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

Issue 242 - 8/1/06

   Wed of the Week: French broom Coast-horned lizard - wildlife trivia question of the week Chappie-Shasta OHV Guide BLM person consults with OHV family har Antuzzi saddles up her mustang, Sir Galahad, adopted from the BLM

THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Funny.bytes: Milt and Sandy
- Free offer: Chappie-Shasta off-highway vehicle guide
- Wildfires
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Energy: Oil, gas, electric lines
- Headlines and highlights: Wild horses, coast, Carrizo, Coachella, jobs, more
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Listening session in Redding

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
http://www.ca.blm.gov/news/newsbytes/2006/242.html


BLM person consults with OHV familyFUNNY.BYTES: Milt and Sandy
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.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/media/flash/fb/miltandsandy.html


Chappie-Shasta OHV GuideFREE OFFER
"Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Guide"
A guide and map of the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area managed by BLM's Redding Field Office. Other popular uses include hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, target shooting, and sight-seeing. Includes keys to "vehicle recommendation" and "level of difficulty" markers, camping and staging areas, trail riding and safety tips and more. While supplies last.
http://www6.ca.blm.gov/forms/offers/index.php?issueReq=242

RELATED: "Off-highway vehicle areas" (BLM California)
Numerous opportunities for off-highway vehicle recreation exist on BLM managed lands in California. Miles of trails and open areas await all types of OHV enthusiasts.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/caso/ohv.html

RELATED: "Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM California, Redding Field Office)
Ten miles northwest of Redding, the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway area offers 200 miles of roads and trails over 52,000 acres for off-road enthusiasts. Elevation ranges from 600 to 5000 feet with a wide variety of topography, soil, and vegetation types. The southeastern portions offer rocky and challenging terrain, while the more remote northwestern portions offer scenic views of Mt. Shasta, Lake Shasta, and the Trinity Alps.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/redding/reddingrecreationohvmain.html



WILDFIRES

"Firefighters contain blazes" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/1/06)
"Fires continue to burn throughout Northern California, but firefighters are attacking them, securing fire lines and containing some blazes...."
http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_local/article/0,2232,REDD_17533_4885214,00.html

RELATED: "Feds call reinforcements for wildfires" (Associated Press on ABC News, 8/1/06)
"Federal land management agencies are being asked to make more employees available to fight wildfires because crews and equipment have been stretched to the limit by nearly 60 major blazes around the West. For the first time since 2003, the National Interagency Fire Center over the weekend raised its response status to the highest threat level, a move triggered when nearly all available crews and firefighting resources are committed." BLM is a NIFC cooperating agency.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/Weather/wireStory?id=2259320

RELATED: "Current wildland fire information" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Updated daily during the wildfire season. Several fires had been burning across thousands of acres of Northern California this week.
http://www.nifc.gov/information.html

"BLM Snapshots" (BLM Office of Fire and Aviation)
Fire prevention news: California stories include fire fuels reduction project in Lone Pine, Inyo and Mono counties launch community wildfire protection plans and hazard fuels reduction reveals archaeological site on the California Coast - at the Coast Dairies site.
(PDF file, 1.95 megabytes)
http://www.fire.blm.gov/textdocuments/7-28-06.pdf

Susanville fuel break will save property and improve forest health" (Fire Safe Council Times, July 2006)
"Residents in the Susanville area who have felt menaced by recent forest fires can take heart. Plans set by the Lassen County Fire Safe Council to create a firebreak around the populated areas near Susanville will soon be realized...." The project involves "County Supervisors, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service and the Lassen County RAC." A public planning meeting is Aug. 7.
PDF file, 785 kilobytes:
http://www.firesafecouncil.org/news/attachments/LassenFSCFire_Safe_Times_Susanville_Fuelbreak166.pdf

"Fire restrictions begin Aug. 1 on area public lands" (BLM California news release, 7/10/06)
The restrictions are for all areas of the Lassen National Forest and on BLM-managed areas of Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta, Siskiyou and Washoe counties. (Repeated from earlier News.bytes.)
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/2006/07/nr/sifc_fire_resrtictions_july06.html

"Post-fire work reports faulted" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/1/06)
"After they extinguish wildfires, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management do an inadequate job of tracking and reporting how much rehabilitation and restoration work is done, a government watchdog agency says.... Wildfires can kill trees, destroy roads and campgrounds, and leave charred hillsides vulnerable to mudslides. When federal officials believe the land is unlikely to recover on its own, they can conduct rehabilitation or restoration work to accelerate recovery."
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_gao01.1c74b1e.html

RELATED: "Forest Service and BLM could benefit from improved information on status of needed work"
Highlights of report - PDF file, one page:
http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d06670high.pdf
Full report - PDF file, 48 pages.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06670.pdf



NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:

Coast-horned lizard - wildlife trivia question of the week

WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
What defense mechanisms does the Coast-horned lizard have?
(a) camouflage
(b) hissing and biting
(c) both of the above
(d) raise the blood pressure in their sinuses and shoot blood from their eyes
(e) inflate their body so that they are harder to swallow
(f) all of the above
(g) a top-notch health insurance plan
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


Wed of the Week: French broomWEED OF THE WEEK: French broom...
....can often be found on mountain slopes and disturbed places such as river banks, road cuts and forest clear-cuts, but can colonize grassland and open canopy forests. Can grow well on alkaline soils with a high pH, as well as on soils that are low in fertility.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/redding/weeds/FrenchBroom.html

RELATED: "Noxious Weed Index: brooms" (State of California Encycloweedia)
"Scotch and French broom often form dense stands that displace native vegetation and wildlife. Infestations in forested areas increase fire hazard and on rangeland, diminish usability. Flowers and seeds of brooms contain quinolizidine alkaloids and can be toxic to humans and livestock when ingested."
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/ipc/weedinfo/brooms.htm

RELATED: "Weed whackers: County agriculture officials put hit on pesky plants" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/22/06)
"To find where noxious weeds have become infested, county officials often rely on the public to spot the plants. Some of the plants, like French broom, look pretty.... Noxious weeds aren't native to the north state's ecosystems and will crowd out other plants....If people spot a plant that seems to be pushing out others, they should check to see if it is a noxious weed."
http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_local/article/0,2232,REDD_17533_4863262,00.html



ENERGY

"BLM offers oil and gas leases in former NPR-2"
On September 13, the Bureau of Land Management will auction oil and gas leases in the former Naval Petroleum Reserve-2, the first time such leases have been offered in more than 80 years. Oil and gas leases will be offered at the auction in Bakersfield on five parcels of land covering approximately 2,533 acres in Kern County in the Buena Vista oil fields.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/2006/08/nr/CCNews62_sept_oilgas_auction.html

"Draft environmental impact statement for proposed electric transmission line available for public review" (BLM California news release, 7/27/06)
The public has until August 11, 2006 to review and comment on the draft EIS. Southern California Edison is proposing a new 230-mile long, 500-kilovolt electrical transmission line between its Devers substation near Palm Springs and the Harquahala generating station switchyard, near the Palo Verde nuclear generating station west of Phoenix. In addition, SCE is proposing to upgrade 48.2 miles of existing transmission lines between the Devers substation west to the San Bernardino vicinity.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/2006/07/nr/CDDNews87_Devers_Powerline_DEIS.html

"Report finds Powerlink viable, but its foes speak out" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25/06)
"SDG&E's plan to build a $1.4 billion, 120-mile mega-power line from the Imperial Valley to North County is economically justified and needed to meet the demand for electricity in the region, a report prepared by analysts with the California Independent System Operator has concluded. The finding was presented...at a public meeting... attended by more than 100 people, most of whom are opposed to the Sunrise Powerlink proposal." Parts of the route would require rights-of-way permits from the BLM.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060725/news_1m25link.html

RELATED: "Power line called threat to river park" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25/06)
"San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line would ruin a largely unspoiled area of waterfalls, oak forests and granite gorges that crowns a river park and trail system being developed between the ocean and Julian, the head of a conservation group said Tuesday. As a result, the nonprofit group working to develop the San Dieguito River Park and the associated 55-mile Coast to Crest Trail is lobbying SDG&E to shift part of its 'preferred route' through the San Diego County mountains...."
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/07/26/news/top_stories/11_04_247_25_06.txt

RELATED: "Plant upgrade could produce 340 megawatts of irony" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/26/06)
Critics say San Diego Gas & Electric does not want to give local power producer a contract for electricity from a proposed expansion. Others says the San Diego area needs both local power and the proposed Sunrise Powerlink.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060726/news_1mi26encina.html



HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS

"BLM to gather wild horses in Northeast California, Northwest Nevada" (BLM California news release, 7/28/06)
Crews will focus on the 800,000-acre Twin Peaks Herd Management Area that straddles the California-Nevada border north of Susanville. The BLM said about 1,000 wild horses and several mules will be removed to bring the herd population to within its appropriate management level that ranges between 448 and 758 horses.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/2006/07/nr/NCNews81_whb_gather_july06.html

har Antuzzi saddles up her mustang, Sir Galahad, adopted from the BLM"Tevis -- an Arabian day and night; Mustangs, mules, cross breeds also compete in 100-mile trek" (Auburn Journal, 8/1/06)
"Part three in a series leading up to the 52nd annual Tevis Cup ride, Aug. 5." Says one rider: "I'm looking for a horse that can handle rocks and difficult trail. You don't want a horse that's stumbling all the time.' Char Antuzzi does not have any trouble with her horse stumbling over rocks. She rides a mustang named Sir Galahad, who was rounded up with other wild mustangs by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
http://www.auburnjournal.com/articles/2006/08/01/news/top_stories/03tevis1.txt

"Miles of coast given to state for public use; 7 beaches north of Santa Cruz provided by nonprofit trust" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/28/06)
"One of Northern California's largest parcels of privately owned coastline -- 5 miles of rocky shoreline north of Santa Cruz -- is being given to the state in what conservationists call the biggest expansion of the region's public beaches in a generation.....Coast Dairies Ranch...is seven times larger than Golden Gate Park, and its acquisition ensures public access to a nearly uninterrupted 13-mile stretch of coastline....The state parks department takes control of 407 acres west of Highway 1 at the end of August. The land trust will give 5,701 acres east of the highway to the federal Bureau of Land Management by year's end."
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/07/28/MNG2RK79S41.DTL

"Wilderness areas on the verge of a big boost" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/30/06)
Columnist: "The most significant wilderness bill in 10 years would protect 237,000 acres in 13 areas across Northern California...."
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/07/30/SPGHHK7T411.DTL

"Carrizo Plain National Monument planning to resume" (BLM California news release, 7/28/06)
With the recent appointment of the new Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is ready to resume work with the public on a draft resource management plan to guide the monument's future, according to BLM State Director Mike Pool. The committee, a nine-member panel appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, will advise BLM on development of the plan.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/news/2006/07/nr/SONews11_CarrizoPlanResumes_072606.html

"New life for Carrizo Plain plan a year after suicide" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 7/28/06)
"These public lands, on the border between Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, are the last big patch of wild grasslands left in California and the home of the largest concentration of endangered species in the state."
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispotribune/15142595.htm

"Off-road vehicle use to retrieve big game one issue in resource management" (Lassen County News, 8/1/06)
"Big game retrieval with OHVs was just one issue included in the Lassen County Board of Supervisors comments on the Bureau of Land Management's resource management plans and environmental impact statements for nearly three million acres of public land in northeast California and extreme northwest Nevada."
http://www.lassennews.com/News_Story.edi?sid=3440&mode=thread&order=0

RELATED: "Land use planning" (BLM California website)
Includes links to the draft plans for lands managed BLM California's Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise field offices.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/pa/planning/landuseplanning.html

"No arrests yet in pot bust" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 7/31/06)
"The raid that bagged a near-record quantity of marijuana plants in western Colusa County is unlikely to produce arrests anytime soon, the Sheriff's Department reported....Colusa and Glenn County deputies partnered in the monthlong investigation with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which controls most of the land where the marijuana was grown."
http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/2006/07/29/news/local_news/news5.txt

"Habitat plan back on track" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/1/06)
"Regional leaders in the desert on Monday revived a proposal to preserve habitat for 27 species of plants and animals by striking a deal with wildlife regulators.... The extension of the lizard deal to August 2007 is important because it buys time for planners to rework the broader, 27-species proposal that fell apart when the Desert Hot Springs City Council decided it didn't want to participate." BLM is a partner in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060801/NEWS07/608010327

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include student trainee in several fields, dispatcher and firefighting jobs.
http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9blm-ca.asp



NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS

"Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, EPA, Council on Environmental Quality announce first eight listening sessions on Cooperative Conservation" (Department of the Interior news release, 7/31/06)
The listening sessions will give citizens an opportunity to exchange ideas on incentives, partnership programs, and regulations that can improve results and promote cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships. One session is scheduled for Redding, California on Sept. 13.
http://www.doi.gov/news/06_News_Releases/060731.html

"How the West was sold" (Los Angeles Times, 7/31/06)
Editorial: "Not every iota of federally owned land is an environmental treasure crying out for protection. Some portions would be better sold for private development. That's especially true within the vast Western holdings of the Bureau of Land Management ....There's nothing wrong with the federal government helping long-pressed areas build public projects. But converting federal resources into local windfalls, at the expense of taxpayers nationwide, is a way to squander money while carving up protected land."
(Free registration required.)
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-ed-west31jul31,1,1973316.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california



WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer
(f) all of the above. Coast horned lizards use camouflage to escape predators. If discovered, they will open their mouth and make a threatening hissing noise. If that does not deter the predator, they will resort to biting. If the predator still persists, these lizards have the ability to spray blood from the corners of their eyes. If all else fails, coast horned lizards are also able to inflate their bodies to a large size, making it difficult or impossible for many predators to swallow them. Despite these unique defense tactics, coast horned lizards are still preyed upon by leopard lizards, snakes, and hawks.

RELATED: "Phrynosoma coronatum - Coast Horned Lizard" (U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center)
Description, plus three photos.
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/fieldguide/phco.htm

"Some like it hot: a look at the coast horned lizard" (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
"Picture this: As the late morning sun warms the ground, a prehistoric creature slowly crawls out of his underground lair to bask in the sun. He is fearsome looking and well armed against attack, his body and tail covered in spiny scales, and he sports a large crown composed of six or seven reddish horns projecting devilishly from the back of his head." PDF file, one page with photos, 1 megabyte:
http://www-envirinfo.llnl.gov/wildside_lizards.pdf

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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http://www.blm.gov/ca/

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