A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 4/17/2003

This week in News.bytes:

- BLM website "en Espanol"
- Energy on and across public lands:
     - Nevada, California, Oregon top geothermal potential list
     - BLM Policies to Improve Oil and Gas Permit Process

     - Power line rights-of-way
- Rights-of-way "RS 2477" disclaimers issue
- Imperial Sand Dunes issues

- Not for Educators Only:
     - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Bird deaths
     - Bookstore Feature: "Northern California Gazetteer"
- Photo Album: "Abandoned Mine Lands"

- Volunteers, Earth Day:
     - Earth Day event a success
     - California volunteers needed
     - National volunteer effort
     - Interagency Earth Day Web site
- National news: Wilderness rules
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
- Interior Department wants to limit protected lands
     - South Fork American River: Draft management plan available for review
     - New rule imperils mining, firms say
     - Carrizo Plain
     - Open house for comments on OHV regional grant applications
     - Wild mustang and burro adoption for Mothers' Day

News.bytes, BLM Website now also en Espanol

"BLM website available in Espanol" (BLM California news release, 04/16/2003)
With the Hispanic/Latino population in California more than 32%, BLM is seeking to assist the Spanish speaking population who visit the BLM website at

"En Espanol" (BLM California Website - this paragraph translated by Google Website service)
Para visión aplicaciones anteriores News.bytes en español, comienzo en el Home Page de BLM California. Chasque el botón del "En Espanol" en el izquierdo más bajo de la página. Una nueva versión de la Español-lengua de la página del Home Page hará estallar abierto. Debajo del gráfico de News.bytes, chasque el acoplamiento para "el reciente de los más del edición del la de Vea" para visión ediciones anteriores. (nota: porque se automatiza la traducción, no podemos garantizar exactitud o disponibilidad completa. Estamos proporcionando esto como servicio al público.)

ENERGY on and across public lands

Geothermal energy production plant - California"Nevada, California, Oregon top geothermal potential list" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 04/14/2003)
"The U.S. government ... identified 35 sites in the West as having the greatest potential for quick development of geothermal power .... [including] ten sites in Nevada, nine in California and seven in Oregon .... The study is the result of an increased emphasis on geothermal potential on federal lands -- primarily Western lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management."

Related: "Feds Identify Opportunities for Potential Geothermal Development on Public Lands" (U.S. Department of Interior news release, 4/14/2003)
"Report findings will help to prioritize land-use planning activities."

"BLM Announces Policies to Improve Oil and Gas Permit Application Process" (BLM National news release, 04/14/2003)
"The new approaches advance the President's goal of strengthening America's energy security while giving the BLM, oil and gas producers, and all Americans more effective environmental analyses and less bureaucratic application processing." Includes links to PDF files with more information on changes.

"State wants more answers on new plant" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/17/2003)

"State energy officials say they won’t issue permits for what would be the nation’s largest geothermal power plant until the developer provides more data on the project." Project also needs power line right-of-way permit through BLM-managed lands.

"House OKs power line proposal" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/16/2003)
"The House Energy Bill ... passed ... Friday, included language calling for a high-voltage line to be built through the length of the Cleveland National Forest west of Lake Elsinore." BLM would be directed to help designate rights-of-way for the line, if the measure is passed by the Senate and signed by the President....


"County eyes 5,000 miles of fed land" (Victorville Daily Press, 04/14/2003)
"Most of the roads across the desert in San Bernardino County are federally protected, but county officials are now banking on a 137-year-old law to allow them to lay claim to nearly 5,000 miles of federal land, including roads in Lucerne Valley and the Mojave National Preserve." County is first in state, and second in country, to make claims under new federal regulations.,81328,

"Back roads battle" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/15/2003)
"Desert: A new federal rule may spawn a fight over vehicle usage in wilderness areas."


"Tortoises' land slated for off-roading" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 04/12/2003)
"Even as off-road vehicle enthusiasts filed a lawsuit in Salt Lake City on Wednesday to force the federal government to protect an endangered desert tortoise, they received news that land previously closed to protect the species will be reopened for off-roading .... The announcement came as part of a long-awaited recreation management plan for eastern Imperial County, one of the nation's most popular off-road areas."

"Federal Ruling Eases Access to Dunes" (Los Angeles Times, 04/12/2003)
Federal officials have paved the way for expanded use of off-road vehicles at the Algodones Dunes in the Mojave Desert by lifting special protection for a 50,000-acre section of the sand dunes containing rare plants and animals.,1,4339251.story

"Suit says tortoises mismanaged" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/11/2003)
"Court: Five off-road groups hope to force the government to reassess its recovery attempts."

"Recreational motorists sue over land access" (Victorville Daily Press, 04/11/2003),68625,


BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Northern California Gazetteer" BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Northern California Gazetteer"
As California weather heats up, outdoor recreation shifts from winter desert activities, to the coast, inland and mountains to the north. Find your way around with this book! Also useful "for salespeople, and everyday travel -- it divides Northern California into 104 quadrangular maps, each elaborately detailed with topography, roads and towns."
Wildlife Trivia Question Mark of the Week

"How many birds die each year in California, from collisions with power lines?"
a - about 500,000
b - about 4.5 million
c - about 175 million
(See answer near the end of this edition of News.bytes)

PHOTO ALBUM - "Abandoned Mine Lands

Barrels left at an abandoned mine site It was a dangerous business in the old days - mines were full of risks even for miners who were well-prepared for them. When the ore ran out, the old mines were abandoned and left unattended. Over the years, they have become increasingly unstable, extremely dangerous, and have left environmental concerns that BLM must deal with today.

"Abandoned Mines"

Over 12,000 mine properties in California and northwestern Nevada are listed in the Bureau of Mines Mineral Industries Location System (MILS) database as on BLM land. An estimated additional 5000 sites not recorded in the database are likely on BLM land. Of these 17,000, an estimated 3000 significant properties contain hazardous substances or physical features and/or have environmental problems.


"Volunteers make local Earth Day event a success" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 04/14/2003)
A building that had been "vacant and unremarkable for years" now boasts a "vibrant and colorful" demonstration garden that teaches "desert adaptive gardening." About 60 volunteers helped coordinating agencies including BLM's Barstow Field Office create the teaching and beautification project.,95619,

"Earth Day equals conservation" (Needles Desert Star, 04/15/2003)
BLM California's Needles Field Office ranger tells how two national programs relate to local Earth Day: "Tread Lightly" and "Leave No Trace" apply every day, not just Earth Day, she says.

"Volunteers needed for project at Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM California news release, 4/15/2003)
Sunday, April 27: Volunteers needed to help pull and dig out non-native invasive weeds from areas along the first mile of the five-and-a-half mile Elk River Trail on the north end of the reserve. The focus: troublesome species such as Pampas grass, English ivy, and Scotch broom that have altered the natural habitat by hampering growth of native plants.

"Interior Department helps launch Earth Day Web site, highlighting stewardship events and service opportunities"
(Department of Interior news release, 04/14/2003)
"The Department of the Interior announced today that it has launched, a Web site developed in cooperation with other federal agencies, providing Americans a comprehensive guide to environmental service opportunities and Earth Day events sponsored by the federal government. The site is the first interagency effort to create a comprehensive federal resource for citizens who want to participate in Earth Day and other year-round environmental activities."

"Interior Secretary Norton launches national volunteer program to restore and improve America's Public Lands" (Department of Interior news release, 04/16/2003)
"Working with volunteers, we lend our hands to heal our land, one acre at a time."

"Volunteers needed for King Range trail projects" (BLM California news release, 3/18/2003)
Workers are needed to help clear downed trees, brush, branches and rocks on hiking trails in the King Range National Conservation Area. BLM will provide free camping, meals (Saturday lunch through Sunday lunch), tools and transportation from the campground to project sites. (Repeated from an earlier News.bytes)


"Interior Department wants to limit protected lands" (Washington Post, 04/15/2003)
"The Interior Department wants to limit Bureau of Land Management lands eligible for wilderness protection to 23 million acres nationwide, a figure environmental groups say leaves millions of pristine acres vulnerable to development .... Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton said her department remains committed to wilderness protection."

"Wilderness Protections Rolled Back" (Los Angeles Times, 04/12/2003)
"The Bush administration on Friday threw out the handbook used by federal land managers to decide which areas deserve to be protected as wilderness and held that many wilderness areas proposed after 1993 were invalid.",1,2407871.story

"Interior seeks to limit protected wilderness" (Associated Press, 04/13/2003)


"Just plain lovely" (Bakersfield Californian, 04/09/2003)
"It's billed as a living museum. The Carrizo Plain rich in American Indian, farming and mining history, as well as plant, bird and animal life. Now might be the best time to visit the nearly 250,000-acre Carrizo Plain National Monument, before summer and its unforgiving temperatures arrive."

Related: "Carrizo Plain" (BLM California Web site)
About the Carrizo Plain National Monument: recreation, resources, maps, more.

"Draft management plan for South Fork American river is available for public review" (BLM California news release, 04/16/2003)
The public is invited to review and comment on the draft management plan for public lands along the South Fork of the American River in El Dorado County.

"New rule imperils mining, firms say" (Los Angeles Times, 04/15/2003)
"Mining company executives said this week that the state's last four open-pit gold mines could be driven out of business by a new state regulation requiring miners to refill pits once mining operations are halted." One company said it might sue. Two "high-profile" proposed mines would require permits from BLM.

"Blixseth revives hiking trail proposal; Plan to swap land to ensure access to popular path still faces hurdles" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 04/14/2003)
Land swap proposal might help resolve dispute over dogs on trail near bighorn sheep. Input on proposal comes from many sources, including advisory committee to BLM-managed Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

"Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service schedule open house to solicit comments on OHV regional grant applications" (BLM California news release, 04/11/2003)
The California State Office of the Bureau of Land Management and the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service have scheduled an open house to obtain public comments on their off-highway vehicle (OHV) 2004 regional grant applications. The open house will be on Thursday, April 24, 2003 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the federal building, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento.

"Wild mustang and burro adoption headed to Norco for Mother's Day" (BLM California news release, 04/16/2003)
In an effort to make this Mothers Day even more memorable, the BLM will offer 80 Mustangs and 20 burros to qualified adopters on May 10-11 through its Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program at Ingalls Park in Norco, California.

"'Banner year' for desert foliage" (Inyo Register, 4/10/2003)
It's the fourth week of wildflower affliction in the Owens Valley, and it's agonizing. Whether to go north, or south, or how far south? No matter where you head, the handiwork of winter rains is putting on quite a show this year." BLM botanist predicted more of some types of flowers still to come.

ANSWER TO WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "How many birds die each year in California, from collisions with power lines?"

Wildlife Trivia Question Mark of the Week
b) about 4.5 million. Across the United States, an estimated 174 million birds die each year from collisions with power lines - about 4.6 million of those are in California.
(Source: "Avian power line collisions: Potential impact on Central Valley bird populations," Central Valley Bird Club.)
Geese take flight at sunrise - Cosumnes River Preserve The Cosumnes River Preserve - a popular migration stop co-managed by BLM California - has tried a variety of solutions to this problem. Most involve putting some sort of object on the lines - many collisions are found to be caused because birds cannot see the thin wire against the skyline. This has not worked as well as hoped, so the Preserve manager is working with the local utility to put more power lines underground.

"Cosumnes River Preserve" (BLM California Web site)

Related: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (Group Web site)

Related: Learn more about wildlife in California, with BLM California's online Wildlife Database:
( Note: the Wildlife Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.):

(Note: the Upcoming Events database is on a secure Web server, and your browser may state "You are about to view pages over a secure connection" and ask you to "Trust a Security Certificate" from the Department of Interior that hosts this site. To view the pages, you must select "Yes" or "OK" for both questions.)

04/19/2003 - Cache Creek wildflower hike
Lake County

04/22/2003 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument draft management plan public meeting

04/23/2003 - Grazing Policy public meeting

04/23/2003 - West Mojave proposed plan amendment for routes of travel public meeting

04/24/2003 - Bishop Field Office OHV grant public meeting

04/24/2003 - California State Office OHV grant public meeting

04/24/2003 - Grazing Policy public meeting

04/24/2003 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument draft management plan public meeting
Mountain Center

04/25/2003 - Central California Advisory Council

04/26/2003 - South Fork American River draft plan public workshop

04/26/2003 - Cache Creek wildflower hike
Lake County

04/27/2003 - Headwaters Forest Reserve volunteer day

04/29/2003 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument draft management plan public meeting
Palm Desert

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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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