A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 312 - 1/3/08

A view of  Tahquitz Rock in the Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Volunteers load a piclup truck with trash they cleaned up in the desert Black-bellied slender salamander Kathy Stengl

- Spotlight on Partners: United Desert Gateway
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Recreation on public lands
- Energy issues
- Headlines and highlights: Abandoned Mine Lands, Mustangs patrol, Cosumnes River, Off highway
      vehicle safety, and more
- Employee profile
- Selected upcoming events
- National and/or Department of the Interior items

Also see this issue of News.bytes online at:


SPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS: United Desert Gateway
Volunteers load a piclup truck with trash they cleaned up in the desertIn a unique partnership, BLM and the Chambers of Commerce for the cities surrounding the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area joined forces in 2004 to form the United Desert Gateway (UDG). The UDG is aimed at developing support, improving communication and broadening cooperation with the designated gateway communities of El Centro, Brawley, and Yuma, as well as other interests, associated with the ISDRA and other BLM managed lands in the region.
choose thumbnail (or two):

RELATED: "Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area" (BLM-California, El Centro Field Office)

Black-bellied slender salamander
Thumbnail from a photo by Jim Hendel

When do Black-bellied Slender Salamanders hibernate?
(a.) during the winter months, November through March, when they find temperatures to be uncomfortably low
(b.) during the hottest months, June to August, when they find temperatures to be uncomfortably high
(c.) during rainy months, when the ground is too unstable to dig burrows
(d.) during dry months, when the ground is too hard for them to dig burrows
(e.) they do not hibernate
(f.) they hibernate a month at a time, at any time of year
(g.) After an especially large holiday meal

------> See answer -- and more information -- near the end of this issue of News.bytes.


A view of  Tahquitz Rock in the Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument"Take in scenery of San Jacinto Mountains" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/20/07)
"Palms to Pines Scenic Byway -- a 67-mile road that stretches from Banning to Palm Desert, via Highways 243 and 74 -- is one of the Inland region's most definitive scenic drives. The San Jacinto Mountains drive has elevations that start at 250 feet in Palm Desert and reach as high 4,890 feet in the Anza Valley. And true to its name, the changing terrain that lines the winding two-lane highways guide you from palms to pines -- and back again." Includes link to a video slideshow.

RELATED: "Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument" (BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office)

"A guided tour of the North Spit/Arcata dune complex" (North Coast Journal, 12/20/07)
"Ma-le’l South is the really exciting section right now...owned by the Bureau of Land Management....It’s now open to the public seven day a week during daylight hours. A brand new parking lot, facilities and several miles of trails are available for hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, horseback riding and dog walking."

"Repeal unfair federal use fees" (Bakersfield Californian, 1/2/08)
"It's about time! Finally an ax is being placed at the throat of a 'demonstration project' that has discouraged Americans from using their public lands and unfairly burdened outdoors lovers. Two Western senators Republicans Mike Crapo of Idaho and Max Baucus of Montana have introduced the Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act of 2007. Their SB 2438 would block the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies from charging fees or increasing fees for use of public land."

"Recreation fees source of contention" (Press Enterprise, 12/31/07)
"In 2005, national recreation fee revenues totaled $228 million. Of that, the Forest Service took in $50.2 million. The National Park Service brought in the biggest share. The Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior also collect fees."


"Surge in Off-Roading Stirs Dust and Debate in West" (The New York Times, 12/30/07)
"Registrations of all-terrain vehicles and motorbikes in California, Colorado, Idaho and Utah tripled from 1998 to 2006; in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles and a couple hours’ drive from the popular Algodones Dunes, registrations went up fourfold."

"Recreation area stalled despite its wide support" (Redding Record Searchlight, 12/29/07)
"The north state’s representatives in Washington agree that the Sacramento River Bend area in northern Tehama County is worth preserving and enhancing as a national recreation area. Both the very conservative Rep. Wally Herger and the very liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced bills early this year to create the recreation area on a swath of riverfront land assembled by the Bureau of Land Management. "

"2007 will leave legacy: Library, trails, telescopes" ( Redding Record Searchlight, 12/30/07)
Editorial about 2007 accomplishments: "The Bureau of Land Management, the McConnell Foundation and assorted trail fairies have worked together to extend trail networks around Keswick Reservoir and in the Swasey Recreation Area."

"Annual pass helps families to visit parks" (Thousand Oaks Acorn, 1/3/08)
"Visiting America's national parks and other federal recreation sites has just gotten more convenient, due to an annual pass that can be purchased in advance of a trip via the Internet or by calling a toll-free telephone number. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass is a yearly entry pass to nearly 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and recreation areas."


"The Deadly Toll of Wind Power" (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/2/08)
"But the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area is also a symbol of the wind industry's biggest stain - the killings of thousands of birds, including majestic golden eagles, by turbines. The result has been a wrenching civil war among those who are otherwise united in the struggle to save the planet and its creatures."
BLM is not involved in Altamont Pass, however, it is interested in the ongoing research as there are wind energy projects and proposals on public lands.

RELATED: BLM's Wind Energy Program (BLM CA Website)

"Public Invited to Comment on Draft Proposal for Energy Corridors on Federal Lands" (BLM News Release)
The Department of Energy, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service will host public hearings on January 8 in Sacramento and January 10 in Ontario, California to gather comments on the draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) proposing to designate energy corridors on federal lands in the West.

RELATED: "West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS Information Center" (Cooperative web site)
Includes links to much more information. For public meeting locations, click on the link under public participation for "Getting Involved" and then "public meetings."

"Public Scoping Meeting for Solar Energy Project" (BLM News Release)
"The public is invited to provide comments on the impacts of a proposed solar energy project in the California Desert. BLM published a 'Notice of Intent' to prepare an environmental impact statement in the Federal Register on November 6, 2007 indicating its intent to conduct public scoping of issues and advertise scoping meetings for the proposed Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS). "


"Boy rescued from mine shaft" (Bakersfield KGET Channel 17, 12/31/07)
"It was a scary situation for a young boy in east Kern County with a happy ending.
An 11-year-old boy from Visalia fell 30 feet into a mine shaft, but thanks to rescue personnel, he will be able to celebrate the New Year with his family, and the dramatic rescue was all caught on tape." Based on the initial investigation, the mineshaft involved in this accident is on private land, not BLM public land. However, BLM officials were involved in the rescue efforts, and BLM cautions visitors to nearby public lands to stay on designated routes and watch for posted signs in the Randsburg area, as mineshafts occur throughout the historic mining area.

RELATED: "Boy Taking Photos Falls Into Mine Shaft" (Bakersfield KERO Channel 23, 1/2/08)

Mine Shaft Slide Show (Bakersfield KERO Channel 23, 1/2/08)

RELATED: Abandoned Mine Lands
California's Abandoned Mine Land Program (BLM California website) http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/aml.html
About Abandoned Mine Lands (BLM National website) http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/Abandoned_Mine_Lands/About_AML.html
Abandoned Mine Lands Safety and Education (BLM National website) http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/Abandoned_Mine_Lands/Safety_Education.html

"Mustangs patrol U.S.-Canada border" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 12/22/07)
"The Border Patrol's 'Operation Noble Mustang' adopts horses from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro program, blending today's technology with yesterday's law enforcement traditions....On a recent day, Richard Graham, agent-in-charge of the Border Patrol station in Oroville, rides along as his agents patrol a small section of the border. The avid horseman sings the praises of mustangs and their ability to patrol the border with minimal environmental damage."
OR "Site requires free registration" but has photos, if still online:

"Court blocks housing project near California's Mount Whitney" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 12/20/07)
"A state appeals court in Riverside has blocked a plan to create a 27-parcel housing development near the base of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states. A three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled this week that the project's environmental impact report failed to adequately evaluate a possible trade of the developer's 74 acres for approximately 100 acres owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."

"Galt festival to celebrate Cosumnes River Preserve" (Sacramento Bee, 12/30/07)
"In search of a distinct identity, the city of Galt is aligning itself more closely with the Cosumnes River Preserve, the vast wonderland of waterfowl on its border. In celebration of the many species of migratory and resident birds that flock to the 46,000-acre Cosumnes preserve during the winter months, the City of Galt will hold its first Annual Winter Bird Festival later this month."

RELATED: Cosumnes River Preserve (BLM CA Website)

"13-year-old dies in dunes accident" (Yuma Sun, 12/29/07)
"According to Troy Bolen, special agent in charge with the Bureau of Land Management, the youth was riding a small quad across the starting area of the drags."

RELATED: "Boy dies in collision with sand rail" (Imperial Valley Press, 12/29/07)
"A 13-year-old boy from San Diego was killed when the quad he was riding collided with a sand rail, Bureau of Land Management Chief Ranger Michael Boxx said."

RELATED: "Officer: Sand draggers need to be cautious" (Yuma Sun, 12/31/07)
"Tom Zale, BLM El Centro Field Office, said 'riders 14 years old and younger must be under the direct supervision of an adult at all times. 'No matter how accomplished of a rider they are or how much protective gear they are wearing,' Zale said, 'they still need to be supervised by an adult."

"Fish and Wildlife Service Claims Sacramento River Islands" (Environment News Service, 1/2/08)
Two islands in the Sacramento River owned by the federal government have been closed to filing of new mining claims and are proposed to be withdrawn from the general land laws and transferred from the Bureau of Land Management to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

RELATED: Two Sacramento River Islands Proposed for Withdrawal (BLM/FWS News Release)
"Two public land islands, Todd Island and Foster Island, have been closed to filing of new mining claims and are proposed to be withdrawn from the general land laws and transferred from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The islands cover about 472 acres and are located within the Sacramento River, southeast of Red Bluff in Tehama County."

"It's kind of a shame" (Grass Valley Union, 1/3/08)
"Roadside litter draws ire of area citizen. Debris dumped alongside Rock Creek, a tributary to the South Yuba River, drew citizen anger early last year and the federal Bureau of Land Management, owners of the property, cleaned it up."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Apply now for Park Ranger, Park Ranger (River Patrol), Planning and Environmental Coordinator, and Fire positions.

Kathy StenglEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Kathy Stangl...
...Assistant Field Manager in the Arcata Field Office, primarily supervising a resources staff that focuses on recreation, fisheries, botany, wildlife, forestry, and engineering. Kathy is also managing the Headwaters Forest Reserve, a position she hopes to fill soon. A native of Wisconsin - Kathy has a Cheesehead and Green Bay Packers memorabilia to prove it.
Read more:

RELATED: "Arcata Field Office" (BLM California website)
The Arcata Field Office is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands, and mineral programs on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California. The Area includes the 60,000 acre King Range National Conservation Area and the 7,474 acre Headwaters Forest Reserve.

Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

January 4 - Public Scoping Meeting for Solar Energy Project

January 8 - Public Invited to Comment on Draft Proposal for Energy Corridors on Federal Lands

January 10 - Modoc-Washoe Stewardship Steering Committee

January 19 and 26 - Free, Guided Bald Eagle Hikes at Cache Creek Natural Area


"Congress Directs BLM to Collect $4,000 Processing Fee for New Oil and Gas Drilling Permit Applications" (BLM News Release, 1/2/08)
"The fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill – signed into law by President Bush on December 26 – requires that the Bureau of Land Management charge a $4,000 processing fee for each new oil and gas drilling permit application."

RELATED: Oil and Gas Program (BLM California Website)

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(e.) they do not hibernate

SOURCE: "Black-bellied Slender Salamander - Batrachoseps nigriventris" (BLM California wildlife database)
Black-bellied slender salamanders are active year-round and are commonly found in the southern California Sierra Nevada ranges. They stay below ground or under cover during the hot, dry season and become active above ground after the first rains.

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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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