BLM California News.Bytes Issue 853

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Paynes Creek where it flows into the Sacramento River. Photo by Eric Coulter, BLM.

Paynes Creek in the Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area

ISSUE 853 - May 16, 2019

  • Wildland Fire
  • Infrastructure Month
  • Recreation 
  • Headlines and Highlights
  • BLM and DOI Highlights 
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events


Wildfire Weather Aware campaign graphic.

Wildfire Preparedness Week

It’s that time of year again and we need to get ready for wildfire. This includes things like clearing leaves off the roof and out of the gutters, clearing vegetation and combustible materials around your home and preparing or reviewing your evacuation plan.

This Wildfire Preparedness Week, we are focused on all things weather! It is a good time to review and learn more about fire weather and the hazardous conditions in your area to become #ReadyforWildfire.

This Spring and Summer, learn more by following the #WildfireWeatherAWARE campaign with the Bureau of Land Management, CAL FIRE, U.S. National Weather Service, Forest Service and California Fire Safe Council. (BLM California Facebook)

Related: California's Wildfire Preparedness Week (

Trees. Photo by Earth and Space Science News.

California Heat Waves Triggered by Pacific Thunderstorms

Californians looking to beat the heat this summer might want to keep an eye on the eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans. A new study has found a link between tropical thunderstorm activity and heat waves in California’s Central Valley. The culprit is a large-scale atmospheric circulation pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which moves from west to east in a series of phases across the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans, often dumping heavy rain in its wake. Previous studies have shown that the MJO can influence winter weather in North America, bringing fluctuating temperature spells to the Midwest and Northeast, but the new study, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, is the first to study the MJO’s effects on North America during the summer months, says corresponding author Richard Grotjahn of the University of California, Davis. (Earth and Space Science News)

Inimim Forest pile burning. Photo by Julie Martin, BLM.

BLM to Conduct Pile Burn in the Inimim Forest

The Bureau of Land Management wildland fire crews plan to burn piles of tree limbs and brush starting this week on roughly 350 acres in the Inimim Forest, east of North Columbia in Nevada County, depending on weather and air quality conditions. The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive. Wildland fire crews will burn piles on the 272-acre Shields Camp parcel and the 74-acre Bear Tree parcel. The burn piles were created when the BLM had shaded fuel breaks cut, when crews carefully thinned dense hazardous tree cover and removed underlying brush in strategic locations. The burn will reduce the available fire fuel loads, increase protection of the Wildland-Urban Interface and help improve forest health. The piles consist of brush, chaparral, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, black oak, madrone and manzanita tree limbs. (BLM news release)

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


Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area infrastructure improvements. Photo by DOT.

Improving the Infrastructure of America's Public Lands

Across the nation, the BLM works every day to carry out projects that maintain access to public lands, increase broadband infrastructure in rural and undeveloped areas, improve the recreation experience and ensure the safety of visitors to public lands. If you’ve visited BLM-managed public lands, you’ve likely benefited from these efforts. Improving roads, bridges, dams, trails, OHV areas, communication facilities are just some of the BLM’s goals when it comes to infrastructure improvements. These infrastructure improvements are a lasting and essential part of BLM’s mission to serve the American public for present and future generations. (My Public Lands Tumblr)

Follow #PublicLandsInfrastructure this month as we share projects and interesting facts about the
BLM’s efforts to modernize our infrastructure for the next 100 years. 

PCT bridge. Photo by BLM.

PCT Access Improved for Visitors 

BLM and the Pacific Crest Trail Association installed an engineered trail and equestrian bridge to benefit #PCT users. (BLM California Facebook)

Related: Since 1977, the Pacific Crest Trail Association has protected, maintained and advocated for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCTA website)


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

Mountain biker on public lands. Photo by IMBA.

It's Pedal Time

Join the millions of riders across the nation to celebrate bike month. Riding a bike is an excellent way to connect with the environment around you. Even if you aren’t able to make it out on some of these incredible BLM mountain bike trails, we encourage you to get out and pedal wherever you can. Biking to school, work or just around the neighborhood helps reduce pollution and traffic, and is also a great way to exercise. (My Public Lands Tumblr)

Related: Grab adventure by the handlebars (DOI blog)

Related: Tips for responsible mountain biking (Tread Lightly)

Paddleboarder wears life jacket at Lake Perris, part of the SWP. Photo by DWR.

Five Ways to Stay Safe While Swimming in California's Lakes and Reservoirs

When the weather is hot in California there is nothing better than cooling off with a refreshing swim in one of the state’s majestic lakes and reservoirs. The State Water Project, operated by DWR, offers swimming, waterskiing, and boating opportunities at its lakes and reservoirs – from Lake Oroville in the north to Lake Perris in the south. DWR wants to remind those looking to have a good time at SWP lakes and reservoirs to always be safe when in or around the water. (California Department of Water Resources website)

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)

Pit River Campground. Photo by BLM.

BLM Pit River Campground Now Open

The Bureau of Land Management’s Pit River Campground and river access areas are now open for season until early fall. The campground features seven individual campsites, a group campsite, and a day use area ideal for fishing and picnicking. Campsites have fire rings, tables and barbecues. Barbecues and picnic tables are available at the day use site. Those with walking difficulties can fish from an accessible fishing pier, while kayakers and rafters can take advantage of a specially designed launch site. (BLM news release)

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)


CA-CCD-Kettleman-hills. Photo by BLM.

Central Coast Field Office Releases Final Environmental Analysis for Oil and Gas

The Bureau of Land Management’s Central Coast Field Office has released a proposed resource management plan amendment and final environmental impact statement for oil and gas leasing and development. This effort supports the Administration’s goals of promoting environmentally responsible development of oil and gas on public lands, creating jobs and providing economic opportunities for local communities. This planning document analyzes six alternative approaches to oil and gas leasing and development, specifies which BLM-managed public lands or subsurface Federal mineral estate would be open to future oil and gas leasing and the stipulations or restrictions that would be applied to protect resources. The land-use management decisions resulting from this planning effort would affect approximately 800,000 acres of Federal mineral estate managed by the CCFO, primarily located in Fresno, Monterey and San Benito counties. (BLM news release)

Cleanup for Desert Tortoise Week in Palm Desert, CA. Photo by Dani Ortiz, BLM.

Desert Tortoise Week in the Coachella Valley

Local residents and visitors of all ages came out to support tortoise conservation programs held throughout California’s low desert area last month. This first of its kind, collaborative program for desert tortoises included habitat improvement projects, lectures, guided hikes, film viewings, native plant sales and interpretative exhibits. The BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office hosted three events and one interpretative exhibit within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and Sand to Snow National monuments to educate the public about tortoise conservation efforts and research in the Coachella Valley. (BLM California Facebook)

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)

Related: BLM Desert District Advisory Council to meet in Barstow, June 28-29 (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)


Photo by DOI.

Secretary Bernhardt Celebrates 150th Anniversary of Golden Spike

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt celebrated the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad at the Golden Spike National Historical Park. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), and thousands of park visitors joined Secretary Bernhardt at today’s commemoration. (DOI news release)

Coastal wetlands. Photo by DOI.

Interior Secretary Awards States More than $20 Million in Grants Supporting Coastal Wetlands Conservation, Recreation and Communities

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt is awarding more than $20 million to 22 projects in 11 coastal states to protect, restore or enhance more than 7,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. (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


Tortoise in Palm Desert, CA. Photo by Dani Ortiz, BLM.

Multiple Choice

What state(s) have the desert tortoise listed as the official state reptile?

a) Utah
b) California
c) Nevada
d) New Mexico                                                  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

Saddle trained wild horse for adoption. Photo by BLM.

May 18: BLM to Offer Trained Wild Horses for Public Adoption

The Bureau of Land Management, in partnership with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Western States Horse Expo, will offer trained wild horses for adoption in placement events Sunday, May 12, in Rancho Murieta, and Saturday, May 18, in Elk Grove. The horses have been trained by inmates in the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center horse training program, and by trainers participating in the Western States Horse Expo Equus Masters competition. (BLM news release)

Related: Wild horses, trained by masters and inmates, up for adoption this month in Sacramento County (The Sacramento Bee)

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

May 18 and 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

Headwaters Forest Reserve. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

June 9 and July 9: Writing and Photography Workshops at Headwaters Forest Reserve

Outdoor enthusiasts have the opportunity use the beauty of the Headwaters Forest Reserve to refine their photography and writing skills, in two free workshops to be offered this spring and summer by the Bureau of Land Management and Friends of Headwaters. (BLM news release)

Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area. Photo by BLM.

June 28 and 29: BLM Desert District Advisory Council to meet in Barstow

The Bureau of Land Management will hold a field tour and public meeting of the BLM California Desert District Advisory Council, starting with the field tour on Friday, June 28, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and followed by a formal meeting session on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Ramada Inn, 1511 East Main Street, Barstow, California 92311. (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)


b) and c)

California and Nevada both have the desert tortoise designated as the official state reptile. (fun fact provided by a BLM wildlife biologist)