News.bytes
News.bytes
A publication of

Bureau of Land Management in California


Issue date: 12/5/2002

This week in News.bytes:


- Dunes law enforcement
- Geothermal power plant
- Rights-of-way disputes/issues:
     - Water canal: Yuba Goldfields
     - Power line: Valley Rainbow
     - Mexico: "power link?"
- Desert tourism heats up:
     - Old Spanish Trail
     - Ecotourism "hot spot"
- Not for Educators Only:
     - Plant of the Week: Ames milkvetch
     - Wildlife Trivia of the Week: ubiquitous rodent
- Kudos:
     - President to BLM
     - County to BLM manager
- Restoring the land:
      - Bird migration "rest stop"
      - Jacumba Wilderness
     - Selling land to protect land
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
     - "Carthenon" crushed car monument
     - Soledad Canyon sand and gravel project
     - BLM California's "newest ranger" at 1200 pounds
     - Mining extension
     - Wild horse and burro roundup

DUNES LAW ENFORCEMENT
Responses to Imperial County emergency ordinance enacted to prevent a repeat of last year's Thanksgiving Weekend violence in the Imperial Sand Dunes, and ensure the dunes are safe for family fun.

"THOUSANDS ENJOY HOLIDAY WEEKEND AT IMPERIAL SAND DUNES" (BLM California news release, 12/03/2002)
Patroling the dunesRecreation enthusiasts enjoyed a relatively calm Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the Imperial Sand Dunes with federal, state, and local officials pleased with a continuing trend toward a safer environment. Overall, law enforcement and emergency medical service actions were down. Last weekend saw 780 law enforcement actions and 170 emergency medical responses -- compared to over 1,500 law enforcement actions and 200 medical responses a year ago.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/12/nr/CDDnews10_Thanksgiving%20Post%20Release/Conv.htm

"CRACKING DOWN IN THE DUNES" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/01/2002)
"Officials temporarily had closed a total of three areas of the Imperial Sand Dunes by early Saturday morning when rowdy crowds got out of control." Imperial County Sheriff's Department declared an unlawful assembly at Oldsmobile Hill when thousands of people gathered and one vehicle landed on another, sparking a fight.
http://www.ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/December/01-408-news01.txt

"SNAPSHOT: THE WEEKEND AT THE DUNES" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/01/2002)
Related: Local newspaper's "snapshot" of Sheriff's Department bookings at the dunes Thanksgiving weekend -- from 5 a.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday.
http://www.ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/December/01-409-news02.txt

"AUTHORITIES REV DOWN OFF-ROAD EVENT" (Los Angeles Times, 12/02/2002)
"Drunken crowds that converge on long Thanksgiving holidays at the Algodones Dunes have been so dangerous and unruly that law enforcement officials decided this year to respond like they would to a forest fire."
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/state/la-me-dunes2dec02,0,5048660.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dstate

"OFFICIALS IMPOSE NEW CURFEW AT ALGODONES DUNES" (Los Angeles Times, 11/22/2002)
"Now nobody's happy": off-roaders, environmentalists both object to Imperial County curfew.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dunes22nov22.story

"COMPETITION HILL CLOSURE DRAWS FLACK" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/23/2002)
Imperial County's emergency closure of a popular nighttime gathering spot in the Imperial Sand Dunes, criticized by both off-road groups and environmentalists.
http://www.ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/November/23-927-news02.txt

"CROWDS FACE NEW RULES AT DUNES" (San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 11/27/2002)
Associated Press article: "Restrictions target unruly holiday crowd."
http://www.sgvtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,205%257E24512%257E1017898,00.html

"ARRESTS, MEDICAL AID DOWN IN DUNES" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/02/2002)
"The Thanksgiving weekend went into full swing here after a slow start, but the season ended with less than half the law enforcement actions and slightly fewer medical aids than the previous year."...
http://www.ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/December/02-1470-news03.txt


GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT

"BUSH OKs POWER PLANT" (Siskiyou Daily News, 11/30/2002)
"Calpine Corporation received final approval Tuesday from the Bush administration for a 48-megawatt geothermal power plant at Telephone Flat near Medicine Lake on the Modoc National Forest in Siskiyou County."
http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/November/29-2573-news1.txt

"U.S. APPROVES POWER PLANT IN AREA INDIANS HOLD SACRED" (New York Times, 11/28/2002)
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/28/politics/28THER.html?tntemail0

"CALIFORNIA GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT APPROVED" (U.S. Department of Interior news release, 11/26/02)
http://www.doi.gov/news/021126a.htm

"GEOTHERMAL PLANT NEAR TRIBAL SITE APPROVED" (Los Angeles Times, 11/27/2002)
"The Bush administration gave Calpine Corp. permission Tuesday to develop a 48-megawatt geothermal power plant beside Medicine Lake in California's volcanic far north, reversing a 2000 decision that blocked the project and angering Native Americans who consider the area sacred."
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-geotherm27nov27001445,0,5007152.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dcalifornia%2Dmanual


"CLINTON RULING OVERTURNED - CALPINE GETS OK ON POWER PLANT AT SACRED LAKE" (Contra Costa Times, 11/27/2002)
"In a bold example of its determination to produce energy from environmentally sensitive land, the Bush administration Tuesday reversed a Clinton-era ruling by giving the go-ahead to a new power plant in a scenic forest that is considered sacred by local tribes."
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/news/4617070.htm


NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY

PLANT OF THE WEEK - Ames milkvetch

Mat-forming perennial herb with stem usually branching 3/4 to 3-1/8 inches below soil surface. The flowers are pea-shaped, small, white or with faint lavender veining, and 4 - 13 per inflorescence. http://www.ca.blm.gov/eaglelake/elaspup.html

Trivia question markWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
What is the most widespread rodent in North America?
(Answer near the end of this News.bytes.)


RIGHTS-OF-WAY ISSUES

"WATER AGENCY CANAL SPARKS LAWSUIT" (Appeal Democrat, 12/05/2002)
Lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court charges lack of environmental assessment in BLM right-of-way permit for county water agency's canal through Yuba Goldfields.
http://www.appeal-democrat.com/120502/12502hpk5ycwasuit.shtml

"MEXICO MAY BE POWER LINK" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/01/2002)
"As U.S. companies prepare to turn northern Baja, Mexico, into a major energy exporter, the controversial power line proposed to run through Temecula Valley could be a prime conduit for funneling that power to the U.S. market." Story discusses North Baja pipeline and proposed Valley Rainbow Interconnect, both with rights-of-way permitting involving BLM.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_NEWS_nmexpow01.58e87.html

Related: "POWER LINES STILL QUESTIONED" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/05/2002)
Unless San Diego Gas & Electric finds a path that does not impact Indian-controlled land, the 500,000-volt Valley Rainbow power line "is extremely questionable at this time," says official. State Public Utilities Commission delays -- until Dec. 17 -- vote on power line which could involve BLM rights-of-way permits.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_SPL_nlines05.5830a.html


DESERT TOURISM HEATS UP

"OLD SPANISH TRAIL BROUGHT 19TH-CENTURY OUTLAWS, TRADERS TO VEGAS" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4/02)
President Bush signs bill designating Old Spanish Trail as a National Historic Trail. BLM and National Park Service proposed to co-manage the 1200-mile trail, which connected New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California 1829 to 1850. People traveled as long as seven months along the trail to trade -- and it became notorious as a route for smuggling horses and mules.

Related: "OLD SPANISH TRAIL RECOGNITION ACT OF 2002" (Library of Congress Web site)
A bill to amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Old Spanish Trail as a National Historic Trail. Search for "Old Spanish Trail" on the Thomas Web site at:
http://thomas.loc.gov/

Related: "OLD SPANISH TRAIL"
A website containing a map of the Old Spanish Trail, additional Internet links and a bibliography for additional reading.
http://www.homesteadmuseum.org/family/mapost.htm

Related: "HISTORY OF THE OLD SPANISH TRAIL" (Web site)
A brief history of the Old Spanish Trail.
http://www.museumtrail.org/OldSpanishTrail.asp

"DESERT BECOMING A HOT SPOT FOR TRAVELERS" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/01/2002)
"ECO-TOURISM: A growing number of visitors are experiencing the region's plant and animal life." Article refers to areas co-managed by BLM's Palm Springs Field Office.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/desertpass/stories/PE_NEWS_ndtour01.587df.html

Related: "TOP 10 POINTS OF INTEREST - PALM SPRINGS FIELD OFFICE" (BLM California Web site)
Includes areas referred to in desert tourism article.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/palmsprings/topten.html

KUDOS

"BUSH COMMENDS AGENCIES FOR MANAGEMENT SUCCESS" (GovExec.com, 11/25/2002)
BLM named finalist in the President's Quality Award, which recognizes sound management in government.
http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1102/112502t1a.htm

Related: "BLM RECEIVES PRESIDENTIAL RECOGNITION FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT" (Department of Interior news release, 11/25/2002)
http://www.doi.gov/news/021125a.htm

"HANSEN COMMENDED BY LASSEN COUNTY SUPERVISORS" (BLM California news release, 12/04/2002)
Linda D. Hansen, former field manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Susanville, has received a commendation from the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/12/nr/NCnews21_Hansen_proclamation/Conv.htm

Related: "EAGLE LAKE FIELD OFFICE Home page" (BLM California Web site)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/eaglelake/


RESTORING THE LAND

"GROUP, GOVERNMENT WORK TO REPLENISH WILDLIFE HABITAT" (San Bernardino County Sun, 12/01/2002)
These remote marshlands were a critical rest stop for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway - until they dried up. BLM's Barstow Field Office and "Friends of Harper Lake" hope to restore the water and create a viewing area for as many as 250 species of birds.
http://www.sbsun.com/Stories/0,1413,208%257E12588%257E1024539,00.html

MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE IN JOINT RESTORATION PROJECT
BLM's El Centro Field Office hosted a daylong joint restoration project within the Jacumba Wilderness near Ocotillo. More than 50 people from several groups restored damaged areas within the wilderness, replaced faded and damaged wilderness boundary signs, and raked out illegal vehicle tracks.
More details, and photos, at:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/temp_issues/87extra-ecfo.html

"FEDS SELLING PARCELS TO BUY FOREST LAND" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 11/20/2002)
Sale of seven properties to pay for old-growth forest grove.
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/local/news/20forest.html


HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

"INDIANS AIM TO FORM COHESIVE PLAN TO PROTECT SACRED LANDS" (Associated Press, in San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/02/2002)
"There is no comprehensive state or federal law protecting or even fully defining Indian sacred lands." Examples include two proposals for BLM-managed lands: Glamis, Inc. gold mine and Calpine geothermal plants.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20021202-0002-wst-sacredsites.html

"CRUSHED CAR MONUMENT MAY CLEAR FIRST HURDLE BY CHRISTMAS" (Victorville Daily Press, 11/22/2002)
Barstow Chamber of Commerce seeks approval for the Carthenon -- two pillars of crushed cars and a chrome top lit at night -- from BLM and mineral rights owners for a parcel along Interstate 15.
http://www.vvdailypress.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1037983339,3001,

"RANGER MOUNTS UP FOR WILDERNESS PATROLS" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/23/2002)
The BLM's newest ranger in Imperial County is "1,200 pounds of law enforcement....longer than his height, spotted brown and white and preferring grazing to tazing, it's his other traits that make him a valuable asset to the ranger program: his ability to outrun any world class sprinter, go places where vehicles can't go and assist in arrests when needed."
http://www.ivpressonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/November/23-925-news01.txt

"FEDS SAY DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT ENDANGER TOADS" (Los Angeles Daily News, 11/30/2002)
City of Santa Clarita opposition to Cemex, Inc. plan: "In another setback to the city's fight against a planned sand-and-gravel mine, federal officials have determined that development along the Santa Clara River will not harm the endangered Southwestern arroyo toad."
http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200%257E20943%257E1022738,00.html

"PUBLIC PROVIDES SUGGESTIONS FOR UPDATING KING RANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN" (BLM California news release, 12/4/02)
BLM is still seeking public input.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/12/nr/NCnews19_kingrange_meetingsummary_nov02/Conv.htm

"BLM BEGINS GATHERING WILD HORSES AND BURROS" (BLM California news release, 12/3/02)
Plan is to remove about 400 horses and 75 burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area along northern California-Nevada border.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/12/nr/NCnews20_twinpeaks_gathers_dec02/Conv.htm

"BLM ANNOUNCES POLICY FOR EXTENSION FOR NOTICE-LEVEL MINING OPERATORS" (BLM California news release, 12/04/2002)
The BLM is reaching out to holders of approximately 5,000 surface-disturbance notices to inform them of the policy in place for extending the terms of their notice-level operations.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2002/12/nr/WOnews_3809_Miners/Conv.htm

"BLM PLANS FIRE STATION NORTH OF LASSEN COLLEGE" (Lassen County News, 12/02/2002)
"We have plans to build a fire station up there called the Hidden Valley Fire station with funding in 2005, so it's not immediate," said BLM spokesman Jeff Fontana....
http://www.lassennews.com/News_Story.edi?sid=1390&mode=thread&order=0


Trivia question markWILDLIFE TRIVIA ANSWER TO:
"What is the most widespread rodent in North America?"

deer mouse photo: Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles, California Academy of SciencesDeer mice are the most widespread rodent in North America, with occurrences in almost every habitat type in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
From the BLM California Wildlife Database: "These little mice look cuddly and are easily handled, but it is a good idea not to touch them. They are the primary host of Hantavirus, plague, and Lyme disease."
Learn more from the database entry for this mammal:
(Note: see comment on "secure server" under Selected Upcoming Events below.)
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmcawildlife.nsf/siteurl/58680248?OpenDocument

SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
(Note: the Upcoming Events database is now on a more secure Web server, and your browser may state: "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.)

12/07/2002 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee Meeting
Palm Desert
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/86072328?OpenDocument

12/13/2002 - Desert District Advisory Council
Ridgecrest
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/20367590?OpenDocument

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