A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

4/24/2003 - Issue 105

This week in News.bytes:
- Not for Educators Only:
     - Photo Album - Wild Horse adoptions
     - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Horse tales
- More on wild horses and burros
- Bookstore Feature: "California Coastal National Monument Pin"
- Resources on public lands: Oil and gas, mining
- More resources: Archaeology
- Off-roading
- Earth Day and environmental debate
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
     - Obituary: BLM public affairs officer Larry Mercer
     - Keeping an eye on public lands
     - Park Service Plans Outsourcing
     - Turkey hunters
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
     - Public meetings
     - Hikes


Wildlife Trivia Question Mark of the WeekWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "How long ago did today's herds of wild horses originate in North America?"
a - 55 million years
b - 10,000 years
c - 500 years
(See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)

PHOTO ALBUM - "Wild Horse and burro adoptions"

Colt amid other wild horses for adoptionThe passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, gave responsibility to the BLM to preserve and protect wild horses and burros and to manage for healthy rangelands. When an over-population of wild horses and burros exists on the range, the excess animals are removed and offered to the general public for adoption. Adopted mustangs make excellent riding stock, and properly trained some adopted Mustangs have become national champions in dressage, snaffle bit competitions, trail, endurance, and jumping.


"Wild Horses and Burros up for adoption in Yreka" (BLM California news release, 04/21/2003)
A feeling of the old west settles over Yreka's Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, when the BLM offers 60 wild horses and 20 wild burros for public adoption.

"Wild Mustang and Burro Adoption Headed to Norco for Mothers Day" (BLM California news release, 4/16/2003)
In an effort to make this Mothers Day even more memorable this year, the Bureau of Land Management (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. (Repeated from last week's issue of News.bytes)

"Nominations Open for Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board" (BLM national news release, 04/22/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management is requesting public nominations to fill three vacancies on the national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The categories to be filled represent Wild Horse and Burro Research, National Resources Management, and Livestock Management. Nominations close May 15.

"Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse & Burro Corrals" (BLM California Web site)

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Coastal National Monument Pin"
A colorful lapel pin illustrating the wonders of the California Coastal National Monuments. This pin also comes with a quick information card which summarizes the monument's history and geography, along with a reference guide to nearby BLM offices. (Actual size of pin: one inch tall by 7/8 inch wide).

RESOURCES ON PUBLIC LANDS: Oil and gas, mining

"BLM to conduct Oil and Gas Lease Sale June 4, 2003" (BLM California news release, 04/23/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management is conducting a sale of oil and gas leases on federal land on Wednesday, June 4, 2003. The lease sale is being held at the Holiday Inn Select, 801 Truxtun Avenue, in Bakersfield. The saleroom will open at 8:00 a.m. to allow bidders to register and obtain a bid number. The competitive oral auction will begin at 9:00 a.m.

"BLM Announces New Awards Program to Honor Accomplishments in Hardrock Mining" (BLM national news release, 04/18/2003)
"BLM Director Kathleen Clarke today announced a new annual awards program designed to recognize environmentally sound mineral development operations and acknowledge successful partnering efforts in helping ensure a safe and productive hardrock mining industry. The new program allows for two nonmonetary awards to recognize and highlight outstanding examples of responsible mineral resource development on public and private lands."

"Our Opinion: Mining Respect" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/18/2003)
Editorial: "There hasn't been much about the esteemed Gov. Davis' policies that we've liked in quite awhile. However, we do think he did the right thing here. While Glamis Gold officials will hoot and holler about how unjust and uneconomical the law is and the county Board of Supervisors may decry the plan because of a potential loss of county jobs, we're not convinced by either argument."


BLM California hiring state lead for archeology program
Vacancy: Archeologist, State Program Lead, GS-0193-13
This permanent full-time position is open to any current or former Federal employee who has competitive civil service status or reinstatement eligibility or is eligible for "special hiring authority-VEOA." Duty Location: Sacramento, CA. Moving expenses are to be paid by BLM. Announcement # BLM CA-03-082DS-MP
(Note: USAJOBS does not include this position in the "Quick Search" from its Home page, since it is not open to everyone. You can browse to it by State or Agency. (USAJobs lists BLM under "Land Management, Bureau of (BLM) (INTERIOR)."
Questions? Contact Donna Straffen, Human Resource Specialist at (916) 978-4467.

"IVC Desert Museum's funding is scratched" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/20/2003)
"The Imperial Valley College Desert Museum has become the latest casualty of the parched state budget, forcing local archaeologists to dig deeper in their search for money....'The archaeology of this county is world class. We have cultural features here you don't get anywhere else in the world,' says BLM archaeologist and member of the museum society.


"BLM Schedules Public Meetings to Prepare Draft EIS" (BLM California news release, 04/21/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has scheduled five public scoping meetings to gather public comments and recommendations on the preparation of a draft environmental assessment (EA) and proposed amendment to the 1980 California Desert Conservation Area Plan to designate vehicle routes outside the two Desert Wildlife Management Areas (DWMAs) within the Northern and Eastern Mojave (NEMO) planning area.

"Off-roaders enjoy last big weekend" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/20/2003)
"With Competition Hill cordoned off, off-roaders rooster-tailed to the Buttercup area of the Imperial County sand dunes this Easter weekend, the last big off-roading weekend of the winter season."

"Interim Restrictions Remain at Imperial Dunes Pending Completion of Management Plan" (BLM California news release, 04/16/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that the interim restrictions imposed at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) in November 2000 that closed 49,300 acres to off-highway vehicle use (OHV) are still in effect until the BLM completes the land use plan and signs a record of decision....

"Dunes area could be open by summer" (Yuma Sun, 04/19/2003)
"Off-roaders may be able to cover some once-roamed ground this summer if thousands of acres in the Imperial Sand Dunes are re-opened to motorized vehicles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a biological opinion statement that could lift the temporary closure of 49,000 acres of the dunes, despite environmentalists' concerns about the impact off-roading could have on the desert tortoise and the purple-flowered milk vetch plant."

EARTH DAY and environmental debate

"Interior Secretary Norton and Interior officials herald Earth Day" (Department of Interior news release, 04/22/2003)
"Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Interior's assistant secretaries and bureau directors [traveled] throughout the nation on Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate the land and wildlife administered by the Department and call for all Americans to become citizen stewards dedicated to restoring and conserving public and private land.

"Bush has growing support for environmental policy" (Washington Times, 04/22/2003)
"One entrenched idea is beginning to weaken: The public does not consider President Bush the archenemy of the environment, according to a Gallup poll released yesterday."

"Bush and environment: Getting his way by settling lawsuits" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 04/18/2003)
"The Bush administration is quietly reshaping environmental policy to expand logging and other development by settling a series of lawsuits, many of them filed by industry groups."

Related: "Sidebar: Recent lawsuit settlements change environmental policy" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 04/18/2003)
Some of the lawsuit settlements that resulted in environmental policy changes.

"Earth Day: Stewardship and citizenship" (Washington Times, 04/22/2003)
Editorial: "Today marks the 33rd annual celebration of Earth Day. It's an important day to mark, although it must be remembered that the reason for the holiday is not to save the Earth per se - as if anyone could preserve a vast rock that is billions of years old - but rather to remind citizens to be good stewards during their short span on it." Also: "Interior Secretary Gale Norton's repeated efforts to form partnerships between environment and industry groups have paid off."

"Bush Weighs Endangered Species Delay" (Los Angeles Times, 04/19/2003)
"The Bush administration is considering asking the courts for more time to protect 24 endangered species, a strategy that has outraged some environmental groups."

Related: "Memo is tip-off to Interior's intentions" (Imperial Valley Press, 04/22/2003)
Environmental and off-road group members react to above report in Los Angeles Times.


"Obituary for Larry Mercer" (Bakersfield Californian, 04/21/2003)
Larry Mercer was public affairs officer for the BLM in Central California.

"Keeping an eye on public lands" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/22/2003)
"Linda Hansen directs BLM's Desert District from new office in Moreno Valley....'Our priorities are the health of the public lands and providing our services to the public....One of our hopes is just to have the public realize that these lands exist.'"

"Federal agencies seek nominations for national monument advisory committee" (BLM California news release, 4/17/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have re-opened the nomination period and are accepting applications from the public to fill five positions on the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee.

"Turkey hunters can improve their chances" (Modesto Bee, 04/17/2003)
"The public land suitable for hunting turkeys in California is marvelous and expansive, awash in greens and light browns during the springtime hunt. But that doesn't mean it's for everyone."

"Pechanga annex Great Oak Ranch" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/19/2003)
"Near the shade of the state's largest and oldest coastal oak, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians celebrated the annexation of about 700 pristine acres to the tribe's reservation." The high-voltage Valley Rainbow power line was proposed through Great Oak Ranch, but the land is now in federal trust for the tribe, which considers it sacred. BLM would have been involved in right-of-way permitting for the power line....

"Correcting the record" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/23/2003)
This item states in full: "A story that ran April 9 regarding U.S. Bureau of Land Management's surveys of the Peirson's milk-vetch incorrectly stated the length of transects. The BLM uses a transect length of 14 kilometers to survey the milk-vetch."

The correction above relates to a story link that ran in News.bytes 103 on 4/10/03:
"Counting the milk-vetch" (Imperial Valley Press, 4/9/2003)
"The harmless looking Peirson’s milk-vetch is at the center of debates and environmental closures at the Imperial Sand Dunes. How biologists count and survey the endangered purple-flowered plant also has been debated."

"On Politics: Park Service Plans Outsourcing" (Washington Post, 04/19/2003)
"The National Park Service plans to turn over as many as 1,708 jobs to private companies by the end of fiscal 2004 in a process that could cost as much as $3 million, curtail workforce diversity and have "serious consequences" for visitor services, the agency's director said."

"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. (Repeated from previous issue of News.bytes)

"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 previous issue of News.bytes)

"How long ago did today's herds of wild horses originate in North America?"

c - 500 years. But partial credit for "a - 55 million years." While there is evidence of wild horses in North America 55 million years ago, they disappeared some time around 8,000 B.C. Horses were reintroduced to North America by Spanish settlers in the late 15th century.
For more details, and to learn more about wild horses, visit our BLM California Wildlife database (Note: the Wildlife Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below):
Wildlife Trivia Question Mark of the Week

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.)

04/23/2003 - Grazing Policy public meeting

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

04/24/2003 - Grazing Policy public meeting

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

04/24/2003 - Bishop Field Office OHV grant 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 - Cache Creek wildflower hike
Lake County

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

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

05/05/2003 - NEMO public scoping meeting
Yucca Valley (first of several locations)

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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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