A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 241 - 7/26/06

  Bill Haigh - Employee Profile Martu Aboriginal family from Western Australia gathering traditional Native American food in Northeastern California Klamathweed or St. Johnswort - WEED of the week Mexican free-tailed bat - see Sacramento Bee story after Wildlife Trivia answer

- Preservation and planning: Wilderness bill, Coastal Discovery Center, Piedras Blancas, more
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Australian Aboriginal family visits California
      - Weed of the week
- Wildfire aftermath and prevention
- Headlines and highlights: Cemex gravel mine, covert crops, jobs, more
- Employee profile
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Energy from public lands

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


"House OKs state wilderness bill; 273,000 acres would be protected around Northern California" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/25/06)
"The House approved the largest new wilderness area for California in more than a decade, offering permanent protection for more than 273,000 acres of coastal mountains, scenic rivers and forests stretching from Napa to the Oregon border." The new wilderness includes parts of the King Range, managed by BLM California. The bill was passed after a compromise "not to eliminate any existing roads that were used by off-road enthusiasts or mountain bikers and....created a new national recreation area at Cow Mountain, a 51,000-acre area west of Clear Lake with 150 miles of trails that is heavily used by bikers and off-roaders."

RELATED: "House OKs huge North Coast wilderness bill" (News services, in Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/25/06)
"The House agreed to a compromise North Coast wilderness bill Monday....The centerpiece of the deal is a long coastal stretch of the King Range National Conservation Area south of Eureka. That 42,585-acre stretch will become the 'crown jewel' of the Bureau of Land Management's wilderness holdings, the agency said in supporting the legislation...."

RELATED: "Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)" (Library of Congress)
For the text of the bill and related information, you can search on the home page for "Bill Number" and enter "HR 233."

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office)
The King Range covers 64,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Here the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing State Highway 1 and U.S. 101 inland. The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads.

RELATED: "Cow Mountain" (BLM California, Ukiah Field Office)
Named for the longhorn cattle that once roamed wild, the Cow Mountain Recreation Area offers a variety of recreational opportunities. The terrain is rugged, consisting mostly of steep, chaparral-covered slopes with scattered stands of fir, pine and oak. Elevations range from 800 to 4,000 feet.

"Proposal delights station supporters" (San Luis Obispo County Tribune, 7/20/06)
"The possible addition of the Piedras Blancas Light Station to a federal conservancy inventory already has station supporters dreaming of ways to use money that could result from the distinction....The designation wouldn't by itself mean more preservation money or additional protections for the station. But Jeff Jarvis, chief of the Bureau of Land Management’s wilderness, rivers and national trails division, said in a telephone interview that more money and national attention are likely" if the bill is passed.

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Historic Light Station Outstanding Natural Area Act of 2005 (Introduced in House)" (The Library of Congress)
Text of the bill, with links to related information. If link no longer works, you can search bills for "H. R. 3534."

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Light Station" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
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. In the early 1870's, this location was chosen to fill the gap between the lighthouses at Point Conception and Point Sur.

"Marine educational gateway opens in old bait shop" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 7/22/06)
"A new visitors’ center is set to open today in a former bait shop at William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, with interactive exhibits inside and 20 exhibition booths outside. The Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay will be the first of its kind for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument."

"Forums to help guide Cosumnes Preserve" (Sacramento Bee, 7/26/06)
"The public is invited to help guide the future of Cosumnes River Preserve near Galt, one of the largest examples of natural floodplain habitat remaining in the Central Valley. Managers of the 40,000-acre preserve are developing a long-term management plan for the first time in its 19-year history. The plan will guide restoration and recreation activities over the next 10 years....The Nature Conservancy's partners at the preserve include the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Ducks Unlimited, state and federal wildlife agencies, and Sacramento County."
(Free registration required.)

RELATED: "Cosumnes River Preserve" (Bureau of Land Management, Folsom Field Office)
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.

"Protest deadline is Aug. 2 for Ukiah Resource Management Plan" (BLM California news release, 7/18/06)
The proposed RMP provides management guidance for about 270,000 acres of public lands in Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Colusa, Marin and Contra Costa counties.


Mexican free-tailed bat - see Sacramento Bee story after Wildlife Trivia answer

Bats are the only true….
a. blood drinkers in nature
b. mammalian arachnids
c. egg-laying mammals
d. flying mammals
e. animals with sporting equipment named after them, in a game named after one of their foods (cricket)
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Martu Aboriginal family from Western Australia gathering traditional Native American food in Northeastern CaliforniaEarlier this month, BLM California's Surprise Field Office welcomed a Martu Aboriginal family from Western Australia. Their visit to the United States was through the invitation of Stanford anthropologists as part of a bio-cultural exchange with Native American communities in the Western U.S.

Klamathweed or St. Johnswort - WEED of the weekWEED OF THE WEEK: Klamathweed or St. Johnswort...
....contains a toxic substance which causes animals that eat it to lose weight and develop a skin irritation when exposed to strong sunlight. Klamathweed ranges from the Pacific Ocean east to Nevada with the largest infestations being found in Humboldt and Trinity counties.

RELATED: "BLM wins web award for invasive species website" (BLM national news release, 7/24/06)
The BLM's educational website on invasive species has been recognized with an Award of Excellence by StudySphere, an education resource-tracking website. Award winners are selected based on their high-quality content and usability for online research by busy searchers. "Invasive species present a silent threat to the public lands," said BLM Director Kathleen Clarke. "We are pleased that our online environmental education resources continue to be recognized as among the best on the Web today."


"From fire watch to flood worries" (San Bernardino County Sun, 7/20/06)
"[S]cientists assess the damage from the Millard and Sawtooth fires, and offer advice to local authorities about possible dangers. The biggest risk after a fire in such steep terrain is flash flooding and debris flows.... A tragic and recent example is what happened on Christmas Day 2003, two months after the Old Fire, when a downpour triggered massive debris flows that killed 14 people in Waterman Canyon and two people in Devore."

"Gel inspired by diapers may be firefighting tool" (, 7/19/06)
"A dirty diaper that refused to burn in a Dumpster fire led a Florida firefighter in the 1990s to develop a goo that can protect structures from flames....the federal government will begin field testing the gel by dropping it out of planes, probably onto forest fires in Utah, Nevada and California...."

"Fire Hazards Prompts Emergency Closure of Pacific Crest Trail" (BLM California news release, 7/19/06)
Extensive damage caused by the Millard-Sawtooth Complex fire and concerns for public safety have prompted the BLM to implement an emergency closure of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Cottonwood Trail head on the north side of Interstate 10 to the San Bernardino National Forest boundary. This temporary closure will be in effect until fire suppression and emergency stabilization has been completed, and the BLM determines the area is safe for visitors/hikers.

"Fire restrictions begin August 1st on area public land" (BLM California news release, 7/19/06)
With hot summer weather continuing to dry out vegetation and increase wildfire risks, the Lassen and Modoc national forests and the Bureau of Land Management have announced that fire restrictions will go into effect Tuesday, Aug. 1, in northeast California and northwest Nevada.

"BLM special fire restrictions in effect for Sierra foothills" (BLM California news release, 7/24/06)
Due to extreme conditions, the Bureau of Land Management is implementing fire restrictions on all BLM-managed public lands within the Folsom Field Office boundary. This includes BLM-managed public lands in Nevada, Yuba, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Sacramento, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Sutter, and Mariposa counties, a total of about 230,000 acres.

"News digest: Fire prevention projects funded" (Sacramento Bee, 7/19/06)
El Dorado County: "A fuel reduction project is planned for about 40 acres in the Chrome Ridge community in the Pleasant Valley area. Grant funding for the Chrome Ridge project was obtained from the federal Bureau of Land Management through the California Fire Safe Council and the county Board of Supervisors, using Federal Forest Reserve matching funds for project planning and documentation...."

"Experts teach how to replant after fire" (Hi-Desert Star, 7/25/06)
Collection of events related to the Millard and Sawtooth Complex fires. One is a "fire-recovery workshop" tonight, July 26 in Pioneertown: "Topics will include why burned soil should not be tilled, how to treat burned desert plants, why burned stumps should not be removed,when to replant, how to reduce invasive weeds and how to create a fire-defensible space."

"Current wildland fire information" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Updated daily during fire season.


"Stonecrest will annex into city" (Santa Clarita Signal, 7/22/06)
"The 1,900 residents of the Stonecrest housing tract will join the city of Santa Clarita. The Local Agency Formation Commission will give final approval to the annexation application for the development Wednesday....City officials hold that the annexation is vital because it provides a 'land bridge' to annexing property about a mile away, where Cemex Inc. plans to operate a 69 million ton sand and gravel mine starting in 2008. The city owns the mining property, where mining rights have already been approved by the federal Bureau of Land Management."

RELATED: "Stonecrest annexation protest fails" (Los Angeles Daily News, 7/22/06)
"The Stonecrest neighborhoods of Canyon Country - the nearest homes to the planned Cemex sand and gravel mine - will be annexed to Santa Clarita after a bitter city-county battle that pitted residents against one another....Santa Clarita already has purchased land at the mining site and, while it doesn't own the mining rights, it seeks more oversight and hopes to reduce the scope of the Cemex operation."

RELATED: "Hearing delayed on mine-air proposal" (Los Angeles Daily News, 7/20/06)
"City officials who are trying to block the planned 56.1-million-ton Cemex quarry in Soledad Canyon will have to wait until fall to testify against a possible move by air regulators to change a rule that helps diminish dust emissions from such mines."

"Call of the West: Redding BLM field manager’s love of nature led to career overseeing public lands" (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/23/06)
Profile of Steve Anderson, after two years on the job as manager of BLM California's Redding Field Office.,2232,REDD_17508_4866493,00.html

"Covert crops uprooted" (Sonora Union Democrat, 7/18/06)
"State and local narcotics officers yesterday uprooted 1,600 marijuana plants growing near New Melones Reservoir's Parrotts Ferry Bridge. The plants were on steep, oak- and manzanita-covered terrain [managed by] the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. That makes 12,600 pot plants destroyed in Tuolumne County in seven days."

"While you were away: How couples cope when jobs keep them apart" (Bakersfield Californian, 7/24/06)
Profiles of several parents who need to be away for jobs: "Capt. John Moreno loves the rush he gets from leading his Bureau of Land Management firefighters in the battle against summer blazes. The downside is he may be gone for weeks at a time, without warning...."
(Free registration required.)

"The world according to Google: Amboy Crater, Mojave Desert, California, USA)"
"Amboy Crater and Lava Field were designated a National Natural Landmark in May, 1973. Visits from tourists have increased in recent years after having been forgotten upon the opening of Interstate 40 through the area.... It is best to avoid visiting Amboy Crater in summer conditions...." Includes satellite photos.

RELATED: "Amboy Crater" (BLM California, Needles Field Office)
As a result of increased visitation to Amboy Crater, the Needles Field Office established a day use site with improved access road, picnic tables and rest rooms. During summer months or windy conditions, hiking to the rim is not recommended.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include fire management specialist, administrative officer, dispatcher and student trainee (Student Career Experience Program, or SCEP) opportunities.

Calendar item:
Ridgecrest Steering Committee meeting, July 27

Bill Haigh - Employee ProfileEMPLOYEE PROFILE: William Haigh... returning to BLM California as the new field office manager for BLM's Folsom Field Office. He will be responsible for overseeing 230,000 acres of public lands in 14 northern and central California counties with a staff of 31. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"Remarks prepared for delivery by the Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior, to U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. July 19, 2006" (Department of the Interior website)
"I am sure that all across America, innovative companies are thinking of new ways to meet our energy needs. This administration is determined to help them succeed and, with your support, we will take the steps necessary in Washington to make it possible. Interior will do its part in managing public resources to continue to supply more than a third of the nation’s energy."

"Geothermal rules encourage alternative energy development on federal lands: provide $4 Million in revenue for county governments" (BLM national news release, 7/21/06)
To encourage geothermal energy development on federal lands, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced proposed rules that would require more competitive leasing, offer simplified royalty calculations and share $4 million in current royalties with counties where production occurs.

"Nominations due for award recognizing responsible fluid mineral development" (BLM national news release, 7/24/06)
The BLM is currently accepting nominations for the 2007 Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Development Best Management Practices Awards. The awards recognize oil, gas, and geothermal operators or rights-of-way grantees and their partners who are demonstrating leadership and creativity in reducing the environmental impacts of oil, gas, and geothermal development.

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer - and related information
d. flying mammals.

"Order Chiroptera (bats)" (University of Michigan, Animal Diversity Web) "
Bats are the second-most common mammals, after rodents. Includes much information about bats, plus photos.

"Young bats wilting in the heat" (Sacramento Bee, 7/25/06)
"The heat wave in Sacramento is taking its toll on the area's bat population. The young ones, especially, are getting pushed around and muscled out of their upside-down perches -- and they are dropping to the ground by the dozens....While the bat death toll is not enough to raise concerns about a ripple effect, especially the one related to their feeding on West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes, it has alarmed those who care for the much-maligned mammal."
(Free registration required.)

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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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