A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 216 - 1/31/06

Owens Valley Checker-Mallow Anne Halford out in the field close-up of California leaf-nosed bat in a human hand

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Bats on the move?
      - Special Status plant of the week
- Land use planning: Desert, coast
- Energy: Powerlines, oil and gas sale, wind energy
- Meet your advisory council members: Lee Chauvet
- Profile: Anne Halford
- Headlines and highlights: Hiring weed warriors, Owens Valley water, Fort Irwin expansion, more

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


close-up of California leaf-nosed bat in a human hand

To where do California leaf-nosed bats migrate in the cold months?
(a) Mexico
(b) South America
(c) Canada
(d) They do not migrate
(e) New England, where their leaf-noses camouflage them among the autumn foliage
----> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes

Owens Valley Checker-MallowSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Owens Valley Checker-Mallow... sometimes found in the Owens Valley, in Inyo County. Its habitat is alkali meadows, near seeps and spring sites at elevations of 3000-4000 feet. This is one of the plants that Anne Halford might run across in her work as a botanist with BLM's Bishop Field Office (see her Employee Profile below).


"Fort Irwin expansion moves forward" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 1/31/06)
"After 20 years, the Army may finally be pushing forward with the expansion of Fort Irwin." Adding 150,000 acres to the Army training center would involve preserving 100,000 acres for desert tortoise habitat. The Fort would "partner with the Bureau of Land Management to fund two new rangers and help them manage the acquired lands, as well as provide education."

RELATED: "Fort Irwin expansion" (BLM California issue update, 1/31/06)
Purpose: To provide a status update on the Fort Irwin expansion, including BLM's role.
Issue update

RELATED: "Tortoise plan crawling toward finish line" (San Bernardino County Sun, 1/30/06)
"After nearly two decades of study, a delicate balancing act to expand military maneuvers at Fort Irwin while protecting habitat of the endangered desert tortoise is nearing completion.... Plans to enlarge the desert fort were launched publicly in 1988, and passed through a series of studies capped in 1996 with issuance by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of a draft environmental-impact statement. The Army and the bureau then developed a range of alternatives that looked at additional areas for military maneuvers."

"Trinidad could be a part of statewide coastline project" (Eureka Times-Standard, 1/29/06)
"Trinidad soon may become part of a unique partnership designed to protect the beauty of the California coastline. The California Coastal National Monument project...has received the endorsement from members of the Trinidad City Council. While not approving the project, the council will recommend at its next meeting that the city begin work with the Bureau of Land Management to adopt a memo of understanding, first step in the program to establish the area as a coastline treasure.'"

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California website)
Designated by presidential proclamation on January 11, 2000, the California Coastal National Monument runs the entire length of the California coast (1,100 miles) between Oregon and Mexico, extends 12 nautical miles from the shoreline, and encompasses thousands of BLM administered islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles above mean high tide.


"BLM oil and gas lease sale scheduled for March 15, 2006) (BLM California news release, 1/31/06)
The sale will involve 35 parcels of land, covering approximately 63,333 acres, in western Fresno and eastern San Benito counties.
News release

"Proposed power line generates lots of heat" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/29/06) "Like the proverbial line drawn in the sand, San Diego Gas & Electric's proposal to build a new electricity transmission line from Imperial County through the heart of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and across rural areas of North County has sparked an immediate and heated debate." BLM would be involved in permits for rights-of-way for parts of the "Sunrise Powerlink" route.

RELATED: "Residents concerned with power route" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/27/06)
"Residents are worried that part of the proposed 120-mile transmission line route would go through Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhoods along an easement which now is used as a park. The power line project, known as the Sunrise Powerlink, has not been approved by state authorities, and an exact route has not been determined."

RELATED: "IID in race against rival for power" (Imperial Valley Press, 1/25/06)
"In the complex world of the Imperial Irrigation District’s Green Path proposal, IID has found itself in a race against San Diego Gas & Electric. SDG&E has its eyes set on building a massive power line that could encroach on IID’s control area, and IID officials don’t want that to happen. That issue was part of the discussion during a public workshop...on the Green Path Coordinated Projects." BLM is involved in rights-of-way permits for parts of both "Green Path" and "Sunrise Powerlink" proposed powerline routes.

RELATED: "Kennedy: Green Path could be Valley’s salvation" (Imperial Valley Press, 1/27/06)
Spokesman for proposed Green Path project "said there are for-profit energy providers that want to build power lines into IID’s service area, take the Valley’s renewable energy resources and horde profits from selling that energy. He said it will happen if the Imperial Valley and IID do not take action to prevent it, and Green Path is a way to keep out the for-profit companies."

"BLM approves proposed LADWP energy development project" (BLM California news release, 1/24/06)
Bureau of Land Management Ridgecrest Field Office Manager Hector Villalobos has signed the decision record approving the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's proposal to construct 80, 1.5 megawatt wind turbine generators, substation, transmission line and supporting infrastructure near Jawbone and Pine Tree Canyons, located in Kern County.
News release

Lee Chauvet, BLM Northeast RACMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Lee Chauvet... a retired deputy director of the California State Parks Department Division of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation and represents commercial recreation interests(off-highway vehicle groups) on BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council. Read more:

Anne Halford out in the fieldEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Anne Halford... a botanist with BLM's Bishop Field Office. The position involves working with vegetation and volunteers, students and the "Deepest Valley Cooperative Native Plant Propagation Center." Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"BLM hiring summer 'Weed Warriors' and park ranger" (BLM California news release, 1/26/06)
The BLM is gearing up to hire crews of "weed warriors" to combat the spread of noxious weeds, and a park ranger to help maintain recreation facilities in Northeast California. The BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office expects to hire six people to help locate, map and eradicate weed infestations that threaten the health and productivity of public land. Information and application instructions for the positions, formally titled "Biology Technician/Aide (Plant)" can be found online.
News release

RELATED: "Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include civil engineer, and firefighting jobs.

"L.A. gets feet wet with river project" (Inyo Register, 1/30/06)
"Crews started work Jan. 10 at both ends of the 62-mile stretch of the Lower Owens River and will be plowing and digging away in an effort to get water in the river before a court-ordered deadline.....The Lower Owens River has been mostly a dry riverbed since 1913, when the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed and the river’s flow was sent down the aqueduct about 19 miles north of Independence." (As fictionalized in the 1974 movie, "Chinatown.") Said a manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: "This is the most significant restoration project being undertaken in the United States." BLM was involved in permits for the project.

RELATED: "New LA water honcho eyes better relations with Inyo Co." (Inyo Register, 1/20/06)
New head of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says the Lower Owens River project was discussed by the LADWP board when she was briefly a member in the early 1990s. It was also on the agenda when she took over the board this year: "I couldn't believe this was still going on," she said. Speaking to area residents, "her comments about water, LADWP's vast land holdings in the valley and the Owens Dry Lake were met with an uneasy silence."

RELATED: "Bishop Field Office" (BLM California website)
These public lands in Mono and Inyo counties span the length of the eastern Sierra from Topaz Lake to Owens Lake in a region dominated by public agency lands. The Inyo and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests, the major federal land administrators in the area, manage over 2 million acres, while the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (DWP) manages 310,000 acres.

"BLM Citizen Advisory Council Will Meet in Weaverville" (BLM California news release, 1/25/06)
Public land topics including recreation, energy production and land use planning will be discussed, when the U. S. Bureau of Land Management's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council meets Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 15 and 16, in Weaverville.
News release

"BLM district advisory council to meet in El Centro" (BLM California news release, 1/31/06)
The Council will participate in a field tour of BLM-managed public lands on Friday, March 31, and meet in formal session on Saturday, April 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in El Centro.
News release

"A song for Trinidad Head stirs meeting" (Eureka Times-Standard, 1/26/06)
A large crowd attends meeting as the city council of Trinidad in northern California considers rezoning land owned by the city. "The council is interested in finding out the exact wording of a 1980s transfer of Trinidad Head from the Bureau of Land Management to the city of Trinidad. Questions about the transfer, including the possibility that the city had violated the spirit of the agreement, have been raised by a group of residents."

"Super soaker" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/28/06)
" In the parched Mojave Desert near Victorville, a Boeing DC-10 jumbo jet is poised to become the nation's biggest and fastest firefighting air tanker -- potentially ushering in a generation of giant rainmakers.... 'I believe that (DC-10) is a very promising airplane', said...a member of the federal board that evaluates the suitability of new tankers for use by the Forest Service and other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management. 'It would allow you to drop massive amounts of water ... directly on a fire.'"
(Free registration required.)

(d) They do not migrate.

RELATED: "Macrotus californicus (California leaf-nosed bat)" (University of Michigan, Animal Diversity website)
More information on this species, plus a sketch.

California leaf-nosed bats are distinguished by their leaf-like noses and large ears. A close-up photo can be found on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website:

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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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