A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue date: 12/19/2002
This week in News.bytes:
- Wild horses join Rose Parade
- News.bytes hiatus
- Off-highway vehicles on public lands:
- Western Colorado Desert routes of travel
- Photo controversy
- Imperial Sand Dunes beetle
- Expansion plan at Mirage Dry Lake
- Not for Educators Only:
- Plant of the Week: Grimy ivesia
- Wildlife Trivia of the Week
- Our Readers Respond: "Fishy" habitat
- Historical resources:
- Rights-of-way: Controversial power line
- Other public land use issues:
- NECO Plan decision
- Glamis mine
- Northern California and the Northwest Forest Plan
- Headlines and highlights, including:
- Wildfire fighting progress
- Firewood donations
- Long-term camping
- Forest roads
HORSES IN THE ROSE PARADE
"AMERICA'S WILD HORSES TO APPEAR IN ROSE PARADE" (BLM
California news release, 12/19/2002)
The spirit of the American west will be well represented in this year's
Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, on January 1, when
a group of American mustangs joins the equestrian entries.
NO NEWS.BYTES FOR TWO WEEKS
We do not plan to issue News.bytes the weeks of Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, 2002.
You should receive your next edition of News.bytes the week of Jan. 6,
2003. Happy New Year!
OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES ON PUBLIC LANDS
"OFFICIALS DEVISE IDEAS FOR FUTURE OF SURPRISE CANYON"
(Bakersfield Californian, 12/15/2002)
BLM California Desert District Advisory Council meets to tour Surprise
Canyon and brainstorm ideas for its use. The Council "came up with
an array of possible alternatives for using the land but didn't endorse
any. Options ranged from creating a closed route to an open route and
limited-use route by permit only."
"PROPOSED PLAN AMENDMENT FOR WESTERN COLORADO DESERT ROUTES OF
TRAVEL DESIGNATIONS RELEASED" (BLM California news release, 12/13/2002)
The BLM releases proposed plan amendment to the California Desert Conservation
Area Plan for off-road vehicle trail (route of travel) designations in
the Western Colorado Desert (WECO) portion of Imperial County.
"DESERT PHOTOS AROUSE CONTROVERSY" (Riverside Press Enterprise,
"A color photo exhibit on the Algodones Dunes now touring the United
States has come to the Coachella Valley. There are pristine desert and
off-road areas with tires tracks running like a giant spider web. The
17 photos on display at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Desert
are the work of ... a photographer from Venice."
"SCARAB BEETLE BEHIND GROUP'S MOVE TO CLOSE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES"
(Imperial Valley Press, 12/13/2002)
"A conservation group that took part in a lawsuit to close portions
of the Imperial Sand Dunes filed a petition Thursday to list a dunes scarab
beetle as an endangered species .... The move requests critical habitat
for the beetle be set aside, removing it from off-road vehicle use."
Related: "SCARAB BEETLE:
Correcting the record: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2002" (Imperial Valley
item states: "The headline on a story in Friday's edition of the
Imperial Valley Press regarding the Imperial Sand Dunes misstated the
intention of the Center for Biological Diversity's petition at the Imperial
Sand Dunes. The center's petition would only affect a portion of the sand
Related: "TINY BEETLE IS
NEWEST THREAT IN SAND DUNES" (Yuma Sun, 12/13/2002)
"Could a tiny insect close more of the Imperial Sand Dunes or keep
acreage already shut down from being re-opened? That's a question the
U.S. Department of the Interior is being asked to answer after the Center
for Biological Diversity in Tucson filed a petition asking that the Andrew's
Dunes Scarab Beetle be placed on the endangered species list and its habitat
designated as critical."
"FEDS TO SUE EL MIRAGE LANDOWNERS" (Victorville Daily
Landowners complain to San Bernardino County Supervisors that they are
being forced to sell land at bargain rates, for expanded off-highway recreation
area. Supervisor says county agreed to project in 1990, need expansion
for economic good of the county.
Related: "COUNTY SINKS
ITS HOOKS INTO DRY LAKE LAND" (San Bernardino County Sun, 12/17/2002)
"San Bernardino County plans to seize 1,152 acres near El Mirage
Dry Lake for a planned off-road vehicle recreation area if the land owners
don't agree to sell." Under A 1990 Agreement, "the [BLM] would
assume title for the land, but San Bernardino County would be responsible
for acquiring about 12,500 acres" next to lands already managed by
BLM. Supervisor suggests current landowners may have been defrauded by
earlier sellers of the land.
"EL MIRAGE DRY LAKE OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE RECREATION AREA"
(BLM California Web site)
Current off-highway area managed by BLM California.
FOR EDUCATORS ONLY
OF THE WEEK - Grimy ivesia
Low, spreading, perennial herb from a branched woody base. Leaves covered
with dense, grayish white hairs. Classified as a BLM "Sensitive"
TRIVIA Question of the Week: Which sea mammal can swim the
(See answer near end of this edition of News.bytes)
OUR READERS RESPOND: "habitat-specific"
in the eye of the beholder?
In our email box this week, a comment from a biologist on last News.bytes
"Wildlife Trivia of the Week" (Q - "What is the most habitat-specific
mammal in North America?" A - Pacific fishers -- they need forests
with low and closed canopies to protect them from predation.)
The comment: "Fishers are certainly habitat specific, but ... tend
to be somewhat generalists when it comes to food. I realize the concept
of most habitat specific is arbitrary and subjective, but I believe there
are ... more habitat specific mammals. [For example] the California red
tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus)." Our reader cites information
(Maser 1965a, Maser et al. 1981) that this mammal "specializes on
needles of Douglas-fir and grand fir ... Needle resin ducts are removed.
The remaining part is eaten, and the resin ducts may be used to line the
nest cup. Young, tender needles often eaten entirely. Food may be stored.
Tender bark of terminal twigs may be eaten as well."
One other thing: "It also occurs to me that any number of bat species
are likely to be extremely habitat specific."
OUR READERS RESPOND, Part 2: Fishy
"I suspect that the saltmarsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)
and the red tree mouse (Aborimus poma) have much narrower habitat requirements
than the Pacific fisher. While I'm at it, last week (issue 87, 12/5/02)
the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) was given as the most widespread
North American rodent. I think this honor should go to the house mouse
(Mus musculus), although it is of course not a native -- but then your
question did not specify 'native species'."
OUR THANKS to both of you
-- and to the others who have e-mailed the News.bytes Team. You help keep
us on our toes!
(By the way, our wildlife trivia questions on are derived from several
sources, including the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American
Mammals and the Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Our wildlife
trivia question person is working to put more information on her sources
into our database.)
BLM CALIFORNIA RECEIVES STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARD
At a ceremony in the State Capitol, BLM California was presented with
the Governor's State Historic Preservation Award -- the first federal
agency to receive this state award. BLM's "California Archaeological
Site Stewardship Program" started four years ago and now has over
200 site stewards across the state - monitoring archaeological and historical
sites to report damage so it can be more easily repaired. Each steward
takes a two-day class in archaeology and history taught by a professional
training team and BLM's local field office archaeologist. Each is then
assigned a site to visit and document at least once monthly. These stewards
account for at least 1600 hours of site monitoring per month.
California's Historic Preservation Officer, Dr. Knox Mellon, also recognized
BLM State Archaeologist Russell Kaldenberg, for designing the program.
A number of key people who share responsibility for the award - including
BLM personnel and cooperators - attended the ceremony.
ON THE BORDER: HISTORICAL RESOURCES
A two-day conference, "Balances and Perspectives" was recently
held in Mexicali by the Institute Nationale Archaeologique e Hisotoria.
The conference focused on delivery of professional papers and ideas on
the management of border historical resources. Representing BLM California
among the 60 attendees were Eric Ritter from the Redding Office, State
Archeologist Russell Kaldenberg, and Margaret Hangan. State Director Mike
Pool was interviewed about the partnership on two Mexicali television
Issues included getting data about seasonal rounds Baja indigenous peoples
practiced, rock art preservation, archaeological site protection, energy
development, and sharing of ideas and information. Next year the conference
will be held in Tecate, Baja California.
"NEV. CAVE LOOTER HIT WITH $2.5 M PENALTY" (Associated
Press on ABC News, 12/14/02)
$2.5 million fine for destroying historical site in Black Rock Desert,
co-managed by BLM California's Surprise Field Office and BLM Nevada Reno
Field Office. Site was "one of the most important archaeological
cave sites in the Great Basin" and "contained a 10,000-year
record of human life in northern Nevada, including artifacts from the
RIGHTS-OF-WAY: CONTROVERSIAL POWER
"BILL SHIELDING TRIBE'S LAND SIGNED INTO LAW" (Riverside
Valley Rainbow Interconnect: "President Bush signed legislation Monday
prohibiting a San Diego utility from running a high-voltage power line
through land Temecula's Pechanga Indians are trying to annex to their
"PUC DELAYS DECISION ON POWER LINE" (Riverside Press-Enterprise,
California Public Utilities Commission delayed until today, a vote on
whether to continue studying, or to stop, San Diego Gas & Electric's
proposed Valley Rainbow Interconnect.
"UTILITY DROPS LAND-USE BATTLE" (Riverside Press-Enterprise,
Valley Rainbow Interconnect proposal: "[San Diego Gas & Electric]
halts its effort to put a power line on a parcel that the Pechangas want
MORE PUBLIC LAND USE ISSUES: NECO Plan,
"BLM ISSUES DECISION APPROVING NORTHERN AND EASTERN COLORADO DESERT
PLAN" (BLM California news release, 12/19/02)
"11TH-HOUR RULES REQUIRE MINES BE BACKFILLED" (Desert
"New California open-pit gold mines would have to be backfilled under
emergency regulations adopted Thursday, a move that may threaten a controversial
proposed mine on sacred Indian land in the desert."
Related: "GOLD MINE MAY
BE SHUT DOWN" (Yuma Sun, 12/17/2002)
"In response to what it considers excessive regulations, the Nevada-based
company that spent millions in the hopes of developing a gold mine on
sacred Quechan tribal land is now asking that the federal government buy
it out. Both the Quechan Tribe and Glamis Gold Ltd. officials said it's
a move that could bring an end to the battle both sides have been fighting
for several years.
NORTHWEST FOREST PLAN: Northern California
"NORTHWEST FOREST PLAN TO BE CLARIFIED" (Eureka Times-Standard,
Six national forests in California and "the Arcata, Redding and Ukiah
Bureau of Land Management field offices will be affected by a clarification
of the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan currently under consideration ... Public
comment is invited..."
"US GREEN GROUPS SEEK
PROTECTION OF NW SALMON" (Reuters, 12/19/2002)
"U.S. fishing and environmental groups on Thursday asked a federal
judge to block timber sales in the Pacific Northwest that could damage
salmon habitat protected by a Clinton administration rule."
"PLAN ALTERS SALMON
PROTECTION" (Associated Press, in The Olympian, 11/26/2002)
"The Bush administration is proposing changes to the strategy for
protecting salmon that frees Northwest national forests from court rulings
demanding that they show every timber sale they offer won't harm fish."
"PLAN EASES LOGGING LOGJAM" (Portland Oregonian, 11/26/2002)
"The Bush administration is proposing to ease certain stringent environmental
standards for public lands logging in the Northwest, clearing the way
for close to 100 stalled timber sales and furthering its aim of reviving
the region's deflated timber cut."
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
of BLM hazardous fuels projects" (BLM national fire publication,
California portion of the national BLM effort to reduce the threat of
Also: photos from the award ceremony including BLM California's individual
National Wildland Urban Interface award winner.
Note: Large PDF file, 1.3 megabytes:
Snapshots - California 12/13/02
"BLM DONATING FIREWOOD
TO LESS FORTUNATE FAMILIES" (BLM California news release, 12/16/2002)
Modoc County families and charitable organizations will be receiving free
firewood this holiday season, as part of a cooperative project involving
the Bureau of Land Management and the Training, Employment and Community
Help (TEACH) organization.
"FOREST ROADS REMAIN
LIMITED" (Union Democrat, 12/13/2002)
"In a victory for environmentalists, a federal judge Thursday upheld
a Clinton-era ban on roads on 58.5 million acres of public land nationwide.
The ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates the Roadless
Rule, which preserves acreage as virtual wilderness and forbids all roads
and development on specified areas of Forest Service and Bureau of Land
FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE:
"Publication of supplementary rules for Long-Term Visitor Areas managed
by the California Desert District office, California, and the Yuma Field
Office, Arizona" (Federal Register, 12/18/2002)
Comments due 1/13/03.
"WILD HORSES: PLAN
MIGHT GIVE 10,000 NEW HOME" (Las Vegas Review Journal, 12/16/02)
"Montana businessman and his partners are promoting a way to solve
wild horse overpopulation in the West: ship 10,000 of the government-protected
animals to a sanctuary in Mexico. BLM Director Kathleen Clarke met with
the businessman proposing the venture, "giving backers hope and opponents
cause for concern."
TRIVIA ANSWER to the question: "Which sea mammal can swim
sea lions can swim faster than any other sea mammal. A California sea
lion can also dive to depths of 450 feet, stay under water for up to 20
minutes, and balance and toss objects with its nose!
Learn more about California sea lions in our BLM California wildlife database:
(Note: this database is on a more secure Department
of Interior 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.)
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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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