A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 229 - 5/2/06

Ron Schiller of BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council close-up of California legless lizard Profile: Jennifer Mata close-up of a yellow star thistle blossom war on weeds the villain with his yellow thorny crown

- Funny.bytes: "War on Weeds"
- Not for educators only:
      - Weed of the week
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Hey, you!
- Wild horses and burros
- Outdoor recreation
- Headlines and highlights: Area 51, BLM California jobs, more
- Meet your advisory council members: Ron Schiller
- Employee profile: Jennifer Mata
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Right-of-way, wildfire, Kempthorne

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

war on weeds the villain with his yellow thorny crownFunny.bytes graphicFUNNY.BYTES: The war on weeds...
They're invading! And they do more damage than you might think.
Funny.bytes is an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues.
Note: this link will use the Macromedia/Adobe "Flash" plug-in of your web browser. Warning: soundtrack: you may want to adjust the volume on your computer.

RELATED: How does BLM fight the battle against invasive weeds? See next week's News.bytes Extra: "Weed Warriors."


close-up of a yellow star thistle blossomfight weedsWEED OF THE WEEK: Yellow starthistle
This week we switch from information on rare "Special Status" plants -- to invasive weeds. You may recognize our debut weed as the villain of our "War of the Weeds" Funny.bytes above.
This European annual infests cultivated fields, pastures, and waste lands in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Horses may eat it during dry, poor-growth years -- and come down with "chewing disease." They end up unable to eat, and starve to death.

RELATED: "Weed prevention and management guidelines for public lands" (BLM California website)
Certainly the best way to control weeds is to prevent them from taking root or becoming established in the first place. That includes preventing their introduction to the lands, and early detection of those that do find their way onto public lands.

close-up of California legless lizardWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Hey, you!
How can you tell a legless lizard from a snake?
(a) legless lizards have small buds that used to be legs
(b) legless lizards do not move like a snake
(c) lizards can tolerate below-freezing temperatures and remain active
(d) lizards have eyelids
(e) Wait until its back is turned, and call, "Hey, legless lizard!" after it.
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A young adopter reaches out to make friends with a mustang munching hay"Nice day for an adoption - wild horses and burros"
Wild horse and burro enthusiasts enjoyed a sunny spring day in the high desert of eastern Lassen County, when they traveled to the Bureau of Land Management's Litchfield Corrals for a one-day adoption event last Saturday.
Read more, and see photos.

RELATED: "BLM hosts 2nd annual Mother's Day wild horse and burro adoption near Ridgecrest" (BLM California news release, 4/25/06)
BLM will host the 2nd annual Mother's Day adoption on May 13 at its regional corral facility, just east of Ridgecrest. Six halter-gentled mustangs, and an excellent selection of 200 mustang yearlings gelding and mares and 50 burros will be available for adoption.

"BLM offers free horse training demonstration in Oakdale" (BLM California news release, 4/28/06)
Lesley Neuman, a horse trainer from the Placerville area, will demonstrate gentle methods of horse taming and training when the BLM holds a wild horse and burro adoption event Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14, at the Oakdale Rodeo Grounds.


"Off-roaders hit Jawbone" (Bakersfield Californian, 4/29/06)
"They're as young as 4 and as old as 75, but they all have one thing in common. They love to get mud -- or desert dust -- on their tires. Grandchildren, granddads, parents and teenagers can be found riding on two wheels or four in the approximately 15 square miles of wide-open trails inside Jawbone Canyon in eastern Kern County." Includes link to a video report.

RELATED: "Jawbone Off-highway Vehicle Open Area" (BLM California, Ridgecrest Field Office website)
From cross-country play to advanced technical routes, the Jawbone OHV Area offers over 7,000 acres of open-use public land where you can ride anywhere your skill and machine will take you.

"Locals call arsenic reports alarmist" (Bakersfield Californian, 4/26/06)
"Local off-roaders on Wednesday couldn't recall any cases of arsenic poisoning to fellow bikers riding in the Randsburg area in the Mojave Desert." The BLM is investigating high levels of arsenic left over from a century of mining.
(Free registration may be required.)

"BLM opens Hobo Camp day use area near Susanville" (BLM California news release, 4/28/06)
The site, which offers barbecue grills, picnic tables, game areas, fishing access and Susan River beaches, will be open from 8 a.m. until dusk through the spring, summer and early fall. Access is free. Officials urged visitors to be careful around the Susan River, which is flowing at twice its normal rate for this time of year.

"Growing wild" (Salinas Californian, 4/29/06)
"People don't even have to hop out of cars to see the poppies, the Indian paintbrushes and lupine - though, so far, the clusters seem sparser than in years past." Last year's brush burning on the former Fort Ord "left this season's wildflower watchers a gift. 'The leaves and flowers on the plants are much larger than normal....'"

RELATED: "Fort Ord public lands" (BLM California, Hollister Field Office web pages)
More information on these public lands managed by BLM.


"BLM approves land exchange for Grass Valley Creek and 'Area 51'" (BLM California news release, 4/26/06)
The BLM approved a decision to complete a land exchange to acquire 566 acres of critical watershed lands along Grass Valley Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, and transfer into private ownership approximately 216 acres of public lands near Redding along Salt Creek, often locally called "Area 51."

RELATED: "Shasta greenbelt preservationists must look ahead" (Redding Record Searchlight, 4/30/06)
Editorial: "Neighbors and mountain bikers fighting the Bureau of Land Management's swap of a piece of Shasta-area property known as 'Area 51' are bitter about the BLM's decision, announced Wednesday, to move ahead with the deal. Before denouncing the agency, though, they ought to look at the broader picture.",2232,REDD_18098_4661046,00.html

RELATED: "BLM OKs Area 51 swap" (Redding Record Searchlight, 4/27/06)
"A public playground for hikers and mountain bikers tucked among subdivisions west of Redding will be swapped for salmon habitat in the Trinity River watershed unless last-ditch protests are successful.",2232,REDD_17533_4654408,00.html

"BLM imposes fire restrictions" (BLM California news release, 4/25/06)
The winter and spring wet weather has provided an abundance of grasses and brush leading the Bureau of Land Management to place precautionary fire restrictions on public land managed by the Hollister Field Office. No vehicles, campfires or open flames will be allowed on BLM lands in the Panoche, Griswold, Tumey, and Ciervo Hills.

"Northeast California draft land use plans available" (BLM California news release, 4/25/06)
The BLM has released for public review and comment draft resource management plans/environmental impact statements for nearly three million acres of public land in northeast California and extreme northwest Nevada. The plans affect lands managed by the BLM's Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise field offices in Alturas, Susanville and Cedarville.

"BLM Wins Award for California Coastal National Monument Plan" (News.bytes Extra, 5/1/06)
The Resource Management Plan developed by BLM to protect important biological and geological values within the California Coastal National Monument was honored by the California Association of Environmental Professionals with the award for Best Planning document. Read more.

"Cemex plans canyon mining by 2008 Santa Clarita continues fight despite project progression" (Los Angeles Daily News, 4/30/06)
"The Mexico-based Cemex conglomerate is moving forward on its sand and gravel mine planned in Soledad Canyon even as Santa Clarita officials continue their $6 million fight against it.... A smaller mine operated since the 1960s, but the property was put up for bid by the federal government as a result of its lawsuit against its operator. In 2000, the federal Bureau of Land Management awarded Transit Mixed Concrete Co. mining contracts for 20 years in return for $28 million in royalties; TMC was later bought by Cemex."

"Old Spanish National Historic Trail Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement" (BLM New Mexico website)
The Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service are seeking public input on a management plan for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. The trail route crosses six western states - New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California - and links some of the West's oldest communities from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. Meetings include Barstow May 9, Redlands May 10 and Los Angeles May 11.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include archaeologist (fire), contact representative, cartographic aid, outdoor recreation manager, and several firefighting jobs.

Ron Schiller of BLM's California Desert District Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Ron Schiller...
... works at the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake and represents the public-at-large on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council. Read more.

Profile: Jennifer MataEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Jennifer Mata
We bid farewell to Jennifer, who starts this week as the fire ecologist at the Jarbridge Field Office in Twin Falls, Idaho. She had been the regional fire botanist for Central California. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"BLM seeks public input on regulatory efforts to update linear rights-of-way rental payment schedule" (BLM national news release, 4/27/06)
The BLM is seeking public input on proposed regulations relating to the fee schedule for linear rights-of-way (ROW) across public lands managed by the agency. The rental schedule enables the BLM to use a formula to calculate the annual fair market rental for more than 48,000 ROWs crossing public lands, including pipelines; systems for generation or transmission of electrical energy; roads; and other linear facilities.

"Federal land management agencies release joint strategy for reducing fuels on land at risk to catastrophic wildfire" (Department of the Interior/Department of Agriculture joint news release, 4/28/06)
The U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new joint strategy for addressing hazardous fuels to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires on more than 180 million acres of public forests, woodlands and rangelands.

"Deal-maker Kempthorne could find success in D.C." (Idaho Statesman, 4/30/06)
"...[S]tandard Kempthorne: Get people in a room and don't let them leave until they decide. Since his days as Boise mayor, such moments have brought Kempthorne's most meaningful successes....Now President Bush has asked Kempthorne to bring his problem-solving approach to Washington, D.C., as Interior secretary. Kempthorne's confirmation hearing is Thursday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee."

(d) lizards have eyelids.

"Anniella pulchra - The California Legless Lizard" (Moss Landing Marine Laboratories website)
"Also unlike most snakes, many lizards, this one included, have the ability to purposely detach their tails to trick predators." Includes general information and references.

RELATED: "California legless lizard" (Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan)
A roundup of information and a list of literature used to obtain it.

RELATED: "Anniella pulchra" (CalPhotos online database)
Several photos of legless lizards. Please note and follow the usage guidelines provided with each image.

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, Ca 95825
(916) 978-4600

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