A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 232 - 5/24/06

Helen S. May, BLM Central California Advisory Council volunteer leads a mustang through its paces Junior Girl Scouts hold Snuggles, a rescued baby oppossum Weed of the Week: hoary cress Employee Profile: Debbie Santiago

- Introducing "Beyond the Brochure"
- Wildfire danger and prevention
- Wild horses and burros
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Recreation on public lands
- Energy rights-of-way
- Headlines and highlights: Scouts leave no trace, tower of trash, Hollywood, jobs, more
- Meet your advisory council members
- On the BLM California calendar
- National and/or Department of the Interior items

Beyond the Brochure graphic filmstrip"BEYOND THE BROCHURE"
Welcome to our new feature - Beyond the Brochure - offering short video presentations of some of the sites managed by Bureau of Land Management in California. This week's video feature highlights recreation opportunities at Fort Ord -- with 86 miles of world class road and trail for hikers, bikers, and equestrians, including about six miles of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. (Note: you may need to adjust your computer's volume.)


volunteer leads a mustang through its paces"Wild horse and burro volunteers" (News.bytes Extra)
When Bureau of Land Management cowboys rolled into Oakdale hauling wild horses and burros for a public adoption event this month, a team of BLM volunteers was close behind, ready to assist wherever needed. The scene is the same at events across California, where Wild Horse and Burro Program volunteer work ranges from adoption promotion to adopter mentoring.

"Free horse training/gentling sessions coming to Lakeport" (BLM California news release, 5/17/06)
Northern California horse enthusiasts can get free tips and advice about horse gentling and training, Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. The BLM will offer 60 mustangs and 10 burros for adoption during the weekend event.

RELATED: "BLM plans mustang, burro adoption event" (Lake County Record-Bee, 5/22/06)
"'With spring here and long summer days ahead, the timing is right to begin training an adopted mustang or burro,' said Pardee Bardwell of the BLM's Ukiah Field Office. 'To help people get started, we will feature free training demonstrations during both days of the adoption event.'"

"House votes to stop sale of wild horses" (Associated Press, in San Francisco Chronicle)
"The House directed the Interior Department on Thursday to halt the sale of wild horses for slaughter, saying that was not the purpose of the program that makes the horses and burros available for adoption. The measure, part of the department's spending bill for the 2007 budget year, prohibits the use of agency funds for the sale or slaughter of wild, free-roaming horses and burros."


What is an American Marten?
a. its is bird similar to the purple martin, which prefers to nest in small colonies near people
b. it is a small fish that spawns in rivers along the West Coast
c. it is a small mammal found in forest habitats
d. it is a large reptile, about the size of an alligator, that lives in desert sands
e. it is an American-made version of a popular European style of air-cushioned footwear
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Weed of the Week: hoary cressWEED OF THE WEEK: Hoary cress...
is highly competitive once established, easily displacing native vegetation and forming a monoculture. Mechanical removal is strongly discouraged as all small, broken segments left behind will form a new plant that will produce many more plants.


"Caution urged amid fire season" (Bakersfield Californian, 5/17/06)
"If this is your first summer in Kern County, there are a couple of things you need to know. First, it's hot and it's only going to get hotter. Second, it's fire season in the wilder areas of the county....remember that you must have a permit before you start a fire in the Sequoia National Forest or on any Bureau of Land Management land."

"Firefighters trade training for real thing" (Porterville Recorder, 5/19/06)
"Firefighters at Wednesday's spring training at Lake Success put their knowledge of wild land fire to the test when grasses ignited at Merritt Farms in Lindsay....In the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument, the annual fire season officially began Wednesday. Fire season is also in effect on Bureau of Land Management lands in Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and at Tule River Indian Reservation."

"Children get fired-up about safety" (Tehachapi News, 5/12/06)
"More than 2,200 local children met Smokey Bear, Sparky the Fire Dog and local fire personnel from the city of Tehachapi, county of Kern and the Bureau of Land Management as they learned about the danger of fire. The education, however, went beyond the school assemblies and classroom discussions as nearly 350 students accepted the challenge to create a poster warning the community about the dangers of fire."

Employee Profile: Debbie SantiagoEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Deborah Santiago... an "exuberant and enthusiastic" fire mitigation and education specialist in BLM's Bakersfield Field Office. "Bear, Woodsy Owl, and Sparky the Firefighting Dog are my best friends," she says. Read more.


"Bizz Johnson Trail open; Trail improvements underway" (BLM California news release, 5/24/06)
With spring finally in full force, conditions are excellent for outings on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. Trail users will encounter detours in two areas undergoing improvements.

"New permit system will help direct King Range management" (BLM California news release, 5/23/06)
A new self-service permit system is now in place for the King Range National Conservation Area, affecting hikers and backpackers who plan to spend at least one night in the back country, including the popular Lost Coast Trail.

BLM to enforce dry season use restrictions in the Clear Creek Management Area" (BLM California news release, 5/19/06)
The BLM Hollister Field Office says it will begin enforcing dry season use restrictions on 30,000 acres in the Clear Creek Management Area to protect public health and safety. The temporary restrictions, from June 1 through Oct. 15, 2006 are in response to concerns and data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about health risks from exposure to naturally occurring asbestos.
(Also see "BLM announces upcoming prescribed burn in Clear Creek Canyon" below)

"Briefs: River, Paynes Creek to be explored" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 5/20/06)
"There will be a hike May 27 on the Yana Trail along the Sacramento River....The five-mile, round-trip hike will be easy to moderate. At least half of the hike will be cross country so sturdy boots will be a necessity. The hike will be led by Kelly Williams, natural resource specialist for BLM."


"Draft environmental document for proposed electric transmission line available for public review" (BLM California news release, 5/23/06)
The California Public Utilities Commission and the Bureau of Land Management have released a joint draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement analyzing a proposed electrical transmission line project between southern California and Arizona for public review and comment.

RELATED: "Ariz.-Calif. power line mulled" (Arizona Republic, 5/19/06)
"State regulators worry that a proposed high-voltage electricity line from Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to California could significantly raise electricity costs for Arizonans and divert needed power away from Arizona....The reason: The transmission line would give Californians access to Arizona's less-expensive electricity....The project also needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission and the Bureau of Land Management" because it involves rights-of-way across BLM-managed lands.
(Requires answering a short survey - uncheck the boxes to not receive further information.)

"Wind power; Answers blowing in the wind" (Mammoth Times, 5/18/06)
Company proposes "three test wind turbines on the Blind Springs Hill, near Benton, Hammil and Chalfant valleys...due to the favorable winds and very close proximity to existing power lines (running north into Nevada and south into the Los Angeles basin). The wind turbines would be located on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These three monitoring towers would require additional roads (possibly 16 feet in width) and extensive equipment and manpower to install. BLM land is easier to permit develop...."

"Power lines and pipelines draw closer to parklands" (Los Angeles Times, 5/23/06)
"Under orders from Congress to move quickly, the Department of Energy and Bureau of Land Management will approve thousands of miles of new power line and pipeline corridors on federal lands across the West in the next 14 months. The energy easements are likely to cross national parks, forests and military bases as well as other public land." Companies "have proposed corridors in the state across Death Valley, Joshua Tree and Lassen Volcanic national parks as well as the Mojave National Preserve, several military bases, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and seven national forests."
(Free registration required.),1,3310510.story


Junior Girl Scouts hold Snuggles, a rescued baby oppossum"Girl Scouts take the Juliette Low LNT Challenge" (News.bytes Extra)
BLM folks helped lead the activities as 60 Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts and adults attended the Juliette Low Leave No Trace Challenge Event May 6-7 in Riverside. Girls "traveled" to the four Girl Scout World Centers -- Pax Lodge, England; Sangam, India; Our Chalet, Swiss Alps; and Our Cabana, Mexico -- looking for clues to find Juliette Low.

"SYRCL teams up to restore wildlife habitat" (Grass Valley Union, 5/22/06)
"Nearly 60 community members volunteered with the South Yuba River Citizens League for a day to restore native wildlife habitat along the South Yuba River watershed....This year, volunteers worked with personnel from California State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, Tahoe National Forest and Sequoia Challenge, the organization that developed and maintains the Independence Trail."

"Helping is the fuel that fires his run" (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/15/06)
"The concept of eating on the run will take on new meaning when a firefighter attempts a 25-hour run to raise money for fallen comrades. Kenneth Perry will spend time during his 104-mile June trek from Lancaster to Santa Clarita eating and resting, but pledge donations will fuel him more than calories....Perry, a smokejumper for seven years who parachuted into forests to battle fires for the federal Bureau of Land Management, now works as a kind of air traffic controller, directing aerial fire attacks for the BLM from the Fox Air Attack base in Lancaster."

"'Tower of Trash' offers clean-forest message" (Mountain Democrat, 5/23/06)
"Beer cans, old tires, a rusted bicycle seat and a fox skull in a mayonnaise jar are all part of the massive 'Tower of Trash' - a tall, colorful statue that aims to discourage littering." Its creator "welded most of the structure together using trash from various places, including private land, Bureau of Land Management property and garbage transfer stations in Groveland and Coulterville."

"Open house planned regarding arsenic remediation plans" (BLM California news release, 5/23/06)
The BLM is planning an open house for the residents of Red Mountain on Tuesday, May 31, 2006, to outline initial actions BLM plans to take to address recently discovered high levels of arsenic in the community. BLM also plans to share preliminary information it has collected on arsenic concentrations in the areas of Randsburg and Johannesburg in northwestern San Bernardino and northeastern Kern counties.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include several firefighting jobs, petroleum engineering technician, dispatcher and human resources assistant.

"Attracting more Hollywood action to desert" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/15/06)
"The Coachella Valley has had its share of starring roles this year....But the resort region will need California's movie star governor to keep big-budget Hollywood calling, said Sheri Davis with the Inland Empire Film Commission." BLM photo with article - many films and commercials are shot on BLM-managed lands.

"Environmental assessment to remove the trespass facilities and non-native plant species at Wild Spring available for public review" (BLM California news release, 5/23/06)
The BLM's Barstow field office would remove the trespass facilities and non-native plant species at the spring, towards restoring proper functioning condition at the spring. Copies of the environmental assessment are available online.

"BLM announces upcoming prescribed burn in Clear Creek Canyon" (BLM California news release, 5/24/06)
The Hollister Field Office of the BLM will be conducting a prescribed burn on May 31 and June 1, 2006 to control the spread of yellow star thistle on public lands in the Clear Creek Management Area in southern San Benito and western Fresno counties.

"Road would be boost for boaters" (Stockton Record, 5/18/06)
"Stockton boaters would be able to shave half an hour off the time it takes to get into the water at New Melones Lake if Calaveras County officials succeed in building a proposed new road from Copperopolis to the northwest corner of the lake." A Congressional staffer "was on hand to say his office was helping to coordinate with the Bureau of Land Management, whose land the road would cross, and the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates New Melones." But neither he "nor officials at the news conference representing the BLM and Calaveras County said they had any money yet to put toward the road."

RELATED: "Ambitious reservoir road plan announced" (Union Democrat, 5/17/06)
It would take years of planning and cost at least $10 million, but building a new road connecting Tulloch and Melones reservoirs is more than just pie in the sky, supporters say."

"All eyes on growth plan holdouts" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/19/06)
"An ambitious plan aimed at balancing future Coachella Valley development with environmental conservation leaped another hurdle toward approval Thursday when it cleared the Indian Wells City Council....City leaders in Cathedral City, Indio and Desert Hot Springs have passed resolutions saying they will oppose the plan unless it is changed." BLM is one of many partners in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

RELATED: "Holdout cities should back conservation plan as midnight nears" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/21/06)
EDITORIAL: " Holdout cities need to approve a valleywide conservation plan before it collapses....Granted, the plan is not perfect....On balance, the plan's benefits outweigh the negatives. It provides more certainty for developers...yet sets aside enough open space to preserve threatened animals and fauna as well as outdoor activities such as hiking. It also strengthens regional planning, a necessity in a valley so economically entwined."

Helen S. May, BLM Central California Advisory CouncilMEET YOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS: Helen S. May... a long-time resident of San Luis Obispo County and has had an opportunity to work with a variety of controversial issues in a an area with a diverse population. She represents the public-at-large on BLM's Central California Resource Advisory Council. Read more:


There's a Monument in your backyard
Tomorrow - Where to go and what to do at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument

Ridgecrest Steering Committee meeting
Discussions of land use planning, recreation, wild horse and burros, and more

Northeastern California Land Use Plans public meetings
The first of seven public meetings is next week.


"Daunting Mission: safeguarding land on skimpy budget; BLM assigned huge responsibility with tiny staff, study finds" (Washington Post, reprinted in San Francisco Chronicle, 5/21/06)
"To keep order amid all this activity, the responsible federal agency, the Bureau of Land Management, employs one ranger to patrol the entire national monument [in Colorado] -- an expanse of mountains and lowlands covering 256 square miles, about four times the size of Washington, D.C."

RELATED: "Saving Western culture" (Washington Post, 5/22/06)
EDITORIAL: "Although it receives far less attention than the National Park Service or the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management -- the Interior Department's forgotten stepchild -- controls a huge chunk of the American West: 261 million acres of federal land in 11 states, or about as much land as the holdings of the other more famous agencies put together." Editorial calls for more searching for and protection of "Native American archeological sites, cave and rock paintings, and historic trails" on BLM-managed lands.
(Free registration may be required.)

"House passes bill to speed OK of post-fire timber sales; Managers could use generic guidelines" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/18/06)
"The bill approved Wednesday by the House would require the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to come up with 'pre-approved management practices' -- generic guidelines for timber sales -- that could be put into effect immediately after a fire, insect infestation, storm or other major disaster....The bill could have a major effect in California, which has 20 million acres of national forests and has been the site of several large post-fire timber sales that have been fought over in the courts in recent years."

c. it is a small mammal found in forest habitats.

RELATED: "Martes americana (American marten)" (University of Michigan, Animal Diversity Web)
Information, photos and further references, in this copyrighted site "written largely by and for college students."

"American marten (Martes americana)" (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website)
Description, habits, food, and more information, including distribution (in areas across the Canada and the U.S., from California to the East Coast.

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