A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue date: 10/17/2002
This week in News.bytes:
- LAND USE PLANS, PROPOSALS:
- Coachella Valley Plan
Sheephole Valley wildlife guzzlers
- WATER: CALIFORNIA TRYING TO AVOID CRISIS
- NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
Weed of the Week: Hoary cress or White top
Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week
- FALL FOLIAGE IN CALIFORNIA?!?
- WILDFIRE-PREVENTION AND RESCUE NEWS
- HORSES IN THE NEWS:
Fort Ord horses could help S.F.'s Olympics bid
Wild horses and burros: Adoptions, FREE training tips
- BLM TO REVIEW LAND EXCHANGE PROGRAM
- GRAZING ON PUBLIC LANDS: TWO OPPOSING VIEWS
- HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS, including:
Needles - Eagle Pass Road clean-up
Advisory Council meetings
Historic Falk Town Hike - Headwaters
USE PLANS, PROPOSALS
"PROPOSED COACHELLA VALLEY PLAN AMENDMENT PUBLISHED" (BLM
California news release, 10/17/02)
Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment for the Coachella
Valley (Coachella Valley Plan) and Final Environmental Impact Statement
released for initiation of the 30-day protest period. BLM administers about
337,000 acres of land in the 1.2 million-acre planning area -- 94% of which
is in Riverside County and 6% in San Bernardino County.
Related: "THE COACHELLA VALLEY
MULTIPLE SPECIES HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN (MSHCP) AND NATURAL COMMUNITIES
CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP)" (Coachella Valley Association of Governments
Web site, 10/17/2002)
More information on area governments' Coachella Valley plans.
"BLM OPENS COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED BIG GAME GUZZLERS INSTALLATION
IN SHEEPHOLE VALLEY WILDERNESS" (BLM California news release, 10/15/2002)
The Bureau of Land Management has completed a preliminary "Finding
of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) and Environmental Assessment (EA)
for a proposal submitted by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG)
to install two big game guzzlers in the Sheephole Valley Wilderness.
CALIFORNIA TRYING TO AVERT CRISIS
The Cadiz, Inc. plan to pump stored Colorado River water and native supplies
from under the Mojave Desert -- which received a conditional right-of-way
permit from BLM, but was canceled by Los Angeles' Metropolitan Water District
-- is far from the only controversial plan to ensure water supplies in
California. The state is under federal order to show by December 31 how
it will reduce its use of Colorado River water, or lose 15 percent of
it. Many proposed projects involve rights-of-way across the California
Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) -- requiring BLM rights-of-way permits
and amendments to the CDCA management plan.
"HUGE DEAL AVERTS CRISIS" (Sacramento Bee, 10/17/02)
"In a historic deal that could prevent a statewide water crisis,
farmers in the Imperial Valley agreed Wednesday to cut back on their water
use and sell the savings to San Diego."
"BROKERS SIGN MAJOR WATER DEAL" (Palm Springs Desert
Southern California's four major water districts must still approve details
of plan. Among opponents, some fear damage to Salton Sea and more dust,
some want cities to desalinate sea water and conserve more....
"SUMMARY OF WATER AGREEMENT" (Palm Springs Desert Sun,
Equivalent of 10 printed pages, provides more information on Imperial
Valley water agreement.
"WATER-USE PROPOSAL IRONED OUT" (Riverside Press-Enterprise,
"NEARLY 200 WATER PROJECTS TO RECEIVE $284 MILLION" (Associated
Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/16/2002)
"Millions of dollars in grants could help Southern California water
districts struggling to cut the state's use of Colorado River water ...
announcement came same day four water agencies reached a water-sharing
agreement to end decades of dispute over California's overuse of the river
water it shares with six other states. Notably absent ... is any money
for projects sought by Keith Brackpool, a longtime supporter and adviser
to Gov. Gray Davis, nor to Brackpool's Cadiz Inc., officials said."
BLM issued conditional right of way permit for Cadiz project.
"WATER FOR THE PEOPLE" (Los Angeles Times, 10/11/2002)
Editorial: Cites rejected underground water storage project that had obtained
BLM conditional right-of-way permits: "The failure of Cadiz does
not mean there is no role for private companies in water trading and marketing.
But the water belongs to the people of California. Government agencies
must be certain that however water is traded, diverted or manipulated,
the public interest remains the highest priority."
"INTERIOR DEPUTY SECRETARY
GRILES ANNOUNCES WATER SOURCE FOR SAN LUIS TRIBES" (BLM California
news release, 10/15/2002)
Many groups and individuals
have claims on water supplies in California, including some by Indian
tribes that go back decades. The Department of Interior announces recent
progress in one such issue: "The agreement on these principles represents
a significant step toward the fulfillment of a decades-old promise to
secure a permanent source of water for the Pala, Pauma, Rincon, San Pasqual
and La Jolla reservations," Griles said. Agreement involves several
federal, state and local agencies; was reached through the Department
of Interior's San Luis Rey implementation team that includes Bureau of
Reclamation and BLM.
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY
WEED OF THE WEEK - Hoary cress or White top
perennial ... grows commonly on disturbed sites with alkaline soils ...
highly competitive with other species once it becomes established. Deep
rooted perennial, grows up to 2 feet tall. Leaves are 1 to 1 1/2 inches
(3 to 6 cm) long, blue-green, waxy and lance-shaped. Lower leaves are
stalked. Upper leaves are without stalks and have two lobes that clasp
the stem. Flower clusters with white flowers, each with four petals, give
the plant a white, flat-topped appearance.
Noxious weeds destroy wildlife habitat, threaten endangered species, increase
soil erosion and groundwater loss, and block recreation activities. BLM's
challenge is to prevent the spread of noxious weeds before the situation
gets more serious and requires more resources to contain or control it.
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What distinction is shared by
the Pale kangaroo mouse and Dark kangaroo mouse?
(See answer near the end of this newsletter)
FALL FOLIAGE IN CALIFORNIA!?!
FLAIR: Eastern Sierra offers plenty of East Coast charm in fall"
(Los Angeles Daily News, 10/10/2002)
Feature story: "...you can see colors that rival New England's down
east in the Sierra." Every year is different," says botanist
with BLM California's Bishop Field Office. "But you can always find
good patches of color wherever you go."
"AUTUMN COLOR IN THE SIERRA" (Sacramento Bee, 10/17/02)
Home page for this photographers' trek through fall foliage of the Eastern
Sierra. Has links to: photo gallery, fall color driving and foliage rating
maps, tips for photographing fall color, and more.
SPEAKING OF THE EASTERN SIERRA...
James Jennings, a recreation planner in the Bishop field office is a finalist
for BLM's 2002 "Excellence in Interpretation or Environmental Education"
award. He was selected for his work on "Motor Touring in the Eastern
Sierra Including Death Valley," an innovative guide for owners of
sport utility vehicles. Using partnerships among public and private agencies,
recreation providers, and local business groups, he helped develop and
market the publication to a wide audience. Winners of the award will be
announced at the National Association for Interpretation's 2002 National
Interpreters' Workshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
"FALL COLORS OUTING
SET FOR BIZZ JOHNSON TRAIL" (BLM California news release, 10/11/2002)
Brilliant fall colors, a tranquil river canyon, and the crispness of an
autumn day combine for an ideal setting on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation
Trail west of Susanville. An upcoming special fall shuttle provides a
convenient way for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the beauty.
AND RESCUE NEWS
- SUCCESSES OF HAZARDOUS FUELS PROJECTS (CALIFORNIA)"
Update of "hazardous fuels projects" by BLM California, that help
reduce risk from future wildfires. In this issue: Folsom Field Office's
Team Groveland -- a team leader and five college interns -- help residents
in a high-risk area reduce their potential for wildfire.
(PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Snapshots - California 10/4/02
"GALLEGLY PUSHES AIR TANKER BATTLE" (Ventura County Star,
Congressman from California is among those asking more flexibility to use
high-tech military planes to fight wildfires like those on public lands
this past summer. Under current rules, federal agencies must ask private
contractors for planes, before going to National Guard.
"THREE RECOGNIZED FOR CRASH RESPONSE" (Mammoth Times, 10/17/2002)
BLM Bishop Field Office dispatcher honored for quick action in ensuring
appropriate emergency response in September helicopter crash in eastern
Sierra, along with two national forest employees for putting out fire on
"BLM LIFTING FIRE RESTRICTIONS OCT. 18 (Northeastern California)"
(BLM California news release, 10/11/2002)
Fire restrictions on BLM-administered lands in northeastern California and
extreme northwest Nevada will be lifted at midnight, Friday, Oct. 18.
"RESCUE SQUAD HOSTS DESERT TRAINING" (Barstow Desert Dispatch,
About 425 people registered for 65 classes including air search, bone identification,
drug laboratories, GPS navigation, night navigation, rope rescue, trench
rescue, and general introductory nature courses. Sheriff's Barstow Desert
Rescue Squad hosts event at Barstow Community College. BLM agent presents
class on desert raves: "Raves are the second leading cause of searches
in the High Desert, second only to off-highway vehicles," he said.
"FOREST CLOSING DISAPPOINTS HUNTERS AS FIRE THREAT INTERRUPTS FALL
RITUAL" (Los Angeles Times, 10/13/2002)
As fire threat closes much national forest land to hunters just as hunting
season starts, some BLM-managed hunting grounds remain open, at least for
now. But drought that increased fire danger also reduced deer herds, hunter
IN THE NEWS
A SYMBOL OF AMERICA'S HISTORY" (Eureka Times-Standard, 10/15/2002)
Free horse training demonstrations and two-day adoption event comes to Eureka.
"FREE HORSE TRAINING DEMONSTRATIONS COMING TO EUREKA" (BLM
California news release, 10/01/2002)
North Coast horse fanciers can get free tips on horse gentling and training
techniques, when the U. S. Bureau of Land Management hosts a wild horse
and burro adoption event Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20, at the Redwood
Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka.
"FORT ORD COULD GET HORSE PARK; Move likely to boost S.F. Olympics
bid" (Salinas Californian, 10/14/2002)
Proposed horse park at the former Fort Ord is "a critical part"
of San Francisco's bid for 2012 Summer Olympics. Site borders a 7,800-acre
BLM-managed area of Fort Ord, with trails for horses, hikers and cyclists.
Related: "FORT ORD PUBLIC
LANDS" (BLM California Web site)
BLM California's Hollister Field Office manages this area. Learn about recreation,
habitat, wildlife, volunteer opportunities and more.
"WILD HORSES AND BURROS HEADED FOR PASO ROBLES" (BLM California
news release, 10/17/01)
Adoptions available; FREE training demonstrations at California Mid-State
Fairgrounds -- November 2 and 3.
TO REVIEW LAND EXCHANGE PROGRAM
"A U.S. AGENCY IS ACCUSED OF COLLUSION IN LAND DEALS" (New
York Times, 10/12/2002)
"The Appraisal Foundation urged the Interior Department to remove from
the bureau the function of appraising land that is to be exchanged, saying
the bureau's appraisals were so often the subject of political influence
and potentially criminal abuse that the agency should no longer be allowed
to carry them out." Cited cases in Nevada and Utah, says two officials
were moved as a result of report.
"BLM TO REVIEW LAND EXCHANGE PROGRAM" (BLM news release,
The BLM's Washington Office will undertake a 90-day review of all land exchanges
currently in process or under discussion -- based partly on report Appraisal
Foundation Report that BLM requested.
"INDEPENDENT AUDITORS DENOUNCE BLM LAND SWAPS" (Environment
News Service, 10/14/2002)
Reaction to Appraisal Foundation report.
"EDITORIAL: END THE LAND SWAPS" (Las Vegas Review-Journal,
Newspaper calls for BLM to give up land trades and auction off lands instead....
GRAZING ON PUBLIC LANDS: TWO OPPOSING
"WHEN THE LAST COWBOY HANGS UP HIS SPURS, WHAT THEN? Death of ranching
on public lands will put the West up for grabs." (Los Angeles Times,
"...anti-grazers assume a lush, idyllic future for Western public lands
once cows are driven off: thigh-high grass, wildflowers, clean streams,
recovering wildlife. But...lopsided pro-development politics of the intermountain
West have all but rendered environmentalists a noisy protest group at the
ballot boxes here....The best hope of today's activists lies in energizing
urban residents elsewhere in the nation to defend lands that all of us share
"BLUE PLANET" A DISCOURAGING WORD IS HEARD" (United
Press International, 10/11/02)
Quotes critic of low public-land grazing fees: "The long-term good
of ranching on public lands crumbles under the weight of honest observation
... livestock grazing on public lands is not sustainable, or desirable,
in terms of its cost to the land or to the society."
"CELEBRATE WITH THE COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE" (Galt Herald,
"Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Cosumnes River Preserve that are
rarely, if ever, opened to the public..." Big 15th anniversary celebration
on Oct. 20 is family-friendly chance to learn about the natural environment
of the Cosumnes River area, with BLM partners including The Nature Conservancy.
Related: "COSUMNES RIVER
PRESERVE" (BLM California Web site)
More on this area, managed jointly by several partners including BLM California.
"OPEN AT LAST: Yuba Goldfields await exploration" (The
Feature article: "The playground is open. After years of legal battles,
the gates have finally swung open to Hammonton Road and the Yuba Goldfields,
a 10,000-acre expanse of gravel and cobble alongside the Yuba River."
BLM has worked with several parties to try to resolve conflicting claims
in the area, but some issues also went to court.
"TALKING UP AMERICAN
OIL" (Bakersfield Californian, 10/10/2002)
BLM California Director Mike Pool is among speakers at Ninth Annual Oil
and Gas Conference in Bakersfield, titled "American Oil From California
FROM NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY 2002" (BLM California Web page)
From BLM El Centro Field Office: Volunteers help clean up the public lands.
Public Lands Day photos from El Centro Field Office
"OUR OPINION: LOOKING FOR A PEACEFUL SEASON" (Imperial
Valley Press, 10/09/2002)
Editorial: Cooler season brings thousands of visitors to Imperial Valley
sand dunes. Most "are good people just out to enjoy themselves with
family and friends." But last Thanksgiving, law enforcement seemed
unprepared to deal with violent minority. Outlook is better this year,
with better plans, training and leadership.
"DIRECTOR CLARKE ANNOUNCES NEW WIND ENERGY POLICY" (BLM
news release, 10/17/02)
"BLM guidelines issued today respond to growing interest in commercial
wind energy projects on pubic lands. Guidelines cover processing of right-of-way
applications for wind energy site testing and monitoring facilities and
applications for commercial wind energy development projects on BLM-managed
"TESTIMONY OF ... ASSISTANT SECRETARY ... REAUTHORIZATION OF TEA-21
(Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century)" (BLM California
news release, 10/11/2002)
Neal A. McCaleb, Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs for the Department
of the Interior, testifies before Congress on transportation funding needs
of DOI agencies, including BLM.
"MANAGERS AT INTERIOR RESISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT CHANGE, SENATOR
SAYS" (GovExec.com, 10/11/2002)
"Senior managers at the Interior Department are under fire from a
senator who accuses them of resisting efforts to revamp management of
the department's law enforcement programs."
What distinction is shared by the Pale kangaroo mouse and Dark kangaroo
mouse? -- They are the only two species of kangaroo mice that occur in
North America. Both are found on lands managed by BLM California.
(Note: for information on reaching these pages, see
note below "Selected Upcoming Events" about reaching the Department
of Interior's secure server.)
See the BLM California Wildlife Database, for more on the
Dark kangaroo mouse:
Pale kangaroo mouse:
(Note: the Upcoming Events Web site is now on a more secure
server, and your browser
may state that "You are about to view pages over a secure connection"
and ask you to
"Trust a Security Certificate" from the Department of Interior that
hosts this site.
To view the pages, you must select "Yes" or "OK" for both
10/19/2002 - Needles - Eagle Pass Road clean-up
East Mojave Heritage Trail
10/17/2002 - Northeast California Advisory Council meeting
10/18/2002 - Wild Horses Arrive at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds
10/19/2002 - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption and FREE training tips
10/23/2002 - Northwest California Resource Advisory Council meeting
10/24/2002 - Ridgecrest Steering Committee
BLM Ridgecrest Field Office
10/26/2002 - Historic Falk Town Site Hike
Headwaters Forest Reserve
10/26/2002 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
2nd Anniversary Open House
- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above
to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's
"Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some publications remove news stories from the Web soon after publication.
If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the
Web page to your computer.
DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement
of those sites,
or of products or advertisements on those sites.
News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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