A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 327 - 4/16/08

Santa Rosa/San Jacinto Mountains National MonumentMichael KelleyHorse trainer Shelly Simmons and horse SamsonWeed of the week

- BLM Special Areas
- Weed of the week
- 2008 Mustang Challenge
- Weed of the Week

- Headlines and highlights
- Meet your Advisory Council members
- Selected upcoming events



Piedras Blancas Legislation (San Luis Obispo, 4/11/08)
"Legislation sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps to preserve the historic Piedras Blancas Light Station received Senate approval...the measure would add the 130-year-old lighthouse and the 18 acres on which it sits to the Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System, where it would be preserved as an 'outstanding natural area.'"

RELATED: Piedras Blancas Lightstation (BLM Website)
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.

Santa Rosa/San Jacinto Mountains National Monument"Conservation bill to add protection for mountain land" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/10/08)
"A popular destination for tourists and local hiking enthusiasts - the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument - could receive extra protection under a bill the House approved Wednesday. The mountain terrain is among nearly 26 million acres of national monuments, historic trails and wilderness areas out West that could get additional protection under the bill, which now heads to the Senate. The 278-140 House vote would officially designate the system of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management as the National Landscape Conservation system."

"House endorses conservation program" (Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, 4/9/08)
"The 278-140 vote to write into law the National Landscape Conservation System came after assurances were given to Western and gun-rights lawmakers that the measure would not add new restrictions to current rules on hunting and fishing, energy development or grazing rights on the designated lands....Overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, it is made up of more than 800 units, including scenic and historic trails, national conservation areas, national monuments and wild and scenic rivers. It makes up about 10 percent of the land administered by the BLM."

RELATED: BLM Special Areas (BLM Website)
National Monuments are special areas of public land designated by public proclamation by the President or by Congress, to protect historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest.  While only Congress can designate a National Park or wilderness area, Congress gave the President authority (through the Antiquities Act of 1906) to designate National Monuments. President Theodore Roosevelt used this authority to protect the Grand Canyon. 


Thirty-three top trainers received 33 wild mustangs this month. They have 100 days to gentle and train the mustangs -- then will compete for $7500 in prizes at the Horse Expo in Sacramento. We plan to follow some of these mustangs and trainers in the coming weeks. Some Mustang Challenge trainers have been kind enough to send photos depicting their progress with their Mustang Challenge horses.

Horse trainer Shelly Simmons and horse SamsonTrainer Shelly Simmons from Oregon writes:
"I have named my horse Samson. His training is coming along better than I expected. He wears a blanket every night, is loading in the trailer, I've ridden him 5 times now, he is each to catch, he is VERY curious of anything new. When working Samson, his favorite gear is PARK. I tell people he like park so he can stop, relax, and take a snooze. He is very laid back and mellow. "

Horse trainer Rachel Thorp and horse PicaboTrainer Rachel Thorp from Idaho writes:
"My mustang is 4 years old, from the Twin Peaks HMA. I have named her Picabo (peek-a-boo). Picabo is a small town in Idaho...and Peek-A-Boo is a favorite game of Picabo! "

"Photos of training progress - Mustang Challenge 2008" (BLM-California website)
Some Mustang Challenge trainers have been kind enough to update us on their Mustang Challenge horses -- and send photos:

"Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Perris" (BLM-California news release, 3/28/08)
These living legends are available for adoption in Perris on April 19-20, 2008. Spectators are welcome. There are 65 young animals available for adoption, 20 fillies, 20 colts, 15 two- to four-year-olds, and 10 burros. The mustangs and burros were gathered from public lands in Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health. Animals arrive at noon on Friday April 18, and potential adopters may view the mustangs and burros from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"Wild horses and burros offered for adoption in San Jose" (BLM-California news release, 4/7/08)
Mustangs fresh from the range will be on display April 26 in San Jose when the Bureau of Land Management offers wild horses and burros for adoption. The BLM will offer 30 horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5, along with 10 burros at an adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at the fairgrounds at about 4 p.m. April 25. 

"Wild horse and burro adoption schedule" (BLM-California website)
Upcoming California adoption events include April 19-20 in Lake Perris and April 26 in San Jose.

Weed of the weekWEED OF THE WEEK: French Broom

"French Broom (Genista monspessulana) " (BLM-California, Redding Field Office)
French Broom is an upright, evergreen shrub, commonly as tall as 10 feet (3 m) tall with silvery, silky hairs on its round stems. Commonly found in foothill areas, this noxious and invasive weed flowers from late March through May.

"Test your knowledge"
See the weed quiz question on the BLM-California homepage.


"SANDAG seems to get behind Powerlink" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/12/08)
"The board members of the county's long-range planning group overwhelmingly endorsed the Sunrise Powerlink yesterday.. SDG&E says the line is needed to transport energy create by solar and geothermal projects in the Imperial Valley that haven't been built yet."

"Could county follow lead of utility's solar project?" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/13/08)
"The Community Alliance for Sunrise Powerlink – a group made up of Chamber of Commerce types – is spending $45,000 on billboards and other ads to promote the project's benefit. They say that only with Sunrise can the utility hope to meet its state mandate of having 20 percent of its power come from renewable energy sources by 2010."

"Power line judged consistent with energy policy" (North County Times, 4/11/08)
"Political leaders representing a majority of San Diego County cities determined Friday the proposed $1.5 billion Sunrise Powerlink transmission line is consistent with the region's long-term energy strategy."

"New Ways to Store Solar Energy for Nighttime and Cloudy Days" (New York Times, 4/15/08)
"Solar power, the holy grail of renewable energy, has always faced the problem of how to store the energy captured from the sun’s rays so that demand for electricity can be met at night or whenever the sun is not shining."

"A sitdown with Mr. Sea Otter Classic" (Monterey County Herald, 4/13/08)
"When the Bureau of Land Management property was still Fort Ord, I would go out there and have to get permission from the Army to use the trails. We were the first ones to use the property out there in 1992. It just grew from there. When BLM got the land, they became a wonderful partner."

"Oil, gas mapping may harm Carrizo National Monument" (Bakersfield Californian, 4/14/08)
"BLM wants impact report ahead of any exploration. 'Because this is a national monument, there will be environmental concerns that will have to be strongly looked at,' said John Dearing, a BLM spokesman."

"Carrizo oil explorer considers dynamite" (San Luis Obispo, 4/13/08)
"An oil company seeking to explore for oil and gas under the Carrizo Plain National Monument wants to either shake the ground from above or touch off dynamite from below to map the subsurface it owns. Making its home in between is the endangered kangaroo rat, just one of the protected species living on the 250,000-acre Carrizo Plain National Monument. The Bureau of Land Management has told the company, however, that the environmental impact will have to be thoroughly studied by the company and approved by it and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the Endangered Species Act."

RELATED: "Solar farm plan raises more worries" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4/13/08)
A divided group of about 50 people weighed in Saturday in Santa Margarita on a proposed solar plant that would cover 640 acres near the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

"Fire near Mecca 90 percent contained" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/14/08)
"Fire crews are still battling a blaze near Mecca that is now 90 percent contained."

"More than two dozen acres burning at Dos Palmas Preserve, crews still on scene" (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 4/13/08)
"Plumes of smoke could be seen in Indio as a vegetation fire in Mecca blazed..."

Pistol Range to Close at Knoxville Recreation Area (BLM News Release, 4/15/08)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced it is closing a six-acre pistol target shooting range in the Knoxville Recreation Area, which lies in parts of Napa, Lake and Yolo counties, because of increasing concerns about public safety.

RELATED: Knoxville Recreation Area (BLM Website)
Includes "Closure Order".

Bureau of Land Management Plans Fuels Reduction in El Dorado County (BLM News Release, 4/15/08)
The Bureau of Land Management plans to start creating fire fuel breaks at Cameron Park and Rescue starting in early May.

"BLM, partners accepting comments on Ma-le’l Dunes Initial Study/Environmental Assessment" (Eureka Reporter, 4/14/08)
"Those interested in management of the Ma-le’l Dunes area of the Samoa Peninsula have the opportunity to comment on an initial study/environmental assessment recently released by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Coastal Conservancy. It contains revisions made after public comments were received on the initial release of the document last year."

"Bureaucrat Beat" (KSRW Sierra Wave, 4/15/08)
"You might've heard about the to-do in Lone Pine when a production company scout came to town, scoped out the Alabama Hills and sold a plan to Mastercard for a commercial. Seems the scout didn't check in time with BLM about a mountain biker twirling about on top of boulders, with scaffolding and a crane. A definite no-no in real life, and BLM said no to the commercial crew."

"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Currently accepting applications for Hydrologist, Fire Lookout, Park Ranger (River Patrol), and Firefighters.

...has many years of experience in trails advocacy for California and is is co-founder of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Mr. Kelley represents recreation interests on BLM's Northwest California Resource Advisory Council. Read more:


Unless otherwise noted, find more details online at:

"Wildflower hike set in Bend area" (Tehama County Daily News, 4/11/08)
"The Sacramento River Preservation Trust, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, will sponsor a Sacramento River Bend Area spring wildflower hike Saturday, April 26, starting at Hog Lake."

April 18 - Eastern Sierra Wildflower Outings

April 19-20 - Wild Horse & Burro Adoption in Perris

April 22 - Public Meetings for Revised Dunes Recreation Plan

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