BLM California News.Bytes Issue 847

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Estelle Mountain within the Palm Springs South-Coast Field Office. Photo by James Gannon, BLM.

Public lands within the Palm Springs South-Coast Field Office

ISSUE 847 - April 4, 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 2019. Photo by Amanada James, 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 responsible recreation and Leave No Trace principles.

As of April 3, 2019, the wildflowers are stunning at Carrizo Plain National Monument, with more blooming daily on the valley floor and mountain ranges. 

REMINDER: Campgrounds fill up fast or are already full so plan accordingly. Please follow warning signs and respect private property when visiting your public lands. This is a remote area with limited towing services, no fuel, food or water nearby. There are two free campgrounds that operate on a first come first serve basis. Dispersed car camping is allowed in the mountains/foothills in previously disturbed locations, but not on the valley floor because of threatened and endangered species. RVs/5th wheels must be in a campground. Other options would be staying in one of the gateway communities.

ROADS: Please be cautious on dirt or muddy roads! Don’t drive into the flowers, park alongside the road (parallel) as not to obstruct other traffic and watch for pedestrians. Currently Simmler Road and Panorama Road are open. High clearance vehicles are recommended, especially in muddy areas. Soda Lake Road and Elkhorn Road are also open.

Painted Rock is closed due to nesting bird season. The Goodwin Educational Center is open 9 am to 4 pm Thursday through Sunday. 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

Carrizo Plain NM. Photo by Johna Hurl, BLM.

Wildflower Tourists are Behaving Badly at the Carrizo Plain — and Ruining the Experience

Visitors flocking to the Carrizo Plain to check out the wildflowers have gotten stuck in the mud, blocked traffic and trespassed onto private property in their quest for the perfect view of the bloom. A rainy winter has brought a super bloom to much of California. Although the bloom on the national monument has yet to reach its peak, tourists have already begun to make their flower pilgrimages to southeastern San Luis Obispo County. (The Tribune)

Super bloom in the Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area. 2016 photo by Eric Coulter, BLM.

Remember to #LeaveNoTrace While You #TracktheBloom

The Bureau of Land Management in California is excited to #TracktheBloom this year! The always anticipated spring wildflower blooms, especially in the Golden State are making headlines and it's no surprise why. With these blooms come an increased need for our public lands visitors to help care for these stunning landscapes, practice responsible wildflower viewing and set realistic expectations for what Mother Nature has in store. (BLM California Facebook)


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

BLM Terminating Land Use Plan Development in Northwest California

The Bureau of Land Management is terminating development of a new resource management plan for public lands managed by the Arcata and Redding field offices in northwest California. (BLM news release)

Canoemobile 2019. Photo by Peter MacMillan, Wilderness Inquiry.

Behind the Scenes at #Canoemobile 

Students from the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District are participating in Wilderness Inquiry's 5th annual Canoemobile at Cosumnes River Preserve this week. Students have the opportunity to paddle in 24-foot Voyageur canoes and participate in environmental education activities on public lands. The preserve, a unique "backyard" for this California community, includes 46,000 acres of central valley grasslands, vernal pools, wetlands and valley oak forests. Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile program engages youth across the country in hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that are focused on academics and outdoor recreation. (BLM California Facebook)

Related: Canoemobile (Wilderness Inquiry website)

Trinidad Head visitors. Photo by Leisyka Parrott, BLM.

All Ages Enjoy Trinidad Head

It is not only birds that flock to the California Coastal National Monument in the Spring. Visitors of all ages are visiting the Trinidad Gateway to the monument including the Trinidad Head Lighthouse. Last week, members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute viewed whales and seabirds from Trinidad Head. They also were given the opportunity to climb to the top of the lighthouse and learn about what life may have been like in this rugged location over 100 years ago. Students from the Fortuna Junior Academy also had the opportunity to learning about nesting seabirds and Trinidad history while watching for whales. These junior high students also learned how to use a spotting scope to get a closer look at California Sea Lions and Stellar Sea Lions. (BLM California Facebook)

Women's Climbing Festival 2019. Photo by E. Elliot, BLM.

2019 Women's Climbing Festival Near Bishop

The BLM and 30 attendees from the Flash Foxy Women's Climbing Festival completed several stewardship projects on public lands near Bishop. Volunteers restored impacts from dispersed camping, beautified the BLM Pleasant Valley Pit Campground with painted colorful lost and found and free library boxes, removed structures in a wilderness study area and picked up trash. The Flash Foxy festival celebrates the "growing community of women climbers over an amazing weekend of climbing, clinics, films and more." (BLM California Facebook)

Related: Women's Climbing Festival (Flash Foxy website)

BLM LE ranger participates in community event. Photo by BLM.

"Walking on Legos"

BLM law enforcement rangers joined partners from CAL FIRE and California Highway Patrol for the 2nd annual Children's Services of the Desert "Walking on Legos" event at La Quinta High School raising awareness for children with special needs. (BLM California Facebook)

Related: "Walking on Legos" event raises money for children with special needs (News Channel 3)

Crews repairing trails after fire and winter storm damage. Photo by Bill Kuntz, BLM.

BLM Completes Repair of Fire, Storm Damage on Recreational Trails

Recreation trails on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management are ready for the busy spring and summer seasons, as crews have finished repairing fire and winter storm damage. “We owe a huge thanks to a crew from AmeriCorps, members of the Redding Trail Alliance and trail enthusiasts who volunteered with us to get the trails ready for use,” said Jennifer Mata, manager of the BLM Redding Field Office. “Some worked seven-day weeks for more than a month. The reward is seeing people back out on the trails, hiking, bicycling and riding their horses.” Mata said the volunteers and BLM staff cleared thousands of trees downed and damaged in the Carr Fire and the Valentine’s Day snowstorm. Workers repaired footbridges and built new ones, replaced and repaired damaged culverts, and installed new signs in most parts of the 130-mile trail network. (BLM news release)


Horseback riding on public lands. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Horsing Around on Public Lands

Whether they live in the city or way out west, horse enthusiasts have plenty of options for finding new ground for riding their horses. Public lands across the country are outstanding places to explore with your four-legged friend. Even if you don’t own a horse, some public lands allow outfitters to take people on horseback adventures through beautiful landscapes and historic locations. When planning your trip, make sure that the horses you bring are accustomed to each other and able to deal with unusual situations or environments. Horseback riding is a fun and rewarding experience, but a spooked or green horse can injure you and others. Remember to check the regulations regarding vaccinations or testing for horses, waste disposal requirements and designated horse trails. (DOI blog)

Adopted wild horse and owner. Photo by BLM.

Bureau of Land Management Offers New Incentives to Encourage More Adoptions of Wild Horses and Burros

As part of the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to find good homes for wild horses and burros removed from public lands, the agency today began offering new financial incentives to encourage qualified people to adopt one or more of the animals. The program is part of the BLM’s efforts to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile rangelands and in off-range holding facilities, which cost taxpayers nearly $50 million every year to maintain. (BLM news release)

Related: BLM wild horse and burro adoption stories (My Public Lands Flickr)

Related: The federal government is offering $1,000 if you adopt a wild horse (Mashable)


Bat being studied. Photo by USDA.

True or False

Animals can be identified by the compounds in their breath.

Keep scrolling to find out!


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.

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)

MTB Redding. Photo by Visit Redding.

Now - May 31: 3rd Annual Redding Mayor's Mountain Bike Challenge

The 3rd annual Mayor's Mountain Bike Challenge is back to highlight backcountry and year-round single track trails near the City of Redding including BLM-managed public lands. This event was inspired by riders for riders. Visit Redding loves trails and wanted to get more people, locals and visitors alike, to fall in love with them. The Mayor's Mountain Bike Challenge is free to participate in and helps people discover some of the most exciting and challenging routes the North State has to offer. For more information, go to

Fort Sage OHV Area. Photo by Eric Coulter, BLM.

April 13-14: Motorcycle Races Coming for Fort Sage Area; Some Trail Access Will Be Limited

Up to 200 riders are expected to participate in the Diamond Back Hare Scrambles motorcycle race, Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, at the Fort Sage Off-Highway Vehicle Area near Doyle. Trail access will be available only to participants while the races are underway.

Spectators are welcome at designated viewing areas at the Widow Maker, Land of David and Raptor trailheads. Participants and visitors can camp overnight at the main Fort Sage Trailhead. Single-day visitors will use parking areas along access roads. (BLM news release)

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

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)



The fragrance of a rose comes from volatile organic compounds. Living plants, animals, humans, and even inanimate objects emit complex mixtures of VOCs. VOC mixtures are so distinctive that new words are used to describe them: volatilome, breathprint, and smellprint.

“There are over 2,000 VOCs in a person’s breath,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Dan Wilson.“If you have a disease, you release abnormal compounds in your breath. This allows pathologists to non-invasively detect many different diseases in the body by simply analyzing the breath.” (E-Noses Detect Disease in Plants, Animals and Humans via USDA Southern Research Station)