A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 180 - 10/27/04
- Not for educators only:
- An estivation
- Special status plant of the week: Ione manzanita
- Our readers write
- Meet your advisory council members: William A. Betterley
- Profile: Ronald McCormick
- Photo album: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument
- Bookstore feature:eEarthquake country
- California desert: Protection Act, art
- Headlines and highlights: firefighting success stories, coastal protection, jobs, volunteer opportunity, Cemex gravel mine
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: energy, wilderness
- Selected upcoming events
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: An estivation
Some wildlife estivates (some people say it should be spelled "aestivate" - closer to its Latin origins). What is the meaning of the word "estivate?"
1. Shed skin when seasons change
2. Grow thicker fur in winter, shed fur in summer
3. Change seasonal color for camouflage
4. Become dormant or inactive during the summer
5. Estimate how hot an object is by sticking a paw in water, on a rock, or etc.
6. Groom fur to attract a mate
7. Calculate charitable deductions on income tax returns
Vote a week before the national election - and see how others are voting - in our online interactive quiz:
SPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Ione manzanita
Ione manzanita is mostly confined to the unusual soils of the Ione formation. These soils are highly acidic and contain high levels of aluminum. (Aluminum in high concentrations can be toxic to plants.) Organic matter and nutrient availability is low. This soil environment is extremely hostile to the growth of most plants.
OUR READERS WRITE:
"I love your trivia quizzes!!"
- S.R., Long Beach
MEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: William A. Betterley
William A. Betterley of Hesperia is a public-at-large representative on the California Desert District Advisory Council. He is a former San Bernardino County planning commissioner and supervisor, member of the County Supervisors' Association of California, and local businessman. Learn more in our weekly News.bytes feature at:
PROFILE: Ronald McCormick
Ron was just a boy when he observed the results of a tunneling project through a mountainside. He was impressed when he found out that surveyors were responsible for ensuring that the tunneling crews drilling from both ends of the mountain had to meet somehow in the middle. Read more in this weekly News.bytes feature:
PHOTO ALBUM: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument
Legislation designating this monument stated: "The magnificent vistas, wildlife, land forms, and natural and cultural resources of these mountains occupy a unique and challenging position given their proximity to highly urbanized areas of the Coachella Valley."
Related: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument" (BLM California website)
National Monuments are special areas of public land designated by public proclamation by the President or by Congress, to protect historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest. More than 500 plant and animal species, including the federally listed Peninsular bighorn sheep make their home in this national monument.
Related: "The San Andreas Fault" (BLM California website)
The San Andreas fault, with a length of more than 800 miles (1,200 kilometers), is the longest fault in California, and one of the longest in North America. Because of the aridity of the Carrizo Plain, the trace of the San Andreas Fault has not been significantly eroded. Photographs of the stark hills and clear trace of the fault in the Carrizo Plain have been used in numerous earth science text books.
"Desert Protection Act lauded" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 10/23/2004)
"Signed into law Oct. 31, 1994, the Desert Protection Act preserved 7.7 million acres, making it the largest land-preservation bill outside of Alaska. It elevated Joshua Tree and Death Valley national monuments to national parks and added to their size. It also created the Mojave National Preserve and designated lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as wilderness."
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"Protection act assured Joshua Tree, surrounding lands had a future" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/24/2004)
"[O]ne of California’s most stunning wild places" with a view of the San Gorgonio Wilderness: "It was set aside for protection 10 years ago Oct. 31 in the California Desert Protection Act, the most sweeping law of its kind outside Alaska....But the act’s greatest legacy may be its aftermath. It triggered an unprecedented effort and investment by conservation groups to buy privately owned land....It’s the largest conservation acquisition of private lands in the country’s history."
"Arts and public lands exhibit debuts" (BLM California news release, 10/26/2004)
Paintings capturing the scenic wonders and cultural values of public lands throughout the California Desert Conservation Area are on display at the Riverside Art Museum from October 22 to November 7, 2004. The exhibit, "Art and Public Lands," features 20 paintings of three artists in the Bobbie Powell Gallery.
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"Snapshots 2004: Highlighting BLM projects that support the National Fire Plan"
This issue includes success stories from California, Colorado and Oregon.
- San Diego County ordinance helps save homes from wildfire;
- Taking rural fire assistance to a higher level;
- National Fire Plan triangle of success actions before, during and after fire (including recent fire at French Gulch).
"Coast could be protected" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10/26/2004)
"Sonoma County's ocean beaches and their wave-drenched rocky outcroppings could become one of 12 gateways to the California Coastal National Monument under a proposal now being circulated by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Among other things, that would mean a kiosk and informational signs for visitors about the wonders of the Sonoma coast and the significance of ocean rocks to sea birds and mammals...."
"Get involved" (Volunteer.gov website)
The Barstow Field Office is looking for volunteers willing to perform trail maintenance and construction work, host a campground, operate heavy equipment, and much more. See our volunteer opportunity to apply.
"BLM to conduct oil and gas lease sale Oct. 27" (BLM California news release, 09/10/2004)
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Web site)
Current openings include outdoor recreation planner and several types of firefighting positions.
"New sites are explored for Cemex mine" (Santa Clarita Signal, 10/22/2004)
"Alternative sites to a gigantic sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon are being explored in the San Bernardino area as Santa Clarita city officials Thursday reported some progress in their talks with the firm that owns the rights to mine the canyon. (Cemex holds a BLM permit for gravel mining at the Soledad Canyon site.)
"Going for the Gold" (Mammoth Times, 10/20/2004)
"[T]he aspens of autumn seem determined to go up in flame before a spring rebirth. Brilliant sienna, russet, scarlet, gold. Sunrise yellow, salmon, ochre, bronze. Deepest red even, and sometimes a bit of green to cool the flames. Colors so beautiful they break the heart, take the breath away....Though the height of the color season is coming to a close, there are still some spectacular groves to be found at the lower elevation" of the Eastern Sierra, where BLM manages areas of public land.
NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS
"Energy and America's Future: Hunger for natural gas fuels rush to tap West's deep pockets" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/25/2004)
"The hard, dry badlands that rise above this small town glow in the autumn twilight with scores of brightly lit drilling derricks....vast amounts of natural gas seeps from thousands of feet below ground into pipes that funnel it to power plants that light up California and other Western states." But if the sage grouse is added to the federal list of "threatened" species, BLM "might have to slash the number of gas drilling and operating permits and require companies to take expensive measures to reduce the impact of current production sites."
"Recasting wilderness as open for business" (Los Angeles Times, 10/25/2004)
Story claims a change in Utah wilderness policy has "implications far beyond Utah. Not only does the new policy cancel protection of the Utah land, it withholds the interim safeguards traditionally applied to areas with wilderness potential until Congress decides whether to make them part of the national wilderness system....claim that under applicable law the Interior Department is barred - forever - from identifying and protecting wild land the way it has for nearly 30 years."
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.)
10/27/2004 - California Coastal National Monument Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement Public Meetings
10/27/2004 - Competitive oil and gas lease sale
10/28/2004 - BLM Steering Committee Meeting
10/28/2004 - CA Coastal National Monument DRMP Public Meetings
11/04/2004 - CA Coastal National Monument DRMP Public Meetings
11/04/2004 - Free Lecture - America's Greatest Gift
11/06/2004 - Wild horse and burro adoption
11/10/2004 - Roadrunner: Cuckoo of the Desert
North Palm Springs
11/13/2004 - Mojave and Red Rock Canyon field trip
Mojave - Kern County
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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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