A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 234 - 6/6/06

Diane Fairchild Beck, BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council Common crupine - Weed of the Week Larry Vredenburgh: employee profile of the week A student gets tips on throwing the atlatl - a primitive hunting weapon Lion Rock, one of four involved in the donation

- Not for educators only:
      - Antiquities Act turns 100: video, stories
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: What am I?
      - Weed of the week
- Recreation issues: River danger, OHV grant applications
- Headlines and highlights: Coastal donation, bat gates, jobs, more
- Meet your advisory council members
- Profile
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: First days on the job

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:



"Antiquities Act 100th anniversary celebration"
View the second installment of "Beyond the brochure" -- offering short video presentations of some of the sites managed by the Bureau of Land Management in California.

"100 years of historic preservation to be celebrated during the 2006 Antiquities Act centennial" (BLM national news release, 6/1/06)
One hundred years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt signed “An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities,” a landmark piece of legislation that for the first time protected the vast expanse of cultural resources on America’s Public Lands. Federal land management agencies and the preservation community are celebrating the benefits from this Act, including laws protecting cultural, historical and paleontological resources, and sites as diverse as ghost towns, Indian settlements and internationally significant fossil quarries.

A student gets tips on throwing the atlatl - a primitive hunting weapon"Fish Slough archaeology" (News.bytes Extra)
Fish Slough is an outstanding place to see archaeology in the Owens Valley -- a wonderful classroom easily accessible for outdoor education. BLM Bishop Field Office archaeologist Kirk Halford, in partnership with the public school system and other scientists, has created a program that each year brings all the valley’s fourth graders to Fish Slough to learn about the past through hands on experience.

RELATED: "Hands on the Land - site profiles"
Hands on the Land provides a national network of field classrooms to enhance kindergarten through high school student-learning. Click on the map or follow other links on the page, to learn more about BLM and other member sites in California (and across the U.S.)

"The Inland Empire's lost world" (San Bernardino County Sun, 6/1/06)
"The Victor Valley is one of several locations in San Bernardino and Riverside counties where paleontologists have found mammoth tusks and bones, and those of other prehistoric creatures....On display at Barstow's Discovery Center...are casts of tracks of camels, horses, an elephant and a rhinoceros from the Miocene epoch, 10 million to 20 million years ago."

RELATED: "Desert Discovery Center"
"The Desert Discovery Center is comprised of a unique partnership between the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Barstow Unified School District, Barstow Community College, Mojave River Valley Museum, City of Barstow, and Discovery Trails non-profit organization. The mission of the DDC is to develop and implement a comprehensive formal and informal education center with programs focusing on the natural, cultural, and historic resources associated with the Mojave Desert."

WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I know you are, but what am I?...
What on earth is a Spadefoot?
(a) a bird
(b) a weasel
(c) a frog
(d) a toad
(e) an angler who digs worms to use for bait
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Common crupine - Weed of the WeekWEED OF THE WEEK: Common crupine, or bearded creeper... a native of southern Europe. In California, it produces many seeds, creating dense patches, that quickly invade native plant communities.


"BLM off-highway vehicle grant public workshop scheduled" (BLM California news release, 6/5/06)
BLM's Hollister Field Office has scheduled a workshop to provide information and solicit public comments on applications for off-highway vehicle grant funding. BLM staff will handout copies of a draft application package and discuss the application process with the public on Saturday, June 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"BLM to hold OHV open house meeting in Bishop" (BLM California news release, 6/5/06)
An open house has been scheduled to provide copies of the draft off-highway vehicle grant applications to the public on June 22, 2006, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Representatives from the BLM will be present to provide an overview of the grant proposals and will be available to answer questions, provide information and solicit public comments on applications for off-highway vehicle grants for 2007.

"Swift, seductive - and deadly" (Los Angeles Times, 6/5/06)
"One of the fastest-flowing rivers in the West, the Kern has been a lethal attraction for decades." A recently-installed roadside sign - "234 lives lost since 1968" - is already outdated. "Authorities say guided outings amid the deafening rapids seldom lead to trouble. They worry, though, about the seductive stretches downstream, where powerful currents can drag waders, swimmers and fun-seekers below a seemingly placid surface."
(Free registration required.),1,7037642.story

RELATED: "Keyesville Special Management Area - recreation" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
By far the most dramatic natural feature of this 7,133-acre parcel is an approximately 3.5-mile stretch of the Lower Kern River Gorge. This white-water river attracts about 12,000 commercial and non-commercial rafters each year. Gold panning and fishing are also popular -- but be careful, the rocks along the river were polished smooth by spring floods before the Lake Isabella dam was built and the river current can be swift and dangerous.


Lion Rock, one of four involved in the donation"BLM accepts transfer of Piedras Blancas coastal outcropping"(BLM California news release, 6/1/06)
The striking white rocks off the coast of San Simeon that once served as a guidepost for sea-faring vessels were donated by the Hearst Corporation to the Bureau of Land Management last month, furthering the agency’s efforts to protect the unique natural resources and scenic values of California’s coastline through the California Coastal National Monument.

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas coastal outcropping" (BLM California website)
Photos of the rock outcroppings donated to BLM.

"Agencies will open fire season Monday, June 12" (BLM California news release, 6/6/06)
The onset of summer weather conditions has prompted officials at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center to declare the wildfire season officially open Monday, June 12. The "official" fire season announcement informs people that high fire dangers exist and that caution with outdoor uses of fire is required.

"Bat gate-building workshop" (News.bytes Extra)
Participants in the workshop learned how to build bat-friendly gates to make abandoned mines safer -- while still allowing access to bats. Twenty students took part in the weeklong workshop.

"Honey Lake water plan takes shape" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 6/1/06)
"Winning approval to cross federal lands...was the last major hurdle in building a water pipeline from Honey Lake Basin to serve up to 16,000 new homes in the North Valleys. Construction of the 28-mile pipeline would bring 8,000 acre-feet of water a year from the Fish Springs Ranch near Susanville to the hills east of Reno-Stead Airport....The pipeline will follow the Tuscarora gas pipeline and the Alturas power line across U.S. Bureau of Land Management land."

"S 2567 IS - Eastern Sierra Rural Heritage and Economic Enhancement Act (Introduced in Senate)" (Library of Congress website)
"To maintain the rural heritage of the Eastern Sierra and enhance the region's tourism economy by designating certain public lands as wilderness and certain rivers as wild and scenic rivers in the State of California, and for other purposes." This legislation would designate four sections, covering almost 24 miles of BLM -administered public lands along the Amargosa River, as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

"Horses, burros available for adoption in Auburn" (BLM California news release, 6/6/06)
Young, healthy wild horses and burros from public ranges will be looking for new homes, when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption June 24 and 25 in Auburn. The BLM will offer 65 horses ranging in age from under 2 to about 5 years old along with 10 burros.

"BLM meeting on Davis Mill tailings clean-up" (BLM California news release, 6/5/06)
A BLM-sponsored community meeting to discuss the clean-up of arsenic and mercury-bearing tailings at the site of an old mine and mill about three miles north of Nevada City will be held Monday, June 19, 2006, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm . Persons with an interest in abandoned mines in the Nevada City area are invited to attend.

"BLM plans prescribed burns in Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California news release, 6/5/06)
Three prescribed fires are planned for the coming days within the Cache Creek Natural Area, near the junction of state highways 16 and 20. Three burns are planned, to help control the spread of yellow starthistle. Burning will occur only on days when weather conditions and other factors allow for safe and successful burning.

"Hottest technology deployed in fight against wildfires" (USA Today, 6/4/06)
"As firefighters brace for the worst wildfire season in six years, they're hoping satellites and digital technology will keep them ahead of the blazes....One team in Moreno Valley, Calif., has been using handheld personal digital assistants in the field and satellite-linked computers in their fire engines since spring to fight fires for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include administrative technician, dispatcher, rangeland management specialist and several firefighting jobs.

"Notice of intent to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for proposed wind energy project in Coachella Valley" (Federal Register notice, 6/5/06)
The EIS/EIR will describe and analyze alternatives for a proposed wind energy generating facility on approximately 600 acres in the Whitewater floodplain in the Coachella Valley, Riverside County, California.

"Public comment periods" (BLM California website)
Nine comment periods are currently open, with various comment periods ending from June 9 to July 27.

Diane Fairchild Beck, BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Diane Fairchild Beck...
...represents national and regional environmental interests on BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council. Read more.

Larry Vredenburgh: employee profile of the weekEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Larry Vredenburgh
In his earliest days working for BLM, Larry "stumbled on an 1880's era ghost town that had not been documented - it was not in any 'Ghost Town' book." He is now a geologist and GIS coordinator with BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"The Interior Department's 'relief pitcher'" (Washington Post, 6/1/06)
"On his first day on the secretary of the interior, Dirk Kempthorne found out he is already a defendant in thousands of lawsuits, give or take a few. Interior's deputy solicitor, David L. Bernhardt, tried to break the news gently, noting that Kempthorne's name was simply replacing that of his predecessor, Gale A. Norton. And in some cases he's not formally named, or the Justice Department is taking the lead."
(Free registration required.)

RELATED: "Kempthorne unveils his agenda" (Idaho Statesman, 5/31/06)
"Kempthorne replaces Gale Norton, interior secretary since 2001, with just 21/2 years before President Bush leaves office. He will face big-league hitters on environmental, energy, recreation and Indian policy. 'I've been brought into the seventh inning as a relief pitcher, and I know I have 30 months to get things done,' Kempthorne said in a telephone interview from Washington."

RELATED: "New Interior chief discusses woes, solutions" (Arizona Republic, 6/2/06)
"There is a lot on his plate, including uncertainty over Western droughts, national energy concerns and the legal fallout of a lobbying scandal with ties to the Interior Department....Kempthorne, 59, a former U.S. senator, said he'll work to develop priorities. Here are some of the topics he discussed Thursday with reporters...."

(d) a toad

RELATED: "Spea hammondii, Western Spadefoot Toad" (US. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center)
Information and two photos.

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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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