A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 199 - 3/15/05

Preston Arrow-weed aerial view of the Sacramento River Steve Fornelius Trainer works with wild horse at Tulare adoption event book cover detail: "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"

- Wild horses and burros: photos, news
- Wildflower viewing
- Other recreation on public lands
- Photo album: Sacramento River
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: whales
      - Special status plant of the week
- Bookstore feature: "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"
- Meet your advisory council members: Preston Arrow-weed
- Profile: Steve Fornelius
- Headlines and highlights: Folsom Field Office land use planning, BLM California jobs, burning
- Selected upcoming events


Trainer works with wild horse at Tulare adoption event"Mustangs, burros find home in San Joaquin Valley" (News.bytes Extra, 3/15/2005)
Wild horse and burro enthusiasts from California's San Joaquin Valley provided homes for 43 mustangs and 18 wild burros from the BLM's adoption event last weekend in Tulare. The event featured mustangs from northeast California and northwest Nevada, and from herd areas in Colorado and Wyoming. A special attraction for adopters was a group of halter-trained mustangs from the wild horse training program at a state prison in Canon City, Colo. See several photos from the event.

"They're scruffy but smart" (Visalia Times-Delta, 3/14/2005)
"Though wild horses tend not to be as 'pretty' as horses bred in captivity, [horse trainer Lesley] Neuman said, they are easier to train because they tend to be smarter and haven't been tainted by other trainers. Wild horses are also less likely to be inbreeds, she said." One observer "preferred wild horses over tamed horses because trainers will sometimes make mistakes. 'This way, you know you're starting with a clean slate.'" Though "training a wild horse takes more time and patience than many people have."

"Bill to save wild horses hailed" (Sacramento Bee, 03/10/2005)
"Animal rights organizations on Wednesday praised introduction of legislation intended to save wild horses from the slaughterhouse....Late last year, a provision of the year-end spending bill opened the door for the sale to slaughterhouses of wild horses that are deemed too old for adoption or have not placed in an adoptive home by the Bureau of Land Management."
(Free registration may be required.)

"BLM Announces Sale of Wild Horses to Horse Group in California" (BLM national news release, 3/9/2005)
Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke today announced a sale of 13 wild horses to Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, a California-based group dedicated to wild horse protection. The wild horses, all mares, were sold under a new law (Section 142 of Public Law 108-447) that Congress passed in December 2004.

"Fighting for wild horses" (National Public Radio, 03/10/2005)
"Tucked into the omnibus-spending bill passed in December was the repeal of a 34-year-old law that prohibited the slaughter of wild horses, including mustangs. Now, horse lovers are incensed, and the dispute divides cattlemen and wild horse advocates." Includes a report from a wild horse sanctuary north of Los Angeles. A link on the following page leads to an audio file with the report.

"U.S. wild horse slaughter legalization draws fire" (National Geographic, 3/10/2005)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which has been responsible for preserving and protecting the herds for more than three decades, plans to further reduce the population to 28,000 by the end of this year. That concerns wild-horse advocates who worry the animals may one day entirely disappear from the rangelands. Further raising their ire is recently passed federal legislation that could send thousands of animals currently in government holding facilities to slaughter."

"Horse advocates say support growing for ban on slaughter" (Monterey Herald, 03/10/2005)
"Horse lovers vowed Wednesday to restore federal protection for wild mustangs and said momentum is growing for a national ban on horse slaughter." (Story from Knight Ridder News Service)


"Wildflowers decorate Salinas Valley hillsides; Blooms abound" (Salinas Californian, 03/09/2005)
"Warm weather, rainfall translate into a fantastic season." Says one observer: "It's going to be a good year, probably one of the best ones." Another: "Some species that usually bloom later, such as bush lupines, California poppies, blue dicks and goldfields, are already on display, as much as one month early. The time when flowers are really abundant is usually mid-April, but this year it's looking like late March."

Tricolored Gilia with Poppies and Blue DicksRelated: "Virtual Herbarium" (BLM Hollister Field Office website) Photos and short descriptions of many of the plants found on BLM-managed lands at former Fort Ord - one of the wildflower-viewing sites mentioned in the article above. (Thumbnail at left: Tricolored Gilia with Poppies and Blue Dicks)

"Spring wildflower tours" (BLM California news release, 3/10/2005)
BLM's Folsom Field Office has scheduled five springtime guided field trips in April and May, to view wildflowers and other features at the Pine Hill Preserve in western El Dorado County. The guided tours are limited to 20 persons each - interested persons should sign up in advance with the Folsom Field Office.

Related: "Pine Hill Preserve" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office website)
Includes links to photos and descriptions of rare plants found here.

"Off the beaten path" (Davis Enterprise, 3/14/2005)
Wildflower viewing opportunities in the Sacramento area - including hikes in Cache Creek Natural Area. "They'll find more individual flowers or clusters of flowers there than acres and acres of them," says one observer. "Sometimes it does take a lot to impress people; but the more they discover these areas, the more people realize just how many species there are up there."

Related: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California Ukiah Field Office website)


"Spring wild turkey season awaits hunters" (Merced Sun-Star, 3/12/2005)
"The spring wild turkey season in California opens March 26 and runs statewide through May 1 for general season....Wild turkey hunting opportunities are available to the public on many national forests, some Bureau of Land Management lands, and several DFG-owned wildlife areas. Contact local agency offices to obtain maps of public lands and for more information regarding local turkey populations."

"Trail ties modern times to historic past" (Stockton Record, 3/11/2005)
"Hiking the 10-mile Sacramento River Trail provides much more than a hilly romp alongside the state's most-prominent river, which is accented by splendid views of surrounding mountains and a lush riparian corridor. The pathway links the region's rich history, from the days of the Wintu Indians to unprecedented architectural structures of the 21st century....the final link from the rail trail to the river trail will soon be completed by a partnership among the City of Redding, the BLM and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation...."

"Easy passage to fast times at dry lake" (Victorville Daily Press, 03/10/2005)
"Off-road recreation enthusiasts and film location scouts have something to smile about." Paving of a road allows easier and safer access to El Mirage Dry Lake recreation area.

Related: "El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area" (BLM California, Barstow Field Office website) More information on this popular location, the activities there, and some things to be prepared for before you go.


gray whale breaks the surface of the waterWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Whale of a tail
There are two major populations of gray whales. Which is located along California's coast? Take our online interactive quiz and find out if you're right.

Hare today, not gone yet -- If you missed last week's online quiz, it's not too late to guess - or apply your profound knowledge of wildlife trivia:

Lost Hills saltbrushSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Lost Hills saltbrush
Annual herb with a few slender, gray-scaley branches, spreading outward from the base. Lower leaves are spear to pear-shaped, 1/4 inch long. Upper leaves are pear-shaped with a heart-shaped base, 1/8 inch long. Leaves are sessile (stemless, attached directly to branch). Plant contains male and female small, green flowers, mixed in small clusters. Seeds are dark brown to black 1/16 inch long.
(Thumbnail at left, from a photo Copyright 2004 by Robert E. Preston, Ph. D)

Preston Arrow-weedMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Preston Arrow-weed...
is a lifelong resident of Imperial County, California and represents the public-at-large. He fills a seat traditionally committed to Native American participation to ensure tribal interests are represented on the council. Read more:

Steve ForneliusPROFILE: Steve Fornelius...
...considers himself a "generally useful". For those unfamiliar with the term it was originally used in traveling carnival shows and circuses. The acts and performers, aside from their main job during performances also had to make themselves "generally useful" to the circus or carnival itself. Read more about Steve in this week's News.bytes Profile:

aerial view along the Sacramento RiverPHOTO ALBUM: Sacramento River
Kayaks, canoes, rafts and power boats all ply these deceptively tranquil waters that meander down the Sacramento valley. Recreation along the BLM-managed stretch from Jellys Ferry south to Turtle Creek includes access points to the river - and spots for hiking, picnicking, target shooting, camping, wildlife watching and more.

View from a hilltop along the Sacramento RiverRelated: "Sacramento River" (BLM California website)
There's great shoreline fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout - and you may soon see why the osprey is called the fish eagle. Contributing to the wildlife are river otters, ringtail cats, blacktail deer, red-tailed hawks and bobcats.

book cover detail: "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "75 Year-round Hikes in Northern California"
"Ultimate Guide for Fall, Winter, and Spring Hikes: Northern California is a year-round destination for visitors. Offers ideal off-season hiking choices for those looking to escape crowded trails - especially when summer days and crowds are long gone."


"Forest project takes root" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 3/15/2005)
"It took five years of debate, but residents in this tree-nestled town soon will have a forest of their own. Visions of a 'community forest'are coming true thanks to a new ownership strategy that has piqued the interest of Bureau of Land Management officials as far away as the nation's capital. The forest could be used for hiking, firewood collection, school field trips, fish habitat and timber harvesting to reduce fire danger."
(Free registration required.),2232,REDD_17533_3622451,00.html

"BLM wrestles with land use" (Nevada City Union, 03/11/2005)
"The Bureau of Land Management has kicked off a months-long process to plan for future uses of the 18,000 acres it manages in Nevada County." Wildfire prevention is one issue mentioned by residents. "Another perennial issue is managing conflicts between dirt bikers and horse riders, hikers and hunters, said Deane Swickard, BLM's Folsom field manager."

Related: "South Yuba River plan a product of compromise" (Nevada City Union, 3/11/2005)
BLM's Folsom Field Office manager's letter: "Time is required for the participants to learn and accept the fact that the process really does consist of a level playing field, that every voice will be heard, and every viewpoint will be respectfully considered......No, narrow interests were not optimized. Yes, there was compromise. Most of all, this group of diverse participants were reasonable and respectful toward one another."

"Pine Hill Preserve brush burning scheduled" (BLM California news release, 3/11/2005)
The BLM plans to burn brush piles in the Pine Hill Preserve in the Cameron Park area along the east side of Sudbury Road in western El Dorado County this week if weather conditions are favorable.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include physical science technician, trails coordinator and environmental protection specialist.


"Statement of Kathleen Clarke, Director, Bureau of Land Management...on FY 2006 budget request" (BLM national news site, 3/9/2005)
Testimony before the House Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health.

(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.)

03/19/2005 - Piedras Blancas Light Station Tour
San Simeon

03/19/2005 - Wetlands Restoration

03/23/2005 - Folsom Resource Management Plan Public Meeting

03/29/2005 - W equals Wildflowers
Palm Desert

04/01/2005 - Desert Advisory Committee Meeting (2 days)

04/02/2005 - There's a Monument in Your Backyard
Palm Desert

04/03/2005 - Don't Hug the Teddy Bears!
Palm Desert

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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