News.bytes
A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 120 - 8/6/2003

This week in News.bytes:
From online Photo Album: Wind generators on BLM right of way
- Not for Educators Only, including:
   - Wildlife Trivia of the Week: Suckers
   - More on last week's Wildlife Trivia Question
   - Photo Album: "Rights-of-Way"
   - Bookstore Feature: "TOPO! San Francisco"
- Critical Habitat proposed for Peirson's milk-vetch
- Land Use Planning:
   - West Mojave Plan
   - South Yuba River
   - Siskiyou
- BLM Hiring:
   - Redding Field Office manager
   - "The express lane for federal jobs"
- California Wild Heritage Act
- National news:
   - New head of BLM Law Enforcement
   - Oil and gas leasing entering computer age
- Headlines and highlights, including:
   - Fee demonstration coming to four desert OHV areas
   - Wild horse and burro adoption: San Jose
   - Oil and gas lease sale Sept. 17
- Congressional hearings/meetings of note to BLM California

- Selected Upcoming Events

NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:

WILDLIFE TRIVIA OF THE WEEK - Suckers
Wildlife Trivia Question mark of the WeekThree of the species of fish that appear in waterways that appear in waterways managed by BLM California are: Lost River sucker, Razorback sucker, and Shortnose sucker. What else do these three species of sucker have in common?
(See answer near the end of this week's issue of News.bytes)

Power lines along a BLM California right of wayPHOTO ALBUM: "Rights-of-Way"
A right-of-way grant is an authorization to use a specific piece of public land for certain projects, such as roads, pipelines, transmission lines, and communication sites. The grant authorizes rights and privileges for a specific use of the land for a specified period of time. During Fiscal Year 2002, BLM in California collected $1.9 million in FLPMA (Federal Land Policy and Management Act) Rights-of-Way Rent (source: Public Rewards from Public Lands 2003).
http://www6.ca.blm.gov/blm/index.jsp?folderOpen=Public%20Folders%2fImage%20Library%2fRights-of-Way


Related: "Rights-of-way" (BLM national Web site)
Each year hundreds of individuals and companies apply to the BLM for rights-of-way (ROW) on or across public lands. It is the policy of the BLM to authorize all ROW applications at the discretion of the authorized officer in the most efficient and economical manner possible. With links to more related information.
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/what/lands/realty/row.htm

(Note on the following related links: the BLM California Issue Updates database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below)
Related: "Wind energy" (BLM California Issue Updates)
California's two major public land areas with current wind energy generation: Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, and San Gorgonio Pass, in Riverside County.
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/newsbytes.nsf/siteurl/10022431?OpenDocument

Related: "Wind energy development" (BLM California Issue Updates)
Proposed project on BLM-managed lands, Lake and Colusa counties.
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/newsbytes.nsf/siteurl/75342642?OpenDocument

Related: "ECFO power projects" (BLM California Issue Updates)
Summarizes status and unresolved issues of three power projects: Sempra Energy Resources, Baja California Power and North Baja Pipeline.
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/newsbytes.nsf/siteurl/52985123?OpenDocument


BOOKSTORE FEATURE:
"TOPO! San Francisco"

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "TOPO! San Francisco"TOPO! features detailed USGS maps enhanced with digital elevation data points. Powerful tools provide extended capabilities for exploring, customizing and printing. Elevation profiling is the fastest and easiest way to visualize elevation changes. Instant jump points to camp grounds, recreation areas, and points of interest. Detail of both paved roads and trails. Customize your printed maps with your own comments and notes.
http://store.ca.blm.gov/cgi-bin/webc.exe/st_prod.html?p_prodid=225

More on last week's Wildlife Trivia Question
animal track: coyote or cougar?More than 200 of our readers "voted" to identify the coyote track (the other track was from a cougar - also known as mountain lion.) Our automated tabulating system also estimates that about 70 percent of those responding got the question right. (The results are not in any way comparable to a scientific poll - hope you had fun!)
One of our BLM California wildlife biologists adds:
Some of the easiest ways to distinguish feline tracks from canine tracks are:
- Canine tracks often show claw marks. This is unusual in feline tracks;
- Canine tracks tend to be narrower than feline tracks;
- Feline tracks have three lobes aligned next to each other on the back portion of the heel. Canines typically only show two lobes;
- On felines, the front portion of the heel has two lobes. Canines have only one lobe.
You can see the question in last week's issue of News.bytes:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/2003/119.html



CRITICAL HABITAT PROPOSED FOR PEIRSON'S MILK VETCH

Peirson's milk-vetch"Critical Habitat proposed for Peirson's milk-vetch" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news release, 8/5/2003)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to designate critical habitat for the threatened Peirson's milk-vetch (Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii) on approximately 52,780 acres of sand dunes in Algodones Dunes in Imperial County, California. The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
PDF file, about 40 kilobytes:
http://pacific.fws.gov/news/postedNRs/peirsons%20milkvetch%20NR.PDF

"Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed
Designation of Critical Habitat for Astragalus magdalenae var.
peirsonii (Peirson's milk-vetch)"
(Federal Register Notice, 8/5/2003)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notice related to news release above.
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-19670.htm

"Rare-plant habitat proposed" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 08/06/2003)
"Federal wildlife officials on Tuesday proposed designating about one-third of a popular off-roading area in the California desert as land vital to the survival of an endangered plant. The move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not affect a plan to reopen parts of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area that were closed to protect the Peirson's milk-vetch, said...an agency spokeswoman...."
http://www.pe.com/localnews/desertpass/stories/PE_NEWS_nddunes06.f14e.html

"Agency proposes critical habitat in Imperial Sand Dunes" (Yuma Sun, 08/06/2003)
"The agency will be accepting comments on the designation until Oct. 6. A final decision on it is expected next year."
http://yumasun.com/artman/publish/articles/story_6613.shtml



LAND USE PLANNING

"BLM Issues Final Solicitation for District Advisory Council Nominations" (BLM California news release, 8/6/2003)
The BLM continues to seek nominations for qualified people to serve on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council for the 2004-2006 term. Applications must be received by Friday, August 29, 2003. The five positions to be filled include one representative each for environmental protection, renewable resources, and public-at-large, and two for elected officials representing local/county government.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2003/08/nr/CDDnews67_last_call_dac_nominations.html

"Desert plan to cut red tape" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 07/31/2003)
A proposed land management plan will attempt to cut red tape for developers while still conserving sensitive species, a [BLM] official said at a hearing Wednesday night....The plan proposes a pre-approved program to protect sensitive species that could be affected by new development, instead of the existing case-by-case policy." Members of the public chimed in with requests to protect the desert, increase off-road access, and to consider raven control as a way to protect the desert tortoise.
http://www.desertdispatch.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1059660340,61275,

"Groups shut out of dunes hearing?" (Imperial Valley Press, 07/31/2003)
Environmentalists are outraged over what appears to be an attempt ... to exclude them from a congressional hearing on the Imperial Sand Dunes on Aug. 18 in San Diego. A hearing invitation is posted on the Internet for ... an alliance of farmers, loggers, ranchers and miners. The invitation lists speakers from the off-road community, county supervisors from Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties and representatives from mining, ranching and the film industry...." and states, "All input for this hearing must be submitted through the respective panel leaders."
http://www.ivpressonline.com/articles/2003/07/31/news/news03.txt

"Supervisors reject BLM proposal" (Siskiyou Daily News, 07/31/2003)
"The [BLM's] recommendation to acquire more land along the Klamath River as part of its Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement process was not favorably received by the Siskiyou County Supervisors." Supervisors are concerned that transferring more lands along five miles of the river in California, would reduce the county's tax base and agricultural potential.
http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/articles/2003/07/31/news/news5.txt

"Planning for South Yuba's management begins" (The Union, 07/30/2003)
"Curiosity and skepticism fueled the first meeting on how to manage 39 miles of the wild and scenic South Yuba River ....But again and again, representatives of four government agencies gave the packed crowd...a central answer: the community will have a major voice in all decisions....teams will be formed to deal with a myriad of topics, including recreation, timber management, fire suppression, scenic and cultural values, ecology, law enforcement and county facilities." The mix of public and private lands along the river also is an issue.
http://tu.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030731/NEWS/107300114

"Second South Yuba River planning meeting" (BLM California news release, 8/6/2003)
The second in a series of public meetings to write a comprehensive management plan for the public lands along the 39-mile stretch of the South Yuba River from Spaulding Reservoir to Lake Englebright will be held on Tuesday, August 12, 2003, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Grass Valley.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2003/08/nr/CCnews30_SYR_meeting_2.html



BLM HIRING

Opening for Field Manager, Redding Field Office
Position: Field Manager, GS-0340-13, Redding Field Office. Vacancy Announcement CA-03-175DS-MP, Opens 07/30/03, Closes 08/29/03; open to current Federal employees serving under a career or career conditional appointment or former Federal employees with reinstatement eligibility. The vacancy announcement can be reviewed by following the link below to the USA JOBS Web site, or for more information, please contact Donna Straffen at (916) 978-4467.
http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/

"The express lane opens for people shopping for federal jobs" (Washington Post, 08/04/2003)
"The Office of Personnel Management will launch a new version of the government's online employment site today as a way to help federal agencies speed up hiring. The Internet site...provides access to about 15,000 federal job openings. It also provides a place for applicants to create and store résumés that are acceptable to federal agencies, which increasingly rely on automated screening and hiring procedures. OPM Director pledges 'a new, user-friendly and attractive appearance that simplifies...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17094-2003Aug3.html


CALIFORNIA WILD HERITAGE ACT

"Boxer introduces wilderness act" (Woodland Democrat, 08/02/2003)
The "California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2003" ... would protect approximately 2.5 million acres of public lands in 81 different areas across California, as well as the free-flowing portions of 22 rivers." Newspaper's local concern includes Cache Creek. Spokesperson says proposed wilderness boundaries in Lake and Colusa counties were changed from 2002 bill, after consultation with the BLM. A version of the bill proposed last year, would have affected much BLM-managed land across California.
http://www.dailydemocrat.com/articles/2003/08/02/news/news5.txt

"Boxer's wilderness legislation redrawn" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 08/02/2003)
"Proposal: Firefighting needs are cited, reducing the land included near Big Bear Valley....If passed as is, the California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2003 would cover about 440,000 acres in Riverside and San Bernardino counties."
http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_NEWS_nwild02.f542.html

"Bill to protect state 'wilderness' revived" (Bakersfield Californian, 08/04/2003)
"A controversial proposal to protect an additional 2.5 million acres of California with "wilderness" status has been reintroduced by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. The bill, called the California Wild Heritage Act, would expand a number of existing Southern Sierra wilderness areas and add a new layer of protection to the lower Kern River east of Bakersfield."
http://www.bakersfield.com/local/story/3595285p-3627055c.html


NATIONAL and DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR NEWS

"BLM Names William Woody as new head of Law Enforcement" (BLM national news release, 08/05/2003)
William Woody of Salt Lake City has been named Director, Law Enforcement, Security and Protection for the Bureau of Land Management, BLM Director Kathleen Clarke announced today. Woody currently serves as Law Enforcement Director of Utah's Department of Natural Resources. "William Woody brings vast experience to this BLM position as both a law enforcement director and investigator"' Clarke said. "He understands the issues BLM rangers and investigators face in ensuring public safety and protecting public land resources."
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/releases/pages/2003/pr030805_law.htm

"Data swappers" (Government Computer News, 08/04/2003)
"BLM paves the way for data exchanges with oil and gas drillers." Agency hopes computerized XML (Extensible Markup Language) system will replace paper-based system used to apply for permits and to exchange information.
http://www.gcn.com/22_21/e_gov/22959-1.html

"National Invasive Species Council names Assistant Director for International Policy & Prevention" (Department of Interior news release, 08/06/2003)
Co-chaired by the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Interior, the Council coordinates federal invasive species programs and works closely with state and local governments and private organizations.
http://www.doi.gov/news/030806a.htm



HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

"BLM to implement fee program at popular desert recreation areas" (BLM California news release, 8/5/2003)
BLM's Barstow Field Office announced that it will implement a Recreation Fee Demonstration Program for four popular desert off-highway vehicle riding areas effective October 1, 2003. To be included: Dumont Dunes with 10,000 acres; Johnson Valley, the world's largest designated OHV area with 188,000 acres; Stoddard Valley with 53,000 acres, and El Mirage with 25,000 acres. The 22,000-acre Rasor riding area will continue to be a free area.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2003/08/nr/CDDnews66_rec_fees_implemented.html

Related: "Off-roaders face new fees at four desert areas" (Victorville Daily Press, 08/06/2003)
http://www.vvdailypress.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1060177045,96637,

"BLM to conduct oil and gas lease sale September 17, 2003" (BLM California news release, 08/01/2003)
The saleroom in Bakersfield will open at 8:00 a.m. to allow bidders to register and obtain a bid number. The competitive oral auction will begin at 9:00 a.m. There are 41 parcels for a total of 21,117 acres in five counties; Kern, Kings, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2003/08/nr/CCnews29_sept_ogsale/Conv.htm

"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in San Jose" (BLM California news release, 07/23/2003)
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 17.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2003/07/nr/NCnews76_sjadopt_august03/Conv.htm

"Forest raid yields lots of pot" (The Union Democrat - Sonora, 8/5/2003)
"More than 8,000 4-foot-tall marijuana plants were uprooted from Stanislaus National Forest land and...another 12,000 were still to be pulled from the massive plantation." Agents from BLM joined the local sheriff's department and other federal agents continued to remove plants from two other plantations within four miles of the site. "The operation marked the kickoff of the 2003 pot eradication season for the statewide Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program."
http://www.uniondemocrat.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=11525


CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS/MEETINGS

  • August 18, Oversight Field Hearing in San Diego, CA on Access to the California Desert Conservation District with Emphasis on the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation & Public Lands. BLM Witness is California State Director Mike Pool.
  • August 25, Grazing Summit (Not a Hearing/No Testimony) in Boise, ID. Senator Crapo’s Grazing Summit. Witness is Director Kathleen Clarke.
  • August 25, Field Hearing in Bend, OR on Healthy Forests by House Resources, Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee. Witness is Ed Shepard.
  • September 3, Business Meeting by Senate Energy.
  • September 9, Hearing S 1107, Recreation Fee Authority Act; NPS Recreation Fee. Senate Energy Subcommittee on Natural Parks. Witness is Lynn Scarlett (Department of Interior) and Richard Ring (National Park Service).
  • September 11, Hearing S 511 on PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) by Senate Energy Subcommittee on Public Lands & Forests. Witness to be announced.
  • September 17, Business Meeting by Senate Energy.

Wildlife Trivia Question mark of the WeekWILDLIFE TRIVIA OF THE WEEK - ANSWER
Question: "Three of the species of fish that appear in waterways that appear in waterways managed by BLM California are: Lost River sucker, Razorback sucker, and Shortnose sucker. What else do these three species of sucker have in common?"
Answer: All three species are listed by the federal government as endangered. In fact, pure shortnose suckers are believed to be extinct. Those that still exist are actually hybrids. (Photo credit: Sacramento sucker, by Aaron Nadig, Mendocino Redwood Company)
(Photo credit: Sacramento sucker, by Aaron Nadig, Mendocino Redwood Company)The decline in the Shortnose sucker is at least partly blamed on an "introduced" or non-native fish. The carp is a fierce competitor for the Shortnose sucker's food supply - even though the sucker is adapted to find food in unfavorable conditions. Learn more about the Shortnose sucker in our BLM California online wildlife database: (Note: the Wildlife Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below)
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmcawildlife.nsf/siteurl/80579080?OpenDocument


SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
(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.)

08/09/2003 - Field tour - Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use planning
Cedarville
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/19994049?OpenDocument

08/13/2003 - Scoping meeting for Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use plan
Susanville
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/49775693?OpenDocument

08/16/2003 - Field tour - Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use planning
Susanville
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/46765393?OpenDocument

08/20/2003 - Scoping meeting for Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use plan
Alturas
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/63974365?OpenDocument

08/23/2003 - Field tour - Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use planning
Alturas
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/60609751?OpenDocument

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
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