News.bytes
A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 204 - 11/1/05

Vicki Wood sharp-tailed snake

- We're back!
- Headlines and highlights:
    - Alex, what is the BLM?
    - Environmental award
    - Salton Sea
    - Pot-growing danger
    - BLM California jobs
    - ...and more
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Look sharp
      - Special Status plant of the week
      - Volunteers and education
- Wild horses and burros
- Energy, alternative energy
- Profile: Vicki Wood
- Meet your advisory council members: James Bugera
- Land use planning
- Eagle Mountain land exchange
- Imperial Sand Dunes
- Off-road recreation on other public lands
- Other recreation on public lands
- Catching up with News.bytes: while we were away
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Grazing, Internet, document costs

WE'RE BACK!

The Bureau of Land Management in California is pleased to announce that its web site is now back on-line. The public can again obtain non-Indian trust information about the BLM in a timely manner. The BLM recognizes the impact of this disconnection to its customers and thanks them for their patience and understanding during this period. The last six months have posed challenges, but making sure that all constituents receive timely information about the agency's actions has been a priority for the entire agency. BLM California State Director Mike Pool said, "We have not been idle. We have used this opportunity to redesign and refresh the look since we were last on-line, we invite folks to take a new fresh look." Check it out at:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/.

Note: Some of our services - online bookstore, photo library, wildlife database, upcoming events calendar - are not yet available, and any links to them will not work. We hope to begin restoring these elements our website soon.
News release


HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

"Alex, what is the BLM?" (10/20/05)
The Bureau of Land Management was featured as a category on the game show "Jeopardy" -- including a Daily Double question and a "triple stumper." You can see the answers -- and questions -- online at:
http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=573

"Interior honors Environmental Achievement winners" (Department of the Interior news release, 10/26/05)
California's Desert Managers Group was recognized for team stewardship in coordinating desert conservation, visitor services, and public safety for 11 million acres of public land in southern California's deserts. "These awards signify exceptional achievements that conserve our nation's natural resources through communication, consultation, and cooperation, all in the service of conservation," Secretary Gale Norton noted of the 11 winners.
http://www.doi.gov/news/05_News_Releases/051026a.htm

"Headwaters report card" (Eureka Times-Standard, 10/28/05)
"The Wilderness Society and the World Resources Institute have given U.S. Bureau of Land Management properties around the country poor grades, including the Headwaters Forest....Wilderness Society campaign manager Wendy VanAsselt said that she can't say Headwaters is poorly managed, despite the fact that the report gave it a 'D' for leadership. She said instead, she has concerns that BLM's manager isn't on the agency's state manager's team and the reserve issues a meager annual report. "
http://www.times-standard.com/local/ci_3160273

Related: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM California website)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/arcata/headwaters.html

"Are our mountains in trouble?" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/31/05)
"The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain ranges are an environmental centerpiece for burgeoning inland Southern California and the defining characteristic of desert resorts in the Coachella Valley. And while Congress declared the mountain ranges a national monument five years ago, bureaucratic turf battles and a lack of funding are undermining protections that are supposed to come with the designation. Those are findings in a report by a group called The Wilderness Society that recently graded the government's National Landscape Conservation System."
http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051031/NEWS07/510310329/1006

Related: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM California website)
The National Monument Management Plan, completed in early 2004, reflect the efforts of the two lead management agencies, BLM and US Forest Service to develop a plan which is capable of grappling with the issues of access, recreation, and the protection of threatened and endangered species, as well as the conservation of native plants and other wildlife, and the removal of non-native, invasive, and noxious species.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/palmsprings/santarosa/santa_rosa_national_monument.html

"BLM seeks representatives to serve on Dumont Dunes Technical Review Team" (BLM California news release, 10/14/05)
The BLM's Barstow Field Office is accepting applications for representatives to serve on the Dumont Dunes Technical Review Team, which will advise on the collection, expenditure, and accountability of fees collected at Dumont Dunes, and development of future faculties and services. One member each from nine categories will be selected. Deadline for applications is 11/18/05.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/CDDNews01_dumontTRT_applications.html

"Battling illegal marijuana" (Lake County Record-Bee, 10/31/05)
Sheriff's deputy says Lake County's several thousand acres of public land -- including national forest and BLM-managed Cow Mountain and Knoxville Recreation Areas - "have become magnets for illegal pot growing....as of Oct. 26, Lake County alone had eradicated 145,732 plants." Growers threaten both the public and the environment: "The crews show total disregard for the land as they leave everything empty propane canisters, garbage, fertilizer and poison." If you come across an operation, law enforcement officials say, "don't confront anyone" as the growers are usually armed -- report the location to authorities.
http://www.record-bee.com/Stories/0,1413,255%257E26901%257E3113187,00.html

"Salton Sea revival could see 200,000 homes" (Los Angeles Times, 10/17/05)
"The Salton Sea Authority is advancing a plan to build up to 200,000 homes around the state's largest lake on land that includes a former atomic weapons testing site. The plan could also move the boundaries of a national wildlife refuge, a key stopover for more than 100,000 migrating birds." BLM manages some of the lands surrounding the lake.
(Free registration required.)
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-salton17oct17,1,7290623.story

"Quake led to light's removal" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 9/26/05)
"An 84-year-old retiree has shined a light on a half-century-old North Coast mystery: Why doesn't the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse have a classic lantern room on top?" The BLM now manages the lighthouse.
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/news/local/12745133.htm

Related: "Public invited to tour historic Piedras Blancas Light Station on California coast " (BLM California website)
A unique California coastal experience is available to limited numbers of visitors through the end of the year. Take a step back in time and tour the Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County. Currently offered once a month, the tours originate at the nearby Hearst Castle State Historic Monument Visitor Center.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/09/NR/CCNews84_PiedrasBlancas_tours.html

"BLM to burn on Cow Mountain for research, debris clearing" (Eureka Times-Standard, 10/28/05)
"The Bureau of Land Management is teaming up with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to perform prescribed burning projects in the South Cow Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle area some eight miles east of Ukiah. With initial plans of burning when weather conditions are favorable in the first two weeks of November or December, a total of six research burns are to be conducted for a research project through the University of California at Berkeley."
http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/Stories/0,1413,91%257E3089%257E3109396,00.html

"Snapshots" of National Fire Plan (BLM Office of Fire and Aviation, 9/30/05)
California items include:
    "Camp Smokey gazebo promotes biomass utilization and fire education"
    "Fuels reduction protects prehistoric rock art site"
    "Sparking citizen support squelches wildfire"
(PDF file, 2 megabytes):
http://www.fire.blm.gov/textdocuments/9-30-05.pdf

"Board decides Mount Diablo will keep name" (Contra Costa Times, 10/14/05)
"Mount Diablo will remain Mount Diablo. The US Board on Geographic Names has voted unanimously to reject a name-change plea from an Oakley man who objected to the moniker on religious grounds.....Numerous organizations devoted to astronomy, aviation, surveying and recreation rely on Mount Diablo as a major landmark, and the mountain's name and location is noted on hundreds of maps and documents....Bureau of Land Management officials said the meridian's name is derived from the mountain and a change could lead to confusion."
(Free registration required.)
http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/12900216.htm

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include civil engineer and several firefighting jobs.
http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9blm-ca.asp



NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:

sharp-tailed snakeWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Look sharp
When are Sharp-tailed Snakes active?
a. only during the winter
b. only during the summer
c. only during bird migrations
d. only when it is warm but not too hot
e. only when the temperature rises above 100 degrees Fahrenheit
f. only around electric pencil sharpeners
(See answer near the end of this edition of News.bytes)


closeup of Sandmat manzanitaSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Sandmat manzanita
This evergreen shrub is 12 to 32 inches tall, forms mats or mounds and is found in sandy soils, hills, woodland or coniferous forest. Its bark is reddish and shreddy and the petals are white to pink, about 1/8 inch long. Its status is BLM Sensitive, and it is on the California Native Plant Society List 1B.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/pa/ssp/plants/arctostaphylos_pumila.html


VOLUNTEERS AND EDUCATION

"Class to preserve Rainbow Basin fossils" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 9/30/05)
"Paleontologists working with the Desert Discovery Center [led] groups of children and adults into the Rainbow Basin Natural Area Oct. 8 in an attempt to preserve the fossil record of an area that has recently been the victim of vandalism....Participants [used] meter-square grids of PVC pipe and string to mark off areas of fossil deposition. Photographs and GPS coordinates of the areas will then be collected for the Bureau of Land Management."
http://www.desertdispatch.com/2005/112808643990506.html

Related: "Treasures at the end of the Rainbow" (Barstow Desert Dispatch,10/18/05)
"In our desert we have many unique resources. In Owl Canyon we have ancient impressions that are studied by scientists from around the world and are cited in paleontological studies all over the country: These are fossil animal tracks. Recently it was discovered that someone tried to steal an ancient camel track. The theft has inspired a number of local residents to work to preserve these unique artifacts...The Bureau of Land Management regulates the area and has control of who takes fossils out of the canyon."
http://www.desertdispatch.com/2005/112963999338413.html

Related: "Rainbow Basin Natural Area" (BLM California, Barstow Field Office website)
Rainbow Basin is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern due to landscape features and paleontological resources in the area. Many visitors come to see exciting multi-colored rock formations and walk the scenic canyons. A variety of desert wildlife is found here, including the desert tortoise. Vehicle trespass is a major concern, so all routes not signed as "open" are CLOSED to vehicles.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/barstow/basin.html

See more volunteer projects from recent months on the News.bytes "while we were away" page:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/xtra-05/204_catchup.html



WILD HORSES AND BURROS

"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in Gilroy" (BLM California news release, 10/18/05)
The adoption event, at 4675 Crews Rd., runs Friday through Sunday, Nov. 11-13. A preview of the 80 mustangs and approximately 10 burros begins at about 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Adoption gates will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/NCNews04_gilroy_whb_adoption.html

"BLM corrals re-open; excellent selection of horses for adoption" (BLM California news release, 10/17/05)
The BLM's Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corral facility near Susanville has re-opened to the public, after maintenance and construction of a new hay storage barn. The selection of wild horses available for public adoption is the best in the past several years. Anyone interested in viewing the animals can tour the corrals from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Anyone interested in adopting can make an individual appointment to return and adopt an animal.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/NCNews01_corrals_reopen.html

"BLM special holiday 1-day wild horse and burro adoption highlights free delivery" (BLM California news release, 10/19/05)
The BLM will offer more than 200 wild horses and burros to qualified adopters during a very special holiday, 1-day adoption on November 19 at its regional corral facility east of Ridgecrest, California.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/CDDNews08_corral_holiday_adoption.html



ENERGY/ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

"BLM to conduct Oil and Gas Lease Sale December 14, 2005" (BLM California news release, 10/28/05)
The lease sale involves 28 parcels for a total of 19,134 acres of public lands in Kern, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/CCNews07_oilgas_lease_sale_dec05.html

"West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS Information Center" (Interagency website)
The United States Department of Energy, the Bureau of Land Management, and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate issues associated with designation of energy corridors on federal lands in eleven Western states. Each Agency would then designate a series of energy corridors. One of the public scoping meetings is being held in Sacramento today.
http://corridoreis.anl.gov

"Statement of Kathleen Clarke, Director, Bureau of Land Management...hearing on the Oil and Gas Management Program of the Bureau of Land Management" (BLM national news, 10/25/05)
"...[I]n the past few years BLM has placed strong emphasis on addressing the Nation’s demand for energy resources through the implementation of the President’s National Energy Policy. For example, BLM has made considerable progress in addressing the increasing numbers of Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) submitted by the oil and gas industry....The recently enacted Energy Policy Act of 2005 has given BLM several important tools that help in this effort."
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/legislative/pages/2005/te051025.htm

"BLM sets meeting to hear suggestions for managing geothermal energy" (BLM national news release, 10/31/05)
The Bureau of Land Management will hold a public meeting Nov. 17 in Reno to solicit suggestions on how best to implement the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that relate to geothermal energy on the public lands.
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/releases/pages/2005/pr051031_energy.htm

"Planned windmill test near Volcan scrapped" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/28/05)
"
A wind-energy company that was considering building a dozen huge windmills atop a mountain ridge near Volcan Mountain has withdrawn its application to conduct testing." The company "had submitted an application with the Bureau of Land Management to build testing towers along a two-to three-mile ridge northeast of Banner Grade and less than a mile from the Volcan Mountain Preserve."
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20050928-9999-1mc28wind.html

"Federal agencies agree to improve interagency coordination of oil and gas development on Public Lands" (US Department of the Interior news release, 10/25/05)
To expedite federal oil and gas permit processing while maintaining environmentally responsible management of oil and gas resources on federal lands, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Army Corps of Engineers announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. It is designed to enhance interagency coordination and to streamline the processing of permits for oil and gas projects on federal lands.
http://www.doi.gov/news/05_News_Releases/051025a.htm



PROFILE:Vicki Wood
As their new Field Office manager, Vicki Wood was "looking forward to working with our incredible team at the El Centro Field Office."
Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile.



James BugeraMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: James Bugera
James Bugera represents transportation and rights-of-way interests on BLM's Desert District Advisory Council. He has worked on every highway project throughout the Mojave Desert during the past seven years and oversaw installation of miles of desert tortoise fencing. Read more.



LAND USE PLANNING

"BLM releases Hollister Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Southern Diablo Mountain Range and Central Coast of California" (BLM California news release, 10/14/05)
The primary issues addressed are recreation, protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources, livestock grazing, guidance for energy and mineral development, land tenure adjustments and other planning issues raised during the scoping process. Public comments on the draft RMP and draft EIS must be postmarked or received by BLM no later than Jan. 12, 2006.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/CCNews05_hollister_draft_rmp.html

"BLM releases draft Ukiah Field Office Resource Management Plan" (BLM California news release, 9/16/05)
The draft plan/EIS provides management guidance for public lands in Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Colusa, Marin and Contra Costa counties. It analyzes the environmental impacts of various management alternatives. The BLM will accept public comment on the draft plan/EIS until Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/09/NR/NCNews92_ukiah_rmp.html

Related: "BLM shows off resource plan" (Lake County Record-Bee, 10/31/05)
"On Wednesday, Bureau of Land Management staff was in town to give a presentation and answer questions on the new draft of the Resource Management Plan, which hasn't been changed in 20 years and will be in effect for the next 20 years....The meeting which was sparsely attended was a chance to have questions answered and Hamilton Hess, vice chair of Friends of Cobb Mountain, wanted some answers."
http://www.record-bee.com/Stories/0,1413,255%257E26901%257E3110565,00.html

"California Coastal National Monument Resource Management Plan" (BLM California website)
A comprehensive and cooperative management plan for the California Coastal National Monument, covering more than 20,000 rocks and islands along the scenic 1,100-mile California coast, was approved by the BLM and signed by California State Director Mike Pool in September.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/pa/coastal_monument/ccnm_rmp_index.htm

"South Yuba Plan adopted by agencies" (BLM California news release, 7/7/05)
The three public agencies responsible for managing the public lands along the 39-mile stretch of the South Yuba River between Spaulding Dam and Lake Englebright have formally approved a comprehensive management plan for the river. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and California State Parks, with the Nevada County Planning Department, have been working on a comprehensive management plan for the South Yuba River over the past several years, using the community-based planning process. Since July, 2003, more than 40 public meetings and other events were held, with participants discussing issues, and then reaching agreement on various plan components.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/07/NR/CCNews64_planadopted.html



EAGLE MOUNTAIN LAND EXCHANGE

"Landfill appeal promised" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/27/05)
"The head of an Ontario company seeking to build a controversial landfill from its iron-ore pit near Joshua Tree National Park told the intended buyers Wednesday that he will appeal a recent court decision that struck a blow to the project."
(Free registration required.)
http://www.pe.com/localnews/desert/stories/PE_News_Local_D_eagle27.c15c169.html

"Court deals blow to landfill plans" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/21/05)
"A federal judge struck down a land exchange needed to allow one of the nation's largest landfills to be built near Joshua Tree National Park and filled by Los Angeles County garbage....The judge sided with plaintiffs who argued the Bureau of Land Management didn't properly process the land exchange with the landfill developers. Specifically, they argued an appraisal of the property didn't consider its possible use as a landfill, which presumably would have increased its monetary worth to the public."
(Free registration required.)

http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_eagle22.184600bc.html

"Judge thwarts plan for Eagle Mountain dump" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/22/05)
"A federal judge derailed plans that could have led to trains hauling as much as 20,000 tons of Los Angeles County trash daily through the Coachella Valley to a remote desert dump. The ruling by US District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin said a proposal to dump more than a half-billion tons of trash in a defunct iron ore mine near Joshua Tree National Park was based on a flawed land swap between the government and the landfill developers."
http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050922/NEWS07/509220321/1006

"Judge derails mega-dump bordering national park" (Hi-Desert Star, 9/24/05)
"For the third time in the 18-year battle against the dump, Kaiser Venture's plans for establishing the world's largest landfill bordering Joshua Tree National Park just off of Highway 10 near Desert Center were derailed."
http://www.hidesertstar.com/articles/2005/09/24/news/news1.txt



IMPERIAL SAND DUNES

"Weekend at dunes marred by two fatal accidents" (Yuma Sun, 10/29/05)
"At least two people died and emergency crews responded to at least two dozen calls for medical emergencies Friday and Saturday at the Imperial Sand Dunes during the recreation season's traditional opening weekend....It was a busier Halloween weekend than usual, according to Bureau of Land Management spokesman Gary Taylor. On an average Halloween weekend, the dunes area sees between 15,000 to 20,000 people, Taylor said. As many as 50,000 showed up this weekend at the dunes...."
http://sun.yumasun.com/google/ysarchive17013.html

"Dunes wired: Permits have radio chips embedded" (Yuma Sun, 10/5/05)
"Authorities this year will know exactly how many privately owned off-road vehicles are at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area at any given time. That's because the permits they are issuing to allow those people to enjoy the dunes have radio transponder chips in them. Off-road vehicle enthusiasts say the move means better tracking and better enforcement and will yield the kind of data that will help stakeholders better manage the popular recreation area."
http://sun.yumasun.com/artman/publish/articles/story_19620.php

"New dunes season to emphasize litter education and permit compliance" (BLM California news release, 10/13/05)
During the 2005-2006 Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) season, dunes recreation enthusiasts will see a highly visible litter education campaign through the efforts of the United Desert Gateway, American Sand Association, and the Imperial County Sheriff's Department. In addition, ISDRA recreation permits will now be administrated through the Imperial County sheriff's office.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/10/NR/CDDNews05_new_imperial_dunes_season.html

"Peirson's milk-vetch 2005 monitoring data published for Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California news release, 9/9/05)
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/2005/09/NR/CDDNews87_peirsondatapubd.html

"Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California, El Centro Field Office website)
More information about this popular recreation area.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/elcentro/ImperialSandDunes/index.html



OHV RECREATION ON OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

"Worries grow over ATV safety" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/31/05)
"The federal government wants to hear from the public as it develops new safety regulations for four-wheelers....California leads the nation in all-terrain vehicle use and deaths, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission....In California, certain training is required and ATV buyers have to submit a form declaring they know the laws -- including helmet use, avoiding alcohol and not having passengers. The laws apply to riding on public lands."
(Free registration required.)
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_H_atvs31.12a9d61e.html

"Scarred land" (Victorville Daily Press, 10/20/05)
"Four years ago the Bureau of Land Management was presented the "Making a Difference Award" by the national director of the BLM for its restoration project at Bonita Vista, an entrance to Juniper Flats in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains....Today ruts and deep washes created by off-roaders run up and down the mountain. Numerous other OHV trails litter the area creating additional, un-natural washes. The fencing and signage erected by the volunteers has been cut and torn down. Private properties downhill are affected by runoff during storms."
http://www.vvdailypress.com/2005/112981411879444.html

Related: "Juniper Flats" (BLM California Barstow Field Office website)
Juniper Flats is an area of public and private lands in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. Recreational travel routes are posted with markers installed at intervals along these "open" routes. If you wish to engage in "technical" or cross country off-road vehicle activities, please use the nearby El Mirage, Johnson Valley or Stoddard Valley OHV Areas. Please note that routes not marked as an open route are CLOSED to motorized vehicle travel.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/barstow/jflats.html

"Officials try trenches to block riders" ((Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/3/05)
"It's the beginning of the end for the Coachella Valley's most popular off-road vehicle destination. Before long, city work crews will begin digging massive trenches designed to keep vehicles from accessing the site north of Interstate 10 in Cathedral City known as Edom Hill....Restricting access on the land has been difficult until now, because the area is divided among so many owners." One city official says, "the Bureau of Land Management should be responsible for restricting access to the area since much of the land is owned by the BLM."
http://www.pe.com/breakingnews/local/stories/PE_News_Local_D_offroad03.900cb58.html

"OHV conference targets abuses" (Victorville Daily Press, 10/24/05)
"More than 50 people attended a two-day conference on illegal off-road vehicles sponsored by several environmental organizations. Those who attended were updated on the status of a pending off road vehicle ordinance being considered by San Bernardino County and were advised on what options they had if confronted with an off-road vehicle nuisance in their neighborhood." Speakers included representative from BLM.
http://www.vvdailypress.com/2005/113015902520688.html



OTHER RECREATION ON PUBLIC LANDS

"Hike to be near river on Saturday" (Red Bluff Daily News, 10/31/05)
"The Bureau of Land Management will co-sponsor a hike with the Sacramento River Preservation Trust this Saturday. The hike will be above Red Bluff at Bald Hill, which is at the upper end of Iron Canyon near the Sacramento River. Vistas of the Sacramento River and valley, volcanic cliffs, oak-studded hills and wildlife will be seen....The hike is limited to 20 people. Reservations are available at 345-1845."
http://www2.redbluffdailynews.com/articles/2005/10/31/people/people5.txt

"Marathon attracts runners from all over" (Lassen County News, 10/18/05)
"It's like runner heaven," said a runner in the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon....Bureau of Land Management Recreation Planner Stan Bales said 66 people ran on Saturday and 731 on Sunday. It was nearly double the 485 who ran last year during the first Bizz marathon."
http://www.lassennews.com/News_Story.edi?sid=2909

Related: "Bizz Johnson Trail" (BLM California, Eagle Lake Field Office website)
Following the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad, the trail winds 25.4 miles from Susanville to Mason Station. For the first 16 miles, the trail follows the Susan River. As it winds through the rugged Susan River Canyon, the trail crosses the river 12 times on bridges and trestles and passes through two tunnels. The landscape is a combination of semi-arid canyon and upland forests of pine and fir.
http://www.ca.blm.gov/eaglelake/bizztrail.html

"Statement of Lynn P. Scarlett...concerning implementation of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act" (Department of the Interior news, 10/26/05)
Testimony of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget of the Department of the Interior, before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Recreation: "Implementation of a well-run and streamlined recreation fee program that maximizes benefits to the visiting public is a top priority for the Department of the Interior, the US Department of Agriculture, and the participating agencies — the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Forest Service."
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/legislative/pages/2005/te051026.htm



CATCHING UP WITH NEWS.BYTES EXTRAS

Bert the law-enforcement camel meets an admirer"World's highest-ranking law enforcement camel visits wild horse and burro adoption" (News.bytes Extra)
More than two hundred people came to see and adopt the Mustangs and burros, watch the gentling demonstrations by Phil West, and talk to previous adopters with their animals. Members of the Mavericks drill team and the Cowgirl Way drill team, who only ride Mustangs, also participated at the Norco event sharing their adoption experiences and love for their Mustangs. Read more and see photos in this News.bytes Extra.

Up close and hard at work pulling weeds"While we were away" (News.bytes Extra, issue 204)
BLM employees, volunteers and partners continued to be busy while our website was offline. Catch up with some of items of interest (many older news stories are no longer online, so we are not able to bring you all of the items that would have appeared in News.bytes.)



OUR READERS WRITE:
..in response to the free postcards we offered last time we were online -- last spring. We sent sets out to the first 1,000 folks who requested them (the supply has been depleted, no more left.)

"I just wanted to say thanks for the lovely set of postcards you sent me. They came about a week ago and I've just gotten back 'on line.' They will be an inspiration for some lovely places to go sometime. I may have to keep them and frame them instead of sending them out! Thanks again,
- B. W.

Read more of these recent comments from our readers.



NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS

"Report: Grazing on public lands costly" (Associated Press in Sacramento Bee, 10/31/05)
"Federal agencies spend at least $123 million a year to keep public lands open to livestock grazing, according to a government report that environmentalists say bolsters their argument that grazing should be limited....Jim Hughes, deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management — which, with the Forest Service, manages 98 percent of grazing permits — said the agency charges a fee set by law and is not advocating a change or an increase. 'We have many programs that cost us more ... to operate than we take in,' Hughes said. 'It's never been our mission to be run totally like a business.'
http://www.sacbee.com/24hour/politics/story/2856404p-11519258c.html

Related: "Study finds government losing money on grazing" (San Jose Mercury News, 11/1/05)
"American taxpayers lost $123 million last year on programs that allow cattle and other livestock to graze on millions of acres of public land in California and 16 other western states, according to a study released Monday....The results back up a nine-month investigation published by the Mercury News in 1999."
(Free registration required.)
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/13049824.htm

Related: "Report to Congressional requestors: Livestock Grazing" (United States Government Accountability Office, released 10/31/05)
Summary (PDF file, 40K, one page):
http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d05869high.pdf
Report: (PDF file, 1.3 megabytes, 115 pages):
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05869.pdf

"Appeals court shelves shutdown of Interior computers" (FCW.com, 10/24/05)
"An appellate court has postponed a federal judge’s order to disconnect all Interior Department information technology systems that access Indian trust fund data....It is not known when or if a shutdown will occur. "When the court takes it up, they'll let us know what our status is," Interior spokesman John Wright said today. Depending on interpretations of the order, Interior could be forced to disconnect 5 percent to 10 percent of its computers, he said."
http://www.fcw.com/article91191-10-24-05-Web

"BLM finalizes regulatory changes to recover costs of processing minerals-related documents" (BLM national news release, 10/6/05)
The BLM final regulations, or "rule," respond to recommendations by the Interior Department's Office of the Inspector General, which found that the BLM needed to do more to recover its document-processing costs.
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/news/releases/pages/2005/pr051006_minerals.htm


ANSWER TO WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION:
When are Sharp-tailed Snakes active?
d. only when it is warm but not too hot.

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