A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 159 - 6/3/04
Todd Swickard of the Northeast California Resource Advisory CouncilProfile: Murl ShaverVolunteers help clear invasive weeds at Red HillsBOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Bats: Shadows in the Night"Tule elk
- Wildlife Trivia Question of the week: Tule or not tule?
- Our readers write
- Volunteers:
      - National Volunteer Winners "Making a Difference" on public lands

      - Versus invading weeds in Red Hills
- National Trails Day: June 5
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Todd Swickard
- Profile: Murl Shaver
- Wildlife, including:
      - Are we "loving our tidepools to death?"
      - Desert tortoise
      - Bookstore Feature: "Bats: Shadows in the Night"
- Wildfire
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
      - Current job openings - BLM California
      - "Cracking down on midnight dumpers"
      - Peirson's milk-vetch to remain on protected list
      - Fossils key to ancient past
      - Goldfields eyed for heavy-equipment training center
      - Nominations for national monument advisory committee
-National and/or Department of the Interior items:
      - Sacramento connection for new Department Solicitor
      - California share of conservation sharing grants
- Selected Upcoming Events, including:
      - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption
      - National Trails Day

Tule elk photo by Tom Brakefield, California Academy of SciencesWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Tule or not tule? (Elk, that is)

Tule elk usually gather in two herds that remain close together. How are these herds made up?
(a) One herd of older animals, the other of juveniles;
(b) One herd of females, the other of males;
(c) One herd of females and the lead ("Alpha") male, the other of non-Alpha males;
(d) One herd of brown elk, the other of black elk;
(e) One herd of purebreds, the other of mongrels;
(f) One herd of herbivores, one of carnivores.
(Photo credit: Tom Brakefield, California Academy of Sciences)
--->See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Note: The "Photo Album" feature will not appear in this week's News.bytes, while a computer is being upgraded. We expect it to return next week.

"Just a note of 'Thank You' for your continued wideranging statewide coverage of BLM lands issues. It is interesting to follow issues in other parts of the state and particularly helpful within one's own area...."
- "


"BLM Announces National Volunteer Award Winners who are 'Making a Difference' on public lands" (BLM California news release, 06/01/2004)
Two California volunteers will receive a prestigious national award for their public service contributions at a ceremony to be held June 3, 2004 at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.

Related: "Profiles of BLM's 2004 "Making a Difference" national volunteer award winners" (BLM national Web site)
National volunteer award winner Carole AdamsCarole Adams, a volunteer with the BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office in California, manages a native plant restoration and weed eradication program at the Piedras Blancas Light Station. Her crew has pulled literally tons of invasive plants. In addition, Adams wrote and oversaw publication of a field guide to invasive plants in the area.

National volunteer award winner George BalandGeorge Baland, a volunteer with BLM’s Ridgecrest Field Office in California, assembled a cadre of more than 200 volunteers to restore the Siebert Mine site, which contains three historic structures, hiking trails, and primitive campsites. He also conducted public outreach campaigns and a comprehensive volunteer training program.

Volunteers show off bags of weeds they have pulled from the Red Hills area"Volunteer work day - Red Hills" (BLM News.bytes Extra, 6/2/2004)
A total of 14 volunteers worked for the entire day pulling yellow star thistle and Italian thistle in the BLM-managed Red Hills. Since herbicides are not used for weed control in this area, the volunteers used only small tools to help hand pull the weeds.

Related: "Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM California Web site)
The Red Hills is a region of 7,100 acres of public land located just south of the historic town of Chinese Camp in Tuolumne County. The natural serpentine in the area limits plants to species that are tolerant of such minerals. Included among the buckbrush and gray pine is a rich diversity of annual wildflowers that put on a showy display every spring. The endangered bald eagle is a winter resident of the area.


"Take a hike: Americans urged to get off their expanding backsides on National Trails Day" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 05/29/2004)
BLM is among several partners of the American Hiking Society's 12th annual National Trails Day next Saturday. "But also one agency that, at first glance, doesn't seem to fit. That's the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." BLM's Bishop Field Office marks National Trails Day with a volunteer event at Crowley Lake (also see under "Selected Upcoming Events" below).

"Explore a trail On National Trails Day" (BLM California news release, 05/27/2004)
The Lassen National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management invite everyone to explore local trails on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 5. In the Susanville area there are a wide variety of trails offering something for everyone - from paved routes suitable for strollers, bikes or other non-motorized wheeled conveyances, to those that can challenge serious hikers and mountain bikers.

Also see June 5 National Trails Day events under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.

Todd Swickard operates a ranching and hay growing operation in Lassen County and represents federal grazing permittees on the Northeast California Resource Advisory Council. Read more in our weekly News.bytes feature:

Murl ShaverPROFILE: Murl Shaver
Murl L. Shaver III represents the BLM to the public - both in the real world and the cyberworld. As a public contact representative, Murl interacts with the public at the front counter of the Needles Field Office. When updating Web pages for his office, he potentially reaches across the world. Read more in our weekly News.bytes Profile:

Related: "Maggie McShan's column" (Needles Desert Star, 5/12/2004)
"We were greeted by Murl L. Shaver, a local son who is a public contact representative. He called Alicia Rabas, wildlife biologist, up front to join in the discussion....Our local BLM office at 101 Spikes Road is one of Needles’ assets, where much desert information may be obtained, and there are several interesting exhibits."


"Are we loving our tide pools to death?" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 05/30/2004)
"If a pending $95 million conservation deal comes to fruition, much of the 18 miles of coastline in the Hearst Ranch will become public land...[marine biologist] wants the various coastal resource managers, including state parks, the Bureau of Land Management, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, to devise a regionwide tide-pool management plan."

"Coming out of his shell" (Bakersfield Californian, 06/02/2004)
"Despite being listed as a federal and state threatened species, desert tortoise numbers continue to decline, according to the California Department of Fish and Game and the Bureau of Land Management....But captive-bred most cases cannot be reintroduced in the wild."

Related: "The Desert Tortoise" (BLM California Web page)
Includes important "Do's and Don'ts" related to desert tortoises.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Bats: Shadows in the Night"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Bats: Shadows in the Night"
"The complete guidebook to getting to know bats. Best-selling author and naturalist takes a beguiling look at the complex world of the bat - one of the most varied and mysterious of animals. Conveys the experience of observing, handling, and studying bats firsthand. Relates information on a variety of bat species, feeding and reproduction habits, the remarkable sonar they use to navigate and hunt, their migration and hibernation patterns, and their role in the ecosystems they inhabit. More than 50 spectacular color photographs enliven this distinctive, informative, and accessible addition to the natural history shelf.


"Feds boost fire air force" (San Bernardino County Sun, 6/2/2004)
"Federal plans to add more than 20 planes and helicopters to Southern California's airborne firefighting resources will help compensate for the grounding of 33 large tanker planes last month....But weather and fire conditions can still limit an aircraft's ability to fight fire, just as they did last fall during the height of the Old Fire.",1413,208%257E12588%257E2188575,00.html

"Air tankers could return" (Redding Record Searchlight, 6/3/2004)
"Last year, nine of the 33 grounded air tankers were stationed in California....",2232,REDD_17533_2934676,00.html

"Agency says some air tankers could be back in the air this summer" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 06/02/2004)
(Parts of this Associated Press story included in the two stories above) "Some large air tankers used to fight wildfires, grounded because of safety concerns, could be returned to service this summer -- if their private operators can prove they are safe to fly, federal officials said..."

"Firefighting federal agencies contract for 100 new aircraft" (Associated Press in San Diego Union-Tribune, 06/01/2004)
"The heads of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service on Tuesday announced their agencies would acquire more than 100 additional aircraft to battle this summer's wildfires after ending contracts for 33 aging air tankers last month."


Current job openings - BLM California
On the USAJOBS Web site. Current openings include field manager, geologist, supervisory surveyor, telecommunications manager, and several firefighting-related jobs.

"Backward glance: Area fossils play key role in exploring ancient history" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 06/01/2004)
"Many of our local fossils are on display in museums all over the country. Most of the large mammal fossils are gone but smaller fossils are still there and continue to be studied. The Bureau of Land Management regulates the area and has control of who takes fossils out of the canyon.",73127,

"BLM penalizes rancher" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 06/01/2004)
(Note: this item is one among several brief items on this Web page.) "The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is penalizing an area rancher for allowing her cows to roam in an unauthorized area....Cattle on BLM land in the Mojave is controversial because environmentalists say they eat vegetation the desert tortoises need for sustenance.",81072,

"Goldfields eyed for heavy-equipment training center" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 05/30/2004)
"Yuba County supervisors are exploring the idea of bringing a vocational training center to the Yuba Goldfields in Yuba County." County supervisor says: "'It would open up tremendous amounts of public land that have been devastated by mining operations'....The project is a joint effort between the union, the county and the federal Bureau of Land Management...."

"Cracking down on midnight dumpers: Rural areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties are fighting illicit trash disposal with cameras and tougher penalties" (Los Angeles Times, 05/31/2004)
"In the desert, federal and state regulators must deal with massive 'legacy' dumps that were used for decades. Some spill into sensitive lands, such as the habitat of the desert tortoise. 'People view the desert as a wasteland...It's very fragile, and it's a valuable ecosystem''," says a BLM coordinator. Cleaning one dump "took several weeks...and cost $255,000.",1,6422587.story

"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines Peirson's milk-vetch should remain protected" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release, 6/3/2004)
"The Service has concluded the plant should remain listed under the Endangered Species Act."

"South Yuba River Planning Meeting to feature recreation" (BLM California news release, 6/3/2004)
A meeting to discuss outdoor recreation management along the South Yuba River will take place on Tuesday, June 8 in Grass Valley.

"Editorial: BLM's gun-range decision delayed beyond all reason" (Redding Record Searchlight, 5/23/2004)
Editorial: "The match wasn't meant to be, but it's appalling that it took seven years for the BLM to figure that out.",2232,REDD_17536_2904682,00.html

"Federal agencies seek nominations for national monument advisory committee" (BLM California news release, 05/19/2004)
Call for nominations from the public to fill five positions on the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee.

"Equestrian environment? Some say removal of Anza-Borrego's wild horses is a mistake" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 05/29/2004)
"A little more than a year ago, the California Department of Parks and Recreation removed the wild horses from Coyote Canyon, a remote area of the park that has become a philosophical battleground between equestrians and the department over one of the West's most romantic symbols."


"Norton applauds President Bush's recess appointment of Sue Ellen Wooldridge as Solicitor" (Department of the Interior news release, 06/01/2004)
Wooldridge has California ties: she is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, was in private practice in Sacramento for several years, served as general counsel to the non-partisan California Fair Political Practices Committee, and was a special assistant attorney general in the California Department of Justice.

"Department of Interior Conservation Challenge Cost Share Grants - 2004; State: California" (Department of Interior Web site)
Includes breakdown by BLM California Field Office area - update to the news release below.

Related: "Secretary Norton announces $21 Million in grants to support conservation in 43 States" (Department of Interior news release, 5/24/2004)
(Repeated from last week's News.bytes.)


(b) There is usually one herd comprised of females and a separate herd comprised of males, but the two herds remain close together. Learn more about the Tule elk 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: "Burn projects aim to give elk a nudge" (Eureka Times-Standard, 6/3/2004)
"Three subspecies of elk are rebounding in California. Tule elk now number about 3,600 in the Central Valley, and Rocky Mountain elk numbers are swelling in northeastern California. The biggest of the elk, the Roosevelt elk, have been expanding....",1413,127%257E2896%257E2189765,00.html

(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.)

06/04/2004 - Central California Advisory Council meeting

06/05/2004 - National Trails Day event
Campo Seco staging area

06/05/2004 - National Trails Day event
Wild Willy's Boardwalk at Crowley Lake

06/05/2004 - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee meeting
Palm Desert

06/11/2004 - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Preview

06/12/2004 - Wild Horse and Burro Adoption
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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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