A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 264 - 1/18/07

small screenshot of BLM California's new Web homepage Employee Profile: Cynthia Ice-Bones A desert bighorn seeks water in a volunteer-built BLM realty specialist Claude Kirby's talk was inspired by the many wind turbines near Palm Springs desert bighorn sheep graze in southern California mountain areas

- BLM website: New look
- Video: 60 years of BLM history, part 8
- Spotlight on partners: Desert Wildlife Unlimited
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia question of the week
- More wildlife: Desert tortoise
- Carrizo Plain National Monument 6th birthday
- Volunteers
- BLM jobs
- Headlines and highlights: Movie winner, weed warriors, burro removal, more
- Employee profile
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: New federal recreation pass

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

small screenshot of BLM California's new Web homepageBLM announces new website organization and design
To help constituents find the information they need across the Bureau of Land Management's websites -- no matter which state they are in -- the BLM has standardized navigation and "look and feel" of its websites across the U.S. Some BLM California web pages may retain the old look until the change is completed, and some links may break during the process. Please be patient as we work out the "bugs" in the new system -- and explore our new website at:

History of the Bureau of Land Management - introductory slideBLM celebrates 60 years: Part 8: "BLM evolves"
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 eighth in a series of video slide shows revealing BLM's history.
Video - broadband:
Video - dial-up:

A desert bighorn seeks water in a volunteer-built SPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: Desert Wildlife Unlimited
Survival in the desert, particularly for wildlife such as bighorn sheep, often depends on the availability of water. In the California Desert, wildlife have strong advocate in one of BLM’s longest-term partners, Desert Wildlife Unlimited.


desert bighorn sheep graze in southern California mountain areas
From a photo by Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences

Besides lack of water, which of these is one of the main reasons for the decline in the Desert Bighorn Sheep population?
a. Hoof and mouth disease
b. West Nile disease transmitted from birds
c. Pneumonia transmitted from domestic sheep
d. Competition from Little Bighorn sheep
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

MORE WILDLIFE: Desert tortoise

a desert tortoise crawls across the sand"Crawling to safety" (San Bernardino Sun, 1/10/07)
"They're snug in their burrows for the winter, but come spring, scores of desert tortoises will be picked up and moved to new homes. After nearly two decades of controversy, often dubbed 'the tortoise vs. the tank,' the Army got permission in 2000 to expand its training grounds at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, north of Barstow. But that was contingent on making sure the tortoise had a chance to survive." The BLM worked on planning and environmental impact statements for the expansion.

RELATED: "Dogs recruited to sniff out tortoises" (San Bernardino Sun, 1/10/07)
"Currently, the only way to survey for tortoises is to lay out a grid on the desert floor and tramp among the cactus and scrub trying to find the reclusive critters. 'It's very labor-intensive and takes a lot of time,' said Mary Cablk, associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev. So for the past couple of years, Cablk has been working with dogs that normally sniff out explosives, drugs or cadavers to see if they can help survey for tortoises."


"Carrizo a walk on wild side" (San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 1/17/07)
"The newest national monument in California is stark, lonely, devoid of trees, dusty and may be one of the most mystifying places in the northern reaches of Southern California. The Carrizo Plain National Monument...periodically roars to life, is a sacred site for the Chumash Indians, draws a diverse wildlife population, including being a stop on the Pacific Flyway, is a mecca for spring flowers and can be ungodly hot in the summer and below freezing in the winter. The 250,000-acre monument celebrates its sixth birthday today....It might be the loneliest national monument located near urban areas."

"Taft may become the 'Gateway to Carrizo'" (The Midway Driller, 1/16/07)
"The Taft City Council will consider endorsing a plan for the Taft District Chamber of Commerce to host a visitor's center for the Carrizo Plain National Monument.... working towards a memorandum of understanding between the city, the chamber of commerce and the Federal Bureau of land management, which administers the monument."

RELATED: "Carrizo Plain National Monument"
The plain is home to diverse communities of wildlife and plant species, is an area culturally important to Native Americans, and is traversed by the San Andreas fault, which has created and moved mountain ranges, carved valleys and is marked by a subtle alignment of ridges, ravines and pools.


BLM realty specialist Claude Kirby's talk was inspired by the many wind turbines near Palm Springs"Learning about wind energy on public lands" (News.bytes Extra)
In response to all the curiosity generated by the giant wind turbines in the Palm Springs vicinity, the Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office recently offered a wind energy talk as part of their ongoing series of environmental programs.

"Steamy industry may clear the air" (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/14/07)
"Geothermal energy producers try to develop more plants -- and more public awareness." Says one worker: "'Everybody knows what a solar cell is. Even hydroelectric dams. People don't know what geothermal is.' California's small geothermal industry hopes to change that....Like any kind of energy, geothermal has its drawbacks." BLM is involved in the geothermal leases at the Geysers and in environmental reviews of proposed geothermal plants at Medicine Lake.


"Riders clean up dunes" (Imperial Valley Press, 1/14/07)
"At Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, the weekend before Martin Luther King Day has been the occasion for a large clean-up event for a decade now....Cathy Kennerson, Chief Executive Officer of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce, said about 1,000 people participated in the clean-up, a relatively low turnout she blamed on the high winds and icy temperature on Saturday. She said riders were eager to help out and brought in bags of trash as well as box springs, mufflers, and car batteries."

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California website)
The Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in California.  This dune system extends for more than 40 miles along the eastern edge of the Imperial Valley agricultural region in a band averaging five miles in width. BLM manages off-road as well as wilderness areas in the Imperial Sand Dunes.

"Volunteers needed for cleanup of Colfax shooting area" (BLM California news release, 1/16/07)
The BLM is looking for volunteers to help clean up trash at the Colfax shooting area off Carpenter Road near Interstate 80 on Saturday, January 20, 2007, beginning at 10:00 a.m. All persons wishing to help should dress for the weather, and bring work gloves.

RELATED: "Colfax cleanup" (Colfax Record, 1/18/07)
"A handful of volunteers early Wednesday afternoon cleared mildewed mattresses, shot-up auto body parts, and assorted garbage strewn beside Carpenter Road, the road that leads to the Colfax shooting area. After seeing a recent TV news story about the U.S. Bureau of Land Management possibly closing the area because of the large amount of dumped trash, Jim Hickey...decided to organize the clean-up." The BLM is looking for more volunteers for Saturday.


"BLM announces openings for summer 'weed warrior' jobs" (BLM California news release, 1/14/07)
Summer job openings: "Weed warriors" will work to combat the spread of invasive and noxious weeds on public land in northeast California and far northwest Nevada. Three BLM field offices plan to fill nine positions for a work season that begins in mid May and runs for up to six months. The agency expects to fill five jobs in Susanville and two each in Alturas and Cedarville locations. Applications must be filed via the internet by Friday, Feb. 23.

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include human resources assistant, biological science technician (plants), wildlife biologist, administrative officer, dispatcher, administrative technician, range technician, firefighting jobs, student trainees and more.


"'Letters' crew mines southern Cal locales" (The Hollywood Reporter, 1/17/07)
"While most of the battle scenes in 'Flags of Our Fathers' were shot in Iceland, Clint Eastwood's companion piece, 'Letters From Iwo Jima,' was strictly a Southern California operation....The filmmakers also used the Calico Ghost Town and its mine in the Calico Mountains....Because the mines are on public land and are environmentally sensitive, Beimler and his assistant Linda Kai had to negotiate with the Bureau of Land Management to acquire the permission to shoot battle scenes with real explosions."

"Decision record signed for wild burro removal" (BLM California news release, 1/16/07)
The BLM has signed a Decision Record to remove an estimated 100-150 burros from public lands administered by BLM in the former Clark Mountain Herd Area just north of Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County. In an amendment to the California Desert Plan covering the Northern and Eastern Mojave Desert approved in 2002, BLM eliminated the Clark Mountain Herd Management Area to provide for the recovery of the threatened desert tortoise within the designated Ivanpah Desert Wildlife Management Area.

"BLM names manager for Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM California news release, 1/14/07)
Kathy Stangl, a Bureau of Land Management professional with experience in resource management and administration, has been named manager of the agency's Headwaters Forest Reserve on California's North Coast.

RELATED: "Headwaters Forest Reserve" (BLM California website)
The Headwaters Forest Reserve is 7,500 acres of public land located 6 miles southeast of Eureka. The reserve is set aside to protect and preserve the ecological and wildlife values in the area, particularly the stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon.

"Truce near in Cemex standoff?" (Los Angeles Daily News, 1/12/07)
"The city's tenacious fight against Cemex's planned aggregate mine in Soledad Canyon - which included legal skirmishes and a public relations war - may yield a truce this year.... In 1990, the Bureau of Land Management awarded Transit Mixed Concrete Co. a mining contract for 20 years in return for $28 million in royalties; Cemex later bought TMC and inherited the leases in 2000."

"SDG&E to ask for access to backcountry for transmission line construction" (North County Times, 1/9/07)
"San Diego Gas & Electric Co. will ask a judge this week to grant it access to various North County backcountry properties so it can prepare for the possible construction of a controversial 500-kilovolt transmission line, it was reported today. The property owners have so far denied SDG&E access and will contest the request at a hearing...." BLM is involved in rights-of-way permits along proposed route.

"2 sites show campus promise" (Los Angeles Daily News, 1/15/07)
"Backers of an effort to bring a four-year California State University campus to the Antelope Valley said they have two possible sites for a main campus and an offer of land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that might be suitable for a satellite research facility for a university. Securing a large chunk of donated land is considered a key step in trying to establish a campus."

Employee Profile: Cynthia Ice-BonesEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Cynthia Ice-Bones...
...serves in BLM California's state office, as an equal opportunity employment specialist with primary responsibilities for managing BLM's discrimination complaints program.  Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.


"New interagency pass program will help public enjoy enhanced recreation sites on public lands" (Department of the Interior news release, 12/5/06)
The new pass, authorized by the Congress in 2004, 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. Access to most public lands remains free. The pass applies to those locations that currently have entrance or standard amenity fees.

RELATED: "Federal recreation pass programs" (
The new passes are on sale this month. This page summarizes the types of passes available, who and what they are for, and more information.

c. Pneumonia transmitted from domestic sheep.

SOURCE: "Desert Bighorn Sheep - Ovis canadensis nelsoni" (BLM California wildlife database)
The desert bighorn sheep population has declined over the years. One factor that has contributed to this is pneumonia, which has spread from domestic sheep to wild bighorn sheep. The bighorn sheep cannot fight off this disease as easily as the domesticated sheep can. Other factors include other diseases, increased mountain lion predation, and drought.

RELATED: "Nelson Bighorn Sheep" (BLM California website)
Species account with more detailed information, plus references.
PDF file, 40 kilobytes, nine pages:

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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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