A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California
Issue 296 - 8/29/07
THIS WEEK IN NEWS.BYTES:
- Spotlight on partners: Border Area Fire Council
- More photos from Warped Tour cleanup
- Your chance to help
- Outdoor recreation:
- Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve
- Energy and public lands: Power lines
- Headlines and highlights: Barstow, Alabama Hills, Cedar Hill, Burning Man, more
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items: Oil and gas, computers
Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:
SPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: Border Area Fire Council
The Border Area Fire Council recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Council was formed to develop a coordinated bi-national strategy to offer protection of life, property, and natural resources in the border areas of San Diego County and North Baja. The value of the Council was highlighted when a 4,100 acre wildfire along the U.S./Mexican border was successfully suppressed through a cooperative effort of Mexican and U.S. agencies. Read more:
"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.
Plan ahead to volunteer yourself on California Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day.
"Warped Tour cleanup revisited" (News.bytes Extra)
See more photos from the Monterey Peninsula cleanup by 300 volunteers from the Warped Tour "traveling punk rock concert festival." The BLM-hosted group removed invasive plants and gathered native seeds on Fort Ord public lands. (As reported in last week's News.bytes)
"BLM plans California Coastal Cleanup Day project" (BLM California news release, 8/27/07)
The Bureau of Land Management will partner with other agencies on Sept. 15 to clean up a spectacular stretch of the California coast. BLM will work with California State Parks at Asilomar State Beach in honor of California Coastal Cleanup Day. Coastal Cleanup Day is the highlight of the California Coastal Commission's year 'round Adopt-A-Beach program and takes place every year on the third Saturday of September, from 9 a.m. to noon.
"Last year we assisted in a National Public Lands Day 2006 and I thought it was in September. I have not seen anything about this coming up in your newsletters and just don't want to miss the opportunity. Last year we worked cleaning up on a BLM campground out of Barstow. We found about this event last year through one of your e-mail publications and it was a great day spent with our children helping as well."
Here you go...and thanks to you -- and your children -- for helping last year!
"National Public Lands Day: Lend a hand for America's public lands" (BLM California)
In California there are 13 events scattered throughout the spring and summer to commemorate National Public Lands Day, the largest hands-on volunteer effort to preserve America’s lands. Join one of the events near you for the 14th annual National Public Lands Day and help us care for your land.
Last week's News.bytes incorrectly stated that Carl Twisselman is chairman of the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee. Neil Havlik is chairman of the committee. Carl Twisselman serves on the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee, as the appointed representative from the BLM's Central California Resource Advisory Council.
CLARIFICATION on last week's wildlife trivia question:
G.W. writes: "Wait , now... you're telling me that VOLES prey on rattlesnakes? Everything else I could believe, including the poultry chef :-), and I guessed all the rest... but voles? Unless they eat the eggs..."
Editor's response: An unfortunately unclear wording of the answers. Answer (d.) should have read something like: " Mammals, but not those listed above." The correct answer would then be:
(d.) Mammals, but not those listed above
(g.) Other snakes
The Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week will return next week.
"Elfin Forest interpretive center slated for construction" (North County Times, 8/24/07)
"A planned interpretive center and new pedestrian bridge...will make the Elfin Forest nature area west of Escondido more accessible to visitors, project organizers said." The center "will be an educational resource that will help visitors interpret the ecological significance of the plants, animals and water resources of the Elfin Forest" which "consists of two protected natural areas. One is the 756-acre Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, which is owned by the Federal Bureau of Land Management and the San Diego County Water Authority and is operated by the Olivenhain water district. The other is the Elfin Forest Preserve, which is owned by the nonprofit Creek Conservancy."
RELATED: "Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve" (Olivenhain Municipal Water District)
"This spectacular 750-acre open space park and recreational area was developed by the District, in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority (Authority) and the U.S. Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management, as an element of the Olivenhain Water Storage Project." More information, plus links to maps and guides and photo galleries.
"Off road: Club keeps off-road riding strong" (Imperial Valley Press, 8/23/07)
"For a moment a few years ago, motorcycle off-road racing was starting to go under. That’s when a group of family and friends decided it was time to get involved....RoadRunner has been working with the BLM to conserve the desert as much as possible while continuing to race."
(May require free registration.)
RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes permits on sale" (Imperial Valley Press, 8/23/07)
"The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area seasonal and weekly permits will are on sale at the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office. Seasonal permits, good from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2008, are $90. Seven-day weekly permits cost $25."
RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes" (BLM California, El Centro Field Office)
"Public invited to review BLM's OHV grant applications" (BLM California news release, 8/14/07)
The Bureau of Land Management is inviting public comments on its draft grant applications being proposed to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. The draft BLM applications encompass approximately 90 projects, ranging from facility developments to restoration work proposed throughout BLM’s 16 field offices in the state. (Repeated from News.bytes issue 294.)
"Executive Order: Facilitation of hunting heritage and wildlife conservation" (The White House, 8/17/07)
"The purpose of this order is to direct Federal agencies that have programs and activities that have a measurable effect on public land management, outdoor recreation, and wildlife management, including the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat."
RELATED: "Agriculture, Interior Secretaries initiate President's enhanced hunting and land conservation opportunities" (Department of the Interior news release, 8/17/07)
"Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will direct their federal departments to evaluate trends in hunting participation and implement actions that will expand and enhance hunting opportunities for the public and establish goals to conserve and manage wildlife habitats for healthy and productive populations of game animals."
"Hunters should be aware of new wilderness designation" (USDA Forest Service, Mendocino National Forest news release, 8/23/07)
"Deer hunters with tags in the B-1 zone in central Mendocino County will find some changes in public land access rules this year, following establishment of the Yuki Wilderness. The new wilderness area, established by federal legislation late last year, affects parts of the Mendocino National Forest and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Arcata Field Office. The 53,887-acre Wilderness is about 30 miles north of Ukiah."
ENERGY AND PUBLIC LANDS
"California utility appeals power line ruling" (Capitol Media Services in Arizona Republic, 8/23/07)
"Southern California Edison is asking Maricopa County Superior Court...to void a ruling by the Arizona Corporation Commission blocking construction of a new power line from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to California. Commissioners, in rejecting the application in May, made it clear they were influenced by the fact that California has not built any new power plants in decades. [One commissioner] referred to the proposed line as 'a 230-mile extension cord into Arizona'." The BLM is involved in rights-of-way permits for the proposed project, much of which follow the existing Devers-Palo Verde No. 1 power line.
"The partly cloudy Powerlink" (Voice of San Diego, 8/27/07)
"When San Diego Gas & Electric unveiled the Sunrise Powerlink two years ago, the company gave three essential reasons for building the 150-mile long power line....renewable energy...savings...reliability....But in the two years since SDG&E proposed the transmission line to connect San Diego with Imperial County, those comprehensive benefits have steadily eroded." But, says one energy expert, "'Some people oppose the Southwest Power Link, they oppose a power plant on the (Chula Vista) bay front and wind turbines in East County....If the lights go out, what are they going to do? (They'll) blame SDG&E'." The BLM is involved in rights-of-way permitting for the proposed powerline.
HEADLINES AND HIGHLIGHTS
"Our town: Fields' travels lead to Barstow stop" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 8/27/07)
"The native midwesterner left St. Louis, bringing along her husband and dreams of traveling. They knew too many people who planned to retire and travel and never realized that goal. Rather than wait, they applied for temporary posts through the Bureau of Land Management. That strategy took them first to Florida and then to Barstow, where Fields will serve as the education director at the Desert Discovery Center through September."
"BLM 'Seeds of Success' program aimed at improving health and productivity of public lands" (BLM national news release, 8/24/07)
In its ongoing effort to improve the health and productivity of the public lands, including those recently affected by wildfire, the Bureau of Land Management has initiated a native seed collection effort that is part of an interagency “Seeds of Success” program. Starting with 12 collecting teams that quickly grew to 35 teams nationwide, the BLM and numerous partners carry out the Seeds of Success (SOS) initiative, which is the core of a National Native Plant Materials Development Program. SOS provides seeds from many species of plants to growers, researchers, and administrators of seed in the United States. (Thumbnail photo to the left: Kate Pavich, an SCA Team Member with the BLM California's Bishop Field Office collects seed at the Volcanic Tablelands. Photo by Student Conservation Association.)
"Alabama Hills stewardship public meeting set" (BLM California news release, 8/27/07)
The community of Lone Pine and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will hold a public meeting Sept. 5, regarding management of the Alabama Hills.
"Cedar Hill donation event planned"
(BLM California news release, 8/27/07)
Members of the public are invited to an event Sept. 8 celebrating the donation of Cedar Hill to the Bureau of Land Management. Cedar Hill includes nearly 4,000 acres in Mono County. Portions of these new public lands may be accessed from State Highway 167 via existing, primitive roads and on foot or horseback.
"Burning Man gets in touch with its environmental side" (Sacramento Bee, 8/24/07)
"...one of Burning Man's most familiar principles is "Leave No Trace" -- it even is emblazoned on the event tickets. It's a practical as well as an aesthetic principle, being key to the event's continued existence: The federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the playa, is very particular about its post-Burn condition." BLM California shares management of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area where part of the event takes place.
(May require free registration.)
RELATED: "Burning Man's icon goes up in flames, 4 days prematurely" (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/29/07)
"A San Francisco man was arrested on felony arson charges today after the 40-foot-tall "Man" statue whose torching is the annual highlight of the Burning Man festival in Nevada went up in flames four days early, authorities said."
"Marijuana seizures reach a new high" (Calaveras Enterprise, 8/29/07)
"This is a record-breaking season in Calaveras for marijuana plants. This latest seizure brings the total number of marijuana plants seized to 30,857....Thursday’s raid was...on land the investigators described as 'public.' Much of the public lands in that area are owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
"Agents Seize 20k Pot Plants" (Hollister Free Lance, 8/24/07)
"Local drug busters have uprooted almost 20,000 illegal marijuana plants growing throughout the county this year, down from previous seasons because of drought conditions, the Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team announced....growers have taken to public lands, such as Bureau of Land Management property, to set up shop more frequently in recent years."
"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include outdoor recreation planner (wilderness), management assistant, wildland firefighters, archaeologist and civil engineer.
EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Graciella Hinshaw...
...is manager of the Pine Hill Preserve. She coordinates management activities with nine federal, state and county agencies and one private non-profit organization. She conducts rare plant surveys, guides field trips, helps with construction and design of habitat restoration projects, and implements fuels reduction practices. Read more:
RELATED: "Pine Hill Preserve" (BLM California, Folsom Field Office)
Located in western El Dorado County, Pine Hill Preserve is home to a collection of eight rare plant species. The Preserve is operated under a cooperative management agreement between the BLM and several agencies and organizations.
SELECTED UPCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:
September 1-2 and other dates - Guide hikes
Headwaters Forest Reserve
September 6 - Guided hike
Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument
September 8 - Cedar Hill celebration
September 10-11 - Aspen Ecology public workshop
September 12 - Oil and gas lease auction
September 15 - Wild horse and burro adoption
NATIONAL AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ITEMS
"BLM hosts live broadcast on preparation of documents relating to oil and gas development" (BLM national news release, 8/22/07)
The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service are hosting an interactive satellite broadcast for those parties involved in preparing documents related to oil and gas development on Federal public lands. WHEN: 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Mountain Time, Thursday, September 13, 2007. WHERE: BLM State and Field Offices.
"BLM reconnection to Non-Indian Will Information System (NIWIS) website" (BLM national news release, 8/27/07)
The Bureau of Land Management recently reconnected a modified version of the Well Information System (WIS), now known as Non-Indian Well Information System or NIWIS. This Web-based application is used for submitting and tracking oil and gas permits on Federal lands only. To comply with new security requirements, only certain items were included in the application.
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News.bytes published by
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California State Office
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