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A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

News.bytes, issue 167 - 7/28/04
Photo Album: El MirageVolunters at Cosumnes River PreserveProfile: Howard MatzatUltralight aircraft at El Mirage Dry Lake bedBoosktore Feature: "California Road & Recreation Atlas"


"North Coast: Lawmakers push for wilderness expansion; Rep. Pombo may allow hearing on federal designation" (San Francisco Chronicle, 07/22/2004)
"Advocates of a plan to expand federally protected wilderness along California's North Coast by 298,000 acres -- an area roughly 10 times the size of San Francisco -- expressed optimism Wednesday that Congress will approve their sweeping proposal in the closing days of this year's session."

"California officials push bill designating NorCal wilderness" (Associated Press in San Diego Union-Tribune, 07/22/2004)
"A sweeping wilderness bill affecting 300,000 acres of Northern California forests, mountains and coastline is needed to shield some of the region's most spectacular areas from development, California lawmakers said."

"Statement of...Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Department of the Interior...(to Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests) on Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Act" (BLM National Office news site, 7/21/2004)
" While we will propose a number of amendments to S. 738, if those amendments are made, the Department of the Interior will support this legislation as it relates to BLM-managed lands....S. 738 proposes to designate as wilderness nearly 120,000 acres of BLM-managed lands in California’s 1st Congressional District. Because wilderness boundaries do not follow Congressional District boundaries, this has resulted in a few awkward provisions in the legislation that we will point out. Overall, we support the designations, but recommend some changes to the management language which we hope the committee will consider."

"Does your Web design team or webmaster realize that every one of your links to Newspaper articles, requires the reader to create a logon account with that particular Newspaper? This wasn't too annoying with the first one or two, but every one I clicked on, I got a "You must register to view the requested article" message. This seems to be a recent development, as I don't remember having to do this in the past. Just thought you might like to know about this."
      - R. N., occasional BLM road user in Northern Coastal California

Response: The News.bytes Team has noticed an increase in the number of online newspapers that require viewers to register before they view online stories - several in the past few weeks. We link to these stories because they contain information of interest or use to our readers. News stories are the property of the newspapers they appear in, and the Team cannot reproduce them on the BLM Website without permission. Learn more about our policy at:

ALSO, starting this week we will try to indicate which online stories require registration - bearing in mind that folks who have already registered with that newspaper, should not have to do it again in most cases.

Nancy Huffman and her family have farmed in the Tulelake area of Modoc County for more than 50 years and she represents the public-at-large on the council.  As a former county supervisor, Ms. Huffman is well respected for her strong representation of county interests.  She has valuable insight in natural resource issues including water use, livestock grazing and public land recreation.

Profile: Howard MatzatPROFILE: Howard Matzat
A Realty Specialist in the Redding Field Office, Howard has been with the BLM for 29 years. His most interesting projects included acquiring lands along the Sacramento River, and helping refocus the office's attention on the river. Learn more in our weekly News.bytes profile:


"Desert fugitive leaves behind questions after shooting self" (Klamath Falls News and Herald, 7/27/2004)
"For the last couple of months, many law enforcement agencies had been tracking the suspect in the rugged area of northwestern Washoe County, Nev., northeastern California and Lake County, Ore. The final phase of the manhunt began when Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officers started trailing the fugitive last Thursday."

Related: "Yearlong manhunt ends in suicide" (Victorville Daily Press, 7/28/2004)
"Law officials say nomadic survivalist kills himself after being surrounded by rangers.",12227,

"Authorities see no fall-off in local marijuana eradication" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 07/23/2004)
"A federal grant...will finance investigation, surveillance and eradication efforts through the end of the growing season....The CAMP [Campaign Against Marijuana Production] program....may involve agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and even the California National Guard, if the grow is on public land. More than 75 percent of the plants seized last year were in national forests or in areas controlled by the BLM.",1413,135%257E25088%257E2289548,00.html


"Feds take aim at ravens; local population 10 times levels of a quarter century ago" (North County Times, 07/24/2004)
"While other bird species are struggling just to survive in Southern California, the wily raven that picks on coyotes and dines on fast-food french fries and endangered species alike is multiplying across the region, and federal officials are looking for ways to reduce its numbers to a more natural level."

"Too many ravens" (Victorville Daily Press, 07/24/2004)
"Wildlife officials say growth in bird population threatens desert tortoise.",18671,


"Piece of paradise" (Sacramento Bee, 07/25/2004)
"The newest public jewel on California's North Coast is a 2.5-mile-long stretch of oceanfront bluffs that overlook thundering waves, a historic lighthouse and a tidal estuary that is home to wintering tundra swans, threatened salmon and the region's most scenic bean farm." Some Stornetta Ranch heirs wanted to donate it to a state park; others wanted to sell it. Compromise:
sell 1,132 acres to the Nature Conservancy, to donate it in turn to the BLM. A conservation easement on 579 acres "will allow Larry and Charlie Stornetta to keep farming as before, but it will ensure the land will remain in agriculture forever."

"Stornetta Public Lands" (BLM California Website)
The 1,132 acre Stornetta Public Lands are located along the Mendocino County coastline just north of the town of Point Arena. They include over 2 miles of coastline, the estuary of the Garcia River and adjacent beach, and a small island accessible during low tide. (Repeated from last week's issue of News.bytes)

"Stornetta interim rules" (BLM California Website)
Please observe these rules to protect natural resources.

Sunset at El MiragePHOTO ALBUM: El Mirage
The El Mirage OHV Area is located in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County Line. This Off-Highway vehicle riding area attracts a variety of activities. The areas of interest include El Mirage Dry Lakebed, the Shadow Mountains, El Mirage Basin, and the Twin Hills area.

Ultra-light aircraft at El Mirage Dry LakeRelated: "El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area" (BLM California Web site)
Most visitors ride motorcycles, ATVs, or tour in four-wheel drive vehicles. A road network lets visitors camp in most sections. There are also many competitive racing events, commercial filming by permit and ultra-light and other aircraft. There are opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, rock hounding, and wildlife watching - including desert tortoises, a state and federally-listed threatened species. Note: There are many deep mine shafts in the riding area! Please avoid these areas and camp away from mine shafts!


"BLM seeks public input for Hollister Resource Management Plan revision" (BLM California news release, 7/22/2004)
Comments will be gathered at three public workshops. The Hollister Resource Area encompasses approximately 278,000 acres of public lands in the California Central Coast Region, including the newly acquired Santa Cruz Coast Dairies, Fort Ord, and portions of Clear Creek Management Area.

"Public 'scoping' initiated on plan for Northwestern California" (BLM California news release, 7/27/2004)
series of public meetings in August will be used to get public ideas on land use and natural resources issues that should be addressed in a new land use plan for northwest California public lands.

"Public meeting scheduled for proposed trailhead at Amargosa Canyon" (BLM California news release, 7/27/2004)
The Aug. 11 public meeting is to gather comments on the preparation of an environmental assessment to analyze a proposal to build a trailhead on public land in Tecopa Heights that would provide public access into Amargosa Canyon.

"Protection sought for dunes bugs" (Imperial Valley Press, 07/22/2004)
"Too much or too little? When it comes to land-use issues surrounding the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, there is precious little middle ground. How much of the controversial public land should be accessible for off-highway vehicle traffic? By all accounts, off-roading is a recreational activity that shows no sign of slowing. On the other hand, how much of the public land is at risk from the impact of those vehicles - particularly the native species of plants and animals that call the harsh desert home?"
(Requires registration)

"South Yuba River planners to hold river forum at Purdon Crossing" (BLM California news release, 7/28/2004)
The meeting at Purdon Crossing along the South Yuba River from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday, July 30, is to listen to ideas from park visitors and to answer questions about the project.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Road & Recreation Atlas"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Road & Recreation Atlas"
This atlas contains landscape maps, recreation guides, detailed roads, and GPS grids with 39 landscape road maps and 12 recreation maps/guides.


"World ablaze" (Antelope Valley Press, 07/25/2004)
"The world beneath Rob Chambers is often ablaze. As a wildfire helicopter pilot, he flies over hot spots around the country making water drops on raging flames....[his contractor] crew helped pacify the Pine, Foothill and Crown fires that burned more than 34,000 acres in nine days. 'The helicopters can get out in front of the fire when the ground crews can't,' said...the Air Support Group Supervisor of the Bureau of Land Management. 'It's essential to stopping a fire of this size.'"

"Bill encourages tree thinning in tribal-federal areas" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 07/23/2004)
"Tribal governments will be allowed to thin brush and small trees on federal lands adjacent to their reservations under a new federal law intended to help prevent the spread of wildfires. The legislation, which President Bush signed this week, creates a framework for tribes to work with the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management on proposals to reduce trees and brush along tribal-federal boundaries....California fires that advanced from federal land last fall swept onto 11 Indian reservations, where they burned 30,000 acres...."

"Fire restrictions begin Aug. 1 on area public lands" (BLM California news release, 7/22/2004)
The restrictions will be in place for all areas of the Lassen National Forest and on BLM-managed areas of Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta, Siskiyou and Washoe counties.

"National fire news: Wildland fire update"
Updated daily, Monday-Friday, with news of wildland fires.


Volunteers on the river at the Cosumnes PreserveVolunteer Opportunity: Cosumnes River Preserve Wetlands Manager ( Website)
As a BLM Wetlands Management volunteer you will get hands on experience in intensely managing shallow ponds that total around 1000 acres. You will get plenty of physical exercise, while operating pumps, clearing weeds around electrical stands, signs and water controls, participating in waterbird counts and will be involved in management plan review and comment. A great addition to your resume!

"BLM honors a 'great ambassador'" (Imperial Valley Press, 07/23/2004)
"For a man going on 82 years old, Jay von Werlhof doesn't seem to be showing his age. He's beaming at his latest award in a lifetime of honors, a small certificate of recognition from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management - what he calls 'the best recognition I could get.' The archaeologist, author, former Imperial Valley College instructor and outspoken advocate for the preservation of historic sites looked spry and cracked wise Thursday as he visited the BLM's El Centro field office."
(Requires registration)

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Web site)

"Shooting range may stay" (San Bernardino County Sun, 07/25/2004)
"A shooting range that irks some east Highland residents may be staying put. The federal Bureau of Land Management, which [manages] the site, is studying a plan that would keep the shooting range but require measures to reduce the noise. The Inland Fish Game Conservation Association is seeking a 20-year lease for the site, which it has used since 1945.",1413,208%257E12588%257E2294421,00.html

"Sage grouse hunters may now apply for Sept. 11-12 season" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 07/25/2004)
"As in previous years, hunts are scheduled for portions of Lassen, Mono and Inyo counties....There is also plenty of public land open to hunters as a large portion of sage grouse habitat occurs on property administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
(Requires registration),2232,REDD_17583_3059310,00.html

"Some off-roaders cross limits" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 07/26/2004)
"As complaints mount, fines replace warnings for those who trespass on private land....Off-road enthusiasts can contact the Bureau of Land Management online at for maps of areas where off-road riding is allowed. Other information is available from the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of California State Parks:; and U.S. Forest Service:"
(Requires registration)


"Statement of...Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management U.S. Department of the Interior on S.2253, Healthy Forest Youth Conservation Corps Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources" (BLM national news site, 7/21/2004)
"I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Department’s views on S.2253, which would establish a Healthy Forest Youth Conservation Corps to be comprised of low-income young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 to work on projects to prevent fire and suppress fires, and provide disaster relief on public land.....we are opposed to including youth between the ages of 16 to 18 in fire suppression or other hazardous programs as S.2253 would authorize. If S. 2253 were amended to address our concerns, the Department would support the bill."

"Agency to review oil leases off coast" San Luis Obispo Tribune, 7/27/2004)
"The U.S. Minerals Management Service will conduct an environmental review of the 36 oil leases off the Central Coast, but the Environmental Defense Center says that's not enough." Critic says that means "potential impacts to the coastal waters off San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties will be downplayed and done piecemeal."

(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.)

7/30/04 - Backyard Stargazing Campground Program
Douglas City

08/12/2004 - Northwest California Resource Advisory Committee

08/14/2004 - BLM Fire Safety Exhibit

08/14/2004 - Backyard Stargazing Campground Program
Douglas City

08/17/2004 - Montery County Fair

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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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