A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 267 - 2/6/07
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Free offer: San Joaquin River Gorge brochure
- Retry: Planning brochure offer
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Weed feature
- Carrizo Plain National Monument
- Wildfire: Current danger, prevention
- Neighbors propose plans for BLM lands
- Klamath dams
- Mineshaft hazards
- Oil spill
- Sunrise Powerlink
- Headlines and highlights: Team Service awards, wild mustangs and burros offered, river hosts, jobs, more
- Meet your advisory council members
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Energy, habitat, efficiency in proposed budget
- Selected upcoming events
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER GORGE
"San Joaquin River Gorge has just about everything" (Fresno Bee, 2/1/07)
"Despite the San Joaquin's reputation as a working river, one that
provides hydroelectricity, it can also be enjoyed. Along the river
between the mountains and Millerton Lake, there is a wealth of hiking,
mountain biking, fishing and hunting opportunities."
(Free registration may be required.)
FREE OFFER: "San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area" brochure
This foldout brochure includes photos, information on recreation, contact information for partners and a 24x22-inch map.
"San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office website)
Hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders who use the San Joaquin River Gorge trails will have access to several thousand acres of public land. The trail head is located in Fresno County and leads to BLM's trail bridge which crosses the San Joaquin River. It may be used by hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders. The Madera County side contains the Pa'san Ridge Trail and the Wuh-ki'o Trail, for a combined trail distance of ten miles.
REPEAT OFFER - PLANNING BROCHURE
Due to a technical error -- OK, editor's error -- last week's brochure offer automatically shut down after the first 100 requests. We have more available -- so if you were not able to request this brochure last week, here is your chance again:
"Resource Management Plans for California's Public Lands" is a handy 11-page summary, with locator maps, of public lands in California where management plans are being completed or overhauled. Request your copy online at the following link, free while they last (and there are more this time):
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
| Thumbnail from a photo © 2004 Henk Wallays, under Fair Use provisions from CalPhotos database
WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
How does the Rough-skinned Newt escape most predation?
(a.) they usually hide in the forest canopy and extremely secretive
(b.) they are incredibly fast climbers
(c.) they have poisonous skin secretions
(d.) their rough skin resembles the rough surface of rocks that they hide among
(e.) the excessive amounts of cheap moisturizer they use leaves their skin very slippery
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
"Regional noxious weed expert honored" (Newport, Ore. News-Times, 1/31/07)
From our BLM neighbor to the north: "Longtime range conservationist and district manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon (retired), Jerry Asher of Lincoln City, was honored for battling noxious weeds in Oregon....Asher worked with the BLM throughout the west for 40 years; he continues to update his information and give weed presentations as a BLM volunteer. Asher is passionate about saving lands degraded by weeds and says the current invasion by thousands of species constitutes an emergency."
CARRIZO PLAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT
"Fame for Carrizo Plain" (Midway Driller, 2/2/07)
"The Carrizo Plains National Monument, once a nearly unknown section of Central California, may become known worldwide if the Wilderness Society gets its way. The conservation organization wants the United Nations to declare the nature preserve west of Taft a World Heritage Site. Only 830 sites worldwide have received that designation through UNESCO, an arm of the UN, and there are only two other World Heritage Sites in California - Yosemite National Park and the Redwood National Parks."
"Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office web pages)
"Carrizo Plain National Monument management plan moving forward" (News.bytes Extra)
With a re-appointed Monument Advisory Committee and a new environmental review process, BLM is developing a new management plan for the Carrizo Plain National Monument. About 30 members of the public attended a recent meeting. Although longstanding concerns about grazing were raised, increased visitation was also mentioned as an issue. Read more.
"Carrizo Plain National Monument: A 3D photographic tour featuring park geography" (U.S. Geological Survey)
Click the "thumbnail gallery" to preview all of the photos...
...or view the photos without the 3D imagery (the thumbnails on this page have the 3D imagery, but link to regular photos:
WILDFIRE: Current danger, future prevention
"Dry winter conditions cause wildfire concerns" (BLM California news release,
Warm and unusually dry conditions through the early months of winter in northern California are prompting fire officials to urge property owners and back country visitors to use extreme caution with fire. Over the past few weeks fire fighters have responded to several wildfires when private property debris-burning projects escaped control. Recent fires in northern Lassen County and eastern Plumas County each burned about 100 acres, which is highly unusual for this time of year.
"This is an El Nino? (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/2/07)
"Apart from this week's teasing drizzle, El Niño effects haven't materialized. The region, experts say, could be on pace for a record dry year....while there is a chance of above-average precipitation in the Inland area over the next 30 days, experts said the window for substantial rainfall is fast closing. 'Our chances tail off after March and, after April, it's pretty much over,' Bureau of Land Management meteorologist Tom Rolinski said. Some agencies have asked for emergency funding to keep seasonal firefighters on duty.
(Free registration may be required.)
"Snapshots" (BLM Office of Fire and Aviation, 2/2/07)
Wildfire prevention success stories from the western U.S. California items include:
- "Morongo Valley spared from wildfire; Good brush clearance practices save the day"
- "RFA program enhances protection capabilities of Lake City Volunteer Fire Department" and
- "BLM partners with remote California community."
"BLM firefighter returning Australian favor" (News.bytes Extra)
When firefighters in the American West were stretched thin last summer, more than 100 ground and aviation fire managers from Australia and New Zealand lent a hand. Now, American firefighters are returning the favor. Chris Ryan, a BLM Bakersfield Wildland Fire Support specialist is joining 106 other American firefighters to help fight fires in Australia.
NEIGHBORS PROPOSE PLANS FOR BLM LANDS
"Big plans for Ma-le'l Dunes, closed 12 years" (Eureka Times-Standard,
"The plan for the 444-acre Ma-le'l Dunes that runs north of Manila on the North Spit calls for a range of uses, from continuing horseback riding and dog walking in the southern portion to restricting those activities to focus more on nature observation on the northern segment....The plan would forge access agreements among BLM, Fish and Wildlife, the Redwood Gun Club -- which owns a central property -- the Wiyot Tribe, Sierra Pacific Industries and Friends of the Dunes."
"Highland City Council sets its 2-year priorities" (Redlands Daily Facts, 2/1/07)
"The most important issue for Highland, as decided by the council, is 'Plan B'....a multi-agency strategy to figure out how to govern the Santa Ana River wash area....Officials from Highland, Redlands, the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and U.S. Bureau of Land Management have worked on Plan B. Mining interests have also played a role in the work. The plan would set aside habitat for endangered species and specify which areas of the wash are best suitable for mining."
"Reopening pool gains new focus" (Los Angeles Daily News, 2/4/07)
"Restoring the community pool and getting federal land for a regional park are among the first steps being taken to implement a masterplan for parks and recreation in the community of Rosamond....District officials also are in discussions with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management about the possibility of acquiring 223 acres for a regional park. The BLM land is adjacent to 27acres the district already owns....Nature trails, some type of water feature and perhaps even a community museum are among concepts being considered for a park."
"Proposed trail is topic of review" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 2/3/07)
Paradise, CA: "A proposed 'recreational trail' that has long been a topic of discussion is about to become a subject for public review....For some time, a citizen's group has explored and encouraged the creation of a combined bicycle, equestrian and hiking trail, running roughly along the old railroad right-of-way....about one mile of the route is on U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management property and the rest is in private hands....the working plan was to have a dirt or gravel path, without pavement."
RELATED: "Lookout Point hot topic at meeting" (Paradise Point, 2/3/07)
"Eventually continuing the trail down to Chico along Skyway is part of both Chico and Paradise's general bike plans" leading to a regional bike trail system. A "trail advocate...said he had discussed the issue with officials from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Paradise Irrigation District....But until all the land for the proposed trail is obtained, there are no guarantees. Much of the land is owned by private citizens, which could make the land more difficult to obtain."
"Farmers, fishermen discuss differences over Klamath dams" (Newport, Ore. News-Times, 1/31/07)
"Farmers need irrigation water for their crops, and hydroelectric power to pump the water to their fields. Salmon fishermen want fish populations to rebound, so they can once again pursue their livelihood after a disastrous shutdown last year....The farmers want four dams owned by PacifiCorp to remain; the fishermen want them gone....Located mainly in Klamath County, Ore., and Siskiyou County, Calif., the existing project covers 219 acres of land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Reclamation."
RELATED: "Klamath dams: ‘trap and haul’ alternative rejected" (Siskiyou Daily News, 1/31/07)
"The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and Department of Commerce’s NOAA Fisheries Service announced... the submission of their joint modified fishway prescriptions for the relicensing of PacifiCorp’s dams and hydroelectric facilities on the Klamath River to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)."
RELATED: "Klamath Hydroelectric Project documents" (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office)
Links to much more information.
"Beware hidden mineshafts! BLM secures another one - many more left" (News.bytes Extra)
A nine-year-old motorcyclist fell 50 feet down a mine shaft south of Red Mountain, while visiting family in the area. Rescuers said the the boy fell into one of the old mine shafts outside a designated off-road recreation area. Lesson: stay in designated areas, and keep away from mineshafts.
RELATED: "Abandoned mine lands" (BLM California website)
Nearly 13,000 mine properties in CA and northwest NV are listed in the Bureau of Mines Mineral Industries Location System (MILS) database as on BLM land. An estimated additional 5,000 sites not recorded in the database are likely on BLM land. Of these 18,000, an estimated 3,000 significant properties contain hazardous substances or physical features and/or have environmental problems.
RELATED: "Stay out - stay alive" (BLM national website)
“Stay Out–Stay Alive” is a national public awareness campaign aimed at warning children and adults about the dangers of exploring and playing on active and abandoned mine sites.
"Burst pipe causes oil spill near condor sanctuary" (Bakersfield Californian, 2/1/07)
"About 200 to 300 gallons of oil were spilled in the Los Padres National Forest on Tuesday and ran into a nearby creek, the Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday. It happened in the Sespe Oil Field when a pipe containing a mixture of groundwater and oil burst...."
(Free registration may be required.)
"Tar Creek oil spill update" (BLM California news, 2/6/07)
Federal and state agencies including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and California Department of Fish and Game are monitoring the company's cleanup operations.
"Pipe rupture spills oil near bird preserve" (Los Angeles Daily News, 2/2/07)
"The break was discovered Tuesday, and before it could be contained, 210 gallons of oil and 2,100 gallons of wastewater had traveled about two miles down Tar Creek, some four miles upstream from where the birds congregate....Federal and state authorities who flocked to the scene say the spill has not harmed the condors."
"Workers try to keep oil spill out of Sespe Creek" (Ventura County Star, 2/1/07)
"Workers are trying to keep about 200 gallons of oil that spilled into Tar Creek from spreading to Sespe Creek, a popular watering hole for California condors....'It is significant from the standpoint of its potential impact to wildlife,' said Dave Christy, spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management, which has regulatory oversight of the drilling sites north of Fillmore. 'It's a fairly small amount of oil, but we still take it seriously.'"
(Free registration may be required.)
"Power line alternatives being refined" (North County Times, 2/6/07)
"Residents of this upscale community in the path of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s proposed power line said Monday they were heartened that alternate routes around Rancho Penasquitos probably will be studied. But they said they were not happy when told an alternate route along a new freeway is likely to be rejected....The comments were made at a so-called scoping meeting for the Sunrise Powerlink, a proposed $1.3 billion transmission line that would run for 150 miles through the desert and mountain backcountry, plugging San Diego County into a big electric substation near El Centro." BLM is involved in rights-of-way permits for the proposed route.
"Residents can still comment on Sunrise Powerlink project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/6/07)
"A series of meetings to allow residents to comment on San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s Sunrise Powerlink project is continuing this week."
"SDG&E's proposed Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project" (California Public Utilities Commission)
Information on the project, its history, public comments, and more.
"SDG&E increases savings estimate" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/31/07)
"San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has again revised its estimate of the savings customers would get from construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, its proposed $1.3 billion power line from Imperial County."
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"State Director presents Team Service Awards" (News.bytes Extra)
State Director Mike Pool presented his annual "Team Service Award" to the BLM's Bishop Field Office and to the BLM State Office's Branch of Fire and Aviation last week in recognition of their outstanding performance in 2006. Read more.
"Third annual Valentine's Day adoption scheduled" (BLM California news release,
Wild mustangs and burros will be offered to qualified adopters at the Ridgecrest Regional Adoption Center in Ridgecrest on February 10. Potential adopters may view the animals on Saturday beginning at 7:00 a.m. The adoption will be conducted by silent competitive bid Saturday morning only from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., which provides all adopters an equal opportunity to adopt the animal of their choice. Free delivery to an approved facility within 150 miles from the corrals is provided, to encourage potential adopters who can not find reasonable transportation to take part.
"Law enforcement key issue in dunes" (Imperial Valley Press, 1/30/07)
"As the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area was discussed by Imperial and Yuma county boards of supervisors, it was Yuma Sheriff Ralph Ogden that summed up concerns best. 'We have to work together when it comes to the dunes,' Ogden said during a joint meeting in Yuma on Monday. 'When criminals come to recreate, they don’t care where the borders are' The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, working with the Bureau of Land Management, handles law enforcement issues at the sand dunes during dunes season in the fall and winter months."
"BLM needs camp hosts at Trinity River, Pit River sites" (BLM California news release, 2/1/07)
Opportunities to live and work, at least temporarily, along the banks of two scenic Northern California rivers are being offered by the U. S. Bureau of Land Management. The agency needs campground hosts for three Trinity River campgrounds west of Weaverville, and for the Pit River Campground west of Fall River Mills. All sites are off California State Highway 299.
"BLM oil and gas lease sale scheduled for March 14, 2007" (BLM California news release, 2/6/07)
will conduct an oil and gas lease sale in Sacramento on March 14 involving 17 parcels of land, covering approximately 14,720 acres, in parts of Colusa, Yolo, Fresno, and Monterey counties.
"Energy companies study wind energy potential in northeast California" (BLM California news release, 2/1/07)
Several companies are in varying stages of discussion with the U. S. Bureau of Land Management for permits to install wind data collection equipment, but no wind energy projects have been proposed or approved.
"Environmental assessment to renew grazing leases available for public review" (BLM California news release, 2/2/07)
Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, is seeking public comment on two environmental assessments: CA-660-06-54 & 55; “Ephemeral Sheep Grazing Lease Renewal for Rice Valley and Ford Dry Lake Allotments.” A 30-day comment period will begin on February 5, 2007 and run through March 7, 2007.
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include administrative technician, maintenance worker, firefighting jobs, and lands and minerals assistant.
NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS
"President Bush's FY 2008 budget proposes $1.8 billion for BLM to provide energy, enhance habitat, and improve efficiency" (BLM national news release, 2/5/07)
The BLM budget features a $15 million increase to implement a new healthy lands initiative that will ensure energy access while protecting habitat and wildlife in the wildlife-energy interface. The president's proposed fiscal year 2008 budget for the BLM also includes $142.9 million to ensure that the agency continues to provide dependable, accessible energy from public lands in an environmentally responsible manner.
"BLM and Forest Service announce 2007 federal grazing fee" ( BLM and U.S. Forest Service national news release, 2/2/07)
The federal grazing fee for western public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) in 2007, down from $1.56 in 2006. The newly adjusted fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and more than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service.
"President’s budget will improve national parks, working landscapes, Indian education and safety" (Department of the Interior news release, 2/5/07)
Includes information on proposed BLM budget items.
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:
Northeast California Resource Advisory Council meeting - Feb. 8-9
Land use planning and wild horse management are among the topics of discussion,
North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Hike - Feb. 10
All-day hike emphasizing birds.
Open house and wildflower celebration - Feb. 17
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer
(c.) they have poisonous skin secretions. Do not pick them up! (Newts are often found in the San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area, featured above.)
SOURCE: "Rough-skinned Newt - Taricha granulosa" (BLM California wildlife database)
Rough-skinned newts are highly aquatic, spending most of the year in ponds, lakes, and other slow-moving bodies of water. Poisonous skin secretions protect them from most predators, but they are occasionally preyed on by fishes.
RELATED: "Rough-skinned Newt, Taricha granulosa" (U.S. Geological Service, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center)
"Rough-skinned Newts are quite poisonous, as are all Newts of the genus Torosa, so it is not advised to handle these salamanders. If you do, wash your hands before touching your eyes or anything that you might put in your mouth. "
RELATED: "Taricha granulosa" (CalPhotos database)
Many (copyrighted) photos of this and related newts.
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