A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 217 - 2/8/06

Michael Kelley, BLM California Northwest RAC Little San Bernardino Mountains Linanthus ... or Gilia Nora Dedios at the podium Funny.bytes II - "Attack of the Impact Monster" Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard

- New "Funny.bytes"
- Coachella Valley Plan
- Not for educators only - more on the Coachella Valley:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Go, defense
      - Special Status plant of the week: a tiny Coachella Valley plant
- Meet your advisory council members: Michael Kelly
- Profile: Nora Dedios
- Energy
- Off-highway vehicles
- Headlines and highlights: BLM California jobs, wild horses, weed proposal, firefighting, more
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Grazing fees, new budget

Funny.bytes II - "Attack of the Impact Monster"NEW FUNNY.BYTES: Back this week...
...with a new "adventure." Funny.bytes is an occasional look at the lighter side of BLM issues.
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.

RELATED: "Camping" (BLM California website)
Information on campsites and dispersed camping on lands managed by BLM California. Practice your "Leave No Trace" skills!


"Environmental plan hopes to end battles over development" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/5/06)
Introduction to newspaper's special report on the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan: "The $1.8 billion plan would link 75 years of home-building, road construction and business development to habitat preservation for 27 species of Coachella Valley wildlife. The proposal is among the most ambitious of its kind in the nation for balancing wildlife habitat preservation with economic development...." Includes several stories, many photos and an interactive map. BLM is one of many agencies involved in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

"Panel votes to put the question to individual cities" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/7/08)
"It's taken more than 10 years to craft a plan to balance building and the environment in the burgeoning Coachella Valley. And after several hours of testimony, the Coachella Valley Association of Governments - the regional government group behind the plan - voted 10-1 to endorse it and send it to valley cities whose participation is critical to put the plan in effect."

"Coachella Valley Association of Governments approves $1.8 billion mapping plan" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/7/06)
"A controversial $1.8 billion plan to map Coachella Valley development while preserving habitat for desert wildlife cleared a major hurdle late Monday with the approval of the executive board of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments."
(Free registration required.)

"Critics call for a timeout" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/6/06)
"It's billed as a way to guarantee suitable habitat for 27 species of wildlife while reducing the red tape that makes it hard for builders to work around protected plants and animals in this edge of Riverside County, the fastest growing of California's 58 counties....Critics, however, are calling for a timeout. A vocal group of builders and city leaders from across the desert question implications and scientific assertions of the 38-pound document that would set new development fees to fund preservation of nearly 750,000 acres."

"Seeking a balance between conservation and development" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/6/06)
"By defining areas for development and zones for preservation, the proposal gives builders certainty in knowing where they can build if they want the permits necessary to disrupt endangered wildlife. The fees they pay then go toward preserving land for wildlife. The plan, if put into effect, would reduce legal battles over building public and private projects...."

"What the plan means to the valley" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 2/6/06)
"Managing hiking trails in and around Peninsular bighorn sheep habitat is part of the multiple species plan. The current trails proposal is a scaled-back version of the original plan that would have restricted the number of hikers on trails. Opposition from hikers led to the compromise....Bureau of Land Management and Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument workers will work to educate hikers about the endangered sheep and encourage them to follow rules."

"Issue update: Coachella Valley Plan" (BLM California, 2/7/06)
BLM is a cooperator on the Trails Plan element of the pending Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP).
Issue update

"Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM California website)
BLM manages this monument, which is involved in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

RELATED: "National monument wildflower celebration and open house" (BLM California news release, 2/7/06)
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument is celebrating the seasonal wildflowers with an open house event, Saturday Feb. 18, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the National Monument Visitor Center in Palm Desert. The open house will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The public is welcome to come anytime. Workshops, artists, and authors will be featured.
News release.

"What are they trying to protect?" (CVMSHCP website)
The Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan website - with information on species discussed in the plan.

"Coachella Valley Preserve - Watchable wildlife" (BLM California website)
BLM is a partner in the management of this area, which figures prominently in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

NOT FOR EDUCATORS ONLY - More on the Coachella Valley:

Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizardWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Defense
What does a Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard do to protect itself?
(a) It drops its tail, which keeps wiggling and distracts a predator - and then it runs like crazy;
(b) It runs upright, and then dives into the sand;
(c) It spits a foul-smelling irritant from a small gland in its mouth:
(d) It raises the blood pressure in its sinuses, and shoots blood from its tear ducts:
(e) It hires an attorney on a "pro bono" basis, since most lizards lack enough cash to defend themselves in court.
---> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes

Little San Bernardino Mountains Linanthus ... or GiliaSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Little San Bernardino Mountains Linanthus...
...or is it "Gilia?" Whichever it is, it's a tiny annual shrub, 3/8 to 1-1/8 inches high. This uncommon plant is sometimes found in sandy places, creosote bush scrub, or desert dunes - including the Coachella Valley.

"Little San Bernardino Mountains Gilia" (BLM California website)
This plant was spotted in 1889 in the area of Palm Springs -- then not seen again for 18 years. There has also been some controversy about what type of plant it is. It was first identified as a type of Gilia, then as a type of Linanthus - then back to Gilia again. Follow this link for a species account developed during work on BLM California's West Mojave Plan.
PDF file, 20 kilobytes:

Little San Bernardino Mountains GiliaRELATED: "Little San Bernardino Mountains Gilia - Gilia maculata" (Coachella Valley Association of Governments website)
More information about this plant -- and photos.
(Thumbnail from photo by the California Native Plant Society.)


"Power line opposed by most of 400 attending" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/1/06)
"They came by the hundreds during a weekday afternoon to express their concerns about a proposed power line.
Many...carried signs such as 'Save our Backcountry' and 'No to Sunrise Powerlink. It's not the need . . . It's the Greed!!!'" Of those who showed up, "almost all of them were opposed to San Diego Gas & Electric's proposed 120-mile, 500-kilovolt power line that would connect energy sources in the Imperial Valley to San Diego County." BLM is involved in rights-of-way permits for the parts of the powerline that would cross public lands.

RELATED: "Power line opponents pack hearing" (North County Times, 2/1/06)
"It was a rare example of the commission holding a meeting outside the state Capitol. No decisions were made. While the meeting was going on, clearly visible through large windows were a half-dozen teenage girls who danced and marched outside while toting signs that blasted the project and questioned the need for it."

"Geothermal committee gets an earful" (Mt. Shasta News, 2/1/06)
"The Telephone Flat Geothermal Project Oversight Committee met January 26th in Yreka to review the mitigation and monitoring plans for Calpine Corporation's controversial 49 megawatt geothermal electrical generation plant....[U.S. Forest Service], BLM and Calpine representatives did not respond to the public comments. [BLM Alturas Field Office Manager Tim] Burke, however, did note it is not the committee's role to decide whether the plant should be built. 'That decision is up to the BLM and the Forest Service,' Burke said."


"BLM acquires more riding ground at Chappie-Shasta OHV Area" (BLM California news release, 2/1/06)
Off-highway-vehicle enthusiasts from northern California and southern Oregon have more room to play at the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area near Redding, following the Bureau of Land Management's purchase of 92 acres of private land within the 52,000-acre OHV area. The purchase, funded by a grant from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, included about a mile of the popular and challenging Lemurian Chute Trail, which is well known by local riders.
News release.

"Chappie-Shasta OHV Area" (BLM California, Redding Field Office website)
Information about this popular off-road area, with photos and a map.

"State will no longer support off-roading along desert streams" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 2/2/06)
"In an effort to protect endangered desert streams, the California Off-Highway Vehicle Commission recently approved a policy not to fund projects that encourage or increase off-road vehicle use along endangered desert riverbeds or banks....The Bureau of Land Management recently sent a letter opposing the new policy."

"Off-roading groups sue California commission" (San Bernardino County Sun, 2/2/06)
"EcoLogic and five off-road advocacy groups are suing the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, claiming it held illegal closed-session meetings and mismanaged grant money....The commission's decisions about which projects to fund affects off-roaders throughout the state" and has affected Bureau of Land Management offices.


"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include human resources assistant, outdoor recreation planner, range technician, realty specialist and several firefighting jobs.

"On the road to a new life" (Calaveras Enterprise, 2/8/06)
Student trainees learn to drive trucks, in program sponsored by "CHIPS" -- Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions, in which BLM participates. "CHIPS is a coalition of organizations and individuals that is looking into various ways of using wood waste - including waste lumber products left at the Wilseyville solid waste transfer station, debris left behind from timber harvesting on public and private lands, and salvage from forest fuel-load reduction programs - in ways that can provide jobs, reduce energy costs and improve safety for upcountry residents."

"Cemex appeal begins in court" (Santa Clarita Signal, 2/8/06)
"About 40 city officials and residents packed a Pasadena courtroom Tuesday in the continued fight against mining in the Santa Clarita Valley. The city’s case was brought before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, appealing a May 2004 federal consent decree that green-lighted Mexico-based Cemex Corp.’s mine in Soledad Canyon....The consent decree was negotiated among Cemex, the federal Bureau of Land Management and Los Angeles County...."

"In touch with Take Pride" (Take Pride in America newsletter, February 2006)
This month's newsletter features items on the United Desert Gateway's 3,500-volunteer cleanup of the Imperial Sand Dunes, and Barbara Williams' two awards for her "hours of volunteer service to public lands" with BLM's Folsom Field Office.
PDF file, 150 kilobytes:

"Public meetings scheduled for proposed border mountains management plan" (BLM California news release, 2/8/06)
Meetings Feb. 22 and 23: The BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office proposes to prepare an amendment to the South Coast RMP with an associated environmental assessment for BLM-administered public lands in the Border Mountains portion of the San Diego County Management Area.
News release.

"Wild horses and burros available for adoption this weekend near Ridgecrest" (BLM California news release, 2/7/06)
The BLM will offer an excellent selection of wild mustangs and burros to qualified adopters on Saturday, February 11 at its regional corral facility near Ridgecrest . . . and BLM will provide free home delivery within 150 miles of the facility for all animals adopted only during this special 1-day event.
News release.

"BLM Litchfield wild horse and burro corrals re-open" (BLM California news release, 2/3/06)
The corrals near Susanville are again open to the public. The corrals had been closed since early December while animal health officials investigated an unusually severe outbreak of respiratory illness that resulted in horse deaths. The facility was closed to prevent the possibility that visitors could have transmitted the disease to their own horses by carrying the bacteria home on shoes or clothing.
News release

"Citizens fear herbicide proposal" (Grass Valley Union, 2/3/06)
"Fearful of possible cancers and a poisoned environment, some Californians are alarmed at a proposal that could triple the use of herbicides on western federal lands. But a Bureau of Land Management official said this week there is a lot of misinformation and wild rhetoric spreading about the broad-based proposal that is hardly in stone."

"BLM Bishop Field Office to implement prescribed burning at Fish Slough and Chalfant Valley" (BLM California news release, 2/7/06)
As weather conditions permit throughout the remaining winter months, fire management personnel from the BLM Bishop Field Office and the Inyo National Forest will be conducting prescribed fire operations at Fish Slough and Chalfant Valley. Smoke may be visible at times from Highway 395 and Highway 6, as well as from the communities of Bishop, Chalfant Valley, and Hammil Valley.
News release

"BLM Snapshots" (BLM website)
National publication, with wildfire prevention stories from California, Utah, South Dakota, Colorado and Alaska.
PDF file, 2.5 megabytes:

"BLM suspends its funding for controversial OSU fire study" (Associated Press in Roseburg, Ore. News-Review)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management acknowledged Monday it asked OSU whether the three-year study led by graduate student Daniel Donato and published last month in the journal Science violated provisions of a $300,000 federal fire research grant. That grant prohibits using any of the funds to lobby Congress and requires that a BLM scientist be consulted before the research is published." The study involved salvage logging in the aftermath of blazes such as the Biscuit Fire, which burned in southern Oregon and northern California.

Michael Kelley, BLM California Northwest RACMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Michael Kelley... a member of BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council. He has many years of experience in trails advocacy for California. Read more.

Nora Dedios at the podiumEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Nora Dedios... a minerals realty specialist in BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. Her job involves oil and gas leases on public lands -- and introduced her to public speaking. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"Budget emphasizes core commitments, strategic priorities and fiscal prudence" (Department of the Interior news release, 2/6/06)
"President Bush's proposed 2007 budget of $10.5 billion for the Department of the Interior maintains and improves performance across the Department's strategic goals to achieve healthy lands and water, thriving communities and dynamic economies throughout the Nation. The 2007 budget, which reflects fiscal restraint and the President's commitment to cut the deficit by more than half by 2009, is a reduction of $332 million or 2.9 percent below the 2006 funding level."

"President's FY 2007 budget request of $1.8 billion for BLM would advance environmentally sound energy development" (Bureau of Land Management national news release, 2/6/06)
"The Bush Administration proposed a budget of $1.8 billion for the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management in Fiscal Year 2007, including a $25.4 million increase in its energy and minerals program aimed primarily at boosting the development of energy from America's public lands in an environmentally sound manner."

"Forest and BLM acreage for sale?" (Salt Lake Tribune, 2/8/06)
"Tucked amid thousands of pages of President Bush's $2.77 trillion budget is a proposal to sell off tens of thousands of acres of national forests and Bureau of Land Management land. The two separate proposals are part of an effort to make the agencies operate more efficiently and generate new revenue in tight budget times, agency officials say. Together, they would generate more than $1 billion over five years."

"Budget glance: Interior" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6/06)
"Cuts $35 million from the budget for the Bureau of Land Management, which handles permits for oil and gas drilling."

"BLM and Forest Service announce 2006 federal grazing fee" (BLM news release, 2/2/06)
The Federal grazing fee for Western public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service will be $1.56 per animal unit month (AUM) in 2006, down from $1.79 in 2005. The newly adjusted fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and more than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service.
News release

(b) It runs upright, and then dives into the sand

"R014 - Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard - Uma inornata" (California Department of Fish and Game website)
Information on habits, habitat and life history, plus references, from the "California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System."

"Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard" (Coachella Valley Association of Governments website)
Detailed information on conservation strategy and related information, plus link to a large photo.

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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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