BLM California News.Bytes Issue 868

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Afton Canyon Sheep at sunset.

Afton Canyon in the Barstow Field Office area.

ISSUE 867 - August 29, 2019

  • 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

Wild Burros. BLM Photo

BLM Partners with Animal Welfare Organizations to Increase Reward

Thanks to substantial new pledges from several conservation and animal welfare organizations, the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the deaths of 42 wild burros from the Clark Mountain Herd Area in California has now risen to almost $60,000.(BLM press release

Hiker by a rockslide on the Pacific Crest Trail

Access to Portions of the Pacific Crest Trail Impassable Due to Rockslides

Access to portions of the Pacific Crest Trail, north of Walker Pass, Kern County, is impassable to equestrians due to a series of rockslides triggered by recent seismic activity. The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office, Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument, and the Pacific Crest Trail Association, advise all recreationalist to use extreme caution.

Debris removal from the 100-foot rockslide will begin in late September. There is no timeframe for when the trail will be cleared and the hillside stabilized. (BLM press release

Dumont Dunes

BLM to Hold Dumont Dunes OHV Recreation Public Meeting

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting a public meeting from 10 a.m. to noon, September 17, at the Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA.

The BLM will be presenting information concerning the management of the Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area for the upcoming OHV season and seeking public comment on proposed implementation actions. (BLM new release)

A view of the ocean from the Lost Coast Trail in northern California.

On a deserted beach in Northern California, I mistook a sea lion for driftwood. The Lost Coast is deceiving that way. Wild things appear tame and tame things, like the paved road my family and I took to get here, wild.

In June, seeking immersion in nature, we visited the Lost Coast, the largely roadless shore between the indiscernibly tiny town of Rockport and the Victorian charmer Ferndale, about 100 miles apart by inland roads. Here in Humboldt County, California reaches its westernmost point near a junction of three seismically active tectonic plates. The King Range mountains plunge into the sea, deterring road-builders from continuing State Route 1 along the ocean. Breaking waves strew driftwood along beaches reached by hiking trails that require consulting a tide chart. It’s cold and foggy, even in summer, and just rough enough to keep all but the most intrepid day-trippers away. (The New York Times)

Singing Samoan firefighters lift spirits in fight against California wildfires. Photo by CBS This Morning.

California Fire Safe Council Announces Over $2 Million in Grants to Support Wildfire Reduction Projects in 17 At-risk Counties Across California

California Fire Safe Council is pleased to announce it has awarded over $2 million in federal grant funds to 21 at-risk California communities in 17 counties to conduct wildfire risk reduction projects.

Funding for the 2019 CFSC Grants is provided through grants to CFSC’s Clearinghouse by the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region and Bureau of Land Management, Wildland Urban Interface and Community Fire Assistance Program. ( LA Sentinel)

Volunteers take part in the 1,000 Hands to Protect Lake County Homes in Kelseyville

‘1000 Hands’ Effort Cleans up Miles of Brush Along Roadside

A first-of-its-kind effort over the weekend removed tons of vegetation along Soda Bay Road in an attempt to protect the thousands of homes nearby.

Supervisor Rob Brown’s “1,000 Hands to Protect Lake County Homes” took place on Saturday morning along a six-mile stretch of Soda Bay Road from the Clear Lake Riviera to Soda Bay.
“It was very successful,” Brown said.(Lake County News)

The Valley of the Names

This Desert Is Covered in Rock Graffiti

Remote doesn’t even begin to describe the land encompassing the Valley of the Names. Located on a swath of the Sonoran Desert in the southeastern reaches of California, it takes a four-wheel-drive vehicle just to gain access to this sandy expanse. The nearest cities are Yuma, Arizona, 15 miles to the south, and El Centro, California, about 70 miles to the west. In other words, the Valley of the Names isn’t merely a place you stumble upon. It’s a place you have to want to find. (Smithsonian)

Mining claim. Photo by BLM.

In Case you missed it: 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)

Fish Slough Petrogyphs. Photo by Jesse Pluim BLM.

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.


CA campfire permit promo graphic

California 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 (


Fire protection personnel standing by a fire truck. DOI Photo.

Interior Transfers Wildland Fire Engine to De Beque Fire Protection District

Kate MacGregor, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of the Interior who is exercising the authority of the Deputy Secretary, joined the Bureau of Land Management’s Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit to transfer a wildland fire engine to the De Beque Fire Protection District DFPD at the De Beque Fire Station in Mesa County. The engine was transferred under BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness program, which is designed to provide equipment to local wildland firefighting partners at no cost. (DOI news release)

Secretary Bernhardt speaking at a podium

In Case You Missed It: Trump Administration Improves the Implementing Regulations of the Endangered Species Act

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled improvements to the implementing regulations of the Endangered Species Act.

“The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal—recovery of our rarest species. The Act’s effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation.” (DOI News Relase)

A raft on the John Day river.

Department of the Interior Works with Partners to Improve Public Access Along the John Day Wild and Scenic River

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management today announced the final phase of the John Day Wild and Scenic River land acquisition, which consists of transferring 11,149 acres from the Western Rivers Conservancy. (BLM news release)


BLM stands at the ready for rangeland fire preparedness

The BLM’s Fire and Aviation program works to protect America’s landscapes from unwanted wildfires. Along with other agencies as a part of the National Interagency Fire Center, BLM implements fire protection on approximately 650 million acres of public land.

The "National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook" from the Predictive Services staff at NIFC highlights the potential for wildfires this month. (NIFC Youtube Video)

Related: The National Interagency Fire Center homepage (NIFC website)

Washington Monument

This Week at Interior: August 23, 2019

This week: Secretary Bernhardt leads the U.S. delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Session, and joins Vice President Mike Pence in New Mexico to highlight record domestic oil and gas production on federal lands; the Bureau of Reclamation marks National Hydropower Day; Fish and Wildlife publishes regulations for the 2019/2020 migratory bird hunting season; USGS announces more grants to improves its ShakeAlert™ earthquake warning system; the National Park Service says the Washington Monument will reopen on September 19th; the Bureau of Land Management acquires more land along a scenic western river; and it’s our social media Video of the Week! (DOI video)


Monarch larva (ptoto: Rick Hansen/USFWS)

Multiple Choice 

As monarch (Danaus plexippus plexippus) caterpillar grows, they shed (molt) their skin how many times?
(a) 5
(b) 2
(c) 8

Keep scrolling to find out!


Northern California fishing pond

BLM hosting special fishing day for veterans and families

Military veterans, activity duty military members and their families can enjoy a day of fishing in a specially stocked pond, when the Bureau of Land Management Redding Field Office hosts its annual Veterans Fishing Day, Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area, north of Red Bluff."

There is no need to register for the event that runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  BLM staff and volunteers will be on site to greet anglers of all ages and provide information.  Those over 16 years old must have valid California fishing licenses. (BLM news release)

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)

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)

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)


 the answer is (a).  As monarch caterpillars grow they shed (molt) their skin five times and often eat it before eating more milkweed (Asclepias spp.), an essential plant for monarch butterfly breeding.

The monarch butterfly has declined by 80 percent in the last 20 years. It is currently being considered for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. There are many potential reasons for the butterfly's decline, including habitat loss at breeding and overwintering sites, disease, pesticides, logging at overwintering sites and climate change. Through simple conservation actions like planting native milkweed and nectar sources, everyone can help to provide a future filled with monarchs. Your actions will also help a host of other pollinators including bees and birds that share resources with the monarch butterfly. (U.S. Forest Service).