A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 287 - 6/27/07

Students prepare to tour Piedras Blancas Lightstation Firefighters train on a staged car fire Eastern Sierra Visitor Center grand opening Wildfire at Lake Tahoe Visitors to the recent Chico adoption event check out some mustangs

- FREE offer: California Desert Conservation Area poster
- Devastating wildfire lesson: Lake Tahoe
- Spotlight on Partners: Pennies for Piedras
- Not for educators only:
      - Online quiz question
      - Hands on the Land
- Wild horse and burro adoptions -- and Extreme Mustang Makeover
- Headlines and highlights: Old conflict, new visitor center, jobs link, more
- Law enforcement briefs: Pot busts
- Selected upcoming events
- National items: Supreme Court case

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:

Free poster: California Desert Conservation AreaFREE OFFER: California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) poster
The CDCA celebrated its 30th anniversary late last year and BLM celebrated with a poster and a brochure. Help us keep the celebration going by downloading the brochure or filling out the form to request one of the free posters!

The full color, glossy poster entitled, "California Desert Conservation Area, 30th Anniversary, 1976-2006, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Landscape Conservation System" depicts the spectacular and diverse scenery, wildlife, cultural resources, recreation, and other public uses on the almost 11 million acres of public lands in the CDCA. BLM is offering a copy of the poster free to the first 100 people who request it:

The brochure notes that "Of the 300 million acres of public lands in the country at that time [1976], Congress singled out only one area worthy of special designation and management: the California Desert Conservation Area."
PDF file, 940 kilobytes, eight pages:

The Angora Fire involves U.S. Forest Service and private lands -- but the dramatic lessons learned from this fire apply to public lands managed by BLM California as well.

"Raging Tahoe's fire roots: 150 years of forest abuse" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/26/07)
"The raging fire that is denuding hillsides and darkening the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe is the final product of 150 years of mismanagement of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem, fire management experts said....From Gold Rush clear-cutters to modern home-builders, people have brought changes to the Tahoe basin that have fueled the intensity of the 2,500-acre Angora fire near the town of South Lake Tahoe."

"On fringe of forests, homes and wilfires meet" (New York Times, 6/26/07)
"Coleville, Calif. -- A new generation of Americans...in moving to places perched on the edge of vast, undeveloped government lands in the West, are living out a dangerous experiment, many of them ignorant of the risk. Their migration...has coincided with profound environmental changes that have worsened the fire hazard, including years of drought, record-setting heat and forest management policies that have allowed brush and dead trees to build up." Extensive story includes link to video report, "Public lands: Living with wildfire."
(May require free registration.)

"Prevention steps few, difficult to implement" (Sacramento Bee, 6/26/07)
"The blaze that swallowed entire neighborhoods just south of Lake Tahoe...illustrated the enormous challenge of protecting Tahoe's suburbs in the wilderness. 'Home construction in the forest ... opens you up to more risk,' said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Yvonne Jones. When an inferno reaches the forest crown, 'humans cannot keep up with it, just literally cannot'....'The key, core lesson' from the Angora blaze is that people need to install fire-retardant roofing and clear brush within 100 feet of their homes...."
(May require free registration.)

"Fuels being reduced throughout the basin" (Tahoe Daily Tribune, 6/27/07)
"At the South Shore, the Forest Service was preparing to launch a huge project to reduce the fuels threat in the wildland urban interface. The South Shore Project was aimed at treating 12,225 acres or 30 percent of the National Forest lands available in the South Shore area over a four-year period...." Now the plan will have to be revised, "from fuels reduction to salvage logging...." BLM is involved in funding fuel breaks in the area.

"Severe drought heightening fire danger across West" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/26/07)
"With parts of California emerging from one of the driest winters in more than a century, the fire devouring Lake Tahoe's south shore might be a harbinger of what's in store for the western United States during the long, hot summer ahead, experts warned...."

Some news sites with updates on the fire, which flared up overnight:

Sacramento Bee:
(May require free registration.)

San Francisco Chronicle:

Reno Gazette-Journal:

Los Angeles Times:
(May require free registration.)

Firefighters train on a staged car fire"Firefighters gear up for fire season" (News.bytes Extra)
With the height of fire season fast approaching, Bureau of Land Management fire fighters are honing their skills. Crews in northeast California spent three days last week training to use self contained breathing apparatus.

"Smokejumpers training in San Bernardino" (Victorville Daily Press, 6/26/07)
"Smokejumpers are often used to fight small fires before the public ever hears about them, and these are oftentimes lightening-strike fires....The current wildfire near Lake Tahoe is an example where wind and fire size make it too dangerous for smokejumpers.... There are nine smokejumper bases across the nation, and about 300 U.S. Forest Service jumpers and 150 Bureau of Land Management jumpers....Redding is the only base in California."

RELATED: "Smoke jumpers come to San Bernardino" (Victorville Daily Press, 6/26/07)
Slide show with quite a few photos, plus narration.

"Fire restrictions begin July 2 on area public lands" (BLM California news release, 6/21/07)
With hot summer weather drying out vegetation and increasing wildfire risks, the Lassen National Forest, Modoc National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management announced that fire and wood cutting restrictions will go into effect Monday, July 2. The restrictions on campfire use, off-road driving and smoking affect the forests and BLM-managed lands in Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta, Siskiyou and Washoe counties.

Other BLM California fire restrictions - see the BLM California homepage at:

"Fire Preparedness & Hazardous Fuels Reduction Activities" (Department of the Interior Congressional testimony)
Testimony to Congress by Mark Rey, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture and C. Stephen Allred, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior -- concerning fire preparedness and hazardous fuels reduction activities.
(To view or download this Microsoft Word file, click on the link for "Fire Preparedness & Hazardous Fuels Reduction Activities, HNR, NP,F&PL,6-19-07.doc")

"National fire news" (National Interagency Fire Center)
Updated daily during wildfire season.

"InciWeb - Incident Information System" (Interagency website)
Current information on wildfires and other emergencies, nationwide.

Students prepare to tour Piedras Blancas LightstationSPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: Pennies for Piedras
A truly unique partnership between a group of dedicated school students at Grover Heights Elementary in Grover Beach and those who care for the Piedras Blancas Light Station near San Simeon has wrapped up its second year with a record-breaking collection of sixteen hundred ($1,600) “Pennies for Piedras” to be put toward the restoration of the 132-year old lighthouse administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

RELATED: "Piedras Blancas Lightstation" (BLM California, Bakersfield Field Office)
Piedras Blancas is located on California's central coast, just north of San Simeon. The point is named for a white rock out cropping located just off the end of the point. In the early 1870's, this location was chosen to fill the gap between the lighthouses at Point Conception and Point Sur.

Piedras Blancas lightstation manager Jim BoucherEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Jim Boucher...
...is park manager at Piedras Blancas Lightstation just north of San Simeon -- featured above in our "Spotlight on Partners." Read more:


The Wildlife Trivia Question is taking a break this week. Please check our BLM California homepage for the interactive quiz of the week:

"Hands on the Land" environmental educatioin at Headwaters Forest Reserve
"Hands on the Land" at Headwaters Forest Reserve
The King Range National Conservation Area, managed by BLM California, was recently selected to be part of the Hands on the Land network of field classrooms.

Hands on the Land provides a national network of field classrooms to enhance kindergarten through high school student-learning. Teaching materials link public lands to historical, archeological and environmental learning opportunities. "This web site allows teachers and students to share information and learn about their local ecosystems, creative teaching strategies, and much more."

BLM California sites previously part of Hands on the Land:

Headwaters Forest Reserve

Fish Slough

San Joaquin River Gorge

Sand Canyon Environmental Education Program

Desert Discovery Center in Barstow

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

"Hands on the Land" - Non-Flash version of the website:


Visitors to the recent Chico adoption event check out some mustangs"Wild horses couldn't keep them away: Adopters know there's lots to love about animals" (Oroville Mercury-Register, 6/24/07)
One of the mustangs at last weekend's event in Chico was adopted by an 11-year-old, "who has been looking for a new horse for a year and said she fell in love with this one." Said BLM volunteer Dixie LaFountain: "'You know that old saying, you can't have one potato chip? Well, you can't have just one mustang'....LaFountain is participating in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, where 100 trainers have 100 days to train 100 wild horses. She has had her horse, Otter B. Good, for 17 days and said she is impressed with his personality."

"They ran with the wild bunch" (Red Bluff Daily News, 6/22/07)
"For Jean Anderson, the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro adoption program has been a real lifesaver - not just for them, but for her. The Dairyville woman, 58, is a cancer survivor. 'Definitely, there have been times when these guys kept me going,' she said. However Anderson was feeling, the horses and burros needed water, feed and clean surroundings. So she got up and took care of them, and making that effort helped her." Anderson brought her trailer to last weekend's adoption event in Chico, to help people who wanted to adopt a mustang but didn't have a trailer.

"Extreme Mustang Makeover" (Mustang Heritage Foundation)
The Mustang Heritage Foundation, in partnership with the BLM, has created the "Extreme Mustang Makeover," a $25,000 wild horse trainer competition that highlights the quality and value of mustangs. This event also provides trainers an opportunity to show how they can transform wild horses into suitable horses for ranch work or recreational riding.

"Mustang makeover" (Reno Gazette-Journal, 6/27/07)
"The student is a 1,000-pound athletically built wild horse....The teacher is Scott Kandel," a Reno-area horse trainer. "He enters the arena not saying a word, but, through his body language, he is already communicating with Spirit, the mustang he will train and compete with in the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas."

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule - 2007"(BLM California website)
The next California adoption event is July 21-22, in Lakeside -- last one until Sept. 15!

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM national website)

"BLM seeks bids for one or more new pasture facilities in West to care for and maintain wild horses" (BLM national news release, 6/25/07)
Each pasture facility must be able to provide humane care for and maintain at least 1,000 wild horses -- up to as many as 2,500 -- over a one-year period, with an option under BLM contract for an additional four one-year extensions.  The BLM needs additional space for wild horses placed in long-term holding facilities, all of which are currently located in Kansas and Oklahoma.


Eastern Sierra Visitor Center grand opening"Grand opening for Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center" (News.bytes Extra)
More than 200 guests gathered for the grand opening of new Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center ceremony last Saturday at Lone Pine. The new Visitor Center was dedicated to the memories of BLM Bishop Field Manager Steve Addington and Martha Miklaucic, Executive Director of the Eastern Sierra Interpretative Association, who were both instrumental in bringing the community together to design and build the facility. Steve passed away in 2002 and Martha in 2006.

"Alabama Hills stewardship public meeting set" (BLM California news release, 6/20/07)
The community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will hold a public meeting, Wednesday, June 27, regarding management of the Alabama Hills.

"Teaming up over Trinidad Head" (Eureka Times-Standard, 6/26/07)
"Mayor Chi-Wei Lin is proposing that the city join efforts with the Trinidad Rancheria to explore acquiring the U.S. Coast Guard's 12 acres on Trinidad Head....Forming such a committee is just the first step in what is a complicated process that involves transferring the property from the Coast Guard to the federal Bureau of Land Management, Lin said."

"Historic site threatened with demolition" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 6/26/07)
"A 1920s adobe ranch house -- once a stopover for stagecoaches, prospectors, and bandits -- now faces demolition by the Bureau of Land Management due to maintenance costs."

"Northern spotted owl's decline revives old concerns" (Christian Science Monitor, 6/27/07)
"Twenty years after the northern spotted owl became the prime symbol for endangered species and habitat protection, it's back in the news and steeped in controversy." Timber industry officials applaud a proposed reduction in critical habitat, and "new elements in the proposed plan: emphasizing that the barred owl, not habitat loss from logging, is the prime threat to the spotted owl, and giving local and regional US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land Management officials more say about where habitat should be protected."

"Essential power link; Transmission line merits PUC approval" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/24/07)
Editorial: " San Diego County's demand for electricity is surging at about double the rate of population growth. Two primary reasons for this are the proliferation of energy-consuming appliances, from wide-screen TVs to laptop computer chargers, and robust housing development in inland areas where air conditioning prompts a spike in summertime electricity use....To strengthen electricity reliability in San Diego, the PUC should give the go-ahead to the Sunrise Powerlink." The BLM is involved in rights-of-way permitting for the proposed power line.

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


"3,600 pot plants found, removed" (Sonora Union Democrat, 6/25/07)
"Calaveras County and federal narcotics agents busted a massive marijuana-growing operation Sunday in the Mokelumne River canyon near Glencoe. Sheriff's deputies from the Calaveras County Narcotic Enforcement Unit and U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents found the plantation on BLM land near Highway 26...."

"Border activity: 70 In A Semi, 700 lbs Marijuana" (San Diego Headline News, 6/23/07)
"In a separate incident on Saturday, the Bureau of Land Management made traffic stop in the East County that resulted in the discovery of 700 pounds of marijuana."

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

June 27 - Alabama Hills stewardship public meeting

June 29 - Range monitoring training

June 30-July 1 - Guide hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve

July 4 - Guided hike: Tidepool exploration
Requires advance reservations.
Shelter Cove (Mal Coombs Park, King Range National Conservation Area)


"U.S. agents are spared racketeering suit" (Los Angeles Times, 6/26/07)
"A Wyoming rancher cannot use the federal racketeering law to seek damages against employees of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management whom he accused of harassment, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The unanimous decision reversed a federal appeals court ruling. The earlier ruling had government officials fearing that if the high court permitted the case to proceed, it would spawn a bevy of litigation against federal employees merely trying to do their jobs."
(Requires free registration.)

RELATED: "Wilkie et al v. Robbins" (Supreme Court of the U.S., 6/25/07)
"Slip" opinion: "a slip opinion is replaced within a few months by a paginated version of the case in the preliminary print, and--one year after the issuance of that print--by the final version of the case in a U. S. Reports bound volume. In case of discrepancies between the print and electronic versions of a slip opinion, the print version controls. In case of discrepancies between the slip opinion and any later official version of the opinion, the later version controls."
PDF file, 405 kilobytes, 53 pages:

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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(916) 978-4600

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