A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 247 - 9/7/06

Alice Rogers - employee profile Mojave Desert poster - from BLM environmental education Western banded gecko - from larger photo by Arizona Dept. of Game and Fish Spanish broom: Weed of the Week  National Public Lands Day logo

- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Coastal lands: Piedras Blancas, Coast Dairies
- National Public Lands Day reminder: volunteers needed
- Pot on public lands
- Headlines and highlights: Powerline, Goldfields, pot gardens, jobs, more
- Employee profile
- National and/or Department of the Interior items



Western banded gecko - from larger photo by Arizona Dept. of Game and Fish

What does a hunting Banded Gecko have in common with a hunting cat?
a. they both make an unusual chittering, meowing noise
b. they both stalk their prey and then coil their muscles for the ambush
c. they would both rather hide using camouflage, then ambush their prey
d. they both slowly wave their tails as they stalk
e. they both have sometimes-unfounded reputations as difficult, fickle, destructive and lazy house pets
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Spanish broom: Weed of the WeekWEED OF THE WEEK: Spanish broom... common in disturbed places from Shasta County south to Butte County, particularly eroding slopes, river banks, road cuts, and abandoned lands. It can colonize chaparral sites after fires.


"Shedding light on history - Costumed guides introduce visitors to 19th-century life at the lighthouse in Piedras Blancas" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 8/31/06)
"Today, guides in authentic late 19th-century costumes greet arriving visitors. If it weren't for the bus, and a guide in Nikes, one could imagine being back in 1876, when Capt. Lorin Thorndyke was named first keeper....Piedras Blancas, which is run by the Bureau of Land Management in partnership with California State Parks and Friends of Piedras Blancas, is still a working lighthouse."

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Lightstation" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office website)

RELATED: "Fed money to aid San Simeon park" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, Sept. 1, 2006)
"Part of grants totaling more than $1 million [from the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program] will help pay off loan on Piedras Blancas Resort site, leading to state takeover....The scenic property is the last privately held half-mile of coastal land in that stretch west of the highway and is considered a critical missing link in the planned California Coastal Trail. The Piedras Blancas Light Station is owned by the Bureau of Land Management, which is restoring the lighthouse and the site."

"Ink barely dry on public's beach takeover: Coast Dairies beaches transferred to state (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 8/30/06)
"After eight years of planning, tinkering and bureaucratic wrangling, the first portion of the 7,000-acre Coast Dairies property is about to fall into the public's hands....the state Department of Parks and Recreation assume[d] control of the 407-acre portion west of Highway 1 -- the seven beaches, rugged cliffs and farmland surrounding the town of Davenport....The Trust for Public Lands will hand over most of the property, roughly 5,700 acres, by the end of the year to the federal Bureau of Land Management."

National Public Lands Day logoNATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY reminder: volunteers needed

Barstow Field Office, Sept. 30 - 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.

Bishop Field Office, two events Sept. 30 and Oct. 6:
Hill Climb, about seven miles south of Bridgeport, and Alabama Hills.

Carrizo Plain National Monument, Sept. 30 - historic El Saucito Ranch:
Clear downed trees, install signs, and delineate a trail to interpret the historical past of El Saucito Ranch and the Carrizo Plain.

Folsom Field Office, Sept. 30 - South Fork American River Public Lands:
Volunteer appreciation items will include T-shirts, posters, snack bars and other items.


"Pot raid results in 2 arrests" (Ukiah Daily Journal, 8/31/06)
"Two men were arrested and 1,979 marijuana plants seized in a raid on an illegal marijuana garden near State Route 20. The garden was found by a citizen who was hunting on his family ranch east of Potter Valley. It consisted of eight different garden plots concealed beneath brush and trees. Members of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team raided the garden with the help of officers from the Bureau of Land Management."

"Forest chief sees pot site" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/29/06)
"[T]he chief of the U.S. Forest Service heard Monday from those at the front lines of the fight against pot growing on public land. They told him how they see the problem getting bigger. Armed confrontations becoming more common. Natural resources being usurped and damaged. People at work and play in the forest at risk....Also working on the issue are the National Park Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as states and counties.",2232,REDD_17533_4953272,00.html

"Pot farms ravaging park lands" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6/06)
"The discovery of 22,740 marijuana plants growing in and around Point Reyes National Seashore last week wasn't only the biggest pot seizure ever made in Marin County. It was an environmental mess that will take several months and tens of thousands of dollars to clean up." Federal officials estimate California "produces half of all the marijuana seized on public lands nationwide."


"BLM, CPUC invite public comment for proposed Sunrise Powerlink project" (BLM California news release, 8/31/06)
The Bureau of Land Management, together with the California Public Utilities Commission, invite public participation in the scoping process for the Sunrise Powerlink project proposed by San Diego Gas and Electric Company.

RELATED: "SDG&E's proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission project" (California Public Utilities Commission)
Includes much information on Sunrise Powerlink, including the amended application, a graph of the proposed power line and a "PUC guide to public participation."

RELATED: "Parks officials question impacts of SDG&E plans" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/7/06)
"For the first time since SDG&E's controversial Sunrise Powerlink was proposed, the California Department of Parks and Recreation has expressed grave concerns about the $1.3 billion transmission line, part of which would run through the heart of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park....The letter is one of hundreds sent to the commission as it prepares to undergo a yearlong review of SDG&E's plans."

RELATED: "Supes oppose Powerlink" (Imperial Valley Press, 9/6/06)
"The county Board of Supervisors opposed the construction of a proposed power line from San Diego to the Valley on Tuesday because of the project’s possible indirect effects on the Valley’s health. The board voted 4-0 to oppose the Sunrise Powerlink being brought forth by San Diego Gas & Electric...."

"BLM voids lease sale of energy rights" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/6/06)
"The Bureau of Land Management has retroactively withdrawn some 10,000 acres from an oil and gas lease sale that took place in June. The agency's Aug. 31 decision voided the sale of energy rights under 11 parcels in or near Kern County. Environmentalists see this as a victory, but the agency plans to redraft environmental documents and hold another auction...."


"BLM approves lease for Yuba Goldfields Training Center" (BLM California news release, 8/31/06)
The BLM has issued a decision approving a 20-year lease of 57 acres of public lands in the Yuba Goldfields in western Yuba County to the Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, to establish a heavy equipment operator training center.

RELATED: "BLM OKs facility in goldfields" (Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 9/1/06)
"The Bureau of Land Management said Thursday it will lease nearly 60 acres in the Yuba Goldfields to a union training committee for a heavy equipment training center."

"Fans of Jedediah Smith to hold Fall Rendezvous" (Redding Record Searchlight, 9/6/06)
"Fans of 19th-century trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith will converge in Redding this weekend to celebrate his 1828 trek across what would become southwest Shasta County. The Sacramento-based Jedediah Smith Society will hold its annual Fall Rendezvous Friday through Sunday." On a field trip, "The group will hike a newly constructed 1½-mile trail across Bureau of Land Management land to 'Jed's Overlook'.",2232,REDD_17533_4971660,00.html

"Dirty stream ready to get a scrubbing" (Redding Record Searchlight, 8/31/06)
"A coalition of service clubs, watershed groups, state agencies and local governments hopes to mobilize about 1,000 volunteers to clean Churn Creek from top to bottom on Sept. 16....people have dumped box springs, mattresses, refrigerators, pipes, sofas, bicycles, televisions, shopping carts and tires onto the creek banks. Three cars rust in the creek...The Department of Fish and Game and the Bureau of Land Management will pull the cars out.",2232,REDD_17533_4958336,00.html

Close-up of puncturevine"BLM, land trust experts seek help battling puncturevine" (BLM California news release, 9/1/06)
It's just a tiny seed, but its thorny points can flatten a bike tire in minutes, ending an enjoyable outing on the trails in and around Susanville. Experts at the Bureau of Land Management and the Lassen Land and Trails Trust are hopeful, however, that a concerted effort by walkers and bike riders can greatly reduce the problem.

RELATED: "Weed of the Week" from News.bytes issue 235:
Puncturevine is familiar to many California mountain bikers, whose tires may go flat soon after running over it. This Mediterranean native is also toxic to livestock, and can damage a dog's pads. Puncture vine is scattered throughout northeastern California and northwestern Nevada.

RELATED: "Puncture vine - fact sheet" (University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension)
Printable fact sheet and "Wanted Poster" for this weed.
PDF file, 165 kilobytes:

"BLM seeks bids for two new pasture facilities in West to care for and maintain wild horses and burros" (National BLM news release, 8/29/06)
As part of its responsibility to manage, protect, and control wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting bids for two new pasture facilities located west of the Mississippi River.

"Trona's community forum to be held September 12" (Ridgecrest Daily Independent, 9/1/06)
"[T]he San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department will host a Community Forum regarding off-highway vehicle enforcement issues in the Trona and Red Mountain areas....'We want to give folks a chance to learn the rules and ask questions before we start actively writing tickets for violations and towing vehicles. We don't want any surprises,' said Cpl. Tim Lotspeich of the Trona Sheriff's station....Representatives of the Bureau of Land Management will be on hand to explain rules and regulations concerning riding on federal lands."

"Biologist charged with destroying plants" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6/06)
"The Los Angeles City Attorney's office says the former park supervisor cut down non-native plants in one of the largest coastal wetlands in Southern California, killing a ficus tree and myoporum shrubs." The former BLM employee had been arrested in 1997 in connection with the with cutting and killing of eucalyptus trees in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, managed by the BLM.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include Preserve manager, outdoor recreation planner, administrative officer and more.

Alice Rogers - employee profileEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Alice Rogers...
...reported to BLM in June, to become the staff assistant for California's Fire & Aviation Branch. She is providing much-needed support to the fire staff as well as the Resources and Support Services divisions. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"Opposition dooms sale of forest land" (Los Angeles Times, 9/2/06)
"A Bush administration proposal to sell 300,000 acres of national forest land — a quarter of it in California — to raise money for rural counties has been shelved amid widespread opposition....Also dead is an accompanying administration proposal to require the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the federal government's largest landowner, to dramatically boost its land sales to raise $350 million over the next decade."
(Free registration required.),1,1768706.story


Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee meeting, Sept. 9 (news release)

NPR-2 Oil and gas lease auction, Sept. 13

There's a national monument in your backyard, Sept. 14 and 18

Piedras Blancas Lightstation public tour, Sept. 16

Horses, burros available for adoption in Eureka, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 (news release)

d. they both will slowly wave their tails as they stalk

RELATED:"San Diego banded gecko; Coleonyx variegatus abbotti" (Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan)
More information, photos, and more reference sources.

Mojave Desert poster - from BLM environmental education"Environmental education - Mojave Desert poster" (BLM national website)
BLM's educational Mojave Desert poster shows a number of plants and animals - including a western banded gecko clinging to a rock near a flowering creosote branch.

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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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