A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 116 - 7/9/03

This week in News.bytes:

- Photo Album: "Law Enforcement Rangers"
- Desert land use plans challenged:
   - West Mojave Plan
   - Imperial Sand Dunes
- Bookstore Feature: "Finding Gold in the Desert"
- Mining on public lands
- BLM Advisory Councils
- Wildfire danger
- National/Department of Interior news
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
   - South Spit dedication, photos
   - Weekend driver: The wilderness way
   - BLM's Desert Advisory Council appointments
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
   - Western States Wild Horse and Burro Expo and Show
   - Draft West Mojave Plan public meetings

A BLM ranger helps with directions in the desertPHOTO ALBUM - "Law Enforcement Rangers"
The history of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ranger goes back only a few decades. During this time the use of the public lands has skyrocketed. The need for law enforcement continues to grow as rangers strive to "Protect the Public and their Public Land Resources."

"Law enforcement rangers - Needles Field Office"
(BLM California Web site)

Related: "BLM rangers - Barstow Field Office" (BLM California Web site)

BLM drangers patrol Glamis Dunes off-highway recreation areaRelated: "Law Enforcement issues - El Centro Field Office" (BLM California Web site)
El Centro Field Office area includes the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation area, a recreation area popular with off-road vehicle enthusiasts from all over Southern California.

Related: "Wrightwood man survives 3-month training course" (Victorville Daily Press, 07/08/2003)
New BLM ranger for Barstow Field Office recounts three-month natural resource police training course at the federal training center in Glynco, Ga. His assignment includes El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area.,7497,


"Rare-animal plan breeds many critics" (Los Angeles Daily News, 07/05/2003)
"Eleven years in the making, a proposal that fills two volumes 4 inches thick lays out the federal government's plan for saving the desert tortoise and the Mohave ground squirrel from extinction. Facing competing demands from desert landowners, off-roaders, utility companies, ranchers and environmental groups, the [BLM's] proposed West Mojave Plan is already drawing criticism from all directions....The largest habitat conservation plan ever developed in the United States...was launched by a 1992 agreement among the [BLM], state and federal wildlife officials and more than a dozen desert cities and counties....the plan also proposes measures to protect more than 100 other desert animals.",1413,200%257E20954%257E1496498,00.html

"Coalition fights plan to reopen dunes" (Los Angeles Times, 07/04/2003)
"A coalition of a dozen national conservation groups is fighting the [BLM's] plan to open all but a small portion of the Imperial Sand Dunes to recreational vehicle use, continuing a protracted legal battle over access to the 160,000-acre dunes east of San Diego."

Related: "Sand Dunes area plan is met with resistance; Off-roaders and environmentalists file challenges to the Bush administration's decision" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 07/03/2003)
"In the latest maneuver over a vigorously contested patch of California desert, environmentalists challenged the Bush administration's decision to reopen a large portion of sand dunes popular with off-roaders. The protest was filed Monday by 11 environmental groups that allege the new management plan for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area does little to protect wildlife, including two species threatened with extinction."

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Finding Gold in the Desert"
From the book's description: "Almost everyone at least dreams about finding gold. This book tells you how you can make that dream a reality, without a great investment in time or money. Newly revised edition included plans to build a drywasher." Plan ahead now for fall and winter, when the California desert's dangerous summer heat subsides.


"County, state disagree on impact of rules on Mojave-area mine" (Desert News, 07/03/2003)
"State and Kern County officials are still at odds over the potential impact of a new state law and regulations on plans to mine gold on Soledad Mountain southwest of here....[the law and new regulations] require gold mining operations in California to meet tough new standards for 'reclaiming' property when mining ends." Golden Queen Mining Company's project was approved by the BLM and the county.

Related: "New law could frustrate Mojave gold mine plans" (Desert News, 06/30/2003)
Related: "A state law and regulations issued by a state agency could end any hope of opening a large gold mining operation on Soledad Mountain southwest of here, government and mining industry representatives claim." Law was targeted proposed Glamis gold mine in Imperial County, near a sacred Native American site. "But the State Mining and Geology Board took the bill one step further, approving regulations extending the requirements to all metallic mines in California."


"Preston Arrow-weed appointed to BLM's Desert Advisory Council" (Imperial Valley Press, 07/07/2003)
The Quechan Tribe member "will represent the public at large and specifically Native American interests during his three-year term....Arrow-weed said he is interested in stopping destruction of plants, animals and resources in the desert."

"BLM Northwest California Advisory Council to meet in Mt. Shasta, July 17-18" (BLM California news release, 07/07/2003)
Members of the BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council will discuss a draft management plan for the Upper Klamath River, when they hold a field tour and meeting.


"Firefighters contain Kern County blaze" (Associated Press in the Sacramento Bee, 7/8/2003)
"Firefighters working in high temperatures Tuesday contained a 180-acre wildfire in Sequoia National Forest....Increasing fire dangers prompted the BLM and Sequoia National Forest to issue campfire restrictions on land managed by the two agencies in several California counties. For the rest of the summer, no open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be allowed outside of developed recreational areas in Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties."

Related: "Fire restrictions go into effect for Kern County" (BLM California news release, 7/7/03)

Related: "Suspicious blazes under investigation" (Bakersfield Californian, 7/9/2003)
Officials planned to restrict the lighting of campfires on all federal and state protected lands in Kern County....No open fires will be allowed outside developed campgrounds or designated exempt areas. ....Those lighting campfires in designated campgrounds should also have a permit...available [free] at any Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service office."

"A-3 fire burns three homes near Standish" (BLM California news release, 7/3/2003)
A wind-whipped wildfire destroyed three homes and burned 1,100 acres in eastern Lassen County, after being touched off by sparks from mowing equipment. The fire was named for its location off Lassen County Road A-3, about three miles east of the junction of Highway 395.

"White House seeks $1.9 billion more in disaster relief" (Associated Press, in Sacramento Bee, 07/07/2003)
Request includes "$289 million for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for fighting wildfires, on top of $511 million already approved. Wildfires have been milder so far this year than they were during the intense fire season of 2002; the 923,000 acres burnt so far are less than one-third of last year's total to date."


"States lay claim to passages through federal wilderness" (Wall Street Journal article, in San Francisco Chronicle, 7/9/2003)
"This is a road?...Under an obscure federal policy enacted in 1866, called Revised Statute 2477, this passage and thousands of other dirt and rock paths traversing federal lands throughout the West can be claimed by counties and states -- and thus kept open -- if the byways meet certain roadlike criteria."

"BLM and Forest Service seek public input on Stewardship Contracting,
a tool for Healthy Forests Initiative and rangelands"
(BLM national news release, 6/27/2003)
"The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service are seeking public input on an administrative tool for stewardship contracting, which will improve and restore forest and rangeland health projects under the Bush Administration’s Healthy Forests Initiative."

"Wild places" (Washington Post, 07/03/2003)
EDITORIAL: Wilderness policy and R.S. 2477 rights-of-way on public lands: "While both sides couch the issues in legal terms, the real question is one of policy. That is, to what extent should the Bush administration reverse a Clinton administration policy that is biased toward putting more land under wilderness protection and placing more roadless areas of forest beyond the reach of loggers -- and replace it with one biased in precisely the opposite direction?"

"Other view: Water 2025: Lessons to learn in California's stormy water history" (Sacramento Bee, 07/08/2003)
Department of Interior officials meet in Sacramento this week to discuss Western water issues. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton writes of the conference: "The goals of Water 2025 are to start a dialogue that can help identify areas facing the greatest potential risk of water shortages in the next 25 years; to evaluate the most effective and attainable ways of addressing the challenges; and to recommend realistic approaches and tools that have the most likelihood of success."

Related: "Norton's surprising stance" (Sacramento Bee, 07/07/2003)


"South Spit dedication" (BLM California Web site)
A view along the dunes at Humboldt County's South SpitA crowd of about 100 local, state and federal officials were on hand along with interested members of North Coast communities, for a ribbon cutting and dedication of this important North Coast recreation and habitat location. New picnic sites, interpretive kiosks and directional signing are in place. Visitors are returning. And plovers are nesting on the spit for the first time in several years.

Related: "South Spit photos"
Photos of the South Spit from the California Coastal Records Project, whose goal is "to create an aerial photographic survey of the California Coast and update it on a periodic basis."

"Invasion of the Rock Jocks" (High Country News, 07/07/2003)
"Have rock climbers turned from environmental crusaders into an environmental menace?" Story from BLM-managed land near Bishop, California - a center of the hot new sport of bouldering.

Related: "Bouldering on the Tableland - Bishop, California" (BLM California Web site)

"Weekend driver: The wilderness way" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 07/05/2003)
"Hidden truck trail near Mexico proves to be worth the hunt....Otay Mountain Truck Trail is about 20 miles each direction from Dulzura to just past the Otay Mountain peak. This is a one-way drive, as exit routes to the west are over private property...." Writer takes a four-wheeler on the rugged gravel road through BLM-managed Otay Mountain Wilderness Area, part of the Otay National Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management Area.

"Judge OKs Mexican electricity shipments" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/9/2003)
"A San Diego federal judge refused yesterday to halt shipments of electricity to the United States from two new power plants in Mexico, striking a blow to an environmental group that sought to shut off the cross-border power flow." Groups had sued BLM - over rights-of-way permits for power lines into the U.S. - and Energy Department.

Related: "U.S. judge refuses to halt Mexican electricity imports" (Associated Press, in Sacramento Bee, 7/8/2003)

"Maturango may help care for historic sites" (Ridgecrest News Review, 7/9/2003)
"Officials from the Ridgecrest Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and the Maturango Museum have confirmed that talks are under way to include the museum in the management and operation of Burro Schmidt Tunnel." The museum helps care for Bickel Camp, and the two sites are "remnants of the 1930s mining era, “an interesting and important piece of history to share with the people of California and around the world..."
Find the link on the Home page at:

"Geospatial One-Stop opens" (Federal Computer Week, 07/01/2003)
"The Office of Management and Budget and the Interior Department on June 30 launched the Geospatial One-Stop portal, the long-awaited first step toward consolidating vital geospatial data across federal, state and local agencies. The portal ( is one of the 24 cross-agency e-government initiatives, and it is truly cross-governmental. Much of the detailed data -- such as the location of sewer lines, hospitals and community centers -- is collected and held by state and local governments."

"No shortage of challenges for bowmen" (Lake County Record-Bee, 7/9/2003)
"The Zone A deer archery season opens Saturday and hunters can expect typically hot and dry conditions." Discusses bow-hunting in several Lake County areas, including BLM-managed lands.,1413,255%257E26902%257E1502056,00.html

(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.)

07/15/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting

07/16/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting
Lone Pine

07/17/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting

07/17/2003 - Northwest California Advisory Council
Mt. Shasta

07/18/2003 - Western States Wild Horse and Burro Expo and Show

07/22/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting

07/23/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting
Yucca Valley

07/24/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting

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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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