A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue date: 1/10/2003
This week in News.bytes:
- BLM finishing desert plans: reactions
and Eastern Mojave Desert: Record of Decision
West Mojave Plan
- Not for Educators Only:
Weed of the Week: Canadian thistle
Bookstore feature is back - Finding gold!
Wildlife Trivia: shrewed food
- Wildlife on public lands:
Bald eagle hikes
Wet dry lake
Lizard not officially threatened
- California/federal resources issues:
A planning success: balancing forest use
Differing state, federal land priorities?
Citizen advisory committees
- National land use issues, including:
New rule on local vs. federal road disputes
California Rep. to head Resources Committee
Report on public lands' oil, gas
- Wildfire prevention continues:
Rural Fire Assistance Program
Burning debris along fire breaks
Fire rehab project
- Off the road
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
New Eagle Lake Field Office manager
Motorcycle riders falls down mine shaft
Wilderness on film
this issue of News.bytes online at:
NOTE: News.bytes was delayed until Friday this week due
to technical difficulties. We plan to return to an earlier-in-the-week
schedule with the next issue.
COMPLETING DESERT LAND USE PLANS
"REPORT TO FOCUS ON HABITAT CONSERVATION" (San Bernardino
County Sun, 01/07/2003)
"Twenty-nine local, state and federal agencies and special interest
groups are preparing the West Mojave Plan, which is intended to conserve
more than 100 endangered and sensitive species threatened by urban encroachment."
San Bernardino County' land use services department public meeting is
"WEST MOJAVE CALENDAR" (BLM California Web site)
Related: West Mojave Plan
public meetings, Jan. 9, Jan. 10, Jan. 16.
"DESERT LAND USE PLAN BLASTED" (Victorville Daily Press,
"In a decision soundly criticized by county officials, environmentalists
and ranchers, [the BLM] has approved a land use plan outlining conservation
strategies to manage sensitive species -- including the endangered desert
tortoise-- and habitats on public land administered by the BLM. The Northern
and Eastern Mojave Plan, or NEMO, covers 2.7 million acres in San Bernardino,
Inyo and Mono counties."
Related: "NEMO PLAN: Record
of Decision, proposed plan, final EIS"
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY
OF THE WEEK - Canadian thistle
Inhabits well-drained, light-textured soils along roadsides, in wildlands,
grain fields and pastures. It becomes established most easily in disturbed
soils and is very difficult to control once it has become established.
TRIVIA: How much food do shrews have to consume each day
in order to stay alive?
(See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)
DOWN DINOSAURS IN THE DESERT" (San Bernardino County Sun, 12/28/2002)
Paleontologists and volunteers preserve "fossil tracks of dinosaurs
that roamed the once-humid Mojave Desert up to 70 million years ago."
Casts for display prepared at Desert Discovery Center, sponsored by organizations
including BLM California.
BOOKSTORE FEATURE IS BACK - This week: Finding Gold!
(...as well as platinum ... rare earths ... exotic metals.) With maps,
directions and more!
ON CALIFORNIA'S PUBLIC LANDS
HAS WET FUTURE; Harper Dry Lake will receive water" (Los Angeles
Daily News, 01/03/2003)
"Harper Dry Lake, a desolate and dusty desert expanse that looks
like a moonscape, will be going from dry to wet this year. With help from
nonprofit group Friends of Harper Lake, the [BLM] plans to pump water
into the lake bed this spring to create a marsh-like desert oasis"
that will allow bird- and wildlife-watching.
"DRY LAKE TO BE WET AGAIN" (Barstow Desert Dispatch,
"Desolate and barren, Harper Dry Lake resembles the surface of a
different planet, with its rippled, white soil. But this spring, the dry
lake near Hinkley will change. With help from the nonprofit Friends of
Harper Lake, the [BLM] plans to pump water into the dry area to create
a marsh-like desert oasis"
Related: "WATCHABLE WILDLIFE
SITE: Harper Lake" (BLM California Web site)
"BLM TO LEAD FREE GUIDED BALD EAGLE OBSERVATION HIKES"
(BLM California news release, 01/08/2003)
Outdoor enthusiasts have the opportunity to view bald eagles in their
winter habitat along Cache Creek, when the BLM leads a series of free,
guided hikes during the next seven weeks.
"TORTOISE COULD BE DOOMED" (Los Angeles Daily News, 01/05/2003)
"The federal government has spent more than $100 million over the
past 13 years to protect the desert tortoise from extinction, but there's
no evidence the money and effort have done any good" despite buying
land for sanctuaries and restricting land use.
"FEDS: LOCAL LIZARD THREATENED, BUT WON'T GO ON LIST"
(Palm Springs Desert Sun, 01/06/2003)
September, the environmental community was trying to convince the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service to designate the flat-tailed horned lizard as
a threatened species .... The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced
on Friday it would not consider the lizard threatened." Found on
BLM-managed lands in southern California and Arizona.
Related: "REPTILE'S FALL
FROM GRACE DEEMED 'CRUEL JOKE'" (Imperial Valley Press, 01/05/2003)
Related: "LEAPIN' LIZARD:
LOCAL CRITTER BOOTED FROM THREATENED SPECIES LIST" (Yuma Sun,
LAND USE PLANNING
"STRIKING A BALANCE IN THE FOREST" (Los Angeles Times,
"Environmentalists, U.S. officials and loggers fashion a plan for
a small piece of the Sierra. Still, some warn of pitfalls to local efforts."
"Revolutionary" planning effort brings together locals including
loggers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and BLM California's Folsom Field
"A WIDENING FISSURE
BETWEEN STATE, FEDS" (Los Angeles Times, 12/26/2002)
"On pollution, forests, deserts, species and offshore oil, the political
contrasts are stark .... When it comes to placing a value on the environment,
California has rarely seemed so far from Washington, D.C."
PERMIT DISCUSSION MAY KILL TWO LAND BUYS" (Chico Enterprise-Record,
"Butte County plans to require a permit when agricultural land is
converted to habitat have stalled purchase of 271 acres of farmland by
the Nature Conservancy." Supervisors cite loss of tax revenue and
effects on neighboring property owners. Agencies have been buying land
along Sacramento River for 15 years.
"SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR APPOINTS CARRIZO NATIONAL MONUMENT
ADVISORY COMMITTEE" (BLM California news release, 01/06/2003)
The Carrizo Plain National Monument has an advisory committee of local
citizens in place to advise the Bureau of Land Management on the future
of the monument. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton made the appointments
in Washington on December 30th.
"MODOC-WASHOE STEWARDSHIP COMMMITTEE MEETS JANUARY 16-17"
(BLM California news release, 01/06/2003)
A panel featuring charter members of the Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship
Program will present viewpoints on the successes and future of the organization,
when the committee meets Jan. 16 and 17 in Cedarville.
CONFRONTED IN JAN. 15 MEETING" (Needles Desert Star, 1/10/03)
"How much and what sort of military ordnance is laying about in the
vicinity of what was once Camp Ibis, and what might be done about it,
will be discussed."
"CAMP IBIS ENGINEEERING EVALUATION/COST ASSESSMENT"
(BLM California Web site)
Public comments due Feb. 6 on a preliminary Finding of No Significant
Impact (FONSI) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposed
Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) of former Camp Ibis.
BLM RELEASES DECISION RECORD
FOR LOCAL MINING PROJECT" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 1/10/03)
Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record for the proposed
Cecil R. Jackson mineral exploration project by the CR Briggs Company
in the Panamint Mountains.
"CECIL R. JACKSON EXPLORATION EA" (BLM California
PUBLIC LANDS - NATIONAL ISSUES
"BLM ISSUES FINAL RULE ON CONVEYANCES, DISCLAIMERS AND CORRECTION
DOCUMENTS" (BLM national news release, 12/24/2003)
The BLM issued a final rule that will allow any entity claiming title to
lands or an interest in lands to apply for a "recordable disclaimer
of interest." A recordable disclaimer of interest is an official determination
that the United States neither owns nor holds a valid interest in certain
Related: "INTERIOR DEPT.
EASES CURBS ON FEDERAL RIGHTS OF WAY" (Washington Post, 01/07/2003)
"The Interior Department issued rules to make it easier for western
states and local governments to claim rights of way on hundreds of millions
of acres of federal lands, including areas now off-limits to roads, mining
and other commercial activity." Officials say rule will stop costly
litigation of conflicts between federal, state and local governments.
Related: "BUSH OPENS UP BACKCOUNTRY
TRAILS TO VEHICLES" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 01/01/2003)
"The Bush administration, in a move that has outraged environmentalists,
is about to hand a big victory to Westerners who want to use a post-Civil
War-era law to punch dirt-bike trails and roads into the backcountry."
"LAWMAKERS WILL BATTLE INTERIOR OVER FUNDS" (Sacramento
California congressional delegation angered by "precedent-setting decision"
to take $139 million payment to farmers for improper irrigation drainage,
from Department of Interior projects in California. "The delegation
said the money should be taken out of a Justice Department account set up
to pay for court judgments, not by cutting funding already set aside for
"REP. POMBO WINS RESOURCES CHAIR" (Sacramento Bee, 01/09/2003)
"Tracy Republican Richard Pombo won a hard-fought battle late Wednesday
to oversee Western parks, forests and water, becoming chairman of the House
Resources Committee." Committee oversees many issue affecting public
"REPORT ON PUBLIC LANDS' OIL, GAS MAY SPUR DRILLING FIGHT"
(Salt Lake Tribune, 01/06/2003)
""The war over drilling in the West could get noisier this month
when federal land management agencies are expected to release an inventory
of oil and gas resources on public lands." Agencies say report will
help in weighing all options. Conservation groups say report requested by
energy companies will be used to open up sensitive areas to development.
"RURAL FIRE ASSISTANCE
PROGRAM APPLICATION" (BLM California Web site)
Rural and volunteer fire departments that routinely help fight fire on
or near BLM- or other Department of the Interior-managed lands may submit
an application for BLM's 2003 Rural Fire Assistance Program. The goal
of the program is to enhance the wildland fire protection capabilties
of rural fire departments through training, equipment purchase, and iprevention
work on a cost-share basis. Applications are being accepted through February
Minimum eligibility requirements are explained in the application package,
available online. (PDF file, 120 kilobytes):
"BLM TO BEGIN BURNING DEBRIS PILES ALONG FUEL BREAKS"
(BLM California news release, 01/08/2003)
Fire crews from the BLM and California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection (CDF) will begin burning piles of brush and limbs cut during
construction of shaded fuel breaks west of Redding.
"WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ALL THOSE BURNED LANDS IN WALKER AND COLEVILLE?
BLM FIRE REHABILITATION PROJECT UPDATE" (BLM California news
One wildfire after another ripped through northernmost Mono County last
summer, destroying and threatening human lives and property. Thousands
of wild animals also lost their homes - 27,000 acres of wildlife habitat,
more than half of which was critical winter range for the West Walker
mule deer herd. Who rebuilds for them?
"ROCK CRAWLERS TAKE
ON GRAVITY" (San Bernardino County Sun, 1/4/03)
California Rock-Crawling and Off-Road Championship Series' "Put up
or shut up' competition at BLM California's Johnson Valley Off-Highway
Related: "JOHNSON VALLEY
OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE AREA" (BLM California Web site)
Related: "OFF ROAD"
(californiadesert.gov Web site)
BLM California off-road areas in the desert, and some of the rules.
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"DAYNE BARRON NAMED
MANAGER FOR BLM EAGLE LAKE FIELD OFFICE" (BLM California news
Dayne Barron, a Bureau of Land Management resource specialist with experience
in the field and at agency headquarters, has been named manager of the
BLM Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville.
TO UPDATE MANUAL OF INSTRUCTIONS FOR SURVEY OF THE PUBLIC LANDS OF THE
UNITED STATES" (BLM California news release, 01/03/2002)
The agency is developing the latest edition of the Manual of Instructions
for the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States . The Manual describes
how cadastral surveys of the public lands are completed in conformance
to statutory law.
Related: "BRANCH OF GEOGRAPHIC
SERVICES" (BLM California Web site)
BLM California Web pages, including information on the Cadastral Survey
for the general public and more technical information for professional
"NEW TACK FOR MINE OPPONENTS" (Los Angeles Daily News,
Santa Clarita City officials hope a Court of Appeals ruling on coastal
drilling, will help them in federal court battle over a Cemex, Inc. planned
sand-and-gravel mine in Soledad Canyon.
"LAND DEAL FOR QUARRY FINDS EARLY OPPOSITION" (Redding
Developer proposes swap of private land with BLM California, saying it
would reduce impacts on area residents; one resident voices immediate
"14-YEAR-OLD SURVIVES PLUNGE DOWN 25-FOOT MINE SHAFT"
(Bakersfield Californian, 01/04/2003)
Boy cresting hill when he saw unprotected mine shaft, tried to brake.
"His bike skidded to the side but [he] rolled over the handlebars
and fell into the shaft, falling 25 feet before landing on corrugated
tin, rocks and wooden two-by-fours."
Related: "MOTORCYCLE RIDER
ESCAPES SERIOUS INJURY AFTER TUMBLE DOWN MINE SHAFT" (Ridgecrest
Daily Independent, 01/06/2003)
"CITY FOLLOWS IMPROVEMENT PATH" (Palm Springs Desert
"The La Quinta trails could be an alternative to mountain trails
the [BLM] will rope off in January as endangered peninsular bighorn sheep
begin lambing season."
"PATH OF DISCOVERY: Eric Brower's wilderness trips are captured
on film." (Fresno Bee, 01/05/2003)
Former BLM surveyor -- paralyzed in a recreational climbing accident --
exhibits wilderness and outdoor photos.
TRIVIA ANSWER to: "How much food do shrews have to consume
each day in order to stay alive?"
Shrews have such a high metabolism that they have to constantly eat to stay
alive. Some have to eat more than their body weight each day!
A shrew-mole is not a shrew, but a mole. Learn more it, in the BLM California
(Note: see comment on "secure Web server" under Selected Upcoming
(PLEASE NOTE: the
Upcoming Events database is now on a more 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
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for both questions.)
01/09/2003 - West Mojave Plan - CEQA Scoping meetings
01/10/2003 - West Mojave - CEQA scoping meeting
01/16/2003 - Modoc-Washoe Stewardship Committee meeting
01/16/2003 - West Mojave - CEQA scoping meeting
01/29/2003 - Northwest California Advisory Council
01/30/2003 - Northwest California Advisory Council
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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