A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 137 -- 12/10/03:
Where is this?RAC member: Ryan HensonBook: "Rockhounding California"Profile: Chuck Schultz

- New grazing rules
- Interactive photo quiz: "Where is this?"
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Ryan Henson
- Profile: Chuck Schultz
- Land use planning: Coachella; bighorn sheep; shooting range
- Bookstore Feature: "Rockhounding California"
- Imperial Sand Dunes: continuing issues
- Mining: Santa Clarita; national
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
      - BLM job opening: Public Affairs Specialist for Central California
      - Guided bald eagle hikes
      - BLM co-sponsors national symposium on Baja California
      - ...and more


"Government issuing new grazing rules to help livestock owners" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 12/05/2003)
"Interior Secretary Gale Norton said Friday the nation's ranchers are true conservationists, and new grazing rules proposed by the Bush administration would give stockmen more flexibility to run their ranches and protect the land. She said ranchers have helped repair areas along streams and rivers, reduce flooding, protect against invasive plants and improve water quality on lands."

"New grazing rules to help ranchers" (Associated Press on MSNBC News, 12/05/2003)
"Overgrazing feared by activists, Interior sees as sustainable."

"Interior Secretary announces proposed grazing rule that would improve grazing management, help continue public lands ranching" (BLM National Office news release, 12/05/2003)
Includes links to Fact Sheet and Questions and Answers.

NOTE: "WILDLIFE TRIVIA OF THE WEEK" and "PHOTO ALBUM" features will return after the holidays.

Where is this?1. Jacumba Wilderness Area
2. Golden Valley Wilderness Area
3. Stateline Wilderness Area
Take your best guess and check your answer against other readers, in our interactive photo quiz:

Northwest California Advisory Council member Ryan Henson is a conservation associate with the California Wilderness Coalition and represents national and regional environmental interests on the council. Read more at:

Chuck SchultzPROFILE: Chuck Schultz
Chuck Schultz, long time field office manager for the Redding Field Office is retiring in early 2004. The Redding Field Office has marked notable accomplishments during Chuck's tenure. Read some of the highlights, and learn more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

LAND USE PLANNING: Wildlife, recreation

"Group opposes wildlife program" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/9/2003)
"In correspondence mailed to residents of southwestern Riverside County, [a] government watchdog group is asking people to join a petition drive against the county's Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan....[C]ity and county officials who support the conservation plan...accuse the statewide taxpayers association of spreading inaccurate and distorted information at the behest of local critics." Supporters say the plan will speed approval of new housing; opponents say it will make housing less affordable. (BLM is a partner in the area multi-species habitat plans.)

Related: "Conservation plan for county raises protest" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 12/9/2003)
"The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has launched a letter-writing campaign to city councils in eastern Riverside County protesting the region’s multiple species habitat conservation plan." The Sacramento-based organization "has not reviewed the draft 75-year conservation plan for the Coachella Valley region...."

Related: "Unveiling a vision: economic prosperity with environmental protection" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 12/1/2003)
As the Coachella Valley Association of Governments prepared to release the plan for a 90-day public comment period, earlier news article looked at potential for support, opposition and delays.

"County weighs options for shooting range" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 12/09/2003)
The BLM "is studying a proposal to phase out the shooting range on its Swasey Drive property within the next two years to preserve other recreational uses on the 1,250-acre parcel. But the [Shasta] county Department of Resource Management fears that closing the gun range so soon could prompt marksmen to shoot in unauthorized places in the outskirts of Redding...." and may ask that the shooting range be kept open longer.

Update: "County manager prepares for cuts" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 12/10/2003)
Mentions under "other business" that supervisors will send letter to BLM asking "slower phase-out of a gun range" on Swasey Drive and to help expedite planned alternative site.

"Hike permit plan to guard sheep" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 12/9/2003)
"Committee seeks balance between hikers, desert wildlife" by requiring hiking permits for "the most sensitive trails" that pass near bighorn sheep habitat in the lower Santa Rosa Mountains.

Related: "Federal Register Notice: Notice of closure; Restrictions on Use of Public Lands; California" (on BLM California Web site, 12/4/03)
This notice closes to casual use certain public lands managed by the BLM in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, in order to prevent hikers and other visitors from accessing ridges that overlook bighorn sheep breeding pens on the property of the Bighorn Institute.

Book: "Rockhounding California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Rockhounding California"
"Rockhounding California" describes 75 of the state's best rockhounding sites, and covers the popular and commercial sites as well as numerous little-known areas. This handy guide describes how to collect specimens, which includes maps and directions to each site, and lists rockhound clubs around the state.


"Carter gets big increase for dunes enforcement" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/06/2003)
California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission awards Imperial County Sheriff's office "$450,000 of the $500,000 in state enforcement funds" to help it patrol the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area with BLM and a coalition of other law enforcement agencies. The county's grant request had been denied earlier in the year, due to state budget cuts.

"Groups crying foul because of dune closure violations" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/06/2003)
"Environmental groups are crying foul after the 2003 Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Thanksgiving weekend, saying the [BLM] has neglected to thoroughly enforce court-mandated closures in the sensitive dune areas....[BLM chief ranger] said his rangers issued more than 1,200 citations over the holiday weekend, and many of them were for resource violations, including littering and closed-area violations." Group says it will look at BLM records to see how many citations were for closure enforcement.

"Taming Glamis" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/04/2003)
EDITORIAL: "Authorities are learning how to handle the unruly crowds that have threatened to transform the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area from an off-road Mecca to a lawless danger zone. The long Thanksgiving weekend was proof of that. But it also proved that rangers still have more to do to restore order in this popular recreation area. There's still too much trouble in the dunes, and too much cost to taxpayers."

MINING: Santa Clarita; national

"Air board revises quarry impact" (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/5/2003)
"The area's air pollution control agency has determined the proposed quarry in Soledad Canyon could have a larger environmental impact than previously believed....based on its own changing guidelines and a new methodology to detect cancer-causing agents in air, an existing draft of an environmental impact report must be recirculated...." BLM granted the bid and permit for the gravel mine.,1413,200%257E20943%257E1812381,00.html

"One creek as a test of Western land use" (Christian Science Monitor, 12/9/2003)
Precedent-setting case for public land managers? A $600 million lawsuit by a miner who holds 161claims in "one of the most biologically rich areas of North America...could affect not only the future of this patch of mountainous terrain but the balance of economic development and environmental protection across the West."

BLM Requests Nominations for the 2004 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards" (BLM National Office news release, 12/4/2003)
The awards program recognizes solid mineral (non-coal) development operations that practice the principles of sustainable development or represent outstanding examples of reclamation or environmental stewardship.


BLM job open: Public Affairs Specialist for Central California
"Duty location for this position may be in Folsom, Bishop, Bakersfield, or Hollister, California, or location to be determined -- serves under the direction of the California Field Managers in those four locations." Learn more at USA Jobs:
For other jobs now open with BLM California, visit the USA Jobs government Web site:

"BLM announces guided bald eagle viewing hikes" (BLM California news release, 12/09/2003)
Early reservations suggested for the popular January and February hikes, which are limited to 25 persons.

BLM co-sponsors national symposium on Baja California
On November 22 and 23, 2003 the BLM California State Office cosponsored -- with the government of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) -- the IV Bi National Symposium, "Balances and Perspectives on Anthropology and History of Baja California." The symposium encourages scholars and specialists from academic institutions and governmental agencies from both sides of the border to discuss recent and significant anthropological and historical issues concerning the border area and Baja California. Dr. Eric Ritter of BLM California's Redding Field Office presented a paper on the independent current archaeological research he has been conducting in Baja California. Another objective of the partnership with INAH is to jointly address the management, interpretation, and preservation of the cultural heritage of our joint border area.

"Security improvements planned at BLM horse corrals" (BLM California news release, 12/09/2003)

"BLM plans prescribed fire projects in Day Bench area" (BLM California news release, 12/09/2003)
Fire crews from the BLM's Alturas Field Office this month will be burning piles of limbs and brush created during construction of fuel breaks in the Day Bench area northeast of McArthur.

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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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