A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 230 - 5/9/06

Kendall Smith, BLM CA Northwest RAC  a Roosevelt elk munches on some vegetation alongside a trail Gabriel Garcia at his desk A wild burro waiting for adoption Weed Warrior Josh Gibbs and Cub Scouts identify and remove tiny yellow star thistle plants

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Ruse?
      - Weed Warriors
      - Weed of the week
- Headlines and highlights: Cemex, new field manager, trails, mercury, jobs, more
- Wild horses and burros
- Meetings, public comment, planning
- Meet your advisory council members
- Employee Profile
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Interior nominee Dirk Kempthorne


a Roosevelt elk munches on some vegetation alongside a trailWILDLIFE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Ruse?
Roosevelt elk, one of the three subspecies of elk in California, can be found in the northwestern corner of the state. Where is a visitor most likely to encounter a Roosevelt Elk?
(a) above 4000 feet elevation
(b) licking honey from bee hives, in trees they knock over
(c) near campgrounds, in small herds
(d) on the beach, as a solitary wandering animal
(e) in a toy store, as a "teddy elk" (The beloved stuffed animal named after President Theodore Roosevelt.)
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Weed Warrior Josh Gibbs and Cub Scouts identify and remove tiny yellow star thistle plants"Weed Warriors" (News.bytes Extra)
The battle against the spread of noxious weeds continues this spring, as northeast California's teams of Weed Warriors take to the field. Working on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management - and areas administered by partner agencies - the teams locate, map and eradicate stands of weeds that threaten land health and productivity.

Weed of the week: halogetenWeed of the week symbolWEED OF THE WEEK: Halogeten
This native of Europe and Asia adapted to the alkaline soils and semi-arid environment of high desert winter livestock regions. It invades disturbed and overgrazed lands. It is not extremely competitive -- but it does produce toxic oxalates that are especially poisonous to sheep and cattle.


"Bill could put an end to Cemex struggle" (Santa Clarita Valley Signal, 5/5/06)
"By the end of next week, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon may introduce legislation that could end the years-long struggle over a proposed sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon. The Mexico-based concrete giant intends to extract 78 million tons of sand and gravel over 20 years to produce 56.1 million tons of concrete aggregate" and holds a permit from BLM.

RELATED: "No site options noted for Cemex" (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/8/06)
"While alternatives to a 56.1-million-ton sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon are being explored by federal and city officials and Mexico-based Cemex, a federal regulator said no alternative sites have yet been earmarked. In the meantime, Cemex is continuing with its plans to mine the canyon's rich deposits, sand and gravel to feed a voracious construction industry."

A BLM employee practices safe chainsaw technique"Chainsaws, fires, meth labs and more - Employee Safety Week at Eagle Lake Field Office" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office set aside most of a week for safety training sessions on topics ranging from defensive driving to chainsaw use. Courses offered during the week included defensive driving, meth lab and meth dump awareness, two-way radio operation, CPR, emergency first aid, blood borne pathogen awareness, fire extinguisher use, all-terrain vehicle use, hazardous materials awareness, computer ergonomics, employee right-to-know and chainsaw operation.

"Bill Haigh named new BLM Folsom field manager" (BLM California news release, 5/8/06)
Veteran public land manager Bill Haigh has been named as the Bureau of Land Management's new Folsom field office manager. Haigh will be responsible for overseeing 230,000 acres of public lands in 14 northern and central California counties.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include maintenance worker, several firefighting jobs and criminal investigator.

"Group told insect not endangered" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/6/06)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has turned down a request by an environmental group to consider listing the Andrews' dune scarab beetle under the Endangered Species Act. The beetle lives in parts of the 160,000-acre Algodones Dunes in Imperial County" and the group said the petition was filed "because of attempts by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to reopen to off-roading in four areas of the dunes...."
(Free registration required.)

Meritorious Service award for long-time BLM California employee
Long-time BLM California employee Robert M. Laidlaw, a specialist in Native American issues, has been recognized by the Secretary of the Interior with a Meritorious Service award. The award, one of the most prestigious in the Department, was given "in recognition of outstanding contributions and notable achievements in resource management for the Office of the Secretary." Laidlaw, who maintains an office in Sacramento, is currently assigned directly to the Secretary's office to advise on tribal water rights, jurisdictional litigation, equity issues, and other high level policy, legislative, and natural resource issues. He has been with BLM and DOI for more than 25 years in California and Washington, D.C.

part of the BLM Bakersfield land exchange"BLM completes land exchange in Bakersfield area" (News.bytes Extra)
The BLM Bakersfield Field Office recently completed an important land exchange benefiting Sierra Nevada wilderness in central California. A total of 960 acres in southeastern Tulare County were acquired in the exchange, including an entire meadow and a portion of another meadow.

"City plans for trails as developer promises a gate for one" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/6/06)
"As development increases throughout the valley, hikers are finding they sometimes lose access -- at least temporarily -- to some of their favorite outdoor spots." One such place is at one end of the Big Morongo Canyon Trail.
(Free registration required.)

RELATED: "Big Morongo Canyon Preserve"
The Bureau of Land Management designated Big Morongo Canyon as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern in recognition of its special values. The land is managed by the BLM to protect rare and endangered wildlife, enhance sensitive riparian areas, promote the growth of a wide variety of plants, provide for scientific research, and offer educational opportunities.

"A dramatic change" (San Bernardino County Sun, 5/7/06)
Proposed Ivanpah Valley airport "will be the first major U.S. airport since Denver International was completed a little more than a decade ago....In 2000, federal legislation authorized Clark County to buy the nearly 6,000 acres of land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for $20.4 million. If the airport isn't built, the money will be returned. Much of that money is earmarked to buy private land remaining inside the Mojave National Preserve."

RELATED: "Ivanpah Dry Lake" (BLM California, Needles Field Office web pages)
International championship racing, archery, kite buggying, and land sailing are just some of the activities this dry lake is used for. The lake is located on 1-15 at the California-Nevada border.

"Trail Days still being blazed" (Paradise Post, 5/5/06)
"There were no chalkboards and books, but the fifth-grade classes...learned some valuable lessons about fire safety and the people who keep their homes safe. The 14th annual Trail Days took place at the Butte Fire Center as a joint effort" including BLM.

"Groups set to challenge Sunrise Powerlink" (North County Times, 5/7/06)
" When San Diego Gas & Electric Co. files an amended plan for its proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, it will face an array of groups set to challenge the company's assertions of why the 120-mile "energy superhighway" is needed." Parts of the proposed routes would require rights-of-way permits from the BLM.

"State warns of mercury in river fish" (Sacramento Bee, 5/3/06)
"State officials are warning people to limit the fish they eat from the lower Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers because the flesh contains elevated levels of mercury, a nerve poison....The mercury in these rivers originates from mining, beginning with the Gold Rush. It comes from sediments washed down from historic mines in the Sierra foothills."

RELATED: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office web pages)
The Preserve is home to California's largest remaining valley oak riparian forest, and is one of the few protected wetland habitat areas in the state. The Cosumnes River is the only free-flowing river left in California's Central Valley. BLM is a partner in the Preserve.

"Yuroks question city's use of Trinidad Head" (Eureka Times-Standard, 5/8/06)
Yurok Tribal Chairman asks BLM to review city's practice of "allowing privately owned communication equipment" on Trinidad Head....It's the ongoing obstruction of natural beauty that riles many Trinidad residents when they look toward the much-photographed headland and see the lattice structures protruding from an otherwise unblemished vista."


A wild burro waiting for adoption"BLM hosts 2nd annual Mother's Day wild horse and burro adoption near Ridgecrest" (BLM California news release, 4/25/06)
BLM will host the 2nd annual Mother's Day adoption on May 13 at its regional corral facility, just east of Ridgecrest. Six halter-gentled mustangs, and an excellent selection of 200 mustang yearlings gelding and mares and 50 burros will be available for adoption.

"BLM offers free horse training demonstration in Oakdale" (BLM California news release, 4/28/06)
Lesley Neuman, a horse trainer from the Placerville area, will demonstrate gentle methods of horse taming and training when the BLM holds a wild horse and burro adoption event Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14, at the Oakdale Rodeo Grounds.

"Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in Lakeport" (BLM California news release, 5/3/06)
Young, healthy wild horses and burros will be looking for new homes, when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. The BLM will offer 60 horses and 10 burros ranging in age from under 2 to about 5 years old.


"BLM announces appointments to Imperial Sand Dunes Technical Review Team" (BLM California news release, 5/9/06)
BLM El Centro Field Office Manager Vicki Wood announced appointment of two new members to the Imperial Sand Dunes Technical Review Team, which advises BLM on the management of the Dunes.

"BLM Resource Advisory Council to meet in Middletown, Calistoga" (BLM California news release, 5/9/06)
Members of the Bureau of Land Management's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council will tour geothermal energy facilities and discuss resource management topics, when they gather for a field tour and business meeting Thursday and Friday, May 25 and 26, in Middletown and Calistoga.

"BLM seeking public comments on proposed plan for Mill Creek Forest" (BLM California news release, 5/5/06)
Comments must be postmarked or emailed by June 9, 2006, on the draft management plan for the Mill Creek Forest, a 1,400-acre tract on the southern end of the King Range National Conservation area near the community of Petrolia. The plan, developed in a community-based process, contains provisions for a range of management and restoration activities, including priorities for trail development.

"Old Spanish National Historic Trail Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement" (BLM California news release, 5/2/06)
The BLM and the National Park Service are seeking public input on a management plan for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. Its route crosses New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California - and links some of the West's oldest communities from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. Three public meetings will be held in California: Barstow May 9, Redlands May 10 and Los Angeles May 11.

Kendall Smith, BLM CA Northwest RACMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Kendall Smith... the elected official representative on BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council. Read more:

Gabriel Garcia at his deskEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Gabriel Garcia...
...completed his master's degree in business administration from National University this year, and became a full-time employee of BLM in the resources division in Bakersfield, approving new oil and gas surface use permits.  See this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"Interior nominee faces a handful of holdouts" (Los Angeles Times, 5/5/06)
"Interior Secretary nominee Dirk Kempthorne appeared headed for a smooth confirmation process Thursday except for a single potential stumbling block: energy....All but a handful of the members of the Senate Energy Committee assured him that they would recommend him next week for final confirmation to the full Senate, a vote that might come before Memorial Day.
(Free registration required.),0,4618981.story?coll=la-home-nation

"Interior nominee opposes land sale" (Denver Post, 5/5/06)
"Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, President Bush's nominee for interior secretary, told senators Thursday that he opposed the administration's proposal to sell off hundreds of thousands of acres of public land, further weakening a plan that has never had much support in Congress or with the public."

"Kempthorne nomination tied to energy" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 5/4/06)
"Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne said Thursday he's eager to press President Bush's expansion of oil and gas drilling offshore and on federal lands as an antidote to $3-a-gallon gasoline."

(c) Campers often see them near campgrounds, in small herds.

RELATED: "Living with wildlife - Elk" (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Roosevelt elk are the state mammal of Washington. This site has much information about elk, a large photo, and information about fencing private land.

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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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