A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 225 - 4/4/06

Paul Smith, California Desert Advisory Council Ant and grasshopper - fire Funny.bytes Rick Cooper yellow-bellied marmot close-up of Prostrate buckwheat

- Funny.bytes: A proverbial pair
- Wildfire prevention
- Not for educators only
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Yellow?
      - Special status plant of the week: Bright yellow
- Headlines and highlights: Coastal monument, Sacramento River, wild horses, jobs, more
- Recreation on public lands
- Meet your advisory council members: Paul Smith
- Profile: Rick Cooper
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Acting Secretary, grazing, more

Ant and grasshopper - fire Funny.bytesFunny.bytes graphicFUNNY.BYTES: The ant and the grasshopper...
See what happens when the proverbial duo deal -- or fail to deal -- with the threat of wildfire.
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: "Wildfire protection" (BLM California website)
Tens of millions of Californians live in communities at risk to wildfire, an area called the wildland-urban interface. California is unique among the western states for challenges faced in addressing the wildland-urban interface, particularly in reducing fuels to help protect "at-risk" communities. Follow the links to more information.

RELATED: "Fire program" (BLM California website)
Links to more information on BLM's wildfire-fighting and wildfire-prevention program.


yellow-bellied marmotWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Yellow?
What is the other name for the yellow-bellied marmot?
(a) packrat
(b) marten
(c) beaverhead
(d) rockchuck
(e) scaredy cat
(Thumbnail from photo by Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences.)
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

close-up of Prostrate buckwheatSPECIAL STATUS PLANT OF THE WEEK: Prostrate buckwheat... sometimes found in dry barren rocky slopes and flats within the sagebrush-juniper to Jeffery pine forest types, in northeastern California and neighboring areas of Nevada and Oregon. This low matted perennial herb grows 4 to 11 inches across, and blooms with bright-yellow, "abruptly enlarged" flower heads.


"Coastal monument almost in reach" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 3/30/06)
"It's 1,100 miles long and less than 14 miles across, extending the entire length of California. But the public knows little of the six-year-old California Coastal National Monument....Learning about it will be easier when the Coastal Discovery Center opens July 22.....the Discovery Center will help visitors understand the ocean environment....According to the monument's manager, Rick Hanks...of the Bureau of Land Management, protecting the rocks benefits the birds and seals that breed, nest and rest on the rocks."

RELATED: "California Coastal National Monument" (BLM California website)
Cooperatively managed with other federal, state, local government, universities, and private interests, the primary purpose of the Monument is to protect important biological and geological values. The islands, rocks, reefs, and pinnacles provide forage and breeding grounds for significant populations of birds and sea mammals.

"Key span of Sacramento River needs protection" (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/2/06)
Outdoors writer: "A little-known piece of the California Wild Heritage Act of 2006, introduced in Congress in March by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, would create the Sacramento River National Recreation Area. It would span 10 miles along the prettiest section of river, roughly from Anderson to Red Bluff. The beauty of this is that in the past 20 years, the Bureau of Land Management has already bought 17,000 acres of land along this river corridor. So no new money to buy more land is needed."

"Horses, Burros Available for Adoption at Litchfield Corrals" (BLM California news release, 3/30/06)
Young, healthy wild horses and burros will be looking for new homes in a special one-day event Saturday, April 29 -- at the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals on U. S. Highway 395 about 20 miles east of Susanville. The BLM will offer 60 horses and several burros featuring mares and geldings from 2 to 5 years old and yearling fillies and colts.

"BLM seeking Trinity River campground hosts for the coming season" (BLM California news release, 3/30/06)
BLM camp hosts provide visitor information, collect fees and perform light maintenance. The BLM provides a campsite with power, water and telephone hookups, and pays a small monthly stipend to help cover living expenses.
News release.

"Meth wars in deer country" (Outdoor Life, March 2006)
"As its cost in dollars and lives mounts, the fight against methamphetamine now involves sportsmen to a degree no one predicted a handful of years ago. Across the rural countryside, meth labs have invaded the lands where we fish and hunt." "We never had to deal with that kind of thing ten years ago," says a Midwest officer. "Nor did outdoor law enforcement officials have to deal with the kind of random paranoid violence that a BLM ranger... faced in California in 2003.",19912,1177136-5,00.html

"Prescribed fire at Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern" (BLM California news release, 3/28/06)
On February 14th, ten U.S. Forest Service firefighters set out to save fish with fire. At the request of the BLM, Department of Fish and Game and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the firefighters ignited a 19-acre prescribed burn to enhance the Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), home to endangered species that live in and along the Owens River.

"Sempra abandons bid to build 2 coal-fired electric plants" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/30/06)
"Sempra Energy said yesterday it was ending its effort to build two coal-fired electricity-generating plants in the West, projects that had prompted stiff opposition from nearby residents and environmental groups....In Gerlach, Nev., Sempra hoped to build a 1,200-megawatt power plant, enough to power more than 1 million typical homes." The Nevada plant required BLM permits and raised concern over groundwater supplies in nearby California communities.

"Council candidates' stances, issue by issue" (Los Angeles Daily News, 4/2/06)
Santa Clarita city council candidates state their positions on gravel mine in Soledad Canyon. Cemex, Inc. holds a permit from BLM for the operation.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include interpretive outdoor recreation planner, administrative officer, petroleum engineering technician and several firefighting jobs.


"Outings offer chance to discover and improve Redding area wildlands" (BLM California news release, 3/30/06)
The BLM and Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve will offer free outings in April and May, including hikes, bird-watching and butterfly trips, and an Earth Day cleanup project. Coming this weekend: Clear Creek Restoration Hike, Saturday, April 8. Participants will see the restoration work that is transforming an historic gold and gravel-mining site into a haven for songbirds, salmon and other species.

"Renovated Central Coast lighthouse dates back to the 1870s" (Associated Press in San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4/4/06)
"The sprawling castle gets all the attention, but there's another notable dwelling just up the road along California's Central Coast. You, in fact, own this historical abode, and William Randolph Hearst never did. The Piedras Blancas Light Station, on a point six miles north of Hearst Castle on Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County, is operated by the Bureau of Land Management...."

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Light Station" (BLM California website)
Piedras Blancas is located on California's central coast, just north of San Simeon. The point is named for a white rock outcropping located just off the end of the point. Guided tours of the historic light station are available.

"Get away from it all at Corn Springs" (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 4/3/06)
"During the late fall, winter and early spring months when we've suddenly felt the urge to load up and go camping for a couple of days, one campground always seems to stand out in our minds. It's Corn Springs, a primitive campground...about 30 miles west of Blythe, and it's hardly a campground that would attract campers. Corn Springs is a Bureau of Land Management campground, reached by a dirt and graded 9-mile road...not long on amenities, seemingly a varying number of campsites from time to time, no hookups, unleveled sites for the most part, and almost in the middle of nowhere."

RELATED: "Corn Springs Campground" (BLM California, Palm Springs Field Office website)
The Corn Springs Campground is located deep in a canyon of the Chuckwalla Mountains, and is situated by a stand of more than 60 native California fan palms. This oasis supports abundant wildlife and is an important stopping place for migratory birds.

"Rising from the ashes" (Hi-Desert Star, 4/1/06)
"Preceding somewhat the official June 3rd date for National Trails Day, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve scheduled its observance of the anniversary event to coincide with the grand re-opening of its own trails March 25....In June, the Paradise fire fairly ravaged the popular Bureau of Land Management hiking destination, destroying boardwalk trails in the marsh area, and blocking most of the other trails with the charred remains of trees and shrubs."

RELATED: "Big Morongo Canyon Preserve" (BLM California website)
Nestled among the Little San Bernardino Mountains, the desert oasis at Big Morongo Canyon is one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian habitats in California. This canyon oasis has gained a national reputation among birdwatchers as "a usual spot to see the unusual." At least 235 species of birds have been observed here.

"Dogs get their day" (Monterey County Herald, 3/31/06)
A preview of last weekend's Dog Day on Fort Ord, tells the story of "an interpretive park ranger with the Bureau of Land Management at Fort Ord and a good friend to the many dogs -- and dog owners -- who regularly use the 83 miles of trails open to them there."

"A blooming good time to visit the desert" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/30/06)
"Last spring's desert wildflower bloom was stupendous, widespread and prolonged....People likely will drive to the desert in hopes of seeing something similar to 2005. They won't. But a stint of unseasonably cool and damp weather in late February and March does suggest that the 2006 desert wildflower season actually might run longer than 2005, even if it won't be quite as vivid or widespread."

RELATED: "BLM offers guided wildflower hikes" (BLM California news release, 3/22/06 - repeated from News.bytes issue 224)
Spring wildflowers are blooming across Lake County, and the Bureau of Land Management is offering free, guided hikes in the Cache Creek area to view them. The outings are scheduled for Saturdays, April 8 and April 15.

RELATED: "Wildflower viewing on public lands" (repeated from News.bytes issue 219)
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.

New rules reign in off-road riders"(Los Angeles Times, 3/29/06)
"Spurred by homeowners tired of the noise, dust and environmental destruction, Riverside County...approved a crackdown on off-road vehicle use on private property....The debate...mirrors that in neighboring San Bernardino County. Though that county has 300,000 acres on which the Bureau of Land Management allows all-terrain vehicles, plus some U.S. Forest Service trails and privately owned parks, some riders have balked at new rules that supervisors are expected to consider in April."
(Free registration required.),1,7887675.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

RELATED: "Riders facing new rules" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/29/06)
"Riverside County supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to impose new restrictions on the use of off-road vehicles on private property."

RELATED: "Off-highway vehicle riding" (BLM California, Barstow Field Office website)
Links to off-highway vehicle areas in San Bernardino County managed by BLM.

RELATED: "Off-road rules set for April 11 county vote" (Hi-Desert Star, 4/1/06)
San Bernardino County supervisors set to vote on "proposed ordinance for the control of off-road vehicle use....More than a year in the framing, the proposal allegedly has support from parties on all sides of the issue. Nevertheless, its adoption by the supervisors is not a given, and the matter will remain an unknown until the vote is actually taken."

Paul Smith, California Desert Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Paul Smith... the proprietor of an inn and represents the public-at-large on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council.
Read more.

Rick CooperEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Rick Cooper...
...a veteran public land manager with a proven record in developing local partnerships, is the new Hollister Field Office Manager.Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"P. Lynn Scarlett to be Acting Interior Secretary" (Department of the Interior news release, 3/31/06)
Outgoing Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced that Deputy Interior Secretary P. Lynn Scarlett will become Acting Secretary following Secretary Norton's departure from Interior.

"BLM issues addendum to Final Environment Impact Statement on proposed grazing regulation changes" (Bureau of Land Management national news release, 3/31/06)
The addendum and final Environmental Impact Statement, posted on the BLM’s Website, conclude that the proposed regulations will produce long-term health benefits for public rangelands.

"DOI to hold consultation meetings on proposed IGRA Section 20 regulations" (Department of the Interior news release, 3/27/06)
The Department of the Interior’s Office of Indian Gaming Management will hold a series of tribal consultation meetings on the development of proposed regulations to establish standards for implementing Section 20 of IGRA, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 -- including an April 18 meeting in Sacramento.

"'Save the Mustangs' Fund ready to distribute $200,000 to wild horse organizations for long-term care of horses" (BLM national news release, 4/4/06)
The Bureau of Land Management, Take Pride in America®, and Ford Motor Company announced today that more than $200,000 raised for the “Save the Mustangs” fund is ready for distribution to eligible wild horse and equine rescue groups to help place thousands of mustangs into private, long-term care.

(d) rockchuck

RELATED: "Marmota flaviventris (yellow-bellied marmot)" (University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web site)
Several photos and a variety of information, including description, habitat, behavior,

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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