A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 119 - 7/30/2003

This week in News.bytes:
cougar on power pole
- Not For Educators Only:
   - FREE offer: "California editions of Public Rewards from Public Lands"
   - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week - Back by popular demand, after a "paws"
- Photo Album - "Mammals"
   - Bookstore Feature: TOPO! Los Angeles
- Wild horses and burros:
   - Sheltering wild horses: "A job and a cause"
   - "Cowgirls adopt mustangs and help them run free"
   - Upcoming adoption: San Jose
   - Satellite adoption Aug. 1
- Adoption event draws crowd
- Geothermal energy
- Wildfire:
   - Smoke Fire fully contained at 8,010 acres
   - High Desert "monsoon" vs. fire
   - Thunderstorm demolishes fire camp
   - Archeologists save Indian sites in fire
- National/Department of Interior news:
   - Senate Committee: Forest Acts
   - Science advisor on invasive species control
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
   - Drug dangers on public lands: "Busted!"
   - Getting on the endangered species list
   - Tours "shine a light" at San Simeon Bay
   - Public meetings toward new land use plans
- Selected Upcoming Events


FREE OFFER - "California edition of Public Rewards from Public Lands" FREE OFFER - "California edition of Public Rewards from Public Lands"
Follow the link below and fill out the online form - to get your free copy of "Public Rewards from Public Lands," a publication featuring the benefits that the American people receive from their public lands.
Remember to include your complete mailing address!
2 paw outlines question mark
- Back by popular demand, after a "paws"

Follow the link below and "vote" on which paw print belongs to a coyote. Check your answer -- and compare it to how other people have answered so far. (Hint: the other is from a cougar).

a fox from the photo album

- "Mammals"

A class of warm-blooded higher vertebrates that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usually more or less covered with hair, and include humans.
(Please allow a moment for the photo database to search our collection.)

Mountain lion, also known as cougarRelated: "Mountain Lions" (BLM California Web site)
Also known as the cougar, panther or puma, the mountain lion is native to North America and exists only in the Western Hemisphere. They produce a wide variety of sounds similar to house cat hisses, growls and mews - and can also make high-pitched whistles and a very piercing, drawn-out scream.

Related: "Wildlife database"
Learn more about mammals and other animals on BLM-managed lands, in our 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)

Interactive Maps on CD-ROM for Windows 3.1, 95 and NT. This version covers Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and surrounding recreational areas. Includes instant jump points to camp grounds, recreation areas, and points of interest.


"Finding a job and a cause in sheltering wild horses" (Washington Post, 07/29/2003)
"Steve Meyer was a trucker, a stable hand and commercial vehicle inspector before settling into a government job that makes use of all the skills he acquired over the decades." Profile of a wild horse and burro specialist with the BLM - "part cowboy, part social worker" - and how he helps wild horses from western public lands find adopted homes.

"Cowgirls adopt mustangs and help them run free; An estimated 41,000 wild mustangs roam the U.S." (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 07/27/2003)
"Members of the Cowgirl Way, a women's equestrian drill team, pride themselves on the adoption and rescue of wild mustangs. They hoped "an all-equestrian mustang team would spark the public's interest in adoption." Says president of the group: "Mustangs are beautiful horses, and they come in all colors and sizes....You're just proud to put something in your back yard that is filled with history.",1413,203%257E21481%257E1536278,00.html

"Massage therapist helps horses saddled with aches and pains" (Sacramento Bee, 7/30/2003)
Roseville woman - a massage therapist for both humans and horses - recently conducted a clinic at a BLM wild horse and burro adoption in Reno. "The horses rarely complain. The humans, she says, tend to smell better and don't attract flies." Though some people are skeptical when they first hear about it, horse massaging is an accepted practice.

"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in San Jose" (BLM California news release, 07/23/2003)
A feeling of the Old West settles over the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 17, when the U. S. Bureau of Land Management offers 80 wild horses and 20 wild burros for public adoption.

"Televised wild horse adoption on August 1" (BLM national news release, 06/26/2003)
Take part in a nationwide televised wild horse adoption from a nearby satellite downlink location - or from your own home, if you have the satellite equipment.

"Adoption schedule" (BLM national Web site)
Upcoming wild horse and burro adoptions - nationwide schedule.

Fans of wild horses and burros at a wild horse and burro adoption in Thousand Oaks tell why they adopted their animals. This event was held last weekend, but more adoptions are coming up - see links above to adoption events coming soon, and to the national upcoming adoption schedule.

"Fed horse auction over weekend" (Los Angeles Daily News, 07/24/2003)
"Tom Hill claims he can tame just about any horse, and as proof he points to 3-year-old Shammy -- one of two horses he adopted last year from the [BLM]. The caramel-colored Shammy was so wild he could barely be touched when Hill, 71, began training him. Today, the mustang's once-tangled coat is sleek, he comes to Hill's whistle, and the two ride for hours along creekbeds...",1413,200%257E20954%257E1531973,00.html

"Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Bidders Away From a Deal at Auction" (Los Angeles Times, 07/27/2003)
"Some people may look at the 80 mustangs up for adoption...and see untamed, unpredictable horses, difficult to train and expensive to care for. Troy Becker of Ojai sees perfect horses, untainted by humans. They are smart and physically superior mustangs that have endured the natural selection process, devoid of problems that can come with controlled breeding, he said. And they are blank slates when it comes to instruction, perfect for the natural methods, or 'Horse Whisperer' style, used by Becker's trainer."

"Wild horses, burros needing homes await adoption" (Ventura County Star, 07/26/2003)
A woman who adopted a wild horse, Kachina, from BLM last year says: 'He's much better-behaved than my friends' yearlings...It took me about six days, and he was following me around.'" Still, "although the adoption fee is low, people should realize taking care of a horse is a big commitment of time and money." Says a man looking at the wild burros up for adoption: "I got two about 12 years ago, and they are just the best pets and watchdogs you could get....They are fun and full of personality.",1375,VCS_166_2137790,00.html


"House Resources Subcommittee on Energy & Mineral Resources legislative hearing on Hr 2772, 'The John Rishel Geothermal Steam Act Amendments Of 2003'" (BLM national news release, 07/22/2003)
Patricia Morrison, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Land & Minerals Management, U.S. Department of The Interior, appears before the subcommittee to discuss the BLM's geothermal leasing program and efforts the BLM is undertaking to enhance geothermal energy production from Federal lands.

"Geothermal leasing in California" (BLM California Web site)
The Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, as amended provides the Secretary of the Interior with the authority to lease public lands and other federal lands, including National Forest lands, for geothermal exploration and development in an environmentally sound manner. This authority has been delegated to the BLM.

"Mammoth Pacific unveils geothermal web site" (Mammoth Times, 07/24/2003)
With new Web site "the public can now obtain general information about geothermal energy, specifics about the local geothermal facilities, copies of proposed exploration and development plans, and even learn how to schedule a tour of the geothermal power plants." BLM is involved through the geothermal permit process, and conducted a public tour of two sites with the U.S. Forest Service last weekend (as announced in last week's News.bytes).


"High Desert monsoon: Fire and ice" (Lassen County News, 07/28/2003)
The 8,000-acre Smoke Fire burned important mule deer habitat in the BLM-managed Twin Peaks Wilderness Study Area. "Braced for another round of lightning instigated fires on Wednesday, firefighters...were stunned, instead, by a torrent of rain and hail. A more vigorous flow of monsoon moisture brought much needed precipitation, downpours and hail, that largely extinguished the major fires started earlier in the week..."

Related: "Smoke Fire fully contained at 8,010 acres" (BLM California news release, 07/28/2003)
Firefighters have fully contained the Smoke Fire, which burned 8,010 acres of high desert rangeland along the California-Nevada border northeast of Susanville.  Lightning started the fire on Sunday, July 20.

Related: "Thunderstorm demolishes fire camp" (BLM California Web site)
Thumbnail photo of storm damage to fire campPhotos are from the Smoke Fire Incident Command Post at Juniper Ridge School in Termo, Calif., after a thunderstorm demolished the camp on Wednesday, July 23. The fire camp was later moved 60 miles to the Lassen County Fairgrounds, Susanville. The weather specialist on the fire management team estimated the storm produced sustained winds of 45 miles per hour. Those at the camp when the storm passed over estimated the gusts were much higher.

"Snapshots 2003 - July 25, California" (BLM Web site)
Including "Reducing the Risk, Reaping the Benefits: Within a couple months of clearing debris off roofs and thinning vegetation around their homes east of Bakersfield, a wildfire pushed through this community threatening more than 100 homes and burning four residences and five outbuildings."
PDF file, about 450 kilobytes:
Snapshots 2003 - July 25, California

"Archeologists save Indian sites in fire" (Los Angeles Times, 07/24/2003)
"As firefighters Wednesday fully contained a wildfire that has burned nearly 19,000 acres southeast of Temecula, a group of archeologists wrapped up its own work: scrambling behind the scenes to protect archeological sites." Archeologists from several agencies, including BLM, managed to mark areas so bulldozers could build fire-containment lines without obliterating historic Native American sites.


"Statement Of Mark Rey and Rebecca Watson before the Senate Committee On Energy And Natural Resources, on the Healthy Forests Restoration Act Of 2003, the Collaborative Forest Health Act and the Community And Forest Protection Act" (BLM national news release, 07/22/2003)
Mark Rey, Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, United States Department of Agriculture and Rebecca Watson, Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Department of Interior, state the administration's position on these bills.

"Science Advisor Tate affirms Department's support for invasive species control" (Department of Interior news release, 07/24/2003)
Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior Jim Tate told Congress that the administration is taking a number of steps in partnership with state and local governments to control the spread of salt cedar, Russian olive and other invasive plants that cause economic harm to communities, soak up valuable water, and increase fire hazards in much of the West.

"Ex-Interior chiefs condemn plan to privatize Park Service jobs" (Los Angeles Times, 7/30/03)
"Two former secretaries of the Interior who served under Democratic presidents" criticize plans to privatize jobs in the Department of Interior's National Park Service. One sees connection to all public lands. "The administration says the private sector can more economically and efficiently perform the same tasks now accomplished by some rangers, scientists and other employees.
But permanent employees say the proposal is a way of bringing in replacement workers who could receive lower wages and benefits, but wouldn't have the knowledge or professionalism of career park service staff.",1,3063237.story


"Busted!" (Time, 08/04/2003)
On public lands managed by BLM, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, "...drug smugglers, methamphetamine cooks and cannabis cultivators are invading federal lands as never before." Reporter goes along for a raid on a marijuana farm in California's Tahoe National Forest. A low-paid Mexican grower is arrested, but the ringleaders won't be found there....'We have a tremendous influx of Mexican growers,' says Ross Butler, a special agent for the [BLM]. 'They are sophisticated. They have guns. And we don't know much about who they are.'",9171,1101030804-471161,00.html

"Desert plan open for input" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 7/30/2003)
Last of seven public meetings on the draft West Mojave Plan is tonight in Barstow.,49020,

"Getting on the endangered species list" (Lassen County News, 07/27/2003)
Applications are being accepted for the 2003 sage grouse hunt - even as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers a petition to list sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. BLM ecologist explains how that is "part of the normal process in the protection of the ecosystem in the United States."

"BLM will hold public meetings on development of new land use plans" (BLM California news release, 07/25/2003)
People interested in management of public lands in Northeast California and Northwest Nevada have the opportunity to share their opinions, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holds a series of public "scoping" meetings throughout August.

"Coast Dairies nears public ownership" (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
"After five years of planning, tinkering and bureaucratic wrangling, roughly 7,000 acres of North Coast beach, bluffs, redwood forest and farmland is nearing public ownership." By this fall, some inland areas of former Coast Dairies property would be transferred to the BLM, coastal areas to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

"Travel log: Tours shine a light at San Simeon Bay" (Los Angeles Times, 07/27/2003)
Tours of Piedras Blancas Light Station, just north of San Simeon, are sold out at least through October. Once-per-month tours are limited to 50 people, sent by bus from nearby Hearst Castle. "The Gothic-style...Station still casts a beam 24 hours a day, although its foghorn no longer sounds and its French-made Fresnel lens was removed in 1949. A modern light was installed last year by its operator, the [BLM]."

Related: "Piedras Blancas Light Station" (BLM California Web site)
History, photos, research and other information related to Piedras Blancas Light Station.

"Studies confirm links between humans, crows, tortoise deaths" (Hi-Desert Star, 7/30/2003)
Desert tortoises in their first five years of life are often eaten by crows and ravens - and "careful observation and data collection suggest the raven and crow populations are being artificially nurtured by human activities." While the birds' population has increased, desert tortoise populations have decreased - some say that is more than coincidence. Observation points include Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, managed jointly by BLM and partners.

(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.)

07/30/2003 - Draft West Mojave Plan public meeting

08/02/2003 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Palm Desert

08/06/2003 - Scoping meeting for Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use plan

08/09/2003 - Field tour - Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use planning

08/13/2003 - Scoping meeting for Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use plan

08/16/2003 - Field tour - Northeast California and Northwest Nevada land use planning

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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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