A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 219 - 2/22/06

DAC member Brown special status plant Randy Bales black crappie spring wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain

- Great Adventures: Wildflower viewing
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Black crappie
      - Special Status plant of the week:
Jaeger's caulostramina
- BLM Web updates: Upcoming events, BLM California jobs
- Headlines and highlights: Area 51, Yuba Goldfields, offroad commission, energy project controversies, more
- Wild horses and burros
- Advisory council and committee news

- Meet your advisory council members: Howard Brown
- Profile: Randy Bales
-National and/or Department of the Interior news

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Spring flowers on the Carrizo PlainGREAT ADVENTURES: Wildflower viewing on public lands
Springtime brings carpets of colorful spring blooms to large areas of California. Many of these areas are relatively unknown, visited by only a select few during the peak of color. The wildflower season generally starts with an early spring in the desert regions of southern California, and works its way northward. When the wildflower seasons occur, and how lush they are, depends on the weather and can vary widely from year to year.

Spring Wildflower Tours at Pine Hill Preserve

Spring Events at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (PDF file) - includes wildflower talks and tours:


black crappieWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Black crappie
How many eggs will a black crappie lay with each spawning?
(a) 10 to 20
(b) 1,000
(c) 10,000
(d) 50,000
(e) 200,000
(f) not one more than it has to.

Jaeger's caulostramina...SPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Jaeger's caulostramina... sometimes found in Limestone crevices in the Inyo Mountains, usually on north-facing slopes or cliffs at elevations of 5400 to 7200 feet. It is a perennial with a deeply rooted, woody base.


Upcoming Events (BLM website)
BLM California has refreshed and restored its Upcoming Events Calendar. See public events and meetings coming up the next few weeks, and make your plans to participate! Events include wild horse and burro adoptions, public meetings, nature walks, tours, and much more.

Current job openings - BLM California (USAJOBS website)
Apply now for positions with the BLM! Current job announcements include Public Affairs Specialist, Secretary, Realty Specialist, Budget Technician, various positions with our Fire program, Outdoor Recreation Planner, and more!
Apply now!


"Group still wants Area 51" (Redding Record-Searchlight, 2/18/06)
"If they can't strike a deal with the federal government, Area 51 preservationists will try to bargain with the Humboldt County man set to obtain the parcel west of Redding in a land swap, they said Friday. The latest idea to keep Area 51 open to the public is to buy the 566-acre patch of timberland in Trinity County that owner Joe Rice wants to trade with the Bureau of Land Management. But that's just a backup plan.",2232,REDD_17533_4478042,00.html

"Distrust stirs the dust" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/21/06)
"The state governing body that oversees grants and policies important to off-roading has split along lines loyal to either riders or environmentalists. Lingering distrust has poisoned potential compromises that could benefit off-roaders, protect the environment and appease communities being invaded by the noise and pollution of the sport, say some of those involved....Since 1996, commissioners have awarded $61.8 million to the Bureau of Land Management and an additional $59.3 million to the U.S. Forest Service."

"Bighorn deaths remain mystery" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/22/06)
"The cause of last year's die-off of peninsular bighorn sheep in the mountains above the Coachella Valley is still unknown, but a state analysis of blood and tissue samples should be completed in a few months, federal wildlife officials said Tuesday. The deaths of eight sheep last summer caused some concern because the animals are in danger of becoming extinct, with only about 700 roaming the mountains between Palm Springs and the Mexican border."
(Free registration required.)

RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM California, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office website)
Peninsular bighorn sheep roam in the monument.

"Defeat of radioactive dump to be celebrated Saturday" (Needles Desert Star, 2/16/06)
The gathering Feb. 18 by "tribal leaders from the Colorado River Native Nations Alliance along with environmentalists and desert enthusiasts" was to "celebrate the defeat of a proposed low-level radioactive waste disposal site at Ward Valley, Calif." They protested at the site in the 1990s, "eventually leading to a decision by the U.S. Department of the Interior to halt any further action at the Ward Valley site."

"Ramona group protests Sunrise power line"(North County Times, 2/17/06)
"A citizens group has filed a protest with a state utility regulator against San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s $1.4 billion Sunrise Powerlink project, which proposes to drape power lines across giant poles through San Diego County's mountain and desert back country." BLM would be involved through rights-or-way permits across public lands.

"Granite Fox power plant will have more impact on Susanville than Reno" (Lassen County News, 2/21/06)
"Saying Sempra Energy, of San Diego, will pulverize 5 million tons of coal a year to be burned at the plant, Wellinghoff added each year it will take 12,000-16,000 acre feet of water from the Smoke Creek Basin just over the Lassen County line in Nevada to run the plant. Lassen County officials claim drawing the water from just across the county border will lower the water table in Lassen County and threaten the rights of county water users." The project requires rights-of-way permits across BLM-managed public land in Nevada.

"Herger supports Goldfields tech site" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 2/18/06)
U.S. Representative "says he supports a proposed heavy equipment school in the Yuba Goldfields east of Marysville," but that "a debate between the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should be settled before getting too far into the project, only to have the dispute derail the school."

RELATED: "Goldfields school gets nod" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 2/22/06)
"Sutter County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday night to notify Rep. Wally Herger of their support for a heavy equipment operator training center in the Yuba Goldfields....The school would occupy 57 acres of the 10,000-acre goldfields."

"Bureau of Land Management reschedules pile burn at Fort Ord" (BLM California news release, 2/22/06)
Thirty to forty brush piles are to be burned at the former Fort Ord military base starting March 1 through May 31, as weather conditions allow.

"Sport makes horse sense" (Orange County Register, 2/16/06)
Column about "players in the somewhat obscure but growing sport of 'Ride and Tie,' races of 20-50 miles in which teams of two people and one horse compete....Smart enough to know you don't turn down a request from your mother-in-law, [Tom] Gey got into the sport in 1988. Ted Ruprecht had broken his collarbone falling off a horse, and Joan Ruprecht needed a partner. The Bureau of Land Management realty specialist has entered every championship since, winning the man-woman division with Ruprecht's sister."
(Free registration may be required.)


" Wild mustang and burro adoption headed to Ramona Community Center Fairgrounds" (BLM California news release, 2/15/06)
They are the living symbols of America's wild West, and on March 11 and 12, BLM will offer 80 mustangs and 20 burros to qualified adopters through its Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program at the Ramona Community Center Fairgrounds in Ramona, California. The mustangs (yearlings, geldings and mares up to five years old) and burros were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada.

"Bureau of Land Management and Public Lands Council urge public lands ranchers to buy wild horses" (BLM national news release, 2/21/06)
The Bureau of Land Management and the rancher-based Public Lands Council (PLC) are urging public lands ranchers to consider buying older wild horses that must be sold under a recently passed law. The appeal, made in separate letters signed by BLM Director Kathleen Clarke and PLC President Mike Byrne, is going out to more than 15,000 livestock operators across the West who hold BLM-issued grazing permits or leases.

"BLM asks public for nominations to fill vacancy on National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board" (BLM national news release, 2/16/06)
The position to be filled represents the category known as Public Interest (formerly Public at Large), and the selected individual will serve out the remainder of a term that expires July 8, 2008. The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the BLM (an agency of the U.S. Interior Department) and the Forest Service (an agency of the U.S. Agriculture Department) on the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros that roam public lands administered by those agencies.


"Advisory council explores forest partnership" (News.bytes Extra)
Members of the BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council toured the Weaverville Community Forestas part of a council meeting Feb. 15 and 16. The BLM Redding Field Office and the Trinity County Resource Conservation District have entered a partnership for management of the forest on the outskirts of the community. The partnership will provide public access, expansion of a trail system and forest products.
Read more and see photos.

"Outstanding volunteer" (News.bytes Extra)
Redding resident given award for his work in locating and recording important historical sites, including railroad beds, water ditches, mines, cemeteries and townsites on public land managed by BLM's Redding Field Office.
Read more and see photo.

"BLM Resource Advisory Council to meet in Aptos" (BLM California news release, 2/22/06)
BLM's Central California Resources Advisory Council (RAC) will hold a public meeting on Friday, March 24, to discuss management issues on 2.1 million acres of public land located in Central California. On Saturday, March 25, the RAC will tour the Coastal Dairies property near Davenport in Santa Cruz County, which is in the process of being acquired by the BLM.

"National Monument Advisory Committee to Meet in Palm Desert" (BLM California news release, 2/24/06)
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee will meet Saturday, March 4, in Palm Desert. All monument advisory committee meetings are open to the public and media. Public participation is encouraged; the public comment period begins at 11 a.m.

"BLM seeks Central California Resource Advisory Council nominations" (BLM California news release, 2/22/06)
To ensure a balance of viewpoints on the RAC, nominees must represent one of three major categories of interest. See this news release for more details.

...has lived and worked in the Mojave Desert for more than 22 years. A geologist, he serves on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council. Read more.

...has been with the BLM for four years, currently as an IT Specialist with the Barstow Field Office. Aside from his considerable experience with the DOD, Randy also brings a military background in communications, electronics, and administration to his position. News.bytes Employee Profile.


"New invasive species forecasting system uses USGS science, NASA technology" (Department of the Interior news release, 2/16/06)
The U.S. Geological Survey and National Aeronautics and Space Administration have developed a new high-tech tool to help land and water managers combat tamarisk (saltcedar), an invasive plant that infests millions of acres in the West. A large shrub to small tree native to Africa and Eurasia, tamarisk was introduced to the western United States in the early 1800s as ornamental vegetation and for wind and erosion control. It has since spread and can be found in the West from Minnesota to California and from Mexico to Canada.

"Interior wins one of five Excellence.Gov awards For Geospatial One-Stop Leadership" (Department of the Interior news release, 2/16/06)
Geospatial One-Stop provides thousands of federal, state and local government partners with access to geospatial data and other services in one convenient portal.

(e) 200,000

RELATED: " Black Crappie - Pomoxis nigromaculatus" (UC Berkeley Digital Library Project)
Life history, plus references for more information: "The native range of the black crappie is in eastern and central North America, including the Great Lakes; from Florida west to the Gulf Coast and Alabama, and north along the Atlantic Coast to Virginia....It has been widely planted in many states beyond its natural distribution. The black crappie was introduced into California in 1908...."

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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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