BLM California News.Bytes Issue 896

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Wild flowers and cactus in bloom.

Afton Canyon, Barstow Field Office

ISSUE 896- April 2, 2020

  • Headlines & Highlights
  • Wildland Fire & Fuels Management 
  • BLM Armchair Adventures
  • BLM & DOI Highlights
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

Headline & Highlights

A tent lit up in the night.

BLM temporarily closes developed recreation facilities in California

The health and safety of our visitors and staff remains the number one priority of the Bureau of Land Management. In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with the Governor’s shelter in place order, the BLM will temporarily close all developed campgrounds and developed recreation sites in California, to help limit the spread of COVID-19. (BLM CA news release)

Related: Updates on closures and availability of services (BLM CA website)

Hikers on a trail keep a distance between each other.

We've got the distances

Looking for the best place for #socialdistancing? The more than 245 million acres of #publiclands managed by the Bureau of Land Management can provide that distance, but please do it safely and responsibly! Avoid high-risk outdoor activities, stick to small groups of people, stay in your local area and don’t forget to leave no trace (Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics). (BLM CA Facebook)

An info-graphic about recreating outdoors during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Practice social distancing outdoors

Outdoor activities can provide many health benefits when practiced safely. We recommend visiting areas close to home while avoiding very popular or crowded locations where social distancing may be difficult and limiting group activities to members of your household. Do your part when visiting public lands. (BLM CA Website)

Video still showing turtle crossing sign.

Breakfast at Desert Discovery Center

Desert tortoise Animal feeding time at the Desert Discovery Center on a sunny Saturday morning!  (BLM CA Facebook)

A photo of a  Box Elder branch.

Cosumnes River Preserve plant of the day

Today's #plantoftheday is the Box Elder (Acer negundo). It is in the same genus as all the other maples, including the one in eastern North America that is tapped for its sap to make maple syrup! However, it is not called a maple because it has compound leaves (like an elder tree), instead of simple leaves like the other maples. Each leaflet, however, looks like a little maple leaf! You will find the Box Elder in the wooded areas near the river and sloughs at the Preserve. If you have a stream or wooded area in your yard, this tree could be a great fit for your garden! (CRP Facebook)


A beach closed off with yellow tape

Cabin fever? Here’s the status of San Diego beaches and hiking trails, plus how to recreate safely outdoors

While efforts to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus are limiting options for outdoor recreation, public health officials are still encouraging people to exercise in the sun. Specifically, folks are being told to walk, jog or bicycle around their own neighborhoods while steering clear of unnecessary encounters. State officials recently issued these specific guidelines for recreating outside. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

Info graphic explaining fuel brakes.

Interior Improves Strategies to Combat Wildfires across 223 million acres in the Great Basin

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a final decision to construct and maintain a system of up to 11,000 miles of strategically placed fuel breaks to control wildfires within a 223 million- acre area in portions of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. (BLM news release)

A BLM fire truck.

Now hiring wildland fire jobs

#NotYourOrdinaryJob: The Bureau of Land Management is hiring several Fire Engine Operators in Bureau of Land Management - California. Visit USAJOBS to apply for this #FireJob! Get #ReadyforWildfire!
Announcement closes on April 8. (BLM CA Facebook)

U.S. Map with wildfire outlook.

Wildland fire outlook

Check out the latest #WildlandFireOutlook! Available here. (NIFC Facebook)

Info-graphic that describe steps to prepare for wildfires.

Be ready for wildfire

Right now may be a great time to work on your #HomeHardening projects before warmer weather hits California! One option to prevent devastating embers from entering your home is to cover your chimney, stovepipe, and all other vent openings with noncombustible corrosion-resistant metal mesh screens. Looking for other projects? (CAL Fire Facebook)

A firefighter interacting with two residents.

CAL FIRE grant opportunities

CAL FIRE has created a new grant opportunity for eligible entities to provide technical and financial assistance to forestland owners. Applications are open now and will be closing May 31, 2020! For more information about the grant programs, see the Grant Guidelines available on the Forest Stewardship Website. (CAL FIRE Facebook)

BLM Armchair Adventures

A seal laying on a rock off the coast of California.

California Coastal National Monument

Today takes us to Bureau of Land Management - California's California Coastal National Monument. The rocks, seastacks and small islets along the California coast are home to a diversity of marine mammals and seabirds that make use of every available space for resting, roosting and nesting. Harbor seals, like the one shown here, rest on rocks when not hunting and feeding. (BLM CA Facebook)

A photograph of a lake.

Powderhorn Lakes

The Powderhorn Lakes, managed by the Colorado Bureau is Land Management, are nestled below the Cannibal Plateau which at 12,700 ft. is likely the largest expanse of flat alpine tundra in the contiguous United States. (BLM Instagram)

A river snakes through a beautiful landscape.

Upper Missouri River Breaks

Cow Island in the Upper Missouri River Breaks, managed by the Montana Bureau of Land Management, ended up being the location of both triumph and tragedy in the history of American westward expansion. (BLM Instagram)

A dark canyon in a beautiful landscape.

Rio Grande Gorge

Vistas from the basalt plateaus above the Rio Grande Gorge are dramatic and expansive. This view to the north takes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley and the Sangre de Cristo Range with Blanca Peak in the distance. It’s not hard to imagine that powerful geological process worked to create this diverse array of land-forms. (BLM Instagram)

A video still of horses running through hills.

Staying inside but dreaming of wild horses and burros on public lands?

Take an #ArmchairAdventure with Bureau of Land Management and visit your favorite herd management area on our website from the comfort and safety of your home: Note: the BLM is assessing upcoming wild horse and burro events and encourage prospective adopters and purchasers to visit our website ( for the latest information on event changes and facility closures, or contact the BLM at 866-4MUSTANG or (BLM CA Facebook)

BLM & DOI Highlights

Two boys stand together outside while one of them looks through binoculars.

Secretary Bernhardt announces $227 million for state outdoor recreation and conservation projects

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced $227,125,000 will be distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for specified park and outdoor recreation and conservation projects.. (DOI news release)

secretary Bernhardt

Secretary Bernhardt's statement following President Trump's signing of the CARES act

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt issued the following statement today in response to the President signing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. (DOI news release)

offshore oil rig gulf of mexico.

Interior disburses $353 Million in GOMESA revenues for Gulf State Coastal Conservation and Hurricane Protection Projects

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced that the Department disbursed almost $353 million in FY 2019 energy revenues to the four Gulf oil and gas producing states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and their coastal political subdivisions (CPS) (DOI news release)

DOI seal.

Press statement regarding the court decision requiring Interior to take the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s land out of trust

The following press statement is issued from the Office of the Secretary’s Office of Communications regarding the U.S Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decision requiring the Department of the Interior to rescind their decision to take the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s land into trust. (DOI news release)

Wildlife Question of the Week

California Kingsnake.

Multiple choice 

California kingsnakes live everywhere in the Golden State except?

a) The rainy redwood forests
b) Southern California Coast
c) Yosemite Valley
d) Mono Lake 

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

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

The answer is (a). California kingsnakes live everywhere in the Golden State except the rainy redwood forests. They can be found in a large variety of habitats throughout most of California and much of the southwest, including Baja California, Mexico. One of the reasons for this wide distribution is their ability to eat a variety of prey – these powerful constrictors dine upon small mammals, lizards, amphibians (frogs and salamanders), birds, and even large invertebrates, such as insects. Their most remarkable type of prey, however, is other snakes! California Kingsnakes are “kings” because they hunt and devour various snake species, including other kingsnakes and even rattlesnakes – they are immune to rattlesnake venom!


Related Links: Live Science, CNM Kingsanke page