A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 186 - 12/7/04

David Charlton, BLM California Desert Advisory Council Adobe lilly Profile: Christina Welch California newtBookstore Feature: "Don't Get Bitten"

- Conservation and recreation on public lands: Giant Gap, Trona Pinnacles, Piedras Blancas, native plants
- Sage grouse, Endangered Species Act, other wildlife
- Not for educators only:
    - Wildlife trivia: Newt defense
    - Special Status plant of the week
- Meet your Advisory Council members: David Charlton
- Profile: Christina Welch
- Headlines and highlights: wild horse controversy, OHV cleanup, fire prevention, BLM jobs, more.
- Bookstore feature: "Don't Get Bitten"
- Selected upcoming events


Giant Gap gains defenders" (Auburn Journal, 12/03/2004)
"Two land trusts have gained a solid foothold in a new attempt to protect the scenic majesty of Giant Gap, near Gold Run." One property "will be transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management." Said a trust spokesperson: "This will result in the protection of the American River canyon's scenic beauty and wildlife habitat, the protection of water quality and the enhancement of public recreational access to the river canyon."

"Land conservancy may buy Piedras Blancas Resort" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/03/2004)
"The shoreline surrounding the weathered resort is the last parcel west of Highway 1 that's surrounded by Hearst Ranch property but owned by someone other than the state or federal government....The US Bureau of Land Management owns the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse site. State parks owns William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach at San Simeon Cove....The conservancies say the purchase would be a key link in a planned trail that would extend along the coast from Oregon to Mexico."

Related: "Piedras Blancas Light Station" (BLM California website)

"Peak interest; Trona Pinnacles a popular spot for nature lovers, sci-fi fans alike" (Bakersfield Californian, 12/04/2004)
"The remote desert site, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is always open and free to the public. The best time to visit is winter, when daytime temperatures average a balmy 68 degrees." More than 20 movies have used the area - with its unusual geologic formations - as a backdrop.
(Free registration required)

Related: "Trona Pinnacles" (BLM California website)
"However it may appear to you, a visit to the Trona Pinnacles will be a journey into one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert."

"Native plants get some helping hands" (Monterey County Herald, 12/05/2004)
"Return of the Natives is a community and school-based environmental education program dedicated to involving students (kindergarten through university) in habitat restoration and service learning projects in schools and the community. Return of the Natives partners with the Bureau of Land Management in restoration and education efforts on their newly acquired Fort Ord Public Lands, along with the Monterey regional parks, California state parks, and with the city of Salinas, with their various restoration projects."


"Pogonip hits northern California public lands" (News.bytes Extra, December, 2004)
Pogonip, or ice fog, results in a phenomenon called "hoarfrost," which is a deposit of interlocking ice crystals on objects exposed to cold, foggy air. Dazzling winter scenes are revealed as tree limbs, leaves, fence wires are coated with the ice. As the fog burns off in the daylight hours, there are a few magical moments when the hoarfrost glistens in the sun, beautifully contrasted against azure skies. See this photo feature from BLM's Northern California public affairs specialist.


"Bird not likely to get endangered status" (Associated Press at MSNBC, 12/3/2004)
"Interior Department biologists have recommended against adding the sage grouse to the endangered species list, a determination that could wind up benefiting natural gas and oil producers but add to environmentalists’ concerns. A coalition of farmers, ranchers, oil and gas developers and other businesses praised the recommendation as potentially historic....Last month, Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which oversees oil and gas leases and much of the sage grouse habitat, issued a conservation plan."

Related: "Grouse unlikely to find shelter on endangered list" (USA Today, 12/03/2004)
"An endangered listing for the greater sage grouse, whose habitat overlaps with the West's prime gas drilling territory, has been contested by energy advocates who fear that federal protections on the bird's nesting areas will disrupt the Bush administration's plan for a gas industry boom."

Related: "Service scientists make recommendation on greater sage-grouse" (U.S. Fish & Widlife website)
Includes links to news release, funding opportunities for sage-grouse conservation, and "learn more."

Related: "BLM announces national strategy for conserving sage-grouse on public lands" (BLM national website)
(As reported in issue 184 of News.bytes)

"Western governors focus on wildlife; Changes to species law discussed at S.D. summit" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/04/2004)
"A majority of Western governors gathered in San Diego yesterday said they favor significant revisions in the federal Endangered Species Act, one of the nation's landmark environmental laws. Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and others said the 31-year-old law often robs Westerners of their property rights and imposes broad rules after little consultation." BLM California representatives attended the meeting.

"Rules target fish habitat" (Redding Record Searchlight, 12/05/2004)
Two Redding-area creeks retain their designation as critical habitat for salmon and steelhead - but a "dozen or so smaller Sacramento River tributaries in the Redding area" do not. "Meanwhile, Fish and Game officials have urged the federal Bureau of Land Management to prevent development on 215 acres around Salt Creek known as 'Area 51.' Plans to carve nearly 60 lots there could harm fish and undermine a $20 million restoration effort...."
(Free registration required),2232,REDD_17533_3376665,00.html


What does a California newt often do, when it is threatened? Take your best guess in our online interactive quiz:

How do coyotes typically find their food? See how our readers answered during the past week:

Close-up of Adobe lilly bloomSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Abode lilly
This plant grows in adobe soil in interior foothills of California. It is a perennial herb with yellowish bulb, 1/2 - 1 inch long, with 1-12 large scales, and 0-2 small scales. Stems upright, 6-18 inches. Leaves are elliptic to obovate, to oblong, with 3-10 leaves clustered near the ground. Flowers contain 6 pinkish-purple, obovate petals. Fruit is a capsule with 3 chambers, and many flat, brownish seeds.

Desert District Advisory Council member David Charlton is from Newberry Springs and represents botanical interests as a renewable resource representative. He is an accomplished botanist more in this week's News.bytes feature.

Christina WelchPROFILE: Christina Welch
Currently Acting Field Manager El Centro Field Office, Christina finds "working in controversial arenas, with passionate and polarized publics, and helping them come to consensus to be wildly satisfying" - as long as there is some down time afterwards. Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:


"Mustangs' slaughter feared" (Sacramento Bee, 12/7/2004)
"Advocates for wild horses, burros blast little-noticed provision in spending bill....'This is not something the BLM sought,' said Celia Boddington, a spokeswoman for the agency in Washington. But if it becomes law, she said, the agency will follow the law. Animal-rights activists were stunned to discover the provision tucked into the bill."

"Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee to meet" (BLM California news release, 12/6/2004)
The agenda for the December 11th meeting will include discussion of the Draft Resource Management Plan.

"South Mountain clean-up" (, 12/01/2004)
A father reports in words and photos, as his 11-year-old son and other volunteers help BLM clean up and maintain this popular off-roading area.

Related: "South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area" (BLM California website)

"Los Angeles DWP seeks comments on Pine Tree wind project" (Desert News, 12/03/2004)
"Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power officials are seeking comment on a draft environmental impact report and environmental assessment for a large windfarm the city wants to build north of Mojave....the project would generate some 120 megawatts of electrical power which, DWP says, 'will help meet overall demand for electrical power in Southern California.'" The BLM is involved in an environmental review, since public lands are involved.

"Snapshots: Highlighting BLM projects that support the National Fire Plan" (BLM California website)
California article: "Hats Off to the Big Red Truck"
PDF file, 340 kilobytes:

Related: "Snapshots" (BLM national fire website)
Features items from Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, besides the California article above.
PDF file, 1.2 megabytes:

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include biological scientist and ecologist.

Notice: News.bytes may be blocked by some e-mail programs
Anti-spam measures by many e-mail service providers have reduced the number of unsolicited e-mail messages people receive. However, many legitimate e-mail messages may also be blocked - including messages sent to a large number of subscribers, such as News.bytes. To ensure that you continue receiving News.bytes, please add our e-mail address "" to the contact list or "safe" list in your email program's address book.

Bookstore Feature: "Don't get bitten"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Don't get bitten"
"The dangers of things that bite or sting: Snakes and spiders and wasps, oh my! Learn how to avoid their painful and even lethal bites and stings in this informative pack-size book."

(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 field trip

12/27/2004 - Nature Walks
Palm Desert

- If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above links to visit that Web page, copy and paste the URL into your browser's
"Location" or "Address" bar.
- Some publications remove news stories from the Web soon after publication. If you plan to keep a story, you should print a copy or save the Web page to your computer.

DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those sites, or of products or advertisements on those sites.

News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

We appreciate feedback. Send comments to the News.bytes team at:

To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to:
OR visit our News.bytes subscription page at: