A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 182 - 11/10/04

Meet your advisory council members: Mary GordenProfile: Jeff PrudeI am the most common snake in California"16 Specimen Mineral Kit & Study Guide"

- Coachella Valley Plan
- Law enforcement: marijuana on public lands
- Desert items
- Meet your advisory council members: Mary Gorden
- Profile: Jeff Prude
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: common?
      - Special status plant of the week
      - Photo album: ACECs
- Our readers write: trivia-seeking
- Wildfire and prescribed burns
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: Hunters, volunteers, job-seekers, fans of Piedras Blancas
- National and/or Department of the Interior items
- Selected upcoming events


"Desert Plan unveiled" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/06/2004)
"A decade of work, about 30 pounds of paper and the most ambitious land conservation map in Coachella Valley history unfolded Friday....The people behind a 75-year, $460 million plan to balance human and wildlife activity in the burgeoning Coachella Valley unveiled their vision for the public to scrutinize." BLM is a participant in the plan.

"Desert plan" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/05/2004)
"Designed to protect endangered desert wildlife while streamlining the environmental hurdles faced by developers, the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan could shape decades of growth in the Coachella Valley."
(Requires free registration)

"Plan: Back-country activity would require a permit" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/05/2004)
"A trails plan for Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains proposes limiting access to several valley trails, including the popular Art Smith trail in Palm Desert, to 2,300 individuals and 50 groups annually. Including the group hikers, the trails subject to permits would accommodate 45 percent to 55 percent fewer users annually than the number of people who use the trails today, according to Bureau of Land Management estimates."

"The Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan & Natural Community Conservation Plan" (CVMSHCP/NCCP)"
The draft habitat conservation plan and an environmental impact statement are available online:

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Marijuana on public lands

"Marijuana plant seizures rise" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/05/2004)
"Mexican drug organizations cultivate large marijuana groves in rural spots and mountainous areas of Riverside County, where more marijuana plants were seized this year than anywhere else in the state, officials said....In Riverside County, authorities seized 97,104 plants [or 154,753, according to one estimate]. San Bernardino County, where 30,265 plants were seized, recorded the eighth-highest number of plant seizures in the state..." (BLM participates in the multi-agency effort.)
(Requires free registration)

"CAMP seizes 63,556 marijuana plants in county" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 11/06/2004)
"Mendocino County was fifth among 30 counties where the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting had record seizures....Headed by the California Department of Justice, the multi-agency program also includes the California National Guard, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force and dozens of local and county law enforcement agencies.",1413,91%257E3089%257E2519466,00.html


"Rare plant won't get listed as endangered" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/10/2004)
"A rare plant related to the carrot that grows in the western Mojave Desert does not need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday." An environmental group representative said he may fight the decision, but will wait to see if the plant has enough protections in the BLM's upcoming West Mojave Plan.

Related: "Plant ruled not sparse enough for protection" (San Bernardino County Sun, 11/9/2004)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management also found more desert cymopterus in the [Cuddeback] Dry Lake basin, southeast of Randsburg, than had been documented earlier.",1413,208%257E12588%257E2524276,00.html

Related: "Desert plant not too endangered; Army can expand training ground" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/10/2004)
(Requires free registration)

"Halloween Weekend Brings Record Numbers to Southern California Desert" (BLM California news release, 11/03/2004)
BLM reported a record number of visitors to OHV recreation areas.

"Dunes pay stations vandalized; reward offered" (BLM California news release, 11/9/2004)
Five automated pay stations within the Imperial Sand Dunes Area were vandalized on or about October 30-31, 2004. Reward is $5,000.

"Mojave Desert Science Symposium"
The conference Nov. 16-18 at the University of Redlands will explore "the interfaces between science and resource management....[emphasizing] where the state-of-the-art is in our knowledge of the Mojave Desert, its ecosystem processes, and what the implications of new and emerging science are to resource management." BLM California State Director Mike Pool is an invited speaker.

"County seeks more access to desert group" (Bakersfield Californian, 11/8/2004)
"Kern County officials are pressing for access to an obscure group of desert land managers, arguing they've been shut out of an important process that affects their interests....The Desert Managers Group is an informal panel of government land and wildlife managers. Members include professionals from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, desert military bases, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state parks and wildlife agencies and others."
(Requires free registration)

"Get involved: Desert Discovery Center" ( website)
The Barstow Field Office is looking for a volunteer to provide environment-based education using activities, games, experiments, and stories to the visiting public and school groups at the Desert Discovery Center. Volunteers will prepare and refine curriculum, arrange and schedule programs, develop and present special programs, conduct nature walks, participate in fairs and other events. See our volunteer opportunity to apply on-line.

"Morongo Valley part of park celebration" (Hi-Desert Star, 11/08/2004)
"The public is invited to attend an Evening of Discovery [Thursday] featuring a community forum and discussion on how Morongo Valley and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve coexist as neighbors with Joshua Tree National Park." BLM co-manages the Preserve and will take part in presentations.

Related: "Big Morongo Canyon Preserve" (BLM California website)

"Earthquakes might be to thank for valley weather" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/9/2004)
"Instead of fearing the earthquake that will, inevitably, strike along the San Andreas fault, the people of the sun-drenched Coachella Valley might just want to thank it." Speaker - sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument - did not "discount the dangers of earthquakes. He said the talk was meant, in part, to show people daily reminders of the power of the Earth."

"Backward Glance by Steve Smith; Thousands of years in one weekend, part 1" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/9/2004)
Field trip with Barstow College Archaeology class, visits Afton Canyon and Zyzyzx - both with ties to BLM California.

Related: "Afton Canyon" (BLM California website)
Afton Canyon's surface water makes it unique in the southern California desert. Known locally as "The Grand Canyon of the Mojave" for its dramatic geological formations, this is one of the only places where the Mojave River flows above ground year-round - providing significant riparian (riverbank) wildlife habitat amid the desert. Since prehistoric times, the natural bounty created by this water source has made Afton Canyon a focus for living things.

Mary Gorden represents archaeological/historical interests on the Central California Resource Advisory Council, and is the new chairperson. She spent 20 years as a public school teacher before becoming an educational consultant. Read more in this weekly News.bytes feature:

Jeff Prude at his deskPROFILE: Jeff Prude
Jeff is the field office oil and gas program lead and a petroleum engineer for BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. He works with all aspects of the Oil and Gas Program, including technical evaluations, planning, budget and outreach. He and his team work closely with "operators" (oil companies leasing land through BLM) to assure that they are kept current with BLM on any concerns or changes. Read more in our weekly News.bytes Profile:


I am the most common snake in California. Who am I?WILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Common
What is the most common snake in California?
Take your best guess (or apply your extensive knowledge) and compare your answer to others, in our online interactive quiz:

What ability - unusual for canines - do gray foxes have? See how people answered:

SPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Coachella Valley milk-vetch
Annual or perennial, densely silvery-hairy, herb, with a non-woody plant base. Stems growing upward, clumped, and are 4-12 inches (1-3dm) tall. Leaves are 2 - 4 1/2 inches long, with 7-21 pear-shaped leaflets, 1/4 - 5/8 inches long. Inflorescence is a raceme (unbranched inflorescence that opens from top to bottom) with 11-25 flowers. Petals are pink-purple with a banner 1/2 - 5/8 inches long. Habitat is sandy places, with creosote bush scrub.

From this week's Photo Album featurePHOTO ALBUM: ACECs
An Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) is a special designation created by Congress in the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act. ACECs are areas that contain significant natural, archeological, or historical resources.

Dos Palmas PreserveRelated: "Dos Palmas Preserve" (BLM California website)
The 1,400-acre Dos Palmas Preserve is at the heart of the 20,000-acre Salt Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, one of several on BLM-managed lands. The BLM has worked with partners to acquire and manage this sensitive habitat, and to design wetland restoration projects.


""Thanks for bringing back the Wildlife Trivia section. I really missed it while it was gone."
      - Carol H.

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "16 Specimen Mineral Kit & Study Guide" Mineral Collection"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "16 Specimen Mineral Kit & Study Guide"
An educational kit to help identify mineral specimens.

Related: "How to Obtain Sand, Gravel, and Other Mineral Materials from BLM Administered Federal Lands" (BLM California website)
This brochure provides general information on the mineral material program. Mineral materials include common varieties of sand, stone, gravel, pumice, pumicite, clay, rock, and petrified wood. The Materials Act of 1947, as amended authorizes the BLM to sell mineral materials at fair market value and to grant free use permits for mineral materials to government agencies. It also allows the BLM to issue free use permits for a limited amount of material to nonprofit organizations.


"BLM Bishop Field Office and the Inyo National Forest Prescribed Fire Projects" (BLM California news release, 11/09/2004)
As weather conditions permit, the White Mountain Ranger Districts of the Inyo National Forest and the BLM Bishop Field Office will be conducting prescribed fire operations (pile burning) near the community of Forty Acres throughout the fall season

"Burn to restore land postponed" (Salinas Californian, 11/06/2004)
"Days of rain put a damper on a controlled burn scheduled for 120 acres on the old Fort Ord, officials said Friday. The purpose of the burn...was to restore habitat in the southeast corner of the Parker Flats area of the former base....The restorative burn has been rescheduled for fall 2005."


"Bidders don't horse around at Inland auction" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/06/2004)
Debbie...adopted her first wild horse from the federal Bureau of Land Management six months ago. On Saturday, the Yucaipa grandmother was back for more, arriving at Noble Creek Park in Beaumont at 7 a.m. with her family for a BLM wild horse and burro adoption scheduled to start at 9 a.m. [She] soon found what she was looking for...."
(Requires free registration)

"Gardner relinquishes claim to horses" (Elko Daily Free Press, 11/08/2004)
California man relinquishes claims to 300 horses he was accused of not caring for properly on a Buellton ranch. The horses had been rounded up by BLM Nevada in a dispute over unpaid grazing fees - but the man is also accused of writing a bad check to the former owners. Slick Gardner's attorney said Gardner "originally hoped to turn the ranch into a tourist attraction featuring the wild and Indian horses."

"Spirit of the Wild West often fenced in federal preserves" (Nevada Appeal, 11/07/2004)
"Evoking images of a powerful rush of flying manes and stomping hooves, wild and stray horses have embodied the independent spirit of the Wild West. However, some groups worry it may all become an illusion. The Bureau of Land Management estimates 32,290 wild horses currently roam on public lands across the western United States."


"Northwest California Resource Advisory Council hears update on fuels reduction research" (News.bytes Extra, 11/10/2004)
Members of the Bureau of Land Management's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council got an in depth look at prescribed fire research, when they met in Ukiah Thursday and Friday. See photos and read more:

"Hunters have triple options on Nov. 13" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/04/2004)
"Seasons for wild turkey, dove and pheasant will open....In addition to the abundant public lands available for hunting, the DFG offers dozens of special pheasant, turkey and dove hunts statewide throughout the seasons." State of California hunting regulations must be followed on public lands managed by BLM California.
(Requires free registration),2232,REDD_17583_3299884,00.html

"BLM invites volunteers to work on South Spit habitat" (BLM California news release, 11/04/2004)
The BLM invites volunteers to enjoy a day on the beach, improving wildlife habitat at the South Spit Cooperative Management Area. In a volunteer work day set for Sunday, Nov. 14, volunteers can join BLM staff members to pull beach grass sprouts in the snowy plover habitat restoration area. Left unchecked, the non-native grass sprouts will spread into the snowy plover habitat, damaging the birds' sandy nesting areas.

Piedras Blancas Light Station website moves
Actually, the URL for light station's web pages has changed. Piedras Blancas is located on California's central coast, just north of San Simeon. In the early 1870's, this location was chosen to fill the gap between the lighthouses at Point Conception and Point Pinos. The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse was completed in 1875. Look for its website at:

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS Web site)
Current openings include geologist, recreation planner, wildlife biologist and firefighting related positions.


"Plan may keep bird off endangered list" (New York Times, 11/10/2004)
"An initiative by the Bureau of Land Management to conserve the habitat of the northern sage grouse is complicating efforts to earn the bird designation as an endangered species....Such a designation could lead to new restrictions on energy exploration and grazing on lands where the birds live....The range of the sagebrush within which they live covers more than 185,000 square miles across the West" including some California areas.
(Requires free registration)

Related: "Norton foresees sage grouse disruption" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 11/10/2004)
"Interior Secretary Gale Norton is touting private conservation programs to protect a rare grouse species rather than using the Endangered Species Act, a move that could disrupt new natural gas and oil drilling in the West."

(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.)

11/10/2004 - Biennial 2004 Oil and Gas Conference

11/13/2004 - Geology Field Trip: Mojave and Red Rock Canyon

11/20/2004 - National Public Lands Day/Access Fund Adopt-A-Crag Day
north of Bishop

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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