A publication of Bureau of Land Management in
Issue 194 - 2/9/05
- Headlines and highlights:
fire prevention updates, BLM jobs, new grazing fees, more
- Land use planning: West Mojave Plan, Redding-area parcel, Eastern Sierra land
- Recreation and issues: cross-country skiing, hang gliding and bighorn sheep, desert wildflowers now
- Off-highway vehicle areas: photos, info, plant monitoring
- Meet your advisory council members: John Erquiaga
- Wild horses and burro adoption program, including:
- Profile: Alex Neibergs
- Valentine's adoption
- National controversy
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia: "Bushy" alias...
- "Great Backyard Bird Count"
- Special Status plant of the week
- Our readers write: thanks both ways
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Scarlett nomination, budget, renewable energy
- Selected upcoming events
"Snapshots - California"
(BLM California website)
Successful BLM Projects supporting the National Fire Plan - California-related
PDF file, 475 kilobytes:
(BLM national website)
National updates - California features (above) were taken from this.
PDF file, 1.5 megabytes:
"Help restore native plants at old Fort Ord" (Salinas Californian, 2/7/2005)
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: "Participants will be serenaded by William Faulkner and his Jalisco harp as they plant native plants on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management."
Related: "Watershed Institute" (California State University Monterey Bay website)
Click their "upcoming events" link, to see more information about the Fort Ord native plant restoration.
"Current job openings
- BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include supervisory resource management specialist, contact
representative, firefighting and fire education positions.
push a dilemma for Schwarzenegger" (Barstow Desert Dispatch,
Columnist writes about Headwaters Forest Reserve, and push for more area
logging, by the company that sold the land to the federal and state governments.
"BLM and Forest
Service announce 2005 federal grazing fee" (BLM California
news release, 02/07/2005)
The Federal grazing fee for Western public lands managed by the Bureau
of Land Management and the Forest Service will be $1.79 per animal unit
month (AUM) in 2005, up from $1.43 in 2004, as of March 1. The formula used for calculating the grazing fee,
established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act,
has continued under a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986.
"New wilderness bill gathers momentum" (Eureka Times-Standard, 2/9/2005)
"Refined and reintroduced, proponents believe the latest incarnation of a bill that would dub 300,000 acres in Northern California wilderness has a good shot of passing congressional muster this session. But some motorized vehicle access advocates want field hearings on the new version of the bill, saying concerns remain about potential road closures."
Related: "Thompson gains
help protecting lake land" (Napa News, 02/06/2005)
The Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness
Act was defeated twice, but sponsors say it now has bipartisan support.
"If it passes, approximately 5,800 acres of land controlled by the
Bureau of Land Management -- including one of the world's largest groves
of Sargent cypress trees -- would be upgraded to a 'wilderness' area, permanently restricting new mining, oil and gas drilling and construction
of new roads. People who have permits to graze cattle, or who hunt, fish
or hike on the land would be unaffected, but mountain bikes and mechanized
vehicles would be prohibited."
RECREATION AND ISSUES
"BLM Reports excellent ski conditions on Bizz Johnson Trail" (BLM California news release, 2/4/2005)
Cross country skiers are finding excellent conditions on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, which is covered by a "once in a decade" snow pack. Continuing cold temperatures have maintained a firm snow pack, "making for easy kick and glide skiing." A skier-packed ski track extends at least three miles into the Susan River Canyon from Susanville, and firm pack extends beyond the track.
"BLM seeking Pit River campground hosts" (BLM California news release, 2/4/2005)
Camp hosts provide information to campers and day use visitors, and perform
limited maintenance including weeding, light repairs, litter cleanup and keeping
toilets sanitized. Hosts also maintain bulletin boards, keep records of visitor
use and report disturbances or vandalism to the BLM. Hosts must provide their own self-contained camper or camp trailer. The BLM provides a free camping space and a generator. Hosts serve 10 to 30 hours a week as volunteers, and receive a stipend to help cover expenses.
"BLM implements Monument Plan decision prohibiting hang gliding to protect bighorn sheep" (BLM California news release, 02/03/2005)
Effective February 3, 2005, the BLM will implement the plan decision in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Management Plan prohibiting hang gliding activities on public lands within the Monument to protect the endangered Bighorn Sheep.
Related: "Gliding banned from lookout" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/8/2005)
"Hang glider pilots are no longer welcome at Vista Point, a scenic,mountain perch along Highway 74....That's because the bright, soaring gliders are thought to scare endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep that roam on the mountains below. But pilots, many of whom just learned of the ban, are already rallying to reverse the Bureau of Land Management's closure. They also want a new landing strip in Palm Desert in the same neighborhood as a refuge for the skittish sheep."
Related: "Hang-gliding ban goes into effect" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 2/9/2005)
"The ban was established in a plan approved a year ago by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, with support from a local advisory committee, but it was not enforced until Thursday. Some area hang gliders are now lobbying to have the ban lifted, arguing that their hobby does not harm the animals."
(Requires free registration.)
Related: "Bighorn sheep rebound from brink of extinction" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/9/2005)
"Approximately 100 of the bighorn live in mountains around the Coachella Valley - up from about three dozen nine years ago. Local bighorn supporters who helped raise and spend millions of dollars on captive breeding and release programs and sheep preservation say the trend validates their effort. Hikers and other trail users have already cited the trend as evidence they can coexist with sheep without further access restrictions to local mountains. People who monitor and count bighorn say despite inching from the precipice of extinction the sheep population is still fragile."
"Wildflower season 2005" (BLM Needles Field Office website)
"Some years are better than others, but this year is rare indeed with the wettest year that anyone can remember in recent history followed by unseasonably warm weather for January. The season is in full swing at the lower elevations." See recent photos of desert wildflowers on public lands managed by BLM California's Needles Field Office.
For more wildflower-related information and events, see "selected upcoming events" below - and watch for a feature in next week's News.bytes.
land switch" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 02/03/2005)
"The California Department of Fish and Game now supports the
Bureau of Land Management's plan to swap so-called Area 51 in exchange
for private land in Trinity County. The blessing comes with the caveat
that the BLM do what it can to ensure a housing development doesn't harm
fish in Salt Creek. Fish and Game had previously opposed the swap, warning
that development would dump sediment into the creek, where trout and salmon
have been spotted."
(Requires free registration)
Related: "'Area 51' trek puts focus on BLM deals" (Redding Record-Searchlight,
"...Area 51 [is] a 215-acre slice of nature off the end of Victoria
Drive, west of Redding. The bureau is considering trading the land to
a Humboldt County developer in exchange for 566 acres in the Grass Valley
Creek watershed in eastern Trinity County. Officials say that private
land needs protection to avoid further erosion into the Trinity River.
But Area 51 neighbors fear development that would bulldoze an informal
network of trails and push sediment into the creek. For all the attention
it's getting, Area 51 is a tiny piece of a bigger puzzle that the BLM
has been trying to assemble for more than a decade. The agency's 250,000
acres in five Northern California counties are scattered far and wide,
often forming a checkerboard of public and private land."
(Requires free registration)
land swaps the best deal for the taxpayers?" (Redding Record
Editorial: "To the Bureau of Land Management, the swap fits into
a long-running plan to rid itself of scattered parcels while consolidating
in areas of special public value. To most of Area 51's neighbors, the
land is valuable open space and vibrant wildlife habitat -- except for
a few who see the scrubland as a fire hazard abutting their back yards.
To bicyclists and hikers, the area is a fun-filled maze of trails that
forms a critical part of the network linking Redding with Whiskeytown
National Recreation Area."
(Requires free registration)
"Desert plan to
be bared" (San Bernardino County Sun, 02/01/2005)
"[M]id-March or later...a heavily revised West Mojave Plan is due
to be approved and implemented for the protection of the endangered desert
tortoise, the Mohave ground squirrel and 57 other sensitive animals and
plants. At the same time, the plan is intended to streamline procedures
"Feds to look
at land consolidation issues" (Mammmoth Time, 02/02/2005)
"An interagency group of federal land administrators will make it
a priority this year to look seriously at ways to consolidate federal
lands around the Eastern Sierra, and to trade private land in-holdings
surrounding communities for lands closer to local communities." BLM's
Bishop Field Office manager says "consolidation preserves both the
open space and the habitat for plants and animals, and makes development
projects easier to service."
ALBUM: Glamis Dunes
The dune system - also known as Imperial Sand Dunes - is divided into
3 areas. The northern most area is known as Mammoth Wash. South of Mammoth
Wash is the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness established by the 1994 California
Desert Protection Act. This area is closed to motorized use and access
is by hiking and horseback.
"Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California, El Centro Field Office
More information on the area, managed by BLM's El Centro Field Office.
The largest and most heavily used area begins at Highway 78 and continues
south just past Interstate 8. The expansive dune formations offer picturesque
scenery, opportunities for solitude, a chance to view rare plants and
animals, and a playground for OHVs.
Related: "Monitoring of Special
Status plants in the Algodones Dunes, Imperial County, California: 1977,
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002" (BLM California website)
In 1998 the BLM initiated a monitoring study
of six rare plants of the Algodones Dunes.
The study was designed to allow comparisons of plant abundance between
1998 and subsequent years to data collected in 1977 as part of an earlier
study contracted by BLM. Monitoring for all six of the plants was conducted
in spring and summer 1998, spring 1999, and spring 2000, and the results
of this monitoring were reported in a separate report.
PDF file, 2.75 megabytes:
"Algodones Dunes monitoring report, 2001" (BLM California
"Off-highway vehicle riding"
(BLM California, Barstow Field Office website)
Includes scheduled OHV events for 2005, on public lands managed by the Barstow
limits are simple matter of respect" (Redding Record Searchlight,
Editorial: "Dirt-bikers say they have few places to practice their
sport, but that's no reason to trespass. They argue the damage caused
by off-roading is exaggerated, but that's easy to say when the land in
question belongs to somebody else....It's worth stressing that people
remain free to ride on their own property or that of friends who give
permission. The Chappie-Shasta park run by the Bureau of Land Management
still has a few hundred miles of legal trails just across the Sacramento
(Requires free registration)
YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: John Erquiaga
John Erquiaga represents grazing interests with BLM's Northeast California
Resource Advisory Council.
Read more in this weeks News.bytes issue.
WILD HORSES AND BURROS
Alex Neibergs is the Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
at the Ridgecrest Field Office. In this position he works closely with
the other field offices in the district, and with the Lake Havasu, and Yuma, Arizona
field offices addressing management and issues related to wild horses
and burros. He continues to be involved with developing and implementing
land use plan decisions.
"Wild horse and burro adoption offers great gifts for valentines" (BLM California news release, 1/25/2005)
On Saturday, February 12, BLM will offer wild horses and burros to qualified
adopters at its corral facility 4 ½ miles east of Ridgecrest. To make this adoption even more special, BLM will provide free home delivery within 150 miles of the facility . . . Happy Valentines Day!
"Sen. Ensign says sides polarized in Congress on wild horse issues" (Las Vegas Sun, 2/8/2005)
U.S. Senator "says opposing sides on the question of what to do about wild horses are polarized on the issue in Congress, but he expects the new law allowing the sale of horses to survive....He said one side sees the need to get many of the wild horses off the land, while the other side wants the government to take care of the animals at whatever the cost."
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
WEEK'S WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION
Which statement about the porcupine is false? If you missed last week's
online quiz, it's not too late to guess - or apply your profound knowledge
of wildlife trivia:
"Count celebrates beauty of backyard birds" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/7/2005)
"It is time to get a jump-start on your bird-watching skills by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Last winter...counters submitted almost 50,000 checklists that added up to more than 4 million birds of 512 species..... the weekend of Feb. 18-21, everyone is encouraged to count the birds in their back yard or any other location and to turn in the results online at www.birdsource.org/gbbc....the GBBC Web site helps everyone prepare for their trip to the back yard, whether they choose to watch birds only around their home or make the effort to see which birds are using public lands."
(and thank you for writing)
"Thank you guys. You're
doing a good job. I know it's not easy to shot-gun all the info over such
a wide user interest base, but keep it up. Just took a trip down Highway
395 from Reno to Mojave. Guess what...Owens Lake isn't Owens Dry Lake
anymore!!! One of the things so exciting about what you're writing about
is that it's a living condition. It changes!"
AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR ITEMS
"Secretary Norton praises President's intention to nominate P. Lynn Scarlett as Deputy Secretary" (Department of the Interior news release, 2/8/2005)
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton today praised President Bush's intention to nominate P. Lynn Scarlett to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. The announcement is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, once the official nomination is made by the President. Scarlett currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management, and Budget at the Department.
2006 Budget request for the Bureau of Land Management proposes $1.75 billion
to strengthen management of public lands" (BLM national
news release, 02/07/2005)
For BLM's main operating accounts, the budget provides a net increase
of $15.9 million.
"FY 2006 Interior budget
emphasizes commitments, cooperative efforts, performance and fiscal restraint"
(Department of the Interior news release, 2/7/2005)
The Bureau of Land Management is within the Department of the Interior.
pushes renewable energy development on public lands" (Department
of the Interior news release, 2/4/2005)
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton announced the availability of a
new report that highlights the Bush administration's efforts to increase
interest in the development and use of renewable energy resources found
on America's public lands. The 26-page report shows that lands managed by the Department of the Interior
provide 48 percent of the nation's geothermal energy, 17 percent of hydropower
and close to 10 percent of the nation's wind energy production. More than
260 million acres of land, primarily in the West, are managed by the Interior
Department's Bureau of Land Management.
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
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.)
02/10/2005 - There's a
Monument in Your Backyard
02/12/2005 - Bald Eagle
02/16/2005 - Folsom Resource
Management Plan Public Meeting
02/19/2005 - Bald Eagle
02/19/2005 - Piedras Blancas
Light Station Tour
02/24/2005 - Folsom Resource
Management Plan Public Meeting
02/24/2005 - Desert Wildflowers
North Palm Springs
02/26/2005 - Cerro Gordo
02/26/2005 - Riparian Restoration,
Cosumnes River Preserve
02/27/2005 - W equals Wildflowers
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DISCLAIMER: By linking to Web sites, the BLM does not imply endorsement of those
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
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