BLM California News.Bytes Issue 838

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Cosumnes River Preserve. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Cosumnes River Preserve

ISSUE 838 - December 20, 2018

  • BLM Gives Back
  • Headlines and Highlights
  • BLM and DOI Highlights 
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

From our Bureau of Land Management family to yours, happy holidays! We hope you find time to enjoy your public lands. 


Cow mountain volunteer work. Photo by BLM.

BLM Gives Back, With the Help of Many Volunteers

Earlier this month, there were two volunteer work day events on Cow Mountain. On North Cow Mountain, the Ukiah Valley Trail Group had 15 volunteers go out and brush the Valley View Trail. All the volunteers used only hand tools to brush the trail. On South Cow Mountain, Friends of Cow Mountain and the North Bay Motorcycle Club brought 18 volunteers together to do trail maintenance work on the Acupuncture Alley Trail. In total, they fell approximately 30-40 hazardous trees within two groves of bark beetle infested trees. Unfortunately, volunteers found all three wooden bridges on the Acupuncture Alley Trail had been destroyed from the River Fire. Thank you all for the continued work on public lands. (BLM California Facebook)

Volunteers at the Elk River Restoration Day. Photo by BLM.

Eagle River Watershed Restoration Day

The Elk River Watershed Restoration Day was a community volunteer event combating erosion and improving salmon habitat in the Elk River near Humboldt County by decommissioning off trail hiking areas, called social trails. The California Conservation Corps Watershed Stewards Program in partnership with AmeriCorps, BLM, Redwood Parks Conservancy and Friends of the Headwaters invited volunteers to come out to the Headwaters Forest Reserve Elk River Trailhead to learn about watershed and its importance for spawning salmon. The event recruited over 65 volunteers and 11 other Watershed Steward Program members. (BLM California Facebook)

Bakersfield Christmas Parade. Photo by BLM.

Christmas Around the World

Nothing lights up a dark winter night like the sights and sounds of the 36th annual festive Bakersfield Christmas Parade sponsored by 23ABC Bakersfield. BLM's Bakersfield Field Office joined more than 20,000 of our closest friends at this year’s parade to celebrate “Christmas Around the World” and win the overall float sweepstakes. Happy Holidays to all. (BLM California Facebook)

BLMer volunteers in kindergarten class. Photo by Somer Shaw, BLM.

BLMer Teaches Preschool Class about Public Lands

"I love my job when I have the chance to share with youth the importance of the natural and cultural resources on their public lands. Today was one of those great days!" -Somer Shaw, BLM California's San Joaquin River Gorge

Somer recently visited her son's preschool class in Fresno to teach about trees using redbud sticks, pine cones, acorns and baskets. Students listened to how the Dumna, Kechayi and Mono people (both past and present) use trees. They learned about basketry, food, clothing and making structures. Students even put on animal costumes exploring both the special features of animals and how animals need trees to survive in their local foothills and even in their own backyard. (BLM California Facebook)


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

Eagle Lake. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

New Year, New Adventures 

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. As we look towards 2019, we will be sharing ideas for your #NewYearNewAdventures on California public lands. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter

Tuttle Hills Campground. Photo by BLM.

BLM Reduces Tuttle Creek Campground Winter Rates in the Alabama Hills

The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office is reducing the nightly camping fee at the Tuttle Creek Campground from $8 per night to $5 per night starting Friday, December 21. The campground fee will return to the standard $8 per night rate in April 2019. (BLM news release

Wildland firefighting. Photo by Kyle Clendenen, BLM.

BLM Hiring Central California Seasonal Wildland Fire Positions

The Bureau of Land Management Central California District is accepting applications for 2019 summer seasonal wildland firefighting jobs. There are fire positions available for hotshot, handcrew and engine crew members; heavy equipment operators and dispatcher personnel based in Bakersfield, Bishop, Placerville and Porterville. (BLM news release)

Mendocino Complex burn zone. Photo by the Press Democrat.

Mendocino Complex Fire Left Behind California Burn Zone Without Any Parallel

Extending north of Clear Lake across nearly 1 million acres of mountainous terrain folded into steep slopes and canyons, the Mendocino National Forest has long served as both playground and sanctuary, an expanse of wildland cut by boulder-strewn streams and covered in chaparral, forest and meadows. But much of that once lush landscape is now bare and blackened, a scorched shadow left by flames that ran roughshod over eastern Mendocino County and northern Lake County in two separate fires sparked on the same day in late July. (The Press Democrat)

Firefighter in the Californai desert. Photo by BLM.

The BLM California Desert District to Modify Fire and Target Shooting Restrictions for Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management is reducing fire restrictions to Stage I on December 17 for all BLM-managed public lands within the California Desert District, due to the recent rains, new growth in annual grasses, and milder temperatures. This change in fire restrictions will affect Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Mono and San Diego counties. (BLM news release

Related: BLM to modify fire, target shooting restrictions for public lands (Desert Dispatch)

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

Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument: Public Access Plan in the Works

A plan to open Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument to the public is getting underway, closely watched by cautious North Coast residents and hopeful recreational enthusiasts alike. Bureau of Land Management officials expect to begin the formal planning process this spring and produce a finalized management plan within six months to a year — a document that will serve as a scaffold for the development of trailheads and amenities, and set rules for recreation and other potential uses. “Ultimately, we want to develop a management plan that allows for public access and enjoyment of the property while also protecting resources and being responsible neighbors for the North Coast,” said Ben Blom, the Bureau of Land Management’s Central Coast field manager. (Santa Cruz Sentinel

Related: BLM to host Cotoni-Coast Dairies public access workshops (BLM news release

Racer coming into the finish line. Photo by BLM photo.

BLM Accepting Applications for Special Recreation Permit Subgroup of the California Desert Advisory Council

The Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District is accepting applications from the public for six members of its Special Recreation Permit Subgroup of the California Desert District Advisory Council to serve two-year terms. Applications will be accepted until January 21. (BLM news release)

Duners riding at Imperial Sand Dunes. Photo by Michelle Puckett, BLM.

BLM is Accepting Applications for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area Subgroup

The Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert District Desert Advisory Council is now accepting applications for membership on the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area subgroup. Persons wishing to apply should submit their application by January 21. (BLM news release)


DOI holiday image

Season's Greeting from Interior

From everyone at the Department of the Interior, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season! (DOI 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


Piedras Blancas Elephant seals. Photo by Jesse Pluim, BLM.

Fill in the Blank

___________ are a favorite meal for great white sharks?

Keep scrolling to find out!

In other news, EarthCam announced its "25 Most Interesting Webcams" of 2018 and Piedras Blancas made the list! 


Bird from Audubon photography awards. Photo by Audubon.

Now - January 5: Join the Christmas Bird Count

Audubon's 119th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted between the dates of Friday, December 14, 2018 through Saturday, January 5, 2019. There is a specific methodology to the CBC, and all participants must make arrangements to participate in advance with the circle compiler within an established circle, but anyone can participate... If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. (Audubon website)

Kids at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Photo by Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center.

January 6, March 3, April 7 and May 5: Story Time and Young Explorers at Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Story Hour for children ages 5 to 7: Join us in our Kid’s Corner to hear a story about nature and creatures that live in the desert of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Reading will be followed by an indoor or outdoor arts and crafts activity.

Young Explorers for ages 8 and above: Compass and maps are a very important part of your 10 essentials when hiking in the desert. Let’s explore and have fun learning about them!

RSVP required. Event will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Please visit or call (760) 862-9984 for more information.

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

Ongoing: 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)


Did you know? 

Elephant seals return to the same breeding grounds every year. 

- The largest elephant seal ever recorded was 20 feet long and weighed almost 4.5 tons. Typically, males weigh in at 2.75 tons at 15 feet, and females weigh 1 ton at 10 feet.

- Elephant seals also happen to be a favorite meal of great white sharks.

- The Piedras Blancas Rookery is the only elephant seal rookery in the world that is easily accessible, free and open to the public every day of the year. Also, it is just down the road from the BLM-managed Piedras Blancas Light Station, part of the California Coastal National Monument. Learn more about these extraordinary marine mammals from Friends of the Elephant Seal