A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 186 - 12/7/04
- 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
AND RECREATION ON PUBLIC LANDS
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."
may buy Piedras Blancas Resort" (San Luis Obispo Tribune,
"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."
"Piedras Blancas Light Station" (BLM California website)
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)
"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
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
SPECIAL PHOTO FEATURE: Pogonip
"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.
GROUSE, ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, OTHER WILDLIFE
"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, Interiors Bureau of Land Management, which oversees oil and
gas leases and much of the sage grouse habitat, issued a conservation
"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."
"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."
"BLM announces national strategy for conserving sage-grouse on public
lands" (BLM national website)
(As reported in issue 184 of News.bytes)
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.
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
(Free registration required)
FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
SPECIAL 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.
YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: David Charlton
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 and....read more
in this week's News.bytes feature.
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:
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,
The agenda for the December 11th meeting will include discussion of the
Draft Resource Management Plan.
clean-up" (Off-road.com, 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.
"South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area" (BLM California
"Los Angeles DWP
seeks comments on Pine Tree wind project" (Desert News,
"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
"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: http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/pdfs/snapshots_ca/2004_1203.pdf
"Snapshots" (BLM national fire website)
Features items from Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, besides the California article
PDF file, 1.2 megabytes: http://www.fire.blm.gov/textdocuments/12-3-04.pdf
"Current job openings
- BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include biological scientist and ecologist.
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12/11/2004 - Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
12/18/2004 - Coyote Mountains Wilderness Hikes
12/21/2004 - Solstice Rock
12/27/2004 - Nature Walks
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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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