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


Issue date: 6/20/02

This week in News.bytes:


- WILD HORSES and BURROS: Southern California this weekend
- BLM CALIFORNIA 2001 ANNUAL REPORT
- WILDFIRE UPDATES
- RECREATION ON PUBLIC LANDS
    - No fees
    - Fees
    - Permits
- OHV GRANT APPLICATIONS
- ENERGY-RELATED ISSUES
- WEED OF THE WEEK - LEAFY SPURGE
- WILDERNESS BILL
- HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS, including:
    - Cosumnes water weeds beaten back again
    - Zzyzx: home of "miracle cures
    - Land Swaps
    - Missing dynamite
- SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS


WILD HORSES and BURROS

Wild horse closeup"WILD HORSES A CHALLENGE FOR ADOPTIVE OWNERS" (Los Angeles Times, 06/20/2002)
Adoption event this weekend in Woodland Hills, southern California.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-000043209jun20.story

"ADOPT-A-HORSE PROGRAM TO VISIT WOODLAND HILLS" (BLM California news release, 05/28/2002)
"They're young, timid and just a tad shy . . . all the qualities you would expect in potential adoptees, and on June 22-23 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will offer approximately 100 wild horses and burros to qualified adopters through the Bureau's Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program at Pierce College in Woodland Hills."
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/05/nr/CDDnews55_woodlandhills_adoption1.html

 

Cover of BLM California Annual Report 2001
BLM CALIFORNIA 2001 ANNUAL REPORT
Annual Report looks back at the program accomplishments and statistics for Fiscal Year 2001 (Oct. 2000 - Sept. 2001)
The following pages includes link to PDF file, about 3 megabytes:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/reports_docs/annualreport_2001/



WILDFIRE UPDATES

"CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES AT A GLANCE" (San Francisco Chronicle, 06/20/2002)
Wildfires burning in California as of this afternoon. Many agencies including BLM are involved in firefighting at various locations.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2002/06/20/state0325EDT0008.DTL

"PROGRESS AGAINST CANNON FIRE: Crews have some luck fighting huge Mono County blaze" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/20/02)
Update this afternoon on Mono County fire that claimed lives of three airborne firefighters. Accompanied by photos of several wildfires around the country.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/06/20/MN180283.DTL
Fire photo

"WILDLAND FIRE UPDATE" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Up-to-date information on wildfires on federally-managed lands throughout the West.
http://www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/nfn.html

"FIREFIGHTERS SAY THEY ARE TAKING EXTRA PRECAUTIONS THIS YEAR" (San Francisco Chronicle, 06/20/2002)
Enforced rest breaks, better briefings on local conditions -- fire bosses more careful to follow regulations this year. Firefighter deaths last year one reason. Extreme conditions, also: drought and erratic winds. Also, more houses deep in the woods complicate tactics. Still three firefighters died this week in plane crash....
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2002/06/20/national1337EDT0679.DTL

"CANNON FIRE CONTINUES TO BURN" (Mammoth Times, 06/20/2002)
BLM is one of many agencies joining fight to contain blaze in Eastern Sierra. Three firefighters died when their plane crashed during a fire retardant drop.
http://www.mammothtimes.com/archive2002/06-20/CannonFire06-20.html

"LOWDEN FIRE VICTIMS VENT EXASPERATION" (Trinity Journal, 06/19/2002)
People who lost property in the July 1999 Lowden Fire in Lewiston, and have not yet settled claims with BLM or the Dept. of Justice, expressed frustration with the process. Of 398 claims filed, spokesman said, 248 have been processed but 150 are unresolved. Issues include higher claims by one group, less time to devote to claims by attorney in Dep...
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/lowden_061902.pdf

"FIRE RESTRICTIONS SET FOR BLM LANDS Mendocino, Yolo, Colusa, Napa, Sonoma, Glenn, Solano, Lake counties included" (BLM California news release, 06/14/2002)
The onset of summer heat is pushing push wildland fire dangers higher, and the Bureau of Land Management has announced restrictions on campfires and other use of fire in the wildlands. The restrictions affect lands administered by the BLM Ukiah Field Office in Lake, Mendocino, Yolo, Colusa, Napa, Sonoma, Glenn and Solano counties.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/NCnews64_ukiah_fire_restrictions.html

"BLAZE NEAR CONTAINMENT" (Bakersfield Californian, 06/16/2002)
Several agencies including BLM firefighters tackled weekend blaze that destroyed six homes near Lake Isabella in southern California. But the fire was so severe it "should have" destroyed many more buildings. Many homes survived only because their owners had cleared brush and debris to be "fire safe."
http://www.bakersfield.com/top/story/1269405p-1386504c.html

"HUMAN ELEMENT, DROUGHT CONDITIONS LED TO RAGING BLAZE" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 06/15/2002)
Look back at the Martis Fire that started one year ago, after two camping teens thought they put out flames that escaped their campfire into nearby vegetation. Resulting blaze swept east and threatened populated areas including Reno.
http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2002/06/15/16952.php


RECREATION ON PUBLIC LANDS

"BLM DIRECTOR OFFERS PUBLIC LANDS IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE IMPROVED HEALTH THROUGH VISITING PUBLIC LANDS" (BLM California news release, 06/18/2002)
BLM Director Kathleen Clarke announces free entrance to BLM sites that charge entrance fees, for the weekend of June 22-23, 2002.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/WOnews_fee_publiclands.html

"PERMITS NEEDED TO CROSS SHASTA DAM" (Eureka Times-Standard, 06/15/2002)
Shasta Dam provides access to BLM-managed Shasta-Chappie Recreation area. Permits can be obtained at several locations, including BLM Redding Field Office.
http://www.times-standard.com/Stories/0,1413,127%257E2896%257E676533,00.html#

Related: "SHASTA DAM REOPENS ROAD" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 06/15/2002)
http://www.redding.com/news/past/20020615toplo016.shtml

Related: "GENE CHAPPIE-SHASTA OHV AREA" (BLM California Web pages)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/redding/chappie_ohv.html

"BLM SCHEDULES WORKSHOP FOR THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREA" (BLM California news release, 06/14/2002)
The BLM El Centro Field Office has scheduled a workshop to help the public understand visitor use at the Imperial Sand Dunes as it relates to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Recreation Area Management Plan (DRAMP).
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/CDDnews62_El_Centro_Dunes_workshop.html

"BEAR PROOF CANISTERS NOW REQUIRED FOR BACKCOUNTRY USE IN THE KING RANGE NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA" (BLM California news release, 06/13/2002)
Overnight backpackers and stock users visiting the King Range National Conservation Area are now required to carry and use hard-sided bear-proof food storage canisters.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/NCnews62_king_range_bearcanisters.html

"PARK FEES ONLY SUPPORT COMMERCIAL TAKEOVER OF PUBLIC FORESTS" (San Bernardino County Sun, 06/16/2002)
Newspaper Guest Editorial: writer discusses protests to end Fee Demonstration Program, which requires public to buy passes to some public lands formerly accessed for free. Fees are intended to help manage those areas; writer says half goes to concessionaires and fee administration, and could lead to more development on public lands.
PDF file, 53 kilobytes:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/parkfees_061602.pdf


OFF-HIGHWAY GRANT APPLICATIONS

"BLM RIVERSIDE OFFICE SCHEDULES OPEN HOUSE TO SOLICIT PUBLIC COMMENT ON OHV GRANT APPLICATIONS" (BLM California news release, 06/14/2002)
The BLM has scheduled an open house to obtain public comments on the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) grants being submitted to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/CDDnews63_CDD_ohv_grant_openhouse.html

"BLM EAGLE LAKE OFFICE TO HOST MEETING ON OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE GRANT REQUEST" (BLM California news release, 06/14/2002)
The BLM will seek public comments on its requests for off-highway vehicle management grant funds, in a public meeting Wednesday, June 26, in Susanville.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/NCnews63_eagle_lake_ohv_grant_meeting.html


ENERGY-RELATED ISSUES

"ENVIRONMENTAL, INDIAN GROUPS SUE TO STOP CALPINE PROJECT" (Sacramento Bee, 06/17/2002)
(Associated Press) Groups sue to stop Calpine Corp. from building Fourmile Hille project -- a 49-megawatt geothermal power plant in northeast California -- saying the area is environmentally sensitive and used in Indian ceremonies. BLM had rejected the other of two proposed geothermal plants in the Medicine Lake area, to protect Indian cultural values and recreation.
http://www.sacbee.com/state_wire/story/3245544p-4274150c.html

Related: "INDIANS, ACTIVISTS TARGET PROPOSED POWER PROJECT" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 06/18/2002)
http://www.redding.com/news/past/20020618lo026.shtml

"FOURMILE HILL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEETS JULY 2 IN YREKA" (BLM California news release, 06/17/2002)
Citizen oversight committee for Fourmile Hill Project near Medicine Lake will hold its first meeting. Panel is to monitor compliance with environmental protection provisions of federal decision approving the project.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/06/nr/NCnews65_fourmilecommittee.html

"MURIETTA OKs JOINING FIGHT AGAINST LINES" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 06/19/2002)
City of Murrieta OKs up to $75,000 to fight "Valley Rainbow" high-voltage power line through southwestern Riverside County. One route proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric would cross public lands, requiring BLM California right-of-way permit.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/southwest/stories/PE_NEWS_nslines19.5840f.html

Weed of the Week: Leafy spurge
WEED OF THE WEEK - LEAFY SPURGE
A glabrous perennial, up to 3 feet. Leaves narrow, alternate, 1 to 4 inches long. Numerous clusters of small, yellow-green flowers subtended by paired, heart-shaped, yellow-green bracts. Entire plant contains a milky juice. Reproduces by seed and vigorous creeping root system.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/alturas/altweed/plants/leafspur.html



WILDERNESS BILL

"THOMPSON BILL WOULD PROTECT 840,000 ACRES AS WILDERNESS" (Eureka Times-Standard, 06/19/2002)
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson's House companion bill to Sen. Barbara Boxer's California wilderness bill and Rep. Hilda Solis' southern California wilderness bill....
http://www.times-standard.com/Stories/0,1413,127%257E2896%257E683140,00.html

"BOARD OPPOSES ISHI WILDERNESS BILL" (Red Bluff Daily News, 06/20/2002)
Tehama County Supervisors approve letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein, opposing provision in Sen. Barbara Boxer's California Wild Heritage Act of 2002. Cite concerns for economic loss and firefighting problems.
http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/display/inn_news/news1.txt


HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

Canoe fighter at Cosumnes River PreserveCOSUMNES WATER WEEDS BEATEN BACK -- AGAIN (BLM California Web page)
A work party from the BLM California State Office in Sacramento joined manager of the Cosumnes River Preserve for a recurring "search and destroy" battle against water weeds. Water hyacinth grows quickly as the weather gets warm, and water primrose causes problems with water pumps. http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/64_newsbytesextra_cosumnes.htm

"ZZYZX: AN UNLIKELY HOME OF HUCKSTERISM AND MIRACLE CURES" (Los Angeles Times, 06/16/2002)
Short history of a town in the Mojave Desert built by one-time "King of Quacks," whose products included a "cure for baldness". People who donated large sums could build houses on lots he marked in the desert -- except he didn't own them, he just staked mining claims. Followers evicted after he was found guilty of squatting on public land. Related...
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-000042278jun16.story

Related: "DOES THE GOVERNMENT REALLY HAVE FREE LAND FOR HOMESTEADING?" and "MINING CLAIMS" (BLM California Frequently Asked Questions)
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/iac/faq.html

Related: "HISTORY OF THE DESERT STUDIES CONSORTIUM" (California State University, Fullerton Web site)
What is in Zzyzx now.
http://biology.fullerton.edu/facilities/dsc/History.html

"PARK MAY ADD 1,800 ACRES" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 06/18/2002)
San Luis Obispo County proposes taking over 1,800 acres it has leased from BLM California -- including 1,300 acres it would receive for free under federal Recreation and Public Purposes Act. The Act requires developing the land for recreation. County plans open space, trails and a campsite, wants to protect the land from future housing or farm developments.
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/3493005.htm

"DYNAMITE REWARD UNCLAIMED" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 06/13/2002)
Investigators ask public's help in finding 700 pounds of dynamite, plus detonators, reported stolen a month ago from a Siskiyou County mine. BLM spokesperson reminds people to stay out of mineshafts -- dynamite may be one danger, but so are toxic air and tunnel collapses.
http://www.redding.com/news/past/20020613lo031.shtml

"HEARING ON GROUNDWATER PUMPING PERMIT CONTINUED" (Imperial Valley Press, 06/19/2002)
Brothers want to pump more water to farm their land; state and federal agencies say they need environmental review. BLM office says review is needed to find out if water they will pump comes from adjacent BLM-managed land.
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/June/19-1781-news08.txt

"IN LAND EXCHANGE WITH THE U.S., A DEVELOPER SHARES ITS EMPLOYEE" (New York Times, 6/17/02)
Article says representatives of development company -- working in BLM offices and paid as volunteers by BLM -- skew land appraisals to benefit developers. "In one land trade in Nevada several years ago, a developer acquired 70 acres of government land that the bureau had valued at $763,000, then sold it the next day for $4.6 million." (Note: New York Times requires free registration to view articles.)
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/17/national/17LAND.html

Same article, shortened and reprinted: "WORKING BOTH SIDES OF FEDERAL LAND SWAPS: AUDITORS SAY GOVERNMENT GETS TAKEN FOR MILLIONS" (San Francisco Chronicle, 06/17/2002)
(Reprinted from New York Times)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/06/17/MN163255.DTL

"FEDERAL AGENCY TO TAKE SECOND LOOK AT LAND DEAL" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 06/17/2002)
(Associated Press article) "The federal Bureau of Land Management is reviewing a pending Nevada land swap that has drawn criticism because data justifying the deal came from the developer -- via its employee who set up shop in a local BLM office."
http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2002/06/17/17046.php


UPCOMING EVENTS

06/22/2002 - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption
Woodland Hills
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/40209202?OpenDocument

06/24/2002 - Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area workshop
Southwest High School Multipurpose Room, Build L
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/74156100?OpenDocument

06/25/2002 - Riverside OHV Grant meeting
California Desert District Office
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/5604487?OpenDocument

06/26/2002 - Eagle Lake OHV Grant meeting
Eagle Lake Field Office
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/80064088?OpenDocument

06/27/2002 - Ridgecrest Steering Committee
Ridgecrest
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/45503319?OpenDocument

06/28/2002 - California Desert District Advisory Council meeting
Barstow College
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/14634013?OpenDocument

06/29/2002 - Mammoth Lakes area geothermal field trip
"chain up area"
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/25071184?OpenDocument

07/11/2002 - Northeast California Advisory Council meeting
BLM Surprise Field Office
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/83836576?OpenDocument

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