A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 272 - 3/13/07
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Funny.bytes: Nightmare at Mountain Rest
- Spotlight on Partners: California Indian Basketweavers Association
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week: Snow goose
- Snow geese in the news
- Recreation: Sacramento River proposal
- Recreation: Best California spots?
- Headlines and highlights: Planning meeting, wildfire prevention, marijuana, jobs, much more
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Oil and gas regulations
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
FUNNY.BYTES: Nightmare at Mountain Rest
It was supposed to be a restful camping trip...until IT reared its ugly head. Is there no escape?
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.
SPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: California Indian Basketweavers Association
The public lands belong to all Americans, but making sure the "First Americans" have access to those lands for the purpose of maintaining their traditional cultural uses is one of BLM's most important tasks. The strong partnership developed among BLM, the California Indians Basketweavers Association (CIBA) and U.S. Forest Service has helped make this task easier on public lands in California. Read more
NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY:
WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
How long do snow goose young stay with their parents?
(a.) Parents leave their young to fend for themselves as soon as they hatch
(b.) Snow geese lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and leave them for the other birds to raise
(c.) Only until the young can fly
(d.) Through both directions of their first migration season
(e.) All of their lives
(f.) They usually return to their parents' homes after college, living in the basement and making the odd bit of spending money by giving online flying lessons
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
SNOW GEESE IN THE NEWS
"A honking good time just driving down the highway" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/11/07)
"It was the single greatest lift-off of geese that I've ever seen, and like so many wildlife sightings, it came by complete accident....The mass of waterfowl in front of me began to lift off, first from the distant west, and like an advancing tidal wave, rose directly in front of me. The sky turned into a shimmering wall of white that extended for about a mile, and it flew over me, west to east, like an amorphous yet single entity....In a rough estimate, I guessed there were close to 250,000 geese in this single lift-off. That swamps similar eye-popping fly offs I've seen previously....If the migratory launch is getting started, the next 10 days provides a chance to see the spectacle of waterfowl flight en masse."
RECREATION: Sacramento River proposal
"Recreation area proposed" (Redding Record Searchlight, 3/9/07)
"A new round of legislation aimed at designating 17,000 acres of public land along the Sacramento River near Red Bluff as a national recreation area is making its way through the U.S. Congress....The BLM manages the land that would become a national recreation area and has been acquiring acreage there in a long series of land exchanges for the past 30 years. The land includes 15 miles of river frontage and is along a winding, mostly untouched stretch of the Sacramento River from Battle Creek almost to Red Bluff. It's called Sacramento River Bend because of a big bend in the river that is its defining characteristic."
"River recreation" (BLM California, Redding Field Office web pages)
Includes links to information about the Sacramento River, plus "Beyond the Brochure," a video float trip down the river.
"Sacramento River Bend Area Slide Show" (BLM California, Redding Field Office web pages)
A series of photos include views of the river, rafters, horseback riders, wildlife and more.
RECREATION: Best California spots?
"For the greatest of the truly great, stick to California" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/8/07)
Outdoors columnist lists top outdoors spots in California: "America's greatest hike is the John Muir Trail....It is only one of dozens of adventures and destinations in California that is among America's best, and one of hundreds that provides an epic getaway. For anybody who loves the outdoors, many of these spots should be on your must-see list." Several BLM-managed areas are on the list. (See next items.)
"Pit River Recreation Area" (BLM California, Alturas Field Office web pages)
The Pit River is the largest river in northeastern California. It drains this part of the state before entering the Sacramento River at Shasta Lake.
"South Yuba River" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office web pages)
The South Yuba River is a combination of history, scenic beauty, and whitewater excitement. This Gold Country river flashes and dances through an intricate minefield of boulders on its downstream journey.
"South Fork American River" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office web pages)
Today, tempered by upstream dams, the South Fork still lurches and bucks through cataracts of boulders, drops and chutes, on its headstrong plunge through Meatgrinder, Fowlers Rock, and Satan's Cesspool, then delivers a rough goodbye at Hospital Bar.
"North Fork American River" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office web pages)
The famous Giant Gap run of the even more famous North Fork American River is one of the most challenging runs in Northern California.
"Keyesville Special Management Area" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office web pages)
By far the most dramatic natural feature of the parcel is an approximately 3.5-mile stretch of the Lower Kern River Gorge. This important white- water river attracts about 12,000 commercial and non-commercial rafters each year. The river and its tributaries are also used for recreational gold panning. Several unfenced mine shafts exist and present a significant hazard to recreationists.
"Tuolumne River" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office web pages)
California's premier whitewater river is a slalom course of boulders of escalating intensity. Staircase rapids, chutes, and pools by the score and Yosemite National Park create the ultimate river adventure, a journey by turns exciting and pristine.
"Trinity recreation" (BLM California, Redding Field Office web pages)
Popular with fisherman and pleasure boaters alike, the 43 miles of the Wild and Scenic Trinity River from Lewiston to Pigeon Point is a class I and II segment that flows out of the Trinity and Lewiston Lakes. This clear, cold section of the river is world famous for its fly fishing. Paddlers enjoy the narrow valley with Ponderosa Pine, Douglas fir, Oaks, and Madrone trees coating the walls of the canyons.
"Trinity River boating information" (BLM California, Redding Field Office web pages)
"Final decision on shooting area safety closure" (BLM California news release, 3/9/07)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office and the U.S.D.A Forest Service, Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Ranger District are jointly releasing decisions to permanently close the High Point area to target shooting. A permanent closure to target shooting will be imposed by both agencies to protect the public from unsafe target shooting practices.
"Hikers, hunters upset about large BLM tract closed to vehicles" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/10/07)
"Next is the locked pink gate with a sign explaining, 'Sycamore Canyon Emergency Motorized Vehicle Closure. Closed To Vehicles. Administrative Use Only.' Off limits to vehicles, the BLM explains, to protect sensitive native habitat, cultural sites and creatures such as the quino checker-spot butterfly....As much as Bransford and Cobb and many others are bothered by the locked pink gate, they're more infuriated with the Bureau of Land Management."
RELATED: "Sycamore Canyon closure" (BLM California issue update, 3/07)
"This motorized vehicle closure is based on a proliferation of unacceptable impacts in Sycamore Canyon and a lack of other reasonable means to stop new impacts. The BLM encourages public involvement in developing a plan that allows for vehicular access while protecting the very resources for which these lands were acquired using the Land and Water Conservation Fund."
"Fort Sage OHV Area will be closed during weekend races" (BLM California news release, 3/13/07)
The Fort Sage off-highway vehicle area near Doyle will be closed to public riding and driving Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18, during the “Leprechaun 100” motorcycle races.
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
REMINDER: "Wild horses, burros available for adoption in Turlock" (BLM California news release, 2/22/07)
Young and healthy wild horses and burros, direct from public ranges, will be looking for new homes when the BLM offers them for public adoption Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. The BLM will offer 70 horses ranging in age from under 2 to about 5 years old along with 20 burros.
"Alabama Hills stewardship public meeting set" (BLM California news release, 3/12/07)
The community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management's Bishop Field Office will hold a public meeting on March 20 concerning management of the Alabama Hills.
The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the evolving community stewardship strategy for the Alabama hills.
"Rails to Trails on the Modoc Line" (Modoc Record, 3/8/07)
"What do you do with a demolished, abandoned railroad right-of-way like the Modoc Line, the 86-mile-long rail bed between Alturas and Wendel, near Susanville?....'Perhaps, in the future, these corridors will be used again for rails,' said [BLM recreation planner Stan Bales], who manages the Bizz Johnson trail near Susanville, a onetime railroad grade that is now a scenic hiking and biking trail. 'In the meantime, they're valuable for recreational use, for our communities and for the residents who live here as well as a destination attraction.'" (Note: this article is part way down the webpage, among other stories.)
"Hare and Hound gets funds" (Imperial Valley Press, 3/14/07)
Before the AMA's season this year, local race officials were told by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that races could not continue unless fees were paid to conduct archeological studies in the county's west desert, covering Plaster City and the Superstition area....a law that requires lands to be surveyed for artifacts before being used. Tom Zale, BLM associate field manager, said the law has always been in place...."
"FORA to get $40M for cleanup" (Salinas Californian, 3/13/07)
"The process of transforming deserted, explosives-ridden military lands into thriving new Monterey County communities will see a $40 million boost next month...." The Fort Ord Reuse Authority "
will use the money to hire contractors to remove unexploded ordnance on the 28,000-acre military base, which closed in 1994.
The move is expected to cut the time frame for ordnance removal from 20 years to about six....The lands of the former base are now divided among the cities of Marina, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks and unincorporated Monterey County" and public lands managed by BLM California.
RELATED: "Fort Ord public lands" (BLM California, Hollister Field Office web pages)
"BLM working with local law enforcement agencies"(News.bytes Extra)
Law enforcement is known as the "thin blue line," or, in the case of BLM, the thin brown line. With limited staff and hundreds of thousands of acres to cover, cooperation with other agencies is crucial. Read more.
"Land trust gaining on Nolina Peak purchase" (Hi-Desert Star, 3/9/07)
"With an eye on the clock, Mojave Desert Land Trust is working hard to preserve one of the best viewsheds in the western part of the Morongo Basin....if the Mojave Desert Land Trust can buy and donate the 639-acre property to [Joshua Tree National Park], the park’s boundary will connect with the next northernmost property...which is an isolated Bureau of Land Management holding." BLM is still in the process of reviewing options to maintain BLM-administered lands in public ownership.
"Fire Safe Council seeks input from Brooktrails residents" (Willits News, 3/8/07)
"Residents of Brooktrails, Sylvandale and Spring Creek will have an opportunity to share their latest ideas and concerns about wildfire at a community meeting scheduled at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 14....Attendees will help create a 'Community Wildfire Protection Plan' for the greater Brooktrails Township area....
Funding was provided by a National Fire Plan grant from the federal Bureau of Land Management through a grants clearinghouse managed by the California Fire Safe Council."
"Council may get resolution opposing heritage site designation for Carrizo" (Taft Midway Driller, 3/9/07)
"The Taft City Council may end up passing an ordinance opposing a proposal to make the Carrizo Plain National Monument a World Heritage Site." The proposal made in early February "was met with immediate support. The City Council was even scheduled to pass a resolution of support for the idea on Feb. 13. That resolution was pulled at the last minute after concerns were raised by oil industry.
By the council's next meeting, those concerns had turned to outrage as oil industry representatives blasted the proposal...."
RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office web pages)
"Ordinance would increase penalties for illegal dumping" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 3/14/07)
"A proposed county ordinance would increase penalties for illegal dumping up to a maximum of $10,000 and a possible six months in jail for a third offense....The First District, which encompasses the entire Victor Valley, has the most illegal dumping in the county....because of its 'wide-open space.'"
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:
March 16-18 and 23-25 - Wildflower walks
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
March 20 and 21 - Geothermal public meetings
See listings for locations
March 24 - Wild horse and burro adoption
NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS
"Final update of federal oil and gas regulations will Improve energy development on public lands" (BLM national news release, 3/7/07)
"In a move that will enhance the nation's energy independence and security, the Bureau of Land Management today published final revised regulations governing oil and gas activity on the public lands. The rule published in today's Federal Register updates the set of regulations known as Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1. The Order establishes the requirements that companies must meet to obtain approval for oil and gas exploration and development on all Federal and Indian lands (except those of the Osage Tribe)."
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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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