A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 132, 10/28/2003 - This week in News.bytes:
PHOTO ALBUM: Firefighting aircraftWHERE IS THIS?PROFILE: Cliff VanCottMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Jack HansonBOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Guidelines for the appraisal of market value (MV) for solid mineral interests"

- Wind energy meetings start in Sacramento
- Wildfire: California and national news
- Photo Album: "Firefighting aircraft"
- Not for Educators Only:
    - Wildlife Trivia of the Week: Redeye special
    - Where is this? (photo quiz)
- Meet your advisory council members: Jack Hanson
- Profile: Cliff VanCott
- Bookstore Feature: "Guidelines for appraisal of market value for solid mineral interests"
-National and/or Department of Interior news
    - Public land use and abuse
    - Congressional testimony: "Trail Responsibility and Accountability for the Improvement of Lands Act of 2003"
    - Wild horse issues
    - BLM chief chides agency's bureaucrats
    - ...and more
- Headlines and Highlights:
    - BLM ranger shot at
    - Fort Ord burn controversy
    - Yuma dunes enthusiast on committee to advise BLM
    - National monument plan
    - ...and more


"Sacramento is first public meeting site for wind energy development in the West" (BLM California media advisory, 10/27/2003)
In response to the President's National Energy Policy to encourage the development of renewable energy resources, the BLM has begun efforts to support additional wind energy development on public lands. The purpose of the Sacramento Regional Scoping Meetings is to identify issues and criteria that are important to the public. Public sessions will be held at the Red Lion Inn in Sacramento next Monday, Nov. 3 - at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Federal Register Notice:

"Wind Energy Development Programmatic EIS Information Center" (Web site)
The BLM will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate issues associated with wind energy development on Western public lands (excluding Alaska) administered by the BLM. This web site is the online center for public information and involvement in the EIS process.


"Northern California Crews Assisting With South State Fires" (BLM California news release, 10/28/2003)
More than 400 firefighters and support personnel from Susanville Interagency Fire Center agencies have been dispatched to Southern California to assist in the battle against widespread, deadly wildfires.

"Arson suspected in most of 10 fires; 2 men set Old Fire, witnesses say" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/29/2003)
"Most of the 10 fires that have caused one of California's largest and costliest disasters probably were caused by thrill-seeking arsonists, law enforcement authorities said Tuesday." Photos of firefighters include BLM.

"Federal regulations impede use of military aircraft to fight fires" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/27/2003)
Several Western lawmakers, frustrated by a federal law that makes it difficult to use military planes for firefighting, are pushing plans in Congress to change things. 'It just seems like a waste of resources not to be able to tap into the capabilities that the military has'," said one congressional spokesperson.

"Federal agencies take new look at controlling wildfire costs" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/29/03)
"The federal government spent $1.7 billion fighting wildfires that burned 7 million acres in 2002, an average cost of $243 per acre. That compares to $1.4 billion spent in 2000 on fires that burned 8.4 million acres, an average of $167 per acre. In the past, Congress routinely reimbursed firefighting costs but, since last year the Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management have had to cover a major portion."

"Lawmakers OK $3 billion for wildfire prevention" (Associated Press, in Sacramento Bee, 10/29/2003)
"Congressional negotiators agreed Monday to spend almost $3 billion in the coming year to combat and prevent wildfires, making history's largest one-time firefighting allocation as a series of devastating blazes tore through California."

"Hamstrung heroes?" (Los Angeles Times, 10/28/03)
"A devastating wave of fires underscores perilous choices of when to attack and when to retreat...Wildland firefighting used to be war, an all-out assault until the enemy either died or surrendered. Lately, some veterans say...[s]ociety's increasingly low tolerance for wartime-like loss of life is transforming the profession.",1,5736381.story

"National fire news - Wildland fire update" (National Interagency Fire Center)

Late-breaking fire updates with many details on the front pages of many southern California newspapers, including:
Los Angeles Times:
San Diego Union-Tribune:
Riverside Press-Enterprise:
North County Times:

"King Range roads, trails re-opened after fire" (BLM California news release, 10/28/2003)
Some trails remain closed for repairs -- Visitors should check on conditions.

"Our opinion: A burning issue" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 10/26/2003)
EDITORIAL: "The timing is all too disturbing. As the United States Senate weighs President Bush's Healthy Forests legislation -- legislation that would, among other things, spur thinning of the nation's forests to minimize the danger of wildfires -- Southern California is being scorched by another season of devastation.",54979,

"Environmentalists suspicious over Bush's Healthy Forest plan" (Knight Ridder Newspapers, in State College, PA CentreDaily, 10/28/2003)
" Environmentalists...accuse the administration of eliminating the threat of forest fires by cutting down forests..." and in remote areas, rather than populated areas that need protection. "Defenders of the Healthy Forests plan find environmental opponents knee-jerk and cynical, unwilling to deal with dangers of monster fires created by generations of overzealous fire suppression in publicly owned forests."

PHOTO ALBUM: Firefighting aircraftPHOTO ALBUM: Firefighting aircraft
One important component of successful wildfire-fighting operations are aircraft. See photos of some of them in action, in this week's News.bytes/BLM California Photo Album feature:


WHERE IS THIS?1. Bristol Mountains
2. Rodman Mountains
3. Chemehuevi Mountains
Check you answer -- and compare it to other readers' -- on our online photo quiz:

As might be expected in a large family, the Redeye bass holds a special place in the sunfish family (also known as Centrarchidae). What is this special place?
(a) Rarest
(b) Smallest
(c) Largest
(d) Most social
(e) Tastes best
---> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Northeast California Advisory Council member Jack Hanson is a Lassen County Supervisor and rancher in the Susanville area. Jack is a charter member of the advisory council and fills the elected official category on the council.

PROFILE: Cliff VanCottPROFILE: Cliff VanCott
He doesn't have the short haircut anymore but he still takes care of the fleet. Only now, it's the 27 vehicle fleet of government vehicles in the Arcata Field Office. Learn more about Cliff VanCott, Administrative Technician in BLM's Arcata Field Office, at:

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Guidelines for the appraisal of market value (MV) for solid mineral interests"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Guidelines for the appraisal of market value (MV) for solid mineral interests"
(Published by the Bureau of Land Management) "Appraisals for minerals under concern with the Federal Government almost always fall into one of five categories. These are: Mineral Material Sales, Mineral Trespass, Mineral Conveyance, Condemnation and Taking, and Exchanges. This publication discusses the techniques necessary to make a mineral appraisal in each of the five categories."


"Rural roads compromise killed" (Salt Lake Tribune, 10/29/2003)
"A ballyhooed bipartisan compromise to resolve ownership of Utah's backcountry roadways was eliminated from the final version of the Department of Interior's 2004 spending bill late Monday night by House and Senate budget writers. As a result, an April agreement between the state of Utah and the Department of Interior probably will go forward unchanged..." The agreement had been regarded as precedent-setting for BLM-managed lands in other states, including California.

"BLM studying whether to market West wild horses on East Coast" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/27/2003)
"The [BLM] is considering marketing wild horses from public lands in southern Nevada for adoption on the East Coast." Most sales now are held in Western states, but "'Our best opportunity for increasing our market is the East Coast," the head of a task force said. 'We have more people there.' The subcommittee will report its findings to...a panel that makes recommendations to BLM Director Kathleen Clark."

Related: "Adoption program for horses reviewed" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/27/2003)
"Unable to place all of the wild horses gathered from public lands, the BLM is reviewing whether it should mount a new campaign to make the animals more attractive for adoption. Nevada BLM Director Bob Abbey said the agency today is in 'dire need to find good homes for horses.' BLM Director Kathleen Clark has told staff to review wild horse adoptions, a key element of the government's wild herd management."

Related: "Horse (Non) Sense - Let's get practical about the 'spirit of wildness.' " (Field and Stream, November 2003)
Columnist: "Some would have you believe that horses and donkeys are part of our Western heritage. Far from it—these feral animals are serious competitors with native wildlife and represent an unconscionable drain on the management resources of agencies such as the BLM. Therefore, the use of firearms (not adoption or preposterous schemes revolving around contraception) represents a sane method of reducing feral herds in key habitats.",13199,534544,00.html

"BLM chief chides agency's bureaucrats, calls for more accountability" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/22/2003)
"The head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says she's demanding more accountability of her field managers to try to rein in an agency that lacked discipline under the Clinton administration."
Note: The BLM Director subsequently issued a letter to all BLM employees because the article did not accurately reflect her remarks:

"Bill targets abuse of public lands" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/22/2003)
Related: TO TESTIMONY. "The Bush administration on Tuesday came out in support of stiffer penalties for people who break the law on federal land."|

"New group advocates public land use" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/22/2003)
"More than 100 Western businesses, trade associations and individuals have formed a lobbying coalition to promote public land use and combat 'environmental extremists,' leaders announced Tuesday. The Partnership for the West unites groups that favor oil and gas exploration, changing environmental rules to benefit land users, expanding public use of federal lands, creating jobs, and turning more control over to state and local governments..."

"Statement before Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, U.S. House of Representatives: H.R. 3247 - the Trail Responsibility and Accountability for the Improvement of Lands Act of 2003" (BLM national news release, 10/21/2003)
Larry Parkinson - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement and Security at the Department of the Interior - presents the Department's views on H.R. 3247.


"Public invited to comment on Desert Southwest Transmission Line Project" (BLM California news release, 10/29/2003)

"Managing fun, nature" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/24/2003)
"Paintball tournaments, hang-gliding and unleashed pets are out at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. The national monument released its proposed management plan Thursday, calling for all pets to be leashed and forbidding recreational shooting and hang-gliding near Peninsular Range bighorn sheep preserves. Officials will solicit comments for 30 days from Oct. 31 before making a final decision."

Related: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Plan Released" (BLM California news release, 10/23/2003)
(Repeated from last week's News.bytes.)

"BLM Ranger fired upon near Chinese Camp" (Modesto Bee, 10/28/2003)
"Someone shot at a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger and missed Monday afternoon in the Red Hills, the BLM expanse near Chinese Camp in Tuolumne County."

Related: "1 held in Lode shooting incident" (Modesto Bee, 10/29/2003)

"Army burning debate persists" (Monterey Herald, 10/28/2003)
As mentioned in last week's News.bytes, a prescribed burn Friday was meant to clear areas of Fort Ord of brush and the unexploded munitions its hides -- and eventually turn the land over to the BLM. "[Army] officials have said little so far about why the prescribed burn outran its boundaries and threatened homes in Seaside and why heavy smoke wafted into residential areas from Seaside to Pebble Beach."

Related: "Fort Ord burn new challenge for company" (Monterey Herald, 10/28/2003)
"The company that oversaw the big Fort Ord burn specializes in controlling challenging blazes and wildfires, but had never managed a fire quite like the one that got away Friday, the company's local spokesman said Monday."

"Yuma enthusiast serving on committee to advise BLM on sand dunes" (Yuma Sun, 10/24/2003)

Answer: (b) Smallest.
The Redeye bass is the smallest of the sunfish family, reaching a maximum length of one foot. Learn more about the Redeye bass in our BLM California online wildlife database - including how their "dads" help the survival rate of the young. (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.)

11/03/2003 - Wind energy development scoping meeting

11/17/2003 - Joint Ventures - Partnership in Stewardship Conference
Los Angeles

11/18/2003 - Joint Ventures - Partnership in Stewardship Conference
Los Angeles

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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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