BLM California News.Bytes Issue 890

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news bytes - bureau of land management californiaA photo of dense forest and foliage.

Headwaters Forest Reserve, Arcata Field Office

ISSUE 890- Feb. 21, 2020

  • Recreation and Public Access
  • Headlines and Highlights
  • BLM and DOI Highlights 
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

Recreation and Public Access

BLM and AmeriCorps employees in hiking gear.

AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards teach 6th graders to sniff out Salmon at Headwaters

Last week, BLM Arcata Field Office and AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards, Lily Judevine and Lauryl McFarland presented to 75 Pacific Union Elementary fourth graders on the unique life cycle of a salmon.

The stewards taught the importance of clean watersheds as well as the many stages of salmon throughout their lifetime. The students participated in a "sniff" test in which they were given different scents to identify the river that they originated from.  (BLM CA Facebook)

A photo of a man standing by a filed of wildflowers.

Will California get another wildflower super bloom? Here’s what the experts predict

A lackluster winter rain season has left much of California on the cusp of a drought — so what does that mean for the state’s much-Instagrammed wildflowers? Particularly rainy winters yielded super blooms throughout the state in 2017 and 2019, from the Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo County all the way down to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park east of San Diego. (The Tribune)

Two bikers by a stream, with snow cap mountains in the background.

New Mammoth Tuff gravel race announced for Mammoth Lakes, California

As a sign of the booming gravel times, a new gravel race called Mammoth Tuff has been launched for September 19 in Mammoth Lakes, California. It is being put on by David Sheek and his partner Amanda Nauman.
To build the course, Sheek and Nauman drew on their years of racing gravel events across the country, and years of training and exploring the Eastern Sierra mountains. (Velo News)

Off road vehicle racing in a desert canyon.

King of the Hammers 2020

King of the Hammers is the largest off-road race event in North America, combining desert racing and rock crawling over the course of nine days of action-packed competition. King of the Motos returned this year adding two-wheel speed to the other five major races: Can-Am Motorsports UTV King of the Hammers, the Shootout, the Every Man Challenge, the Toyo Desert Invitational (T1 trucks), and the Nitto King of the Hammers Ultra4 race. Smaller competitions were held throughout the action-packed event keeping competitors and spectators busy. (BLM CA Facebook)

Headline and Highlights

BLM employees at a booth.

BLM California hosts a booth at Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco

Last week, the BLM hosted a booth at the Chinese New Year 2020 Community Festival, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the largest outside of Asia and the oldest in North America. (BLM CA Facebook)

A photo of an elephant seal on a beach.

Elephant Seals steal our hearts

Eager to see Elephant Seal? Then you'll make the journey to a place like Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, in San Simeon, where humans are invited to watch the minute-by-minute events of a sizable colony, all while standing at a respectful distance. Eager to know more about elephant seals? A number of spots where the marine mammals gather have informative displays, the sort of exhibits that help a visitor to know more about what elephant seals eat, their mating rituals, and when the pupping season takes place. Of course, if you're not near a nexus of elephant seal majesty, you can always find out more. For there's a full... (NBC Bay Area)

A photo of a geothermal plant.

California ramping up it reliance on geothermal

After years of being overshadowed by solar and wind, geothermal is set to become a major player in California's renewable energy. Here is how geothermal is growing in California right now. (Altenergymag)

BLM and DOI Highlights

A photo of three agents walking down a forest path.

BLM law enforcement professionals honored for fighting to end marijuana cultivation on public lands

The Bureau of Land Management announced today three of its law enforcement professionals were recognized for their outstanding work to end marijuana cultivation on America’s public lands. BLM-California Ranger David Moffett and Special Agents Rafael Moreno and Alberto Pena received recognition for their passion, commitment and hard work as part of the California Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. (BLM news release)

A photo of a sage-grouse

BLM’s sage-grouse plans put Western communities first

The Bureau of Land Management will publish six draft supplemental environmental impact statements (SEISs) on Friday for management of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat on public lands in seven Western states, highlighting the collaborative process undergone in 2019 to develop plans that reflected the needs of Western communities and Greater Sage Grouse habitat. (BLM news release)

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963

Exploring African American Heritage

As part of Interior's mission, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service preserve and interpret important places that teach us about our nation’s history and culture, so that future generations can learn from the past. The many African American heritage sites protected and maintained by the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honor the contributions African Americans made to the nation. To help celebrate Black History month, explore some of these historic sites online and in person. (DOI web page)

Wildlife Question of the Week

A photo of a sage grouse.

True or false, can you tell?

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), is a type of game bird that belongs to the family of pheasants. Read the following statements and select the one that is false:

A) Grouse is ground-dwelling bird, but it can fly short distances and perform twists and turns in the air.

B) Grouse is an omnivore. Young birds eat insects and rodents, while adults eat flowers, buds, shoots, seeds, berries, fruits and grass.

C) Young birds are precocial, which mean that they are ready for the independent life almost immediately after birth. They are able to fly 5 days after birth and travel distance of 4 miles at the age of 10 days. Grouse reaches sexual maturity at the age of one year.

D) Grouse are social birds. They live in groups to feed on available food sources.

Keep scrolling to find out!

Upcoming Events

A photo of Alabama Hills National Monument.

These Alabama Hills are alive

Saturday, 22 February 2020 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. 

Explore the mysteries hidden within the eroded granite rock while walking through the passageways and along the ridge lines that make up the maze of this amazing setting. Learn about the many secretive creatures and flora hidden within the rocks. This is a moderately strenuous hike with occasional steep sections of trail.
Free Community Program open to the public. (BLM CA Facebook)

A photo of a BLM fire fighter

Department of the Interior Fire hiring event

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are hiring dozens of wildland fire positions across the west. Attend the hiring event in Bakersfield on Feb. 22-23. (BLM CA Facebook)

Related: USA Jobs 

Download a photo of off-highway vehicles at Red Canyon in the Needles Field Office.

Invitation to provide input on BLM OHV grant proposals

Scoping meeting will be on 24 February 2020, 4:30 - 6 p.m.

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting several public and stakeholder meetings to gather input on the development of off-highway vehicle (OHV) grant proposals for submission to the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division. Grant applications are currently being prepared by the BLM staff for the 2019/2020 grant cycle. (BLM news release)

Caliente Mountains in Carrizo Plain

Public nominations for Resource Advisory Councils open

Deadline to submit nominations is Monday, 24 February 2020

The Northern California, Central District and Desert Resource Advisory Councils are seeking nominations for public members. These citizen-based committees assist in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues. The BLM maintains 37 such advisory committees formally chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Federal Policy and Land Management Act (FLPMA) across the West. Of those committees, 31 are RACs and the remainder are site or subject-specific advisory councils. Each RAC consists of 10 to 15 members from diverse interests in local communities, and they assist in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues.

A desert valley with solar panels and wind turbines.

BLM seeks public comment for the Camino Solar Project in Kern County

Deadline for submitting comments is March 16

The Bureau of Land Management, Ridgecrest Field Office, is seeking public comments on the Camino Solar Project located in the Antelope Valley, west of Rosamond in Kern County. (BLM news release)


The false statement is D. Grouse are solitary birds. They occasionally gather in groups during the winter to feed on available food sources.

Greater Sage-Grouse are an icon of the American West, their booming mating calls at dawn a signature of the great sagebrush sea that covers much of that region. 

As the bird's name suggests, it relies on this habitat to survive. As the American West has become more and more urbanized over the last 100 years, Greater Sage-Grouse populations have declined as their habitat has been lost to development, invasive weeds and wildfire.

Related Links:, Sage-grouse at BLM