BLM California News.Bytes Issue 894

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Bodie Hills

Bodie Hills, Bishop Field Office

ISSUE 894- March 19, 2020

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

Headline and Highlights

Wildflowers covered mountains.

Happy first day of spring

It’s the first day of spring! We’re excited for future opportunities to witness scenes like previous years’ superblooms at Carrizo Plain National Monument in California, where wildflowers put on spectacular shows. This is also a great time of year to review Leave No Trace principles, so that everyone can enjoy our pristine parks, refuges and wilderness areas for generations. Other helpful resources you can read at home may include identification guides for wildflowers and birds. Photo from 2017 by Bob Wick. (DOI Facebook)

A bush of wild ginger.

Spring at Headwaters Forest Reserve

Spring into Headwaters and discover wild ginger, Asarum caudatum blooming. Look underneath the heart shaped leaves that shade the violet blooms. The flower has an unusual smell of rotting flesh, attracting flies to pollinate. (BLM CA Facebook)

A video still

There's a lot of life out there on the public lands

If you're stuck inside or can't make it out to the Preserve, we'd like to bring as much of the Preserve as possible to you! Check out his video of a rainy day on the Wetlands Walk Trail and enjoy the beauty of nature from afar. (BLM CA Facebook)

Volunteers working on a trail

BLM California and AmeriCorps complete maintenance projects

This month, a team from AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region worked with staff at BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office to complete maintenance projects on four popular trails: Pushawalla Palms, Hidden Palms, Willis Palms and Indian Palms. The team cleaned, re-lined and replaced signs on the trails to make them more visible for hikers. (BLM CA Facebook)

BLM Logo

BLM California restricts in-person access at visitor centers and public rooms

Continuing our service to the public while doing our part to address COVID-19 is very important. Following guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities, the BLM is temporarily restricting in-person public access to visitor centers and public rooms in our California offices. Please check with individual offices regarding customer services available by phone or email. (BLM news release)

BLM and DOI Highlights

Mountain biker riding on a trial in the desert.

BLM to temporarily suspend entrance fees on public lands across America

After careful consideration and at the direction of Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, the Bureau of Land Management will temporarily suspend the collection of all entrance fees until further notice. (BLM news release)

A raft on a river.

Sportsmen and Sportswomen Generate Nearly $1 Billion in Conservation Funding

America’s sportsmen and sportswomen generated nearly $1 billion in excise taxes last year that support state conservation programs. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the disbursement of these funds, generated through excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment and boat fuel to all 50 states and U.S. territories by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (DOI news release)

great sand dune and elk

12 Things you didn't know about Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

At the foot of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Colorado, one small step into Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve may inspire memory of one giant leap for mankind. The park and preserve’s out-of-this-world geography incorporates 149,137 acres of tundra, forest, wetlands and soaring sand dunes in a spectacular array of the country’s most unique geographic formations. (DOI Blog)

Wildlife Question of the Week

A close up detail of a reptile.

California state marine reptile

What is the official California state marine reptile designated in 2012? 

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

BLM Logo

Desert Advisory Council postponed

The BLM-California Desert Advisory Council field trip and meeting scheduled for April 3-4 in El Centro has been postponed. The meeting will be rescheduled for later this summer.

Dirt bike motorist in the desert.

BLM seeks comments on 2020 off-highway vehicle recreation proposals

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, off-highway vehicle recreation proposals, which are available for review from March 3 to May 4 (BLM news release)

Wildlife Question of the Week Answer

In 2012 California designated the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) as the official state marine reptile and October 13 as Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day.

Related Links:, NOAA


Pacific leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Facts

The leatherback is the largest turtle, and one of the largest living reptiles in the world. Adult leatherback sea turtles can weigh up to 2000 pounds and can reach a length of 8 feet. This species has been on the planet for 70 million years!

The leatherback is the only sea turtle without a hard, bony shell. The top shell (carapace) is a leathery, oil-saturated connective tissue. Leatherback turtles are open-ocean animals, but they also forage in coastal waters and lay their eggs on sandy beaches.