A publication of Bureau of Land Management in
Issue 202 - 4/5/05
- Recreation areas on
public lands: dogs, OHVs, national monument
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: new field office manager, wind energy, West Mojave
Plan, Area 51
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week: sensitive frogs
- Special status plant of the week
- Our readers write: too many right answers?
- Meet your advisory council members: Tim Garrod
- Profile: Ken Hock
- Photo album: Afton Canyon
- Selected national and/or Department of the Interior items: more wildlife
- Bookstore feature: "Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols"
- Selected upcoming events
AREAS ON PUBLIC LANDS
trails" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 03/31/2005)
"Here, as a sample, are four fine trails nearby where furry, four-legged
creatures can hike on equal terms with their bipedal friends. Trail regulations
only request that, when you hike these trails, you keep your dog on a
leash six feet or less in length at all times, and clean up after your
pet, lest Scruffy and his cousins become canem non grata."
"Trailhead locations" (BLM California, Palm Springs-South
Coast Field Office)
More information on trails in this area managed by BLM. "Dogs are
not allowed on Bureau of Land Management lands in the Santa Rosa Mountains
east of Palm Canyon."
"Good news for off-roaders"
(Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/01/2005)
The US Bureau of Land Management on Friday lifted a three-month ban on
off-roading across 571,000 acres of desert washes in Riverside and San
Bernardino counties....The BLM made its announcement after the US Fish
and Wildlife Service cleared the move, saying the vehicles would not likely
jeopardize the continued existence of the [desert] tortoise or its habitat...."
(Free registration required.)
"BLM lifts restriction order prohibiting OHV travel in desert washes"
(BLM California news release, 04/01/2005)
Effective immediately, the BLM'S California Desert District has terminated
the restriction order prohibiting off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in wash
zones associated with the designated Desert Wildlife Management Areas
within the Northern and Eastern Colorado desert bio-region in parts of
Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
"Apple Valley off-roading
ordinance due by summer" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 04/04/2005)
"In order to appease a growing number of complaints from residents,
the Town Council is holding a series of meetings aimed at drafting an
ordinance to curtail unruly off-road vehicle riders....While the town
looks to limit OHV use within its borders, the Bureau of Land Management
has reopened 571,000 acres of public lands to off-road riders...."
"Welcome mat pulled
for many at monument" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/04/2005)
"Target shooters, paintball enthusiasts and hikers with unleashed
pets are no longer welcome in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains
National Monument. Regulations against the activities were approved in
2004 by the US Bureau of Land Management and went into effect last week.
The restrictions are designed to protect the area's natural resources,
as well as visitors' safety...."
(Free registration required.)
"BLM implements Monument Management Plan decisions to protect resources
and enhance visitor safety" (BLM California news release, 3/25/2005)
(Repeated from last week's News.bytes.)
HORSES AND BURROS
"America's Wild Horses
and Burros Offered for Adoption in Norco" (BLM California news
Adopting a wild horse or burro preserves our western heritage, and on
April 9-10 qualified individuals will have the opportunity to adopt one
of America's living legends at Ingalls Park in Norco through the BLM'S
Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program.
"Animals will be offered
for adoption" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 04/04/2005)
"More than 187 wild burros captured this year in the Ridgecrest area,
will be offered for adoption May 7 at the Ridgecrest corral....While many
people agree the burros have to be removed as they are not native, others
feel strongly that they are part of the legacy of the Old West and should
stay. The compromise is to remove them from the range and make them available
"BLM sells 30 wild
horses to cattle rancher" (BLM California news release, 04/04/2005)
The Bureau of Land Management announced that it is selling 30 wild horses
to a Florida cattle rancher who will provide long-term care for the mustangs
on his 1,000-acre ranch. The sale comes under a new law passed by Congress.
"Vicki Wood Selected
as BLM El Centro Field Office Manager" (BLM California news release,
The Bureau of Land Management has selected Vicki Wood as the new manager
for the BLM's El Centro Field Office.
"Jawbone wind farm
revived" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/31/2005)
"The project will involve installing approximately 80 wind turbines
on private property near Jawbone and Pine Tree canyons. Both an access
road and transmission lines will have to cross a section of land managed
by the Bureau of Land Management, so [the project's current partners]
have applied for a permit from the BLM."
"Residents unite to
snag BLM's Area 51" (Redding Record Searchlight, 04/02/2005)
"Residents here have unveiled a plan to take a hotly contested piece
of land off the government's hands -- and keep it away from a private
(Free registration required.)
"Guest editorial: The
Living Desert" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 04/04/2005)
Reprinted from the Orange County Register: "One of the most consistent
and laudable policies of the Bush administration has been its willingness
to come down on the side of sensible land-use policies that allow human
use of nature rather than on the side of environmentalists who want to
put larger swaths of land off-limits to the public....now we see it in
a Bureau of Land Management plan..."
"New plan aims to 'streamline' development in protected areas"
(Hi-Desert Star, 04/04/2005)
West Mojave Plan: "This plan eliminates what San Bernardino Land
Use Services Director Michael Hays termed a 'piecemeal' approach to conservation
efforts, meaning that every parcel under consideration for development
within the desert conservation area has historically been subject to specific
and 'protracted' examination for its endangered species status."
"Long-Awaited West Mojave Conservation Plan Released" (BLM
California news release, 3/24/2005)
(Repeated from last week's News.bytes). How to obtain copies of the plan.
"No wonder state coffers empty: government can't stop its spending
practices" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/31/2005)
Editorial: "The amount of waste generated by government agencies
continues to reach new lows. A perfect example of this was seen when the
Bureau of Land Management released the Environmental Impact Report for
the West Mojave Plan."
"Fairhaven power sold"
(Eureka Times-Standard, 04/02/2005)
"At this point, the company has about 16,500 acres of timberland
left to sell before its liquidation is complete. That's after a Thursday
deal with the Save-the-Redwoods League and the US Bureau of Land Management
put 2,500 acres in the Lacks Creek watershed in public ownership."
"180-acre gift OK'd
for park" (Modesto Bee, 03/30/2005)
"In 1997, Stanislaus County officials used state grant money generated
by sales of off-road vehicle permit stickers to purchase about 270 acres
from the US Bureau of Land Management to expand the off-road vehicle park.
Two years later, the board purchased an additional 350 acres for the off-road
park.....The approximately 620 acres have never opened for public use"
because of lack of funds plus fire damage. A new gift of land will give
more room to hikers and other users.
"The Magic of Maidu"
(Roseville Press-Tribune, 03/30/2005)
"Where would Roseville be without Maidu?" The Maidu Community
Center has had "seemingly a-million-and-one uses." And "The
magic of Maidu began when the city purchased 40 acres of property from
the Bureau of Land Management for a community park in 1967...."
"Current job openings
- BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Sensitive frogs...
...but sensitive to what? Test your wildlife knowledge
(or test-taking skills) with this week's online quiz:
(Thumbnail from photo by Frank E. (Ed) Ely, California
Academy of Sciences.)
STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Nissenan manzanita
This species is known mostly from El Dorado County where there are a number
of large stands. The single small stand that occurs near Sonora in Tuolumne
County is managed by BLM. The area has been designated an Area of Critical
Environmental Concern (ACEC).
READERS WRITE: Too many answers?
"I enjoyed your Wildlife Trivia question this week on pocket gophers
(that means I got it right), but I thought last week's question was very
problematic. While sturgeon surely are part of an ancient family of fish,
they are part of an ancient family of bony fish; that is, they are still
considered Osteichthyes (bony fish), in spite of having some cartilaginous
skeletal elements and a heart that has more in common with sharks than
with teleosts. Bottom line: you provided two answers that were correct."
- H. E. (Professor of Biology), San Diego
ALBUM: Afton Canyon
Bring your camera and binoculars! Afton Canyon has a diverse landscape of
hills, canyons and washes. Multicolored rock walls and changing light conditions
make for many photographic opportunities. Washes and stream channels are
good hiking trails and excellent for experiencing natural conditions. Wildlife
viewing is best during early morning and evening hours.
"Afton Canyon Watchable Wildlife Site" (BLM California webpage)
Afton Canyon's surface water makes it unique in the southern California
desert. Known locally as "The Grand Canyon of the Mojave" for
its dramatic geological formations, this is one of the only places where
the Mojave River flows above ground year-round - providing significant
riparian (riverbank) wildlife habitat amid the desert.
"Afton Canyon Natural Area" (BLM California, Barstow Field
Learn more about hiking and sightseeing in this area, camping, rules of
motorized vehicle use in this area, safety and more.
FEATURE: "Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols"
A Guide to Cultural Treasures. This is the first key specifically
designed for the interpretation of American rock art. This book brings
together 600 commentaries on specific symbols by over one hundred archaeologists,
anthropologists, researchers, and Native American informants.
"Panel wary of tortoise
effort" (San Bernardino County Sun, 04/04/2005)
"A new research arm of the US Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to
pinpoint reasons for the decline of the desert tortoise and bring an end
to its status as an endangered species. But members of the US Bureau of
Land Management's California Desert District Advisory Council are skeptical
about the ambitious goals of the new Desert Tortoise Recovery Office,
based in Reno, Nev."
"Plan to control ravens may stir things up" (San Bernardino
County Sun, 04/02/2005)
"A federal agency familiar with controversy is likely to stir up
more flak with a plan to shoot or poison ravens that prey on young desert
tortoises that are battling for survival in the Mojave. It is among several
proposals to control ravens outlined in a habitat-conservation plan for
the 9.3-million-acre western Mojave Desert, just released by the US Bureau
of Land Management, San Bernardino County and the city of Barstow."
"BLM proposes reducing ravens to save tortoises" (Victorville
Daily Press, 4/5/2005)
"As local raven populations have soared in recent years, the number
of desert tortoises has dwindled. Hungry ravens love to feed on young
desert tortoises, pecking through their soft shells. But the ravenous
ravens have been protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Now the Bureau
of Land Management is considering possible options to reduce the desert's
growing raven populations."
AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS
"Interior, Lower Colorado
basin leaders launch 50-year, $626 million wildlife conservation program"
(Department of the Interior news release, 4/4/2005)
"Our partners include federal and state wildlife managers and those
communities and agencies that rely on the Colorado and would be most affected
by a water-supply conflict. The agreement ensures that Arizona, California,
Nevada, and the federal government will cooperate over the next 50 years
to restore and protect habitat along the Colorado River," said Craig
Manson, assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
"50-year renewal project planned for river" (Los Angeles
"Interior Secretary Gale Norton will launch a half-century effort
Monday to return native trees, fish and wildlife to a lower Colorado River
system profoundly altered by man's thirst. Environmental groups are skeptical,
however, that the transformation can stick without fundamental changes
in the river's flow."
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.)
04/09/2005 - Inimim Forest
Scotch Broom Work Day
04/09/2005 - Spring Workday
04/09/2005 - Inimim Forest
Scotch Broom Work Day
Meet at North Columbia Schoolhouse
04/16/2005 - Piedras Blancas
Light Station Tour
04/16/2005 - North Algodones
Dunes Wilderness Hike - Birding
04/16/2005 - Spring Wildflower-Birding
04/16/2005 - Reclamation
Successes on Clear Creek
04/16/2005 - Cache Creek
04/22/2005 - Mojave Desert
04/22/2005 - Earth Day
Nature Walk (10 a.m.)
04/22/2005 - Earth Day
Nature Walk (2 p.m.)
04/23/2005 - Habitat Restoration,
Cosumnes River Preserve
04/23/2005 - Spring Wildflower
04/23/2005 - Cache Creek
04/24/2005 - Earth Day
Red Hills Nature Trail Work Day
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News.bytes published by
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California State Office
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Sacramento, Ca 95825
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