A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 3/20/2003

This week in News.bytes:

- 100th Issue of News.bytes! With a free offer
- Not for Educators Only:
     - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Quail ("quails?")
     - Bookstore Feature: "The California Quail"
     - Plant(s) of the Week: "Virtual Herbarium" - Fort Ord
     - Our Readers Ask...
- Photo Album: River rafting
- Other recreation on public lands, including:
     - Desert blossoms "now"
     - "River of rock"
     - Campground project delayed
     - ...and more
- Preservation: relics, land
- Public helps the public lands, including:
     - Advisory Councils - openings
     - Volunteers needed: King Range trails
- Cleaning up public lands:
     - Tire dumping
     - Dangerous mine shafts
- Mining on public lands:
     - Inspector general on mine approval
     - Toughest open-pit gold mining regulations?
- National-local issues, including:
     - Senators involved in "trail fray"
     - Secretary of the Interior speaks to Regional Councils
     - America's energy imbalance
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
     - California surveys the South Pacific
     - BLM expected to release report soon
     - ...more
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
     - Climbing Event
     - Advisory Council meeting
     - Wild Horse plan meeting
     - Off-highway vehicle grant meeting


100! Today's issue marks the 100th issue of News.bytes.
The News.bytes Team has gathered news and highlights about your public lands since the first trial issue more than two years ago. We plan to keep offering news coverage and features of interest to our readers - including this one:
sECTION of the FREE quail poster "Answer the Call" (BLM California Web page)
Preview a section of the free quail poster we are offering, featuring the species of quail found in California and elsewhere. Click on each of the pictures to learn more about each species. And if you have sound on your computer -be prepared for a little surprise with several of the descriptions:
"100 quail" (...or is it "100 quails"?)
We mark the occasion of this 100th issue of News.bytes with a special offer: Free "Answer the Call" quail posters to the first 100 members of the public who fill out and submit the online form (one each, please, as our supply is limited - and make sure you don't hit "Enter" until you have completely filled out your mailing address):

We were able to gather a variety of interesting items on this topic, and we have packaged them together here for your enjoyment and/or education:

Also please note our other quail features below: Wildlife Trivia of the Week and our online Bookstore Feature. AND about that "100 quail or 100 quails" thing - see "extra" answer to our Trivia Question of the Week near the end of this issue)

California Quail - photo credit: H. Vannoy Davis, California Academy of Sciences WILDLIFE TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: Quails?
Q: How many species of quail occur on BLM-managed land in California?
a) 1, the California quail of course!
b) 3, that's still a lot of quail (quails?)
c) 7, is that all the species there are?
(See Answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)
BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "The California Quail" BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "The California Quail"
"Guide and reference book to California's beautiful state bird."
From the Fort Ord Virtual Herbarium: Chocolate fritillary

PLANTS OF THE WEEK - "Virtual Herbarium - Fort Ord"
This link will direct you to a list of numerous plants within the Fort Ord area.

A reader question in response to "Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week" in News.bytes 96: "I was interested in seeing the rattlesnake photos but, some were dark [and hard to make out details].... I rockhound in the desert, and also gold prospect, and wanted to know what to look for in ID'ing or seeing the snakes."

RESPONSE from the wildlife biologist on our News.bytes Team (note: we were able to refer the reader to descriptions in "The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians."):
"This field guide has clear pictures of each of the snakes described above. Unfortunately, we do not have a budget to "buy" these pictures for our database.

River rafting - a little on the wild side PHOTO ALBUM - River Rafting
Just for the wet of it, log some watery mileage on electrifying whitewater runs through California - all steeped in history, spectacular scenery, and heart-stopping rapids.

Related: "Rafting Recreation" (BLM California Web page))
The Bureau of Land Management has many water-based recreation opportunities in the State of California. In 2002, more than 200,000 people participated in non-motorized boating such as kayaking, whitewater rafting, and canoeing on some of the biggest, wildest water in the state. Outstanding whitewater recreation opportunities and experiences on BLM-managed rivers include portions of the Merced, South and North Fork of the American, Tuolumne, Mokelumne, Lower Kern, Cache Creek, Sacramento, Trinity, and Eel Rivers.
Learn more about whitewater recreation on BLM-managed rivers at:


"Desert blossoms have field day" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 03/18/2003)
"REIGN: Winter rains have invigorated wildflowers, but their stay is expected to be short this year." "Now's the time, and you shouldn't procrastinate," said Tracy Liegler, interpretive biologist for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (managed by BLM California.).

"Wading into river of rock" (Bakersfield Californian, 03/12/2003)
"'This whole place is the land that time forgot,' says a visitor. The place: Fossil Falls area, managed by BLM's Ridgecrest Field Office. Adds a reporter, touring the area with a BLM archaeologist: "Now is a good time to visit that forgotten land. Northern Mojave Desert temperatures are mild through April, and wildflowers are beginning to bloom."

"City invests in river walk" (Needles Desert Star, 03/19/2003)
City of Needles asks for 20-year extension on land leased from BLM in 2010. Says extension needed to qualify for recreation grant money from State of California for its proposed River Walk.

"Shooting range's lease facing renewal" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 03/17/2003)
"Residents say they consider the Inland Fish and Game Club a good, safe neighbor." The 1,500-member club's 20-year lease is up for renewal in July 2004 through the BLM - which must consider environmental impacts.

Related: "City holsters its opinions on gun range" (San Bernardino County Sun, 03/16/2003)
Representative says "the BLM plans to have an open house in the next few weeks to allow residents to comment on the environmental process and the lease extension."...,1413,208%257E12588%257E1249130,00.html

"BLM outlines goldfields plans" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 03/19/2003)
Yuba County supervisors hear report from their committee's meeting with BLM Folsom Field Office manager, including intent "that the goldfields be developed as a recreational area open to the public and completely funded by mining contract revenues."

"BLM will delay start of Pit River Campground project" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2003)
The start of construction on a Bureau of Land Management project to improve the Pit River Campground near Fall River Mills will be delayed until late June.

"Scarred landscape" (Bakersfield Californian, 03/15/2003)
NEW 3/18 "Off-road vehicle ownership in California is growing nearly 10 times faster than the population." A BLM ranger, a rancher and an off-roader who practices "Tread Lightly" principles describe the vandalism and destruction of signage caused by some who abuse the land and trespass on closed areas near the Carrizo Plain. The off-roader supports strict enforcement of rules, but fears closure of the entire area to off-roaders due to abuse by a few.


"Volunteers needed for King Range trail projects" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2003)
Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to help improve recreation areas on California's Lost Coast are needed for volunteer projects scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28.

"BLM creates marshy bird habitat near Barstow" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 03/16/2003)
"'Watchable wildlife area' may be dedicated May 9" as volunteers help BLM restore an oasis for migrating birds at Harper Dry Lake.,2127,

"BLM has openings on Northwest California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management has announced four openings on its Northwest California Resource Advisory Council (RAC), a citizen panel that provides advice to the agency's managers. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, April 21....

"BLM has openings on Northeast California Resource Advisory Council" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management has announced six open seats on its Northeast California Resource Advisory Council (RAC), a citizen panel that provides advice to the agency's managers. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, April 21.


"Rescuing Indian history" (Bakersfield Californian, 3/19/2003)
Kern County Fire Department captain - briefly a BLM employee - intrigued by ancient rock art: Honored for his "efforts to find and preserve such archeological treasures left by Indians who date back to the time of Christ" - including on BLM-managed lands.

"Desert deal completed" (San Jose Mercury News, 03/14/2003)
"Wrapping up the largest purchase of private property for conservation in American history, the final steps of a deal closed Thursday on a $63 million campaign to preserve 602,000 acres of land sprawling across the Southern California desert ... twice the size of the city of Los Angeles." Last week, Wildlands Conservancy transferred last 62,847 acres to BLM management.

"BLM's Red Hills land expands" (Union Democrat, 03/14/2003)
"The Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern has just gotten bigger. With the help of two state grants and the Tuolumne County Land Trust, late last month, the Bureau of Land Management closed the deal on 93 acres off Old Don Pedro Road, expanding the protected land to about 7,200 acres." At the popular hiking area, "Yellow, purple and white wildflowers are just beginning to bloom, and grass blankets the rolling hills."

Related: "Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM California Web page)
Learn more about the area discussed in the story above.


"Cleanup time for spare tires" (The Union, 03/17/2003)
Dumped tires are a fire hazard and a breeding ground for mosquitoes including those that spread West Nile Virus - and an eyesore. Nevada County is seeking a grant to help clean up area with the most tires, on land owned by Nevada City and a lumber company, and adjacent land managed by BLM California.

"Dangerous mine shafts being filled in to avoid accidents" (Bakersfield Californian, 03/15/2003)
Within the past eight months, two people have fallen down abandoned mine shafts. "Local safety experts believe 50,000 to 60,000 abandoned mines could be located just in Kern County" a legacy of the area's rich mining history, including BLM-managed areas. "Sites like these often have no visible mine tailings or mine waste nearby, 'nothing to warn a possible visitor to the area ... that they are approaching a dangerous shaft,' says an official working on making the sites safer.


"Inspector general clears Interior officials in mine approval" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 03/12/2003)
"Interior Department officials acted appropriately when they approved a private company's claims to mine gold in Imperial County near Indian cultural and religious sites, according to the department's inspector general."

"Nation's toughest open-pit gold mining regulations considered" (San Jose Mercury News, 03/12/2003)
"California is considering adopting the nation's toughest restrictions on open-pit gold mining, a move environmentalists applaud and the mining industry says would virtually eliminate metal mining in the Gold Rush state." The state legislation was prompted by opposition to a gold mine proposal for BLM-managed land near a tribal reservation in Southern California.


"Remarks prepared for delivery by The Honorable Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior - National Association of Regional Councils" (Department of Interior news release, 03/17/2003)
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton's remarks: "We have the same challenge and goal as the regional council's - thriving communities and environmental conservation. To achieve this, I am committed to a new era in the conservation of our nation's natural resources; I call it 'new environmentalism'."

"America's Energy: Imbalance Between Consumption and Domestic Production" (Department of Interior news release, 03/19/2003)
"To address the nation's growing energy needs we must optimize leasing opportunities on federal lands ... At a congressional hearing today, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, Rebecca Watson told the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources that America faces an energy challenge because of a fundamental imbalance between energy consumption and domestic energy production."

"Senators get involved in national park trail fray" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 03/13/2003)
"Boxer, Feinstein ask Interior to keep Joshua Tree roads pristine" Related to next story.

Related: "Interior Department asked not to process applications" (San Bernardino County Sun, 03/12/2003)
"The possibility of opening up a gated trail through Joshua Tree National Park to vehicles has become a flash point between environmentalists and the Interior Department." California's two Senators charge "disclaimer of interest" rule could threaten Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks.,1413,208%257E12588%257E1239829,00.html


"California surveys the South Pacific" (BLM California Highlight, 3/18/2003)
Did you know that the BLM's California State Office has jurisdiction in Hawaii and the South Pacific? Well ... at least it does for federal surveys.
(Note: this item is on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)

Related: "Branch of Geographic Services" (BLM California Web site)
Learn more about the BLM branch that handles surveys of public lands

"BLM expected to release report soon" (San Bernardino County Sun, 03/18/2003)
The BLM "is completing a long-awaited environmental assessment which will designate travel routes in the vast western Mojave Desert, an official .... Facing a court-imposed deadline of June 30, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management expects to release the environmental report soon, opening a 30-day public review period, [said a] bureau spokesman.",1413,208%257E12588%257E1253209,00.html

"DAC meeting canceled" (BLM California news release, 3/16/2003)
The California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) March 27-29, 2003, field tour and public meeting scheduled in Barstow, California have been canceled.

"Groundwater permit denied by supervisors" (Imperial Valley Press, 03/18/2003)
Imperial County Supervisors deny groundwater permit to farming operation, "agreeing with other government and conservation agencies in saying the project warrants an objective environmental impact report." Agencies including BLM asked for environmental assessment because lack of groundwater could threaten endangered desert pupfish on nearby land.

Gambel's Quail - photo credit: Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles, California Academy of Sciences ANSWER TO WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "How many species of quail occur on BLM-managed land in California?"
ANSWER: Three species: California quail, Gambel's quail, and Mountain quail.
Learn more about these varieties of quail online at the BLM California Wildlife Database:
(Note: the Wildlife Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)
California quail:
Gambel's quail:
Mountain quail:
Trivia Question Mark of  the Week

"Extra" trivia question: The plural of "quail" is EITHER "quail" or "quails" according to several sources -

(Note: the Upcoming Events database is on a 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.)

03/26/2003 - Arcata off-highway vehicle grant meeting

03/29/2003 - Alabama Hills Climbing Event

04/01/2003 - Wild horse gather public meeting

04/02/2003 - Wild Horse gather plan public meeting

04/02/2003 - Northwest California Advisory Council meeting

04/03/2003 - Northwest California Advisory Council meeting

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

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