BLM California News.Bytes Issue 850

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2019 Shasta Grand Prix. Photo by Shawn Stapleton, BLM.

Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area

ISSUE 850 - April 25, 2019

  • Recreation
  • 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

Eagle Lake camping. Photo by BLM.

BLM Opening Campgrounds, Recreation Sites for Spring and Summer Seasons

Campgrounds and recreation areas on Bureau of Land Management public lands in northeast California are now opening for the spring and summer recreation seasons. “These recreation sites are in beautiful locations. They provide great settings for families to enjoy their public lands,” said Brian Novosak, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville. (BLM news release)

30th annual Lassen County Junior Fishing Derby. Photo by Stan Bales, BLM.

30th Annual Lassen County Junior Fishing Derby

BLM's Hobo Camp Day Use Area near Susanville was a busy place Saturday, as children and their parents lined the banks of the Susan River to participate in the 30th Annual Lassen County Junior Fishing Derby. The day-use area along the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail is one of the most popular derby fishing spots along the river that that flows through Susanville. Nearly 500 participants from 2-16 years old participated. The Lassen Sportsmen's Club organized the event, as it has for the past three decades. The City of Susanville, Lassen County and the Susanville Indian Rancheria were sponsors. Community business donated bicycles and fishing gear for prizes, and provided food and beverages for complimentary breakfast and lunch for participants. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked 1,500 pounds of fish, many of which will still be tempting anglers when northeast California's stream fishing season opens next Saturday. (BLM California Facebook)

MTB in Fort Ord. Photo by BLM.

On the Road: Monterey Offers Treasure Trove of Adventurous Destinations

Headed to the Monterey area? Hikers, bicyclists, mountain bikers, kayakers or campers will find two adventure destinations within 2½ hours of San Joaquin County, in Fort Ord National Monument and Elkhorn Slough, each adjacent to Monterey. Fort Ord National Monument abuts Monterey, offering world-class recreation for visitors to the Central Coast. Lands of the former army fort offer 86 miles of trails on 7,200 acres — open every day from dawn to dusk for hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, horseback riders, wildlife/wildflower photographers and nature enthusiasts. Visitors can choose to walk or ride the narrow single-track trails atop the grassland hills or the shady, winding trails through oak woodlands and maritime chaparral. A variety of paved roads also make the old fort a dream for road cyclists. (

Related: Ribbon cutting for new trails in Fort Ord National Monument (BLM California Facebook)

Related: Collaboration and greater public access highlight of BLM Fort Ord National Monument anniversary (BLM news release)

CA river flowing. Photo by CDWR.

High and Fast Water Are All the More Reasons to #WearaLifeJacket

Under California law, every child under 13 years of age on a moving recreational vessel of any length must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in serviceable condition and of a type and size appropriate for the conditions and the activity. (California Division of Boating and Waterways website)

Related: Current river conditions (DBW website)

Related: River safety tips (DBW website)

BBC super bloom from space. Photo by BBC.

Wildflower 'super bloom' visible from space

An explosion of wildflowers has covered the deserts of California, surpassing previous blooms in its enormous scale. Satellite imaging startup Planet Labs has captured shots of the bright spectacle from space. (BBC News)

Fort Ord National Monument. Photo by  Laura Nicola, 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)

Related: Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Related: Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline

Related: Desert USA Wildflower Report


West Mojave Route Network. Photo by BLM.

BLM Releases Final Environmental Analysis for the West Mojave Route Network Project

In keeping with the Administration’s effort to increase recreational access and to promote shared stewardship of public lands, the Bureau of Land Management has released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment for the West Mojave Route Network Project. (BLM news release)

California oil and gas. Photo by John Ciccarelli , BLM.

BLM Bakersfield Seeks Public Comments on Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts Analysis

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing associated with oil and gas development on public lands within the Bakersfield Field Office planning area, which includes Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. The 45-day public comment period begins on April 26 and ends on June 10. (BLM news release)

King Range. Photo by BLM.

BLM Hosting Artists in Residence at King Range National Conservation Area

The dramatically beautiful King Range National Conservation Area will become a workshop for artists this spring, when a painter and sculptor set to work as artists in residence, ultimately exhibiting their creations inspired by California’s Lost Coast. The Bureau of Land Management will host painter Susan R. Mendelsohn of the San Francisco Bay Area from April 29 to May 12, and sculptor Benjamin Funke of Humboldt County from May 18 to June 15. (BLM news release)

BLM managed public lands in San Bernardino County. Photo courtesy of Castle Mountain Venture.

BLM Seeks Public Comment for Castle Mountain Mine Proposal

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking comment on a proposed modification to the Plan of Operations for the Castle Mountain Mine located in San Bernardino County. The 30-day public comment period will end on May 20. The mine, owned by Castle Mountain Venture, is an authorized 1,375-acre open pit gold mine that was approved in 1990 and then expanded in 1998. The mine has not produced gold since 2001. Castle Mountain Mine’s proposed actions include restarting its operations within the previously approved footprint; updating the status of revegetation research; and modifying the reclamation strategy, mining methods, scheduling and the groundwater-monitoring plan. (BLM news release)

Carr Fire impacts historical grave. Photo by KRCR.

Ground Penetrating Radar Being Used Around Shasta to Find Hidden Graves

Charles Brownstein, an infant at the time, was buried in 1864 and his is perhaps the sole remaining grave in what was once the only Jewish cemetery in this area. The burial site was established as a California historical landmark in 1942. After the Carr Fire, many parts of the grave are in desperate need of fixing... Before any repairs can be done, officials need to be sure they will not disturb any undiscovered graves. "Ground penetrating radar,” or G.P.R. allows the operator to see up to 10 feet underneath the surface. When something abnormal shows up, the crew marks off the area with flags for future investigation. Once certain areas are approved as safe to work on, the Bureau of Land Management hopes to improve the area by making it safer to the general public. (KRCR News)

Living with Wildfire cover. Photo by Humboldt County.

Living with Wildfire in Northwestern California

Both 2017 and 2018 were significant fire years in the state, producing unprecedented destruction, particularly in the north. In 2018, we experienced the Carr Fire near Redding, the Mendocino Complex (the largest fire on record in California), and the Camp Fire, which devastated the community of Paradise. These three fires alone destroyed 20,688 structures, burned over 842,000 acres, and left 94 dead. In October 2017, the North Bay Fire siege included the Tubbs, Atlas, and Redwood Valley Fires, which combined for almost 125,000 acres burned, 6,965 structures destroyed, and 37 fatalities. These six incidents are amongst the largest, most destructive, and deadliest fires in the state’s history. Firefighters and equipment are overwhelmed when fires ignite under hot, windy weather with tinder-dry vegetation. (Humboldt County website)

BLM fire engine and firefighters. Photo by Paul Gibbs, BLM.

BLM Initiates Seasonal Fire and Target Shooting Restrictions in the California Desert District

The Bureau of Land Management will initiate stage II and III fire restrictions as of April 10 for BLM-managed public lands within Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Mono and San Diego counties. These restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. Stage II and III fire restrictions address the use of campfires, controlled flame devices and smoking on public lands. (BLM news release)

All fire restriction information is available on the BLM California fire restrictions website at


National Park Week logo

National Park Week 2019

Each April, during the presidentially-proclaimed National Park Week, we join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to celebrate America's treasures. National Park Week is a time to explore amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, help out, and find your park! (NPS website)

Related: BLM-managed public lands on the way to or from National Parks (BLM California Facebook)

Related: National Parks are National Treasures (DOI blog)

Related: Something Different for National Park Week (DOI video)

Wild and Scenic Rivers USPS stamps.

Spotlighting the Natural Beauty of America’s Wild and Scenic Rivers

The U.S. Postal Service issues Wild and Scenic Rivers, stamps that pay tribute to the exceptional streams that run freely through America’s natural landscapes. This pane honors the rivers’ beauty with a dozen Forever stamps, each showcasing a different segment of the Wild and Scenic River System. The first-day-of-issue event for the Wild and Scenic Rivers Commemorative Forever stamps is free and open to the public. News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtag #WildScenicRiversStamps and #WildRiverStamps. (USPS news release)

Sec Bernhardt signs MOU with Vietnam to address wildlife trafficking. Photo by DOI.

Interior Signs MOU with Vietnam to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt signed a memorandum of understanding with General Tô Lâm, Minister of Public Security in Vietnam, to enhance and strengthen cooperation between the countries to combat wildlife trafficking. Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar illegal business that threatens our global biodiversity and is directly tied to transnational organized crime, making it a serious national security risk to the United States and our partners around the world. (DOI news release)


American coot, wetland bird. Photo by USFWS.

Fill in the Blanks

The _________ _____ is one of our most familiar wetland birds, but their chicks sure look different! Unlike ducks, they have lobed toes which allows them to maneuver both on land and in water.

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)

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

Horses at the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals. Photo by JJ Nolan, BLM.

April 26: BLM Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals Invite the Public to 2019 Adoption Open House

The Bureau of Land Management Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals invites the public to an open house Wild Horse and Burro adoption and sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, April 26. There will be 300 horses and burros available for adoption, and many of the animals at the corrals qualify for the BLM’s new Adoption Incentive Program. The AIP 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)

Child at King Range. Photo by Rachel Sowards-Thompson, BLM.

April 27: Earth Day Celebration in King Range National Conservation Area

Don't miss volunteer projects and an Earth Day celebration in the King Range National Conservation Area from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. Local community organizations will also be participating. (BLM California Facebook)

Damage from the Mendocino Complex fire at the South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area. Photo by Ashley Poggio, BLM.

April 27-28: BLM to Host South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area Fire Recovery Volunteer Event

The Bureau of Land Management Ukiah Field Office and Friends of Cow Mountain are inviting volunteers to come help repair fire-damaged recreation facilities and trails in the South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area on Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day. The OHV area has been closed since July 2018, being heavily damaged by the Mendocino Complex fires. (BLM news release)

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Photo by Joel Miner, BLM.

April 28: Annual Desert Wise Living Tour

The recently installed Pollinator Garden at the BLM-managed Big Morongo Canyon Preserve will be featured during the Morongo Basin Conservation Association’s annual Desert Wise Living Tour. This will be the 9th year of the annual tour that features up to a dozen sites educating visitors on the use of native plants and xeric landscape techniques that use very little municipal water. The tour draws visitors from the Morongo Basin, the Coachella Valley, the Big Bear region, as well as Los Angeles and Orange counties. The pollinator garden will be staffed with volunteers and is one of the featured gardens on April 28. (Morongo Basin Conservation Association website

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.

Wild horses for adoption in Nor Cal. Photo by BLM.

May 18-19: BLM Will Offer Horses for Adoption in Oakdale; Incentive Payments Available 

Wild horses and burros from California and Nevada rangelands will be available for public adoption, Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, at the Oakdale Rodeo Grounds, 1624 East F St., in Oakdale.   The Bureau of Land Management will offer ten mares and geldings aged 2 to 4-years-old and ten yearling fillies and colts under 2-years-old.  The adoption offering includes ten burros of all ages. Anyone interested can preview the animals from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 17.  Adoptions get underway with an hour-long silent auction at 9 a.m. Saturday.  Animals remaining after bidding will be available for the BLM’s $25 adoption fee.  Animals will be available until 3 p.m. Sunday. (BLM news release)

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)

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.

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 American coot is one of our most familiar wetland birds, but their chicks sure look different! Unlike ducks, they have lobed toes which allows them to maneuver both on land and in water. (American coots via McNary National Wildlife Refuge website)