A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 173 - 9/8/04

Penny Van OrnumAsh Valley milk-vetchSunset in the Alabama Hills
- Special Status Plant of the Week: Ash Valley milk-vetch
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Wally Leimgruber
- Profile: Penny Van Ornum
- Our readers write: Tiny movies
- Photo Album: Sunrises and sunsets
- Wilderness Act turns 40
- Bookstore Feature: "Map of California"
- Burning Man Festival ends
- Headlines and Highlights: Gravel, wildlife, polluters, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events

Ash Valley milk-vetchSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Ash Valley milk-vetch
Identifying Features:
1. Branched silver wavy haired mat forming perennial.
2. Small purple striped flowers.
3. Oval 2-3 seeded small pod.

Wally Leimgruber is a supervisor for Imperial County and serves as an elected official on the council representing county government. A 47-year resident of Imperial County, Supervisor Leimgruber has worked and served on numerous county, state and federal agencies and has considerable knowledge of the BLM. Read more in this weekly News.bytes feature:

Penny Van OrnumPROFILE: Penny Van Ornum
Penni works out of the Surprise Field Office as the Archaeologist, Recreation Planner, and Wilderness Specialist. She works with other federal, state and local agencies and an array of interested constituents and organizations. Read more in our weekly News.bytes feature:

Several readers took tongue-in-cheek issue with this item from last week's News.bytes (issue 172): "'There are over 10-square-feet of desert, mountains, drybeds and open space to choose from.' Public lands are popular locations:"

A sampling of the responses:

"Small films on BLM land: Your article about filming in Indian Wells Valley says that over 10 square feet of scenery is available. I hope that what they are filming can fit in such a small space. Why are you being so restrictive?"
    - Norm

"It must get pretty crowded at times. ;-) "
    - C. M.

"This must be a very special 10 Square feet to get 80 films on...'
    - B.W. ALBUM: Sunrises and Sunsets
BLM public lands offer excellent photo opportunities for spectacular sunrises and sunsets from the coast to the desert floor.
Thumbnail photo at left: Sunset at the California Coastal National Monument.

Sunset in the Alabama HillsRelated: "Alabama Hills" (BLM California Web site)
This photo from the "Photo Album: Sunrises and Sunsets" feature was taken in the BLM-managed Alabama Hills - not in Alabama, but in the Eastern Sierra. Many movies and commercials have been filmed here, including the classic "How the West was Won."


"Wilderness Act turns 40, and people are still arguing about it" (San Francisco Chronicle, 09/03/2004)
"Few pieces of environmental legislation have had such far-reaching effects as the Wilderness Act, which observe[d] its 40th anniversary [Friday]. The federal act designated 9.1 million acres as wilderness, described by the bill's framers as land 'where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain'." Designations include many BLM-managed lands.

"Into the wilds" (San Francisco Chronicle, 09/03/2004)
Editorial: "What lies ahead is critical. Though the state has some 14 million acres of wilderness, more acreage should be considered before development and population pressures grow....Wilderness areas have steadily grown with bipartisan support. The results are an achievement that marks a 40-year record worth continuing."

"Wilderness law facts" (Associated Press in Los Angeles Times, 09/02/2004)
"California has the most wilderness areas, 130....",1,5656062.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Map of California"
A 36" x 32" wall map of California depicting private lands and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and the military.

The most widespread public-lands-related news item this past week was the Burning Man Festival in northwestern Nevada's Black Rock Desert, an area managed by BLM California's Surprise Field Office and BLM Nevada's Winnemucca Field Office.

"Burning Man at its hottest; Festival of art, anarchy draws record crowd of boundary breakers" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/5/2004)
This feature store from before the festival ended Sunday, captures the event in anecdotes and photos.

"Record crowds attend Burning Man festival in Nev. desert" (Associated Press in Sacramento Bee, 9/6/2004)
"While many people were packing up and leaving the desert Sunday, others stayed to burn an elaborate Temple of Stars later that night, laid out in a quarter-mile crescent....By tradition, revelers leave the names of departed loved ones and other remembrances to be burned in the temple. Many visitors cried while composing their gifts, and some collapsed into the arms of others."

"At 19, is Burning down the Man getting old? Festival of art and chaos undergoing an identity crisis" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6/2004)
"Burning Man regulars...often question whether it is getting too big and whether success will spoil the anarchic, free-form spirit of the festival. With the event ballooning to this year's record attendance of 35,664, the questions are getting louder."

"Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area" (BLM Nevada Web site)


"Cemex suit heads back to federal court" (Santa Clarita Signal, 9/8/2004)
"Santa Clarita’s attempt to challenge county officials’ approval of the proposed Cemex sand and gravel mining project in Soledad Canyon has hit a roadblock in state court." The project planners hold a permit from the BLM.

"Wildland thirst aid challenged" (Los Angeles Times, 09/07/2004)
"After decades of losing their natural watering holes to dams and diversions, many thirsty desert animals have found an oasis in "guzzlers," but conservation groups clash over whether the man-made troughs help or harm wildlife....Volunteers work with state agencies and the federal Bureau of Land Management to secure permits and sites.",1,210799.story

"DA hunts for New Idria polluters" (Hollister Free Lance, 09/07/2004)
"The District Attorney’s Office plans to find and sue the parties responsible for the mercury pollution oozing from the New Idria mine in south San Benito County that causes the nearby San Carlos Creek to turn orange....The idea to pursue civil action was spurred about five months ago during a meeting among county officials and the federal Bureau of Land Management...."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Web site)
Openings include Archaeologist and Natural Resource Specialist.

"Edison hosts open house on transmission line plans" (Los Angeles Daily News, 09/04/2004)
"How will the construction of a new 230-mile transmission line from Arizona to California affect you, your property or your utilities bill?" Southern California Edison officials held an open house for Redlands-area residents as "just one of the preliminary steps the company is taking before launching head-first into the regulatory approval process with agencies such as the federal Bureau of Land Management, the California Public Utilities Commission and the Arizona Corporation Commission.",1413,209%257E22484%257E2381858,00.html

"Current wildland fire information" (NIFC Web site)
Updated Mondays through Fridays by the National Interagency Fire Center.

(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.)

09/17/2004 - Mother Lode Gold Belt: Northern Mines Field Trip

09/18/2004 - National Public Lands Day event
El Centro - McCain Valley Recreation Area

09/25/2004 - Fort Ord National Public Lands Day event
Fort Ord

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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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