A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 142 - 1/27/04:
Meet Your Advisory Council MembersFish Slough Watchable Wildlife areaBOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Mammals"Where is This?Dr. Eric Ritter
- Not for Educators Only:
      - Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: Uniquely fishy
      - Our readers write: Last week's Wildlife Trivia question
      - Where is This? (interactive photo quiz)
      - Photo Album: "Fish Slough"

      - Bookstore Feature: "California Mammals"
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Dwight McNaughton
- Profile: Dr. Eric Ritter
- Land use planning, meetings
      - Navy seeks surplus BLM lands for Mid-East combat training
      - Meetings on land use plan alternatives: Northeast California and Northwest Nevada
      - Seeking comments on plan amendment, land sale: Redding area
      - Public workshop on vehicle route designations: Redding Field Office
- Cemex gravel plans
- BLM California job openings
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
      - Fort Ord habitat in peril from mountain bikers
      - South Yuba plan
      - Tundra swans' 'perfect habitat'
      - Agency faults local government, BLM growth plan
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
      - Wild horse and burro adoption
      - Public meetings
      - Guided hikes
      - Volunteer event
      - Geology talk

Widlife Trivia Question Mark of the weekWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Which one of the following things is true about the Owen's pupfish?
sketches of Owens tui chub and Owens pupfish(a) It is one of the newest fish species discovered - first seen in pools in the desert in 1972.
(b) It is the largest known pupfish - reaching up to three feet long.
(c) Given the chance, it will eat its weight in mosquitoes in about one week.
(d) It was once thought to be extinct - but was rediscovered in the 1960's.
(e) Given a long enough pond and a headwind, it can fly.
(f) It can walk on land for almost half a mile.
(See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)

OUR READERS WRITE: Last week's Wildlife Trivia Question
Last week's Wildlife Trivia Question mentioned that "The Salt Creek pupfish is one of the few that the public is allowed view. The Death Valley National Monument has a boardwalk designated for just that purpose." -->A reader from Inyo County points out that the area is actually the "Death Valley National Park."

PHOTO ALBUM: "Fish slough"
An idyllic spot any summer day, the "slough," or water filled depression, is fed by Sandy Springs Creek which bubbles up from the ground. Fish Slough is a lush oasis amid an otherwise arid landscape - with less than six inches of rain, and summer temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The unusual surface water supply provides for varied plant and animal life, from unique and sensitive species such as Owens pupfish and Owens tui chub, to resident and migrating birds, and small mammals.

Fish Slough Watchable Wildlife AreaRELATED: FISH SLOUGH LINKS

"Fish Slough Watchable Wildlife Area" (BLM California Web site)

"The Ghosts of Fish Slough" (BLM California Web site)

"Motor Touring in the Eastern Sierra: Fish Slough, Red Rock Canyon, Casa Diablo" (PDF file, Adobe Acrobat Reader required):

"Fish Slough petroglyphs" (BLM California Web site)

Where is This?WHERE IS THIS? (Interactive photo quiz)
(1) High Rock Canyon Wilderness Area
(2) Old Woman Mountains Wilderness Area
(3) Surprise Canyon Wilderness Area
Take your best guess and check your answer against other readers, in our interactive photo quiz:

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Mammals"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Mammals"
Reference guide to California's Mammals. "An excellent reference for the naturalist, science teacher or similar enthusiast who wants tips on how to get closer to animals in the wild or who needs to identify collected specimens."

Dwight McNaughton"Meet your Advisory Council Members: Dwight McNaughton
Central California Advisory Council member Dwight McNaughton is a Bakersfield native and has extensive knowledge of the Central California region. His training and experience in the petroleum industry and land development business give him background to serve on the council, where he represents land use interests. Learn more in our weekly News.bytes feature:

Dr. Eric RitterPROFILE: Dr. Eric Ritter
Eric Ritter is a detective. He investigates the history and culture of Native American tribes and early inhabitants of north-central California. He researches, interprets and safeguards BLM's heritage resources and Native American cultures. Learn more in our News.bytes profile feature:

Related: "Shasta course to research, excavate parts of Hiram Good cabin site" (Red Bluff Daily News, 1/21/2004)
"Shasta College is currently offering a spring semester class which promises to provide a closer look into the early history of Tehama County and the north valley, including the ruins of an infamous Indian hunter....Limited enrollment is available for interested persons to enroll in Dr. Eric Ritter's Archaeology 4 course sponsored by Shasta College....Ritter has over 40 years of regional experience in archaeology and is also associated with the Bureau of Land Management and the University of California, Berkeley."


"BLM will hold meetings on land use plan alternatives" (BLM California news release, 01/23/2004)
Development of land use planning alternatives for public lands in the Northeast California region will be discussed in three public meetings to be hosted by the U. S. Bureau of Land Management in early February. When completed, the alternatives will become part of draft Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for BLM-managed public lands in Northeast California and extreme Northwest Nevada. These plans will guide land use decision making for the next 20 years.

"BLM seeking comments on plan amendment, land sale" (BLM California news release, 01/23/2004)
The BLM is seeking public comments on a proposal to sell 100 acres of public lands near Redding for possible development of a regional firing range. Public meeting is set for Feb. 4; comments are due March 8.

"BLM to host public workshop on vehicle route designations" (BLM California news release, 01/23/2004)
The BLM's Redding Field Office will host a public workshop Wednesday, Feb. 18, to get public suggestions for vehicle road and trail designations on BLM-managed public lands.

"South Yuba plan flows smoothly" (Grass Valley Union, 01/22/2004)
"Mix together private property rights and issues concerning the South Yuba River in Nevada County, and the result is usually combustible debate fueled by ideology. So, considering that private land was the topic Tuesday night at the 12th meeting of the South Yuba River Comprehensive Management Plan, things were surprisingly genial between the approximately 20 people." The management plan will govern public lands managed by BLM, U.S. Forest Service and the state, and while it "won't implement any rules on private property abutting the river, private landowners in the river corridor are key stakeholders in the process."

"Navy seeks use of surplus BLM lands to train for Mid-East combat" (The Eastern Empire Guardian, 01/21/2004)
"The U.S. Navy Mountain Warfare Training Center, lauded by users as the closest terrain and climate to Afghanistan that the U.S. military has to prepare troops for Middle East action, plans to grow by 4,468 acres of surplus BLM land to augment and buffer the existing facility....About 50 area residents attended an open house/scoping meeting" on the proposal. (Note: Follow the link from the Home page -- including a possible update to the story.)

"Agency faults growth plan" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 01/21/2004)
"A growth plan for the region that includes the swelling suburbs of Victorville and Hesperia is coming under fire by the state's wildlife agency. The California Department of Fish and Game, in a review of the plan submitted by San Bernardino County and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said the plan offers so few species protections that it fails to meet requirements under the California Endangered Species Act."


"County to permit Cemex?" (The Santa Clarita Signal, 01/24/2004)
"A state agency is making plans with the expectation that the county is about to approve environmental permits for a controversial mining project in Soledad Canyon - the same permits the county denied in 2002....A reversal by the county could pave the way for Mexican cement giant Cemex to extract 78 million tons of sand and gravel over the next 20 years."

"Questions raised on mine" (Los Angeles Daily News, 01/23/2004)
"A third public agency has requested that the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Cemex mining project in Canyon Country be recirculated because of new information about the discovery of an endangered toad living on the site to be mined. The city of Santa Clarita announced Friday that the state Department of Fish and Game is asking for more time to review the EIR...." States that "city officials are declaring victory" in their efforts against the project.,1413,200~20949~1911141,00.html

"Environmental questions keep mine foes afloat" (Antelope Valley Press, 1/27/2004)


"Current job openings with BLM California"
Positions include forestry technician, supervisory law enforcement ranger, maintenance worker and more:

For more information and to complete the application process, visit the Office of Personnel's "USA Jobs" Web site:


"Fort Ord habitat in peril from mountain bikers" (Monterey County Herald, 01/21/2004)
"Illegal bike trails on Fort Ord...cut by rogue mountain bikers under cover of darkness, can damage the former base's rare habitat, encouraging erosion and crushing vegetation. The [BLM] has fought a largely losing battle against off-trail riding by posting signs and hauling brush to obstruct off-limit areas. Now, officials are attacking the problem at its source with an education campaign aimed at cyclists themselves."

"Tundra swans' 'perfect habitat' " (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 01/26/2004)
"Stornetta ranch near Pt. Arena Lighthouse an annual haven for migrating waterfowl....Conservationists are negotiating with the Stornetta family to preserve most of its coastal property....In June, the state Coastal Conservancy voted to move ahead with the $7.8 million deal, which is pending agreement between the Stornetta co-owners and state and federal agencies" including BLM.

"South Fork of Kern could become 'critical habitat' for endangered bird" (Bakersfield Californian, 1/26/2004)
"The critical habitat designation aims to prevent other federal agencies from harming lands that are important to endangered species. For instance, in the case of Lake Isabella, it could affect dam operations and lake levels as overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or logging and grazing permits by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management."

"The kitchen sink approach" (Federal Computer Week, 1/27/2004)
"At the California State Office of the Bureau of Land Management, officials found the high prices of content management suites beyond their budget....Only a handful of vendors were able to meet that budget requirement and handle the 50,000 pages of content spread across the bureau's servers."

The Owen's pupfish was once thought to be extinct, but it was rediscovered in the 1960's. The species is still listed as "endangered." They now occur in refuge pools at the Owens Valley Native Fish Sanctuary and at Warm Springs. A second species of pupfish - the desert pupfish - is also on the endangered list. Learn more about the Owen's pupfish in our BLM California 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.)

Related: "Endangered species in Fish Slough" (BLM California Web site)


01/26/2004 - Nature Hike on Victor Trail at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

01/29/2004 - 1/30/2004- Northeast California Advisory Council meeting

01/31/2004 - Ruth Mine Workparty - Adopt-A-Cabin Take Pride in America Event

01/31/2004 - Cache Creek Free Guided Hikes

02/05/2004 - Northwest California Advisory Council meeting

02/05/2004 - Modoc-Washoe Stewardship Committee meeting

02/06/2004 - Preview: Burbank Wild Horse and Burro Adoption

02/07/2004 - 2/8/2004- Burbank Wild Horse and Burro Adoption

02/07/2004 - Desert Hikes - North Algodones Dunes
El Centro

02/07/2004 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Palm Desert

02/07/2004 - Geology Talks at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto National Monument
Palm Desert

02/07/2004 - Cache Creek Free Guided Hikes

02/14/2004 - Cache Creek Free Guided Hikes

02/14/2004 - Geology Talks at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto National Monument
Palm Desert
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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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