BLM California News.Bytes Issue 872

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Alabama Hills

Alabama Hills in the Bishop Field Office area.

ISSUE 872 - September 26, 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

A photograph of a desert area in California

BLM Releases Desert Quartzite Solar Project Final Environmental Analysis

The Bureau of Land Management today published the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and California Desert Conservation Area Land Use Plan Amendment for the Desert Quartzite Solar Project in eastern Riverside County. (BLM news release)

 A photo of Lacks Creek Watershed

BLM Lifting Fire Restrictions for Northwest California Public Lands

With the return of cooler weather, the Bureau of Land Management has rescinded fire restrictions on northwest California public lands managed by the Arcata Field Office in Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity and Del Norte counties. (BLM news release

Alabama Hills arch

Community of Lone Pine Celebrates Alabama Hills National Scenic Area

Community members, supporters and visitors of the Alabama Hills are invited to join a celebration of stories and place at the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine on Saturday, Oct. 5, starting at 6 p.m. The event is free to the public, with food and refreshments provided. There will also be commemorative items available for purchase. A pre-event ribbon cutting is planned for 4 p.m. and requires an RSVP due to limited transportation. (BLM news release)

A group of volunteers working at a public land.

Volunteers Welcome for National Public Lands Day Events in Central California

The Bureau of Land Management will host several volunteer events throughout Central California in honor of the 25th annual National Public Lands Day, “Connecting to Nature through Service.” (BLM news release)

A prescribed burn.

BLM Plans Prescribed burning Projects on Northeast California Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management’s Applegate Field Office will begin prescribed burning projects this week and continuing through the fall, winter and spring months on public lands in northeast California and far northwest Nevada. Burning will take place only when weather allows for safe and successful burning. (BLM news release)

Juvenile elephant seals tussle with each other on the sand at Piedras Blancas

Elephant Seal Youngsters have the Beach at Piedras Blancas to Themselves Right Now

All the adult seals have left the beach, leaving it to the youngsters. It’s Fall Haul-Out time! All seals migrate twice annually, as far as the Aleutian Islands or the west Pacific. Some travel as far as 5,000 miles each time, some not so far. It’s a demanding schedule.

The short migration is after the breeding season. Females leave in February or March and return in April and May. When they leave in May, they don’t return until the following January, when they come back to have their pups. (The Tribune)

Hikers in a mountain range.

New House Bill to Simplify Public Land Permit Process

Two conservation organizations provided testimony last week in favor of a bipartisan bill meant to increase access to outdoor recreation.

Imagine not having to fill out multiple permits for a single trip. Imagine having the flexibility to change your permit dates or location. In 2020, planning a guided trip could be a completely different deal. (Gear Junkie)


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)

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)

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)

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 (


Secretary Bernhardt Inspects Key Water and Power Facility in Western Colorado

Secretary Bernhardt Inspects Key Water and Power Facility in Western Colorado

TU.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt inspected a key piece of national water infrastructure at Morrow Point Dam, located on the Gunnison River, a major Colorado River tributary in western Colorado. Morrow Point Dam is one of three dams managed by the Bureau of Reclamation that comprise the Aspinall Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project. Together, those three dams provide 1.08 million-acre feet of water storage, which serves families and farmers across western Colorado and helps support more than 40 million people living across the Colorado River Basin. In addition, the three Aspinall Unit power plants can generate more than 290 megawatts of renewable hydro-electric power, enough electricity to completely power 54,000 homes. (DOI news release)

Volunteers participating in National Public Lands Day

BLM to celebrate National Public Lands Day Sept. 28

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will celebrate the 26th annual National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28 with a wide range of volunteer opportunities as well as designation of a fee-free day at public lands sites around the country. (BLM news Release)

People sitting in chairs on a stage during the broadband summit.

Interior Holds Landmark National Tribal Broadband Summit

As part of the Trump Administration's effort to facilitate broadband development in rural America and Indian Country, the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior), in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, held a two-day National Tribal Broadband Summit on September 23 and 24, 2019,
in Washington, D.C. (DOI new release)

first lady and secretary bernhardt cutting ribbon

This Week at Interior September 20, 2019

This Week: The Washington Monument re-opens to the public after a three year closure; Secretary Bernhardt announces the transfer of Interior lands to U.S. Army control for seventy miles of border barrier construction; more than $100 million in federal and matching grants for migratory bird conservation; the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park gets a refill in Washington D.C.; the Bureau of Reclamation is one step closer to bringing safe, reliable drinking water to four Pueblos and parts of Santa Fe County, New Mexico; Interior celebrates the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month; our social media Picture of the Week, and more! (DOI Video)


Otters floating in water.

Multiple Choice 

This week's wildlife question is in honor of Otter Awareness Week. What do you call a group of resting otters in the water?

(a) Float
(b) Bevy
(c) Raft
(d) Pack

Keep scrolling to find out!


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)

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)

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)

Lost Coast Headlands

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 #MyPublicLands on social media! 
Also, follow along as we highlight opportunities for #BLMAdventures
on your public lands across the nation.


 the answer is (c). A group of resting otters is called a raft. Otters love to rest in groups. Researchers have seen concentrations of over 1,000 otters floating together. To keep from drifting away from each other, sea otters will wrap themselves up in seaweed, forming something that resembles a raft. (NPS Blog)

Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. Reduced range and population size, vulnerability to oil spills, and oil spill risk from coastal tanker traffic were the primary reasons for listing. As a consequence of their threatened status, southern sea otters are also recognized as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Under state law, southern sea otters are "fully protected" mammals. 

Before the fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters ranged along the North Pacific Rim from Hokkaido, Japan to Baja California, Mexico. Sea otters most closely resembling today’s southern sea otters occupied the southernmost portion of that range—from at least as far north as Oregon to the species’ southern limit at Punta Abreojos, Baja California. Today southern sea otters have reclaimed about 13 percent of their historic range: the mainland coastline from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara County, California, and San Nicolas Island, Ventura County (as a result of translocation efforts initiated in 1987). Sea otter counts are conducted annually by the U.S. Geological Survey. The latest census and stranding information is available at (Fish and Wildlife Service)