News.bytes
News.bytes
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
     - Oil conference
     - Advisory Council meetings
     - Historic Falk Town Hike - Headwaters

LAND 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.
http://www.cvag.org/mshcp/index.htm

"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.

WATER: 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."
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/environment/story/4827972p-5841284c.html

"BROKERS SIGN MAJOR WATER DEAL" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/17/2002)
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....
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories/local/1034811939.shtml

"SUMMARY OF WATER AGREEMENT" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/17/2002)
Equivalent of 10 printed pages, provides more information on Imperial Valley water agreement.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories/local/1034813474.shtml

"WATER-USE PROPOSAL IRONED OUT" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/17/2002)
http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_SPL_nwater17.a1f8d.html

"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.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2002/10/16/state2001EDT0168.DTL

"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."
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-ed-cadiz11oct11.story

"INTERIOR DEPUTY SECRETARY GRILES ANNOUNCES WATER SOURCE FOR SAN LUIS TRIBES" (BLM California news release, 10/15/2002)
M
any 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.
http://www.doi.gov/news/watersource.htm


NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY

WEED OF THE WEEK - Hoary cress or White top

Weed of the Week: Hoary cressEuropean 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.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/bishop/hoarycress.html

Wildlife Trivia Question markWILDLIFE 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!?!

Fall foliage along the Bizz Johnson Trail"FOLIAGE 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."
http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200%257E23157%257E911498,00.html

"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.
http://www.sacbee.com/content/travel/projects/leaves/

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.

WILDFIRE-PREVENTION AND RESCUE NEWS

Mechanical brush removal for wildfire protection"SNAPSHOTS - 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, 10/11/2002)
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.
http://www.insidevc.com./vcs/state/article/0,1375,VCS_122_1472803,00.html

"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 the helicopter.
http://www.mammothtimes.com/times2002/Awards10-17.html

"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, 10/14/2002)
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.
http://www.desertdispatch.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1034612768,94475,

"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 says.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hunt13oct13.story


HORSES IN THE NEWS

FREE wild horse training tips"ADOPT A SYMBOL OF AMERICA'S HISTORY" (Eureka Times-Standard, 10/15/2002)
Free horse training demonstrations and two-day adoption event comes to Eureka.
http://www.times-standard.com/Stories/0,1413,127%257E2896%257E926315,00.html#

"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.
http://www.californianonline.com/news/stories/20021014/topstories/286422.html

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.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/hollister/fort_ord_home.html

"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.

BLM 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.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/12/national/12LAND.html

"BLM TO REVIEW LAND EXCHANGE PROGRAM" (BLM news release, 10/10/2002)
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.
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/releases/pages/2002/pr021010_exchange.htm

"INDEPENDENT AUDITORS DENOUNCE BLM LAND SWAPS" (Environment News Service, 10/14/2002)
Reaction to Appraisal Foundation report.
http://ens-news.com/ens/oct2002/2002-10-14-06.asp

"EDITORIAL: END THE LAND SWAPS" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/17/2002)
Newspaper calls for BLM to give up land trades and auction off lands instead....
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2002/Oct-17-Thu-2002/opinion/19860861.html


GRAZING ON PUBLIC LANDS: TWO OPPOSING VIEWS

"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, 10/16/02)
"...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 deed to."
http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-oe-balzar16oct16,0,5740884.column?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dcolumns

"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."
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20021010-122127-6183r

HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

"CELEBRATE WITH THE COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE" (Galt Herald, 10/17/2002)
"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.
http://www.thegaltherald.com/front1.shtml

Related: "COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE" (BLM California Web site)
More on this area, managed jointly by several partners including BLM California.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/folsom/cosumpres.html

"OPEN AT LAST: Yuba Goldfields await exploration" (The Union, 10/12/2002)
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.
http://tu.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Site=TU&Date=20021010&Category=TODAYSFEATURE&ArtNo=110100048&Ref=AR

"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 Soil."
http://www.bakersfield.com/business/story/1927292p-2038613c.html

Volunteers: National Public Lands Day 2002, El Centro Field Office"PHOTOS 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.
http://ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/October/09-1871-ed02.txt

"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 public lands."
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/releases/pages/2002/pr021017_wind.htm

"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.
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/legislative/pages/2002/te021009.htm

"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."
http://207.27.3.29/dailyfed/1002/101102m1.htm


Pale kangaroo mouseWildlife Trivia Question markWILDLIFE TRIVIA ANSWER:
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:
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmcawildlife.nsf/siteurl/73525750?OpenDocument
Pale kangaroo mouse:
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmcawildlife.nsf/siteurl/24556192?OpenDocument

SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
(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 questions.)


10/19/2002 - Needles - Eagle Pass Road clean-up
East Mojave Heritage Trail
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/547952?OpenDocument

10/17/2002 - Northeast California Advisory Council meeting
Sparks, Nevada
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/67111010?OpenDocument

10/18/2002 - Wild Horses Arrive at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds
Eureka
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/1974823?OpenDocument

10/19/2002 - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption and FREE training tips
Eureka
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/31323873?OpenDocument

10/23/2002 - Northwest California Resource Advisory Council meeting
Weaverville
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/29995881?OpenDocument

10/24/2002 - Ridgecrest Steering Committee
BLM Ridgecrest Field Office
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/75728543?OpenDocument

10/26/2002 - Historic Falk Town Site Hike
Headwaters Forest Reserve
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/47200733?OpenDocument

10/26/2002 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument 2nd Anniversary Open House
Palm Desert
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/78730602?OpenDocument

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