A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 156 - 5/13/04
Bookstore Feature: Mountain Lion AlertFishing on Eagle LakeRon Schiller, California Desert Advisory CouncilRoxie Trost
- Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week: What am I?
- Photo Album: Eagle Lake
- Wildfire season heats up early
- Wildfire issues: Air tankers, spending
- Minerals on public lands, including:
        - Santa Clarita fights gravel mine
        - Foreign companies buy U.S. mining rights
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Ron Schiller
- Profile: Roxie Trost
- Our readers write
- Recreation on public lands:
        - Dunes fees hold steady
        - Safety issues close shooting area
        - Bouldering
        - Archaeological road trip
- Meetings, advisory council info
- Wildlife conservation
- Bookstore Feature: Mountain Lion Alert
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
        - Adopt a winning horse
        - BLM Ridgecrest Field Office to close temporarily
        - Current job openings - BLM California
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
        - Guided hikes and field trips
        - Public meetings
        - Wild horse and burro adoptions
        - Redding field manager swearing in ceremony

Wildlife Trivia Question mark of the WeekWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
This animal is commonly identified by its voice, which sounds like a stuttering "r-r-r-r-r-r-rowr." It also has a dark face and white jaw stripe. They prefer areas that have dense populations of willows and some cattails. Blackberry bushes also provide good hiding habitat. What is this animal?
(a) San Joaquin kit fox
(b) Mountain lion
(c) California legless lizard
(d) Chisel-toothed kangaroo rat
(e) California red-legged frog
(f) Flying rattlesnake
--->See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.
HINT: this animal is mentioned in another item in this issue of News.bytes.

Fishing on Eagle LakePHOTO ALBUM: EAGLE LAKE
Eagle Lake is California's second largest natural lake, with 28,000 acres of surface water, and also one of its more unique lakes. It sits in a "closed drainage basin" - it has no outlet and only limited surface water flows into it. Visitors driving into the area from the south will top a final crest for a dramatic view of the Eagle Lake Basin - a flat area surrounded by mountains, punctuated by the lake itself. To the south of the lake are dense pine and cedar forests. The north side is high desert, largely covered with juniper and sage.

Scenic view of Eagle Lake in the distanceRelated: "Watchable Wildlife site: Eagle Lake" (BLM California Web site)
Eagle Lake hosts a great variety of wildlife, trophy trout, and a unique water quality balance amid attractive scenery - but visitors' help is needed to help keep it that way. The lake supports a trophy fishery for Eagle Lake trout, a species unique to this one lake. These and other
fish are an abundant food source that attracts many birds to the area. Mule deer, pronghorn antelope and various small mammals also find homes in the area.


"Fire season declared early" (Kern Valley Sun, 05/07/2004)
Fire season officially began locally Monday at 10 a.m., as announced by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the Kern County Fire Department.

"I-80 blaze burned 'like an August fire'" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 05/07/2004)
"A wind-whipped wildfire blasted through a rugged stretch of the Truckee River Canyon Friday, closing Interstate 80 and providing another smoky reminder of a dangerous fire season ahead....It quickly burned about 80 acres on both sides of the interstate about three miles west of the Nevada-California line and east of Farad, Calif."

"BLM schedules public meetings to review proposed new fire plan" (BLM California news release, 04/30/2004)
The BLM Bishop Field Office has scheduled two public meetings to identify and evaluate the potential effects of a new fire management plan (FMP) and environmental assessment, May 17 and 18. The meetings will feature presentations and maps of the proposed fire plan in an informal, workshop format. BLM staff will be available to discuss any issues or concerns.

"California Fire Alliance" (BLM California Issue Update)
California BLM continues to provide leadership and resources to accomplish California Fire Alliance's goals.
(Note: Issue updates are hosted on the Department of Interior's secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below):

"National Fire Plan Implementation" (BLM California Issue Update)
BLM California is providing leadership and resources to accomplish the objectives of the National Fire Plan.

"National Interagency Fire Center"
Web site has links to current wildland fire information and prevention information such as "FireWise: A website resource for homeowners to learn about building defensible space in the wildland/urban interface."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Website)
This week's listing includes several firefighting and fire-prevention jobs.


"Big firefighting air tankers banned" (Bakersfield Californian, 05/12/2004)
"Risks to aviators prompts U.S. decision, but crews will lose vital tool, some say....Firefighters in Kern County and nearby national forests have lost the use of six large air tankers...."

"USDA Forest Service and Department of the Interior agencies cancel large airtanker contract" (National Interagency Fire Center news release) The U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior announced today that they are terminating the contract for 33 large airtankers due to concerns over the airworthiness of the aircraft and public safety. The large fixed-wing airtankers were used in wildland firefighting primarily for initial attack and structure protection support. (BLM is within the Department of the Interior.)

"Grounded air tankers, impending fire season have officials worried" (Reno Journal-Gazette, 05/10/2004)
"The grounding Monday of the nation’s fleet of aging air tankers, on average a half-century old, has federal and state officials in Nevada worried now that the fire season has started....the grounded air tankers are the type especially useful in dumping retardant in steep, hard-to-access areas on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, on the California-Nevada border."

"Firefighting spending ripped by Senate panel" (Sacramento Bee, 05/12/2004)
"Federal forest officials ran into a firestorm of criticism from senators Tuesday over the pace and funding of fighting fires.....[T]he Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have had to borrow $2.6 billion over the last several summers to pay for firefighting operations, and more than $500 million has not been repaid to the other lands programs forced to absorb the loss."

"Loud call for more money to prevent fires" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/12/2004)
"The federal government is not acting quickly enough to spend $120 million approved by Congress last year to help prevent another devastating fire season, despite relaxing rules that forced local governments to provide matching funds before fire prevention projects could begin," Senator says.

"California burning" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/13/2004)
Editorial: "Weeks early, fire season is here. But Californians are dozing in denial, making few preparations for the inevitable next wildfire. Part of the reason is Washington red tape, but more could be done locally with determined leadership...."


"Council steps up its fight against mine" (Santa Clarita Signal, 05/12/2004)
"The Santa Clarita City Council upped the ante Tuesday night in its battle against an open-pit mine in Soledad Canyon, agreeing to appeal a federal judge’s consent decree and to sue the county if it grants a permit for the mine." Cemex Inc. has a permit from the BLM.

"City will challenge Cemex on four fronts" (Los Angeles Daily News, 05/12/2004)
"The City Council has voted to launch a fourfold legal attack against mining company Cemex Inc. to fend off a proposed 56 million-ton sand and gravel quarry....",1413,200%257E20949%257E2144390,00.html

"Mine claim dwarfs Cemex" (Los Angeles Daily News, 05/10/2004)
"For the last 40 years, a Los Angeles-based sand and gravel company called Triangle Rock Productions has paid about $100 per acre each year to continue its claim on [land within the Angeles National Forest]. But according to the federal Bureau of Land Management, officials from the Angeles National Forest and [an] environmental group, no massive mining plans have been submitted like those approved by a judge last week for the Cemex mine. ",1413,200%257E20949%257E2139883,00.html


"Foreign companies buy up U.S. mining rights" (Associated Press in Sacramento Bee, 05/10/2004)
"Companies in Canada and seven other foreign countries have obtained hardrock mining rights on one-fifth of all current and former public lands in the United States, an environmental group's analysis said Monday. Some 28,000 companies and individuals paid less than $5 an acre to patent land with precious metals and minerals under terms of the 1872 Mining Law...."

"S.B. mining claims come under scrutiny; Officials seek changes to 1872 Mining Law" (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 05/10/2004)
"San Bernardino County is home to more mining claims than anywhere else in California, according to a sweeping report on hard-rock mining released Monday. Paying no more than $5 an acre...multinational corporations and private citizens own the precious metals beneath more than 175,000 acres in the county. That's more than double the number of acres under claim in any other California county, and it's more land than has been claimed in some entire states.",1413,203%257E21481%257E2140036,00.html

"Once public land goes private; Foreign firms own acres of mineral-rich land" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 05/11/2004)
"Under a 132-year-old federal law, foreign companies have gained control of an estimated 1.2 million acres of federal lands containing gold, silver and other minerals....the General Mining Law of 1872...was for 'citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such.' But an 1898 Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations legal treatment as "persons" effectively overruled that, leaving public lands in the West open to non-American mining companies."

Desert District Advisory Council member Ron Schiller works at the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake and represents the public-at-large. He is founding chairman of the High Desert Multiple Use Coalition, organized to promote responsible use of public lands and support for multiple use and sustained yield.
Learn more in this weekly News.bytes feature:

Roxie TrostPROFILE: Roxie Trost
Meet the new manager of BLM's Barstow Field Office, with responsibility for three million acres and 60 employees. Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

Related: "Roxie Trost selected as BLM Barstow Field Office Manager" (BLM California news release, 05/10/2004)
"Trost is an experienced BLM manager with 15 years of public service in land management," said Linda Hansen, BLM California Desert District Manager. "She brings considerable on-the-ground experience and first hand knowledge of BLM’s resource programs and field operations."

"Love the BLM. You provide and protect the last truly affordable vacation destinations in the United States. Thank you." -S.H., Huntington Beach


"Dunes fees won't go up" (Yuma Sun, 05/11/2004)
"Off-road enthusiasts who spend their weekends and holidays at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area will not pay more to kick up sand in the incoming season."

"BLM keeping recreation fees at dunes stable" (Imperial Valley Press, 05/08/2004)
Related: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday it is keeping recreation fees stable this year at the popular Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area after tripling rates last season.

Related: "BLM won't increase recreation fees at Imperial Dunes for upcoming season" (BLM California news release, 05/07/2004)
The BLM announced that it will not increase recreation fees at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area for the upcoming 2004-2005 season.

"Shooters running out of targets as another area closed to public" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 05/07/2004)
"It's one of the basic principles of target shooting, or shooting of any kind. Know where the bullet you're firing is going. Always have a backstop. Apparently, too many recreational target shooters didn't follow that rule...."

Related: "Houses hit; BLM bans target practice (news brief)" (Los Angeles Times, 05/11/2004),1,6146869.story

Related: "Safety issues force closure of public shooting areas" (BLM California news release, 05/04/2004)
BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Ranger District impose a joint emergency closure of public lands along and around Aguanga Valley/High Point Road, east of Temecula, California to recreational target shooting. The closures are being implemented to protect the public from unsafe target shooting activity.

"Lowdown, dirty danglers" (Los Angeles Times, 05/11/2004)
"....a bouldering subculture spawned at least in part by the rock gym craze of the '90s. The rocks around Bishop, Calif., the activity's current hub, have become so popular that some residents of the area blame a local author and bouldering booster for an increase in housing prices....[A] recreational planner for the BLM's field office, says that, overall, the climbing community has been quick to educate itself on the region's environmental idiosyncrasies, which include petroglyphs and a semi-primitive plateau area.",1,5307583.story

"River plan calls for land swap" (San Bernardino County Sun, 05/09/2004)
"Wider roads, expanded mining operations and new trails for biking, walking and horseback riding could all be in the Santa Ana River's future. Government agencies are looking at a land swap that would make sure pristine land is saved from mining while other areas are opened up for human activity." (Public meeting was previously announced in News.bytes issues 154 and 155.),1413,208%257E12588%257E2138427,00.html

"On foot: A visit to an ancient place in the Mojave" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 05/11/2004)
"It was my turn to pick a place to visit and I chose the Calico Early Man Site...near the old silver mining town of Calico.....The area, open to tours Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, can also be seen with a trail brochure without a guided tour. It is overseen by Friends of Calico Early Man Site, Inc., and the Bureau of Land Management." Renowned archaeologist Dr. Louis S.B. Leaky once oversaw archaeological digs at the site.,1413,135%257E28338%257E2140566,00.html

Related: "Calico Early Man site"
(BLM California Web site) The alluvial fan deposits in this area may represent the oldest evidence of human occupation in the Americas.


"Secretary of the Interior Appoints New District Advisory Council Members" (BLM California news release, 5/5/2004)
The Secretary of the Interior has appointed eight members to the BLM'S California Desert District Advisory Council for the 2004-2006 3-year term.

Related: "Newberry man appointed to BLM board" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 05/11/2004)
"A botany expert, [Dave Charlton] will represent renewable resources interests on the board.",24959,

Related: "BLM seeks Desert District Advisory Council nominations" (BLM California news release, 5/7/2004)
The BLM is seeking nominations for five southern Californians with an interest and knowledge of the California Desert and its natural resources to serve on its California Desert District Advisory Council for the 2005-2007 three-year term. Deadline for nominations is Aug. 30.

"Modoc-Washoe Stewardship Committee meets May 27-28 in Cedarville" (BLM California news release, 5/11/04)

See more upcoming meetings under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE - "Mountain Lion Alert"BOOKSTORE FEATURE - "Mountain Lion Alert"
"Safety tips in Lion Country: Mountain lion attacks on humans, pets, and livestock are on the increase. This handy pack-sized book contains essential tips on how to avoid confrontations with mountain lions - and how to behave if you actually encounter this predator. Written for beginners and experts."


"2nd tadpole pond to be built" (Mountain Democrat, 05/07/2004)
"Spivey Pond is quiet and unassuming." But for the threatened California red-legged frog, 'It's very special'," said a BLM wildlife biologist. "It's one of only six populations in the Sierra Nevada." Restoration projects including a new pond are to help preserve the species.

"Murrelet report sparks debate over bird's future" (Eureka Times-Standard, 05/09/2004)
"Environmentalists want every scrap of potential marbled murrelet habitat saved to thwart the bird's projected extinction in the Northwest, while timber interests are skeptical about the crisis while there are large numbers of the birds elsewhere." Among the issues: the Headwaters Habitat Conservation Plan, set when BLM and the State of California bought the Headwaters Forest Reserve from Pacific Lumber Company.,1413,127%257E2896%257E2137776,00.html


"Adopt a winning horse" (Grass Valley Union, 05/11/2004)
Wild horse and burro adoption this weekend at Nevada County Fairgrounds.

"BLM Ridgecrest Field Office to close temporarily" (BLM California news release, 05/07/2004)
Closed from Monday, May 17 through Tuesday, May 25 for scheduled repairs and building maintenance. The office will reopen 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 26.

"New report assesses plants' impacts" (Imperial Valley Press, 05/11/2004)
Two public meetings for Imperial Valley residents, regarding power plants in Mexico: "The new environmental report assesses the impacts associated with the issuance of presidential permits for the construction of power lines over the international border and through U.S. Bureau of Land Management land that allow the plants to send power to the United States."

"Road ownership test case hits a bump" (Salt Lake Tribune, 05/10/2004)
"In the first test of a landmark deal between Utah and the Interior Department to settle disputed ownership of old roads across federal lands, the "Weiss Highway" spanning Juab County has been billed as irrefutably and rightfully the property of the state. But records held by Juab County and the Interior Department show the road was in fact built by federal employees at taxpayers' expense to provide access to federal grazing allotments. And Juab County officials signed away any ownership claim to a major section of the road...."

Answer: (e) California red-legged frog. California red-legged frogs are also California's largest native frogs. Adults have been found that are over five inches in length. Learn more about the California red-legged frog 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):

(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.)

05/15-16/2004 - Wild horse and burro adoption
Grass Valley

05/17/2004 - Bishop Fire Plan public meeting

05/18/2004 - Bishop Fire Plan public meeting

05/19/2004 - Santa Ana River Wash public meeting

05/22/2004 - Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Carrizo Plain National Monument

05/28/2004 - Geology & Mining History Field Trip

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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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