A publication of
Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue date: 2/6/2003

This week in News.bytes:

- Cattle grazing on public lands
- Recreation on public lands in California
- Not for Educators Only:
     - Plant of the Week: Hoary Cress
     - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: big frog
     - Bookstore Feature: Geology at your feet
- Off-highway issues
- National News
- Headlines and Highlights
- Selected Upcoming Events


"2003 Federal Grazing Fee Announced" (BLM National Office news release, 02/06/2003)
The grazing fee for western public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) in 2003, down from $1.43 in 2002.

"Grazing Proposal Stirs Up Concerns" (San Bernardino County Sun, 02/04/2003)
"Critics: Too risky for High Desert ... Environmentalists fear proposed changes in federal policy regulating cattle-grazing on public lands will set back protections for endangered species, such as the desert tortoise.",1413,208%257E12588%257E1158210,00.html

Related: "BLM Considers Changes to Grazing Regulations In Effort to Improve Public Rangeland Management" (Department of Interior news release, 1/3/03)
"The changes under consideration would enhance community-based conservation and promote cooperative stewardship of the public rangelands," BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said. "The potential changes would also improve BLM business practices and provide greater flexibility to managers and grazing permittees in the administration of public rangelands."


A scene along the Lost Coast"Ranch added to Lost Coast public properties" (Eureka Times Standard, 02/05/2003)
"The second piece in a puzzle of lands on the Lost Coast has been put into public hands (The 188-acre Barri Ranch, a spectacular piece of property through which the public will have easy access...) In an unusual twist, an owner of the property will keep a small plot inside the parcel and remain on the land. Grazing also will be allowed." BLM has been managing a group of properties in this Lost Coast Headlands Project.,1413,127%257E2896%257E1159649,00.html

Related: "Lost Coast Headlands Acquisition Project" (BLM California Issue Update, 2/6/03)
BLM California will continue working with other groups on this effort "and is committed to maintaining the natural character of the landscape, providing public access, and ensuring that livestock grazing is continued in accordance with federal regulations."

"Local pair to help promote the Volcanic, All American Scenic road" (Herald News, 02/03/2003)
"Oregon's portion of the All American Road was designated in 1999 and the California portion of the road was designated last June. With the inclusion of the California portion, a strong emphasis has been placed on promoting a 'seamless' by-way system connecting the communities and diverse attractions along the entire All-American Road." Representatives from BLM join local governments and other groups in promoting tourism opportunities along the road.


Bookstore Feature of the Week: Geology Underfoot in Southern California Bookstore Feature: "Geology Underfoot in Southern California"
An "inside view" of the Southland's active landscape with sketches that provide a glimpse of the earth's awesome forces.
Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: "What is California's largest native frog?"
(See answer near end of this issue of News.bytes)
Plant of the Week: Hoary Cress Plant of the Week: Hoary Cress
Deep rooted perennial plant. Leaves are blue-green and lance-shaped. Lower leaves stalked, while upper leaves have two lobes clasping the stem. Clusters of white flowers give a white, flat-topped appearance.


"BLM Approves Western Colorado Desert Routes of Travel Designations Plan" (BLM California news release, 01/31/2003)
BLM California State Director Mike Pool has signed the decision record approving the Western Colorado Desert Routes of Travel Designations (WECO), an amendment to the 1980 California Desert Conservation Area plan.

Related: "BLM approves off-road travel destinations for Imperial County desert area" (Imperial Valley Press, 02/04/2003)
"Off-road routes of travel designations amendment for the Western Colorado Desert -- routes of travel connect public lands to state and county roads and private roads across private property. The amendment affects about 475,000 acres and more than 2,300 miles of off-road routes on BLM-managed land..."

"Editorial: Bush's land giveaway" (Sacramento Bee, 2/2/03)
ditorial: "An open door to roads on wilderness lands"

Related: "BLM Issues Final Rule on Conveyances, Disclaimers, and Correction Documents" (BLM National Office news release)

Related: "Road rules concern activists" (Bakersfield Californian, 02/05/2003)
"A new federal rule that took effect Wednesday could give counties control over thousands of miles of old livestock trails and wagon roads, alarming environmentalists who fear the gates of pristine wilderness areas will be thrown open to destructive off-road vehicles."

"California commission stirs off-road vehicle debate" (Associated Press in San Diego Union Tribune, 2/3/03)
"An obscure state commission that controls millions of fuel tax dollars is driving a new debate over the use of off-road vehicles on public lands in California." (Note: several earlier stories ran in last week's News.bytes)


"BLM Requests $1.7 Billion for FY 2004 Budget to Meet Needs of Managing Public Lands for Multiple Uses" (BLM National Office news release, 02/03/2003)

Related: "Bush administration seeks money for border parks, federal lands" (San Francisco Chronicle, 02/05/2003)
"After a year that saw a park ranger slain along the Mexican border and scathing criticism from the Interior Department's inspector general, the Bush administration is seeking $6 million to shore up patrols of federal lands along the border." (BLM Rangers also patrol several areas along the U.S. Mexico border.)

"Secretary Norton Announces $160 Million in State Grants from Land and Water Conservation Fund" (Department of Interior news release, 01/31/2003)
Includes $13.5 million for California. State and local governments are required to match their grant 50/50.


"BLM offers $7,500 reward for campground vandalism information" (BLM California news release, 02/04/2003)
A $7,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for extensive vandalism that occurred in late January at a public campground in western Napa County.

California Desert District Office moves this weekend:
Telephone lines to BLM's California Desert District office will be down as of mid-morning February 7, 2003, in preparation for the move to a new office. Phone service is expected to be working Monday, February 10, 2003. Telephone numbers for the office will remain the same.
The new address is:
22835 Calle San Juan de los Lagos
Moreno Valley, CA 92553

Related: "Movin' On Down the Road" (BLM California news release, 1/30/03)
California Desert District is moving from its current location at 6221 Box Springs Boulevard in Riverside to a new office.

"BLM Seeking new member for northeast California advisory council" (BLM California news release, 02/05/2003)
The BLM is seeking a person to fill a vacancy on its Northeast California Resource Advisory Council, a citizen group that provides advice to the agency's managers. The vacancy is for a term in membership category three, for a seat representing Native American tribal interests. A new council member will serve the balance of a term that expires in September 2004, and will then be eligible to compete for the full three-year term.

"Glamis landfill gets go-ahead" (Imperial Valley Press, 02/05/2003)
BLM involved in this issue through legal challenge to a land exchange.

"BLM, Partners will burn slash piles near Weaverville" (BLM California news release, 2/5/03)
Fire crews are targeting the week of Feb. 10 to complete burning of debris piles created during construction of a shaded fuel break at the Timber Ridge subdivision near Weaverville.

"BLM reschedules the next oil & gas lease sale for June 4th" (BLM California news release, 02/04/2003)
The BLM has cancelled the oil and gas lease sale scheduled for March 12, 2003. The next sale of oil and gas leases on federal land is planned for June 4, 2003, and the oil and gas industry is being asked to identify federal lands in California with potential for development. BLM calls this an "expression of interest."

"Trees targeted for water use" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 02/03/2003)
Cutting nonnative groves of tamarisks (also known as saltcedar) brings puddles of water bubbling to the surface of the desert - helping to sustain the BLM-managed Dos Palmas Preserve, that many animals rely on as an oasis for water. Salt cedars in the southwest are estimated to suck up almost as much water as the entire California allocation from the Colorado River. Officials are asking if paying for tamarisk eradication programs would go a long way toward helping ease the state water crisis.

Scene at Dos Palmas PreserveRelated: "Watchable Wildlife Site: Dos Palmas Preserve" (California Web site)
This oasis in the midst of the dry Colorado Desert shelters many animal species -- on 1,400-acres at the heart of a 20,000-acre area created to protect important biological resources. BLM has worked with partners such as The Nature Conservancy and California Department of Fish and Game to acquire and manage this sensitive habitat, and with Ducks Unlimited to design wetland restoration projects.

"Save Wiley Coyote' campaign strikes a chord at BLM" (The Daily Independent, 02/05/2003)
Brief item: "The story of the Bureau of Land Management's Horse and Burro Facility versus a few troublesome coyotes has taken an interesting turn..."

"Some objections aired on West Valley hydro plant project" (Modoc News, 01/30/2003)
Proposal for "two modest-sized power plants on the South Fork of the Pit River" requires developer to fund a BLM review process. BLM California manages significant amounts of land along the Pit River.
(Note: this item opens in the middle of a rather long Web page, which could make it more difficult to print.)

"Planning for goldfields use" (Appeal-Democrat, 02/03/2003)
Yuba Goldfields area: "Mined land unsafe for recreational use until reclaimed, officials say .... The BLM, which owns about 1,100 acres, including land being mined, wants to eventually reclaim the land and establish a network of trails and canoe routes, BLM Field Manager Deane Swickard said."

Related: "Map of Goldfields Recreation Areas" (BLM California news release, 10/31/02)
Read details of currently available recreation areas, and follow links to maps of the Yuba Goldfields designated recreation areas. (Note that some lands may not have access across adjacent private property.)

"Bono asks feds’ help in saving Salton Sea" (The Desert Sun, 02/01/2003)
"Rep. Mary Bono and Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent a letter Friday asking Interior Secretary Gale Norton to spend more money studying new proposals to save the Salton Sea in hopes of getting the federal government more involved." BLM involved through management of some of the lands adjacent to the Salton Sea.

Related: "Salton Sea Study, Salton Sea Authority and USDI Bureau of Reclamation" ((BLM California Issue Update, 2/4/03)

" - Your one-stop site to comment on federal regulations" (U.S. Government Web site, 01/31/2003)
BLM is included in new government-wide Web site: for the public to view and make on-line comments on proposed regulations in the Federal Register. (PLEASE NOTE: BLM is on the list under "L" for "Land Management Bureau", not under "B") For BLM, the Web site will give people the chance to comment there or go to BLM's site to make comments and see all the comments already filed on-line with BLM.

"Tom Dunklin: Blending science and art" (Eureka Times-Standard, 02/03/2004)
Geologist and photographer who helped develop project to remove 3-1/2 miles abandoned road -- involved in many more projects also. One of them: an unfinished thesis "which looks into how landslides affect streamside dynamics and how microclimates created by riparian vegetation affect water temperature...",1413,127%257E2896%257E1154724,00.html

California red-legged tree frog - photo courtesy  Joyce Gross Answer to Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week, "What is California's largest native frog?"
It is the California red-legged tree frog. Some adults that have been found are over five inches long.
Learn more in our BLM California Wildlife Database, at:
(Note: see comment on "secure Web server" under Selected Upcoming Events below.)
Red-faced correction, 2/7/03: As one of BLM California's wildlife biologists pointed out almost immediately to the News.bytes Team:
""The largest frog in California is correctly known as the Red-legged Frog (Mark Twain's celebrated "Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"), not the Red-legged Tree Frog, as you listed it. Tree frogs are much smaller, such as the Pacific Tree Frog which only reaches a length of about 2 inches long."

(Note: the Upcoming Events database is now on a more 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.)

02/12/2003 - Ridgecrest OHV Grant Proposal Workshop

02/15/2003 - Fort Ord memorial planting event
Fort Ord

02/15/2003 - Wild Horse and Burro adoption - Chowchilla

02/27/2003 - Northeast California Advisory Council

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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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