A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California - 150th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

Issue 150 - 3/30/04
BLM Director Kathleen ClarkeA trail on public land in CaliforniaMeet your Advisory Council members: Skip WilmoreWildflowers on public landsProfile: Michelle DiPinto
- News.bytes and BLM offline last week
- Trails:
      - Trail planning workshop held in Riverside
      - Photo album: Trails
      - Bookstore Feature: "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"
      - More trails
- Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Hare-y
- Where is this? (interactive photo quiz)
- Off-highway vehicles, including:
      - "Range war" over illegal off-road trail
      - Upcoming OHV events
      - Fire damage closes off-road area
      - OHV grant application meetings
      - OHV route designation comments
- Meet your Advisory Council members - Skip Wilmore
- Profile - Michelle DiPinto
- Wildfire preparation and prevention
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
      - Wildflowers now on public lands
      - Wild horses: real, fictional and volunteer
      - Current job openings - BLM California
      - Riverside County land conveyance
      - Land use planning issues
      - Invasive saltcedar in the Southwest
- Department of Interior back online - for now

BLM California director Mike PoolNEWS.BYTES 150th ISSUE
"Free Government Electronic Newsletter Shares Information and Fun on Natural Resources and Land Management in California"
(BLM California news release, 3/12/2004)
The free and fun to read electronic newsletter "Newsbytes" is offering subscribers a color wall map of California lands at no cost with its 150th-issue celebration on March 30, 2004. The BLM, a federal agency, publishes the weekly e-newsletter from its state office in Sacramento. (At left: BLM California Director Mike Pool.) - PLEASE NOTE: this offer of a free map expired April 8, 2004

Because of a lawsuit involving the Department of Interior, we were offline and our Web site was not available last week. We hope this will not happen again. (For more on this issue, see stories under "Department of Interior back online" near the end of this issue of News.bytes.)


BLM Director Kathleen Clarke"Trail network planning begins" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 03/24/2004)
"Creating a strategic plan to guide the nation's web of historic and scenic trails will take compromise, partnership building and volunteers, Kathleen Clarke, director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said...." A weeklong workshop in Riverside was for "designing a plan to guide the future of the trails managed by the BLM, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service."

"Trails" (BLM California Web site)
On BLM-managed lands in California, you'll find trails for hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking, plus off-highway vehicle trails or areas. Along the way, take plenty of pictures but leave only footprints (and leave no trace) as you visit some of California's most remote but rewarding scenery.

"Trail is an eight-mile breath of fresh air" (Placerville Mountain Democrat, 03/29/2004)
"If funds to purchase the final 528 acres are raised by June, an 8-mile trail linking the American River Canyon to the Folsom State Recreation Area could be completed by June 2006.....This vast area is bordered by woodlands in the stewardship of the Bureau of Land Management. One adjacent property is privately owned...."

PHOTO ALBUM - "Trails"
Learn about desert wildlife or coastal animals on short, self-guided nature trails -- or tackle all or portions of the grueling Pacific Crest trail. You'll find both types of trails on public lands managed by BLM in California. Between these extremes, you can find dozens of one-day adventures, from the badlands to the lush sloughs near picturesque Arcata.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE - "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE - "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"
"Ultimate guide for fall, winter, and spring hikes. Ideal off-season hiking choices for those looking to escape crowded trails, Northern California is a year-round destination for visitors especially when summer days and crowds are long gone."

Snowshoe hare in winterWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK - Hare-y
Snowshoe hares are best known for their seasonal "molts" - changes in hair color that allow them to be camouflaged against their background. Their brown summer fur slowly fades to white in winter as snow season approaches. But which of the following is also true of snowshoe hares?
(a) They are the smallest of North American hares;
(b) They may have up to five litters each year, with up to eight young in each litter;
(c) Their tails always stay white;
(d) The young are born fully covered with fur, and with their eyes open;
(e) The young can run within hours of being born.
Take our online interactive quiz and find out:

Where is this? interactive photo quizWHERE IS THIS?
(a) Anniversary Mountains Wilderness Area
(b) Surprise Canyon Wilderness Area
(c) Sesquicentennial Trail Wilderness Area
Take your best guess and check your answer against other readers, in our interactive photo quiz:


"No happy trail in desert tale" (Los Angeles Times, 03/25/2004)
"A range war has broken out between environmentalists and off-road motorcyclists over an illegal 3-mile dirt trail that cuts through prehistoric burial grounds and runs past a cave believed to have been used by Native Americans....Charges fly between off-roaders and activists over booby traps and cut fences. A federal ruling on use of the path is expected next month.",1,2862980.story

"Motorcycle race scheduled for South Cow Mountain - Area will be closed to casual riding during event" (BLM California news release, 03/19/2004)
The Bureau of Land Management's South Cow Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle Area will once again be the site for the Sonoma County Sport Cycle Association's annual Outlaw Hare Scrambles motorcycle race Saturday and Sunday, April 3 and 4.

"Fort Sage OHV area closed during motorcycle race" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2004)
Temporary closures will be in effect at the Fort Sage Off-Highway-Vehicle area near Doyle on Saturday and Sunday, April 3 and 4, during the "Diamond Back Hare Scrambles" motorcycle race.

"Fire damage prompts temporary closures of public lands in near San Diego" (BLM California news release, 3/30/2004)
Significant threats to public safety and damage to natural resources caused by the recent fires in San Diego County has necessitated temporary closures of public lands within San Diego County to motorized vehicles.

"BLM, Forest Service hosting OHV grants meetings in Susanville" (BLM California news release, 03/16/2004)
The Bureau of Land Management and Lassen National Forest will accept public comments on their requests for 2005 California off highway vehicle grant funds, when they hold a public open house meeting April 6 at 7 p.m. at the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville.

"Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service schedule open house in Sacramento to review OHV grant applications" (BLM California news release, 03/19/2004)
The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have scheduled an open house on April 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Federal Building, 2800 Cottage Way in Sacramento to discuss their fiscal year 2005 off-highway vehicle (OHV) state-wide grant applications.

"BLM Hollister office schedules workshop to review OHV grant proposals for Clear Creek area" (BLM California news release, 03/26/2004)
The Bureau of Land Management has scheduled a workshop on Wednesday, April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton Court, to discuss the fiscal year 2005 off-highway vehicle (OHV) grant proposal for the Clear Creek Management Area.

"BLM schedules open house in Moreno Valley to review OHV grant proposals" (BLM California news release, 03/19/2004)
The public has an opportunity to review and comment on off-highway vehicle grant proposals that will be submitted to the California State Parks, Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division for fiscal year 2005, at an open house the scheduled for Tuesday, April 13 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the BLM District Office at 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos in Moreno Valley.

"BLM extends Northern California OHV route designation comment period to April 30" (BLM California news release, 03/22/2004)
The Bureau of Land Management's Redding Field Office has extended until April 30 the deadline for public comments and suggestions on motor vehicle routes and trails across public land.

Northeast California Advisory Council member Skip Wilmore represents timber interests on the council. He is a certified timber operator, has been involved in the timber industry since 1965 performing in all aspects of the logging and timber industry and is very involved in community activities.

Michelle DiPintoPROFILE: Michelle DiPinto
Michelle DiPinto is the new executive assistant for Associate State Director Jim Abbott. Before coming to BLM she worked for Snap-On Tools. She was also an intelligence specialist for the U.S. Navy. Learn more about Michelle in this week's Newsbytes feature:


"BLM Surprise Field Office plans spring prescribed burns" (BLM California news release, 03/16/2004)
Several prescribed burning projects, most designed to reduce wildfire danger, are getting underway in Surprise Valley.

"Agencies unveil new firefighting dispatch center in Susanville" (BLM California news release, 03/25/2004)
Northeast California's firefighting agencies will unveil a new state of the art emergency dispatch center in a public dedication ceremony and open house Thursday, April 22.


Sand verbena, Hollister Field Office area"Public Lands in BLOOM!"
There are some prime wildflower-viewing areas on public lands managed by BLM California. Check out these sites arranged from south to north - note that wildflower conditions can change quickly, depending on heat, rain and other conditions. (At left: Sand verbena blooms on land managed by BLM's Hollister Field Office.)

Related: "Free guided wildflower hikes" (BLM California Web site)
Free hikes in the Cache Creek area of Lake County will be led by BLM staff and volunteer docents on Saturdays, April 3, 10, 17, and 24.

"Statement at hearing on Riverside County land conveyance" (BLM national news release, 03/30/2004)
Testimony on bill to transfer about 44 acres in Palm Springs for a homeless shelter, training center, and affordable housing. "Statement of Robert J. Lamb, Senior Advisor to The Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management And Budget - House Resources Committee - Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation And Public Lands - Hearing On H.R. 3874, Riverside County, California Land Conveyance - March 25, 2004."

"Volunteer recruitment notice: Exhibition of Adopted Wild Horse(s) at Western States Horse Expo" (BLM national Web site, 03/30/2004)
A proposed volunteer agreement provides wild horse and burro adopters the opportunity to showcase their animals and promote the adoption of America's Living Legends, wild horses and burros, through demonstrations and activities at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, held June 11-13, 2004.

"Reality take a ride" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/18/2004)
"A blazing Arabian sun beats down on champion cowboy Frank T. Hopkins and his legendary paint mustang, Hidalgo, as they trek onward in the Ocean of Fire, the world's longest, most grueling endurance race." At least that's how it goes in the movie "Hidalgo." Real horse riders rate the movie's horse sense - including surprise that the horse "actor" is not a mustang. Horse riders quoted include Lincoln veterinarian Vicki Giles, who rides mustang Robin Hood, BLM's 2003 Endurance Wild Horse of the Year.

Related: "Adopted wild horses honored for endurance achievements" (BLM California Web site)
Photos include Vicki Giles and mustang Robin Hood, cited in above story. (From News.bytes issue 147, 3/3/04)

"Management plan for California desert protection, development limps forward" (Miami Herald, from Victorville Daily Press, 3/29/2004)
"The West Mojave Plan, a sweeping blueprint for the management of 9 million acres of public and private land, is limping toward completion, estimated for mid-2004. The plan, created by the Bureau of Land Management, has a twofold intent: To protect endangered species and their habitats, and to streamline the permitting process for developers and the counties. The plan has drawn criticism from everyone...."

"Current job openings - BLM California"
BLM California job listings on USAJOBS Web site include wildlife biologist, outdoor recreation planner and "fire mitigation and education specialist."

"Mojave Cross land swap effort underway" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 03/29/2004)
The BLM is surveying parcels for the National Park Service, a necessary step toward resolving a dispute. A court declared that keeping a cross on Mojave National Preserve land, was unconstitutional. The survey is needed before the National Park Service can swap land where the cross stands, with the owner of privately-held land within the Preserve.,22569,

"Robot vehicle team upbeat despite short race" (Antelope Valley Press, 03/29/2004)
Team's entry traveled second-farthest in DARPA's robot vehicle race across the desert. BLM worked with DARPA on the environmental assessment for the race, as covered in previous editions of News.bytes.

"Alabama Hills get together...[to] allow local users a chance to voice their ideas" (Inyo Register, 3/29/2004)
Meeting earlier this week concerning Alabama Hills aimed "to start a group that will provide solutions and suggestions to the BLM, saving time and money while keeping bureaucracy out of the equation."

"Court shows little enthusiasm for wilderness advocates" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 3.29/2004)
The Supreme Court "is considering whether citizens can sue to force the federal Bureau of Land Management to more aggressively safeguard land that is being considered for wilderness designation....'It's not like we're trying to take over running the agency,' said [the attorney for the] groups. That's what it sounds like, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said."

"Albuquerque conference kicks off collaborative initiative to control invasive saltcedar in Southwest" (Department of Interior news release, 03/29/2004)
More than 400 representatives from around the West - including speakers from California - meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this week to lay the groundwork for a coordinated, regional approach to the problem of invasive saltcedar and native habitat management in the Southwest.

"Project aims for one-stop online shopping for federal rules" (Washington Post, 3/30/2004)
"Under an ambitious plan recently approved by Bush administration officials, by early 2006 the average citizen will be able to go to a single federal regulatory Web site and dive into an electronic rulemaking repository that will show proposals, final rules, comments, supporting documents such as cost-benefit analyses and just about anything that goes along with the regulatory process."


"Interior Web connections restored, but court dispute lingers" (Government Executive, 3/29/2004)
"A federal appeals court last week allowed the Interior Department to restore Internet connections severed earlier this month in an ongoing dispute over the adequacy of security for Native Americans' electronic financial records." The order had shut down all BLM Web servers and email.

"Ruling puts Interior Dept. back online" (New York Times, 03/25/2004)
"The Interior Department [was] back online after an appeals court...blocked a judge's ruling that ordered most of the department's computers disconnected from the Internet."

"Statement of Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton on U.S. Court of Appeals Issuance of Emergency Stay of Internet Disconnection Order" (BLM California news release, 03/24/2004)
"I am pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals has granted this emergency administrative stay. The Department anticipates the opportunity to present our case to permanently reverse the March 15th injunction before the Appellate Court."

"Appellate Filings - Civil Division - U.S. Department of Justice - Cobell v. Norton, et al. - Case No. 1:96CV01285"
"[P]leadings on behalf of defendants/appellants and Orders and Opinions of the Court...filed in the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia in the Cobell case."

(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.)

04/03/2004 - Outlaw Hare Scrambles motorcycle race

04/03/2004 - Cache Creek wildflower guided hike
Cache Creek

04/03/2004 - Fort Sage Diamond Back Hare Scrambles motorcycle race

04/06/2004 - BLM/Lassen National Forest OHV grant meeting

04/07/2004 - Ridgecrest OHV Grant Proposal Workshop

04/08/2004 - Sacramento OHV Grant Proposal Open House

04/08/2004 - OHV Grant Proposal Open House

04/10/2004 - Cache Creek wildflower hike

04/13/2004 - Moreno Valley OHV grant proposal open house
Moreno Valley

04/14/2004 - Hollister OHV grant proposal workshop

04/17/2004 - Cache Creek wildflower hike
- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above links
to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's
"Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some publications remove news stories from the Web soon after publication.
If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the Web page to your computer.

DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those sites,
or of products or advertisements on those sites.

News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

We appreciate feedback. Send comments to the News.bytes team at:

To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page at: