News.bytes
A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 171 - 8/25/04

John Allen ErquiagaWood duckRichard RotteBOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California History for Children"
- Reward in desert tortoise death
- Meet your Advisory Council members
- Profile: Richard Rotte
- Photo Album: Dos Palmas
- Bookstore Feature
- Our readers write
- Law enforcement: Pot on public lands
- Recreation on public lands: Gun range, Clear Creek, South Yuba River
- Wildfire
- Headlines and Highlights: Volunteers, jobs, wild horses and burros, desert water
- National and/or Department of Interior items: Energy

REWARD OFFERED
Scarface helping with an environmental education presentation"BLM offers reward for information about death of desert tortoise mascot" (BLM California news release, 08/19/2004)
BLM's Needles Field Office is offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the death of Scarface, a desert tortoise who was found dead in his enclosure at the BLM field office in Needles on Wednesday, August 4th.



John Allen ErquiagaMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: John Allen Erquiaga
John Erquiaga is a third-generation cattle rancher, operating a family ranch in the Surprise Valley, and grazes livestock on BLM-managed public lands. Mr. Erquiaga represents livestock ranchers on BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council and is a respected leader in the valley.
John Allen Erquiaga



PROFILE: Richard RottePROFILE: Richard Rotte
In his current position Rich processes rights-of-way, R&PP (Recreation and Public Purposes Act), and Land Use Permit applications and renewals, and annual rental for them. He was surfing the web when he saw an announcement for his first position in BLM's Barstow Field Office. Read more in our weekly News.bytes Profile:
Richard Rotte



BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California History for Children"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California History for Children"
A series of short stories covering topics of California history from Cabrillo in 1542 to the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906.
http://store.ca.blm.gov/cgi-bin/webc.exe/st_prod.html?p_prodid=1830


Photo album: Dos PalmasPHOTO ALBUM: Dos Palmas
This oasis with its hundreds of swaying fan palms offers sanctuary in the midst of the dry Colorado Desert. Pools fed by artesian springs and seepage from the nearby Coachella Canal form a lush wetland area.
http://www6.ca.blm.gov/blm/index.jsp?folderOpen=Public%20Folders%2fNewsbytes%2fHighlights%2fDos%20Palmas

Watchable Wildlife site: Dos Palmas PreserveRelated: "Watchable Wildlife site: Dos Palmas Preserve" (BLM California Web site)
The exceptional habitat shelters a variety of both threatened or endangered and more common animal species. In thick stands of cattails, the elusive and endangered Yuma clapper rail builds its nest, while in the warm waters of the pools swims the desert pupfish, a relic species from the Pleistocene era. The preserve is also home to the endangered orocopia sage plant.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/caso/wf-dospalm.html


OUR READERS WRITE:
"We enjoy the newsletter very much as sometimes things are happening we should know about and this certainly helps."
Sincerely,
     - C. R.



LAW ENFORCEMENT

"Agents net 11,400 plants" (Redding Record Searchlight, 08/20/2004)
Seizure was "...the third joint marijuana raid in the past four days. The raids have netted about 37,000 plants....the latest marijuana garden was discovered on public lands in the Whiskey Creek-Deadwood Gulch area near Whiskeytown Lake....the large garden was close to the fire line of the French Fire...The [Sheriff's] department's marijuana eradication team, along with the Department of Justice, the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) and the Bureau of Land Management conducted the raid...."
(Registration required)
http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_local/article/0,2232,REDD_17533_3124515,00.html

"Authorities yank 6,000 pot plants" (Redding Record Searchlight, 08/17/2004)
"The plants, which were growing on Bureau of Land Management land, ranged from 18 inches to 4 feet tall and were around 1-1/2 months old...."
(Registration required)
http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_local/article/0,2232,REDD_17533_3115534,00.html

"Officers seize marijuana plants" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 08/24/2004)
Agent is airlifted to remote marijuana-growing site "dangling in a harness 150 feet below the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter, and at least twice that far above the ground." Taking part in the raid in the San Bernardino National Forest were agents from the U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino and Riverside county sheriff's departments, Bureau of Land Management and other members of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting. The raid yielded 2,835 marijuana plants, worth more than $6 million."
(Registration required)
http://www.pe.com/localnews/sanbernardino/stories/PE_News_Local_bpot24.57c81.html



RECREATION ON PUBLIC LANDS

"BLM renews gun range lease" (BLM California news release, 08/20/2004)
The lease for the Inland Fish and Game Conservation Association’s sport shooting facility located in Highland, expired August 14. "After considerable analysis and public input, we renewed the lease for another 20 years with additional requirements to reduce impacts to nearby residents," said BLM's Palm Springs Field Office manager.

"Congressman Farr comes to town" (Hollister Free Lance, 08/19/2004)
Congressman "vowed to bring all sides together to discuss how to best use the remote Clear Creek Management Area during his town hall meeting Wednesday. A handful of off-highway (OHV) vehicle users told Farr that the Bureau of Land Management’s planning to reduce trail access has been unacceptable because officials are trying to limit access without communicating with the users. They also said the area isn’t being properly managed."
http://hollisterfreelance.com/news/newsview.asp?c=120043

Related: "Clear Creek Management Area" (BLM Issue Update)
To address the public concerns related to the management of the Clear Creek
Management Area (CCMA). This document identifies major issues, conflicts, and outlines the Bureau's planning process.
(Note: the Upcoming Events database is on a secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below)
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/newsbytes.nsf/siteurl/49799039?OpenDocument

"Pinched by popularity" (The Union, 08/20/2004)
Popular and crowded Edwards Crossing on the South Yuba River has been the site of two homicides in the past two years. "But river planners say the biggest concern for the crossing is not a reputation for violence. In fact, it's the area's consistent popularity that poses the largest problems." BLM is part of team conducting planning sessions for six crossings on the South Yuba River.
http://theunion.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040820/NEWS/108200016/-1/ARCHIVES03



WILDFIRE

"Life off the line" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 08/20/2004)
A look at firefighters' off-duty home-away-from-home: A "tiny but bustling settlement is found at the Shasta District Fair grounds, where firefighting crews from San Diego to the Oregon border have been headquartered for more than a week as they battled two monstrous Shasta County wildfires. Nearly 3,000 firefighters and personnel were stationed at the fairgrounds...."
(Registration required)
http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_local/article/0,2232,REDD_17533_3124507,00.html

"Archaeologists survey losses" (Redding Record Searchlight, 08/20/2004)
"State and federal archaeologists this week are peering closely at the blackened earth left behind by both the French and Bear fires, flagging relics even as stumps still smolder around them. It's not just the flames themselves that might damage these historic treasures, officials say. Well-meaning bulldozer operators cutting fire lines might plow right through the remnants of an Indian settlement or crash into potentially dangerous mine shafts."
(Registration required)
http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_local/article/0,2232,REDD_17533_3124570,00.html

"Smokey Bear's 60th birthday celebrated every day at the State Fair" (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection news release, 8/24/2004)
They stop-drop-and roll, they learn how to dial 911 and when the big guy himself makes a surprise visit, they yell "Smokey" at the top of their lungs. Children learn a different safety concept in each of four buildings at this year's State Fair, in this program sponsored by several agencies including BLM. The State Fair runs through Sept. 6.
(NOTE: The following link will take you to a page with links to this and other fire-related news releases, in PDF form. )
http://www.fire.ca.gov/php/newsreleases.php

"Current wildland fire information" (NIFC Web site)
Updated Mondays through Fridays by the National Interagency Fire Center.
http://www.nifc.gov/information.html



HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

Wood duckVolunteer Opportunity - Wood Duck Team
As a member of the Wood Duck Team you will be responsible for monitoring and maintenance of the wood duck nest boxes and collecting data about nesting success for the Cosumnes River Preserve. As a participant in the wood duck program, you will have access to areas of the Preserve not open to the public.
http://www.volunteer.gov/gov/uidetail.cfm?ID=2239

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Web site)
Current openings include ranger, maintenance helper, fire engine operator and student trainee in range/forestry. Some openings close soon.
http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9blm-ca.asp

"Explore the San Andreas Fault; Learn about where the "Big One" could strike" (BLM California news release, 08/20/2004)
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History are co-sponsoring a three-day field trip along the San Andreas Fault over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-6). Participants can attend part-day, all day, or all three days. The Museum requires a registration fee.

"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in Brentwood" (BLM California news release, 08/24/2004)
The event runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26. Interested adopters can preview the animals when they arrive at the equestrian center at about 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23, and all day Friday. There is a fee for participation in the workshop that runs from Monday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Sept. 24. Members of the public can observe workshop proceedings free of charge.

"Activists fear water works could parch desert habitat" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 08/25/2004)
Lawsuit alleges well drilling near Palm Springs will lower the water table below the reach of mesquite trees in the area. "The loss of the trees, the lawsuit alleges, could set off an ecological chain of events that would harm an endangered lizard downwind from the project." Concerns include the Coachella Valley Preserve, managed by partners including the Bureau of Land Management.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories2004/local/20040825005042.shtml

Related: "Irrigation technology leaves desert courses in sea of greenery" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 08/25/2004)
"Water may be the most visible, most critical and certainly the most emotional issue involved in the construction of new golf courses....Each new course must find a source of water, either from the aquifer underneath the Coachella Valley or...from Colorado River water shipped to the desert through canals."
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories2004/sports/20040825004859.shtml



NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS

"White House puts the West on fast track for oil, gas drilling" (Los Angeles Times, 08/25/2004)
"Placing a heavy emphasis on energy production in the American West, the Bush administration has moved aggressively to open up broad areas of largely unspoiled federal land to oil and gas exploration." (A long story - prints out at about 12 pages - with links to additional information.)
(Registration required)
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bog25aug25,1,5889342.story?coll=la-home-headlines

"Energy companies don't use half of federal land they lease" (New York Times, 08/25/2004)
"In the Western states where oil and gas resources are most plentiful, the oil and gas developers are using less than half of the acreage they have under lease from the Interior Department, according to a new report and online database....The information was compiled by the environmental group from files obtained from the Bureau of Land Management, a unit of the Interior Department."
(Registration required)
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/25/politics/25drill.html

"Report details energy leasing" (Washington Post, 08/25/2004)
"The federal government has leased 229 million acres in 12 western states for energy development since 1982, an area equal to the combined acreage of Montana, Utah and Wyoming, according to a report issued yesterday by an environmental group....[T]he group said it is the most comprehensive overview to date of how recent administrations have opened up public land to oil and gas drilling."
(Registration required)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30070-2004Aug24.html


SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
(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.)

08/27/2004 - Backyard Stargazing Campground Program
Douglas City
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/74657359?OpenDocument

08/28/2004 - Day on the River
Trinity River
https://doi1.ios.doi.gov/blmEvents.nsf/siteurl/87416801?OpenDocument
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
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