BLM California News.Bytes Issue 861

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Camping in the California desert. Photo by Kyle Sullivan, BLM.

Dispersed camping on BLM-managed public lands outside Joshua Tree National Park

ISSUE 861 - July 10, 2019

  • Your Public Lands
  • Headlines and Highlights
  • Wildland Fire
  • 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

Paradise Royale Trail System. Photo by IMBA.

Your Public Lands in California 

Public lands in the Golden State offer a sense of adventure for the outdoor enthusiast, offering rivers, trails, campgrounds, off-road open areas and more. The experiences are as varied as the landscapes. Spectacular scenery can be found among scenic vistas, such as the foggy bluffs of the King Range National Conservation Area, in the ancient redwood forest of the Headwaters Forest Reserve, in the geological formations of the Alabama Hills, the valley of golden flowers in the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the wind sculpted sand dunes in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. You will also find wilderness areas, national scenic and historic trails, national wild and scenic rivers, wildlife viewing areas, off-road opportunities and even a lighthouse or two to explore and learn about California's history. Your BLM adventure starts here! (BLM California Facebook video)

Be sure to follow #MyPublicLandsSummer on social media! 
Over the summer, follow along as we highlight opportunities for #BLMAdventures
on your public lands across the nation.

Cosumnes River Preserve. Photo by BLM.

14 Amazing Things To Do In Sacramento, California

Sacramento isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of California. Despite being the capital of the Californian state, Sacramento is often overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. With that being said, it definitely offers a different type of charm than its sister city of Los Angeles. Sacramento sits at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River. You’ll find trees lined in every corner of the streets. With the presence of lush greenery contrasted against the city’s buildings, nature and the urban co-exist harmoniously in Sacramento. There are tons of things to do in Sacramento so don’t overlook this charming city. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in the capital of California just for you! (Tourist Secrets)

Kern River rafters. Photo by ABC 23.

River Safety Matters, #JustWearItKern

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)

Related: Outfitters offer free PFD rentals (Kern Valley Sun)


Public lands in in San Bernardino County. Photo by BLM.

BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Communications Site in San Bernardino County

The Bureau of Land Management Needles Field Office is seeking input on an environmental assessment for a proposed communications site in San Bernardino County, approximately 10 miles north of Needles near Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 95. The public comment period, which begins today, will close on August 2. InterConnect Towers, LLC has submitted several proposals for communication sites located on lands managed by the Needles Field Office. So far three of these proposals have been approved. Each site consists of a 196-foot-tall lattice signal tower; a single multiple-room building capable of holding up to five communications vendors; up to three 1,000-gallon propane tanks; and two 35-kW generators situated on a 50-foot concrete pad. (BLM news release)

Scorpion. Photo by BLM.

BLM to Host Scorpion Hunt as Part of Summer Family Nights

Visitors will get a chance to do some scorpion hunting Tuesday night as part of the Bureau of Land Management's Summer Family Nights 2019. The program is designed to allow participants an opportunity to watch wildlife, have fun and promote the outdoors and visitation to public lands. Two species of scorpions are found in the Palm Springs area: the sand scorpion and giant hairy scorpion. After sunset, guides will use ultraviolet or black lights so participants can see scorpions in their glow phase. (KESQ News)

Thanks to all who participated in this great event!

Mining claim. Photo by BLM.

Public Land Mining Claim Fees and Waivers are Due to BLM by September 3

The Bureau of Land Management reminds claimants who wish to retain their existing mining claims on federal public lands through the 2020 assessment year to pay a maintenance fee or file a Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification (Small Miner’s Waiver) on or before Tuesday, September 3, to prevent the mining claim from being declared forfeit and void. (BLM news release)


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. 

Follow wildland fire incident information and updates
via InciWeb and CAL FIRE.

Horton Campground. Photo by BLM.

BLM Bishop Field Office Issues Seasonal Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office issued seasonal fire restrictions for BLM-managed public lands in the Eastern Sierra effective Monday, July 1, due to increased wildland fire danger in the region. The restrictions will remain in effect until November 1, or until wildland fire conditions on public lands in the region improve. (BLM news release)

Bakersfield public lands. Photo by BLM.

BLM Bakersfield Field Office Increases Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office increased fire restrictions for BLM-managed public lands effective Monday, July 1, due to high wildland fire danger. The additional restriction includes no campfires, barbeques, or open fires, regardless if you are in a developed campground, other than portable stoves with gas, jelled petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel with a valid California campfire permit, available free at all BLM, Forest Service and Cal Fire offices or at 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; as well as the Carrizo Plain National Monument, Keysville Special Recreation Management Area, Lake Isabella and San Joaquin River Gorge. (BLM news release)

2018 Mendocino Complex Fire. Photo by Kipp Morrill, BLM.

BLM Ukiah Field Office Initiates Seasonal Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Ukiah Field Office initiated fire restrictions, effective July 1, for BLM-managed public lands in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties, due to wildland fire danger. (BLM news release)

Whitewater Canyon. Photo by Steve Razo, BLM.

BLM Initiates Whitewater Canyon Closure Due to Increased Wildfire Risk

The Bureau of Land Management is temporarily closing public lands in and near Whitewater Canyon, Riverside County, due to the potential threat of wildfire. This public safety closure started Monday, July 1, and will remain in effect until further notice. (BLM news release)

Chappie Shasta OHV area. Photo by BLM.

BLM Announces Seasonal Fire Restrictions for Public Lands Managed by Redding Field Office

The Bureau of Land Management implemented fire restrictions for public lands managed by the Redding Field Office in Shasta, Siskiyou, Butte, Trinity and Tehama counties, beginning Monday, July 1. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. (BLM news release)

King Range National Conservation Area. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

BLM Announces Fire Restrictions for Lands Managed by Arcata Field Office

The Bureau of Land Management implemented fire restrictions for public lands managed by its Arcata Field Office in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino counties, beginning Monday, July 1. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. (BLM news release)

Cronan Ranch Rx burn. Photo by Monte Kawahara, BLM.

BLM Mother Lode Field Office Initiates Seasonal Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field Office initiated fire restrictions on BLM-managed public lands in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties, effective June 14, due to wildland fire danger. (BLM news release)

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 initiated 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 (


Wildland firefighters. Photo by BLM.

South Canyon Remembered

On July 6, 1994 fourteen wildland firefighters lost their lives during the South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. On this 25th anniversary Secretary Bernhardt pays tribute to their memory, while urging Americans enjoying public lands this summer to practice fire safety. (DOI video)


Photo by John Heil, USFWS.

Who am I?

I belong to a primitive group of fishes that are “eel like.” I do not have any bones and my backbone is made of cartilage. I have seven breathing holes on each side of my body and do not have paired fins. Who am I?

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)

Cotoni-Coast Dairie. Photo by Jim Pickering, BLM.

July 17 and 18: Public Meetings Set on Access to Cotoni-Coast Dairies Public Lands 

The Bureau of Land Management will provide information and accept written comments on a proposal to expand public access to the Cotoni-Coast Dairies public lands, in public scoping meetings to be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the following locations:


  • Wednesday, July 17, Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz
  • Thursday, July 18, Pacific Elementary School, 50 Ocean St., Davenport (space is limited)

During the meetings, members of the BLM staff will be present to explain the public access proposals to be analyzed in an environmental assessment. Participants will have the opportunity to leave written comments. The BLM will be accepting written public comments during a scoping period that ends Aug. 2. (BLM news release

Related: BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposal to Expand Public Access and Recreation on Cotoni-Coast Dairies, Along Santa Cruz County’s North Coast (BLM news release)

Headwaters Forest Reserve. Photo by BLM.

July 20, 21 and August 1: BLM Opens New Trail, Announces Events, to Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Headwaters Forest Reserve

Public events in July and August mark the 20th anniversary of establishment of the Headwaters Forest Reserve. Free events include opening of a new hiking trail, a short film premiere, a guided walk and a writing workshop. On Saturday, July 20, the BLM Arcata Field Office and Friends of Headwaters will officially open the South Side Trail, a 1.6-mile trail open only to hikers on the north side of the Reserve. The new trail intersects the existing Elk River Trail, a shared-use route open to hikers, dog walkers and bicyclists. (BLM news release)

Other special events include:
-- Nature Writing Workshop, Sunday, July 21
-- Native Plant Walk, Thursday, Aug. 1.

KKuzmocki_Badger Creek

August 2 and 3: Celebrating Dark Skies

Free public events celebrating the dark skies of northeastern California and northwestern Nevada will be held August 2-3 in a partnership involving the Bureau of Land Management, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Cedarville businesses. (BLM California Facebook)

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)

King Range National Conservation Area. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

September 28 and November 11: BLM Announces Upcoming Fee-Free Days on Public Lands in 2019

The summer travel season gets under way in June with Great Outdoors Month. To encourage visitation to America’s public lands, the Bureau of Land Management will waive recreation-related fees for visitors to agency-managed public lands on three additional dates through the remainder of 2019: September 28 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day). BLM-managed public lands offer a wide array of recreational opportunities, including hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, whitewater rafting, off-highway vehicle driving, rock climbing, and more. Americans make approximately 67 million visits annually to BLM-managed lands, supporting approximately 48,000 jobs nationwide and contributing almost $7 billion to the U.S. economy. (BLM news release)

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)

Related: Adoption Incentive Program (BLM website)


As adults, the Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) ranges in size from about 15 to 25 inches. Lamprey's have been caught in depths ranging from 300 to 2,600 feet, and as far as 62 miles off the west coast of the United States. They belong to a primitive group of fishes that are eel-like in form but that lack the jaws and paired fins of true fishes. They have a round, sucker-like mouth, no scales, and seven breathing holes on each side of the body instead of gills. Lamprey's also don’t have any bones and their backbone is made of cartilage, like the stuff that makes up your ear! (USFWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation)