A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue date: 6/12/02
This week in News.bytes:
- RECREATION ON PUBLIC LANDS:
- Fees - issue nationally, and in California
- Conflicts with neighbors
- Off-highway recreation grant
- Access to public lands
- MANAGING THE LAND
- "The West is Ablaze" - including parts of
- Preventing wildfires
- Lowden fire meeting
- FREE report: National Fire Plan results, FY 2001
- "FREE" LIGHTHOUSES
- ENERGY ACROSS PUBLIC LANDS:
- Geothermal, alternative energy on public lands
- Natural gas pipeline sparks opposition
- Oil and gas operators learn more about federal leases
- PLANT OF THE WEEK - BODIE HILLS DRABA
- HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
- SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
ON PUBLIC LANDS
"PERMANENT USER FEES
IN THE PIPELINE" (High Country News, 06/10/2002)
Congess pushing for legislation to create single recreation pass for all
U.S. public lands, including BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Would replace "fee demo" (Recreation
Fee Demonstration) created by Congress in 1996 and extended until 2004.
Opponents say fee is a form of double taxation. Supporters say billions
of dollars in maintenance backlog and lack of Congressional funding makes
this program necessary.
"SHOOTERS, OHV USERS
AWAIT BLM PLAN ON CAMPO SECO LAND" (Calaveras Enterprise, 06/07/2002)
Neighbors complain long-used shooting area on BLM-managed land near Campo
Seco is a nuisance and safety hazard. Supporters of shooting area say
monitoring and clearly marking shooting area boundaries could address
neighbors' complaints. Draft plan will be available for public comment.
"OFF-ROADERS vs. EVERYONE
ELSE" (Victorville Daily Press, 06/09/2002)
"You have people with two very different expectations of desert life
and they're neighbors," says a BLM off-road coordinator. Serenity?Or
wide-open spaces for their off-road vehicles? More than 50 readers contacted
newspaper to complain about noise and dust. Riders say inconsiderate riders
give them all a bad name and those who ride further from ...
"CLEAR CREEK GRANT
APPLICATION OPEN HOUSE" (BLM California news release, 06/10/2002)
Open house will be held by BLM Hollister Field Office so interested parties
can provide input on the Clear Creek Management Area off-highway vehicle
grant request. The Clear Creek Management Area in southern San Benito
and western Fresno counties is a popular spot for off-highway vehicle
"VISITORS GET RARE
PEAK AT GOLDFIELDS" (Sacramento Bee, 06/09/2002)
About 200 picnickers toured almost the ponds that dot Yuba Goldfields
- remnants of Gold Rush dredging for ore along the Yuba River. Picnic
was a fund raiser for group that wants public access to 3,000 acres of
public lands managed by BLM California's Folsom Field Office. Gravel company
with mning rights on 7,000 acres within the Goldfields, says road that
provides access to the area is private, not open to the public.
"DRAFT BLM PLAN/EIS
RELEASED FOR PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT" (BLM California news
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Draft California
Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment for the Coachella Valley, Draft
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains Trails Management Plan, and Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review and comment.
"BLM SCHEDULES PUBLIC
MEETINGS TO PREPARE DRAFT EIS FOR SURPRISE CANYON" (BLM California
news release, 06/11/2002)
The BLM has scheduled five public scoping meetings to gather public comments
and recommendations on the preparation of draft environmental impact statement
(EIS) and proposed amendment to the 1980 California Desert Conservation
Area Plan that will establish or revise off-highway vehicle route designation
for Surprise Canyon, located in the Panamint Mountains in Inyo County.
"REP. BILL THOMAS:
SPECIES ACT NEEDS SENSIBLE REFORM" (Bakersfield Californian,
Guest editorial urges legislation requiring "independent scientific
peer review" befor listing or delisting of any species under the
Endangered Species Act. States that current application of law leads to
actions that "restrict and deny Americans access to public lands."
"HUNTER WEIGHS IN ON
DUNES MANAGEMENT PLAN" (Imperial Valley Press, 06/09/2002)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter met with BLM Director Kathleen Clarke last week,
and gave her letter with three recommendations for BLM's Draft Imperial
Sand Dunes management plan. Hunter has been among those critical of the
"Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Recreation
Area Management Plan and Amendment to the California Desert Area Plan:
Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area" (BLM California Web pages)
"TESTIMONY OF NINA
ROSE HATFIELD ... H.R. 4620, 'AMERICA'S WILDERNESS PROTECTION ACT'"
(BLM news release, 06/06/2002)
June 6 testimony by Department of Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary,
before House Budget and Finance Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Parks,
Recreation and Public Land. "H.R. 4620 seeks to move forward the
wilderness debate" and among other things, would set 10-year limit
on designations of current "Wilderness Study Areas" or they
would be revert to management plans in place before they were designated
OF THE WEEK: "BLM firefighters train with 'city' equipment"
BLM firefighters received training on self-contained breathing apparatus
-- more commonly used in cities. Remote stations are often first on the
scene of auto accidents, for instance -- where this equipment comes into
of BLM hazardous fuels projects"
A look at continuing efforts to reduce threat of wildfires.
(PDF file, 273 kilobytes): http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/snapshots_fire_calif_20020515.pdf
"NATIONAL FIRE NEWS" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Updates on wildfires across public lands nationally - including California.
NIFC is a cooperative firefighting effort among BLM and other federal
"BLM AND REP. HERGER'S
OFFICE TO SPONSOR LEWISTON PUBLIC MEETING" (BLM California news
public meeting tonight to review status of the Lowden fire claims and
restoration efforts. In Lewiston Wednesday, June 12, 7 to 9 p.m.
"BURNED-OUT HOMEOWNERS AWAIT PAYMENT" (Redding Record-Searchlight,
More than $6.1 million worth of claims have been paid in the three years
since the Lowden Fire - a BLM prescribed fire that got out of control.
Rep. Wally Herger and BLM arranged meeting this week between his staff,
BLM representatives and some of the 150 fire victims whose claims remain
"THE WEST IS ABLAZE"
(Siskiyou Daily News, 06/11/2002)
One of the wildfires across California and the West that BLM firefighters
are helping battle -- this one on Klamath National Forest at California/Oregon
Sibebar to story: "EARLY BLAZES STRETCH RESOURCES IN THE WEST,
BUT WORST OF SEASON STILL AHEAD"
MEAN SURGING DEMAND FOR ARIZ SLURRY BUSINESS" (San Diego Union-Tribune,
(Associated Press) Early and intense wildfire season throughout the West
-- including California -- spurs demand for red fire retardant that is
dropped from airplanes. Used by firefighters including BLM.
"FY 2001 PERFORMANCE REPORT: NATIONAL FIRE PLAN
This is not a publication everyone would want -- but we have a limited number
of 80-page reports detatiling progress on the National Fire Plan during
Fiscal Year 2001. This booklet from Department of Interior and U.S. Department
of Agriculture summarizes accomplishments in responding to wildfires of
2000, with plans to reduce impacts of severe fires on rural communities
and the environment. Includes summary, and about 45 pages of figures in
"SECRETARY NORTON ANNOUNCES
FIRST LIGHTHOUSES SELECTED UNDER NATIONAL PRESERVATION PROGRAM"
(Department of Interior news release, 06/10/2002)
Interior Secretary Gale Norton appears at Georgia lighthouse -- one of
the first four out of 301 to be transferred from Coast Guard. National
Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 authorizes transfer of historic
lighthouses and stations at no cost to federal agencies, state and local
governments, nonprofit corporations and community development organizations.
"MUNISING RANGE LIGHTS
AND LITTLE RIVER LIGHTS TO BE PROTECTED UNDER NATIONAL PRESERVATION PROGRAM"
(BLM California news release, 06/11/2002)
Ceremony to turn more two lighthouses in Michigan -- one to be managed
by historical group, other by National Park Service.
BLANCAS" (BLM California web site)
BLM California's involvement in earlier transfer of a former Coast Guard
lighthouse: Piedras Blancas Light Station, near San Simeon (three miles
from Hearst Castle).
FREE LIGHTHOUSES" (Associated Press, in Yahoo! News, 06/07/2002)
Department of Interior program to help Coast Guard transfer as many as
301 lighthouses it has automated and no longer needs. Nonprofit groups
and government agencies have first choice.
- GLANCE" (Associated Press, in Yahoo! News, 06/07/2002)
Surplus lighthouses to be turned over by Coast Guard includes 18 in California.
"INVENTORY OF HISTORIC
LIGHT STATIONS: CALIFORNIA LIGHTHOUSES" (National Park Service
"LIGHTHOUSES - FREQUENTLY
ASKED QUESTIONS" (National Park Service Web site)
OIL AND GAS LEASE OPERATORS
GET LATEST INFO AT BLM SEMINAR IN BAKERSFIELD
oil and gas lease operators met at an all-day seminar June 11 for updates
on permitting, leasing, assignment/transfer of leases, bonding, field
operations, BLM's inspection, idle well and royalty rate reduction programs
and collaborative efforts with industry and other agencies. Event featured
15 speakers from the BLM's Bakersfield Field Office and Bonnie Edgerly
from the State Office. The 93 attendees represented major and independent
oil companies, industry associations, oilfield service companies, the
Minerals Management Service, California Regional Water Quality Control
Board, and the California Divison of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.
Attendees said they especially appreciated hearing presentations from
individuals who actually have job responsiblity related to each topic.
Plans are to repeat seminar at least once each year.
"COMMENT SOUGHT ON
PROPOSED GEOTHERMAL DRILLING IN MAMMOTH LAKES AREA" (BLM California
Public field trip to potential drilling sites - June 29. Comments due
August 2, 2002.
FLOWERS" (San Bernardino County Sun, 06/11/2002)
Southern California Edison's efforts to purchase alternative energy --
with four percent of it from geothermal power, including a 90-megawatt
plant on 25,000 acres leased from BLM and Navy near China Lake.
"BILL BANS EXPORT OF
GAS IF PLANTS NOT UP TO PAR" (Imperial Valley Press, 06/05/2002)
Proposed legislation would ban U.S. export of natural gas to power plants
in Mexico unless equipped with air-quality control equipment meeting U.S.
standards. Would affect North Baja pipeline -- which includes passages
across BLM-managed land -- which critics say would add pollution to Imperial
"OUR OPINION: WE ARE
STILL ANGRY" (Imperial Valley Press, 06/09/2002)
Newspaper editorial: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein joins Rep. Douglas
Hunter to introduce legislation banning exports of U.S. natural gas to
new Mexican power plants within 50 miles of border, if they are not equipped
with air quality control equipment meeting U.S. standards. Newspaper "appreciates
support" to protect Imperial Valley air quality, but speculates it
is meant to placate area voters angry at what they see as her letter threatening
to take water from them.
"COLD REALITIES ON
ENERGY" (San Francisco Chronicle, 06/07/2002)
Editorial on former BLM director Jim Baca's nationwide tour against what
he says is current administrations pro-development energy policy.
OF THE WEEK - Bodie Hills Draba
Low sagebrush, bitterbrush, and mountain mahogany communities usually
on open, level slopes and ridges in well drained soils of granitic or
volcanic origin; at elevations of 7200-8400 feet.
Special status plants are those plants found on public lands administered
by the Bureau of Land Management whose survival is of concern.
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"QUECHAN LAND MAKES NATIONAL TRUST LIST" (Yuma Sun, 06/09/2002)
Indian pass on national nonprofit's list of 11 most endangered historic
places. Quechan Tribe states site is sacred to it and includes Dream Trails,
hopes designation will help stop proposed gold mining project.
"TRUST CALLS INDIAN PASS AN ENDANGERED HISTORICAL SITE"
(Imperial Valley Press, 06/07/2002)
Indian pass on national nonprofit's list of 11 most endangered historic
places. Group says designation will bring attention and money to help
preserve the site, sacred to Quechan Tribe and they believe threatened
by potential mine. Glamis Gold Ltd. says it will bring 100-150 jobs plus
revenue to one of the poorest counties in California. Mine operations
would not be in Indian Pass itself, but could include Tribal Trails to
06/12/2002 - Lowden Fire public
Also see news release above
06/17/2002 - Clear Creek grant
application open house
Hollister Recreation Center
06/22/2002 - Woodland Hills Wild
Horse and Burro Adoption
06/27/2002 - Ridgecrest Steering
BLM Ridgecrest Field Office
06/27/2002 - Ridgecrest Steering
BLM Ridgecrest Field Office
06/28/2002 - California Desert
District Advisory Council meeting
06/29/2002 - Mammoth Lakes area
geothermal field trip
"Chain up area"
See News Release above
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
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