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
- 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
- Mining extension
- Wild horse and burro roundup
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,
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
"CRACKING DOWN IN THE DUNES" (Imperial Valley Press,
"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.
"SNAPSHOT: THE WEEKEND AT THE DUNES" (Imperial Valley
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.
"AUTHORITIES REV DOWN OFF-ROAD EVENT" (Los Angeles Times,
"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."
"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.
"COMPETITION HILL CLOSURE DRAWS FLACK" (Imperial Valley
Imperial County's emergency closure of a popular nighttime gathering spot
in the Imperial Sand Dunes, criticized by both off-road groups and environmentalists.
"CROWDS FACE NEW RULES AT DUNES" (San Gabriel Valley
Associated Press article: "Restrictions target unruly holiday crowd."
"ARRESTS, MEDICAL AID DOWN IN DUNES" (Imperial Valley
"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."...
"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."
"U.S. APPROVES POWER
PLANT IN AREA INDIANS HOLD SACRED" (New York Times, 11/28/2002)
POWER PLANT APPROVED" (U.S. Department of Interior news release,
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."
"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."
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY
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 OF THE WEEK:
What is the most widespread rodent in North America?
(Answer near the end of this News.bytes.)
"WATER AGENCY CANAL SPARKS LAWSUIT" (Appeal Democrat,
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.
"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.
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.
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:
Related: "OLD SPANISH TRAIL"
A website containing a map of the Old Spanish Trail, additional Internet
links and a bibliography for additional reading.
Related: "HISTORY OF THE
OLD SPANISH TRAIL" (Web site)
A brief history of the Old Spanish Trail.
"DESERT BECOMING A HOT SPOT FOR TRAVELERS" (Riverside
"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.
Related: "TOP 10 POINTS
OF INTEREST - PALM SPRINGS FIELD OFFICE" (BLM California Web
Includes areas referred to in desert tourism article.
"BUSH COMMENDS AGENCIES FOR MANAGEMENT SUCCESS" (GovExec.com,
BLM named finalist in the President's Quality Award, which recognizes
sound management in government.
Related: "BLM RECEIVES
PRESIDENTIAL RECOGNITION FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT" (Department
of Interior news release, 11/25/2002)
"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
LAKE FIELD OFFICE Home page" (BLM California Web site)
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.
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
More details, and photos, at:
"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.
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.
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.
"RANGER MOUNTS UP FOR WILDERNESS PATROLS" (Imperial Valley
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."
"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."
"PUBLIC PROVIDES SUGGESTIONS FOR UPDATING KING RANGE MANAGEMENT
PLAN" (BLM California news release, 12/4/02)
BLM is still seeking public input.
"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.
"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.
"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....
TRIVIA ANSWER TO:
"What is the most widespread rodent in North America?"
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
(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
12/13/2002 - Desert District Advisory Council
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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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