A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 197 - 3/1/05

Jim Chapman photo album: Headwaters Joy Fatooh Jepson's milk-vetch Sammy the burro with human at his ranch

- Off-road vehicles
- Rights-of-way issues
- Waterways: Cache Creek proposal, salmon recovery, mercury threat
- Headlines and highlights: protecting coast land, protecting archaeological finds, BLM California jobs, more
- Wild horses and burros
- Photo album: Headwaters Forest Preserve
- Meet your advisory council members: Jim Chapman
- Profile: Joy Fatooh
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: bulldrums?
      - Special Status plant of the week
- Bookstore feature: "Pacific Crest Trail - Volume 1: California"
- Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: energy, former DOI counsel
- Selected upcoming events


"Off-road proponents favor designated riding areas statewide" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 2/28/2005)
"Almost 200 people, including High Desert residents and recreational riders, attended a two-day conference over the weekend to discuss the problem of illegal off-road vehicle use." A panel included BLM representatives.

"Supervisors may consider passing new ordinances, beef up enforcement" (Victorville Daily Press, 2/28/2005)
"San Bernardino County may join a growing trend among High Desert municipalities to clamp down on what some residents consider a nuisance by passing new ordinances and beginning beefed-up enforcement of off-road vehicle riders illegally riding on private property in the next few months....During the drafting of new ordinances the county will be cooperating with the Bureau of Land Management, the USDA Forest Service and the State Parks division...."

"Hell on wheels: ORVs invade desert" (Hi-Desert Star, 02/23/2005)
Editorial: "The Hi-Desert is a patchwork of private and public lands. ORV trespass often violates both private property and lands we hold in common. We need the Bureau of Land Management to protect the land that is supposed to be for all of us, as well as for generations to come."


"News briefs: Inyo superintendents weigh in on Furnace Creek" (Mammoth Times, 02/23/2005)
"A tiny creek in the White Mountains and a short and primitive road up that creek have become a lightning rod for both public lands access rights activists and environmentalists over the past several months, with several meetings about the fate of the road attended by more than a hundred people at a time....agencies have indicated that they expect litigation no matter what their final decision, and that no decision will be forthcoming soon."

"Central Valley fossils open window to rich era of beasts; Pit bull-like creature had feet of a bear" (San Francisco Chronicle, 02/23/2005)
Among the finds near Fresno was "the skull of a previously unknown badger-size creature that is not only a new species but a whole new genus.'" BLM is involved in rights-of-way permitting for the powerline route where the fossils were found..

"Supes request better road closure notice" (Inyo Register, 2/15/2005)
"Federal agencies agreed to notify the county of any action that could result in a road closure or a significant change to a road's use or status, but noted they do that anyway to meet their own federal requirements."

"Gerlach Power plant draws much interest" (Modoc Record, 2/24/2005)
" San Diego-based energy giant Sempra Generation and a grassroots coalition of concerned citizen and environmental groups both drew considerable crowds at separate meetings in Gerlach, Nevada last week....Many were from the surrounding area in northwestern Washoe County, though a contingent from Modoc County, Bureau of Land Management field offices in Winnemucca and Surprise Valley, and visitors from Lassen County were also present." BLM is involved in rights-of-way permitting.


"Link seen between good grazing land and local economy" (Mt. Shasta News, 02/23/2005)
Speaker, to ranchers and farmers: "Livestock grazing along stream banks can have a major impact on the health of fish, vegetation, channel stability, hydrology, water quality and wildlife habitat.....improving the health of the grazed land, ranch economics will also improve. But, ranchers and farmers are not the only ones who will benefit." Remarks were based on surveys conducted recently "at 128 major rangeland sites in California, public and private" including BLM-managed lands.

"Creek protection sought" (Davis Enterprise, 02/24/2005)
State Assembly bill introduced last week would "designate portions of Cache Creek in Yolo and Lake counties as a state wild, scenic and recreational river....About 80 percent of the land is under the control of the federal Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Game and Yolo County."

Related: "Cache Creek Natural Area" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office website) This secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral is a combination of over 70,000 acres of BLM managed lands and 4,700 acres of State and County lands. The Natural Area is traversed by Cache Creek, with its year-round water flow.

Related: "Wolk unveils Cache Creek legislation" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 02/24/2005)
Assemblywoman says, "A governor's signature on this bill will make sure a dam is never placed on Cache Creek and the abundant resources that make it such a special place will always be there." Article states "The proposed sections of the river flow through deep canyons covered in oak woodlands and chaparral. The river supports diverse wildlife, including bald eagles, tule elk, mountain lion, black bear, turtles and river otters to name a few.",1413,136%257E32730%257E2730305,00.html

"Mercury mystery - Contamination of Bear River is topic of meeting" (The Union, 2/28/2005)
"According to a federal scientist who has been studying the Bear River since 1999, the stream that divides Nevada and Placer counties is loaded with mercury at certain points. The mercury - from the bygone days of gold mining - will be the subject of a meeting [tonight]...."

Related: "Abandoned mine lands: Bear River and South Fork Yuba River watersheds" (BLM California website)
Mercury monitoring data was used "to prioritize the hydraulic mine sites on BLM administered lands for future remediation. The highest priority sites are the Boston Mine, Poore Mine.,You Bet South, and You Bet Southwest."

"District busy saving species" (Redding Record Searchlight, 2/28/2005)
"It's not just about salmon anymore. The Western Shasta Resource Conservation District completed more on-the-ground projects last year than any other in its nearly 50-year history." The Bureau of Land Management is "one of the district's many cooperating agencies.",2232,REDD_17533_3582133,00.html


Sammy, the adopted burro"Sammy and Elvis on the farm" (News.bytes Extra, 3/1/2005)
Sammy, the adopted BLM burro, has got it made. He resides as the Big Guy on a farm filled with miniature donkeys, spending his days soaking up rays and human affection in the rolling coastal hillsides near San Miguel. See photos and read more in this News.bytes Extra:

sleepy burro rests head on another at the adoption event"31 mustangs and 19 burros find new homes" (News.bytes Extra, 3/1/2005)
Wild horses and burros found a throng of admirers, when the Bureau of Land Management brought them to a public adoption event in Paso Robles on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26 and 27.
See photos from the event in this News.bytes Extra:

"Wild horses and burros up for adoption in Tulare" (BLM California news release, 2/14/2005)
The adoption program now moves to Tulare, for an event March 12-13 at the International Agri-Center. The adoption will run in conjunction with the annual rendezvous of the Back Country Horsemen.

"Activists alarmed by lifting of ban on slaughter of wild horses" (Associated Press in San Diego Union-Tribune, 02/24/2005)
"For the first time in more than a generation, the mustang - the very symbol of the American West - can be slaughtered for horsemeat. In December, Congress repealed the 34-year-old ban on the slaughter of the wild horses that run free across the West. The move has brought a powerful backlash from activists, who want to reinstate full protection for the mustangs."

"BLM announces first sale of wild horses under new law" (BLM national news release, 3/1/2005)
The 200 mares were sold to Wild Horses Wyoming, LLC, a southeastern Wyoming company committed to protecting wild horses.

"Text of new wild horse and burro sale-authority law" (BLM national website, 2/25/2005)


"Lighthouse Ranch likely to go public" (Eureka Times-Standard, 3/1/2005)
"A former religious commune on Table Bluff could become a hub for public properties in South Humboldt Bay if an acquisition by the state and federal governments in the works goes through....Some $500,000 would come from the California Coastal Conservancy if it approves the allocation at its Sacramento meeting on March 10." Plan calls for land transfer to BLM.,1413,127%257E2896%257E2738422,00.html

Related: "Conservancy help sought to secure 154 North Coast acres" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3/1/2005)
"The California Coastal Conservancy will consider March 10 whether to grant $2 million toward the more than $9 million needed to buy 154 acres between Santa Cruz and the San Mateo County line. "Purchase of the land would include one mile of coast" between the Coast Dairies property -- bought earlier and to be managed by the state Department of Parks and Recreation and the BLM -- and Wilder Ranch State Park.

"Rangers get DOI award for theft-ring bust" (Inyo Register, 2/15/2005)
"Last week the Secretary of the Department of the Interior conferred its highest honor on several Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife rangers who helped break up one of the largest archaeological theft operations in the area's history."

Cancellation of scheduled meeting of the Central California Resource Advisory Council" (Federal Register Notice, 3/1/2005)
The meeting of the Central California Advisory Council scheduled for March 11 and 12, 2005 is cancelled for logistical reasons, and will be rescheduled for July.

"Sharing prosperity" (Mammoth Times, 02/23/2005)
Story on jobs and incomes in the Eastern Sierra region: "Many wage earners in the Mother Lode region work for federal or state agencies" including the BLM.

Related: "Forest Service get more budget woes for centennial birthday" (Mammoth Times, 02/23/2005)
"For its one-hundredth birthday this year, one of Mono County's biggest landholders and employers, the U.S. Forest Service, is getting yet another cut in its budget, and a few less local employees. Up to 10 local Inyo National Forest service employees (out of a total of 150 local employees), will have to be let go or reassigned this year." The Forest Service and BLM "are the areas' biggest federal employers."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include fire engine operator, fire mitigation and education specialist and supervisory resource management specialist.

"Off to the races" (Red Bluff Daily News, 3/1/2005)
"The Tehama "Not So" Extreme Race will feature a course of approximately 20 miles of mountain biking, running, and kayaking....The Red Bluff Ramble will feature a course of approximately 45 miles of mountain biking, running, "canyoneering" and kayaking....Both races are held under permit from the Bureau of Land Management and other affected agencies.",1413,134%257E26762%257E2738553,00.html


Do you know in what way my eardrums are different from most other frogs? Take a guess in this week's online wildlife trivia quiz:

Jepson's milk-vetchSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Jepson's milk-vetch
Annual herb with minute, stiff, straight hairs, and stems 1 1/2 - 12 inches long. Leaves 5/8 - 2 inches long, with 7-9 obovate leaflets with blunt or notched tips, 1/16 - 1/2 inches long. Inflorescence is head-like, with 4-9 flowers. Flowers contain 2-colored petals (white with a purplish banner tip and keel), 1/4 - 3/8 inches (7-9.5mm) long, and calyx 1/8 inch long. Fruit are linear, papery pods with pitted seeds, 5/8 - 1 1/8 inch long, 1/8 inch wide.

OUR READERS WRITE: Flowery praise
"LOVE News.bytes! Knowing where to go to see beautiful wildflowers led to my beau taking a photo of gorgeous flowers that won him an award in the American Association of Anesthesiologist's annual art show! We will scurry off to Anza-Borrego right now! And of course, in reading News.bytes, I keep up with land issues that affect my job in [our city's] Planning Division. Thanks thanks thanks."
- J.W.

...represents elected officials for BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council. A lifelong Lassen County resident, Jim has a deep appreciation for the outdoors and the public lands that make up a large part of the county.

Joy FatoohPROFILE: Joy Fatooh...
...wears many hats -- both in her personal life and her job. A wildlife biologist with BLM's Bishop Field Office, she has also created illustrations and and text for posters, brochures, kiosks, roadside displays, a sensitive plant guide and a motor touring guide. Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

bloosom in Headwaters Forest ReservePHOTO ALBUM: Headwaters Forest Reserve
Located in the mountainous north coast region of California, Headwaters Forest preserves the last unprotected large stand of old-growth redwood forest. Unique ecological values of the forest include: a highly intact, functioning old-growth forest ecosystem that has very large old-growth redwood and Douglas-fir trees, a high diversity of plant species in the forest understory, nesting of threatened marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls, and undisturbed headwater stream habitat for threatened coho and chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

view from the forest floor - Headwaters Forest ReserveRelated: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office website)
More information, including record of decision on a management plan for the Preserve, and online maps.

book cover detail: "Pacific Crest Trail - Volume 1: California"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Pacific Crest Trail - Volume 1: California"
"This book is the only accurate, comprehensive guide to the Pacific Crest Trail in California. It has a complete map of the route, in the form of 229 topographic strip maps, and a verbal description of the route, including mileages and elevations. Chapters include information on planning your hike, a history of the trail itself, and a comprehensive chapter on natural history, which introduces you to the geology and ecology of the PCT. Trail descriptions and maps are divided into 18 sections for those who want to hike only a part of the trail."

Related: "Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail" (BLM California, Ridgecrest Field Office website)
The Ridgecrest and Bakersfield field offices of the Bureau of Land Management manage over 120 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCNST). The trail crosses four designated wildernesses - the Bright Star, Kiavah, Owens Peak and Domelands.

Related: "Owens Peak Segment" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office website)
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is a continuous 2,600 mile hiking trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. The Owens Peak Segment begins at Walker Pass in Kern County, and extends 41 miles north to the Sequoia National Forest. With elevations from 5,245 feet to 7,900 feet, the trail offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.


"Assistant Secretary Watson says federal energy program reflects strict environmental protection" (BLM California news release, 02/24/2005)
In a letter to Trout Unlimited, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson highlighted the Bush administration's strong commitment and strict adherence to environmental regulations designed to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat. Watson addressed concerns TU expressed in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton about oil and gas development on public lands.

"Report: U.S. bypassed process in dispute" (Associated Press in Los Angeles Times, 02/23/2005)
"Senior Interior Department officials circumvented normal processes and ran the risk of lawsuits and public embarrassment in settling a decade-long grazing dispute with a Wyoming rancher, the agency's inspector general said...[but] the agency's top internal watchdog took pains to exonerate the actions of former Interior Department Solicitor William Gerry Myers III, whom President Bush has nominated for a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
(Free registration required.),1,6531014.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

Related: "Judicial nominee cleared in BLM case" (Washington Post, 02/23/2005)
(Free registration required.)

Related: "Investigation of BLM-Robbins Settlement Agreement" (Department of the Interior, 02/22/2005)
From the webpage of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector General, follow the links to the report in text or PDF, or to news releases.

Related: "Judicial nominee to face Senate panel again" (Los Angeles Times, 3/1/2005)
"In explaining their opposition to Myers' nomination, lawyers and American Indian leaders have emphasized actions he took in several situations while Interior's top lawyer. The most prominent involves a proposed 1,600-acre open-pit gold mine that would be adjacent to federally designated wilderness in Imperial County, Calif." proposed by Glamis Gold, Ltd. of Canada.
(Free registration required.),1,2864407.story

(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 on hikes: (Be sure to check the referenced webpage for requirements - and many hikes are very popular and require reservations.)

03/01/2005 - Northeast Resource Advisory Council

03/05/2005 - W equals Wildflowers
Palm Desert

03/06/2005 - North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Hike: Botany
El Centro

03/09/2005 - Folsom Resource Management Plan Public Meeting
Grass Valley

03/12/2005 - Mountain Lion Lecture
Palm Desert

03/12/2005 - Old Mojave Road - Geology Field Trip

03/12/2005 - Wetlands Restoration, Cosumnes River Preserve

03/13/2005 - Old Mojave Road - Geology Field Trip

03/19/2005 - Piedras Blancas Light Station Tour
San Simeon

03/19/2005 - Wetlands Restoration

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