|OUR READERS WRITE
We received more than 2,000 responses this past week, to News.bytes, our 150th anniversary issue, and our offer of a free map to new subscribers. We appreciate the feedback and the nice compliments. Here are some sample responses:
|WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Snakely whiplash?
The California whipsnake is also known by another name. What is it?
(a) False bullsnake
(b) Striped racer
(c) Bugsy muncher
(d) Sedentary couchkartoffel
(e) Sleek medusa
(See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.)
WHERE IS THIS?
PHOTO ALBUM - "Merced River"
|Related: "Merced River" (BLM California Web site)
More on the Merced River -- and after a full day on the river, check out the Railroad Flat or McCabe Flat campgrounds.
MEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Related: "Federal agencies seek nominations for national monument advisory committee" (BLM California news release, 04/02/2004)
PROFILE - Jerry Moore
BOOKSTORE FEATURE - "Gem Trails of Southern California"
"OHV: Don't pay for plant count out of our pockets" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/06/2004)
"Off-highway vehicle groups are petitioning Congress and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, furious that user fees from the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area are the sole funding source for a mandated plant survey of the Peirson's milk-vetch....BLM El Centro Field Office Manager Greg Thomsen said he has spoken with many representatives of the OHV community but concedes there's little he can do."
"BLM Ukiah seeks comments on OHV grant request" (BLM California news release, 04/05/2004)
The U. S. Bureau of Land Management's Ukiah Field Office will accept public comments on its request for California off-highway vehicle grant funds, during a public meeting Wednesday, April 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ukiah Field Office, 2550 North State St., Ukiah.
NOTE: See more OHV grant meetings/open houses under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.
"Wildflowers on public lands managed by BLM California" (BLM California Web site)
|WILDFIRES - PREVENTION, WARNING, EFFECTS
"Dry forecast spells danger in western USA" (USA Today, 04/04/2004)
"Much of the West faces the danger of major wildfires this year, climate and fire specialists forecast. Potential hot spots include areas of southern California and Arizona hit by catastrophic fires last fall. The threat of major fires could rival summers 2000 and 2002, the worst wildfire seasons of the past half-century...."
"Forest agencies begin prescribed burn program" (Red Bluff Daily News, 04/05/2004)
"Burning will begin as weather conditions ensure safe and efficient burning conditions," coordinated by the Susanville Interagency Fire Center.
"BLM comes through with Fire Safe Council funding" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 04/08/2004)
Grant funds were sought to fuel break against wildfires, and hiring a full-time fire safe council coordinator.
"Fire damage prompts temporary closures of public lands near San Diego" (BLM California news release, 03/30/2004)
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.
|WILD HORSES AND BURROS
"BLM offers loveable alternative for Easter" (BLM California news release, 03/30/2004)
You could give the usual Easter bunny and colored eggs . . . but this year consider a true gift of love . . . adopt a wild horse and burro . . . and the BLM can help! On April 17 and 18 the BLM will offer 80 Mustangs and 20 burros to qualified adopters at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds through its Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program.
"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in Chowchilla" (BLM California news release, 03/26/2004)
Wild horses and burros directly from America's western rangelands will be looking for new homes in late April, when the U. S. Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption in Chowchilla.
|LAND USE PLANNING
"Hollister seeks public input to develop revised resource management plan" (BLM California news release, 04/01/2004)
BLM's Hollister Field Office is asking the public to participate in the development of a revised resource management plan for the central coast region. The public is encouraged to help identify issues, questions, and concerns during the scoping phase, which begins May 3 and continues until August 2, 2004.
"Land users asked for input on Alabamas...future management policy of popular areas" (Inyo Register, 04/02/2004)
Meeting meant "to involve local people from diverse interest groups such as the climbing, OHV recreation, filmmaking, shooting, hiking, biking, birding, horseback riding and rockhounding communities to help set up a non-profit group dedicated to creating a consensus on how the Alabama Hills should be managed...." including BLM-managed lands. (The participants met last Friday.)
| THE DESERT TORTOISE
"Commentary: Tortoise protection in Mojave Desert must be a priority" (Desert Dispatch, 04/02/2004)
"Head out into the desert 25 years ago and you would likely find a desert tortoise among the creosote scrub. With thousands of tax dollars spent each year on surveys for the desert tortoise, our state reptile is becoming increasingly harder to find."
"The do's and don'ts of the desert tortoise" (Marine Corps News, 04/01/2004)
"Summer is just around the corner and that means more activity from wildlife in the area...specifically the desert tortoise."
"Desert Tortoise" (BLM California web pages)
Desert tortoises have existed for millions of years, and during that time they adapted to the many climatic and geological changes that have occurred in southern California:
Desert Tortoises in Palm Springs Resource Area:
Desert Tortoises in Southern California:
Desert Tortoise Natural Area:
"Groups dispute plant habitat size" (San Bernardino County Sun, 04/07/2004)
|NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR ITEMS
"E-forms on the fly at BLM" (Government Computer News, 04/05/2004)
BLM's senior property manager "aims to cut operating costs by re-engineering the cumbersome routing of 400 paper forms involving 10,000 internal users - not to mention the numerous external users who lease federal lands."
"Self-funded PKI" (Government Computer News, 04/05/2004)
"The government is a slowpoke at building public-key infrastructures....But the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management is incorporating digital certificates for PKI in an agency-wide smart-card program, and doing it without a budget."
"Hair, saliva, sweat of government workers could be tested for drugs under proposal" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 04/06/2004)
"The proposal will expand the methods to detect drug use among 1.6 million federal workers beyond urine samples. It is being implemented with an eye toward the private sector, however...."
"Federal workers face drug tests" (Washington Times, 04/07/2004)
"The targeted employees are already subjected to random drug testing, tested after workplace accidents, or have shown signs of drug use."
"New federal drug testing would permit rescreening" (Washington Post, 04/07/2004)
"Yuba Goldfields figure in Feinstein's judicial vote" (Marysville-Yuba City Appeal-Democrat, 04/03/2004)
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she voted against the judicial nomination of William Myers, in part, for his role in supporting a land transfer in the Yuba Goldfields." The land contains gravel and rock now mined under permit from the BLM.
"Secretary Norton announces $92 million in grants for state recreation projects" (Department of Interior news release, 04/06/2004)
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton announced that close to $92 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund is being provided in Fiscal Year 2004...for state recreational projects that will enhance outdoor opportunities for present and future generations. California's share is listed at $7,773,970.
"Documents related to Cheney case ordered released" (Reuters, 04/01/2004)
A federal judge ordered several government agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, to release documents related to an energy policy task force led by Vice President Dick Cheney.
WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK - ANSWER