BLM California News.Bytes Issue 856

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King Range National Conservation Area. Photo by Sandy Miles, BLM.

King Range National Conservation Area

ISSUE 856 - June 6, 2019

  • Great Outdoors Month
  • 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

Summer along the North Fork of the American River in California. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

How Will You Celebrate Great Outdoors Month?

There’s no better way to spend Great Outdoors Month than getting out to America’s public lands and waters. You can stroll through fields of wildflowers, make a new feathered friend, take part in a thrilling event or embrace an American tradition. Connecting to nature and getting some exercise is good for the mind, body and soul. Your chances for adventure are as numerous as the stars in the sky. (DOI blog)

South Cow reopen gate. Photo by BLM.

BLM Reopened South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area

The South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area near Ukiah reopened to the public Monday, June 3, after a closure for repairs related to last summer’s Mendocino Complex wildfire. “Our staff, volunteers and contractors have been working hard to get the area ready for use,” said BLM Ukiah Field Office Manager Amanda James. “Fire damage to trails and facilities was extensive and winter rains were a challenge, but we are happy to again offer off-road riding opportunities to the public. We are grateful for hundreds of hours of volunteer work.” (BLM news release)

Related: OHV Recreation Reopens on Federal Lands in Northern California (Quiet Warrior Racing blog)

Kern River rafters. Photo by ABC 23.


With the warm weather arriving you may take to the Kern River to cool off, but the river can be unpredictable and dangerous. Thank you to community partners, the USFS, BLM, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, 23ABC, Kern Valley Search and Rescue, Kern County Fire Department and the Kern River Conservancy for helping with this important river safety message. (BLM California Facebook)

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)

Related: Quick tips for responsible motorized boating (Tread Lightly)


CA campfire permit promo graphic

Campfire Permit

Campfire permits are required for open fires, such as campfire, barbecues and portable stoves on federally managed lands and private lands that are the property of another person. On private lands, written permission from the landowner is also required for campfire use. Get your California Campfire Permit quickly and easily online! (


Visit the BLM California fire restrictions website for more information about current fire restrictions on BLM-managed public lands.

Central Coast. Photo by Ryan O'Dell, BLM.

BLM Central Coast Field Office Initiates Seasonal Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office is initiating fire restrictions, effective June 10, for BLM-managed public lands in Fresno, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties, due to wildland fire danger. The National Interagency Fire Center predicts the likelihood for large wildland fires will be above normal this summer. An unusually wet winter has produced an abundant grass crop, which has already cured or dried out. These heavy fuel loads have a high potential for creating extreme wildland fire behavior. (BLM news release)

2019 Rx burn on public lands.  Photo by Steve Watkins, BLM.

BLM Bakersfield Field Office Issues Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office issued fire restrictions for BLM-managed public lands effective May 20, due to potential wildland fire danger. The BLM-managed public lands affected by these fire restrictions are in eastern Fresno, western Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. Fire restrictions will also affect BLM-managed recreational areas including the Carrizo Plain National Monument, Chimney Peak, Kennedy Meadows, Keysville, Lake Isabella, San Joaquin River Gorge and Three Rivers. (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 initiated 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)

Wildfire Weather Aware campaign graphic.

Be #WildfireWeatherAWARE

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 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: Ready for Wildfire (



Students at Orange County Children’s Water Education Festival. Photo by Tracy Albrecht, BLM.

BLM Rocks the Orange County Children’s Water Education Festival

What happens when you put thousands of children together and sprinkle them with a little bit of magic, a little bit of Disney, and a lot of enthusiastic agencies and volunteers? The Orange County Children's Water Education Festival, of course! On a sunny day after a weekend of rain to “wet” their appetites, more than 7,500 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders converged on the University of California, Irvine campus for the 17th annual festival. Recognized nationally as the largest event of its kind, the festival featured 66 education stations with venues as varied as Disneyland, a Green Earth Magic Show, Orange County Parks & Recreation, Orange County Water District and BLM’s California Coastal National Monument. (BLM California Facebook)

Alabama Hills. Photo by BLM.

The Delicate Balance of Managing the Alabama Hills

The Alabama Hills can be viewed from two different perspectives. For indigenous people and other locals, the Hills are a special place of beauty, a piece of art that took the earth eons to craft. For a growing number of visitors, it’s a unique place to come and play. The issue facing the Bureau of Land Management and stakeholders is developing a management plan that, according to BLM Bishop Field Manager Steve Nelson, balances use and conservation. (Sierra Wave Media)

Wild horses at the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area. Photo by BLM.

BLM Accepting Public Comments on Wild Horse and Burro Management

The Bureau of Land Management released for public review and comment a preliminary environmental assessment analyzing a range of alternatives for managing wild horses and burros on public lands along the California-Nevada border northeast of Susanville. The Twin Peaks HMA covers nearly 800,000 acres in Lassen County, California, and Washoe County, Nevada. Based on recent census flights and population growth estimates, the BLM believes there at about 3,500 wild horses and 600 wild burros in the HMA. The appropriate management level for wild horses is a minimum of 448 and a maximum of 758 animals. The AML for burros ranges from 72 to 116 animals. (BLM news release)

Wildlife on public lands. Photo by Dan Ryan, BLM.

Riparian and Water Enhancements on Public Lands

BLM California's Eagle Lake Field Office has been hard at work with Nevada Department of Wildlife to plan and complete riparian and water enhancements on public lands in northwestern Nevada. (BLM California YouTube video)

King Range Artist in Residence. Photo by BLM.

BLM Hosting Artists in Residence at King Range National Conservation Area

The dramatically beautiful King Range National Conservation Area has 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. Painter Susan R. Mendelsohn of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bureau of Land Management hosted 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.

Art exhibitions will be at the SCARF Gallery at the Inn of the Lost Coast, 205 Wave Dr., Shelter Cove.(BLM California Facebook)



Honor and Sacrifice in the Pacific

Every day across the country, people from all walks of life experience America’s battlefields and memorials as a way to remember the past and honor the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in defense of freedom. When the battlefield memorial is on one of the most remote islands in the world, and in the middle of the world’s largest albatross colony, honoring the past takes on added significance - and challenges. Midway Atoll is made up of three small islands, fringed with a large coral reef. Photo by Ian Shive, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. On June 4, 2019, a veteran of one of the most important battles in American Naval history joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a commemoration ceremony at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. The early morning ceremony, which marked the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, took place on Midway Atoll – three small islands located 1,300 miles from Honolulu in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (DOI blog)

Wildlife refuge. Photo by FWS.

Secretary Bernhardt Proposes Increasing Public Access to Hunting and Fishing on 1.4 Million Acres Nationwide

Furthering the Trump Administration’s efforts to increase access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced from Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge a proposal for new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service across more than 1.4 million acres. (DOI news release)

Orange County coastline. Photo by Doug Herrema, BLM.

Proclamation on National Ocean Month, 2019

The ocean supports millions of American jobs across numerous industries, including commercial fishing, recreation and tourism, international trade, shipping, ports, energy, and other maritime commerce. During National Ocean Month, we recognize the importance of the ocean to the economy, national security, and environment of the United States, and we renew our commitment to safeguarding its vital resources. (White House website)

Related: Interior is one of our Nation’s principal stewards for our oceans, Great Lakes and coastal resources, Interior recognizes the vital connection between the health of our Nation’s natural resources and human health and economy. (DOI website)

Related: Newswave Spring Issue via DOI

Related: Newswave Summer Photo Issue via DOI

Urban waters. Photo by USGS.

Restoring Urban Waters

You already know that Interior is wild about urban areas, but did you know that since 2017, Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey and partners have provided over $4 million to support the Urban Waters Federal Partnership? This coalition of fifteen agencies works collectively in nineteen cities to reconnect communities with their waterways. Their important work includes reclaiming habitat for wildlife, improving water quality and providing recreational opportunities for urban residents. (DOI blog)

Montana's Lower Blackfoot River. Photo by BLM.

Secretary Bernhardt Announces Proposal to Open Access to Thousands of Acres Near Montana’s Iconic Lower Blackfoot River

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced next steps in a collaborative effort with The Nature Conservancy aimed at acquiring 13,000 acres of private lands within the Lower Blackfoot River watershed, near the iconic Montana waterway. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which has been working with TNC and other public and private partners to maintain and improve public access to the area for a wide variety of outdoor recreationists, released an Environmental Assessment of the proposed acquisition and opened a 30-day public comment period today. (DOI news release)


Stephens' kangaroo rat. Photo by USFWS.

True of False

The kangaroo rat can metabolize the water they need from the carbohydrates in the seeds they eat.                                         

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)

Bizz Johnson Trail. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Summer: Bus Shuttle Service to Begin on Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail

Summer bus shuttle service on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail begins Saturday, June 1, and will continue every Saturday through the summer season. The service is a partnership of the Bureau of Land Management and Lassen Rural Bus. On Saturdays, the bus picks up passengers at 8:30 a.m. at the Historic Susanville Railroad Depot, 601 Richmond Rd., and makes stops at Devil’s Corral, Fredonyer Summit and Westwood. This allows hikers and mountain bike riders to use the trail for return trips to Susanville. Depending on the stop, the return trips are 7, 18 and 30 miles. The BLM shuttles bicycles in a specially-designed trailer. Participants should arrive early to allow time for bike loading. There are separate fees for the bike shuttle and bus service. (BLM news release)

Fillies available for adoption on Ridgecrest. Photo by JJ Nolan, BLM.

June 7 and 8: Open House Wild Horse and Burro Adoption and Sale

The BLM Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals invites the public to an open house wild horse and burro adoption and sale on Friday, June 7 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday, June 8, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Due to foaling season, most of the mares at the Ridgecrest Corrals will not be available until they have completed foaling and their foals have been weaned. There will be yearling fillies available. (BLM California Facebook)

Headwaters Forest Reserve. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

June 9 and July 21: 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, 3 and 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)


True. The kangaroo rat can metabolize the water they need from the carbohydrates in the seeds they eat. ("A rat's best friend" via USFWS Pacific Southwest Region)