A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 134: 11/13/03  -  This week in News.bytes:
BLM volunteer Robert Lynk and adopted wild horse Pinocchio The Hallstrom twinsWhere is this?Diane BeckBOOKSTORE FEATURE: Woodpecker pin
- Outdoor recreation:
    - Junior shooters start pheasant season
    - Bear cans a bare necessity
- Wild horses and burros:
    - 69 of 80 adopted at Tulare event
    - Adoptions may be suspended nationwide?
- Wildfire aftermath: Lessons, investigation, legislation
- Northern California: Less fire danger, more prevention
- Central Coast fire issues
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Diane Beck
- Profile: BLM twins
- Santa Clarita gravel mine: New developments
- Not for Educators Only:
    - "Where is this?" photo quiz
    - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Numerous numbers?
- Bookstore Feature: Woodpecker pin
- Photo Album: "Areas of Critical Environmental Concern"
- Energy issues: wind; powerline rights-of-way
- Oil and gas news
- National and/or Department of the Interior news
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
    - FBI probing accusations filed against BLM ranger
    - Horseback riders, mountain bikers protest Headwaters plan


"Fledgling hunters; Pheasant season gets off to a blast with junior shooters" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 11/09/2003)
Special junior hunt last weekend was sponsored by the Shasta County Sportsman's Association, the BLM and the Department of Fish and Game.

"Bear cans are a bare necessity in bruin country" (The Buffalo News, 11/09/2003)
"As the park ranger's adage goes, a fed bear is a dead bear....In the King Range Conservation Area...along California's northern coast, rules requiring canisters went into effect after a sharp increase in bear activity." A BLM outdoor recreation planner says '[T]he regulation is intended as much for the bears as it for people....Before we made it mandatory, a lot of people would listen to our bear can spiel and say, "Well, thanks, but I'll take my chances." And we'd say, "Thanks, but we may have to shoot the bear you fed because you wouldn't carry one".'

Related: "Bear alert!" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office Web site)
Black bears are becoming increasingly aggressive and have torn into backpacks and occupied tents in search of food or other scented items. Bear canisters are required for every backpacker in the King Range. Backpackers failing to use bear canisters are subject to being fined.

Related: In our online bookstore: "Bear Aware"
Book: "Bear Aware"From the book description: "Hiking and Camping in Bear Country: This handy pack-sized book contains essential tips you will need to reduce the risk of being injured by a bear to the slimmest possible margin. Written for beginners and experts. Especially for: day hikers, backpackers, tent campers, trail runners, hunters, mountain bikers, anglers, outfitters, photographers, horsemen."


"Wild horses, burros easy sell; Deputy demonstrates how to gain mustangs' trust at Tulare auction" (Fresno Bee, 11/09/2003)
"Their ancestors evaded captivity by running free, but Saturday they went home with dozens of human owners eager to take on their independent charm. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management auctioned off wild horses and burros Saturday at the Tulare County Fairground as one of 13 traveling auctions in California this year."

BLM volunteer Robert Lynk and adopted wild horse Pinocchio "Adoption finds new homes for 69 of 80 wild horses and burros" (BLM News.bytes Extra, 11/13/03)
Southern San Joaquin Valley residents flocked to the Tulare County Fairgrounds last weekend, and many of them left with a new family member -- a wild horse or burro. The BLM offered 62 mustangs and 18 burros for public adoption. At the end of the weekend, 69 of the 80 animals had been adopted. Photos from the event:

"Bringing in the wild ones" (Visalia Times-Delta, 11/10/2003)
"Instead of keeping people away, wild horses were the reason hundreds of Tulare County residents showed up at the fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday. The wild horses and burros were up for adoption...and residents responded eagerly to the chance of having one or two of their own." A Visalia woman "adopted two horses on Saturday to go with the horse she adopted two years ago."


"BLM considering suspending wild horse adoption program" (Associated Press in Las Vegas Sun, 11/05/2003)
"The Bureau of Land Management will study whether to suspend a wild horse adoption program that has been criticized as costly and ineffective. Taking advice from an advisory council, the agency said Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that it will consider setting aside its Adopt-A-Horse program for several years to concentrate on reducing the number of animals in herds of wild horses and burros and shipping the animals to long-term facilities."

"Plan to corral adoptions upsets horse groups" (Associated Press in Redding Record-Searchlight, 11/05/2003)
"Wild horse rescue groups are raising concerns about the Bureau of Land Management's announcement that it may suspend its horse adoption program and send more mustangs to long-term holding facilities."

"Columnist Susan Snyder: Time to adopt a new attitude" (Las Vegas Sun, 11/07/2003)
"Word that federal officials are studying whether to scrap the wild horse adoption program has spread like a brush fire. A national Bureau of Land Management advisory council that met in Washington, D.C., Tuesday suggested putting the Adopt-A-Horse program out to pasture as one of several options. But it's one that drew immediate attention 2,000 miles away.... And it might not be a bad idea."

"End BLM horse adoption" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/06/2003)
Editorial: "Take the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse adoption program. Please." Calls for privatizing wild horse and burro roundups.


"Government ponders lessons of wildfires" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/06/2003)
"The disastrous wildfires in Southern California already are inspiring a slew of legislation and other actions meant to help fire victims, prevent new fire-storms and minimize the threat of mudslides and flooding." Public lands including U.S. Forest Service and BLM-managed areas were affected by the fires.

"Identifying causes of fires is next up" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/09/2003)
"State and federal investigators have already determined that people, not natural causes, started the three fires in San Diego County that charred more than 383,000 acres and killed 16 people. Now they're concentrating on finding out whether the fires were accidental or arson and exactly how the blazes began and identifying those responsible....'Just about every type of fire leaves an indicator of how it was started,' [says a BLM fire specialist]."

"Controlled burns urged for forest" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/10/2003)
This story does not mention BLM California, but recent wildfires also swept across BLM-managed lands. Some urge prescribed burns to remove excess fuel: "Small controlled burns set to thin overgrown forests, experts say, are the best way to mimic the natural thinning process and prevent the growing number of massive wildfires that are chewing up urbanized wildlands across the West."

"Painful awakening" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/08/2003)
Columnist, on restoring southern California burned areas: "This truly is a time for all of us - environmentalists, hunters, all those who bicycle, hike, watch wildlife and live full-or part-time in the backcountry - to join up for a fight to restore the habitat and to arrive at a plan to manage it correctly....For these people to help, the various agencies...must include them in the rebuilding process, not exclude them from public lands like outcasts."

"Careful steps to cut fire risk" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/08/2003)
Columnist worries about steps to be taken in aftermath of devastating southern California wildfires: "Healthy trees already fell victim to the fires and firefighting efforts to cut fire breaks. I hope more won't fall to clear-cutting and controlled burns. Controlled burns...too often go out of control."

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: Less fire danger, now prevention

"BLM lifts fire restrictions on lands managed by Ukiah area office" (BLM California news release, 11/12/2003)

"BLM lifts fire restrictions on lands managed by Arcata Field office" (BLM California news release, 11/12/2003)

"Fire restrictions end today on public lands" (Porterville Recorder, 11/10/2003)
"The Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument, along with the Bureau of Land Management, Bakersfield Field Office, are ending all fire restrictions on public lands effective today."

"BLM plans pile burning projects - Shasta and Trinity counties" (BLM California news release, 11/10/2003)
Crews from the U. S. Bureau of Land Management will soon be burning piles of brush and limbs created during construction of fuel breaks in Shasta and Trinity counties.

"BLM Surprise Field Office plans winter and fall burning projects" (BLM California news release, 11/12/2003)
Work in the coming weeks will focus on burning piles of brush and juniper limbs created during summer work projects.

"Rains may drench fire season" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 11/06/2003)
"Just two weeks ago, it was too hot and too dry for prescribed burns. Now it may be too cold and too damp....Officials have a host of planned burns to reduce fuels all over the region. But with snow and rain in the past week, and more on the way, they may not get the chance."

FIRE ISSUES - Central Coast

"Army holds public meeting today to discuss burn" (Monterey County Herald, 11/13/2003)
"Three weeks after the Army's prescribed burn on Fort Ord went out of control and burned 1,000 acres more than it should have, residents will have the chance to voice their frustrations and to get some answers." Fire was meant to help clear land of unexploded ordinance, before turning it over to BLM.

"Environmental laws hamper local fire-prevention efforts" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 11/09/2003)
Santa Cruz County fire chiefs are trying to avoid fierce wildfires next year, like those that recently ravaged southern California. "But they're finding themselves up against a tangle of conflicting legislation and a lack of funding, making fire-prevention progress difficult. Two plans...aim to overcome these obstacles." The county Board of Supervisors will consider requiring new homes to include fire-prevention measures. And "a $90,000 mapping project [funded by BLM] will help dispel conflict in areas where fire-prevention rules and laws that protect plant and animal habitat collide."

Northwest California Advisory Council member Diane Beck represents national and regional environmental interests on the council. Diane has been extensively involved in environmental issues on California's north coast for many years. Learn more:

The Hallstrom twinsPROFILE: The Hallstrom twins
Stace and Traci Hallstrom are Public Contact Representatives in BLM's Redding Field Office. They immediately put you at ease with a friendly, warm greeting. Each is determined to provide customer satisfaction. "We want a person to leave with some information, not empty handed," says Stace. The same enthusiasm is echoed by her twin, Traci Hallstrom. "We want to lift spirits and make it fun in the office."


"McKeon: Cemex Bill Due Next Week" (The Signal, 11/12/2003)
"Santa Clarita's congressman vowed to take necessary steps to scale back a massive sand and gravel mine project in Soledad Canyon. That was in August. On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Howard 'Buck' McKeon followed through with the promise, announcing he'll introduce legislation next week to reduce the planned amount of mining." The company, Cemex, has a BLM permit to resume mining operations at the site.

"Cap on mine operation to be proposed" (Los Angeles Times, 11/12/2003)
"A battle over a massive quarry expansion sought near Santa Clarita took a new turn...when Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon announced he will ask Congress to cap the mine's activity at roughly its current level.",1,2920348.story

"Compromise aired for mining project" (Antelope Valley Press, 11/12/2003)

"Bill aims to limit mining" (Los Angeles Daily News, 11/11/2003),1413,200%257E20949%257E1759944,00.html

"Stopping Transit Mixed: Washington leaders need to board McKeon’s train" (The Santa Clarita Signal, 11/12/2003)
Editorial: "McKeon noted...his legislation won’t have an arroyo toad’s chance in a gravel pit unless both Cemex and the BLM support it. No administration - not the Bush administration, the Clinton administration or any other Washington executive - would sacrifice the nation’s right to its strategic materials, McKeon said. But the federal government, with a little creativity and leadership, can find ways to balance its national objectives against the health and well being of its people."

"If you liked the fires, you'll love Cemex" (The Signal, 11/11/2003)
Column: "Welcome to the world of the Cemex/Southdown/Transit Mixed Concrete mine, (this project has had so many names it's hard to keep 'em straight). If you liked the air quality the fires gave us, you'll love the Cemex mine. While the visible effects of the Soledad Canyon mine project might not appear as dramatic to SCV air quality as the fires, the reality is that significant degradation of SCV air quality will occur with the Cemex mine."

"Board mulls settlement" (Los Angeles Daily News, 11/04/2003)
"The [Los Angeles] county Board of Supervisors met...behind closed doors to consider settling a lawsuit challenging the county's denial of a permit to mine sand and gravel in the Soledad Canyon area, but took no official action.",1413,200%257E20954%257E1744502,00.html


Where is this?WHERE IS THIS?
1. Chimney Peak Wilderness Area
2. Mesquite Wilderness Area
3. Domeland Wilderness Area
Take our online interactive photo quiz:

"Approximately how many species of amphibians are there in the world?"
(a) 1,000
(b) 2,000
(c) 5,000
(d) 10,000
(See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)

The Ivory-billed woodpecker lapel pin comes with an Information Card -- with information about the bird's habitat, history, and more. The pin is about one inch wide and one inch high.

Photo: ACEC in the Susanville areaPHOTO ALBUM: ACECs
On lands managed by BLM in California, approximately 137 areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) encompass 1.42 million acres. ACECs are administratively designated to protect important historical, cultural, scenic and natural places.


"Public lands make West fertile ground for wind power" (Salt Lake Tribune, 11/10/2003)
Most wind power is now generated on private lands. "But many of the windiest places can be found on the vast public lands west of the Mississippi....In recent months...the BLM has received 75 additional applications by wind developers....The agency is holding meetings this month in five cities around the West to gather input on the issues surrounding wind development on the BLM's 262 million acres. Wind power currently accounts for less than 1 percent of America's electricity supply...'But there is tremendous potential for growth,' says Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton."

"Mexicali power plants targeted for review" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/10/2003)
"The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced it is carrying out a full environmental impact review of two power plants in Mexicali that are run by U.S.-based companies." BLM was involved in rights-of-way permits for power lines to bring their electricity to the U.S.

Related: "U.S. to review Mexicali power plants, lines" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/12/2003)
"In response to a San Diego federal court ruling, the U.S. Department of Energy will do a full review of the environmental impact of two Mexicali power plants and the power lines that carry electricity from Mexico to California."


"Oil and gas meeting in Bakersfield" (BLM California extra, 11/13/03)
Field tour after Bakersfield oil and gas meetingPatricia Morrison - Department of the Interior's Prinicipal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management - visited Bakersfield's 'oil patch' to discuss ways to encourage responsible oil and gas development on public lands and increase production in existing fields. She also heard from industry representatives that they want NPR2 (National Petroleum Reserve No. 2) transferred from the Department of Energy to BLM as soon as possible through legislation." Photos of the meeting and driving tour:

Related: "Federal officials push toward oil field transfer" (Bakersfield Californian, 11/04/2003)
"The transfer of some federal oil and gas land near Taft from the U.S. Department of Energy to the Bureau of Land Management could be complete by the end of the year. Patricia Morrison, deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, U.S. Department of Interior, said the BLM and DOE are working out the language of a legislative proposal to transfer the land." Companies could then explore for oil and gas on 2,500 acres not currently leased on DOE's Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, or NPR-2.

"BLM Asks for Oil Industry Interests for the next Lease Sale" (BLM California news release, 11/13/2003)


"Interior changes appraisal process to avoid political pressure" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 11/12/2003)
"The Interior Department said Wednesday it is restructuring its method for putting a price tag on federal lands after repeated criticisms that its land appraisers were falling victim to political pressures. The new organization would remove the land and mineral appraisers from the supervision of Bureau of Land Management staff and instead have them answer directly to other appraisers."

Related: "Norton finalizes real estate appraisal reform" (Department of the Interior news release, 11/12/2003)

"Bush takes quiet aim at 'green' laws" (Christian Science Monitor, 11/07/2003)
"Slowly but surely, the Bush administration is using courts and spending legislation to reverse Clinton-era trends in environmental protection. From the administration's point of view, this serves to: provide balance to the conflict between protecting nature and advancing the economy; give states and localities more say in such decisions; and reduce the 'analysis paralysis' that can hinder federal government land managers from doing their job."


"FBI probing accusations filed against BLM ranger" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/10/2003)
"A 19-year-old Encinitas man remains in a wheelchair with limited mobility after suffering spinal cord injuries here Nov. 2 allegedly caused by a Bureau of Land Management ranger against whom allegations of abuse of power and use of excessive force have been raised."

NOTE: An investigation of the allegation is underway.

Related: "News Briefs from San Diego County" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 11/10/2003)
"An Encinitas family has filed a complaint against the Bureau of Land Management, alleging that two rangers used unnecessary force while checking their son for an off-roading permit at the Glamis sand dunes, causing him to suffer spinal cord injuries."

"BLM recovers fee machine" (Yuma Sun, 11/06/2003)
"A fee machine stolen from the Imperial Sand Dunes in eastern Imperial County was recovered by the [BLM], which is still offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the perpetrator's arrest."

"Horseback riders, bikers team with national group on Headwaters plan protest" (Eureka Times-Standard, 11/09/2003)
"Equestrians and mountain bikers frustrated with plans to all but close the Headwaters Forest Reserve to riding and biking have vowed to fight against the plan with a national access group's help....The Blue Ribbon Coalition....",1413,127%257E2896%257E1748657,00.html

"Patterson: Review team selection polarizes dunes issues" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/07/2003)
"While the [Imperial Sand Dunes] attract thousands of visitors every year and inject cash into the local economy, a coalition of environmental groups are now claiming they are being shut out of the dunes management process by the BLM."

"Defense bill won't affect fort" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/13/2003)
"A recently passed federal defense bill has environmentalists upset, but it might not affect the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. The bill contained language that blocks the U.S. Interior Department from creating 'critical habitat' for endangered or threatened species on military lands in some cases." Official says the fort will continue with environmental impact study of its proposed expansion. Army officials have been working with BLM on critical desert tortoise habitat.,45593,

"About how many species of amphibians are there in the world?"
(c) 5,000. Actually, 4,950 have been identified. Of the field offices that participated in our online wildlife database, BLM has identified 42 species that appear on BLM-managed lands in California.
California newt - Photo courtesy  Jens V. Vindum, California Academy of SciencesLearn more about the California newt - an amphibian commonly seen in the Sierra foothills and along the coast of California - in our BLM California online wildlife database. For example: they carry a colorful warning sign! (Note: the Wildlife Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)

(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.)

11/17-18/2003 - Joint Ventures - Partnership in Stewardship Conference
Los Angeles

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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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