A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 5/1/2003

This week in News.bytes:

- Photo Album: Wind energy
- More: Wind energy on public lands
- Roads issue "RS 2477" heats up
- National volunteer awards include two from California
- Recreation on public lands:
   - Primitive camping
   - Mechanized vs. not

- Nor For Educators Only:
   - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Tree living
- Translation
- Bookstore Feature: "Canned Stuffed Animal Polar Bear"
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
   - Firefighters train for the wild
   - The "Battle of Ft. Ord"
   - Interior Secretary's science advisor calls for action
   - Wilderness editorial
   - Preserve expansion weighed
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
   - Siebert Cabin Recreation Area "Take Pride in America" Volunteer Project
   - Northern and Eastern Mojave scoping meetings
   - Wild horse and burro adoption event

Wind-energy generating towerThe growing demand for energy in California has led to the exploration of alternative energy sources. One of the fastest growing alternative energy sources is wind energy. Granting energy developers access to government land where frequent winds turn turbines to produce energy is authorized under the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976. There are two major federal public land areas in California suitable for this enterprise, the Tehachapi Mountains, southeast of Bakersfield, and the San and the San Gorgonio Mountains near Palm Springs.

(BLM California Issue Update)
General Electric Corporation purchased Enron Wind, a subsidiary of Enron Corporation, and has assumed the submitted right-of-way application to construct a wind energy field on public lands managed by the BLM's Ukiah Field Office. This project is proposed for Walker Ridge, in Lake and Colusa counties. The project would consist of 81 wind generators approximately 340 feet high, placed in a north-south linear orientation close to Walker Ridge Road.
(Note: the Issue Update Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.):

Related: "WIND ENERGY" (BLM California Issue Update)
Wind energy project near Palm SpringsAn increasing need for clean, low cost energy is providing for a growing interest in developing wind energy generation capabilities in California. When operated at capacity, wind energy turbines on public lands near Palm Springs, now provide electrical energy for 215,000 homes.


"County asks feds for road" (San Bernardino County Sun, 04/30/2003)
"Policy shift may allow for new rights-of-way on land held by BLM." San Bernardino County supervisors vote "to apply to take over the right-of-way of an existing road on federal land. The county may be the first in the nation to try to take advantage of a recent change in U.S. Interior Department policy to allow the move, which has been a hot issue this year among environmentalists and those who argue that too much public land has been off-limits.",1413,208%257E12588%257E1358914,00.html

Related: "Request for road to test new rule" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/30/2003)

Related: "County asserts claim to trails" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 04/29/2003)
San Diego County joins others in claiming the right to build roads or trail on public lands. "It remains to be seen whether the county builds new roads and trails or opens existing ones in areas such as the Cleveland National Forest and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ...officials said the action will help them with an ambitious plan ... to build or improve 800 miles of trails, some of them on land now controlled by the federal government, including wilderness closed to the public."


Virginia flying squirrel - Photo credit: Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles, California Academy of Sciences. "Arboreal (tree-living) animals have at least one of five characteristics that allow them to climb effectively. How many of these 5 characteristics can you come up with?"
(See answers near end of this issue of News.bytes)
Wildlife Trivia Question mark of the Week


Thank you to our readers, for comments on the Spanish translation of our Web site. Most of you pointed out the limitations of an automated translation device such as this (to try it, visit our BLM California Home page, and click on the "Espanol." link at the lower left). While we recognize its shortcomings, BLM California is trying to provide a service to our constituents - a service that we could not otherwise provide, with limited resources. We will continue to look at our options.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Canned Stuffed Animal Polar Bear"

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Canned Stuffed Animal Polar Bear"
Just for fun! For yourself, or a gift for a young - or not so young - person in your life.


"Outstanding BLM Volunteers and Employee Selected to Win 2003 National Volunteer Awards for "Making a Difference"(BLM California news release, 04/28/2003)
Two California volunteers among "nine outstanding individual and team volunteer nominations and one exceptional employee nomination ... selected to receive BLM's 2003 "Making a Difference" National Volunteer Awards. Dave Johnson, resident volunteer and caretaker at BLM Bakersfield Field Office's Squaw Leap Management Area, and Jerry and Pat Vine, who help care for Tuttle Creek Campground near Lone Pine (BLM Bishop Field Office).


"Campers: Have Tent, Will Travel" (Newsweek, 05/05/2003)
"You can find a free place to pitch your tent practically anywhere....solitude seekers looking to pull a Greta Garbo should look to the BLM, which can set you up on 262 million remote acres in the West."

"Desert District Fee Demonstration Program to Expand" (BLM California news release, 4/25/2003)
The BLM California Desert District is currently evaluating its fee demonstration program to include initiating or increasing fees at certain sites. As funding strategies become more challenging, alternate sources of funding are needed in order to maintain or expand quality recreation experiences at sites throughout the BLM desert management area.

"Parklands debate keeps trekking" (USA Today, 04/24/2003)
California public lands linked to lifted snowmobile ban in Yellowstone National Park. Decision "marks a turning point in a cultural war over how Americans use tens of millions of acres of national parks, forests, ranges, and recreation areas. On one side are those who want to ride snowmobiles, dirt bikes and Jet Skis. On the other are those who would rather hike, ski or sail without noise and pollution. 'It's NASCAR vs. Patagonia,'" says one observer ... "And NASCAR is winning."

"Lack of buoys near California questioned" (Lake Havasu News-Herald, 5/1/2003)
"Boaters and personal watercraft users who venture to the California side of Lake Havasu may want to proceed with caution — hazard buoys that are familiar on the Arizona side are nonexistent near California shores." Officials from various agencies managing areas along the California side of the lake - including BLM -explain the situation.


"Office manager sings praises of her 'workplace' with poetry" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 5/1/2003)
"Something about the desert's solitude and magnificent openness lets the spirit sing." Office manager of Jawbone Canyon Visitor's Center - operated by partnership of non-profit group and BLM - writes poetry including joys of the popular off-roading site. Also: "Free information is available on all the surrounding areas --what's open, what's not, what the rules are, where to get help, and how to take care of the fragile desert." Story includes two of her poems.

"Community puts money where its mouth is for Carthenon project" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 5/1/2003)
"[Barstow] Chamber of Commerce officials have received $5,000 in donations, just a week after asking community members to help foot the bill for the Carthenon, a pillared structure that would sit alongside Interstate 15" on BLM-managed land. Project spokesman says mineral-rights holder agreed to support it. BLM manager quoted as saying, "That structure might be the best use for that land.",60598,

"Tortoise Days to be 'Star of the Desert'" (Antelope Valley Press, 5/1/2003)
Officials expect 8,000 to 10,000 people to event partly celebrating nearby Desert Tortoise Natural Area, managed by BLM California.

Related: "Desert Tortoise Natural Area" (BLM California Web pages)

"BLM seeking applicants for summer land survey jobs" (BLM California news release, 4/25/2003)
Five land survey technicians and aides will work from BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville. The survey assistants will work through November on public land survey projects. The jobs pay from $9.42 to $16.06 per hour, depending on experience.

"Norton heeded senators in wilderness decision" (Glenwood Springs Post Independent, 04/28/2003)
Colorado's two U.S. Senators "called for suspension of reviews ... of additional lands for possible wilderness designation" in BLM-managed public lands.

Related: "No limit on wilderness" (San Francisco Chronicle, 04/25/2003)
EDITORIAL: "Wilderness has lost a key battle. With one April 11 announcement, U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton has rolled back wilderness protection for 2.87 million acres of public land in the West, including 35,000 acres in California .... Californians know wilderness is irreplaceable."

"Firefighters train for the wild" (Victorville Daily Press, 04/28/2003)
"With masses of trees dying in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains due to the Western pine 'bark' beetle infestation, Apple Valley Division Chief ... said he wanted his district - along with the [BLM] team that is housed in Apple Valley - to be prepared. About 60 firefighters are training for four months to be certified to fight wildfires.,48942,

"The Battle of Ft. Ord" (Los Angeles Times, 04/27/2003)
"Monterey County communities fighting over ways to use the abandoned Army base are discovering a new truth about the California coast - it's for the rich only." Article refers to the development battle among local governments who inherited parts of Fort Ord, rather than the BLM, which "got the big, wild inland swatches."

Related: "Fort Ord public lands" (BLM California Web pages)
(BLM California Web pages) Links to the recreation opportunities, wildlife and habitat information and volunteer opportunities on the parts of the former Army base that were transferred to BLM management for public use.

"Interior Secretary's science advisor calls for new actions to combat invasive species" (Department of Interior news release, 04/29/2003)
Advisor tells House Committee: "Invasive plants alone are estimated to cause more than $20 billion per year in economic damage. Invasive animals and pathogens push the total cost to the U.S. economy to more than $100 billion each year," One example cited is the spread of tamarisk (salt cedar) a major problem in areas of southern California managed by BLM. He calls for "first-of-its-kind crosscutting interagency federal budget and new partnerships at the state, local, and tribal levels."

"Preserve expansion weighed" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 04/26/2003)
State officials said close to buying more than 1,000 acres to help preserve habitat at Coachella Valley Preserve. BLM California is a partner in managing the Preserve.

Related: "Coachella Valley Preserve - Watchable Wildlife site" (BLM California Web pages)

ANSWER TO WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "Arboreal (tree-living*) animals have at least one of five characteristics that allow them to climb effectively. How many can you come up with? Wildlife Trivia Question mark of the Week
    1. Prehensile tail. ("Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object."*) seen in mammals such as opossums;
    2. Long, sharp claws (seen in mammals such as squirrels)
    3. Opposable digits (seen in primates).
    4. Flap of skin connecting forelimbs and hindlimbs (seen in flying squirrels)
    5. Long forelimbs and fingers (seen in monkeys)
      (*definitions from )

Do "flying" squirrels really fly? Learn more on 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.):

(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.)

05/05/2003 - NEMO public scoping meeting - Yucca Valley
Yucca Valley

05/07/2003 - NEMO public scoping meeting - Las Vegas
Las Vegas

05/10/2003 - Norco wild hose and burro adoption

05/12/2003 - NEMO public scoping meeting - Tecopa

05/13/2003 - NEMO public scoping meeting - Ridgecrest

05/15/2003 - NEMO public scoping meeting - Independence

05/16/2003 - Siebert Cabin Recreation Area "Take Pride in America" Volunteer Project

05/17/2003 - Yreka wild horse and burro adoption

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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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