BLM California News.Bytes Issue 834

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Conway Summit ACEC. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Conway Summit

ISSUE 834 - November 20, 2018

  • 2019 Planner
  • California Wildfires
  • Headlines and Highlights
  • BLM and DOI Highlights 
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

Happy Thanksgiving from our Bureau of Land Management family to yours! We hope you find time to get outside on your public lands. 

2019 Planner

2019 planner cover of Owens Peak. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Enjoy the Beauty of California All Year Long with a 2019 Planner

The Bureau of Land Management manages 15 million acres of public lands in California - nearly 15 percent of the state - and 1.6 million acres in northwestern Nevada. This year's monthly planner features stunning public lands across the state with impressive employee photography. Get your FREE planner while supplies last. (BLM website)

California Wildfires

Wildfire impacts to roadways. Photo by CAL TRANS.

Rain Will Bring Much-Needed Relief to California Fires, but also New Dangers

For the first time since the Camp Fire started its deadly rampage 11 days ago, rain will stifle some of the flames. The 4 to 6 inches expected later this week will help suppress an inferno that has already killed at least 79 people. It will also finally improve the heavily polluted and unhealthy air smothering Northern California. But there's a catch: With more than 151,000 acres of newly scorched earth, there's little vegetation to soak up the rain. That means the region is now at risk of mudslides, which could be especially dangerous for firefighters battling the inferno. (CNN News)

Traveling this holiday season? Please remember to check road conditions and closures. Travelers can also download the QuickMap app,, or call 1-800-427-7623 for constantly updated highway information. (California Department of Transportation

California wildfire mutal aid. Photo by CAL OES.

Alaska Sends Crew Members to Aid California Wildfires

The Bureau of Land Management, along with the U.S. Forest Service, has sent several crew members to help aid California's wild land fire crisis. Beth Ipsen, Public Affairs Specialist with BLM Alaska Fire Service says, several individuals have been dispatched to areas in California to fill a variety of roles depending on the need. Among those participating in the relief effort, Alaska has sent a public information and safety officer, as well as a drone operator. (Web Center 11 News)

Ocean view from King Range NCA. Photo by BLM.

BLM Urges King Range and Public Land Visitors to be Careful with Fire During Dry Fall Conditions

Abnormally warm and dry weather conditions across California are contributing to high fire dangers, and the Bureau of Land Management is asking visitors to be extremely careful with campfires. The BLM said conditions are worrisome along the Lost Coast Trail on California’s Lost Coast. Rain gauge data dating to 1992 shows that the King Range averages almost 19 inches of precipitation from August through November. This year the area has received only 1.5 inches of rain during the same time. This light fall rain total follows a warm, dry summer. (BLM news release)


Piedras Blancas Light Station. Photo by BLM.

The Tricky Work of Cleaning, Restoring Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Lens to Begin

An expert and his carefully instructed volunteers will be cleaning elements of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse lens in early December (weather permitting). It’s the first of several steps toward improved maintenance and protection for the historic First Order Fresnel lens that used to sit atop the lighthouse tower. Jim Woodward of The Lighthouse Consultant LLC from Green Valley, Arizona, is an experienced lampist, lens mechanic and consultant. He’s been working with Piedras volunteers and several nonprofits to make sure the job is done correctly. (The Tribune)

Interns working in BLM Bishop Field Office. Photo by BLM.

Local Youth Work with BLM as Summer Interns

The BLM Bishop Field Office partnered again this year with the Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Inyo National Forest to offer a Tribal Natural Resources Internship to 5 Tribal youth. The purpose of the program is to expose young Native American youth from the Owens Valley to natural and cultural resource fields from both agency and traditional perspectives through work experience and educational activities. (BLM California Facebook)


Milky Way at Cape Cod, one of Henry David Thoreau’s favorite natural sites. Photo by Manish Mamtani.

Poets, Playwrights, Prose and Parks

The inspiration of nature and the importance of history are woven into the fabric of America’s public lands. Immortalized by some of our nation’s greatest literary heroes, public lands have been the settings and subjects of novels, poems and songs. For some influential and revered writers, their haunts and homes are now preserved as historic places, allowing public lands to help tell their story. Some of the greatest literary history lies within public lands, and future literary greats visit to hear the echoes and write the next chapter. (DOI blog)

2018 Capitol Christmas Tree from the Willamette National Forest. Photo by USFS.

Following the People's Tree

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or "The People’s Tree," began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage. In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide "The People’s Tree." This national forest also works with state forests to provide companion trees that are smaller Christmas trees for offices in Washington, D.C. The Willamette National Forest in Oregon will provide the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (Capitol Christmas Tree website)

Related: Track the Tree (SkyBitz)

Related: A 'Noble' Decision in Oregon: Selecting the Capitol Christmas Tree (Architect of the Capitol website)


A wild turkey investigates a sound at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in New Hampshire. Photo by Matt Poole, USFWS.

True of False

An adult turkey has 5,000 to 6,000 feathers.

Keep scrolling to find out!


Alabama Hills arch. Photo by David Kirk, BLM.

November 25: Alabama Hills Film, Geology and Natural History Hikes Offered this November

The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association will be hosting two-hour, guided hikes about the film, geology and natural history of the Alabama Hills. Hikes will begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 17 and 25 and leave from the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center at the intersection of U.S. Route 395 and California State Route 136 in Lone Pine. (BLM news release)

Cotoni-Coast Dairies Unit green valley

December 4 and 13: BLM to Host Cotoni-Coast Dairies Public Access Workshops

The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office will host two public workshops to explore recreational access opportunities at the Cotoni-Coast Dairies unit of the California Coastal National Monument in Santa Cruz County. (BLM news release)

Owens Peak in the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office. Photo by BLM.

December 14 and 15: Meeting Planned for the BLM Desert Advisory Council 

The BLM's California Desert Advisory Council will hold a public meeting on December 14-15, 2018. The DAC will participate in a field tour of BLM-administered public lands on Friday, December 14, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will meet in formal session on Saturday, December 15, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Federal Register

Wild horses from public lands. Photo by BLM.

Now - 2019: Bring Home a Wild Horse or Burro

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program is excited to announce nearly 70 events this year as part of BLM's efforts to find good homes for our nation's wild horses and burros. Known for their intelligence, endurance and loyalty, wild horses and burros, with the right training, are outstanding for trail riding, packing, working and have successfully competed for awards in numerous fields from endurance riding to dressage. With more than 81,000 wild horses and burros on BLM-managed public lands, these wild icons of our American history need your help more than ever. Without any natural predators that can control population growth, wild horse and burro herds grow rapidly on the range and can quickly overcome the land's ability to support them. The BLM works to maintain healthy wild herds by gathering excess animals and placing them into good homes. (BLM website)



True! An adult turkey has 5,000 to 6,000 feathers. Thought you knew all there is to know about the odd birds at your Thanksgiving table this week? Think again. The group is even wilder than you thought. Amuse your guests with some offbeat turkey facts. (Wild Facts About Wild Turkeys via USFWS)