A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 262 - 1/4/07

   A Least chipmunk on alert Cowboys tend herds of cattle in the Old West  Tim Dunfee at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail Sunset at Walton Beach, Florida - where BLM helps to protect dunes where sea turtles lay eggs John Scull of the BLM examines trash left at the site

- Virtual Visitor: Eastern States
- 60 years of BLM history, part 6
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Trashing public land recreation?
- Employee profile
- Headlines and highlights: Appointments, renovation, Surprise Canyon, jobs, more
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: BLM director resigns, reorganization, wildfire costs, energy corridors, more

Sunset at Walton Beach, Florida - where BLM helps to protect dunes where sea turtles lay eggsVIRTUAL VISITOR: Eastern States
To celebrate 60 years of public land stewardship, News.bytes invites you to take a virtual tour of public lands in other states. Every few weeks, we plan to help you explore some of the resources special to these states. But it's important to remember that these lands are owned by everyone in the United States, and BLM takes its responsibility to all these shareholders very seriously. This week visit: BLM's Eastern States Region.

"Beyond the Brochure" graphicCowboys tend herds of cattle in the Old WestBLM celebrates 60 years
Part 6: "A Change of Course"

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 sixth in a series of video slide shows revealing BLM's history.
Video - broadband:
Video - dial-up:

A Least chipmunk on alert

What distinction does the Least Chipmunk hold in its family?
(a.) it is the most aggressive of the chipmunks
(b.) it is the least prolific of the chipmunks
(c.) it is the smallest of the chipmunks
(d.) it inhabits the smallest range of any chipmunk
(e.) he was the only one in the family who personally knew Alvin, Simon and Theodore
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


John Scull of the BLM examines trash left at the site"Trash triggers restrictions on BLM land" (Colfax Record, 12/20/06)
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a messy problem on a strip of land known locally as 'The Gun Club'....The discovery of shot-up computer monitors, paint cans and other hazardous as well as non-hazardous materials has prompted the BLM to take action, said BLM Community Planner John Scull..."

FOLLOWUP: "Illegal dumping becomes target concern for shooting area" (Colfax Record, 1/3/07)
"Local groups and individuals who want to help clean up "The Gun Club" shooting area in Colfax can sign up with the...BLM. Two weeks ago, the Colfax Record reported that the informal shooting area on a Bureau of Land Management site located at Carpenter Road near Interstate 80 was filled with debris and dumped equipment, including shot-up computer monitors. As of Saturday, the area was still full of debris."

"Gettin' down and dirty" (Redding Record Searchlight, 1/3/07)
"Boulders lining a trench deep enough to swallow a pickup now flank" a section of road "just south of the Shasta-Tehama county line. Their purpose is to keep people from gunning their four-wheel drive rigs up the bare hill, an environmentally destructive practice that has left the hillside scarred with red-clay ruts. Now, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is trying to figure out how to keep people from going off Spring Branch Road [in another area]...'With it being public land we want the public out there, we just don't want them abusing the land,'" said a natural resource specialist in the BLM's Redding field office.


"Kempthorne announces new appointments to BLM desert advisory council" (BLM California news release, 12/20/06)
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced the appointment of five new members to the Bureau of Land Management's citizen-based California Desert District Advisory Council, which advise the BLM on public land issues.

"Water district's man with vision looks forward -- to retirement " (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/27/06)
"Asked about his achievements, McCollom said he was proud of the dam, but his favorite accomplishment was the creation of the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, which surrounds and protects the reservoir. The district acquired much of the acreage from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management by promising to preserve it for recreation. It is now a popular park for hiking and bicycling."

"Renovation begins at former health spa" (San Bernardino County Sun, 12/27/06)
"Zzyzx - More than three decades have passed since radio evangelist Curtis Howe Springer left this desert oasis and spa....Its cluster of buildings, which Springer opened as a resort with indoor mineral springs and a cross-shaped pool, have weathered the desert wind and heat since the Bureau of Land Management evicted him in 1974, saying he didn't have a valid claim for the property. Deteriorated by time and the elements, the structures are now being shored up."

"Save 'Surprise'" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/25/06)
Editorial: "Environmentalists and off-road enthusiasts agree that Surprise Canyon is a gem of the Mojave Desert. Preserving such beauty is precisely why the state and federal government should keep the canyon road closed to off-roaders." BLM is being sued to reopen it.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include outdoor recreation planner, administrative officer, student trainees and firefighting positions.

Tim Dunfee at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest TrailEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Tim Dunfee...
...provides guidance and oversight to the Palm Springs-South Coast fire zone that encompasses two million acres of BLM-managed public lands in five southern California counties. Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

Jan. 8 - There's a monument in your backyard
Take a photographic journey of the magnificent landscape, plants, animals, and places to visit in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument Visitor Center

Jan. 10 - Wind energy: an illustrated lecture
Experience the giants of Palm Springs as Claude Kirby, BLM Realty Specialist takes you on an armchair adventure through the windmills of the desert.
North Palm Springs, BLM office

Jan. 15 - Nature hike to Indian Portrero
Hike into the Indian Canyons to an area inhabited by the ancestors of today's Cahuilla. Travel through the wolrd's largest palm oasis and climb to a high desert plateau. Well-conditioned and experienced hikers only. Entrance fee.
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument


"BLM reorganization plan sparks wilderness alarm" (Sacramento Bee, 12/23/06)
"The BLM manages about 258 million acres, and among its traditional workload are mining, grazing and timber programs. But it also maintains about 26 million acres under its National Landscape Conservation System. Much of that is in wilderness or national monuments and conservation areas, with more than half the total acreage in California. The proposal would bring under the umbrella of the NLCS a variety of unrelated programs that, on paper, could make it seem as though substantially more money is being spent on conservation when on-the-ground spending is actually shrinking."
(May require free registration.)

RELATED: "Editorial: Protect conservation" (Sacramento Bee, 1/2/07)
"Three weeks after he took office, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne stopped the worst parts of a proposed overhaul of national parks management policies. Now he needs to do the same with a proposed overhaul of the Bureau of Land Management, announced to employees Nov. 30. The BLM manages three times as much public land as the National Park Service."

"Secretary Kempthorne announces resignation of Kathleen Clarke" (Department of the Interior news release, 12/28/06)
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced the resignation of Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke, who is returning to her home state of Utah to rejoin her family. Kempthorne commended Clarke for her strong leadership since she became director in January 2002, successfully enhancing recreational opportunities on BLM lands while at the same time expediting environmentally sensitive domestic energy production on federal lands.

"Environmental study will consider comments on impacts of energy corridors on federal lands in the west" (Bureau of Land Management national news release, 12/19/06)
After receiving hundreds of comments in response to the release of preliminary working maps, the interagency team analyzing potential environmental effects of designating energy corridors in 11 Western States has decided that additional time will be needed to consider these comments as the agencies conduct an environmental review of proposed corridor locations.

"As costs of wildfires grow, so does a question: Who should pay?" (New York Times, 1/2/07)
"Federal land managers say protection of private land at the boundaries of public space -- called the wildland-urban interface -- is the fastest-growing component of the nation’s firefighting budget. In 2003 and 2004, the inspector general’s report estimated, the Forest Service spent at least half a billion dollars, and perhaps as much as a billion, protecting private property in such areas. The trend is similar at the Interior Department, which oversees hundreds of millions of acres of public lands in the West through the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service."
(Free registration required.)

"BLM announces new appointments to national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board" (BLM national news release, 12/20/06)
The nine-member board advises both the BLM and Forest Service on the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangelands.

"BLM Will Implement TLS On All Secure Web Sites February 5, 2007" (BLM national website)
On February 5, 2007 BLM will implement Transport Layer Security (TLS) on all secure web sites. If you do not have TLS 1.0 enable in your browser, you will not be able to access BLM's secure sites. These include the General Land Office records, wild horse and burro internet adoption program, Forms Central and others. Firefox and Internet Explorer 7.0 have TLS automatically enabled. Earlier browsers require you to enable manually.

(c.) it is the smallest of the chipmunks.

SOURCE: "Least chipmunk, Tamias minimus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Least chipmunks live in a wide range of habitats, from coniferous forests to meadows to sagebrush desert. They are able to withstand the heat of the desert because of their size - they are the smallest member of the chipmunk family.

RELATED: "Tamias minimus (least chipmunk)" (University of Michigan, Animal Diversity Web)
More information, and links to a dozen 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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