A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 9/16/2003

This week in News.bytes:

Photo Album: "Camping"

- National Public Lands Day Saturday: BLM California events
- Not for Educators Only:
    - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Not native
    - "Where is This?"
    - Photo Album: "Camping"
- Bookstore Feature: Siberian Tiger pin
- Meet your Advisory Council members: James Cooksley
- Profile: Richard Leverton
- Coachella Valley Preserve issues
- Land use planning, including:
    - Fort Irwin expansion
    - "Desert land chief walks fine line"
- Wild Horse and Burro adoptions
- Department of Interior news, national news:
    - Secretary Norton announces $12.9 million conservation grants
    - California projects on list of grants
    - OPM mulls salary increase for federal firefighters
    - Federal health premiums up 10.6 percent
    - PILT bill testimony
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
    - Wind energy farm proposed: Lake County
    - Women's pheasant hunt set
    - OHV courtesy compliance checks: Redding
    - High Desert FYI: What should I do if I get lost in the desert?
    - Fort Ord burn
    - National fire news
- Selected Upcoming Events - including several advisory meetings

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


National Public Lands Day logo"Local volunteers invited to Fort Ord National Public Lands Day event" (BLM California news release, 09/12/2003)
The Bureau of Land Management is hosting its third National Public Lands Day event at Fort Ord public lands on September 20, 2003, beginning a 9 a.m. Volunteers will help with trail maintenance, native seed collection, invasive weed control, picnic area maintenance and stabilizing potential erosion areas. Beginning at noon, volunteers will be treated to a BBQ lunch, entertainment and fun activities for families.

"Our Opinion: Trash in desert is a disgrace" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 09/16/2003)
Editorial: "The BLM is currently preparing for its National Public Lands Day project for this year. It will take place in the morning Saturday in the Sawtooth Canyon area about 15 miles south of Barstow. The bureau is hoping about 250 volunteers will come. We'd love to see that many people participate. After the project is done, We also hope visitors to Sawtooth Canyon will respect the volunteers' work and do their part to keep the area free from trash.",14699,

Related: "BLM seeks Public Lands Day volunteers" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 9/13/2003)
Included in list of "in brief" events in the Barstow area.,377,

"Volunteers Needed for National Public Lands Day River Clean-up" (BLM California news release, 8/27/2003)
October 25: Needles Field Office, will join forces with tri-state area agencies and volunteers in a Colorado River clean-up as part of the 10th Annual National Public Lands Day. (BLM's Needles Field Office traditionally holds its National Public Lands Day event later in the season -- after the area's often intense summer heat.)

"Lake Mendocino cleanup planned" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 09/12/2003)
"Lake Mendocino's day-use, campgrounds and facilities will be enhanced as Mendocino County residents lend a hand on the largest annual single-day volunteer restoration effort for public lands. Volunteers from local businesses, clubs and families will pitch in at Lake Mendocino to paint, plant trees, and cleanup the park as part of the 10th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 20" - part of a national effort sponsored by partners including the Bureau of Land Management.,1413,91%257E3085%257E1627725,00.html


Wildlife trivia questions: redbelly tilapiaWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
"Not native "
The redbelly tilapia (a fish) was introduced to southern California to help control weeds in canals and coastal streams. To which one of these countries is the redbelly tilapia native? (This is not the only other country in which the fish occurs.) Compare your answer with other readers'. (Thumbnail photo credit: Jan Hoover, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station)

Where is This?WHERE IS THIS?
1. Kelso Dunes Wilderness Area
2. Cadiz Dunes Wilderness Area
3. North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area
Take the online quiz - and compare your answer - at:

Photo Album: "Camping"PHOTO ALBUM: "Camping"
Your public lands offers a variety of camping opportunities all over California. Most public lands administered by BLM are available for "primitive camping," which means you may set up camp outside of a developed campground. If you choose to do so, you must obtain a campfire permit and set up a fire safe camp with adequate sanitary arrangements. We recommend that you bring some water with you even in campgrounds that offer water at the site. All campers should be aware that there is a 14-day per year limit on the use of any campsite on public lands.

Related: "Search for recreation sites" (BLM California)
First, select an area of the state. Second, select activities you want to find. Third, select the amenities you want to find (Note: the Recreation Search Database is hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.)

Related: "Camping" (BLM California Web site)
A static list of camping sites on public lands managed by BLM California.

Bookstore Feature: Siberian tiger pinBOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Siberian Tiger pin"
The Tiger lapel pin comes with an Information Card. The Information Card contains information about its habitat, features, and more. The pin is one and 3/8 inches wide and the height is 7/8 of an inch.

Northwest California Advisory Council member James Cooksley Jim is a geophysicist and represents energy and mineral interests on the council. He has been involved in geophysical work across California and in many western states, giving him vast knowledge of the region.

PROFILE: Richard LevertonPROFILE: Richard Leverton
A Cadastral Surveyor with the Shasta Lake Field Surrvey Office, Rich is currently working with a crew surveying 35 miles of the Klamath River for the Yurok Tribe, from Weitchpee, CA to the coastal town of Klamath. He sets off for the survey site before 6:30 am and doesn't return until after 5 pm. Some areas along the river are accessible only by boat or helicopter.

Profile: Ken WQlsonNote on last week's "Profile" feature
Some copies of News.bytes sent out last week, did not include a link to the "Profile" feature. Learn more about Ken Wilson - BLM California's new State Archaeologist and Tribal Liaison - at:


"Community angry over preserve's blowing sand; Residents of Sun City state complaints at town meeting" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 09/11/2003)
"Homeowners downwind of some of the Coachella Valley's last active sand dunes lashed out Wednesday at environmental laws and government officials they accused of favoring animals over people. Hundreds of residents crowded a meeting hall in Sun City Palm Desert to protest the invasion of blowing sand into the gated golf community."

"Our Voice: Preserve land for future generations" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 09/14/2003)
Editorial: supports efforts to buy parcel of land for preservation, says it will require much creative fundraising. "Knowing that 20 to 25 years from now there will still be 8,800 acres of raw desert in the Coachella Valley is an insurance policy that not every parcel of land will be gobbled up by the valley's population explosion. It will be a refuge to those living here from sprawling development. And it will protect plants and animals.

Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard"Coachella Valley Preserve" (BLM California Web site)
A part of the Coachella Valley jointly managed by several partners, including BLM California's South Coast/Palm Springs Field Office. The Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard "swims" through sand in the dunes to escape predators or summer heat of the desert surface. Four other unique wildlife species can also be found here: the Coachella roundtailed ground squirrel, the giant red velvet mite, the flat-tailed horned lizard and the giant palm-boring beetle.


"Fort Irwin expansion delayed" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 09/16/2003)
"The timeline for the environmental review of Fort Irwin's expansion has again been moved back, a spokesman for the National Training Center said Monday. A lengthy environmental study on the project was scheduled to be released this month after its planned release in July was postponed. Now, the post hopes to release the study Nov. 30...." BLM California is involved in the environmental process.,46776,

Related: "Fort Irwin expansion" (BLM California Issue Update)
The Army received Congressional approval to withdraw additional public lands administered by BLM to expand its 642,000-acre National Training Center (NTC) facility at Fort Irwin in the California Desert by 110,000 acres for brigade level armored training. This withdrawal legislation includes language regarding the expansion's Endangered Species Act compliance issues which are linked to the BLM's West Mojave Coordinated Management Plan.

"Desert land chief walks fine line" (Riverside Press Enterprise, 09/16/2003)
"Linda Hansen grew up in the California desert, grabbing wood slabs and surfing down the crystalline hills of the Algodones Dunes near the Mexican border....Now, as the first woman to head the California Desert District for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, she's in the middle of a contentious battle over those dunes. Known as the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, the BLM-managed outpost has become a legal battleground for off-roaders passionate about riding the picturesque hills and environmentalists seeking to ban riders from areas where a rare plant lives."

"BLM announces members of Imperial Sand Dunes Technical Review Team" (BLM California news release, 9/17/2003)

"BLM to host open house in Three Rivers" (BLM California news release, 9/17/2003)
The open house Tuesday, September 30 is an opportunity for members of the community to discuss their views and concerns about public lands with the BLM. In the Three Rivers area, BLM manages several thousand acres of public land near to Sequoia National Park.


"Free horse training demonstrations coming to Stockton wild horse event" (BLM California news release, 09/05/2003)
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 and 21: Phil West, a California horse trainer, offers free horse training demonstrations during the U. S. Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro adoption event, at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton.

"Wild burros offered for adoption in Orland" (BLM California news release, 09/05/2003)
Saturday, Oct. 4: A group of wild burros will be looking for new homes, when the U. S. Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption during the third annual "Longears Cele-bray-tion," a show and competition event for donkey owners, set for the Glenn County Sheriff's Posse Memorial Arena in Orland.

"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in Woodside" (BLM California news release, 09/05/2003)
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5: Wild horses and burros, America's "Living Legends," will be looking for good adoptive homes when the BLM hosts a public adoption event at the San Mateo Mounted Patrol Grounds, 521 Kings Mountain Rd., in Woodside, Calif.


"Secretary Norton announces $12.9 million in grants to support conservation in 40 states and Puerto Rico" (Department of Interior news release, 09/16/2003)
Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced that the department has awarded $12.9 million in cost-share grants under President Bush's Cooperative Conservation Initiative to complete 256 conservation projects in conjunction with states, local communities, businesses, landowners, and other partners. The $1,243,529 federal contribution total for California projects - $6,330,531 with partnership funds - includes 15 projects on lands managed by BLM California.

Related: "DOI FY 2003 Cooperative Conservation Projects in the Challenge Cost Share Program - California" (Department of Interior news release, 09/16/2003)
Project list for California

"OPM mulls salary increase for federal firefighters" (Federal Computer Week, 09/11/2003)
"Federal firefighters could get a salary boost under an Office of Personnel Management proposal to raise the entry-level General Schedule grade for those jobs." OPM seeking comments on "proposal that would change entry-level pay for federal firefighters from GS-5 to GS-7 levels...could hike the entry-level salary for the position from as little as $23,442 annually to more than $30,000 annually."

"Health Plan Costs Up 10.6%" (Washington Post, 9/17/2003)
"Federal workers, retirees Face 4th straight double-digit rise."

Related: "FEHBP's Premium Increase And What It Really Means (Federal Diary)" (Washington Post, 9/17/2003)
"It could have been worse. That's one of the messages civil service and postal employees and retirees could take from yesterday's announcement that premiums will be going up by an average of 10.6 percent next year in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program."

"Statement...on S. 511, the PILT and Refuge Revenue Sharing Permanent Funding Act" (Department of the Interior News site)
Statement of Chris Kearney, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of the Interior, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, on S. 511,... a bill to make the [BLM's] Payments-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Refuge Revenue Sharing (RRS) Program mandatory.


"Wind energy farm proposed for corner of Lake County" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 09/14/2003)
"One of the world's largest builders of wind turbines is proposing a wind energy farm on federal land in Northern California...that would generate enough electricity for about 32,000 homes. GE Wind Energy Inc. has applied for federal permits to create a wind farm on 8,200 acres that straddle Lake and Colusa counties." Proposal is for 81 turbines, but "BLM is waiting for GE Wind to provide more details before inviting public comments and setting up public meetings," the Field Office manager said.

"Army clears the air on coming Ord burn" (Monterey County Herald, 09/11/2003)
"Sometime in the next two months, 490 acres of Fort Ord property will be torched so that towering vegetation can be cleared and thousands of pieces of explosives left behind by decades of Army presence can be uncovered." The land is slated to be turned over to BLM California management after cleanup over the next 10 or 15 years. A public meeting last week to answer questions about the burn - planned for some time between mid-September and mid-November - was sparsely attended.

"High Desert FYI: What should I do if I get lost in the desert?" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 09/16/2003)
"First, you should stay with your vehicle, Rose Foster, volunteer coordinator for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Barstow field office, said. Some people walk away from their vehicles, trying to get a signal for their cell phone. But walking away will make you harder to spot by a helicopter or search party, Foster said. Also, your vehicle will offer you shade and protection. Beyond that, much of your survival will depend on what you did to prepare before going into the wilderness."

"Women's pheasant hunt set" (Redding Record Searchlight, 09/14/2003)
"In a joint effort, Department of Fish and Game, Shasta Country Sportsmen Association, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will be sponsoring a women's pheasant hunt to take place Nov. 22 on the "Bend area" of the Sacramento River Recreation Area north of Red Bluff....All women must possess a valid 2003-2004 California hunting license and upland game bird stamp at the time of application (postcard)."

BLM schedules OHV courtesy compliance checks in Redding" (BLM California news release, 09/17/2003)
The BLM Redding office is offering free compliance checks for dirtbikes and ATVs from 8 am to noon on September 27 and again on October 4 at the BLM office, 355 Hempsted Drive, Redding.

"Navy sparks fire near Kennedy Meadows" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent)
Flare starts fire that spreads to BLM-managed lands. "Over 100 firefighters, seven engines, four air tankers, two helicopters, and three water tenders" stop the fire before it spreads beyond about 50 or 60 acres of dry brush.

"National Fire News" (National Interagency Fire Center, 09/18/2003)
Note that the fire danger continues at high levels in many parts of California - including warmer and drier weather expected in northern California.

(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.)

09/19/2003 and 9/20/2003 - California Desert District Advisory Council
News release:

09/20/2003 - Stockton Wild Horse and Burro adoption

09/20/2003 - Fort Ord National Public Lands Day event

09/20/2003 - Barstow National Public Lands Day event

9/24/2003 - Fifth South Yuba River planning meeting
Grass Valley
News release:

09/25/2003 - Northeast California Advisory Council

10/03/2003 - Rails to Trails Festival - CANCELED FOR 2003

10/03/2003 - Carrizo Plains National Monument Advisory Committee

10/03/2003 - Central California Advisory Council

10/04/2003 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Palm Desert
News release:

10/04/2003 - Woodside Wild Horse and Burro Adoption

10/04/2003 - Burro adoption at "Longears Cele-bray-tion"

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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(916) 978-4600

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