A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 249 - 9/19/06

Chino Canyon - Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy close-up of a black salamander (Thumbnail from a photo Copyright © 2006 Henk Wallays, from AmphibiaWeb) National Public Lands Day logo Jason Williams and Robo - Employee Profile Tamarisk or saltcedar - Weed of the Week

- Spotlight on Partners: Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy
- National Public Lands Day - next week
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Energy
- Wildfires
- Headlines and highlights: Illegal dumping, timber poaching, jobs, Eastern Sierra, more
- Employee profile
- Calendar: selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Listening

Chino Canyon - Coachella Valley Mountains ConservancySPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy
"The beauty of the natural environment has made the Coachella Valley an extremely popular tourist destination and a desirable place to live,” says one of the Conservancy’s governing board members. That makes it both more of a challenge, and more important, to work with the BLM and the national monument to preserve "the wonders and mysteries of our desert and mountains."

National Public Lands Day logoNATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY... the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands American’s enjoy. Join us Saturday, September 30, 2006 for the 13th annual National Public Lands Day and help us care for the land.

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.

RELATED: "Helping hands needed for Public Lands Day on American River" (BLM California news release, 9/15/06)

National Public Lands Day events in California (
Includes BLM-sponsored events, and many others.


close-up of a black salamander (Thumbnail from a photo Copyright © 2006 Henk Wallays, from AmphibiaWeb)

What do Black Salamander females do with their eggs after they are laid?
a. they lay them in a well-hidden location -- then abandon them to fend for themselves once they hatch
b. the female will guard her eggs
c. the female carries them in a pouch on her back
d. the Black Salamander has live young - so she does nothing with eggs
e. she rushes to put them on waiting lists for only the best private preschools
(Thumbnail from a photo Copyright © 2006 Henk Wallays, from AmphibiaWeb)
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Tamarisk or saltcedar - Weed of the WeekWEED OF THE WEEK: Saltcedar/Tamarisk...
...grows throughout the desert Southwest, mostly along waterways, interrupting natural habitats. Its aggressive root system uses much ground water, often to the detriment of other species. This plant grows five to 20 feet tall.

RELATED: "Tamarisk, other invaders tangle with native desert plants giving root to a bundle of trouble" (Victorville Daily Press, 9/17/06)
"They provide tinder for fires and obstruct waterways, causing flooding. They drop their roots deep into the ground, stealing water and lowering the water table, forcing out native desert plants. The worst weeds in the High Desert threaten to change the landscape forever....The Bureau of Land Management and the Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District both have programs to remove the intruding weeds....Both programs face challenges in obtaining funding, however...."

RELATED: "Least wanted: saltcedar" (Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group)
"Saltcedar disrupts the structure and stability of native plant communities and degrades native wildlife habitat by outcompeting and replacing native plant species, monopolizing limited sources of moisture, and increasing the frequency, intensity and effect of fires and floods." Includes more information, photos and maps of saltcedar's distribution across the U.S.


"Oil, gas leases sold" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/14/06)
"The federal Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday auctioned off five oil and gas leases near Taft for $1.5 million -- a record for a BLM auction in California. The 10-year leases, covering some 2,500 acres in the former Naval Petroleum Reserve-2...received 14 bids at the auction, which took place in Bakersfield. It was the first time in 80 years that leases for those parcels have been offered."

RELATED: "BLM oil and gas lease auction tops $1.5 million" (BLM California news release, 9/13/06)
Five oil and gas lease parcels in the former Naval Petroleum Reserve-2 (the Buena Vista Field) were auctioned for a record total of $1,582,211 by the Bureau of Land Management's Bakersfield Field Office.

"Stalled lease deal may come back for rebid" (Pacific Business Times, 9/15/06)
"An 11th hour decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to cancel the sale of more than 10,000 acres of mineral rights in the Los Padres National Forest may have spoiled the hopes of an Ojai gas prospector, but also strengthened the position of rural land owners in the forest."
Note: it has been pointed out to the reporter that the lands in question are not within the Carrizo Plain National Monument, the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, or the Los Padres National Forest.

"BLM approves right-of-way for desert southwest power line project" (BLM California news release, 9/15/06)
BLM's Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, has approved a right-of-way for the construction of Imperial Irrigation District's desert southwest electrical transmission line, which will cross public lands between Blythe, California and the western end of Coachella Valley.

"Review begins for Powerlink project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/14/06)
Outside a public meeting in Ramona, a woman "wearing a Big Bad Wolf Mask and a hat labeled SDG&E, passed out anti-Sunrise Powerlink leaflets to hundreds of people. Inside the center were representatives of the California Public Utilities Commission, the state agency that will one day, perhaps in a year, perhaps longer, decide whether to allow construction of the Powerlink -- a 150-mile-long, $1.3 billion electric transmission line that SDG&E contends is vital to ensure San Diego will have enough energy come the year 2010." Parts of the proposed route would require rights-of-way permits from the BLM.

RELATED: "State says power line would 'forever change' Anza-Borrego" (North County Times, 9/12/06)
"[S]tate park officials are calling on a regulatory body to direct San Diego Gas & Electric Co., the company proposing to build the power line, to look for another alternative route that would run south of California's largest state park, which covers much of eastern San Diego County."

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: "She’s on SDG&E’s trail" (San Diego Citybeat, 9/13/06)
"Environmentalist Kelly Fuller makes her case against the Sunrise Powerlink."


"When day turns to night" (Bakersfield Californian, 9/18/06)
One of the wildfires currently burning in California, keeping firefighters including BLM's busy: "The Day fire continued to rage Monday, burning up more than 80,000 acres and bringing a contingent of more than 2,000 firefighters to the area." Links to more than two dozen photos of the firefighting efforts.

"Battling 2-week inferno" (Santa Clarita Signal, 9/19/06)
"Hot, gusty winds helped the spread of a wildfire that has been raging northwest of Santa Clarita since Labor Day, and by Monday had charred more than 70,000 acres of wilderness."

"Current wildland fire information" (National Interagency Fire Center)
California was reporting more than half a dozen large fires, involving firefighters including BLM's. Information on this website is updated daily during wildfire season.

"California condor hatchling is at risk as wildfire doubles in size" (Los Angeles Times, 9/19/06)
"Wildlife biologists Monday were hopeful that a California condor hatchling last seen nesting in a cave in Los Padres National Forest above Fillmore has survived a wildfire that so far has consumed about 74,000 acres." Includes a roundup of progress fighting other Southern California wildfires.
(Free registration required.),1,4861283,full.story?coll=la-headlines-california


"BLM releases draft Sierra Management Plan" (BLM California news release, 9/15/06)
"When final, the Sierra RMP will provide direction and guidance for more than 230,000 acres of public land located primarily in nine central California counties including Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Tuolumne and Yuba counties," said Bill Haigh, manager of the Folsom Field Office, which manages the public land. The plan is now available for public comment, and public meetings have been scheduled.

"Eastern Sierra interagency land adjustment website available" (BLM California news release, 9/15/06)
An interagency group that recently inventoried federal, state, and city lands potentially available for disposal in Mono and northern Inyo counties has launched a website containing the inventory database and information about the participating agencies' land disposal programs.

"BLM Northeast California Advisory Council to meet in Cedarville" (BLM California news release, 9/15/06)
The council will discuss development of draft resource management plans for public land in the region, when they hold a field tour and meeting Thursday and Friday, Sept. 21-22.

"Illegal dumping's heavy toll" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 9/15/06)
"They rise from the American landscape from sea to shining sea, but they're not purple mountains. They're heaping mounds of yard waste, car parts, furniture, appliances and household trash dumped illegally in this nation's deserts, mountain ranges and stream beds. And they're piling up across the American West, where burgeoning cities from Palm Springs to Boise, Idaho, spill into once pristine landscapes....across the west the BLM has reported 6,482 illegal dump sites since 2000 plus another 607 hazardous material cleanups. The figures don't include rampant dumping on private land...."

"BLM Field Office moves into new building in Needles" (Needles Desert Star, 9/14/06)
"The Needles Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management has finally moved into its new office building on Highway 95 south of town and is open for business. Although it took over two years from design to finish, the state-of-the-art facility is something of which the entire area can be proud."

"City rallies for support against Cemex" (Santa Clarita Signal, 9/16/06)
"At the recent League of California Cities' 108th annual conference, several city officials expressed support for Santa Clarita's ongoing fight to stop a mine that would operate about a mile from some Canyon Country homes....Mexico-based Cemex Inc. has plans to begin operating a 69-million ton sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon in 2008." BLM approved the mine in 2000.

"Bighorn vs. domestic sheep in showdown over Sierra grazing" (Associated Press in Las Vegas Sun, 9/16/06)
"Environmentalists are hailing a Forest Service decision to suspend livestock grazing in parts of the eastern Sierra to help protect endangered bighorn sheep as a prime example of how the Endangered Species Act can be used successfully to bring wildlife back from the brink of extinction. But a national ranching organization and other critics say the one-year ban has only postponed an inevitable showdown over whether federal land managers will side with wildlife or with the ranching families who have worked the high country range along the California-Nevada line for more than a century."

"Timber poachers; Fighting back: Park managers are cracking down on thieves stealing old-growth redwood logs" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/17/06)
"California's ancient redwood forests have survived fires, logging and disease. Now they face a growing threat from poachers who steal downed old-growth redwood trees in ever-larger numbers, scarring the land and robbing the forest of a vital part of its ecology for the sake of a few thousand dollars....Statistics are spotty, but federal officials said such thefts are a problem within each of the country's 385 national parks and on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)

Jason Williams and Robo - Employee ProfileEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Jason Williams...
...checks on adopted wild horses and burros to make sure they are being cared for by the adopter before issuing title to the animals. His Profile compares him to the onscreen persona of Gary Cooper. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.

Unless otherwise noted, find out more about these events on the BLM California website at:

BLM Northeast California Resource Advisory Council meeting - Sept. 21-22
Meeting in Cedarville, plus field tour. The RAC will discuss development of draft resource management plans for public land in the region. (news release)

Ridgecrest Steering Committee meeting - Sept. 28
The public is invited to attend this information sharing meeting. Common topics include land use planning, recreation, wild horse and burros, and more. 

Horse and burro adoption, Eureka - Sept. 30-Oct. 1
(news release)


"Federal policymakers get an earful on endangered species" (Redding Record Searchlight, 9/14/06)
Representatives of federal agencies including the Department of the Interior held a public "listening session" in Redding last week, "And listen they did, for more than three hours, as about 60 people said their piece about the environment." The session was "the 14th of 24 scheduled around the country in August and September.",2232,REDD_17533_4991882,00.html

RELATED: "Cooperative conservation listening sessions: Strengthening shared governance and citizen stewardship"
A southern California listening session is scheduled for Sept. 28 in Colton, California.  These sessions are part of the Administration's Cooperative Conservation Initiative.  More information on this initiative and the listening sessions is available at: /conservation.html

"Henri Bisson named BLM Deputy Director for Operations" (BLM national news release, 9/14/06)
Bisson, currently Alaska State Director, served in the early 1990s as BLM-California's Desert District Manager.  He will assume his new position in early November. He succeeds Larry Benna, who retired the end of August. Bisson will oversee the Bureau’s daily operations with a budget of more than $1.7 billion and more than 9,000 employees.

b. the female will guard her eggs

SOURCE: "Black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus)" (BLM California wildlife database)

RELATED: "Aneides flavipunctatus - Black Salamander, Speckled Black Salamander" (AmphibiaWeb, University of California)
Extensive information, plus 17 copyrighted photos.

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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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