of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 138 -- 12/17/03:
- Not for Educators Only:
- "Where is this?" Interactive photo quiz
- Free Brochure "The Great Basin BLM Collections"
- No News.bytes for two weeks
- Bookstore Feature: "Great Basin - The Story behind the Scenery"
- Meet your Advisory Council members: James M. Bugera
- Online database
- More reaction to new grazing rules
- Stolen artifacts = 18 months in prison
- Abandoned mines contaminating fish
- National and/or Department of the Interior:
- Bioenergy conference
- Ruling on Endangered Species Act
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
- Getting a handle on saltcedar
- Researchers complain about Desert Conservation Act
- Land agencies, climbers groups work on impacts
- Two mines safe from protected plants
- Pot farm danger on public lands
- Selected upcoming events - including a pair of hikes
FOR EDUCATORS ONLY
IS THIS? (Interactive photo quiz)
1. Kelso Dunes Wilderness Area
2. Cadiz Dunes Wilderness Area
3. North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area
Take your best guess and check your answer against other readers, in our
interactive photo quiz:
BROCHURE: "The Great Basin BLM Collections"
up online to receive this trifold color brochure - LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE.
The brochure highlights archaeological discoveries in BLM collections
from eastern California and central and western Nevada. Three sites in
particular have helped our understanding of prehistory in this region.
The three sites -- the Rose Spring Site in Inyo County, California, and
Lovelock and Hidden Caves in Churchill County, Nevada -- were excavated
by University of California faculty and students. This brochure was produced
in conjunction with the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley.
"The Great Basin BLM collections" (UC Berkeley Hearst
Museum Web site)
Web site with information related to the above sites, and artifacts found
NEWS.BYTES FOR TWO WEEKS
We do not plan to issue News.bytes the weeks of Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, 2003.
You should receive your next edition of News.bytes the week of Jan. 5, 2004.
FEATURE: "Great Basin - The Story behind
From the book description: "49 Pages of story and photos of the Great
Basin....This book is dedicated to all who find Nature not an adversary
to conquer and destroy, but a storehouse of infinite knowledge and experience
linking man to all things past and present. They know conserving the natural
environment is essential to our future well being. This book is full of
beautiful photos of the Great Basin."
YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: James M. Bugera
Desert District Advisory Council member James Bugera represents transportation
and rights-of-way interests on the council. He has worked on every highway
project throughout the Mojave Desert during the past seven years. Read more
about him in this week's Advisory Council feature:
Rangeland Standards and
Guidelines - Online database (BLM California site, hosted on Department
of Interior server)
Pursuant to the Taylor Grazing Act and Federal Land Policy and Management
Act, the BLM issues permits and leases for livestock grazing in specified
areas -- known as grazing allotments. Livestock grazing must be managed
to follow standards and guidelines ("S&Gs") for healthy
rangelands. The purpose of this database is to provide current information
on the progress made in implementing standards and guidelines for healthy
rangelands. It contains information on the monitoring of compliance with
those standards and guidelines. It covers grazing allotments on public
lands in California and the far northwestern corner of Nevada managed
by the California State Office of the Bureau of Land Management.
(Note: the Wildlife Database is hosted on the Department
of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming
"Grazing rules put ranchers in the saddle" (Sacramento
"The White House proposals call for considering economic effects,
not just habitat protection....California ranchers gain while environmentalists
seethe under sweeping new grazing rules....that largely ease ranchers'
burdens. If adopted, the rules also could shape millions of federally
owned acres in California."
ARTIFACTS = 18 MONTHS IN PRISON
10,000 artifacts taken from Western historic sites" (Associated
Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 12/11/2003)
"The ring of relic hunters used probes, sifting screens, shovels
and other tools to find items on public lands controlled by the Bureau
of Land Management, the National Park Service and Nellis Air Force Base"
in several states, including California. Last "major defendant"
pleads guilty - another defendant was sentenced to 18 months in prison
and ordered to pay $86,196 in restitution. Thirteen sites across the West
were damaged in their operation.
Related: "Two more defendants
in artifacts case to be sentenced" (Las Vegas Sun, 12/12/2003)
Related: "Prosecution of relic
thieves is warranted" (Las Vegas Sun, 12/12/2003)
EDITORIAL: "We understand that federal prosecutors have their plates
full...but ensuring that our land's past is preserved and not stolen is
important, too. Hopefully this prosecution will send a strong message
to archaeological thieves, whether they're displaying the artifacts in
their homes or selling them for profit, that looting won't be tolerated."
MINES CONTAMINATING FISH
"State issues mercury
warning" (Sacramento Bee, 12/17/2003)
"State health officials urged anglers Tuesday to curb their consumption
of fish from five Sierra reservoirs and parts of the Bear and South Yuba
rivers because of toxic mercury found in bass, catfish and trout....Authorities
expect there will be many more warnings as scientists test waters below
hundreds of old mines in the Sierra Mother Lode, where miners used toxic
mercury to separate gold from ore." Many of these abandoned mines
are on public lands managed by BLM California or other agencies.
"Location of inactive
mines in Nevada and Placer counties" (BLM California Web site)
Orientation map and list of abandoned mine remediation projects involving
BLM California -- including watersheds of the Bear and South Yuba rivers
mentioned in the above article.
"BLM California abandoned
mine lands activity" (BLM California Web site)
Statewide orientation to abandoned mine remediation sites involving BLM
"Sierra Nevada fish
warning" (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17/2003)
AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR NEWS
and thriving communities: Bioenergy and Wood Products Conference, Jan.
20-22" (Department of the Interior news release, 12/16/2003)
The conference is designed to share information on bioenergy and its potential
as a renewable energy source. Conference planners look to participation
by community and civic leaders; wood products and bioenergy industry leaders
and land managers from federal, state, tribal and local governments, conservationist
and environmentalist and other stakeholders and interested organizations.
Workshops for regions (including the Pacific Northwest and California)
will help to identify barriers, solutions and action plans.
"Judge rejects 'No
Surprises' habitat conservation plan" (Los Angeles Times, 12/16/2003)
"A federal judge struck down a key provision of the Endangered Species
Act, ruling that an incentive for landowners to participate in conservation
planning was adopted without adequate public consultation and must be
reconsidered." Observers cite potential impact to federal land use
"BLM gets handle on
saltcedar" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 12/12/2003)
"People thought we were absolutely nuts to take this on..."
but "[a]fter more than a decade of work, a thirsty, destructive plant
is finally under control at Afton Canyon." Visitors touring the area
-- including members of BLM's Desert District Advisory Council -- learned
that "[a]lthough roughly 200 acres of saltcedar remain in Afton Canyon,
the invasive species is no longer growing out of control."
"Afton Canyon Watchable Wildlife site" (BLM California
Afton Canyon's surface water makes it unique in the southern California
desert. Known locally as "The Grand Canyon of the Mojave" for
its dramatic geological formations, this is one of the only places where
the Mojave River flows above ground year-round - providing significant
wildlife habitat amid the desert.
"Scientists say Desert
Act limits them" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/16/2003)
Some scientists say rules and regulations from 1993's California Desert
Protection Act blocks much research. "The act set aside large areas
of Bureau of Land Management territory and regions of Death Valley as
wilderness. It also created the Mojave National Preserve, much of it designated
as wilderness....researchers say they are unintended victims of a law
that unfairly pits science and environmental preservation against each
Related: "Scientist: No help without
access" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/15/2003)
Researcher, environmentalists disagree about how much mechanized travel
restrictions may hurt or help wilderness areas.
"AP Interview: Drug
czar says pot guards endanger public lands" (Associated Press
in San Francisco Chronicle, 12/15/2003)
"Mexican cartels have taken over much of California's marijuana farming,
boosting both the potency of the drug and the propensity for violence
from armed guards protecting the crop, the nation's drug czar said Monday.
They're planting huge marijuana plots on public lands, creating a growing
danger to hikers and hunters stumbling into the line of fire...."
"Mines safe from plant
concerns" (Barstow Daily Dispatch, 12/20/2003)
"Complaints from three Newberry Springs area mines and from environmentalists
have prompted the [BLM] to adjust part of a new desert plan, a bureau
official said Friday." The topic was one of many discussed during
an eight-hour meeting over BLM's West Mojave Plan.
"Land agencies and climbers' groups working on impacts"
(The Inyo Register, 12/12/2003)
"Impact at local bouldering areas has been the topic of debate in
recent years, with an explosion of visitors impacting several public recreation
(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.)
12/20/2003 - Desert Hikes - Buzzard Peak
12/23/2003 - Geologist-led hike of Palm Springs Desert Museum trail
- Horse and burro gather plans public 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
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