A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 169 - 8/12/04


"Size of plant area at dunes cut 60%" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 08/05/2004)
"Last year, Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in California proposed designating 52,780 acres of the Algodones Dunes as critical habitat for the Peirson's milk-vetch. In a final rule published Wednesday, the critical habitat was reduced to 21,863 acres."

"Plant ruling cuts habitat for milk vetch" (Yuma Sun, 08/05/2004)
"For the past year, environmental agencies and local dunes users argued about the impacts of off-road vehicle use on the species." Says the executive director for the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce: "I think the science has proved the off-road community has not endangered that species. The closed areas were not doing as well as the open areas.' The service estimated that Yuma and Imperial counties would experience a $2.8 million economic reduction if the original acreage was approved ... [the Yuma Chamber of Commerce] puts that estimation closer to $30 million..."

"Milk-vetch habitat slashed; move called highly political" (Imperial Valley Press, 08/05/2004)
" The federal government has moved to reduce the number of protected acres of the Peirson's milk-vetch, the desert plant at the center of the four-year-old land closures in the Imperial Sand Dunes. The move, announced Wednesday in the Federal Register, outraged conservationists, who say the reduction by almost 60 percent of protected habitat was a renegade act of politics."


"New Plan Sought for Ravens, Tortoises" (Antelope Valley Press, 08/09/2004)
"Several lawsuits and a few dozen dead ravens later, the desert tortoise is still at risk of extinction. More than a decade after a raven-management plan went into effect in the Mojave Desert, the number of ravens continues to increase - while the number of desert tortoises does not. A federal judge in San Francisco this week ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to protect the threatened desert tortoise in its federally designated habitat."

"Tortoise gets some help from courts" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 08/05/2004)
"Conservationists ... hailed a federal court ruling they said will protect tortoises and other endangered plants and animals over millions of acres of desert habitat. The ruling strikes down grazing and off-road vehicle permits within about 4 million acres of California desert considered 'critical habitat' for the desert tortoise."

"Judge protects desert tortoise habitat in California " (Associated Press in San Diego Union-Tribune, 08/04/2004)

Related: "Endangered owls could get More Help" (Contra Costa Times, 08/07/2004)
"The government must provide for the recovery of the northern spotted owl, not just its survival, when considering how much logging can be allowed in old growth forests designated as critical habitat, a federal appeals court ruled."

"AMA Opposes Shutdown of 4 million acres to OHVs" (Dirt Bike Magazine, 08/09/2004)
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has expressed its opposition to a federal court ruling this week that has the potential to shut down an additional 4.1 million acres of the California desert to all off-highway vehicles.

Related: "Off-Roading Loses Its Way - Editorial" (Los Angeles Times, 08/07/2004)
" The attitude of many off-roaders is that, as their numbers grow, they deserve more trails and access within the finite acreage of state and federal lands. The Bureau of Land Management wrongly complied last month, giving more than 1.3 million acres and 90% of the trails in the northern and eastern Mojave Desert, home to the endangered California desert tortoise. Off-roaders say they'll police themselves. Such self-regulation was a failure in the the Eldorado forest."

Dr. Bayham is a professor of anthropology and archaeology at California State University, Chico, a position he has held since 1985.  He represents archaeology and historic interests on BLM's Northeastern California Resource Advisory Council. Read more in this weekly News.bytes feature:

Marilyn HofstraPROFILES: Marilyn Hofstra
Marilyn is a resident of Arcata, California. In her position as Administrative Assistant she "...provides administrative support to Managers and staff of the Arcata Field Office, King Range NCA and Headwaters Forest Reserve. Specific areas include human resource services, travel, timekeeping and OWCP coordination. Read more in our weekly News.bytes feature:

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "75 Year-Round Hikes in Northern California"
Summer is a great time to hike in Northern California - but so are all the other times. "Ultimate Guide for Fall, Winter, and Spring Hikes: Offers ideal off-season hiking choices for those looking to escape crowded trails. Northern California is a year-round destination for visitors especially when summer days and crowds are long gone."

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PHOTO ALBUM: Bodie HillsPHOTO ALBUM: Bodie Hills
Resting on the edge of the Great Basin on the northern end of Death Valley is the ghost town of Bodie, once a booming and thriving mining town with a population of 10,000. Surrounding the ghost town is the Bodie Bowl Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the Bodie Hills managed by BLM, both with important resource and cultural values.

Bodie HillsRelated: (BLM Web Site)


Cosumnes River Preserve visitor's centerVolunteer Opportunity - Landscape Team
The Landscape Team for Cosumnes River Preserve is primarily concerned with transforming the vicinity of the Visitor Center and new parking areas into an ecologically sound and beautiful landscape. This involves working with native plants, weeding, watering and other general landscape duties. Bring the kids, this is a volunteer activity that is family friendly.

Current job openings - BLM California
BLM California job listings on USAJOBS Web site.

Current wildland fire information (NIFC Web site)
Updated Mondays through Fridays by the National Interagency Fire Center.

Public Meetings Scheduled for Eastern San Diego County Resource Management Plan (BLM California news release, 8/11/04)
The BLM has scheduled two scoping meetings to gather public comments regarding preparation of the Eastern San Diego County Resource Management Plan. Meetings dates are September 8 and 9 in El Central and San Diego.

BLM Meeting on Red Dog Mercury Clean-Up (BLM California news release 08/09/2004)
A BLM-sponsored community meeting to discuss mercury clean-up from an old hydraulic mine in the Red Dog area of Nevada County will be held Wednesday, August 11, in Grass Valley. Persons with an interest in the Red Dog area are invited to attend. According to Abandoned Mine Lands Coordinator Tim Carroll, the sluice tunnel from the mining area contains a high level of mercury contamination, which could pose a public health hazard. Mercury was once commonly used to recover small particles of gold from mining operations, and much of it escaped into the natural environment. The original mine owners didn't clean it up, Carroll said, “So now the Federal Government has to, before it becomes a serious problem. The BLM has the responsibility for improving the quality of the watershed.

"Following the Smoke" Project Wins ACHP Chairman's Award (Advisory Council on Historic Preservations, 08/04/2004)
"Following the Smoke," a U.S. Forest Service project conducted in conjunction with the Karuk Indigenous Basketweavers and other partners, received the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Chairman's Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation on August 4. Among those receiving ACHP Partnership Commendations was Ken Wilson, for the California State Office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

"ESRI Book on GIS set to reach wide Audience" (San Bernardino County Sun, 08/09/2004)
"GIs really plays a role in everything we do in the fire services,' said Tom Patterson, a Bureau of Land Management fire officer based in Moreno Valley. "It's key public safety information we couldn't get otherwise. A six-hour old map in a big fire is useless, so now we get real-time maps. Escape routes, fire progression, spread rates, all this wouldn't be possible without GIs

"BLM prepares to clean up contaminated site" (Daily Press, 08/12/2004)
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management just awarded a contract to a large environmental firm, Ecology & Environment Inc., for a site evaluation that will determine how to best clean up the contamination, John Key, a BLM environmental protection specialist, said Wednesday.

BLM Releases Proposed Fire Plan Amendment (Bishop Field Office) (BLM California news release, 08/04/2004)
The BLM has released a Proposed Amendment to the Bishop Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Assessment to Incorporate Fire Management Plan objectives and strategies. The amendment addresses how fire suppression, wildland fire use, prescribed fire and non-fire vegetation treatments, post-fire rehabilitation and restoration, and community protection and assistance will be conducted on the 750,000 acres of Bishop Field Office-administered public lands in the eastern Sierra, from Topaz Lake to Olancha.

BLM to Begin South Knob Forest Health Project (BLM California news release, 08/11/2004)
Work is scheduled to get underway this fall on a hazardous fuels reduction and forest health improvement project in the South Knob area, about 15 miles southeast of Adin. The BLM will use contractors to complete the work on about 375 acres of public land in northern Lassen County to improve forest health and help maintain wildlife habitat.

Public Workshops Planned on Rangeland Restoration (BLM California news release, 08/11/2004)
A series of public workshop meetings will be held in Northeast California communities in August and September to begin development of a coordinated plan to improve conditions on sagebrush-steppe ecosystems throughout the region. The plan will focus heavily on improving management of western juniper across a 6.5 million-acre area.

"Speaking Confidentially - No Comment on Mono Basin Water Talks" (Mammoth Times Weekly, 08/04/2004)
"The Lundy Canyon power plant relicensing for Southern California Edison by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have been a fairly simple process if it weren't for all of the water users down stream. What started as hydropower relicensing issues for Southern California Edison's Lundy Canyon power station, has turned into a year-long private process, with critics saying the real public hasn't been involved."

"Weather will be key for dove hunters" (Pasadena Star News, 08/10/2004)
"Desert Wildlife has helped transform 30 Bureau of Land Management properties into prime hunting areas. Hunters can also shoot at the Imperial Valley Wildlife Area's Wister and Finney/Ramer Units. "I've seen a lot of birds,' Lesicka said. "A lot of whitewings. If they hold over...' The dove season opens Sept. 1 and closes Sept. 15. The second half of the season opens Nov. 13 and closes Dec. 27. There is a limit of 10 birds per day, 20 total in a bag."

"Cooperation may be best shot at keeping range" (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 08/09/2004)
" Residents are making a lot of racket about the noise emanating from a nearby shooting range in Highland. It seems complaints about disturbing gunfire noise have been lodged against the Inland Fish & Game Conservation Association’s recreational shooting facility. And now that the range’s 20-year lease is up, the BLM must decide whether to renew the lease or not, or renew it but add in new restrictions and requirements. Worst-case scenario would be to close the range and force it to relocate."

"USDA Awards Contract for Recreation One-Stop" (Government Computer News, 08/09/2004)
The Agriculture Department's Forest Service awarded ReserveAmerica a contract to provide a single, interagency federal recreation information and reservation service. The new service is part of the President's E-Gov Recreation One-Stop Initiative and will offer centralized shopping to the public for more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves. BLM is one of the participating agencies.


"Government uses auctions to deal with horse overpopulation" (Monterey County Herald, 08/05/2004)
"Nearly 45,000 wild horses - called mustangs - wander federal land in Nevada, California and Arizona. Their population grows by 18 percent to 25 percent every year. Land in the Southwest is dry from fire and drought. By most estimates, it can support only 27,000 horses. The Bureau of Land Management's solution to the overpopulation is horse auctions." (Reprinted from Orlando Sentinel)

Agency Officials Announce Record Fuels Reduction Expected in 2004, Second Anniversary of Healthy Forests Initiative (DOI news release, 08/10/2004)
Bush Administration doubles fuels reduction and treats more acres in wildland urban interface than ever before.

"Proposal would let BLM use more money from land sales in West" (North County Times, 08/04/2004)
"The Bush administration wants to let the BLM use more of the profits from public land sales in the West. Interior Department officials said Tuesday in Washington that the proposed change in federal law is a small one that will extend and broaden a land disposal program Congress approved in 2000."

"Government Tightens Enforcement of Oil Lease Acreage Limits" (North County Times, 08/03/2004)
"The Bush administration is moving to tighten enforcement of a law that limits the number of acres of federal land that oil companies can lease for oil and gas development. The Bureau of Land Management notified its state offices last week that any company whose holdings exceed the legal limit in a state will not be permitted to acquire new leases in that state until it brings its holding back into compliance."


08/28/2004 - Day on the River

08/21/2004 - Family Days at Mount San Jacinto

08/12/2004 - Northwest California Resource Advisory Committee

08/19/2004 - Northeast California Resource Advisory Committee

08/14/2004 - BLM Fire Safety Exhibit

08/17/2004 - Monterey County Fair

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

08/27/2004 - Backyard Stargazing Campground Program
Douglas City

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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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