A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 245 - 8/23/06

 Tree-of-heaven - weed of the week A vista in the Domeland Wilderness Sketch of Calliope hummingbird in flight Agents burn bundles of marijuana plants Diane Simpson - employee profile

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Marijuana on public lands: Record year
- Wildfires, prevention and aftermath
- Headlines and highlights: Oil and gas leases, jobs, vandalism, more
- Employee profile
- National and/or Department of the Interior items

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


Sketch of Calliope hummingbird in flight

How small is the Calliope Hummingbird?
a. as small as a bumble bee
b. they are the smallest bird species found north of Mexico
c. at about 3 inches long, each one weighs less than a penny
d. actually the Calliope is the largest hummingbird species in North America, and almost as large as a crow

e. two of the above items are true
f. not as small as a telephone help desk technician's heart
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Tree-of-heaven - weed of the weekWEED OF THE WEEK: Tree-of-heaven... a fast-growing plant, native to China. It thrives even in poor soils and can grow 35 to 65 feet tall. It can be found in disturbed, moist locations such as along roads and at old placer mining operations, as well as in riparian woodlands.

RELATED: "Least-wanted: Tree-of-Heaven" (Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group)
Important identification tips, management options and more information.


"Record year for marijuana eradication" (Sonora Union Democrat, 8/21/06)
"Calaveras and Tuolumne narcotics officers are this year on track to pull record numbers of marijuana plants from public lands. Tuolumne County agents have already destroyed 47,854 plants this year, well ahead of the 36,285 they pulled up and burned in 2005. Narcotics officers often get help from U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service law enforcement officers."

"COMMET finding lots more pot this year" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 8/22/06)
"In operations in and around the Covelo Valley last week the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team discovered 34 illegal marijuana gardens and eradicated 22,703 plants. The raids were conducted on private property, tribal land and on federal property overseen by the Bureau of Land Management....Last week's raids brought marijuana seizures in the county to 181,370 plants. That number is more than twice the 76,490 plants seized in 2005."

Agents burn bundles of marijuana plants"$20 million of pot seized in CC Canyon" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 8/19/06)
"Nearly $20 million in marijuana plants went up in smoke...following a raid by Yolo County narcotics officers in the Cache Creek area....around 4,700 nearly mature plants were seized in the third operation of the season from Bureau of Land Management property....Thus far during this growing season, said officials, the number of pot plants - and their dollar value - exceeds the total of the previous four years...."

"Law enforcement officials team up to cut pot growth" (Roseville Press Tribune, 08/21/06)
"Recent marijuana raid puts weed problem in perspective....Trekking up steep hills covered in buck brush, poison oak and other foliage, Bureau of Land Management Special Agent Ray LeLoup pointed out the main campsite and cooking area, fashioned from nearby brush and a blue tarp." Said one agent: "We haven't found gardens of this size so close to Sacramento or residential houses."


"Desert fires' damage will last" (Los Angeles Times, 8/21/06)
The Sawtooth Fire "was one of half a dozen fast-moving fires this summer that burned 65,000 acres of the Mojave Desert....It will take centuries for plant life to recover. Many experts say invasive vegetation is largely to blame....a former biology teacher who is now a researcher and firefighter, was asked by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to evaluate the role of vegetation in the Sawtooth fire." He expects that "a blanket of dried nonnative grasses" will cover desert areas next year.
(Free registration required.),1,1200347.story

Getting the Word Out about Fire!  (News.bytes Extra)
Last winter, BLM fuels staff and volunteers re-built a dilapidated, old bus stop in Southern California, and included a bulletin board for easy access by fire personnel to post up-to-date fire and prevention messages. The location of the bus stop, next to the community bulletin board, is also near the community's mail boxes. Everyone has easy access to information affecting the community, such as information about local fires, area closures, prescribed burns, and other FIREWISE practices.

"New fire plan set to help address safety concerns" (Eureka Times-Standard, 08/17/06)
"A new plan, long in the works, to help protect communities in Humboldt County from the risk of fire was approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. 'In order for us to be competitive, it's imperative that we have our projects ... listed within a Wildfire Protection Plan,' said Tim Jones of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."

"Current wildland fire information"(National Interagency Fire Center)
Updated daily during the wildfire season.


"Federal officials refuse to restrict off-road use" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/21/06)
At the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, managed by BLM: "In the latest wrangling over the Southern California desert's most popular off-roading area, federal wildlife officials decided against protecting 16 insects that live among the wind-carved dunes. Environmental groups said Monday they likely would challenge the decision, and riding enthusiasts said they were relieved."

"Cronan Ranch draft plan available for comment" (BLM California news release, 8/18/06)
The Cronan Ranch, a 1,400-acre tract situated between the South Fork American River and state Highway 49, was acquired in 2005 by the BLM and opened to public recreational use . There will be an informal, open house on August 26 in Lotus where you can speak with a BLM staff member to present your opinions and suggestions.The 30-day public comment period will end September 20.

"Rediscovering Mother Nature's gifts in high country adventure" (Lake Isabella Kern Valley Sun, 08/21/06)
"The Kiavah Wilderness covers 88,290 acres in the Scodie Mountains, on lands managed by both the Sequoia National Forest and Bureau of Land Management. This wilderness includes eroded hills, canyons, and bajadas in the transition zone between the Mojave Desert and the Sierra Nevada. The Pacific Crest trail runs the length of the Kiavah Wilderness."

A vista in the Domeland WildernessRELATED: BLM Websites
Giant Sequoias
Domeland Wilderness
Kiavah Wilderness

"Local jewel in Cache Creek Canyon" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 8/20/06)
"Just up State Highway 16, an hour outside Woodland, you'll find the jewel of the Yolo County Park system - Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park....As a whole, the 700-acre park offers opportunities for picnicking, nature study, fishing...hiking and horseback riding trails, river recreation and camping. The lower site provides entree to 54,000 acres of Federal Bureau of Land Management land, which includes the Blue Ridge Trail network. Park officials hope someday to build a footbridge across the creek providing access to many additional acres of public land."

RELATED: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office website)
This secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral is a combination of over 70,000 acres of BLM managed lands and 4,700 acres of State and County lands.  The Natural Area is traversed by Cache Creek, with its year-round water flow.


"Kern land to open for drilling" (The Bakersfield Californian, 08/15/06)
On Sept. 13., the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will auction off oil and gas leases in the former Naval Petroleum Reserve-2 (NPR-2). The leases are on five parcels of land covering 2,533 acres, according to the bureau. The highest bidders can then apply for permits to drill.

"BLM notices increase in vandalism on public lands" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 08/17/06)
"An increase in vandalism on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management has led the agency to authorize reward money for information resulting in the identification and prosecution of suspects....The Trona Pinnacles, east of Ridgecrest, were recently the site of vandalism."

RELATED: "Our view: Vandalism of public lands must be controlled" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 08/17/06)
Editorial: " If you're out enjoying the desert scenery and notice vandalism, report it as soon as possible. It's important that we help the BLM maintain our lands."

RELATED: "Trona Pinnacles" (BLM Website)
A visit to the Trona Pinnacles is a journey into one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert.|

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include archaeologist, dispatcher, secretary, realty specialist, student trainees, and more.

"Cal Poly High Desert?: Four-year university plan gaining momentum" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 8/20/06)
One part of the process is finding vacant land. Kern County supervisor "said the Bureau of Land Management has classified thousands of acres to be excess. 'They’re very attentive toward setting aside some of those for educational purposes.' "

Diane Simpson - employee profileEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Diane Simpson ... out of BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. New to the BLM, Diane enjoys the diverse nature the Bakersfield office affords with opportunities to be involved with projects at Keyesville, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Piedras Blancas Lightstation, and many others. 
Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


Ridgecrest Steering Committee meeting, August 24
The public is invited to attend this information-sharing meeting discussing what BLM is doing with land use planning, recreation, wild horse and burros, and more.

Modoc-Washoe Stewardship Group, Aug. 24-25 (BLM California news release)
A variety of natural resource topics will be discussed when the Modoc-Washoe Experimental Stewardship Program Steering Committee holds a meeting and field tour, Thursday and Friday, Aug. 24 and 25, in Cedarville.

Santa Rosa/San Jacinto Monument Advisory Committee meeting, September 9
Advisory meeting begin at 9:00 am, public comment period is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am.  All meetings are open to the public.


"New chief of BLM office for Utah takes over" (Utah Desert News, 08/21/06)
"Selma Sierra will take over as director of the Utah state office for the Bureau of Land Management, the agency told the Deseret Morning News on Sunday. Sierra will replace Henri Bisson, who has been the acting director since former director Sally Wisely went to the Colorado office a year ago. The Utah BLM office manages almost 23 million acres of public land and 35.2 million acres of subsurface mineral real estate....",1249,645194882,00.html

e. two of the above items are true:
b. they are the smallest bird species found north of Mexico, and
c. At about 3 inches long, each one weighs less than a penny.

RELATED: "Calliope hummingbird, Stellula calliope" (U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter)
Includes identification tips and two photos of an adult male.

"Hooray for hummingbirds!" (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Project WILD)
"An activity newsletter for kids" but includes interesting information for anyone, such as "The calliope hummingbird is the smallest bird that breeds in North America. It only measures about 3 inches long and weighs only 1/10 of an ounce (that’s less than a penny)." The site is designed for "pre-K through 12th grade educators and other youth group leaders."
PDF file, three pages, 1.6 megabytes:

"Calliope Hummingbird Stellula calliope"
Includes information on habitat requirements, life history, distribution and more.
PDF file, two pages, 13 kilobytes.

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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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