A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 246 - 8/29/06

  BLM California Northwest RAC members view a scale model of geothermal plants Houndstongue - Weed of the Week red fox in the snow National Public Lands Day logo

- National Public Lands Day
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week: Red Foxes
      - Weed of the week: Houndstounge
- Headlines and highlights: Advisory Councils, CHIPS Program, Marijuana eradication, jobs, and more
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: BLM Director appoints Mike Ferguson as Assistant Director
- Upcoming Events

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

National Public Lands Day logoNATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY - volunteers wanted!

Folsom Field Office, South Fork American River Public Lands: volunteer appreciation items will include T-shirts, posters, snack bars and other items.

Barstow Field Office, Rainbow Basin Natural Area Improvement Project: Take part in one of six projects, including removing replacing missing shade for picnic tables, and repairing road erosion caused by heavy rain.


red fox in the snow

What do you call a traveling group of red foxes?
a. a warren
b. a colony
c. a den
d. a brood
e. a pack
f. a murder
g. you don’t call them any of these - red foxes are solitary
h. trouble
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Houndstongue - Weed of the WeekWEED OF THE WEEK: Houndstongue... native to Europe and Asia.  It is widely distributed over central and eastern North America, northern California and in Oregon.  It is an undesirable weed in irrigated and dryland pastures, fencerows, roadsides, and waste areas where it is found. Its seeds cling to passing animals and are scattered across the landscape.


BLM California Northwest RAC members view a scale model of geothermal plants"BLM advisory council sees northwest California issues and landscapes first-hand" (News.bytes Extra)
The Bureau of Land Management's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council has focused on issues ranging from alternative energy production to conservation of the nation's first National Conservation Area, as they continue working closely with managers in BLM's Arcata, Redding and Ukiah field offices. On recent tours, they got first-hand looks at several of these issues, and northwest California's landscapes.

"Drug czar bears gifts in his visit to Valley" (Sacramento Bee, 8/26/06)
The White House is sending money and its national drug czar to reinforce the fight against California marijuana growers. When John Walters lands in Fresno on Tuesday, he'll be bringing a commitment of an additional $2.2 million in law enforcement funding. The money will include $100,000 grants for Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties, as well as more support for a coordinated anti-pot campaign. BLM will be part of the tour.

"Pot cultivation called 'big business'" (Sacramento Bee, 8/24/06)
"The raiders hit two marijuana gardens flourishing not far from multimillion-dollar homes above Folsom Lake, about three miles from El Dorado Hills. Coordinators of such raids say their critics should understand that marijuana cultivation is 'big business' run by ruthless players who do not really care who buys their product as long as it sells." BLM agents took part in the raid.
(Free registration may be required.)

"North Coast beachers turning from wild to styled" (Mid-County Post, 8/22/06)
"After eight years of negotiations, 407 of the 7,000 acres of land stretching from Santa Cruz to Davenport and Scotts Creek will be transferred to State Parks at the end of August. This means that the area of North Coast beaches west of Highway 1 will be open to the public after it had been private property for decades." The largest parcel of the Coast Dairies property will be donated to the BLM.

"CHIPS program catches congressman's eye" (The Calaveras Enterprise, 08/28/06)
Congressman Dan Lungren visited Calaveras County to hear about a project called Calaveras Healthy Impacts Product Solutions (CHIPS). CHIPS is looking into various ways of using wood waste - including waste lumber products left at the Wilseyville solid waste transfer station, debris left behind from timber harvesting on public and private lands, and salvage from forest fuel-load reduction programs - in ways that can provide jobs, reduce energy costs and improve safety for upcountry residents. The Bureau of Land Management is a cooperator/partner in the CHIPS Program.

Bizz Johnson Bus Shuttle Service Set for Saturday, Sept. 2 (BLM News Release, 8/23/06)
A special bus shuttle for the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail near Susanville is set to roll, providing hikers, runners and mountain cyclists with convenient transportation for one-way routes on the scenic mountain trail. The shuttle, with room for mountain bikes, departs from the Susanville Railroad Depot.

RELATED: Bizz Johnson Trail (BLM Website)
Following the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad, the trail winds 25.4 miles from Susanville to Mason Station. For the first 16 miles, the trail follows the Susan River. As it winds through the rugged Susan River Canyon, the trail crosses the river 12 times on bridges and trestles and passes through two tunnels.

"Firefighting costs top $53 million" (The Eureka Reporter, 8/28/06)
Four sets of fires — called “complexes” — burning on federal land in northwestern California have scorched almost 60,000 acres and cost taxpayers more than $53 million.

"Two Bakersfield Firefighters Injured In Nevada Blaze" (KERO, 08/24/06)
Fire officials said the two firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management's Bakersfield, California district were taken to the Elko hospital after suffering minor to moderate burns in the Mudd fire.

"Santa Clarita Creates Citizen Coalition to Fight Cemex" (KHTS, 08/28/06)
The City of Santa Clarita announced today, the formation of a new Citizens’ Coalition against the CEMEX mega mine that includes thousands of residents, businesses and municipalities. The massive Citizens’ Coalition, formed recently following just one informational mailer, cites excessive big truck traffic and air quality issues as its main objections.

"City Launches Brochure War Against Cemex" (Santa Clarita Signal, 08/24/06)
City officials are trying to amass an army of residents in their war against a 69-million ton mine proposed for Soledad Canyon that, over 20 years, would reportedly extract enough sand and gravel to fill the Rose Bowl 127 times over. The latest step in the city's ongoing fight to keep Cemex Inc. from setting up operations in 2008 was a mass mailing of 200,000 brochures with information about the mine and HR5471.

"Cemex fights back on PR front" (Los Angeles Daily News, 08/25/06)
In the wake of a recent barrage of anti-Cemex publicity unleashed by the city, the mining company has begun an outreach campaign to introduce its planned 56.1-million-ton quarry in Soledad Canyon to the community. The homespun feel of a one-page letter sent to 48,000 households nearest the mine bears a positive tone that avoids any hint of the conflict, instead saying "there have been a lot of questions about my company," which the quarry's project manager addresses in general terms.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include Realty Specialist (Bakersfield), Natural Resource Specialist (Hollister), Supervisory Fire Management Officer (Redding), Preserve Manager (Folsom), and much more!


close-up of Mike Ferguson"BLM Director Appoints Mike Ferguson as Assistant Director for Business and Fiscal Resources" (BLM national news release, 08/28/06)
Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke announced the appointment of Mike Ferguson as assistant director for business and fiscal Resources. A native Californian from the San Francisco Bay Area and 1973 Humboldt State University graduate, he has worked in state and field offices in northern California and the Eastern Sierra, among other locations.

"Thieves and Vandals Put a National Gem at Risk" (Los Angeles Times, 08/28/06)
At many federally managed cultural sites, damage is widespread, from casual pilfering by arrowhead collectors to excavating by professional thieves. Some haul power tools into canyons to cut out rock art panels. In a 2003 study of cultural and fossil resources on public land, the BLM reported that "increasing visitation to public lands is resulting in both intentional and inadvertent damage to these resources from collection, vandalism, surface disturbance…. Remote areas, once protected by their distance from populated areas, are now within easy reach of the hardy and well-equipped hiker, off-highway-vehicle user, and urban and suburban resident.",0,712113,full.story?coll=la-home-nation



Santa Rosa/San Jacinto Monument Advisory Committee meeting, September 9
Advisory meeting begin at 9:00 am, Public comment period is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am.  All meetings are open to the public.

There's a National Monument in Your Backyard, September 14
Take a photographic journey of the magnificent landscape, plants, animals, and places to visit in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Free.

Piedras Blancas Light Station Public Tour, September 16

The Piedras Blancas Light Station near Hearst Castle in San Luis Obispo County is continuing monthly tours of the historic lighthouse grounds in 2006.


g. you don’t call them any of these - red foxes are solitary.
SOURCE: "Life History Notes: Red Fox Vulpes vulpes" (Ohio Department of Natural Resources)

RELATED: "(Non-native) red fox" (California Department of Fish and Game, Habitat Conservation Planning Branch)
"Non-native red foxes pose a documented threat to many vulnerable species and ecosystems because they are so highly adaptable and are such adept hunters....Though it looks similar, it should not be confused with the native Sierra Nevada red fox, a threatened species found only in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Non-native red foxes were introduced decades ago for fox hunting and fur farming."

RELATED: "Introduced red fox in California" (California Department of Fish and Game website)
In California, the non-native red fox is considered a threat to native Sierra red fox. This 74-page report done in 1993 includes a variety of information.
PDF file, 74 pages, 1 megabyte):

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
CA 95825
(916) 978-4600

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