A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 266 - 1/30/07

BLM California Land Use Planning brochure cliffs at El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico rounding up burros with a helicopter Mickey Bridges - Employee Profile

- Planning brochure available
- Virtual Visitor: BLM New Mexico
- Not for educators only: Wildlife trivia; invasive weeds
- Energy on public lands
- Wild horses and burros
- BLM advisory committees
- Headlines and highlights: Volunteer cleanup, Lost Coast, jobs
- Wildfire prevention
- Employee profile: wildfire fighting

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


BLM California Land Use Planning brochure"Resource Management Plans for California's Public Lands" is a handy 11-page summary, with locator maps, of public lands in California where management plans are being completed or overhauled. Request your copy online at the following link, free while they last:

cliffs at El Malpais National Conservation Area, New MexicoVIRTUAL VISITOR: A tour of BLM-managed lands across the country
Continuing our celebration of the Bureau of Land Management's 60th anniversary as a multiple-use, land management agency: News.bytes invites you to take a virtual tour of your public lands in other states. This week: New Mexico.


From a photo ©2006 Matthew MacManes, courtesy CalPhotos

What do Cactus mice prefer to eat?
(a.) cactus flesh, after gnawing their way through the tough outer layer
(b.) cactus flowers and cactus fruit
(c.) seeds of desert plants
(d.) insects and arthropods
(e.) cactus cheese – and sometimes cactus candy from tourist shops along Historic Route 66
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A stand of tamarisk or saltcedar"To save the West, kill a plant" (SeedMagazine.com, 1/25/07)
"The tamarisk...aggressively obtains water from the soil and groundwater....crowding out native plants along rivers and creeks and reducing wildlife habitat. The species now infests all the major rivers, springs, ditches, and wetlands in ten state -- including Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and California -- and is rapidly expanding into others. In the delicately dry ecosystems of the southwestern United States, that is a serious problem, adding up to over 800 billion gallons of lost water per year across the parched region."

"Saltcedar/tamarisk" (BLM California Bishop Field Office website)
Originally, it was introduced as an ornamental and later used as a streambank stabilization species. In many sites, it forms a pure stand that is almost impenetrable. Few to no plants grow under its canopy, probably because of the high concentrations of salt that builds up in the soil from its accumulated leaf litter and the excretion of salt from glands on the leaves.


BLM California State Director Mike Pool was one signatory to the new SMUD agreement"BLM joins in signing of 'historic' agreement with SMUD" (News.bytes Extra)
After five years of negotiation, BLM and more than a dozen agencies and interests signed what was termed a "historic" agreement to better manage recreation values along the American River near Sacramento while still providing much needed electrical power.

RELATED: "Agreement reached on use of American River between SMUD and sportsmen" (KBFK Newstalk radio)
Audio report: "
"Outdoorsmen, environmentalists and SMUD have come to terms on how the American River will be used over the next 50 years. KFBK's Bob Moffitt has more..."

"Public can weigh in on Sunrise project" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/26/07)
"Residents can comment on the various proposed routes of San Diego Gas & Electric's Sunrise Powerlink project at a series of public meetings early next month....Eight public meetings sponsored by the utilities commission and the federal Bureau of Land Management, called 'scoping' meetings, have been scheduled for the week of Feb. 5. Anyone wishing to comment is encouraged to attend and speak."

RELATED: "PUC to hold meetings on Sunrise Powerlink Project" (North County Times, 1/29/07)
"The California Public Utilities Commission has announced that it will hold a series of public meetings to examine alternatives to a controversial electrical transmission line that San Diego Gas & Electric Co. wants to build through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Ramona to metro San Diego."

RELATED: "SDG&E's Proposed Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project" (California Public Utilities Commission)
Much information about the proposed project.

RELATED: "Estimates for Powerlink dropped by $362 million" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/26/07)
"San Diego Gas & Electric has slashed the estimated savings it says would result from the proposed $1.4 billion Sunrise Powerlink, the controversial transmission line it's seeking to build into the region from Imperial County.... But SDG&E maintains that the Sunrise Powerlink is the best choice to ensure electric reliability and provide access to renewable sources of electric generation that are planned in Imperial County."

RELATED: "Sunrise Powerlink would only provide electric customers a fraction of the savings originally estimated" (North County Times, 1/25/07)
"SDG&E says the reduction resulted from earlier miscalculations about the cost of natural gas and about the efficiency of plants, as well as the erroneous assumption that some power plants would switch from natural gas to oil because of oil's lower cost....[the] vice president of electric for SDG&E, said the utility is still refining its projections and expects to file in a couple of days another revision."

"Protesters gather at Calpine HQ to protest Medicine Lake power plant" (Bay City News at CBS5.com)
Native American and environmental protesters gathered Monday to rally and march to the headquarters of Calpine to protest possible legal action that could lead to the construction of a geothermal power plant near Sacred Medicine Lake, which is located northeast of Mt. Shasta." The BLM and U.S. Forest Service issued permits to the geothermal project.

"Hot rocks: tapping an underutilized renewable resource" (Scientific American, 1/23/07)
"The Geyser -- a geothermal power plant in northern California operated by Calpine -- has been pumping out electricity harvested from steam heated deep within Earth since the 1920s....Tapping this geothermal resource is the subject of a new study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology." BLM's Ukiah Field Office reviews and authorizes geothermal leases at The Geysers, under the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, as amended.


rounding up burros with a helicopter"Burro ouster called environmental necessity" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/26/07)
"The burros, young and old, were driven from their longtime home around Clark Mountain....the burros are not native to the area....burros out-compete tortoises for food, which is especially problematic in years of drought when less vegetation grows. Thus, in a three-day roundup that ended Friday, the [Bureau of Land Management] and its contractors gathered 96 burros and drove them for three hours to Ridgecrest, where they will be put up for adoption." Includes link to an online video report.
(Free registration may be required.)

RELATED: "It's roundup time for burros" (San Bernardino County Sun, 1/27/07)
"'There's always the idea they are from pioneering the historic West,' said Alex Neiberg, the wild horse and burro specialist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. 'These are living symbols.' But the burros are considered non- native, and in the decades-long battle to protect the fragile desert, federal land managers decided the animals have to go." Includes link to a photo slideshow with more than a dozen photos.

RELATED: "Ridgecrest regional wild horse and burro corrals" (BLM California website)

RELATED: "BLM sets meeting of national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C." (BLM news release, 1/29/07)
The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.


"BLM seeks Central California Resource Advisory Council nominations" (BLM California news release, 1/22/07)
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking nominations to fill an unexpired term on the 12-person Central California Resource Advisory Council, a citizen's panel which advises the BLM on the stewardship of Federal public lands.

"Nominations being accepted for Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee" (BLM California news release, 1/18/07)
The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service announce an extension to the call for nominations for appointment or reappointment for five positions on the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Advisory Committee.

"BLM's Northeast Resource Advisory Council Meets Feb. 8-9" (BLM California news release, 1/22/07)
Land use planning and wild horse management are among the agenda topics for a meeting of the Bureau of Land Management's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council. The meeting, open to the public, runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 8, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 9, at the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office. The council will hear public comments at 11 a.m. on Feb. 9.



"50-plus worked BLM's clean-up" (Colfax Record, 1/24/07)
"With cars and pick-ups lining the shoulders of Carpenter Road Saturday morning, onlookers might have wondered if they stumbled upon overflow parking for a rock concert. In fact, the parked vehicles belonged to 50-plus volunteers who showed up with work gloves for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) clean-up of the litter-infested Colfax shooting area....With dozens of volunteers crisscrossing the large open area, most of the trash was raked or picked up within an hour."

"Lost Coast trilogy, part two: Spanish Flat to Shelter Cove" (North Coast Journal, 1/18/07)
""Because of the human impacts at Big Flat, on my trip down the Lost Coast this past summer...we were visited by a sizeable and very confident bear. While we sensibly cooked 100-plus feet away from where we were sleeping, the bear grabbed a freshman's tent and managed to drag it off some 50 feet before we could convince her it wasn't worth it. It provided a great lesson on the import of thorough pot-washing."

RELATED: "King Range National Conservation Area/The Lost Coast" (BLM California, Arcata Field Office website)
The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads. The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape. The Douglas-fir clad peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and abalone divers to name a few.

RELATED: "Lost Coast trilogy, part one: Mattole to Spanish Flat" (North Coast Journal, 1/4/07)

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current listings include wild horse and burro program assistant, firefighting jobs and dispatcher.


"Prescribed fire set for Cow Mountain; temporary closure set" (BLM California news release, 1/29/07)
The BLM and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection plan to conduct a prescribed fire on South Cow Mountain between Ukiah and Lakeport on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. For public safety, the Cow Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle area will be closed from Tuesday, Jan. 30, through Friday, Feb. 2. Those who plan to visit the recreation area over the weekend of Feb. 3-4 should call the BLM Ukiah Field Office, (707) 468-4000, to verify whether the area is open.

"Rural home fire safety advice offered free" (Grass Valley/Nevada City Union, 1/28/07)
"Free advice is now available to Nevada County residents interested in creating defensible space to protect their home from wildfire. The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County has volunteers trained to help you understand the critical factors which determine home survival....The program is funded through a grant by the Bureau of Land Management and offers the advisory visit to 500 county residents."

"BLM proposes fuels reduction work in Benton area" (BLM California news release, 1/18/07)
BLM's Bishop Field Office is proposing to reduce hazardous fuels on up to 60 acres of BLM-managed public lands near Benton, California.  The project would help protect nearby residents and their homes from wildland fire and increase safety for firefighters working to suppress a fire near the community should one occur. Comments should be received by February 23, 2007.

Mickey Bridges - Employee ProfileEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Mickey Bridges...
...became the assistant manager at the Central California Interagency Communications Center in February 2006. He will tell you he has had an interesting life, including his new occupation where he supervises and assists with daily duties of the fire dispatch center.  Read more in this week's News.bytes Employee Profile.

(c.) seeds of desert plants. They prefer these, but they'll also eat fruits and flowers of desert shrubs, green vegetation, and some insects. Some of the food is stored for later consumption.

SOURCE: "Cactus mouse, Peromyscus eremicus" (BLM California wildlife database)

RELATED: "Peromyscus eremicus, Cactus mouse" (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
Short description, copyrighted sketch, plus link to six-page species account (see link below this one).

"Peromyscus eremicus" (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
Mammalian species account published 6/8/79 by the America Society of Mammalogists.
PDF file, 755 kilobytes, 6 pages:

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
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(916) 978-4600

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