A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 260 - 12/12/06

Workers lay railroad ties along a stretch of early Western rail line Bobcat looking to the side Historic photo of Piedras Blancas Lightstaion, about 1936 Planning prescribed burns at Fort Ord A herd of tule elk streak across the Carrizo Plain. (follow San Luis Obispo Tribune link for the photo slideshow

- 60 years of the BLM: part 4, "The Railroad Era"
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
      - Weed of the week
- Carrizo Plain National Monument
- Headlines and highlights: Mining heritage park, burros, cleanup, jobs, more
- Santa Clarita sand and gravel mine
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: New interagency recreation pass

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

"Beyond the Brochure" graphicWorkers lay railroad ties along a stretch of early Western rail lineBLM celebrates 60 years
Part 4: "The Railroad Era"

Created by Congress in 1946, BLM's roots go back to 1812 and the General Land Office -- and even further back to the creation of the United States. Join us for this fourth in a series of video slide shows revealing BLM's history.

Video - broadband:
Video - dial-up:


Bobcat looking to the side

What predators most commonly prey on Bobcats?
(a.) bears
(b.) wolves and feral dogs
(c.) foxes and owls
(d.) mountain lions or pumas or cougars
(e.) pythons
(f.) The much-dreaded Mediaboorish TomKat
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A herd of tule elk streak across the Carrizo Plain. (follow San Luis Obispo Tribune link for the photo slideshow"Tracking elk recovery on the Carrizo Plain" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/12/06)
"Tule elk disappeared from the Carrizo Plain more than 100 years ago. After being reintroduced to the area in the 1980s, the population is now up to 800 animals and is one of [ State Fish and Game biologist Bob] Stafford's successful recovery stories. Now Stafford wants to fill the remaining 'holes of information.'" Links to a slideshow of almost a dozen photos.

"Carrizo advisory committee plans January meeting" (BLM California news release, 12/6/06)
The Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee will meet January 27, 2007, at the Carrisa Elementary School to discuss management planning for the monument and other issues.

"Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee members" (BLM California website)
Management partners are the Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Game, and The Nature Conservancy.


"Guild will lease BLM park" (Redding Record Searchlight, 12/12/06)
" What started as a search for a new venue for its annual art fair 15 years ago, ended with a federal lease signed by the Shasta Service Guild on Monday that gives it 61 acres along Middle Creek Road to build a park that will chronicle the mining heritage of the former Shasta County seat....After three years, the guild will be able to buy the land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, as long as it's meeting its goals, Redding field office manager Steve Anderson said.",2232,REDD_17533_5208029,00.html

"Barge Hole pretty again" (Red Bluff Daily News, 12/9/06)
"It took a couple of weeks and multiple agencies, but Barge Hole is once again a pristine site for fishing and boating in the Sacramento River near Battle Creek. Barge Hole has been a site for abandoned vehicles, refrigerators, transients, trash and other waste since the state created a road to the river off Jellys Ferry Road....So last month, several public agencies including the Department of Fish and Game, the Bureau of Land Management worked with the State Lands Commission to clean up the popular site. The group also worked to inhibit future dumping in the area."

"Roundup opposed" (San Bernardino County Sun, 12/12/06)
Hesperia couple "are among a group of animal-rights advocates opposing a plan by a federal agency to capture as many as 150 burros in a proposed helicopter-assisted roundup Jan. 19. The plan is to put the burros up for adoption as pets. Three federal agencies are involved in the decision to remove the burros from land controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management: the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the BLM." The burros "are banned from the national parks because they are not native and compete with native creatures for survival. Fish and Wildlife says they compete with the endangered desert tortoise."

RELATED: "BLM plans town hall meeting on pending wild burro capture" (BLM California news release, 12/4/06)
BLM's Needles Field Office will hold a Town Hall meeting to present information on the roundup of wild burros in the Clark Mountain herd area scheduled for January 19, 2007. The meeting will be Wednesday, December 13 at the BLM Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, in Barstow, beginning at 6:00 pm. BLM wild horse and burro specialists will explain the BLM's plans to gather the burros as well as answer questions.

Planning prescribed burns at Fort Ord"Prescribed burns at Fort Ord" (News.bytes Extra)
Military ordnance and fire are literally an explosive combination. Place them on the Central California Coast and they also become politically explosive. With that in mind, Bureau of Land Management managers at Fort Ord are working to address public concerns while still using prescribed burns for resource management.

"Building a better desert" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 12/12/06)
"Freshmen and sophomore girls from Desert Mirage High School in Thermal joined...twentysomethings who work for the Student Conservation the northwest corner of San Bernardino County, for a weekend of desert restoration....SCA is a national nonprofit organization that places high school and college-age people out in the wilderness across the country to do conservation work. In Barstow, the Bureau of Land Management contracts the SCA crew to maintain many of the off highway vehicle areas in the Mojave Desert."

"BLM extends comment period for Furnace Creek Road" (BLM California news release, 12/7/06)
The BLM has extended the comment period from December 11, 2006 to January 15, 2007 on a notice of intent to prepare a proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area plan for the long-term management of a 3.7 mile-long portion of the Furnace Creek Road.

" Marijuana a problem on private lands" (The Hollister Pinnacle)
"San Benito County ranchers have been plagued by a new pest they can't combat with traditional methods. The pest moves in, wreaks havoc on their land by destroying natural resources, kills wildlife and often endangers the lives of ranchers and their families. The pest is not an invasive weed, a new weevil or an insect. It is marijuana and the farmers who grow it." The problem spans BLM-managed public lands and private lands.

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

Current job listings include:
"Needles Field Manager"
(Open to current federal employees, those with reinstatement rights, or others as specified in this job announcement.)


"Policy affects mining" (The Santa Clarita Signal, 12/6/06)
"The city's Planning Commission has recommended the City Council make changes to the city's General Plan to add mineral resource management policies that would affect mining in Santa Clarita....However, an attorney representing Mexico-based Cemex Inc. argues that the city's effort to alter the General Plan is another attempt to oppose Cemex's hotly-contested 69-million-ton sand and gravel mining project in Soledad Canyon, slated to begin in 2008." BLM issued Cemex a permit in 2000.

"City lobbies Washington to stop mine" (The Santa Clarita Signal, 12/6/06)
"City officials were set to return home Tuesday after a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. with halting the planned Cemex sand and gravel mine a top agenda item. 'This one was all Cemex all the time, this trip,'" a city spokeswoman said.

"Feinstein to back city on Cemex fight" (Santa Clarita Signal, 12/7/06)
"One of California's two U.S. Senators has gotten involved in the ongoing issue regarding a planned mine in Soledad Canyon."

"City's anti-Cemex tab $7.7 million" (Santa Clarita Signal, 12/10/06)
"Since 1999, the city of Santa Clarita has spent nearly $8 million fighting the sand and gravel mine Cemex Inc. has planned on setting up in Soledad Canyon - with roughly half of that total being spent on legal services."

"The long reach of a global giant" (The Santa Clarita Signal, 12/11/06)
"It was Cemex's acquisition of Southdown in 2000 that led to the corporation's frequent appearance in the local press. Included in that acquisition were mining rights granted by the federal Bureau of Land Management, for the several hundred acres in Soledad Canyon."

"First bill by Smyth on Cemex" (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/8/06)
"Assembly Bill 47 has yet to be written but the former Santa Clarita city councilman wanted it to get on the list of measures to be considered, and he will provide the content by the time hearings are scheduled."

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

Dec. 13: There's a monument in your backyard!
Thousand Palms Library

Historic photo of Piedras Blancas Lightstaion, about 1936Dec. 16 - Piedras Blancas Lightstation public tour
San Luis Obispo County

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Lightstation" (BLM Bakersfield Field Office)
Piedras Blancas is located on California's central coast, just north of San Simeon. The Bureau of Land Management is committed to a community-based partnership in restoring and managing this historic resource.


"New interagency pass program will help public enjoy enhanced recreation sites on public lands" (Department of the Interior/U.S. Forest Service news release, 12/5/06)
The new pass combines the benefits of existing recreation passes from five federal agencies into one comprehensive pass, the "America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass"” The new pass covers recreation opportunities on public lands managed by four Department of the Interior agencies – the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation, and by the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.

(c.) foxes and owls

SOURCE: "Bobcat - Lynx rufus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Foxes and owls are common predators of bobcats, but their worst enemies are humans. Bobcats typically die from being struck by automobiles or from being hunted.

RELATED: "Lynx rufus (bobcat)" (University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web)
More information, plus several (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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