BLM California News.Bytes Issue 843

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Tungsten Hills. Photo by Sarah Manley, BLM.

Tungsten Hills, Bishop Field Office

ISSUE 843 - March 7, 2019

  • Track the Bloom
  • Headlines and Highlights
  • BLM and DOI Highlights 
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events


Upcoming travel plans? 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

Carrizo Plain National Monument. 2019 photo by John Hurl, BLM.


This time of year there is a lot of #CAlove, especially with the much anticipated wildflowers. We will continue sharing updates from your public lands to help visitors know what to realistically expect when it comes to wildflower blooms. As you make plans to #RoadTripCalifornia, please remember the importance of Leave No Trace principles.

As of March 1, 2019, Carrizo Plain National Monument is expecting another 2-3 inches of rain Saturday-Thursday.

No big splashes of flowers yet and many roads are still impassable from previous storms especially Simmler and Panorama Roads. Soda Lake Road becomes impassable on the dirt portions during and right after a rain. Don’t forget to check the visitor center wildflower info line (805) 475-2035.

Related: Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Related: Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline

Related: Desert USA Wildflower Report

Afton Canyon. Photo by Kyle Sullivan, BLM.

Time to Hit the Road and Explore the Golden State

Endless sunshine, amazing cities, best-in-class theme parks, incredible natural treasures—no matter what you want to do and see on your next vacation, California has it. But here's the best part: California has all the iconic destinations you've dreamed of visiting, plus a countless number of incredible off-the-beaten-track experiences. With our exclusive trip itineraries, you can visit bucket-list landmarks like Yosemite, then follow a wine road or visit a craft brewery. Top theme parks, secret beaches, city finds—they’re all here in easy-to-follow road trips that visit every corner of the state. So start dreaming about your next California vacation—and dream big. (Visit California websiteFollow #RoadTripCalifornia! 

CAlove at Trona Pinnacles. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Travelers Share Their Love of California

"We are always heartened to hear from visitors who are passionate about traveling to California, and any time we ask folks to share their #CAlove they are eager to respond. Visit California gathered some comments from people who just can't wait to get back to the state." (Visit California website)

Related: 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. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


Award photo.

California Coastal National Monument Rock Star Award

The California Coastal National Monument Rock Star Award was presented to Rick Hanks at the annual Central Coast Black Oystercatcher Monitoring Project Meeting. Natural Resource Specialist Bill Standley presented the award, which recognizes Hank’s role in recruiting and training more than 50 citizen scientists in the Monterey Peninsula area to monitor oystercatcher nest success, document disturbance rates, and provide outreach to the public during the last six years. Hanks has lead the program as a volunteer since his retirement as the California Coastal National Monument manager. (BLM California Facebook)

Headwaters Forest Reserve, landslide on Elk River Trail. Photo by Julie Clark, BLM.

Elk River Trail Blocked by Landslides; First 2.5 Miles Remain Open

The Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve is blocked temporarily because of two impassable landslides approximately 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The first 2.5 miles of the trail remains open to hikers, runners, bicyclists and dog walkers. The first mile is accessible for those with limited mobility and contains interpretive signs about the area’s forest resources and rich cultural history. (BLM news release)

Lomatium kogholiini. Photo by Jennifer Wheeler, BLM.

Newly Discovered Plant Named for Native Americans

Botanists on California’s North Coast have discovered a new low-growing, flowering plant and named it for Native American people whose ancestral lands include the area where the plant grows. The plant was discovered growing within the South Fork Eel Wilderness and Red Mountain area, both are public land sites within the County of Mendocino and managed by the Bureau of Land Management Arcata Field Office. It will now be known as Wailaki lomatium (Lomatium kogholiini). (BLM California Facebook)

Camp Fire clean-up 2019. Photo by CAL OES.

Over 100,000 Tons of Debris Removed from Camp Fire Properties

Phase II of the state’s wildfire debris removal operations is progressing in the removal of ash, debris, and contaminated soil on Butte County properties burned in the Camp Fire. Implemented under the leadership and coordination of CAL OES, in partnership with federal, state and local agencies, the State Consolidated Debris Removal Program offers survivors of the Camp Fire a streamlined option to clear burned properties to the highest standards. (CAL OES news release)

San Joaquin River Trail Half Marathon and 10k. Photo by San Joaquin Running.

2019 San Joaquin River Trail Half Marathon and 10k

This was San Joaquin Running's 6th annual marathon featuring an approximate 2,500 foot of elevation gain, with over 90% single track trail taking participants through the spectacular San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area. The 10K Fun Run crosses the San Joaquin River suspension bridge. Information on this race and the scheduled San Joaquin River Trail 50K and 100K Run (scheduled Dec. 7, 2019) can be found at


Fire map

National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for March 2019

The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook provides outlooks for the current month, the month following and a seasonal look at the two months beyond that. Maps represent the cumulative forecasts of the eleven Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit. (National Interagency Coordination Center website)

Wild horses on public lands. Photo by BLM.

BLM Seeks Bids for New Off-Range Pastures for Wild Horses and Burros

The BLM announced that it is seeking contractors for off-range pastures to provide a free-roaming environment and quality care for wild horses removed from Western public lands. The BLM will award multiple contracts that can accommodate 200 – 5,000 head of wild horses, with a four-year or nine-year renewal option. All contracts require supplemental feed for a minimum of four months to ensure that animals maintain a quality body condition throughout the dormant months. (BLM news release)

Photo by DOI.

Interior Partners with Private Land Owners to Fund Conservation Initiatives

Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that through continued implementation of Secretarial Order 3362, “Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big-Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors” $1.5 million in private land habitat projects were approved. The funding and technical support is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. (DOI news release)

Photo by DOI.

Interior Women Make More History

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re highlighting notable firsts for women at Interior and our bureaus. From the past to the present, women at Interior blazed a trail to help the Department achieve its mission managing the nation's natural resources and cultural heritage, pursuing cutting-edge science, and honoring trust responsibilities to American Indians, Alaska Natives and affiliated island communities. (DOI blog)

Photo by DOI.

Remembering the Tuskegee Airmen

As Black History Month comes to a close, we pause to remember the Tuskegee Airmen. Breaking barriers and fighting Nazis, the proud pilots of the 99th Fighter Squadron earned the respect of their fellow pilots and wrote their names in the history books. Their success helped pave the way of the desegregation of the military after World War II. (DOI video)


Tree frog stock photo.

True of False

Tree frogs freeze in the winter and "spring" back to life in the warmer months?

Keep scrolling to find out!


Historic photo of burros in Bodie, California. Photo by BLM.

Now - December 2019: Fueling the Boom, Chinese Woodcutters in the Great Basin 1870-1920 

The Nevada State Museum in Carson City is hosting a new exhibit featuring historical/ archaeological artifacts and photographs about Chinese woodcutting camps from Bodie Hills. The exhibit will highlight the significance of the woodcutting community near Chinese Camp (Aurora), shedding light on the little-known history of the Chinese woodcutters who lived there and felled pinyon pines to supply charcoal and firewood to the mining camps of Bodie and Aurora from 1875 to 1915. (Nevada State Museum website)

OHV use in the BLM-managed Tungsten Hills. Photo by Sara Manley, BLM.

March 20: BLM Bishop Field Office and Forest Service Inyo National Forest OHV Grant Applications Now Available for Public Comment

The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office and U.S. Forest Service Inyo National Forest have submitted to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation preliminary applications for grant funds to enhance and manage motorized recreation. The agencies also invite the public to come out to an informal open house happening from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, at the U.S. Forest Service/BLM office, located behind the Department of Motor Vehicles, at 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop. (BLM and USFS news release)

Trinidad Head Lighthouse. Photo by BLM.

First Saturday of Every Month: Living History at Trinidad Head Lighthouse

BLM Park Ranger Julie Clark plays Josephine Harrington for Trinidad School students at Trinidad Head Lighthouse. Josephine lived with her husband, Captain Fred Harrington the lighthouse keeper, at the Trinidad Head Lighthouse for 28 years. Julie has been performing this living history piece to bring the past to life since the BLM acquired the lighthouse in 2014. Now part of the California Coastal National Monument, the Trinidad Head Lighthouse is open to the public the first Saturday of every month (year-round). Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. thanks to docents from the Trinidad Museum Society

Contact the Arcata Field Office for details, (707) 825-2300.

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

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.

Public visitors at a wild horse herd management area. Photo by BLM.

August 2-4: 2nd Annual Wild Horse Walkabout 

Save the date! The public is invited to the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area near Susanville, CA. Attendees will spend the two nights out on the range to learn about how the BLM monitors rangeland and herd health from a BLM wild horse and burro specialist. Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn more about how BLM manages wild horses and burros. (BLM California Facebook)

WHB adoption promo. 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)


True. The animal kingdom is home to some amazing traits. Cheetahs can run at 70 mph (112 kph). Camels can survive half a year without a water source. Frogs can freeze in winter and then thaw, alive, in spring. (10 Crazy Facts You Didn't Know About Animals via How Stuff Works