A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 2/12/2003

This week in News.bytes:

- National News: 2004 budget request
- BLM Advisory Councils to meet -- One for the first time
- Not for Educators Only:
     - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: bigsnake?
     - Bookstore Feature: Precious
     - Plant of the Week: Modoc bedstraw
- Desert lands preservation
- Off-Highway vehicle recreation meetings
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
     - BLM California's "photo album"
     - Wild horse and burro adoption event
     - Campo Seco decision
     - Volunteers needed
- Selected Upcoming Events

NATIONAL NEWS: 2004 budget request

"Statement of Gale A. Norton, Secretary of Interior Before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the 2004 President's budget request" (Department of Interior Web site, 2/11/03)
Among other agencies, "Public lands managed by the [BLM] provide recreational venues for a growing population in the West, hosting over 60 million visitors annually. The 2004 budget requests an increase of $5.2 million to enable the [BLM] to continue to provide quality recreational opportunities. BLM will address transportation and access needs and challenges, expand interpretive and other visitor services, and support greater outreach and consultation efforts to help resolve user conflicts in the face of growing visitation."

Related: "Officials skeptical president's plan would help county" (Imperial Valley Press, 02/07/2003)
"The president's $2.2 trillion budget proposal released Monday included a $35 million increase for a federal program to compensate local counties, including Imperial County, for losses to their property tax base when the federal government occupies land within their jurisdictions. But county officials said it might not make much difference because Congress is expected to provide more this year than the president proposed."

BLM ADVISORY COUNCILS TO MEET - One for the first time

horse backpacking and camping on the Carrizo Plain"Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee to meet" (BLM California news release, 02/11/2003)
The newly-formed Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee will meet for the first time at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2003.

"BLM Northeast California Advisory Council to meet in Susanville" (BLM California news release, 02/10/2003)
Development of new land use plans for BLM-managed public lands will be among the agenda topics, when the BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council meets Thursday and Friday, Feb. 27 and 28, in Susanville.


BOOKSTORE FEATURE: Guide to Gems & Precious StonesBOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Simon & Schuster Guide to Gems & Precious Stones"
From the description: "Entries on all major gems and precious stones and more than 450 full-color photographs. Provides both connoisseur and casual collector with a compact, easy-to-use volume describing more than 100 rare varieties of minerals. Additional sections describe the process of cutting and evaluation of gemstones.

Wildlife Trivia Question markWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What is California's most common snake?
(See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)

CORRECTION to last week's Wildlife Trivia Question -- Red-faced over a red-legged frog
"The largest frog in California is correctly known as the Red-legged Frog (Mark Twain's celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County), not the Red-legged Tree Frog, as you listed it. Tree frogs are much smaller, such as the Pacific Tree Frog which only reaches a length of about 2 inches long."

PLANT OF THE WEEK - Modoc bedstraw
Grayish green perennial herb. Leaves in whorls of four, ovate, on a square stem. Flowers small, rotate, and greenish yellow. Fruits are small, long, hairy, round, and twin-lobed.


"U.S. to Acquire 62,000 Acres of Desert for Conservation" (Los Angeles Times, 02/10/2003)
"Completing a massive land-buying program, more than 62,000 acres of former railroad parcels from the Salton Sea to the Colorado River will be handed over to the public for preservation within a week. The transfer of title from Catellus Development Corp. to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will cap five years of politically arduous bargaining."

"Saving the Wild: From modest beginnings, conservancy blooms" (San Bernardino County Sun, 02/07/2003)
Wildlands Conservancy -- "one of the biggest conservation agencies on the West Coast, if not the entire nation" -- plans to add 63,000 more acres to area bought for preservation with BLM. Starting with 1999 purchase of 405,000 acres in the Mojave Desert -- conservancy paid $30 million, federal government $15 million.,1413,208%257E12588%257E1165734,00.html


"BLM Schedules Workshop to Review OHV Grant Proposals" (BLM California news release, 02/11/2003)
BLM workshop in Hollister to discuss the fiscal year 2004 off-highway vehicle grant proposal and request. The grant proposal is for California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. Workshop will have three work stations for public comment and recommendations: operations and maintenance, resource protection/restoration, and law enforcement. The grant request provides funds for costs related to planning, managing, and coordinating the BLM off-highway vehicle program in the Clear Creek Management Area in portions of San Benito and Fresno counties.

"BLM seeking comments on off-highway vehicle grant requests for South Cow Mountain" (BLM California news release, 02/10/2003)
Grant proposals for operation of the South Cow Mountain off-highway vehicle area will be discussed, and public comments will be accepted, in two upcoming public meetings.


from the BLM photo library: mountain biker in action "Photo Album: BLM aimed for functionality and ease of use in setting up its online photo library" (Government Computer News, 02/10/2003)
"BLM's California state office in Sacramento has been delivering archived photos over the Web for two years. The California photo library online... saves money and staff time to research, duplicate and send out photos."

Related: "BLM California photo library" (BLM California Web site)
Visit our photo library/database and try it for yourself!

working with an adopted wild horse"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in Chowchilla" (BLM California news release, 1/21/03)
The BLM will offer 80 wild horses and 20 wild burros for adoption at the Madera-Chowchilla Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16. Adopters will choose from mares, geldings and yearlings. The horses range in age from under two to about five years, and are in excellent health.

"BLM crews will burn debris piles near Day" (BLM California news release, 02/10/2003)
Fire crews from the BLM this month will begin burning debris piles created during the construction of firebreaks near the community of Day.

"Shooting cleared to continue on Campo Seco public land" (Calaveras Enterprise, 2/12/03)
"The public lands near Campo Seco will remain open to target shooting and closed to motorized vehicles under a new Bureau of Land Management decision."
(Please note: this link may soon change, if this newspaper moves the story into its archives. If this link no longer works, click the newspapers' "Archives" link and try a search for "Campo" and/or "Seco."

"Volunteers Needed for Bonanza Spring Cleanup" (BLM California news release, 02/07/2003)
The BLM's Needles Field Office is hosting a volunteer cleanup project on February 26 at Bonanza Spring, off the National Trails Highway (Route 66), approximately 65 miles west of Needles.

"Groups tell PUC to stick to ruling" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 02/08/2003)
"TEMECULA VALLEY: They want a previous decision against a new utility line to stay in place." Some routes for proposed Valley Rainbow power line project would require BLM rights-of-way permits.

"High noon at the Blair Ranch" (Los Angeles Times, 02/09/2003)
A newspaper feature story: "The last cattle ranchers face pressure to leave Mojave National Preserve. The endangered desert tortoise may drive them out." Groups file intent to sue the Preserve, over same issues that affected cattle grazing on nearby BLM-managed lands.

"New policy could improve access to federal lands in Kern" (Desert News, 02/07/2003)
"A Bush administration policy change that may increase public access to tens of thousands of miles of rights of way on federal land in the Western United States is being studied by Kern County planning officials for its potential impact on roads in the county."
(Please note: this is the second story on the Web page, you may need to scroll down.)

"State parks feel summer crunch; Campsites already reserved at popular sites through Labor Day" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/11/03)
Outdoor writer: With the most popular California State Park campsites already sold out for the entire summer, "campers are expected to turn to parks in the distant reaches of Northern California, as well as 800 lesser-known sites operated by national forests, the Bureau of Land Management, PG&E and regional and county park districts."

Related: "BLM California Recreation Search" (BLM California Web site)
Learn about some of those "other" camping areas that may still be available on public lands managed by BLM California.
(Note: BLM California's recreation database is on a Department of Interior secure Web server. See note about this server under "Upcoming Events" below.)


"What is California's most common snake?"
Gopher snake - photo courtesy of Alden M. Johnson, California Academy of Sciences Gopher snakes are the most common snakes in California. Follow this link to our BLM California Wildlife Database to learn more about this snake -- such as "These snakes use constriction to kill their prey."
(Note: see comment on secure Web server under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)
Wildlife Trivia Question mark

(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.)

TONIGHT! 02/12/2003 - Ridgecrest OHV Grant Proposal Workshop

02/15/2003 - Wild Horse and Burro adoption - Chowchilla

02/15/2003 - Fort Ord memorial planting event
Fort Ord

02/25/2003 - Hollister OHV grant workshop

02/27/2003 and
02/28/2003 - Northeast California Advisory Council

02/25/2003 - Ukiah OHV grant workshop

02/26/2003 - Ukiah OHV grant workshop

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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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