A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 213 - 1/10/06

Sheri Davis - California Desert District Advisory Council Robin Moen wildlife trivia question Setting a survey monument - Funny.bytes

- Introducing: Funny.bytes
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: What am I?
      - Special Status plant of the week
- Headlines and highlights: Disputed gravel mine, blocked timber sales, BLM California jobs, more
- Meet your advisory council members: Sheri Davis
- Profile: Robin Moen
- Off-highway vehicle areas

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Setting a survey monument - Funny.bytes
We hope you l
earn a little, maybe chuckle a bit in this first Funny.bytes -- an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues:
The Public Land Survey System is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. But the original PLSS surveys were often marked by wooden stakes or posts, marks on trees, pits, piles of rock -- not the most permanent of markers. See what this can lead to, as BLM surveyors deal it in the present...

Note: this link will work in browsers that have the Macromedia/Adobe "Flash" plug-in -- which should be most browsers. Warning: soundtrack: you may want to adjust the volume on your computer.
--->Thanks to BLM California employee Marty Patterson for this presentation.


What am I?

What is a Vermilion Flycatcher?
a. a brightly-colored frog with a quick tongue
b. a brightly-colored lizard that can snatch insects out of the air
c. a small bird that often wags its tail
d. a semitropical plant with a pouch that catches bugs
e. a pest control device sold at hardware stores
      (See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes)

Otay manzanitaSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Otay manzanita
This evergreen shrub with dark, red bark lives
among volcanic rock outcrops, chaparral, woodland, or dry slopes, in areas managed by BLM California's Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office. Read more:


"City Loses Cemex Corp. Lawsuit" (Santa Clarita Signal, 1/7/06)
"The city of Santa Clarita suffered another setback this week in its fight against mining, with a federal judge ruling that federal agencies did their part in approving a 56.1 million ton gravel mine in Soledad Canyon." The judge "sided with the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Interior Board of Land Appeals, in a lawsuit involving Cemex Corp.’s proposed 20-year sand and gravel mine." An attorney said she would recommend that the City appeal the decision.
Note the reader poll on this issue, to the left of this story on the webpage.

RELATED: "Cemex a winner in ruling" (Los Angeles Daily News, 1/6/06)
"A federal judge once again has rejected the city's claims that federal agencies failed to perform a sufficient environmental analysis before approving a plan to mine 56.1 million tons of sand and gravel in Soledad Canyon." The judge "sided with the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Interior Board of Land Appeals in a 69-page final ruling favoring Mexico-based Cemex mining company. The City of Santa Clarita "lost a related lawsuit in November."

"Judge blocks timber sales in three states" (Associated Press in Monterey Herald, 1/9/06)
"The sales in Washington, Oregon and northern California had been approved under the administration's decision to stop requiring that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management look for and protect rare plants and animals before logging on 5.5 million acres covered by the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan."

RELATED: Court Order
PDF file, 100 kilobytes:

"Bureau of Land Management to burn brush piles at Fort Ord" (BLM California news release, 1/9/06)
Thirty to forty brush piles are to be burned by the Bureau of Land Management at the former Fort Ord military base starting January 17-31. The burning will take place in the vicinity of Eucalyptus Road and Barloy Canyon Road. The public is advised to keep clear of the area for safety reasons. Depending on the weather, the pile burning will take approximately 5-7 days to complete and smoke may be visible.

"BLM extends public comment period on proposed vegetation treatments on BLM-managed public lands" (BLM news release, 1/9/06)
The Bureau of Land Management is extending until February 10, 2006, the public comment period on its proposed methods for treating and managing vegetation on BLM-managed public lands. The agency, which held public meetings on its vegetation treatment proposal from November 28, 2005-December 13, 2005, is extending the public comment period to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to express their views. The public comment period had originally been slated to close on January 9, 2006."

"BLM lands closed to shooting, vehicle use" (BLM California news release, 1/5/06)
The BLM has placed an emergency closure on approximately 80 acres of public land in Tuolumne County near Lake Don Pedro, known as the Salambo Mine, to the use of firearms, motorized vehicle use, and all public use after sundown. The BLM has received complaints from local residents as well as the Lake Don Pedro Recreation Agency, and issued the closure to protect public safety and wildlife habitat..

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include archeologist, administrative assistant and various firefighting jobs.

"Parkfield quake clock is ticking" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 1/9/06)
"Estimates place the 1857 Parkfield earthquake at twice the strength of the 1906 San Francisco quake, the biggest California earthquake in written history...When the shaking stopped that day, the west side of the Carrizo Plain, the site of maximum displacement, was as much as 30 feet closer to Alaska...some say major quakes occur at 150-year intervals.

RELATED: "The San Andreas Fault and the geology of the Carrizo Plain National Monument" (BLM California website)
Nowhere does the Carrizo Plain flaunt its geologic past as it does on the eastern edge of the plain where the San Andreas Fault cuts along the base of the Temblor Range.

Sheri Davis - California Desert District Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Sheri Davis... Director of the Inland Empire Film Commission and represents the public-at-large on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council. Read more.

Robin Moen, BLM Ridgecrest Field OfficeEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Robin Moen...
...maintains all of the computers at BLM's Ridgecrest Field Office, trains users and administers the computer network. "Charging her batteries" is more of a low-tech effort, though. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"Calm dune weekend allows for fireworks focus" (Yuma Sun, 1/5/06)
"A relatively quiet New Year’s weekend in the Imperial Sand Dunes meant an increase in tickets for fireworks violations, according to the head of the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office’s Off-Highway Vehicle Enforcement Safety Team." Said a visitor: "People know they are illegal in California, but they figure they’re on (Bureau of Land Management) land....And some people plain don’t know."

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California, El Centro Field Office web pages)
Information about this popular desert spot.

"Group rips agency for Mojave policies" (San Bernardino County Sun, 1/10/06)
"An environmental watchdog group claims a federal agency has failed to protect such sensitive species as the desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert while focusing on off-road-vehicle activities. The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Ariz., says federal rangers assigned to the Barstow office of the Bureau of Land Management are devoting excessive time to off-roaders at places like the Dumont Dunes north of Baker, Johnson and Stoddard valleys south of Barstow, and El Mirage dry lake near Adelanto."

"Conservationists sue to protect butterfly" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 1/6/06)
Groups say the Sand Mountain blue butterfly "is threatened by off-road vehicles at one of the largest sand dunes in the West" and want it declared an endangered species. Lawsuit says "its habitat is being destroyed at the only place it is known to live -- the Sand Mountain Recreation Area in western Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management controls activities at the dune, which is 600 feet tall and stretches for two miles. It attracts an estimated 50,000 off-roaders annually on motorcycles, dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles." The site is popular with northern Californian off-roaders.

c. a small bird that often wags its tail

RELATED: "Vermilion flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus" (U.S. Geological Survey website)
Includes several photos of both males and females - coloring varies widely -- identification tips, maps of their range and more.

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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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