A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue date: 2/20/2003
This week in News.bytes:
- Off-roaders sue to open more of Imperial Sand Dunes
- Not For Educators Only:
- FREE OFFER: Public lands map
Wildlife Trivia of the Week: Venomous
Weed of the Week: Hottentot fig
- Off-road: More issues
- Wild horses coming!
- National news: Budget negotiations
- Power line right-of-way
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
Wanted: Nominees for Desert Advisory Council
Hiking trail dispute cools
- Selected Upcoming Events
Also see this issue
of News.bytes online at: http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/2003/96.html
Desert District Schedules Open House to Solicit Public Comments on OHV
Grant Applications" (BLM California news release, 02/13/2003)
The BLM has scheduled a public scooping meeting to obtain public comments
on the off-highway vehicle (OHV) grants being submitted to the California
Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division.
(See more public meetings regarding
off-highway vehicle grants, under "Selected Upcoming Events"
"Public will have to
pay to use popular recreation spot" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 02/14/2003)
Users of Sand Mountain Recreation Area near Reno will pay a fee starting
March 12. BLM says fee needed because of increasing costs to maintain
the area - popular among northern Californians using all-terrain vehicles,
motorcycles and sandboards.
THE WILD HORSES ARE COMING! (Wild
buyers seek the perfect animal" (Merced Sun-Star, 02/17/2003)
"A small boy stood beside the cold metal bars of a corral at Chowchilla's
Fairgrounds Saturday. One small arm and leg wound through the rungs, as
the boy's eyes remained glued on the wild animals fenced inside..."
Feature story on last weekend's wild horse and burro adoption in Chowchilla.
Related: "Wild horses and
burros available for adoption in Turlock" (BLM California news
Plan ahead for the next wild horse and burro adoption. This BLM
event will be held in conjunction with the Back Country Horsemen Rendezvous.
POWER LINE RIGHT-OF-WAY
"Power line still possible for forest" (Riverside Press-Enterprise,
Valley Rainbow Interconnect high-voltage line: "State utility regulators
say a San Diego utility doesn't need a high-voltage electric transmission
line through Riverside County." But proponents still pursuing line
through Cleveland National Forest on the southwest edge of the county.
U.S. Representative plans to introduce bill to direct U.S. Forest Service
and BLM to designate a transmission line route through the forest.
NEWS: Budget negotiations
"Spending Bill Caps 2-Year Surge" (Washington Post, 02/19/2003)
Federal agencies operating under a "continuing resolution" since
Fiscal Year 2003 began October 1, now see actual budgets. "President
Bush will sign legislation this week setting a 2003 budget that raises
federal spending by 7.8 percent over last year, capping a remarkable two
years in which the federal budget increased by 22 percent."
"House Approves Civil Service Pay Raise of 4.1 Percent; Senate
to Consider It Next" (Washington Post, 02/14/2003)
"The suspense surrounding the 2003 federal pay raise -- a financial
cliffhanger for many civil service employees -- nears an end."
"Congress OKs $40 million for SB County" (San Bernardino
County Sun, 02/14/2003)
"The huge spending bill approved Thursday by Congress includes more
than $40 million for San Bernardino County projects... For desert lands,
the [BLM] gets $800,000 for a new communication system, $600,000 to increase
ranger patrols and $250,000 to help complete a West Mojave conservation
"U.S. may leave forest care to timber firms; Provision tacked
onto federal spending bill" (San Francisco Chronicle, 02/13/2003)
A "little-noticed provision added at the last minute to Congress'
huge domestic spending bill" would let U.S. Forest Service and BLM
"award unlimited number of "stewardship contracts" - essentially
paying logging companies trees, for maintaining trails or thinning forests
to reduce the risk of wildfire. Critics say the plan could open up wide
swaths of public land to heavier logging."
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"BLM Seeks Nominees for California Desert District Advisory Council"
(BLM California news release, 02/20/2003)
The BLM is seeking nominations of people to serve on its California Desert
District Advisory Council for the 2004-2006 term.
"Ron Noordman receives Partner Agency Employee of the Year award
from Pacific Crest Trail Association"
Ron Noordman of BLM's Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, was recognized
by the Pacific Crest Trail Association at their annual meeting. Ron received
the Partner Agency Employee of the Year award for his outstanding service
and commitment to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail - for more than
(Note: this item is on the Department of Interior's secure Web server
- see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)
"Firefighter school gets a home at McClellan" (Sacramento
New firefighter school at former McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento
formed by U.S. Forest Service will serve all federal agencies. BLM spokesperson
says job is getting harder because of 'wildland fire-urban interface issues'
- more people living in the forest, so firefighters save lives and homes
in addition to trees and brush. 'People like to live out in the woods,
and we have an obligation to protect them ... That's what this facility
"Our Voice: More desert lands protected by BLM" (Palm
Springs Desert Sun, 02/14/2003)
Editorial: "'What makes this deal different from any other involving
purchases of wilderness is that it was funded with private donations and
then given to the public,' said [representative of company involved in
desert preservation land transfer.] 'The conservation group ought to get
a pat on the back for that.' We would agree that private efforts to acquire
and protect land better serve the modern conservation mission than government
acquisition of privately held lands."
"PRBO Conservation Science joins coastal monument team"
(BLM California news release, 02/18/2003)
PRBO Conservation Science, a California organization with extensive involvement
in management and protection of coastal resources, has joined the BLM
and other agencies as a "collaborating partner" in the California
Coastal National Monument.
"Hiking-trail dispute cools" (Palm Springs Desert Sun,
"Parties vow cooperation in conflict pitting dogs and sheep: Hikers
who want to walk their dogs in the wilderness will ... steer clear of
captive bighorn sheep under proposal..."
"Wilderness group rallies support for bill" (Barstow
Desert Dispatch, 02/18/2003)
Group supports inclusion of five areas managed by BLM's Barstow Field
Office, into California Wild Heritage Act, expected to be introduced soon
in U.S. Senate. Some off-roading groups say it would close too many areas
to their sport.
(Note: the link to the following online newspaper article
ends with a comma (,). This link may not work in some browsers -- if this
is the case, you can copy and paste the complete URL into your browser's
"Location" or "Address" line.)
"Coalition petitions to protect desert land" (San Bernardino
County Sun, 2/18/03)
Senate Bill said to include 2.4 million acres.
(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.)
02/25/2003 - Hollister OHV grant workshop
02/25/2003 - Ukiah OHV grant workshop
02/26/2003 - Ukiah OHV grant workshop
02/27/2003 - Northeast California Advisory Council
02/28/2003 - Northeast California Advisory Council
03/08/2003 - Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee 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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