A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 193 - 2/1/05

Wally Leimgruber treats for an adoptee at a BLM California wild horse and burro adoption Larry LeLoup Trivia subject: Common porcupine Bookstore Feature: "Introduction to California Plant Life"

- Fish and Wildlife Service issues biological opinion on Imperial Sand Dunes
- Wild horses and burros: Valentine adoption, photo album, more
- Outdoor recreation
- Not for educators only:
      - Prickly trivia question
      - Special status plant of the week
- Our readers write: pogonip thanks
- Meet your advisory council members: Wally Leimgruber
- Profile: Larry LeLoup
- Headlines and highlights, including: fire prevention efforts, wildlife habitat, BLM jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events


"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Completes its review of recreation plan for Imperial Sand Dunes" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release)
The Service "determined that the proposed plan would not jeopardize Peirson's milk-vetch (Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii) or the desert tortoise (Xerobates agassizi) - two federally threatened species that occur within the dunes. The Service also concluded that implementation of the recreation plan would not adversely modify Peirson's milk-vetch designated critical habitat."

Biological opinion from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regarding the Imperial Sand Dunes Proposed Recreation Area Management Plan - PDF file, 4 megabytes:

"Wildlife agency opinion gives off-roaders boost" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 01/28/2005)
"Off-road enthusiasts took a major step toward reclaiming nearly 50,000 acres of the popular Imperial Sand Dunes...when a federal agency said their activities would not jeopardize two protected species in the area. With its biological opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endorsed a plan by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that would lift dune-buggy closures put in place in 2000."

"Wildlife officials opt to open dunes to off-road vehicles" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 01/27/2005)
"Federal wildlife officials cleared the way Thursday to reopen desert dunes popular with Inland off-roaders, saying desert tortoises and a plant threatened with extinction can survive among the recreational vehicles. Environmentalists said they would fight the decision to open nearly 50,000 acres, or about one-third, of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area to motorcycles, dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles. Damage from off-road play would push the species closer to extinction, they said."
(Free registration required)


treats for an adopteePHOTO ALBUM: Wild horse and burro adoptions
The passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, gave responsibility to the Bureau of Land Management to preserve and protect wild horses and burros and to manage for healthy rangelands. When an over-population of wild horses and burros exists on the range, the excess animals are removed and offered to the general public for adoption. Adopted mustangs make excellent riding stock, and properly trained some adopted Mustangs have become national champions in dressage, snaffle bit competitions, trail, endurance, and jumping.

"Wild horse and burro adoption offers great gifts for valentines" (BLM California news release, 1/25/2005)
On Saturday, February 12, BLM will offer wild horses and burros to qualified adopters at its corral facility 4 ½ miles east of Ridgecrest. To make this adoption even more special, BLM will provide free home delivery within 150 miles of the facility . . . Happy Valentines Day!

"Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse & Burro Corrals"
Established in 1982, through cooperation with the Naval Weapons Station and Death Valley National Park, this facility is designed to support wild horse and burro management activities throughout the three-state region of Southern California, Nevada and Arizona.

"A new range war" (Newsweek, 02/07/2005)
"A change in the law, and wild horses face slaughter....The revision forces the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to sell 'without limitation' every captured horse that is 10 or older or has proved unadoptable. The new rule applies to 8,400 horses in captivity, and many more in the future."


"CYBERTRIPS: Web guides to must-see spots on eastern slopes on Sierra Nevada" (San Francisco Chronicle, 01/31/2005)
"A large amount of real estate in the area is controlled by the federal Bureau of Land Management, whose office in Bishop -- -- has information on what you can do to enjoy it. Be sure to check out their Top 10 list for spots including the Alabama Hills mining district and the Volcanic Tableland, and go down the page and look for the link to "Motor Touring in the Eastern Sierra."

Related: "BLM Bishop Field Office" (BLM California website)

"On Foot: How do you know where to go?" (Chico Enterprise-Record,
"Lava Beds National Monument, Castle Crags State Park, Mono Lake,
northern Death Valley, Black Rock Desert, Nev. Often, people ask me how
we know where to go on hikes. We find our hikes in several ways....The
Bureau of Land Management offers maps and brochures to specific areas
for a small fee.",1413,135%257E28338%257E2685356,00.html

Related: "Recreation Search" (BLM California website)
(Note: the Recreation Search 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.)

"Those pogonip photos by Jeff Fontana are exquisite -- they would be lovely on a winter calendar or something. Thanks so much."
      - B. W., a reader

Response: Thank you - and thanks to Jeff for the photos. For our new subscribers -- or anyone else who missed this feature last week -- here is the link again:


Common porcupineWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Prickly topic
Which of the statements about the common porcupine is false? Take your best guess in our online interactive quiz.
(Thumbnail is from a photo from Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences)

Up to how many eggs can the Western toad lay? Check how our readers answered during the past week:

Monterey manzanitaSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Monterey manzanita
Evergreen shrub 3.2 - 6.4 feet tall, with upright stems, and finely bristly twigs. Leaves grow upward and have stems 1/8 - 1/4 inches long. Leaves are round to pear-shaped, with a rounded or straight base, smooth edges, a dark green, dull, and finely bristly surface, and 3/4 - 1 1/8 inches long, 5/8 - 1 1/8 inches wide. Inflorescence are dense, with leaf-like bracts. Fruit are berry-like, depressed and round, finely bristly, and 5/16 - 1/2 inch wide.

Wally LeimgruberMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Wally Leimgruber...
...represents elected officials on BLM's Desert District Advisory Council. Read more:

Larry LeLoupPROFILE: Larry LeLoup
The recently appointed Chief Area Ranger for the El Centro Field Office is responsible for, implements and coordinates all law enforcement functions within the area covered by the El Centro Field Office. He comes to the position with over 13 years of law enforcement experience. Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

Bookstore Feature: "Introduction to California Plant Life"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Introduction to California Plant Life"
"A concise overview of the state's unique flora, it's plant communities and the environmental factors that shape them. 156 color photographs illustrate plants and typical plant communities around the state. New chapters give expanded discussion of the evolution of the California landscape, recent changes in California's flora, and more. Also included are 7 line illustration, 4 maps and 8 tables."


"Neighbors nix wood operation" (The Union, 01/27/2005)
Fire Safe Council rejects fire fuel reduction operation after neighbors of the proposed site "rose in opposition to the project planned for the 106-acre Bureau of Land Management property off Old Auburn Road, citing concerns with noise and traffic. The project would have processed nearly 200 tons of wood waste on some days using a horizontal grinder. The decision to discard plans jeopardizes a $312,000 grant the council received more than a year ago to operate a facility to store, process, and re-use brush and wood scraps."

" Wildlife habitat in South County wins approval" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 01/31/2005)
"A plan to preserve 9,243 acres of wildlife habitat in South County in exchange for a streamlined development approval process in the city of Chula Vista has been approved by the state and federal governments." The preserve is said to be important to wildlife, in linking BLM-managed Otay Mountain Wilderness with other preserves in the area.

Related: "Otay Mountain Wilderness" (BLM California website)

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include firefighting positions, fire mitigation and education specialists and contact representatives.

"Art and a life in harmony" (Los Angeles Times, 01/31/2005)
"Alone on a rugged stretch of the Lost Coast, John McAbery uses simple tools to coax delicate beauty from hulks of fallen trees." Story of an artist who lives among the King Range National Conservation Area, managed by BLM California.,1,1844238.story

Related: "King Range National Recreation Area" (BLM California website)
BLM California manages the public lands here.

"High school ramps up environmental studies" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 01/23/2005)
"When nearly 30 Palm Desert High School students visited the New River Wetlands near the Salton Sea in December, they did more than simply tour the area. They spent one day removing salt cedar trees that were threatening a waterway used by migratory birds and another day planting mesquite trees in the wetlands....The students involved in the wetlands project Imperial County with people from Desert Wildlife Unlimited, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

(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.)

01/31/2005 - South Fork American River Trail Meeting

02/01/2005 - Northwest Resource Advisory Council

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

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

02/05/2005 - Bald Eagle Hike

02/10/2005 - There's a Monument in Your Backyard
Palm Desert

02/12/2005 - Bald Eagle Hike

02/16/2005 - Folsom Resource Management Plan public Meeting

02/19/2005 - Piedras Blancas Light Station Tour
San Simeon

02/19/2005 - Bald Eagle Hike

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

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