BLM California News.Bytes Issue 851

View as a webpage

news bytes - bureau of land management california
California Coastal National Monument Orange County Rocks and Islands from Laguna Beach. Photo by Doug Herrema, BLM.

California Coastal National Monument Orange County Rocks and Islands from Laguna Beach

ISSUE 851 - May 2, 2019

  • Recreation
  • Wildland Fire
  • 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

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)

Lingering blooms at Carrizo. Photo by John Kelley, BLM.

'Lingering Fields Of Yellow' As California's Super Bloom Begins To Fade

Just 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles, it feels like another world, bouncing along an old jeep road in the remote Temblor Range. "The rainbow that these hills were for the last month is pretty much gone," remarks my pal Michael Lee Jackson, a professional photographer and amateur explorer, as we drive. It's his seventh trip to the Carrizo Plain National Monument since mid-March. That was the start of the "super bloom" that transformed Southern California's deserts and prairies into stunning mosaics of yellows, oranges, reds, purples and blues. (NPR News)

Rafting the Trinity River. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

BLM Opening Trinity River Campgrounds May 22

With summer camping season just around the corner, the Bureau of Land Management has announced that Trinity River campgrounds along California State Highway 299 will open Wednesday, May 22. “These are beautiful spots that provide good access to the Trinity River,” said Jennifer Mata, manager of the BLM Redding Field Office. “Camping is a great way for families to connect with nature and learn about the natural wonders to be found on our public lands.” (BLM news release)

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)


NFPA and Firewise logo.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

Wildfires across the United States have taken more than 100 lives and cost more than $25 billion dollars in property losses in just the last two years. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to improve the wildfire safety of your home and community. You can help promote wildfire safety by encouraging residents to work together on a project or event. Participation helps create a sense of community, where neighbors begin to look out for each other. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day projects can also help strengthen relationships between residents and the local fire department, land management agencies, community leaders, and elected officials. (National Fire Protection Association website)

Follow #WildfirePrepDay on Saturday, May 4 for stories about wildfire preparedness.

Save the date, next week is California's Wildfire Preparedness Week, learn more about being #WildfireWeatherAWARE and #ReadyforWildfire. 

Don Garwood, former Incident Management Team Incident Commander speaks to participants. Photo by Heather Thurston, CAL FIRE.

Firefighters Learn from the Battle of San Pasqual

During the Mexican-American War President James Polk sent the U.S. 1st Dragoons, under the command of General Stephan Watts Kearny, 2000 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to California. On December 6, 1846 these troops engaged a group of Mexican cowboys known as the “Californios” in what would become known as the “bloodiest battle in California’s History”... On a cool April morning in 2019, cadets from Rio Hondo College Wildland Fire Academy lined up in anticipation for the day while leaders and mentors introduced each other from several departments across southern California. Leaders from U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Marines, CAL FIRE, Lakeside Fire, Newport Beach Fire, and other local departments assembled, ready to share their experiences and learn from each other about the decisions made in 1846. The battle of San Pasqual provides learning opportunities that parallel common issues consistently encountered on the firefighter’s battlefield. (Wildfire Today website)

Firefighter lights Rx burn. Photo by BLM.

BLM Plans Prescribed Fire Near Stones-Bengard Community at Eagle Lake

Fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management will be conducting a prescribed fire project this spring on public lands north of the Stones-Bengard community at the north shore of Eagle Lake in Lassen County. The project will cover 300 to 400 acres in a ponderosa/Jeffrey pine forest west of California State Route 139 near the Cleghorn Road. The fire will be low-intensity, removing brush and small trees. Crews will light the fires only when weather allows for safe and successful burning. Burning could take place over several days beginning in early May and continuing into June. Residents in north Eagle Lake communities can expect to see smoke for two to three days after burning operations end. (BLM news release)

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


Public lands in Inyo County. Photo by Caroline Woods, BLM.

BLM Seeks Comments on Draft Plan for Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Project

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the proposed Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Project in Inyo County. The proposed billion-dollar project supports the Trump Administration’s goals of achieving energy security, strengthening local economies and creating local jobs. Public comments on the draft supplemental EIS must be submitted to the BLM by Aug. 1, 2019. (BLM news release)

Plains Pipeline section in the Carrizo Plain. Photo by Serena Baker, BLM.

BLM Seeks Public Comments on Plains Pipeline Replacement Project

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office is seeking public comments on the potential environmental impacts of a proposal by Plains Pipeline, L.P. to replace its roughly 127-mile pipeline, which includes approximately 14 miles of federal lands within Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern counties. The public comment period will end June 3. (BLM news release)

DAC member feeding burro. Photo by Sarah Webster, BLM.

BLM Seeks California Desert Advisory Council Nominations

The Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert District is soliciting nominations from the public for five members of its California Desert Advisory Council to serve three-year terms. The council’s 15 members provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on the management of more than 10-million acres of public lands in eight counties of southern California. (BLM news release)

Camping in the forest. Photo by USFS.

U.S. Forest Service Seeking Committee Members to Advise on Recreation Site Fees

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service is seeking nominations to fill the eleven member Recreation Resource Advisory Committee in California. Recreation RAC members provide recommendations to the Agency on recreation fee changes at national forest sites throughout the state of California. This includes making recreation fee program recommendations on implementing or eliminating standard amenity fees; expanded amenity fees; and noncommercial, individual special recreation permit fees; expanding or limiting the recreation fee program; and fee-level changes. Nominations are now being accepted through August 1, 2019. (USFS news release)

Volunteers at Shelter Cove. Photo by Greg Wolfgang, BLM.

Earth Day Celebration in King Range National Conservation Area

50 volunteers joined in various projects in Shelter Cove last weekend. Joining BLM, Lost Coast Interpretive Association, Shelter Cove Arts and Recreation Foundation- SCARF, Sanctuary Forest, OceanFront Inn and Suites and Dos Gardenias Swimwear, volunteers completed beach cleanups at Mal Coombs and Shelter Cove beaches, iceplant removal at Abalone Point, litter and car abatement on King Peak Road bypass, pampas grass removal near Punta Gorda Lighthouse and invasive fennel removal at Black Sands Beach. (BLM California Facebook)

Volunteer work in Alabama Hills. Photo by BLM.

Outstanding Volunteer Work in the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area

The widely popular #TrashTag challenge invites people everywhere to participate in cleanup projects, and some on BLM-managed public lands! BLM offices and partner groups across the nation are organizing volunteer events to pick up trash. Thanks for joining in and helping #LeaveNoTrace.

Volunteers cleaned up and restored several areas in the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area last week. Over 50 individuals representing local groups and business, including, the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, Friends of the Inyo, The Athenian School (18 high school students!), Eastern Sierra 4X4 Club, Whitney Base Camp & Climbing School and local residents joined in the fun. (BLM California Facebook)

Related: #TrashTag Challenge Goes Viral As People Share Before/After Photos Of Their Cleanup (Forbes)


Oil and gas on public lands. Photo by BLM.

Using the Least Amount of Acreage in History, Interior Hits Record Oil and Gas Revenues in 2018 at $1.1 Billion

Under President Trump’s leadership, Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year for onshore oil and gas revenues on public lands due in large part to more streamlined permitting timelines and abundant acreage for lease as was highlighted in statistics released by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. In FY 2018, the U.S. hit all-time highs for federal oil production on federal land, 214,144,945 barrels produced onshore, with the smallest footprint of acreage under lease (25,552,475 acres) since BLM started collecting comparable data in FY 1985 (120,686,611 acres). (DOI news release)

Grand Teton National Park. Photo by DOI.

Wild for Wildflowers

From early spring to late fall, nature puts on a spectacular show with wildflower blooms across the country. Wildflowers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and can be found in unusual places. You might expect to see them in mountain meadows and along forest edges, but these colorful displays can surprise you in salt marshes and across desert plains. To help you make some flowery friends and learn a little more about your public lands, here are a few more of our favorite wildflowers. (DOI blog)

Related: Remember to #LeaveNoTrace While You #TracktheBloom (BLM California Facebook)

Related: Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Related: Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline

Related: Desert USA Wildflower Report

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)


Elephant seal pup. Photo by Jesse Pluim, BLM.

Fill in the Blank

Spring is the most crowded season at Piedras Blancas. More seals are on the beach than even during breeding season, when over ______ pups are born.

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

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)

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

May 21, 22 and 23: 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)

Public meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

May 21, 2019
Kern County Administrative Office
1115 Truxtun Ave., First Floor (Rotunda and Board Chambers)
Bakersfield, CA 93301

May 22, 2019
Embassy Suites by Hilton
333 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

May 23, 2019
Santa Barbara City College
West Campus—Fé Bland Forum
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93019

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)


Spring is the most crowded season at Piedras Blancas. More seals are on the beach than even during breeding season, when over 5,000 pups are born. (Female elephant seals are molting on the beach at Piedras Blancas this Spring via the San Luis Obispo Tribune)