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A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

News.bytes, issue 166 - 7/21/04
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Philip Alan Moyer
- Profile: David Cook
- Photo Album: Saline Valley
- Land use planning:
      - Hollister Field Office - Clear Creek
      - Public 'scoping' - Northwestern California
      - Raven management in the deserts
      - Imperial Sand Dunes: petition filed
- Outdoor recreation - Focus on Northern California:
      - Lost Coast
      - Mokelumne River/Calaveras
      - Stornetta public lands open
- Bookstore Feature: "Wilderness Survival"
- Law enforcement
- Volunteers:
      - Volunteer Opportunity - Campground Host
      - Day on the (Sacramento) River
- Wild horses and burros:
      - Recent adoption
      - Overwhelming?
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
      - Current job openings
      - $30 million in marijuana seized - Riverside County
      - Manhunt makes valley residents uneasy, careful
      - Oil industry hears plan to protect sites
- National and/or Department of Interior items:
      - Secretary Norton: Change in land use planning decisions
      - End near for forest fee experiment
      - Soda ash royalty reduction proposal
- Selected upcoming events

Philip Alan Moyer - Northwest California Resource Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Philip Alan Moyer
Philip Moyer is an artist and landscape designer in the Mill Valley community of Homestead Valley, president of the Homestead Valley Land Trust and active in the community association.  He is the public-at-large representative on BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council. Learn more in this News.bytes feature:

Dave CookPROFILE: David Cook
"I have a strong interest in computers and using technology to improve the workplace," says the computer system administrator for BLM's Redding Field Office. Learn more in this week's News.bytes profile:

A view from above the Saline ValleyPHOTO ALBUM: Saline Valley
Thumbnail photo at left: This campsite along the Keynot Ridge Trail overlooks Saline Valley from an elevation of 7,900 feet. The beautifully-constructed trail was built by miners in the 1870's to provide access to the Keynot Mine. In the distance is the Saline Range and in the valley floor the Saline Valley Sand Dunes. BLM volunteers Jerry Boggs and Brian and Matt Webb were part of a group that started their trek in the Keynot Canyon at 1,800 feet.

A view from the Saline ValleyRelated: "Lonesome Miner Trail" (BLM California Web site)
A VERY strenuous trail with access from the Saline Valley and Owens Valley - with a climb of up to 21,000 feet in elevation, and a climb into and out of several canyons. The reward, for those able to make the trek: "Portions of the trail are truly inspiring with panoramic views overlooking Saline Valley, the rugged Inyo Crestline, and the deep intervening canyons which the trail crosses." The Keynot trail (in the thumbnail above) meets this trail.


"BLM seeks comments on plan for the Clear Creek Management Area" (BLM California news release, 07/16/2004)
"The proposed plan amendment and DEIS affect 75,000 acres of public lands in San Benito and Fresno counties - including proposals on designating routes and areas for motorized vehicle access, designating boundaries of the expanded San Benito Mountain Research Natural Area and designating it an Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

Related: "BLM between a rock and a hard place with management area" (Hollister Free Lance, 07/19/2004)
"The release of an administrative plan concerning the Clear Creek Management Area has spurred a flurry of controversy between off-road vehicle users and environmentalists, and placed the Bureau of Land Management in the middle."

"Public 'scoping' initiated on plan for Northwestern California" (BLM California news release, 07/19/2004)
The BLM is seeking the public’s help to identify or "scope" issues to be addressed in a new land use plan for public lands in northwestern California, covering about 300,000 acres in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Marin, Mendocino (south of Willits), Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties.

Related: "BLM seeks input on land use plan" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 7/21/2004)
"Waves of change are lapping up onto the rippled heights of Ukiah's nearest chunk of public lands, Cow Mountain....a whopping 60,000 acres, much of it comprised of chaparral-graced highlands that reach to 4,000 feet with occasional streams and canyon-hidden forests.....the agency that manages its acreage is kind of a mystery to most folk. 'Most of the public don't really know who the Bureau of Land Management is,' said...assistant field office manager for the BLM in Ukiah.",1413,91%257E3089%257E2285661,00.html

"Tortoise effort targets ravens" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/20/2004)
"Federal and state agencies, seeking to protect the federally threatened desert tortoise, are considering shooting and poisoning ravens to control the soaring population of the birds, which are the lumbering reptile's major predator. Ravens, whose numbers have increased more than 1,000 percent in the past 25 years, prey on young tortoises with soft shells, preventing 40 percent to 60 percent of them from surviving into adulthood...."

Related: "Agencies seek public involvement on raven management in Southern California deserts "(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release, 7/19/2004)
State and federal agencies (including BLM) are soliciting assistance from the public in the development of an environmental assessment to analyze management options to reduce raven predation on the desert tortoise and other reptiles and mammals, which is occurring throughout the deserts of southern California. The desert tortoise is a Federal and State-listed threatened species.

"Groups' petition seeking protection for insects" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/20/2004)
"Environmental groups on Monday filed a petition with federal wildlife officials requesting protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act for 16 bees, beetles, wasps and other insects unique to the Imperial Sand Dunes." The move aims to keep parts of the dunes closed to off-roading. "[M]ajor portions of the dunes were closed in 2000 to protect a threatened plant. However, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has proposed reopening roughly 50,000 acres, about a third of the dunes."

Related: "Dunes saga begins next phase"
"Fuel was added to the debate over usage of the sand dunes this week....those who frequent the dunes say the petition is another effort by the environmentalists to keep people off the dunes even though dunes users and off-road vehicles do not threaten these species.

OUTDOOR RECREATION: Northern California

"Finding the Lost Coast: For really getting lost, a trek through one of California's lesser-known treasures is in order" (San Francisco Chronicle, 07/18/2004)
"This is a landscape free, for the most part, from the crass clear-cut of civilization, urbanization and gentrification, and while it's not the pristine wilderness that nurtured the Sinkyone and Mattole Indians who once fished and hunted its rivers, forests and shores, it has a wildness to it that explorers find appealing....there are floods and mudslides, quakes and storms, ticks and mosquitoes, poison oak and even scorpions, wasps and rattlesnakes -- a natural 'No Trespassing' sign so convincing that most folks observe it and, like the freeway, turn aside and let the coast stay lost."

Related: "Welcome to the King Range - The Lost Coast" (BLM California Web site)
Here the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing State Highway 1 and U.S. 101 inland. The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads. The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape. The Douglas-fir clad peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and abalone divers to name a few.

California Coast near Point Arena and Stornetta public lands"Stornetta public lands are now open to the public" (BLM California news release, 07/19/2004)
Just over 1,100 acres of beaches, meadows and coastal bluffs near Point Arena that were once privately owned will now provide new public recreation opportunities along a magnificent stretch of the Mendocino coastline. People can use the area for daytime activities including hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, nature photography and watching wildlife. Under interim management rules, motor vehicles, mountain bikes and camping will not be allowed to protect sensitive wildlife habitat.

Related: "Interim rules - Stornetta public lands" (BLM California Web site)
(Also see under "Land Use Planning" below: "Public 'scoping' initiated on plan for Northwestern California" and "BLM seeks input on land use plan.")

"Calaveras Adventures: 'Between the Rivers'" (Calaveras Enterprise, 07/16/2004)
"There's something about rivers that draws people to them. Families from near and far flock to Calaveras County to see, swim, fish and float in its waterways....BLM is looking at allowing commercial use of the [Mokelumne] river. A three-year study will soon be under way to determine whether commercial boating activity is feasible and if so how much, said...the associate field manager of BLM's Folsom office."

"River use in the Folsom Field Office area" (BLM California Issue Update)
"The BLM develops individual management plans for each of the rivers under its jurisdiction based on a balanced use of the resources and public demands for the area. ...The Cosumnes River, the largest free-flowing river in the Central Valley, is being managed to protect and enhance wetlands and valley oak forests. A visitor center informs visitors on the significance of these ecosystems."
(BLM California Issue Updates are hosted on a secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below)

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Wilderness Survival"
A complete how-to guide for surviving the outdoors. Creating shelter and heat, procuring food and water, and navigating unfamiliar territory are just a few of the survival basics Davenport examines as he describes the most efficient ways to maintain health and well-being in an unfamiliar environment.


"Update: $30 million in marijuana seized at Riverside County border" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 07/19/2004)
"The team involving local sheriff's officials, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, split into two groups. The agents, wearing camouflage and bulletproof vests, look similar to American soldiers in the Middle East."

"Police seize marijuana from grove" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/21/2004)
"Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigators seized a marijuana grove with thousands of plants discovered by fire crews battling the Verbenia Fire last week in the San Jacinto Mountain wilderness." BLM and other agencies manage four wilderness areas with the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

"Local, state marijuana eradication teams" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 7/20/2004)
"The California Department of Justice has kicked off its 2004 Campaign Against Marijuana Planting season. CAMP comes to Mendocino County on a yearly basis during peak marijuana season to assist the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, established in 1983 to help control violence often associated with large gardens...." BLM is among several agencies cooperating in CAMP.,1413,91~3089~2283539,00.html


"Volunteer Opportunity - Campground Host"
Trail maintenance and construction, campground host, maintenance, heavy equipment operator, and more - you name it, we need it. Volunteer positions with BLM's Barstow Field Office.

photo from 2003 Day on the River"BLM, partners planning 6th annual Day on the River" (BLM California news release, 07/19/2004)
The BLM and a host of local businesses, organizations and agencies are gearing up for the sixth annual Day on the River float trip for Northern California children with serious illnesses and disabilities. These special children and their families will enjoy a free raft trip on a tranquil section of the Wild and Scenic Trinity River between Lewiston and Douglas City on Saturday, Aug. 28. Organizers expect about 60 families to participate.

Related: "2003 Day of the River" (BLM California Web site)
Photos and a short summary from the 2003 "Day on the River" event.

Related: "BLM y Socios Planean el Sexto Día Anual en el Río" (BLM California news release - Spanish version of above news release)


"Burros, horses put best hooves forward at auction" (Los Angeles Daily News, 07/17/2004)
"Sharri Donahue bought her first wild horse last year at a Bureau of Land Management auction. On Saturday, she was back to buy a second one, and her original purchase -- Shawnee, now a sleek, confident-looking 2-year-old -- was with her.",1413,200%257E20954%257E2279152,00.html

"Few horses, burros find homes" (Ventura County Star, 07/19/2004)
"Maybe next year. That seemed to be the theme over the weekend at this year's horse and burro adoption. The Bureau of Land Management, which rescues the animals from public lands, brings 80 wild mustangs and 20 burros to the Conejo Valley every year, averaging nearly 80 adoptions during the weekend program. This year, only 28 animals went home to new owners. The remainder will return to a Ridgecrest ranch, where they will be available for adoption year-round.",1375,VCS_165_3047582,00.html

"Protected wild horses and burros overwhelm federal government" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 07/17/2004)
"More than 20,000 wild horses and burros have accumulated in recent years in government corrals and sanctuaries. About 36,000 more roam public space managed by the Interior Department's BLM, competing with grazing cattle for food, stressing the ecosystem, reproducing at a rate that can double their population every four years and facing few natural predators. Taxpayers are being asked to pick up the bill, which is increasing rapidly."


"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Web site)
Current listings include firefighters, and student trainee in range/forestry.

"West sees mild start to wildfire season – except in Alaska" (Associated Press in San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/19/2004)
"Fires in California, Arizona and Nevada have made headlines, but the 1 million acres that have burned in the Lower 48 states is about half the national average this late in the summer....But...the fires will come, and this year still is likely to be a bad one. 'The big message is we shouldn't be lulled into complacency that we haven't had fires yet,' [said BLM national fire weather program manager.] "The potential's there."

"How they're fighting fires" (Los Angeles Daily News, 7/20/2004)
"Where in past summers there would have been a dozen two- and four-engine air tankers flying out of Fox Field to blazes like the Pine and Foothill fires, this week there were two. But a fire spokesman said the cutbacks in heavy tankers did not hamper the Pine Fire fight....'Air tankers are good for initial attack. They don't put fires out. Firefighters put fires out. They help to slow fires. That's why it's called retardant.'",1413,200%257E20943%257E2283942,00.html

"Bill allows for shelter expansion" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/19/2004)
"A desert-based homeless-rehabilitation center would receive free federal land to expand, build more housing and create a job-training facility through a bill that passed the House on Monday." Under the legislation, the BLM would donate 44 acres to "a San Diego-based network of facilities that help homeless people, runaways and troubled children.... The federal land, which the BLM considers Palm Springs."

Related: "Our voice: Valley homeless have ally"
Editorial related to above news article.

"Oil industry hears plan to protect sites" (Bakersfield Californian, 07/16/2004)
"Government officials say they want to find the best way to protect cultural resources in the oil patch, but some in the industry worry they'll be hit with another layer of regulation. [BLM] employees at the Bakersfield field office, plus an agency consultant, tried to allay the concerns....Cultural resources covered in the report include historical oil and gas sites, such as wells that led to the discovery of fields, and areas once inhabited by American Indians."


"Secretary Norton says states, counties and tribes should have a stronger role in land use planning decisions" (BLM California news release, 07/19/2004)
Public comments sought: A change in the land use planning rule will give states, counties and tribal governments a stronger role in developing Bureau of Land Management land use plans. "States, counties and tribes all have a tremendous stake in land management issues," Norton said. "They should be at the table when these issues are being addressed and share a strong role in the process when these planning decisions are made."

"Statement for the Record - U.S. Department of the Interior - Before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests" (Department of the Interior news release, 07/14/2004)
The Department of the Interior submitted this statement for the hearing record on S. 2317, a bill to reduce the royalty on soda ash production from Federal lands. Currently, the U.S. soda ash industry is made up of four plants in Wyoming; one plant in California; and one plant in Colorado. The total estimated value of domestic soda ash produced in 2003 was $750 million.

Related: "House votes to reduce trona royalty" (Casper Star Tribune, 7/20/2004)
"Lawmakers ignored Bush administration opposition on Monday and passed a bill that would reduce the federal royalty trona companies pay from 6 percent to 2 percent....The vote came less than one week after the Interior Department issued a written statement opposing the bill....The mineral trona is used to produce soda ash, which is used in the production of glass, baking soda and laundry detergent. The trona industry has suffered in recent years...."

"End near for forest fee experiment" (North County Times, 07/17/2004)
"With the end drawing near for the nearly decade-long experiment with recreational user fees on public lands, a battle is brewing in Congress and across the West over whether the program should be made permanent. So far Congress is sending mixed signals."

(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.)

07/22/2004 - Dinosaurs

07/24/2004 - Backyard Stargazing Campground Program
Douglas City

07/24/2004 - Point Sal Field Trip
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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
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