A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 191 - 1/19/05

Ruth Shriber Nic Tuntland

Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question: dinner?
      - Special Status plant of the week
      - Archaeology and the cultural record
- Desert tortoises, Fort Irwin
- Santa Clarita proposed gravel mining
- Meet your Advisory Council members: Ruth Shriber
- Profile: Nic Tuntland
- Bookstore feature: "California Wildlife Viewing Guide"
- Headlines and highlights: Mountain rescue, fire salvage, fighting trash, land use planning, more
- Selected upcoming events


Long-toed salamanderWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: dinner?
What do Long-toed Salamanders eat? Take your best guess in our online interactive quiz:
(Thumbnail of photo by Jens V. Vindum, California Academy of Sciences)

Just how anti-social is the California ground squirrel? See how our readers answered in the past week:


"Back to adventures on the Old Spanish Trail" (Pahrump Valley Times, 01/12/2005)
"[T]hink of the West and the image that comes to mind is probably the wholly Caucasian Marlboro Man" but "the history of the West is tied more to the Spanish and the settlement of the West by Spain," says BLM's Barstow Field Office recreation planner. That history includes "the Old Spanish Trail, a network of difficult to discern traces along...1,200 miles between Santa Fe, N.M., and Los Angeles." Public meetings on development of the trail are planned for this summer.

Related: "Coming to the end of the Old Spanish Trail" (Pahrump Valley Times, 1/14/2005)
Part 2: "There's more to just marking the Old Spanish Trail in the Bureau of Land Management's improvement plans....The agency's anticipation of public demands for recreational opportunities points to how travel and commerce have changed since the heyday of the blood, sweat and tears shed on the Old Spanish Trail....increased leisure time and the desire to recreate away from home by automobile have radically altered the typical traveler on the Old Spanish Trail today."

"Backward Glance by Steve Smith: The case of the mysterious Afton gravestone" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 1/18/2005)
"If you find any artifact in the desert, please leave it in place and note the location of the site. Then report it to the Bureau of Land Management or the National Park Service. If you don't want to work with the government, report it to the Mojave River Valley Museum and we will notify the proper people. We have reported this find to the BLM and hope to visit the site in the near future."

"CCC chief looks at North State projects" (Redding Record Searchlight, 01/13/2005)
Among the California Conservation Corps' northern California projects are clearing brush at an historic gold mine and stamp mill - where BLM is developing an interpretive site.,2232,REDD_17533_3467304,00.html

Lens-pod milk-vetchSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Lens-pod milk-vetch
Perennial herb from a woody taproot. Finely hairy with curly hairs, and many spreading branches.

Ruth Shriber is a landscape architect in her first term as a council member representing transportation and rights-of-way interests on BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council.
Read more in this weeks issue of News.bytes.

Nic TuntlandPROFILE: Nic Tuntland
Nic Tuntland is a new Rangeland Technician and Fire Engine Operator with BLM's Alturas Field Office. One of his more interesting experiences with BLM was being a part of a fire suppression operation in "Area 51" in Nevada. Read more about Nic in this week's News.bytes Profile:


"Tortoises, army cash ranches out" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/18/2005)
"The U.S. Army has bought three sprawling cattle ranches and former railroad lands in the San Bernardino County desert to compensate for its long-sought but controversial expansion of a tank-training center into endangered-species habitat....That leaves only four cattle allotments in the western Mojave, down by about 80 percent from the mid-1980s, said Anthony Chavez, a rangeland-management specialist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which authorizes the grazing permits."

"Researcher trains dogs to sniff out tortoises" (Las Vegas Sun, 1/18/2005)
"For years, an ecologist at Nevada's Desert Research Institute has tried to convince fellow scientists that search dogs might be the answer to tracking the elusive, threatened desert tortoise. What a ridiculous notion, they said. Finally, Mary Cablk has proven them wrong" in tests at BLM Nevada's Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. "Based on the success of the initial research, Cablk and [a colleague] are negotiating for a much larger grant from the Army's Ft. Irwin, in California, which needs to relocate tortoises from a large area of desert in order to expand."


"Santa Clarita files new lawsuit vs. mine" (Antelope Valley Press, 1/14/2005)
"The city of Santa Clarita has filed another lawsuit over the federal government's approval of a massive mining project in Soledad Canyon. In its latest legal action, the city takes on the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals for certifying environmental documents submitted for the Cemex sand and gravel mine."

"SCV air study a mixed bag" (Los Angeles Daily News, 1/13/2005)
"An analysis of air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley has found that while most ozone is transported into the region, particulate matter from planned projects such as the Newhall Ranch housing development and the proposed sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon could exceed state standards." Cemex, Inc. won a contract with BLM for the sand and gravel operation.,1413,200%257E20949%257E2649897,00.html

Book cover: "California Wildlife Viewing Guide"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "California Wildlife Viewing Guide"
A unique, multi-agency project developed in cooperation with Defenders of Wildlife highlights 200 wildlife viewing sites in California. Inside you'll find a detailed description of each site, maps and access information, helpful viewing tips, and more than 100 color photos by California's best wildlife photographers.

HawkRelated: "Watchable Wildlife" (BLM California website)
California has some of the most varied wildlife habitat on earth - from arid southern desert, to snowcapped Sierra Nevada, to Pacific seacoast. This diversity includes 14.5 million acres of public lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.


"BLM, Sheriff's deputies rescue four local youth" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 1/18/2005)
"The recent rains set the scene for an ordeal that involved both the Bureau of Land Management and Kern County Sheriff's Department deputies in a dramatic rescue in the El Paso Mountains Monday. Apparently, four local youth set out to go four-wheeling...during the recent rains. However, the force of the storm created a situation that was more than they could handle."

"Crews work to salvage burned trees" (Redding Record Searchlight, 1/15/2005)
"Dusted with seed, nourished with rain and sheltered by straw mulch, the earth near Jones Valley is showing signs of life....But a lot of work remains to bring the land back from last summer's Bear Fire.....Rehabilitation work continues on the other side of the county in French Gulch, where the French Fire blazed across 13,323 acres just four days after the Bear Fire. The Bureau of Land Management has already removed most of the nearly 50 trees deemed a public safety threat along roadways, said Glen Miller of the Redding field office.",2232,REDD_17523_3473516,00.html

"Duners trade buggies for bags" (Yuma Sun, 1/16/2005)
"More than 1,000 sand dunes enthusiasts took part in the sixth annual South Dunes Cleanup on Saturday morning in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. People with garbage bags, many in full off-road regalia, could be seen all over the dunes picking up trash. "

"Snow cuts BLM tour short" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 1.16/2005)
"Falling snow last week cut short the Bureau of Land Management's field tour of local BLM-administered public lands as the winter storm obscured visibility and made travel unsafe. Prior to halting the tour, however, members of BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council, the media and a dozen residents were treated to a tour of the Wild Horse and Burro Facility. BLM personnel explained how the facility works and how the animals are cared for."

"Edge directed to perform EIR" (Lake County Record-Bee, 1/14/2005)
"The Lake County Planning Commission heard arguments from Edge Wireless, LCTV and the public Thursday before unanimously deciding a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) should be performed. Edge plans to cut a 24-foot-wide, 3,600-foot-long swath up the eastern side of the mountain to lay power lines for their antennae tower atop Mt. Konocti." A spokesperson said " Edge had worked long and hard to prepare this plan with the Bureau of Land Management.... But the audience, including property owners below the project, was not enthused.",1413,255%257E26901%257E2653058,00.html

"BLM to hold planning meeting" (BLM California news release, 01/14/2005)
The Folsom Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management is asking the public to help identify issues and concerns regarding future management of about 44,990 acres of public lands in Tuolumne County at a public meeting on Wednesday, January 26.

"Anti-dumping plan approved by supervisors" (Union Democrat, 01/13/2005)
"In the past six years, nearly 92 tons of trash have been removed from illegal dump sites by the Tuolumne County Public Works Department. And tons more have been cleaned up by volunteers and other groups." The County will move ahead with a 15-step plan to cut down on illegal dumping, which "costs taxpayers money and is a significant health problem." BLM representatives took part in a committee that devised the plan.

"Company off hook for spill" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/18/2005)
"A rupture in an underground pipeline that sprayed an estimated 96,000 gallons of gasoline over the fragile Mojave Desert was the result of a puncture by a backhoe or other construction equipment and not of erosion or neglect by the pipeline's owner, a state agency said." The spill involved BLM-managed land.
(Free registration required.)

"Briggs lays off 13 more employees" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 01/13/2005)
Company says it cannot start mining at two new sites because state law requires mine sites be "back-filled to within 20 feet of the original contours of the land" and makes open-pit mining unaffordable. They hope to ask current governor about a change in the rules. "While the company awaits the final decision on the other possible mine sites, reclamation continues in Panamint Valley. The present reclamation plan for the Briggs site was set by Inyo County and the Bureau of Land Management before mining began in 1997."

"Red Rose Ranch invites public to tsunami fund-raiser" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 1/18/2005)
"For horse lovers, the Bureau of Land Management has provided two young horses, Indy and Thai, for adoption. John Saint Ryan, owner of Red Rose Ranch, has been working with the horses, getting them gentle and safe for future owners. Saint Ryan will demonstrate and show them in the morning and they will be auctioned to the highest bidder at noon."

(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.)

NOTE: Reservations are required for some events - and where dates may be subject to change, call first to confirm.

01/19/2005 - Piedras Blancas Light Station Tour
San Simeon

01/19/2005 - Folsom Resource Management Plan Public Meeting
San Andreas

01/19/2005 - Ecology of the Palm Oasis
Thousand Palms

01/22/2005 - Out of the Frying Pan & into the Freezer
Palm Desert

01/22/2005 - Bald Eagle Hike

01/22/2005 - Habitat Restoration, Cosumnes River Preserve

01/24/2005 - Desert Wildflowers
North Palm Springs

01/26/2005 - Folsom Resource Management Plan public Meeting

01/27/2005 - W Equals Wildflowers
Palm Desert

01/29/2005 - Bald Eagle Hike

02/01/2005 - Northwest Resource Advisory Council

02/05/2005 - Don't Hug the Teddy Bears!
Palm Desert

02/05/2005 - Bald Eagle Hike

02/05/2005 - Habitat Restoration, Cosumnes River Preserve

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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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