A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 188 - 12/21/04

Sheri Davis, BLM California Desert District Advisory Council BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument - lapel pin" Brian Willbond Common kingsnake

- Not for educators only:
    - Wildlife trivia question
    - Special status plant of the week
- Our readers write: recreation fees
- Meet your advisory council members: Sheri Davis
- Profile: Brian Willbond
- Bookstore feature
- Headlines and highlights: Neglected cemetery, Yuba River plan, dunes, jobs, fire prevention funds, more

News.bytes will not be sent out the week of Dec. 27.
We will return the following week - the first week of 2005.


Common kingsnakeWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Last known address
Where in California are Common kingsnakes found?
Take your best guess in our online interactive quiz:

Which is nocturnal? If you missed last week's online quiz, it's not too late to guess - or apply your profound knowledge of wildlife trivia:

This plant prefers habitats of dry, sandy soils, open chaparral, or oak woodland. It is a perennial, stoleniferous herb, 1 to 2.6 feet tall. Lower leaf blades are 4 - 6 3/8 inches long, 1/16 inch wide, and flat. Lower leaf sheaths with finely matted hairs. Ligules 1/8 - 1/4 inch long. Inflorescence are panicle-like. Spikelets contain glumes 1/8 inch long, and lemmas 1/16 inch long, with bent awns 1/8 inch long.

OUR READERS WRITE" Recreation fees:

"Why did News Bytes mention passage of the controversial wild horses...rider attached to the Omnibus Appropriations bill when the equally unpopular Recreation Access Tax was also tacked on and fundamentally changes the way Americans now relate to their public lands?" - K.Z., San Diego

Response: While this section has been the subject of controversy, it has not yet drawn as much media attention, particularly here in California, as the provision you refer to regarding wild horses. Since the recreation fee program is a national program, affecting all Federal land management agencies, BLM California has not issued any news releases or policy documents/guidance that could be shared with News.Bytes readers. However, in this issue we planned to include one or more relevant links to media outside California, if available.

Note: A reader asked about "paying for hiking on public lands." Here is a section quoted from the bill: "SEC. 3. RECREATION FEE AUTHORITY(d) Limitations on Recreation Fees.-- (1) PROHIBITION ON FEES FOR CERTAIN ACTIVITIES OR SERVICES.--The Secretary shall not charge any standard amenity recreation fee or expanded amenity recreation fee for Federal recreational lands and waters administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, or the Bureau of Reclamation under this Act for any of the following: ... (D) For persons who are driving through, walking through, boating through, horseback riding through, or hiking through Federal recreational lands and waters without using the facilities and services. ..."

Related: "Ohio's Regula raises ire in West over park fees" (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/17/2004)
"At issue is a measure that Regula, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, attached to a massive federal spending bill that recently became law. Regula's provision extends for 10 more years a controversial pilot program begun in 1996 that allows the government to charge visitors fees at recreation areas run by the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service."

Sheri Davis is a Public-At-Large representative on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council. She has extensive experience in land use in southern California. Read more:

Brian WillbondPROFILE: Brian Willbond
A Law Enforcement Ranger with BLM's Barstow Field Office, Brian says one of his most interesting assignments was as a field service officer, training new BLM rangers. Read more in this week's News.bytes profile:

BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument - lapel pin"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument - lapel pin"
A bright and colorful pin illustrating the beauty of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. An included bookmark gives an overview of the monument's history and geography.

A view in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National MonumentRelated: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM California website)
The legislation designating this monument stated: "The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains in southern California contain nationally significant biological, cultural, recreational, geological, educational and scientific values. The magnificent vistas, wildlife, land forms, and natural and cultural resources of these mountains occupy a unique and challenging position given their proximity to highly urbanized areas of the Coachella Valley."


"Neglected cemetery regains respect" (Redding Record Searchlight, 12/21/2004)
A Shasta Lake cemetery where many American Indians are buried was forgotten by many area residents, and suffered from neglect. "Many of those buried here were relocated to this cemetery in the early 1940s as the government prepared to flood the land that is now beneath the waters of Lake Shasta....But the Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land upon which half the cemetery sits, says it's trying to do its part. Officials this month are sprucing up the cemetery with the help of manual labor provided by the California Conservation Corps."
(Free registration required.),2232,REDD_17533_3414583,00.html

Related:"Shasta Lake Cemetery involving Winnemema Wintu Tribe" (BLM California Issue Update)
For more than 20 years, "there has been some confusion about the status of the Indian cemetery and who has jurisdiction over it."
(This document is on a Department of Interior's secure Web server. See note under "Selected upcoming events" below.)

"Plan for Yuba begins to take shape" (Nevada City Union, 12/20/2004)
"The South Yuba River Comprehensive Management Plan's initial document was unveiled last week and is not even the document that will be released at the end of the month for public comment. It covers a 39-mile stretch from Lake Spaulding to Englebright Lake. 'We're giving people a running start with this first draft,' said [a BLM member of the planning team]."

"Milk vetch: The sand dunes enigma" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/19/2004)
"It could take several more years of studying before any conclusions can be reached about the condition of the Peirson's milk vetch, the plant that led to the temporary closure of about 48,000 acres of Imperial Sand Dunes in November 2000."

"Local rural fire departments receive financial aid" (BLM California news release, 12/20/2004)
Under the Department of Interior's Rural Fire Assistance Program, $52,000 was recently awarded to 10 San Diego County rural fire departments to help mitigate costs associated with response to vegetation fires occurring on Bureau of Land Management lands in San Diego County.

"Annoying yet lovable" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/18/2004)
"Wild burros have long wandered the slopes of Box Springs Mountain and Reche Canyon. They often venture down into Moreno Valley neighborhoods, bringing them face to face with humans. Some homeowners have welcomed the burros, leaving food out for them. To others...the burros are a nuisance....A new federal law passed last week will make it easier to sell wild horses and burros for slaughter. But Bureau of Land Management officials said the law only affects wild horses and burros on BLM lands. The Reche Canyon burros will not be affected..."
(Free registration required.)

"Barstow's finest to be on History Channel" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 12/21/2004)
"The Barstow sheriff's station's search and rescue squad spent most of Saturday searching for a lost deputy in the Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area. But they were all working as actors and the deputy was never really lost, except when he messed up his lines. The Desert Search and Rescue Squad, an all-volunteer force whose job it is to rescue people lost or injured in the desert, will be featured along with members of the Barstow sheriff's reserves unit in a program on the History Channel called "Modern Marvels."

Related: "Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM California website)
Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area is managed by BLM. The riding area is just south of Barstow.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include petroleum engineer technician, fire engine captain, contact representative and natural resource specialist.

(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.)

12/21/2004 - Solstice Rock

12/27/2004 - Nature Walks
Palm Desert

01/07/2005 and 1/08/2005 - Desert Advisory Committee meeting

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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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