eastern Sierras
Rangelands are generally defined as uncultivated lands that provide the necessities of life for browsing and grazing animals.
Browsing animals, such as mule deer, will often consume the edible twigs and leaves of woody plants, while, grazing animals, such as cattle, will select the grasses and forbs. Rangelands are the dominate ecosystem found on all continents compared to woodlands, farmlands, or urbanized/ industrialized lands. (BLM California Web pages)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/bishop/range.html



MORE ON THE EASTERN SIERRAS

"HILLS OFFER TASTE OF OLD WEST" (Bakersfield Californian, 03/30/2002)
Horseback tour of "Old West" landmarks in cowboy movies. Film backdrops in the Eastern Sierra include many from BLM-managed lands.
http://www.bakersfield.com/travel/story/858748p-942992c.html

Related:
"ALABAMA HILLS: SCENIC AND BACK-COUNTRY BYWAYS" (BLM California Web pages)
More about the area's history and movies filmed there.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/bishop/alabamas.html

"A NEAR AND DEER STORY" (Mammoth Times, 04/18/2002)
Information about deer management in the Eastern Sierra. Studies spurred by declines in deer population and amount of information available.
http://www.mammothtimes.com/times2002/NearDeer04-18.html

Related:
"WATCHABLE WILDLIFE SITE: HAIWEE DEER WINTER RANGE" (BLM California Web page)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/caso/wf-haiwee.html


WILD HORSE AND BURRO ADOPTIONS - TWO THIS WEEKEND!

"WILD HORSES AND BURROS HEADED FOR YUBA CITY" (BLM California news release, 04/02/2002)
Wild horses and burros from the public rangelands of California and Nevada are headed for the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City, where they will be available for public adoption.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/04/nr/NCnews44_yuba_city_whb_adoption.html

"AMERICA'S WILD HORSES AND BURROS NEED YOU" (BLM California news release, 04/11/2002)
On April 20-21, approximately 150 animals hope to find a good home at Lake Perris Fairgrounds when they will be offered to qualified adopters through the BLM's Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/04/nr/CDDnews43_2nd_Perris_adoption_release.html

"WILD HORSES AND BURROS HEADED FOR STOCKTON" (BLM California news release, 04/17/2002)
Wild horses and burros from the public rangelands of California and Nevada are headed for the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, where they will be available for public adoption.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/04/nr/NCnews47_stockton_WHB_adoption.html


Top 10 map - BLM Ukiah Field OfficeVISIT US: North of the San Francisco Bay/Delta
Visiting the San Francisco Bay/Delta area this summer? Take a look at the Top 10 Points of Interest managed by our Ukiah Field Office.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/ukiah/topten.html


OFF-ROAD ISSUES

"STARK, BITTER DEBATE PLAYS OUT OVER DUNES" (Los Angeles Times, 04/15/2002)
Imperial Sand Dunes.: Off-roaders, environmental groups at odds over their uses.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-000026859apr15.story

"SAND ASSOCIATION OPENING CHAPTER IN EL CENTRO" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/12/2002)
Chapter of American Sand Association will press for open access to public lands. One focus is BLM's current effort with Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area draft management plan.
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/April/12-1463-news07.txt

"IMPERIAL DUNES DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT" (BLM California news release, 3/29/02)
Background to two stories above.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/03/nr/CDDnews33_Imperial_dunes_draft_management_plan.html

"SHUT OUT OF RAND MOUNTAINS, OFF-ROADERS SEETHING" (Bakersfield Californian, 04/13/2002)
Interim route closure in eastern Rand Mountains.
http://www.bakersfield.com/local/story/934822p-1035302c.html

"RESTRICTED OFF-ROAD AREAS" (Bakersfield Californian, 04/13/2002)
SIDEBAR to related article: "Shut out of Rand Mountains."
http://www.bakersfield.com/local/story/934821p-1035301c.html

"BLM IMPLEMENTS EMERGENCY INTERIM VEHICLE CLOSURE IN PORTION OF RAND MOUNTAINS" (BLM California news release, 3/29/02)
Background to story and sidebar above.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/03/nr/CDDnews34_Rand_ACEC_emergency_closure.html

"SOUTH COW MOUNTAIN OHV AREA TO BE TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR PUBLIC SAFETY" (BLM California news release, 04/01/2002)
BLM will close South Cow Mountain Off-HighwayVehicle Area to general recreation use and through traffic Friday, April 26, through Sunday, April 28 --for public safety during the Sonoma County Sport Cycle Association's"Outlaw Hare Scrambles" motorcycle race.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/04/nr/NCnews42_cow_mountain_OOHV_temp_closure.html


DESERT TORTOISES

Desrt tortoise"EXPERTS: AVOID CONTACT WITH DESERT TORTOISES" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 04/15/2002)
It is illegal to take desert tortoises from the wild. People should not even touch them, unless they are in imminent danger, like on a road. And watch out for them under you parked car -- as they look for shade -- or on roads, as they are on the move for food and water. Related: BLM Web page.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories/local/1018834400.shtml

"DESERT TORTOISE DO's AND DON'Ts"
More on protecting the desert tortoise, from our Ridgecrest Field Office.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/ridgecrest/tortoise.html

"DESERT TORTOISE NATURAL AREA - Watchable Wildlife Area" (BLM California Web pages)
More on the desert tortoise.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/caso/wf-destor.html


MINERALS: Searles Lake

"LAHONTON GIVES OK TO IMC OFFER" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 04/11/2002)
Saying IMC Chemical Company of Trona has made extensive progress in cleaning up discharge from its plants, California's regional water quality board accepted an agreement to pay for environmental projects and fines. Community members and BLM representative spoke in support of the agreement. IMC extracts minerals from Searles Lake, where BLM California is responsible for collecting royalties minerals taken from public lands.
http://www.ridgecrestca.com/beta_2/index.php3?id=805

Related:
"SOLID LEASABLE MINERALS IN CALIFORNIA" (BLM California web page)
Some unfamiliar -- but important -- minerals come from BLM-managed lands such as those at Searles Lake.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/minerals/solid_lse.html

Related:
SEARLES LAKE ROYALTY RELIEF APPLICATION AND POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON THE TRONA SCHOOL.
IMC Chemicals (IMCC), the lessee for Searles Lake mining operations, is applying for a temporary royalty rate reduction from five percent of the gross value of sodium and potassium compounds to two percent of the gross value which is the minimum royalty rate allowed by regulation. BLM is expecting to receive a complete application from IMCC this month.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/searles_04-01.html

HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

"DESERT AQUIFER: MWD-Cadiz water plan bears watching" (San Bernardino Sun, 04/18/2002)
Editorial on proposed Mojave Desert underground water storage and pumping proposal by Cadiz, Inc.
http://www.sbsun.com/Stories/0,1002,1292%257E534715%257E81%257E%257E,00.html

"BLM, NATIONAL GUARD CLEAN UP MARIJUANA CULTIVATION SITES" (BLM California news release, 04/11/2002)
Helicopters hauling large bundles crisscrossed the skies over Walker Ridge during the past three days, as BLM law enforcement personnel and the California National Guard cleaned up several outdoor marijuana cultivation sites.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/04/nr/NCnews45_gardenclean.html

"GRANT WILL HELP DERAIL FIRE DANGER IN AUBURN" (Sacramento Bee, 04/11/2002)
$25,000 grant comes from National Fire Plan funds set aside by Congress last year, to help reduce wildfire danger in populated areas. Grant program is administered by BLM.
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/neighbors/placer/story/2142415p-2521353c.html

"BLM PLANS WORK ON SACRAMENTO RIVER RAIL TRAIL" (BLM California news release, 04/16/2002)
A one-mile segment of the Sacramento River Rail Trail between the Iron Mountain Road and the Keswick Boat Ramp will be closed from Monday, April 22 through Monday, May 6, for a grading and resurfacing project.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/04/nr/NCnews46_sacramento_railtrail_closure.html

"LAST DAY FOR WILDFLOWER SHOW" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 04/14/2002)
This Ridgecrest-area flower show is over for the year -- but volunteers with permits from BLM collected enough that "you may be surprised what the desert can produce even in so very dry a year as this."
http://www.ridgecrestca.com/beta_2/index.php3?id=813
Preview of the event says visitors have come from around the world:
http://www.ridgecrestca.com/beta_2/index.php3?id=806


"WEIGHING IN ON THE FUTURE OF CONSERVATION" (Eureka Times-Standard, 04/17/2002)
Analysis of future purchases of public land, particularly in Humboldt County. Issue can polarize: is it a threat to a way of life, or a way to breathe life into a changing economy? What about potential loss of taxes when private property becomes public?
http://www.times-standard.com/Stories/0,1413,127%257E2896%257E534246,00.html

"CHARGING TO THE END OF PARADISE" (Los Angeles Times, 04/17/2002)
Columnist says public lands getting too commercialized. Plans to join nationwide protest against making Fee Demonstration program permanent.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-000027312apr17.story


SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS

April 19-20
Susanville
"BLM NORTHEAST CALIFORNIA ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETS" (BLM California news release, 03/25/2002)
Members of the BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council will discuss a strategy for Western juniper management.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/03/nr/NCnews36_nerac_meeting_april02.html

April 24-25
Arcata
"BLM CITIZEN ADVISORY COUNCIL TO MEET IN ARCATA" (BLM California news release, 03/29/2002)
Members of the BLMs Northwest California Resource Advisory Council will hear information on management of the California Coastal National Monument, when they convene for a field tour and meeting.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/03/nr/NCnews38_nwrac_april02_meeting.html


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