BLM California News.Bytes Issue 836

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Inyo Mountains Wilderness. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Inyo Mountains Wilderness

ISSUE 836 - December 6, 2018

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


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

SIGN UP TODAY! 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)


Sage-grouse on public lands. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

BLM California Proposes Increased Flexibility and Access in Sage-Grouse Plans

In keeping with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s commitment to work closely with states to enhance conservation, the Bureau of Land Management today announced the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and proposed plan amendments addressing Greater Sage-Grouse conservation on public land in northeastern California. The proposed plan amendments aim to better align BLM resource management plans with state plans for conserving sage-grouse populations, strike a regulatory balance and build greater trust among neighboring interests in Western communities. The proposed amendments and final EISs also addresses the issues remanded to the agency by a March 31, 2017, order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, which determined that the BLM had violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it finalized the 2015 Nevada plan. (BLM news release)

Elephant seal near Piedras Blancas. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

The Big ‘Beachmaster’ Bulls are Returning to Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas

The big, blubbery elephant seal bulls have started arriving at Piedras Blancas since late November. Their deep trumpeting will echo across the beach. It’s been peaceful as the remnants of juveniles, still resting from their fall haul-out, remained sleeping on the sand. A few tussle with each other in the water. But they’ve abandoned the beach to their bigger brothers, to migrate north, bulking up, to take their place some day on the breeding beach. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

Blacktail Deer. Photo by BLM.

Mendocino County Blacktail Association Begins Habitat Improvement Project on BLM-Managed Public Lands

The Mendocino County Blacktail Association, a wildlife habitat conservation group, has begun work to improve conditions for blacktail deer on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management near Covelo, in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County work is an expansion of an ongoing project involving MCBA and the BLM Arcata Field Office. The project began in the King Range National Conservation Area and is now moving onto Eel River watershed public lands where deer forage quality has declined and is less palatable for deer. (BLM news release

Wisdom, world's oldest bird. Photo by USFWS.

World’s Oldest Wild Bird Returns to Midway

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and world’s oldest known wild bird has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial! She first appeared back at her traditional nest site on November 29 and biologists on Midway have confirmed that she has laid an egg. Wisdom was first banded as an adult in 1956, and although she is at least 68 years old, she is still laying eggs and raising chicks. Wisdom and her mate Akeakamai return to the same nest site on Midway Atoll each year. Albatross often take time off to rest between egg-laying years, but the pair have met on Midway to lay and hatch an egg every year since 2006. (USFWS Pacific Region Tumblr)


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 debris removal. Photo by CAL OES.

Wildfire Debris Removal Process Begins

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, along with FEMA and county officials, will begin Phase I of a two-phase debris removal process for the areas affected by the Camp and Woolsey fires today. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and CalRecycle are leading the survey, collection and disposal of household hazardous waste at approximately 18,000 properties affected by the Camp Fire in the Town of Paradise and surrounding Butte County, as well as approximately 1,500 properties affected by the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. This phase of the clean-up process is at no cost to the property owners. (Cal OES website)

Pile burning operations on public lands. Photo by Troy Maguire, BLM.

The BLM to Conduct Pile-Burning Operations in Mono County

Wildland fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office are planning winter pile-burning operations with inter-agency partners for south of Bridgeport, Mono County, when weather and air quality conditions permit. Pile-burning operations can begin as early as Thursday, December 6. Slash piles, composed of limbs, branches and trees will be burned on approximately 370-acres of BLM-administered public lands at several locations in the Green Creek, Mormon Meadows, and Bridgeport Canyon areas. Prescribed burning helps to reduce hazardous fuels, moderate the potential negative effects of wildland fire, and increase firefighter and public safety. (BLM news release)

Case Mountain Giant Sequoias. Photo by BLM.

The BLM Bakersfield Field Office Will Lift Fire Restrictions on Friday

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office is lifting its fire restrictions on Friday, December 7, for approximately 650,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties, due to reduced fire conditions. Easing of fire restrictions will also affect all BLM-managed recreational areas, including the Carrizo Plain National Monument, Chimney Peak, Kennedy Meadows, Keysville, Lake Isabella, San Joaquin River Gorge and Three Rivers. (BLM news release)

Merced Wild and Scenic River. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

BLM Mother Lode Field Office Lifts Emergency Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field Office is lifting its emergency fire restrictions at 9 a.m., Nov. 30, on approximately 230,000-acres of public land, due to reduced wildland fire potential. This action will reopen target shooting on public lands in all or portions of 14 central California counties. The easing of fire restrictions apply to public lands managed by the Mother Lode Field Office in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties. The lifting of restrictions also affects BLM recreational areas along the American, Merced, Mokelumne, South Yuba and Tuolumne rivers. Fire restrictions were originally initiated on May 25. (BLM news release)

Tumey Hills. Photo by Michael Westphal, BLM.

BLM Central Coast Field Office Lifts Emergency Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office is lifting its emergency fire restrictions on Nov. 30, on approximately 300,000-acres of public land, due to reduced wildland fire potential. This action also reopens target shooting at Panoche, Tumey and Griswold hills, as well as on public lands from the Pacific Coast to the San Joaquin Valley. The easing of fire restrictions apply to public lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties. Fire restrictions were initiated on May 25. (BLM news release)


George H.W. Bush at the Grand Canyon. Photo by Bush Museum.

Remembering 41

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, was declared a National Day of Mourning following the loss of President George H. W. Bush. Bureau of Land Management offices were closed to honor the legacy and memory of our 41st President. 

Related: Historic fishing photos from the Rogue River, during a 1988 campaign trip to Oregon (BLM Oregon Facebook)

Boy hunting with his dog. Photo by Kari Boyd-Peark, BLM.

Hunting Heritage: A Public Lands Tradition

Kari Boyd-Peak from Bureau of Land Management Utah shares a public lands hunting tradition that goes back generations in her family. (BLM California Facebook video)

America the Beautiful Pass. Photo by DOI.

The Gift of the Great Outdoors!

Is adventure on your wish list this year? Get all your holiday shopping done today with the best deal of the season. It’s not just a pass, it’s a year’s worth of memories. Check out

Veterans combatting wildfires. Photo by Kari Greer, BLM and Forest Service.

Unique Firefighting Crew has Common Trait: Military Service

After being in firefights in Afghanistan and Iraq, members of one of America’s newest elite wildfire crews are tasked with fighting fires in rugged country back home. On the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s only hotshot crew focused on recruiting veterans, members have traded assault rifles and other weapons of war for chain saws and shovels. But, like in the military, they have camaraderie, structure and chain of command. And the occasional adrenaline rush. (The Seattle Times)

US Postal Service 2019 stamps featuring Wild and Scenic Rivers. Photo by USPS.

Arts, Entertainment, History and Culture Headline the 2019 Forever Stamp Lineup

In the spirit of the coming new year, the U.S. Postal Service revealed several of the new Forever stamps and other stamps to be issued in 2019. Since 1847, the stamp program has celebrated the people, events and cultural milestones unique to the history of the United States. The 2019 stamp subjects continue this rich tradition. “The miniature works of art illustrated in the 2019 stamp program offer something for everyone’s interest about American history and culture,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Executive Director Mary-Anne Penner. “From legendary poet Walt Whitman to the entertainment genius of Gregory Hines to the majestic beauty of our Wild and Scenic Rivers, this program is diverse and wide ranging and tells America’s story on stamps.”

The US Postal Service 2019 stamp lineup also includes Wild and Scenic Rivers. Four Bureau of Land Management-managed rivers are featured!


Tule elk forages at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in central California. Photo by Doug Ridgway.

Fill in the Blank

Adult male elk, caribou, moose, white-tailed deer and mule deer — all native to North America — have _____________.

Keep scrolling to find out!


Wild horse, part of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. 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)

Related: December 7 and 8 wild horse and burro event in Ridgecrest (BLM California Facebook)

Cotoni-Coast Dairies. Photo by Jim Pickering, BLM.

December 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)

Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

December 13-16: BLM, USFS and Partners Celebrate Pacific Crest Trail 50th Anniversary

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office, Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument and High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew invite the public to a family friendly work weekend on the Pacific Crest Trail from Dec. 13-16, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the PCT and the National Trails System Act. (BLM news release)

Trona Pinnacles. Photo by Bob Wick, 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. (BLM news release)



Adult male elk, caribou, moose, white-tailed deer and mule deer — all native to North America — have antlers. Most female caribou have antlers, too. They all belong to the Cervidae family of mammals. (11 Facts about Antlers via USFWS)