A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 202 - 4/5/05

- Recreation areas on public lands: dogs, OHVs, national monument
- Wild horses and burros
- Headlines and highlights: new field office manager, wind energy, West Mojave Plan, Area 51
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: sensitive frogs
      - Special status plant of the week
      - Our readers write: too many right answers?
- Meet your advisory council members: Tim Garrod
- Profile: Ken Hock
- Photo album: Afton Canyon
- Wildlife
- Selected national and/or Department of the Interior items: more wildlife
- Bookstore feature: "Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols"
- Selected upcoming events


"Dog-friendly hiking trails" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 03/31/2005)
"Here, as a sample, are four fine trails nearby where furry, four-legged creatures can hike on equal terms with their bipedal friends. Trail regulations only request that, when you hike these trails, you keep your dog on a leash six feet or less in length at all times, and clean up after your pet, lest Scruffy and his cousins become canem non grata."

Related: "Trailhead locations" (BLM California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)
More information on trails in this area managed by BLM. "Dogs are not allowed on Bureau of Land Management lands in the Santa Rosa Mountains east of Palm Canyon."

"Good news for off-roaders" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/01/2005)
The US Bureau of Land Management on Friday lifted a three-month ban on off-roading across 571,000 acres of desert washes in Riverside and San Bernardino counties....The BLM made its announcement after the US Fish and Wildlife Service cleared the move, saying the vehicles would not likely jeopardize the continued existence of the [desert] tortoise or its habitat...."
(Free registration required.)

Related: "BLM lifts restriction order prohibiting OHV travel in desert washes" (BLM California news release, 04/01/2005)
Effective immediately, the BLM'S California Desert District has terminated the restriction order prohibiting off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in wash zones associated with the designated Desert Wildlife Management Areas within the Northern and Eastern Colorado desert bio-region in parts of Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

"Apple Valley off-roading ordinance due by summer" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 04/04/2005)
"In order to appease a growing number of complaints from residents, the Town Council is holding a series of meetings aimed at drafting an ordinance to curtail unruly off-road vehicle riders....While the town looks to limit OHV use within its borders, the Bureau of Land Management has reopened 571,000 acres of public lands to off-road riders...."

"Welcome mat pulled for many at monument" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 04/04/2005)
"Target shooters, paintball enthusiasts and hikers with unleashed pets are no longer welcome in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Regulations against the activities were approved in 2004 by the US Bureau of Land Management and went into effect last week. The restrictions are designed to protect the area's natural resources, as well as visitors' safety...."
(Free registration required.)

Related: "BLM implements Monument Management Plan decisions to protect resources and enhance visitor safety" (BLM California news release, 3/25/2005)
(Repeated from last week's News.bytes.)


"America's Wild Horses and Burros Offered for Adoption in Norco" (BLM California news release, 04/01/2005)
Adopting a wild horse or burro preserves our western heritage, and on April 9-10 qualified individuals will have the opportunity to adopt one of America's living legends at Ingalls Park in Norco through the BLM'S Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program.

"Animals will be offered for adoption" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 04/04/2005)
"More than 187 wild burros captured this year in the Ridgecrest area, will be offered for adoption May 7 at the Ridgecrest corral....While many people agree the burros have to be removed as they are not native, others feel strongly that they are part of the legacy of the Old West and should stay. The compromise is to remove them from the range and make them available for adoption."

"BLM sells 30 wild horses to cattle rancher" (BLM California news release, 04/04/2005)
The Bureau of Land Management announced that it is selling 30 wild horses to a Florida cattle rancher who will provide long-term care for the mustangs on his 1,000-acre ranch. The sale comes under a new law passed by Congress.


"Vicki Wood Selected as BLM El Centro Field Office Manager" (BLM California news release, 04/01/2005)
The Bureau of Land Management has selected Vicki Wood as the new manager for the BLM's El Centro Field Office.

"Jawbone wind farm revived" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/31/2005)
"The project will involve installing approximately 80 wind turbines on private property near Jawbone and Pine Tree canyons. Both an access road and transmission lines will have to cross a section of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, so [the project's current partners] have applied for a permit from the BLM."

"Residents unite to snag BLM's Area 51" (Redding Record Searchlight, 04/02/2005)
"Residents here have unveiled a plan to take a hotly contested piece of land off the government's hands -- and keep it away from a private developer."
(Free registration required.),2232,REDD_17533_3670027,00.html

"Guest editorial: The Living Desert" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 04/04/2005)
Reprinted from the Orange County Register: "One of the most consistent and laudable policies of the Bush administration has been its willingness to come down on the side of sensible land-use policies that allow human use of nature rather than on the side of environmentalists who want to put larger swaths of land off-limits to the we see it in a Bureau of Land Management plan..."

Related: "New plan aims to 'streamline' development in protected areas" (Hi-Desert Star, 04/04/2005)
West Mojave Plan: "This plan eliminates what San Bernardino Land Use Services Director Michael Hays termed a 'piecemeal' approach to conservation efforts, meaning that every parcel under consideration for development within the desert conservation area has historically been subject to specific and 'protracted' examination for its endangered species status."

Related: "Long-Awaited West Mojave Conservation Plan Released" (BLM California news release, 3/24/2005)
(Repeated from last week's News.bytes). How to obtain copies of the plan.

Related: "No wonder state coffers empty: government can't stop its spending practices" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 03/31/2005)
Editorial: "The amount of waste generated by government agencies continues to reach new lows. A perfect example of this was seen when the Bureau of Land Management released the Environmental Impact Report for the West Mojave Plan."

"Fairhaven power sold" (Eureka Times-Standard, 04/02/2005)
"At this point, the company has about 16,500 acres of timberland left to sell before its liquidation is complete. That's after a Thursday deal with the Save-the-Redwoods League and the US Bureau of Land Management put 2,500 acres in the Lacks Creek watershed in public ownership.",1413,127%257E2896%257E2795212,00.html

"180-acre gift OK'd for park" (Modesto Bee, 03/30/2005)
"In 1997, Stanislaus County officials used state grant money generated by sales of off-road vehicle permit stickers to purchase about 270 acres from the US Bureau of Land Management to expand the off-road vehicle park. Two years later, the board purchased an additional 350 acres for the off-road park.....The approximately 620 acres have never opened for public use" because of lack of funds plus fire damage. A new gift of land will give more room to hikers and other users.

"The Magic of Maidu" (Roseville Press-Tribune, 03/30/2005)
"Where would Roseville be without Maidu?" The Maidu Community Center has had "seemingly a-million-and-one uses." And "The magic of Maidu began when the city purchased 40 acres of property from the Bureau of Land Management for a community park in 1967...."

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


...but sensitive to what? Test your wildlife knowledge (or test-taking skills) with this week's online quiz:
(Thumbnail from photo by Frank E. (Ed) Ely, California Academy of Sciences.)

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

Nissenan manzanitaSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Nissenan manzanita
This species is known mostly from El Dorado County where there are a number of large stands. The single small stand that occurs near Sonora in Tuolumne County is managed by BLM. The area has been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).

OUR READERS WRITE: Too many answers?
"I enjoyed your Wildlife Trivia question this week on pocket gophers (that means I got it right), but I thought last week's question was very problematic. While sturgeon surely are part of an ancient family of fish, they are part of an ancient family of bony fish; that is, they are still considered Osteichthyes (bony fish), in spite of having some cartilaginous skeletal elements and a heart that has more in common with sharks than with teleosts. Bottom line: you provided two answers that were correct."
- H. E. (Professor of Biology), San Diego

...represents the public-at-large and is a charter member and two-time chairperson of BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council.

Ken HockPROFILE: Ken Hock... a public contact representative with BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. He is also a volunteer coordinator, and brings a personal understanding to his role as an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) counselor. Read more in this week's News.bytes Profile:

a train crosses a bridge in Afton CanyonPHOTO ALBUM: Afton Canyon
Bring your camera and binoculars! Afton Canyon has a diverse landscape of hills, canyons and washes. Multicolored rock walls and changing light conditions make for many photographic opportunities. Washes and stream channels are good hiking trails and excellent for experiencing natural conditions. Wildlife viewing is best during early morning and evening hours.

A duck takes to the air in Afton CanyonRelated: "Afton Canyon Watchable Wildlife Site" (BLM California webpage)
Afton Canyon's surface water makes it unique in the southern California desert. Known locally as "The Grand Canyon of the Mojave" for its dramatic geological formations, this is one of the only places where the Mojave River flows above ground year-round - providing significant riparian (riverbank) wildlife habitat amid the desert.

vehicles at a campground in Afton CanyonRelated: "Afton Canyon Natural Area" (BLM California, Barstow Field Office website)
Learn more about hiking and sightseeing in this area, camping, rules of motorized vehicle use in this area, safety and more.

detail of book cover: "Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols"BOOKSTORE FEATURE: "Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols"
A Guide to Cultural Treasures. This is the first key specifically designed for the interpretation of American rock art. This book brings together 600 commentaries on specific symbols by over one hundred archaeologists, anthropologists, researchers, and Native American informants.


"Panel wary of tortoise effort" (San Bernardino County Sun, 04/04/2005)
"A new research arm of the US Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to pinpoint reasons for the decline of the desert tortoise and bring an end to its status as an endangered species. But members of the US Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District Advisory Council are skeptical about the ambitious goals of the new Desert Tortoise Recovery Office, based in Reno, Nev.",1413,208%257E12588%257E2795742,00.html

"Plan to control ravens may stir things up" (San Bernardino County Sun, 04/02/2005)
"A federal agency familiar with controversy is likely to stir up more flak with a plan to shoot or poison ravens that prey on young desert tortoises that are battling for survival in the Mojave. It is among several proposals to control ravens outlined in a habitat-conservation plan for the 9.3-million-acre western Mojave Desert, just released by the US Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County and the city of Barstow.",1413,208~12588~2795006,00.html

Related: "BLM proposes reducing ravens to save tortoises" (Victorville Daily Press, 4/5/2005)
"As local raven populations have soared in recent years, the number of desert tortoises has dwindled. Hungry ravens love to feed on young desert tortoises, pecking through their soft shells. But the ravenous ravens have been protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Now the Bureau of Land Management is considering possible options to reduce the desert's growing raven populations."


"Interior, Lower Colorado basin leaders launch 50-year, $626 million wildlife conservation program" (Department of the Interior news release, 4/4/2005)
"Our partners include federal and state wildlife managers and those communities and agencies that rely on the Colorado and would be most affected by a water-supply conflict. The agreement ensures that Arizona, California, Nevada, and the federal government will cooperate over the next 50 years to restore and protect habitat along the Colorado River," said Craig Manson, assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

Related: "50-year renewal project planned for river" (Los Angeles Times, 04/03/2005)
"Interior Secretary Gale Norton will launch a half-century effort Monday to return native trees, fish and wildlife to a lower Colorado River system profoundly altered by man's thirst. Environmental groups are skeptical, however, that the transformation can stick without fundamental changes in the river's flow.",1,6216818.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.)

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

04/09/2005 - Spring Workday Extravaganza

04/09/2005 - Inimim Forest Scotch Broom Work Day
Meet at North Columbia Schoolhouse

04/16/2005 - Piedras Blancas Light Station Tour
San Simeon

04/16/2005 - North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Hike - Birding
El Centro

04/16/2005 - Spring Wildflower-Birding Field Trip
Cameron Park

04/16/2005 - Reclamation Successes on Clear Creek

04/16/2005 - Cache Creek Wildflower Hike

04/22/2005 - Mojave Desert Symposium, Zzyzx

04/22/2005 - Earth Day Nature Walk (10 a.m.)
Palm Desert

04/22/2005 - Earth Day Nature Walk (2 p.m.)
Palm Desert

04/23/2005 - Habitat Restoration, Cosumnes River Preserve

04/23/2005 - Spring Wildflower Field Trip

04/23/2005 - Cache Creek Wildflower Hikes

04/24/2005 - Earth Day Red Hills Nature Trail Work Day

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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