A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 200 - 3/22/05

Martin Balding Close-up of Spanish Needle onion Eric Morgan and son at public event arge white sturgeon Bicyclist on a trail lined with wildflowers, on public lands at Fort Ord

- Free set of postcards while supplies last
- Profile: Eric Morgan
- Fort Ord public lands: photo album, info, wildflowers
- More wildflowers on public lands
- Meet your advisory council members: Martin Balding
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: fish or physician?
      - Special Status plant of the week
- Headlines and highlights: rocks with legs, turkey hunt, volunteer opportunities, BLM California jobs, more
- Abandoned mine lands - and not
- Wildfire: prevention and aftermath
- Wild horses and burros
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: New land use planning rule, wildlife work
- Bookstore feature: "Tricks of the trail"
- Selected upcoming events

We offered free to subscribers with this issue, 1,000 sets of "The BLM in Pictures: Images from the Public Lands." These sets of postcards are for your personal use, with pictures that include mountain ranges, open prairies, desert landscapes, and the ocean. One set to a customer, please. This offer expires when supplies run out. Just fill in and submit the online form -- and we will send you your set of postcards as soon as we can.
(link no longer active)
(Above: detail from postcard: "Land sailors line up on the playa at the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area near Gerlach, Nevada." This area is jointly managed by BLM's Surprise, California and Winnemucca, Nevada Field Offices.)

Eric Morgan and son at public eventPROFILE: Eric Morgan... the Fort Ord Project Manager for BLM's Hollister Field Office. He came to the position when he heard of the great things that were occurring at the former Fort Ord, and " wanted to be part of the excitement." Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

Bicyclists on a trail on public lands at Fort OrdPHOTO ALBUM: Fort Ord
Come and enjoy some of the last undeveloped natural, public lands on the Monterey Peninsula, located on the former Fort Ord military base. Here the BLM protects and manages 35 species of rare plants and animals and their native coastal habitats. While habitat preservation and enhancement are primary missions at Fort Ord, there are also more than 50 miles of trails for the public to explore on foot, on bike or on horseback.

Related: "Fort Ord public lands" (BLM California, Hollister Field Office website)
At Fort Ord, the BLM is working with the community and other partners to help this former military base become available for public use. The goal of the community-based Fort Ord Reuse Plan is to: "Promote the best use of land through well planned and balanced development which ensures educational and economic opportunities as well as environmental protection."

Related: "Wildflowers open to rave reviews" (Monterey County Herald, 03/20/2005)
"Wildflowers are beginning to bloom with a vengeance, making up for last year's drought of spring color. Weather conditions have set the stage for a particularly spectacular year, with an early start and perhaps a big finish, said Bruce Delgado, a botanist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management based at Fort Ord." Vernal pools may help provide a longer wildflower season: "Places like Fort Hunter Liggett and Fort Ord will be great early summer trips."


"Gorge yourself" (Fresno Bee, 03/16/2005)
"Wildflowers are a rite of spring in the central San Joaquin Valley, and there's no better place to experience them than right now at the San Joaquin River Gorge. Administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the San Joaquin River Gorge (formerly Squaw Leap) contains nearly 7,000 acres of public land." Includes link to 10-picture wildflower photo gallery.
(Free registration required.)

Related: "San Joaquin River Gorge" (BLM California Bakersfield Field Office website) More information on this site.

"BLM Offers Free Guided Wildflower Hikes" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2005)
Wildflowers are beginning to show their glorious colors across Lake County, and to celebrate, the Bureau of Land Management is offering free, guided hikes in the Cache Creek area. The outings are Saturdays, April 2 and April 23.

Tortoises and springs flowers abound at Desert Tortoise Natural Area (BLM California news release, 3/15/2005)
At the Desert Tortoise Natural Area, the breathtaking eruption of wild flowers is enhanced only by the desert tortoises that are emerging to frolic among and snack on the tasty morsels. A naturalist and the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's Desert Tortoise Discovery Center will be on site through June 6 -- with displays of information about the desert tortoise and other desert wildlife, including Mojave rattlesnakes, lizards, insects, black-tailed hares, kit foxes, and ravens.

Check for more wildflower-related tours under "Selected Upcoming Events" below.

Martin Balding is an energy use consultant and represents environmental and conservation interests on BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council.


historical photo of a very large white sturgeonWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Fish or physician?
What kind of fish is a white sturgeon? See if you can choose the right answer in this online interactive quiz:

If you missed last week's online quiz, it's not too late to guess at the answer- or apply your profound knowledge of wildlife trivia:

Close-up of Spanish Needle onionSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Spanish Needle onion
Spanish Needle onion has "distinctive recurved (bent-back) petals." It prefers metamorphic or granitic tallus slopes at certain elevations - and is found in just three locations on BLM-managed land: around Owens Peak, in Jawbone Canyon, and near Tehachapi.
(Thumbnail above from Photo Copyright 2003 by Heath McAllister.)


Ribbon-cutting at the entrance to El Mirage Dry Lake Recreation Area"Paved road a celebration of partnerships" (News.bytes Extra, 3/22/2005)
Approximately 80 people participated in dedication ceremonies to celebrate the paving of Mountain View Road - the entrance to the El Mirage Dry Lake Recreation Area.

"BLM Seeking Coastal Volunteers" (BLM California news release, 03/16/2005)
People who love the Mendocino Coast have a new opportunity to help care for public lands near Point Arena.

"Volunteer opportunities - BLM Folsom Field Office" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office website)
Recently updated with a volunteer opportunity at Pine Hill Preserve - in addition to earlier offerings at Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern, Inimim Forest and Cosumnes River Preserve.

"Beware of rocks with legs" (Victorville Daily Press, 03/16/2005)
"Drivers in the desert, use caution. What may look like a rock actually may be a desert tortoise meandering down the road. The endangered tortoises have begun to appear from their winter burrows in search of food....Drivers should be aware that tortoises are difficult to spot along dirt and rocky roads."

"Emergency closure at Clear Creek" (BLM California news release, 3/22/2005)
Recent and continuing heavy rainfall has forced an emergency closure of the Clear Creek Management Area to all motorized vehicle use -- effective noon, March 22 through noon March 25. Road and soil conditions within the area will then be assessed and a decision made whether to continue or lift the closure.

"City to buy river land" (Los Angeles Daily News, 03/17/2005)
Santa Clarita city councilwoman "said the purchase would allow the city to satisfy demands for parks and recreation in Canyon Country by extending its riverside trail....It would also aid in the fight against the Cemex project just east of the river. The city has stood against a proposal by the Mexico-based materials company to mine 56.1 million tons of sand and gravel in Soledad Canyon." Cemex won BLM bid to mine gravel on the site.,1413,200%257E20949%257E2768689,00.html

"Tips on finding a place to hunt turkeys" (Sacramento Bee, 03/17/2005)
"Additional significant turkey habitat also exists on US Bureau of Land Management and national forest lands. Maps can be found at BLM and Forest Service offices. Although turkeys have been introduced into higher elevations, Gardner recommends hunters do their prospecting for turkeys on BLM and Forest Service lands at elevations below 3,500 feet for the best chance to bag a tom."
(Free registration required.)

"Supes agree to back bill" (Woodland Daily Democrat, 03/16/2005)
"County Supervisors agreed to back a new, controversial piece of legislation Tuesday. Assembly Bill 1328 is an attempt to designate 31 miles of Cache Creek in Yolo and Lake counties as State Wild, Scenic and Recreation River.",1413,136%257E32730%257E2765669,00.html

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)


"Reclaiming the land" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/17/2005)
"A 100 years ago, when a miner stopped mining, he or she usually just walked away from the diggings. No one knows how many of these sites there are, since the early miners seldom filed any paperwork. These sites are located literally by someone on the ground finding them and reporting them to the Bureau of Land Management or the California Department of Conservation's Office of Mine Reclamation."

"Sealing mines" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/18/2005)
The desert holds many abandoned mines: "For those recreationists who obey the signs and stay on the trails, there's plenty of safe opportunities for fun. For those few who go off the trail, or cut fences to go where they're not supposed to, there is more danger than they can imagine, according to land management officials."

"Glamis Rand Mining sets example for mining reclamation" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/17/2005)
Editorial on "ingenious agreement" between Glamis Rand Mining Company and BLM: "Much work still remains to prevent falls in the hundreds of open shafts still dotting the once bustling mining areas of the Mojave Desert. Whether it is achieved through posted warnings, fencing or backfilling, the present threat of abandoned mine shafts could be greatly decreased by increasing awareness and increasing off-site mitigation for mining companies."

"California BLM abandoned mine land activity" (BLM California website)
Over 12,000 mine properties in California and northwest Nevada are listed in the Bureau of Mines Mineral Industries Location System (MILS) database as on BLM-managed land. An estimated additional 5000 sites not recorded in the database are likely on BLM-managed land. Of these 17,000, an estimated 3000 significant properties contain hazardous substances or physical features and/or have environmental problems.

"OSM will propose new revegetation rule to encourage species diversity and remove barriers to reforestation on mined lands" (Department of the Interior news release, 3/15/2005)
"The US Office of Surface Mining is proposing a rule that will encourage diversity of plant species on reclaimed mine lands and remove impediments to planting trees."

"Protecting the animals" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/18/2005)
"One of the newest ways to close off abandoned mine openings is with bat gates. These allow bats to fly in and out, while keeping people and large animals from getting hurt in a dangerous mine."

Related: "Bats: Essential to healthy ecosystems" (BLM national website)

"BLM Accepting Nominations forReclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards" (BLM national news release, 3/22/2005)
The BLM is requesting nominations for the 2005 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards. These awards recognize solid mineral (non-coal) development operations that embody the principles of sustainable development or represent outstanding examples of reclamation or environmental stewardship.


"Redding BLM Office Completes French Gulch Salvage Sale" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2005)
Public land timber burned in last summer's French Fire near French Gulch has been sold to Sierra Pacific Industries.

Related: "Sierra Pacific will log French Fire site" (Redding Record Searchlight, 03/21/2005)
"[Removing the dead trees will help protect the green trees that remain...It should reduce fire danger in the coming years and give seedlings room to grow next fall and winter....The project is just one in a series intended to help the area recover from the blaze...."
(Free registration required.),2232,REDD_17533_3638457,00.html

"Spring Prescribed Burning Begins" (BLM California news release, 03/18/2005)
The Lassen National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Lassen Volcanic National Park have begun their spring prescribed burning programs.


"BLM Announces First Sale of Wild Horses to Tribes under New Law" (BLM national news release, 3/21/2005)
The Bureau of Land Management announced that it is selling more than 500 wild horses to two Indian Tribes in the Dakotas under a new law passed by Congress. "I urge horse advocacy groups, humane organizations, and more Tribes -- as well as the general public -- to help the BLM find good homes for those horses affected by the new law," said BLM Director Kathleen Clarke. The Bureau has set up a toll-free number for those interested in buying a wild horse or burro: 1-800-710-7597.

"Wild Mustang and Burro Adoption Returns to Norco" (BLM California news release, 03/15/2005)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will offer about 80 wild Mustangs and 20 wild burros to qualified adopters at Ingalls Park in Norco on April 9-10 through its Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program.

"Groups saving wild mustangs from slaughter" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 03/18/2005)
"Although a new law lets the federal government sell certain wild mustangs for horsemeat, the first ones auctioned off have been spared from the slaughterhouse. The 200 animals from Nevada that Wild Horses Wyoming bought from the Bureau of Land Management are roaming free on thousands of acres near Laramie, Wyo."


"BLM updates Land Use Planning handbook" (BLM national news release, 3/22/2005)
Four years of policy and guidance memos have been consolidated into the BLM's revised Land Use Planning Handbook. The revised Handbook reflects comments submitted during two earlier reviews of draft documents over the last year from BLM employees; state, local and federal agencies; and the general public. The updated Handbook is available to the public on the BLM national website.

"New rule change to give states, counties and tribes active role in land-use planning decisions" (Department of the Interior news release, 3/16/2005)
In remarks before the opening session of the 70th Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Washington, D.C., Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced that she is taking two important steps to ensure local, state, counties, and tribal governments and other agencies with a stronger, more active role in determining how public lands should be managed.

"BLM joins national groups in wildlife work" (BLM national news release, 3/16/2005)
BLM will sign Memorandum of Understanding with The Wildlife Society and the North American Grouse Partnership. The second agreement will focus on improving grouse management -- primarily prairie and sage habitats -- to meet public demands for both viewing and hunting opportunities on BLM-managed public land.

book cover detail: "Tricks of the Trail"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Tricks of the Trail"
"A Guide to Modern Backpacking: This book provides current information on outdoor products, from water filters and insect repellents to stoves and synthetic fabrics. You will learn what works well, what doesn't, and why. A handy reference guide at the end of the book lists names, addresses, phone numbers, and internet sites of selected national parks, equipment suppliers, magazines, and web-sites, to help plan your next adventure."

(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.)

03/23/2005 - Folsom Resource Management Plan Public Meeting

03/26/2005 - Red Hills Italian Thistle Work Day

03/29/2005 - W equals Wildflowers
Palm Desert

04/01/2005 - Desert Advisory Committee Meeting

04/02/2005 - There's a Monument in Your Backyard
Palm Desert

04/02/2005 - Cache Creek Wildflower Hike

04/03/2005 - Don't Hug the Teddy Bears!
Palm Desert

04/09/2005 - Inimim Forest Scotch Broom Work Day

04/09/2005 - Spring Workday Extravaganza

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Bureau of Land Management
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(916) 978-4600

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