A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 185 - 12/1/04

cranes in the Cosumnes River Preserve

- Busy season starts in the dunes
- CosumnesRiver Preserve: "Crown jewel"
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia: coyote food
      - Special status plant of the week
      - Environmental education
- Meet your advisory council members: Helen S. May
- Profile: Linda Boehm
- Bookstore feature: scorpions and venomous insects
- Headlines and highlights: land lost, land exchange, oil royalties, BLM "Lone Ranger" retiring, jobs with BLM, more
- Selected upcoming events


"Authorities watch holiday off-roaders" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/29/2004)
"The Thanksgiving holiday -- known to most as a time for turkey and football -- is popular for another reason in the Southern California desert. It is a long, cool-weather weekend for off-road riders to flock to the desert from the Coachella Valley to the Imperial Sand dunes and seemingly everywhere else where there is open sand."

"Fatality mars quiet holiday weekend at dunes" (Yuma Sun, 11/29/2004)
"Local law enforcement officials said the holiday weekend was relatively quiet, despite one fatality at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area."

"Some Yuma families find tradition in dunes" (Yuma Sun, 11/26/2004)
"While many families spend hours slaving away in the kitchen preparing the holiday meal, the families that escape to the [Imperial Sand Dunes] have created a tradition of relaxing, riding recreation vehicles, and spending time together."

"BLM: Dunes 'relatively quiet' for Thanksgiving weekend" (Yuma Sun, 11/27/2004)
As of Saturday: "The thousands of people enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area have been a very orderly group, according to the Bureau of Land Management."

"Off-roaders crowd California's Imperial Dunes, but no big trouble" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 11/26/2004)
"The throng at Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area was expected to peak at up to 200,000. The annual Thanksgiving ritual more than doubles the population of Imperial County, but in the recent past the mix of fast driving and wild parties has been a recipe for 'Mad Max' style chaos. Things were much quieter this year and officials credited a continuing crackdown with restoring a family environment in the dunes...."

"Dunes Season Maintains "Zero Tolerance," Temporary Closures" (BLM California news release, 11/30/2004)
Imperial Sand Dunes recreation enthusiasts will see a continuation of the "Zero Tolerance" law enforcement policy and interim lawsuit closures temporarily remaining in effect.


"Cosumnes crown jewel" (Sacramento Bee, 11/28/2004)
"Assembled with help from a variety of public and private entities, including Sacramento County and the federal Bureau of Land Management, the Cosumnes River Preserve is more than nine times the size of the American River Parkway, long considered Sacramento's open space jewel....Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the preserve functions as a key link on the Pacific Flyway, providing shelter and food for myriad species of migrating waterfowl, including sandhill cranes."

Related: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (BLM California Web site)
The Cosumnes River is the only free-flowing river left in California's Central Valley. The Preserve is located 20 miles south of Sacramento, just east of Interstate 5. See more photos and information.

cranes in the Cosumnes River PreserveRelated: PHOTO ALBUM: Cosumnes River Preserve
The mission of the Cosumnes River Preserve is:
- Safeguarding and restoring the finest remaining example of California Valley oak riparian (stream side) ecosystem and its surrounding habitats;
- Restoring and creating freshwater wetlands to increase the Pacific Flyway´s populations of migratory waterfowl;
- Demonstrating the compatibility of human uses - particularly agriculture, recreation, and education - with the natural environment.


How do coyotes typically find their food?
Take your best guess in our online interactive quiz:

What secret was the granite lizard hiding? News.bytes readers know, after taking the online quiz. See how they answered:



"Students' field trips not walk in the park" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/30/2004)
Their "field trips are anything but relaxing, carefree days away from the rigors of the classroom." On a recent trip to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, a BLM specialist said, "They were studying very serious lessons about the geology of the Coachella Valley and the ecology of the palm oasis." The Desert Sands Unified School District received one of 13 grants nationwide that "support projects that increase learning opportunities for students through innovative programs." (With photo gallery)

"BLM presents Ninth Annual 'Excellence in Interpretation or Environmental Education' Awards at 2004 National Interpreters Workshop" (BLM national news release, 11/23/2004)
The BLM "Excellence" Awards recognize outstanding BLM interpreters and educators for their work on employee-conducted programs that enhance public appreciation and understanding of the natural riches on our public lands, as well as management issues in the context of BLM's multiple-use mission. John Bogacki of BLM's Bakersfield Field Office received an Honorable Mention Award.

Helen S. May is a new member of BLM's Central California Resource Advisory Council, representing the public-at-large. Read more about her in this weeks profile:

Linda BoehmPROFILE: Linda Boehm
After 15 years with the Veterans Administration, Linda Boehm decided that she was stuck in a rut. And when she decides to do something, she does not do it in half measures. Linda left El Paso, Texas a few weeks ago to come to California as a Staff Assistant for Human Resources in the State Office. Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

Book cover: "Scorpions & Venomous Insects of the Southwest"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Scorpions & Venomous Insects of the Southwest"
"A Complete Guide to Venomous Insects: A valuable reference for hikers, hunters, campers, outdoor enthusiasts and residents of the Southwest. Contains color photos and helpful illustrations of scorpions, spiders, venomous and select non-venomous insects of the Southwest."


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"For years, man's 23 acres are nonexistent" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/29/2004)
"For almost 40 years, Fred Gruner paid taxes on 23 acres of hilltop land in Lakeside that - on a clear day - boasts grand views of the Coronado Islands. There's just one problem: The land doesn't exist. Thanks to a federal mapping error more than 100 years ago, the acreage exists on paper, but not in reality...." Pending legislation would force BLM to compensate him for his loss, either with other land or with money. The land's value is estimated to be as much as $460,000.

BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Jim Massey"BLM's Massey retiring after 30 years in law enforcement" (BLM California news release, 11/24/2004)
"He has patrolled the public lands from the seat of an airboat and the saddle of a mule. He's nabbed public land pot growers and taught people how to care for unique and often fragile desert landscapes. His career has taken him away from his roots and back again." Read more and see photo:

"Land swap worries biologists" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 11/26/2004)
"Biologists fear potential development on so-called 'Area 51' would harm salmon and steelhead....But the BLM says it's obligated to aid fish in the Trinity [River] by acquiring 566 acres in the Grass Valley Creek watershed of eastern Trinity County. Sediment from those rapidly eroding slopes threatens to wash into the river, where fish populations have already declined because of massive water diversions."
(Free registration required.),2232,REDD_17533_3355828,00.html

Related: "Victoria Drive land exchange proposal" (BLM California issue update, 11/29/2004)
"The BLM has not reached a final decision on the exchange proposal, and continues to listen to input from interested parties."
(Note: this document is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure server. See note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)

"Valley trail users: Permits not necessary" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 12/1/2004)
"About 130 people showed up to a forum Tuesday evening... to comment on a plan that calls for trail users to get permits on some trails in the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains. The proposed permit system is aimed at reducing the amount of people in the back country during critical lambing times for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep....But hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders who spoke at the forum disputed the assumption their outdoor activity harms bighorn sheep."

Related: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM California website)
The Monument is co-managed by BLM.

"Discounts benefit oil producers" (Washington Post, 11/27/2004)
"[U]nder a program created when prices were low to encourage pumping on federal land....the government slashed more than $70 million from the royalty fees paid by oil producers in the fiscal year ended in September - angering officials in some states, which split the payments with the federal government." California's controller sued to stop the discounts, which target "low-producing wells and wells that pump less-profitable heavy oil....A plan to rescind the discount for heavy-oil production is working its way through the Interior Department, said Celia Boddington, a spokeswoman for the department's Bureau of Land Management."
(Free registration required.)

"Congress takes aim at Endangered Species Act" (Casper, Wyoming Star Tribune, 11/30/2004)
"This week, the Western Governors Association is hosting a 'summit meeting' in San Diego to develop a legislative strategy for prodding Congress to make major changes" to the Endangered Species Act. BLM officials from California will be attending the meeting.

"Burro Schmidt camp site bulldozed by Bureau of Land Management" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 11/23/2004)
Remaining historic cabins are said to be privately owned, but status of underlying land is disputed. An individual believes the land was willed to her; BLM spokesperson says it is public land, with no ongoing mining operations to justify calling it a mining claim. (Note: if this web page does not display properly in your browser, try clicking the "printable version" link at the bottom of the story.)

"Firm put on notice for gasoline spill" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/26/2004)
Gasoline leak discovered in "248-mile parallel pipelines that transport gasoline, jet fuel and diesel" from Colton to Barstow and Las Vegas terminals, possibly spilling onto BLM-managed land near Interstate 15. "Caltrans shut down the freeway and officials evacuated the few residents in the area until workers could stop the flow."
(Free registration required.)

"Roam-o-Rama: Hike and step your way up Ladder Canyon in the Mecca Hills of Riverside County" (San Diego Reader, 11/26/2004)
"A guide to the unexpected in San Diego and beyond....Ladder Canyon is a tributary of the superbly scenic Painted Canyon, which worms its way into the Mecca Hills Wilderness administered by the Bureau of Land Management." Directions to drive and hike.

Related: "Mecca Hills Wilderness" (BLM California website)
Small, narrow steep-walled canyons wind throughout the Mecca Hills Wilderness, creating a natural maze within this badlands labyrinth. Location: Riverside County, 15 miles southeast of Indio.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include biological scientist, ecologist, outdoor recreation planner, fire management officer and fire operations specialist.

(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.)

12/11/2004 - Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee meeting

12/18/2004 - Coyote Mountains Wilderness Hikes
El Centro

12/21/2004 - Solstice Rock - Geology field trip on the winter solstice

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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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