A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 183 - 11/16/04

Wes FinleySpecial status plant of the weekMike MarquartAmerican beaverBookstore feature: Birding Northern California

- California desert: grazing, history clues, ancient lake, reward, speed record
- Northern California: Pulling for plovers, King Range plan, South Yuba plan, OHV staging
- Eastern Sierra: volunteers needed, Alabama Hills friends
- Not for educators only:
- Wildlife trivia question of the week: how busy?
      - Special Status plant of the week
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Wes Finley
- Profile: Mike Marquart
- Bookstore feature: "Birding - Northern California"
- Headlines and highlights: oil recognition, jobs with BLM


"Grazing decision under fire" (San Bernardino County Sun, 11/14/2004)
"The rolling foothills near Round Mountain...are considered ideal pasture land for cattle in the view of federal officials, but private landowners in the area disagree. A decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management authorizes up to 221 cows to forage on 18,090 acres administered under the bureau's grazing allotment program, from Dec. 1 through March 31.",1413,208~12588~2535838,00.html

Related: "Cattle and Sheep Grazing Renewals EAs" (BLM California, Barstow Field Office website)
Environmental Assessments prepared for the renewal of cattle and sheep grazing leases.

"'Hunting' for history" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 11/16/2004)
"Sam Hunter and his wife, Nadine, believe that ancient petroglyphs in the Barstow area give clues to American Indian history in the area that has been overlooked....The Hunters also became volunteers for the US Bureau of Land Management's Site Stewardship Program. Volunteers in the program help BLM monitor public lands to prevent sites like Inscription Canyon from being harmed by visitors."

"The old lake" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/11/2004)
Ancient Lake Cahuilla was once larger than the Salton Sea, with human settlements on its shores - but it evaporated in the 1600's. "Maps, photographs, diagrams and artifacts of the lake will be 'Facts And Fictions Of Ancient Lake Cahuilla,' a new exhibit at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum." The University of Redlands provided material for the exhibit, and a BLM archaeologist provided rock samples from the ancient lakebed.

Related: "Imperial Sand Dunes: Where did the sand dunes come from?" (BLM California website)
The most popular theory holds that the Imperial Sand Dunes were formed from windblown beach sands of Lake Cahuilla. The prevailing westerly and northwesterly winds carried the sand eastward from the old lake shore to their present location.

"Death spurs mines alert" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/16/2004)
"The death of a 21-year-old motorcyclist who plummeted about 700 feet into a mine shaft in northwestern San Bernardino County is prompting warnings from officials and outdoor enthusiasts about the need to be aware of the dangers posed by abandoned mines." BLM and state spokespersons warn that abandoned mine shafts are common throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties and can be dangerous."

"Reward offered to help find vandals" (Yuma Sun, 11/11/2004)
"During the Halloween weekend, ghouls, ghosts or would-be thieves decided to try and open the pay machines at five locations at the Imperial Sand Dunes. Now an award of $5,000 is being offered by the Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officials to anyone who can provide information that will help catch those responsible for the vandalism."

"Redlands man sets out to break speed record" (San Bernardino County Sun, 11/14/2004)
Man is "hoping to hit 230 mph in his 1929 Ford Highboy, to break the 225 mph land speed-racing record for A/Fuel Roadsters at the El Mirage races." El Mirage Dry Lake Bed is managed by BLM California's Barstow Field Office.,1413,208%257E12588%257E2535778,00.html

Related: "El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area" (BLM California website)
El Mirage's unique flat lakebed is a destination for many visitors on motorcycles, ATVs, or four-wheel drive vehicles. This area is also used extensively for competitive racing events and commercial filming by permit. Ultra-light and other aircraft activity would not usually be found in other riding areas. There are opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, rock hounding, and wildlife watching.

"Floods may aid dune lizards" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/12/2004)
"Halloween floods that swamped cars and closed roads in Palm Springs could breathe new life into a community of endangered lizards living on borrowed time. Floodwaters from a broken levee at the north end of Palm Springs deposited tons of sediment into the path of high winds that carry life-giving sand to a community of Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizards." The lizards live in the Coachella Valley Preserve, managed by partners including BLM.

Related: "Coachella Valley Preserve - Watchable wildlife site" (BLM California website)
For thousands of years, particles of sand from the San Bernardino Mountains and Indio Hills washed into the Coachella Valley, forming a system of dunes. Today, these dunes are part of the Coachella Valley Preserve System, a 20,000-acre sanctuary that is home to several species of increasingly rare wildlife.

Related: "Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard" (BLM California wildlife database)
(Hosted on a secure Web server - see note under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.


A volunteer pulls sprouts of non-native beach grass at Humboldt Bay"Pulling for plovers" (News.bytes Extra, 11/10/2004)
Volunteers and members of BLM's Arcata Field Office staff spent a good part of Sunday, Nov. 14, "pulling for plovers" at the South Spit Cooperative Management Area at Humboldt Bay. The group was on hand to remove new sprouts of non-native beach grass that threaten to spread into a habitat management area for the snowy plover, a threatened bird that needs sandy beach areas for nesting.
See photos and learn more:

"King Range plan wrapped up" (Eureka Times-Standard, 11/13/2004)
"The plan, like its draft, calls for the US Bureau of Land Management to take different approaches in three different zones.",1413,127%257E2896%257E2533013,00.html

Related: "BLM releases proposed management plan for King Range" (BLM California news release, 11/12/2004)
The BLM released a proposed resource management plan and final environmental impact statement for the King Range National Conservation Area on California's north coast. The document is available from several sources. A protest period begins Friday, Nov. 12, and ends Monday, Dec. 13, 2004.

"New OHV parking area opens in four-wheel style" (Record Searchlight, 11/11/2004)
"The Bureau of Land Management's new staging area boasts a gravel parking lot big enough for 20 cars as well as loading ramps for all-terrain vehicles, an information kiosk, trashcans and a bathroom." Previously, official access was either over Shasta Dam - strictly regulated for national security - or a route impassible after winter snows.,2232,REDD_17533_3320902,00.html

"South Yuba River planning meeting to be held in Washington" (BLM California news release, 11/15/2004)
The next meeting of the South Yuba River Planning Project will be held in the Nevada County town of Washington on Wednesday evening, November 17, between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


"Friends of Alabama Hills to meet with BLM" (Inyo Register, 11/12/2004)
"The Friends of the Alabama Hills has been meeting for the past six months to determine management directives for the Alabama Hills Recreation Area and hoping to reach a consensus on many of the use issues in the Hills and use that information to help guide Bureau of Land Management policy." The group has found "few problems with existing uses" but cited concerns including "off-road vehicles, shooting with associated litter, continued trash accumulations...respecting road closures, protection of wildlife and habitats...parking...climber impacts and impacts of the movie industry."

"Get involved: Tablelands" ( website)
Saturday, November 20 is "National Public Lands Day" at the Volcanic Tablelands near Bishop, California. Volunteers will build trails, clean-up site, and restore OHV areas. Join the Fun!

Related: "BLM Asks Climbers' Assistance" (BLM California news release, 11/16/2004)
The Bureau of Land Management is asking for the assistance of volunteers and climbers on a National Public Lands Day event in the Sad Boulders area north of Bishop on Saturday, Nov. 20.

"BLM proposes fuel reduction work near Wilkerson" (BLM California news release, 11/16/2004)
The project would help protect residents and their homes from wildland fire, and increase safety for firefighters working to suppress a fire near the community. Comments should be received by December 10, 2004.


The main job of American beavers is dam building. In fact, they are stimulated to build new dams or repair existing ones by which of the following:
- The sight of autumn foliage turning colors
- The odor of rotting wood
- The feel of fallen leaves underfoot
- The sound of running water
- The taste of ripening acorns
- Dreams
- Rain forecasts on television
Take your best guess in our online interactive quiz:

What is the most common snake in California? See how people answered:

Ahart's paronychia

Small, almost inconspicuous annual plant that's 3/16 to 1/2 of an inch tall (5 to 12 mm), consisting of a tight slivery, spheric, cluster of stipules, bracts and sepals, surrounded by small leaves and arising from a slender taproot.


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Wes Finley, BLM Northeast California Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Wes Finley
Wes Finley represents the wild horse and burro interests on the Northeast California Resource Advisory Council. He has adopted five wild horses and is a BLM volunteer, checking on adopted horses and burros to ensure their health and safety before title is turned over to the adopter. Wes has also served as manager for the National Wild Horse and Burro Show.
Read more in this weekly News.bytes feature:

Mike Marquart and canine companionPROFILE: Mike Marquart
Mike is a law enforcement ranger with BLM's Ridgecrest Field Office. He came to his profession because he had "...a concern for protecting natural resources, serving the public and providing a safer atmosphere for our number one resource, our children."
Read more in our weekly News.bytes Profile:

partial book cover: "Birding: Northern California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Birding - Northern California"
"81 prime birding locations; almost 300 sites - Northern California has recorded 559 species of birds - more than any other state except Texas. This book includes almost 300 prime birding sites, and extensive lists of the species you'll find and when. In addition there are 102 site maps, range maps for 173 species, and 15 pages of bar graphs showing status and distribution. This book will prove invaluable when you plan your next trip."


"Business Digest: Oil companies recognized for operating 'clean' leases" (Bakersfield Californian, 11/12/2004)
"In addition, Berry Petroleum Co. received the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's '2004 California State Director's Award' in recognition of excellent oil and gas producing operations at the McVan property in Poso Creek. The BLM also presented ChevronTexaco with the '2004 Oil and Gas Operator of the Year Award' in recognition of its exceptional stewardship of two adjacent leases on Lost Hills."

Related: "Berry receives federal recognition" (Santa Clarita Signal, 11/13/2004)

"BLM announces national strategy for conserving sage-grouse on public lands" (BLM national news release, 11/16/2004)
The Strategy is one prong of BLM’s three-pronged approach to sage-grouse/sagebrush habitat conservation. The first prong – BLM’s 30 years of success in sagebrush conservation – forms the foundation for the second prong, the National Strategy. These in turn will be incorporated into and extended by the third prong – the development of conservation plans for local and regional levels that turn the agency’s broad knowledge and experience into further action. Includes links to further information.

Related: "Clash on high plains" (Rocky Mountain News, 11/11/2004)
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton said "that to keep the grouse off the endangered species list, the Bureau of Land Management, which manages the land where most of the natural gas and sage grouse are found, must minimize the impacts of mineral extraction, power line corridors, livestock and farming....The possibility of putting the brakes on natural gas extraction that will pump hundreds of millions of dollars annually into federal, state and local coffers for the next 20 to 50 years shocked Western governors who met with Norton earlier this year.",1299,DRMN_21_3320400,00.html

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include firefighting positions, geologist and wildlife biologist.

"RACs Partner with Lassen County Fire Safe Council to Make Day Bench Fire Safe" (Lassen Fire Safe Council website)

Related: "The Fire Safe Council" (California Fire Safe Council website)
BLM is a partner in Lassen and other Fire Safe councils

(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.)

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

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Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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