A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 172 - 9/1/04
A firefighting aircraft drops flame retardantDay on the River 2004BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Day Journeys in the Mountains and Deserts of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley of Southern California"
- BLM director visits California:
      - Announces French Gulch Fire remediation aid
      - Views wildfire-prevention projects
      - Visits Day on the River for special children
      - Presents awards to 15 BLM Field Offices for Web work
- Profile: Mark Ackerman
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Sheri Davis
- Filming on public lands
- Photo Album: Firefighting aircraft
- Our readers write: We want our trivia
- Bookstore Feature:"Peaks, Palms, and Picnics"
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and Highlights, including:
     - Clear Creek Management Area
     - Volunteer opportunity of the week
     - National Public Lands Day
     - Job openings
     - Search on for Scarface's killer
     - Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
     - ...and more
- National and/or Department of Interior items
- Selected Upcoming Events


"BLM commits emergency funding for French Fire recovery effort" (BLM California news release, 08/27/2004)
BLM Director Kathleen Clarke announced the agency's commitment to fund watershed protection and other emergency stabilization work on lands burned by the French Fire near the community of French Gulch west of Redding. The initial commitment is $1.9 million. Director Clarke made the announcement after touring the scene of the blaze, which charred more than 13,200 acres and destroyed 28 homes after breaking out Aug. 14.

Director Clarke with French-Gulch area resident"BLM Director pledges funds for emergency stabilization of hillsides above fire-scarred French Gulch" (News.bytes Extra, 9/1/2004)
The director also visited children in the small French Gulch-Whiskeytown School during her tour, and met with members of the Burned Area Emergency Response Team. She toured fire safe projects - including property clean-up work, chipper projects and construction of shaded fuel breaks - that helped fire fighters save 200 homes worth approximately $39 million, when the 1,800-acre Oregon Fire burned through the area in early August.

"BLM approves fire funds" (Redding Record Searchlight, 08/28/2004)
"[BLM Director Kathleen] Clarke touted the efforts of the multiagency Burned Area Emergency Response -- or BAER -- team, which was sent to French Gulch before the fire was contained.",2232,REDD_17533_3144410,00.html

"BLM director gets first-hand look at local fire-safe measures" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 08/28/2004)
BLM Director Kathleen Clarke saw how a fire break cleared by a Butte County couple saved their own residence, plus several others along the same road. "[A]n administrator with the Butte County Fire Safe Council, said one resident on the road was unhappy about brush-clearing efforts, but is now convinced that a fuel break is an absolute necessity.",1413,135%257E25088%257E2365101,00.html


"BLM assists City of Susanville to outfit quick attack fire engine" (BLM California news release, 9/1/2004)

"Snapshots 2004 - Highlighting BLM projects that support the National Fire Plan - California" (on BLM California Web site)
Items include:
- Houses saved from fires that surrounded them - by owners creating defensible space;
- Listed Species Habitat improved through prescribed fire;
- Bakersfield fire planning through community collaboration; and
- Community chipping efforts to reduce fire hazards in the Eastern Sierra.
(Note: PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

"Additional BLM Special Fire Restrictions" (BLM California news release, 8/31/2004)
This includes BLM-managed public lands in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, and Yuba Counties, a total of about 230,000 acres.


Day on the River 2004"Day on the River 2004" (News.bytes Extra, 9/1/2004)
The spectacular Trinity River Canyon was the backdrop for a day of fun and excitement for 50 northern California families, when the BLM and local volunteers hosted the Sixth Annual Day on the River float trip. The three-and-a-half-hour float was for children who are undergoing medical treatment for serious illnesses or disabilities. Their parents and other family members were also welcome on the trip - in all, about 200 people. Joining the festivities this year were BLM Director Kathleen Clarke and State Director Mike Pool, who thanked the many agencies, organizations and businesses who came together to offer the adventure for the children. See more photos of the children having fun:

The Director's Award for Innovation in Management, Performance, and Public Service is given out on special occasions to commend BLM employees for service "above and beyond" the call of duty. BLM Director Kathleen Clarke was on hand in Sacramento last week to announce the awards to BLM-California Field Office Webmasters - and to present the awards in person to several recipients who were able to attend.

Profile: Mark AckermanPROFILE: Mark Ackerman
Mark was recently hired full-time to the BLM - and on his first day he was presented with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. The award states, "Mark volunteers as the BLM assistant wetlands manager at the Cosumnes River Preserve, a nationally recognized conservation partnership and one of California's flagship preserve projects." Read more in this week's Profile:

Sheri Davis is Director of the Inland Empire Film Commission and represents the public-at-large on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council.  She is an extensive user of public lands throughout southern California and has considerable knowledge of the BLM and the film permitting process involving public lands.


"Nissan commercial wraps two days of filming on location" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 8/29/2004)
"On average 80 productions including movies, music videos and commercials are shot annually in the Indian Wells Valley and its surrounding communities.... There are over 10-square-feet of desert, mountains, drybeds and open space to choose from." Public lands are popular locations: the company filming this commercial worked with the BLM and China Lake Naval Weapons Station.

"Film permits, Ridgecrest Field Office" (BLM California Web page)
Popular film locations on public lands include the Trona Pinnacles, Cuddeback Dry Lake, Jawbone Canyon, Dove Springs, Spangler Hills, and the Olancha Dunes. The BLM and the Ridgecrest Film Commission are able to provide efficient service to the film community through a cooperative agreement.

"Film permits, Bishop Field Office" (BLM California Web page)

"Filming on public lands, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office" (BLM California Web page)

A firefighting aircraft drops flame retardantPHOTO ALBUM: Firefighting aircraft
To quote the BLM Alturas Field Office fire site: "Our mission involves maintaining a fire management program comprised of diverse, professionally competent, technically advanced, well trained and highly equipped wildland fire organization. This organization is dedicated and prepared to educate the public and other agencies, promoting the acceptance of fire as a neccessary and desirable ecosystem process and to respect and prepare for fire's dangerous aspects."

A firefighting aircraft drops flame retardantRelated: "BLM fire program, Bakersfield Field Office" (BLM California Web site)
The main mission of the Fire Program of the Bakersfield Field Office is to protect life, property and natural resources (in that order) from wildland fire. Our office has primary responsibility for protecting 1.5 million acres of land from wildfire. Our Fire staff consists of 35 full-time employees. During fire season, our work force rises to about 95 people, including a Hot Shot Firefighting Crew , Helitack Crew and engine crews.

Related: "Alturas BLM fire" (BLM California Web site)
Fire is recognized as a natural and required component of the ecosystems managed by the Alturas Field Office. Fire is also recognized as a method to sustain health and biological health within our ecosystems.

OUR READERS WRITE: We want our trivia

"We miss the News.bytes wildlife trivia questions. Is your trivia person on vacation, perhaps? Just letting you know that our production staff enjoys learning about different animals via the trivia question...hope to see them again soon. And it's a great newsletter. I decided to subscribe on my own email address so that I may take the time to read more of it, rather than reading only few things and passing it on to our editors. Thanks for the great job you do,
      - G. K., Arcata

" Where's my Trivia I’m very disappointed that I have not seen the trivia articles. And I’m not the first to ASK either!"
      - A.M.

"This is my second letter, sorry. But I really have trouble getting into the [News.bytes] issue without my wildlife trivia. Too bad for me, because I usually learned something else on the way. I hope you bring it back soon, hopefully with the same wry sense of humor. Thanks,
      - S. B.

RESPONSE: The News.bytes Team is hoping to bring back this feature soon.. It can be time-consuming to prepare these questions with an interesting and somewhat relevant mix of possible answers. Not to mention, making sure the wording of the correct answer is exact enough to pass muster with our readers - some of you are very good at picking up on errors in details, and we do try to be accurate enough so that you don't need to.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Day Journeys in the Mountains and Deserts of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley of Southern California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Peaks, Palms, and Picnics"
"Day Journeys in the Mountains and Deserts of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley of Southern California. Written in a narrative style, this book highlights natural history and western lore, and includes scenic picnic locations and simple recipes for the trail."


"Keeping animals safe from West Nile Virus" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 08/27/2004)
"The Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Corral takes every precaution to keep the 700 horses and burros under their care from contracting the West Nile Virus. BLM is responsible for the largest single group of equines in the area. The Nile Virus, in California, has already affected 64 horses, of which 33 have died....A West Nile virus vaccine for horses is available. BLM officials said they vaccinate all the horses and burros that are rounded up and put up for adoption."

"Trainer making wild horse happy" (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 08/26/2004)
"There was no taming Eclipse, which is not a normal occurrence with horses coming through the BLM. Simply walking Eclipse was difficult because she refused to do what she didn't want to do....On Wednesday for the first time in four months - the time Eclipse has been in training - Stacey, now 16, was able to see the softness in the mare's eyes. 'She is just a totally different horse,' [her mother] said. 'Her eyes were hard and glassy, now she has a soft eye where she is just relaxed'.",1413,203%257E21481%257E2362148,00.html

"Roundup highlights fight over resources" (Associated Press in Oakland Tribune, 08/30/2004)
"For almost a century, from the 1870s until 1971, the mustangs that roamed the West were hunted to near extinction....Now the burgeoning horse population has run into an age-old western conflict between nature and agriculture over the region's sparse resources, particularly water. That fight, environmental activists said, is too often won by ranchers they accuse of exploiting recent drought-emergency wild horse roundups to return cattle to land where horses once roamed.",1413,82~1865~2368459,00.html


"BLM to host public meetings on Clear Creek Management Area" (BLM California news release, 08/31/2004)
BLM's Hollister Field Office will host three public meetings in September 2004 to accept comments on the Clear Creek Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

"The search is on for Scarface's killer" (San Bernardino County Sun, 08/29/2004)
"Scarface was not like other desert tortoises. He did not shrink into his shell at the sight of people, and he often emerged from his burrow to greet visitors at the Bureau of Land Management office. The lumbering reptile's friendly nature scored him trips to entertain children and adults, and is probably what led to his death, too. BLM staffers found Scarface dead in his fenced enclosure Aug. 4. They aren't saying how the tortoise was killed because the culprit is still at large, but Scarface's corpse left no doubt the slaying was malicious and cruel....",1413,208%257E12588%257E2367858,00.html

"Tribe to receive 991 acres for expansion if bill OK'd" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 08/27/2004)
"The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians' reservation near Temecula could grow by nearly 1,000 acres...The land, 991 acres owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management, is adjacent to the reservation. It's rocky, hilly and unsuitable for commercial development...But the land has historical and cultural value to the tribe, said [the] tribal chairman....

"Group set to ramp up mountain safeguards" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 08/31/2004)
"The Coachella Valley Mountains Land Trust, formerly known as Friends of the Desert Mountains, plans to become a primary means of support for everything from educational outreach to ecological research in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument." The Monument is cooperatively managed by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

Related: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM California Web site)

"Public meeting to be held on Lundy Hydroelectric Project" (Mammoth Times, 08/25/2004)
"A draft for public review, the Lundy Hydroelectric Project Settlement Agreement, was released to the general public recently, after many years of talks and analysis." The process included several agencies including the BLM, and involves water users down stream from the Lundy hydroelectric dam.

"Wheels vs. wilderness" (Los Angeles Times, 08/31/2004)
"Once a month or so, mountain bikers who fear losing access to California backcountry take organized 'wilderness rides' in places...that will become off-limits if the California Wild Heritage Act passes....The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service specifically prohibit bikes in wilderness areas within their jurisdictions.",1,7215124.story

"Old Town San Diego State Historic Park joins National Public Lands Day celebrations" (BLM California news release, 08/27/2004)
Local staff and volunteers from the BLM and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will stage a living history reenactment of the exploration and surveys of public lands at the Historic Park on September 18, in recognition of the 11th annual National Public Lands Day.

"Volunteer Opportunity: Pine Hill Preserve Volunteer Naturalists"
As the primary contact for visitors to the Preserve, the naturalists’ purpose will be to increase public awareness of the Preserve’s unique ecological significance, conservation goals, accomplishments and recreational and volunteer opportunities. They will lead guided walks, and do community and school outreach. Apply on-line!

Related: "Pine Hill Preserve" (BLM California Web site)

"Current job openings - BLM California"
BLM California job listings on USAJOBS Web site. Current openings include secretary, natural resource specialist, fire engine operator and maintenance helper.

"Bizz Johnson Trail shuttle service on Saturday, Sept. 4" (BLM California news release, 8/31/2004)
The bus shuttle service is winding down, with three more offerings for the late summer and fall seasons.

"BLM offers interpretive walk on the South Spit" (BLM California news release, 8/31/2004)
The South Spit Cooperative Management Area is a 20 minute scenic drive from either Eureka or Fortuna.


"Bush: Consider landowners on environment" (Associated Press on Yahoo! News, 08/27/2004)
"President Bush...ordered Cabinet agencies to pay more attention to private landowners, states and local governments on how to manage the environment. That could influence federal decisions about the use of public lands, the level of protection for waterways and fighting pollution."

"Assistant Secretary Watson highlights Bush commitment to development of geothermal energy" (Department of the Interior news release, 8/30/2004)
In remarks before the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Geothermal Resources Council in Indian Wells, Calif., Rebecca Watson, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management said, "The President's National Energy Policy includes not only enhancing supplies of renewable and nonrenewable energy, but also places an important focus on conservation. Geothermal energy is a proven example. That is why Interior is placing such a priority on the development of geothermal energy on public lands."

(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.)

09/04/2004 - San Andreas Fault: Pallet Creek to Parkfield

09/04/2004 - Geology & Mining Historic Field Trip

09/17/2004 - Mother Lode Gold Belt: Northern Mines Field Trip

09/18/2004 - National Public Land Day

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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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