BLM California News.Bytes Issue 900

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Cactus with mountains in the background

 Bishop Field Office

ISSUE 899- April 30, 2020

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

Headline & Highlights

BLM Ranger with a dog.

BLM Ranger rescues lost hunter in California

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to shelter in place across California, the demand for public service has not decreased. Bureau of Land Management law enforcement rangers have remained on patrol during these challenging times, and in the case of a northern California ranger, saving a life. (BLM CA Blog)

Image of a trail winding through lush green fields by the Pacific Ocean.

The best hikes in California worth traveling to from anywhere in the world

From the barren Mojave Desert and breathtaking natural formations of Yosemite National Park to its beautiful and brutal coastlines, California is arguably one of the most geographically diverse states in the entire US. And it's this variety that, naturally, makes it the perfect adventurer’s playground. (Red Bull)

Video still of a field of wildflowers.

Wildflowers from the sky

Glide with us across the richly hued Carrizo Plain National Monument in California’s Central Valley. The valley’s vibrant wash presents a patchwork of colors from thousands of flowers at peak bloom in 2019. (DOI Facebook)

An orange wildflower.

Wildflowers at the sand dunes

The rain in the Imperial Sand Dunes this season gave us quite a spring show! (ISDRA Facebook)

A roadrunner

Discover the diversity of wildlife in the Coachella Valley

Draw, describe, or photograph a wild animal or plant in your backyard, and share your observations. Tag us when you post them, or email them to us to count for a raffle prize drawing! Visit our website for details on how to participate. (Friends of the Desert Mountains Facebook)

Speaker addressing the camera.

Outpost Observations - Introduction

In partnership with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, we present the first video of our virtual interpretation series! Stay tuned for more Outpost Observations where we highlight the natural beauty of BLM recreation hotspots in the Eastern Sierra and the importance of protecting them through responsible recreation and stewardship conservation. (BLM CA Facebook)

Ranger Tammy Holding a snake.

Ranger Tammy and her snake, Kolbie

Have you ever seen a snake on the trail? Did you wonder which species it was? In this video, BLM Ranger Tammy Jakl and her California King Snake, Kolbie explore the world of common California snakes. Learn how snakes eat, sleep, shed their skin and more! (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)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

A firefighter spraying a wildfire with water.

BLM strengthens wildfire response capabilities across the West despite COVID-19

While taking active measures to protect the public and employees and minimize exposure to COVID-19, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to reduce hazardous fuels across the West and Alaska and to plan for the upcoming fire season by maintaining and strengthening firefighting capabilities. (BLM news release)

A shaded picnic table next to a fire ring.

BLM CA issues statewide Fire Prevention Order

With the 2020 wildfire year upon us, the Bureau of Land Management has issued a statewide Fire Prevention Order to help prevent the risk of wildfires igniting in California. The Fire Prevention Order includes year-round campfire permit requirement and maintaining a five-foot diameter clearance around campfires on BLM-managed public lands in California. The full order can be viewed online here. (BLM news release)

A fire engine and firefighters.

BLM initiates seasonal fire and target shooting restrictions in the California Desert District

The Bureau of Land Management has elevated its seasonal fire restrictions effective immediately for BLM-managed public lands within Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Diego, and eastern Kern counties. These restrictions will remain in effect until December 15, unless terminated sooner if conditions warrant. (BLM news release)

Picnic tables and fire rings.

BLM Bakersfield Field Office issues seasonal fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions for public lands managed by the Bakersfield Field Office effective Friday, May 1, due to dry conditions and high wildland fire danger. These seasonal restrictions are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order, issued on April 28. This seasonal fire order will remain in effect until further notice. (BLM news release)

Pile burning.

Fuel reduction work in Mother Lode Field Office

BLM California’s Mother Lode Field Office has completed nearly 30 acres of hazardous fuels reduction work to help provide defensible space, as residential neighborhoods surround the Pine Hill Preserve, in Cameron Park, El Dorado County. The fuel break is 100 feet wide and has been created by BLM and CAL FIRE crews cutting, chipping and conducting prescribed burning of brush and trees that could fuel wildland fire. (BLM CA Facebook)

A fire truck with a bellowing smoke column.

Hotshot crew mitigates the risk of COVID-19

The Alpine Hotshots are looking for innovative ways to mitigate the risk of exposure to firefighters while continuing to provide their essential public service this summer. (NPS blog)

U.S. Map with wildfire outlook.

Wildland fire outlook

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

BLM Armchair Adventures

A track through flat desert landscape.

South Pass Wyoming

Beginning with Lewis and Clark’s exploration, the effort to find a route through the American West to the Pacific eventually focused on a gentle almost featureless crossing of the Continental Divide at South Pass Wyoming. (BLM Instagram)

Sunset colors over a desert landscape.

Escalante River Canyons

The term Monsoon originated in India and refers to a seasonal change in wind patterns usually associated with heavy rains. The western U.S. has its own monsoon season from July to September, which is most prevalent in the four-corner states but can extend beyond. When southern monsoon winds occur, they carry pulses of moisture northward from the Gulf of California or Gulf of Mexico. (BLM Instagram)

a pool of water with marine life next to the coast with a light house in the background.

Yaquina Head

Yaquina Head extends outward from the Oregon Coast offering close-up views of migrating whales, marine mammals and seabirds. The rocky shoreline at its base contains a rich “intertidal” zone that includes the area between high and low tides. Here, numerous species of algae (seaweed) and small animals thrive in seemingly hostile living conditions. (BLM Instagram)

desert landscape with orange colored rock mounds.

The “Bisti Badlands”

The “Bisti Badlands” with their colorful rock formations and examples of petrified wood and fossils, tell the story of an ancient ecosystem. Swamps and the occasional pond bordering an ancient river left behind large buildups of organic material that became beds of lignite and coal. (BLM Instagram)

BLM & DOI Highlights

A boardwalk over water with mountains in the background.

Find Online Resources for your Favorite Public Lands

Public lands are some of the best outdoor classrooms in the world. But thanks to their websites, they can be some of the best online classrooms, too. (DOI news release)

Secretary Bernhardt

Secretary Bernhardt’s Statement Regarding the Reopening of National Parks

“President Trump recently unveiled new guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach to assist state and local officials in safely reopening their economies, getting people back to work and continuing to protect American lives. (DOI news release)

A hall lined with different Native American Tribes' flags.

White House Re-Establishes Council on Native American Affairs to Support Continued Inter-Agency Coordination with Indian Country

The White House, in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, re-established the White House Council on Native American Affairs under Executive Order 13647. (DOI news release)

A photo of Doug Domenech

Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech Selected as a U.S. Negotiator for the Compacts of Free Association

Interior applauds the selection of Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech and Karen B. Stewart, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, to serve as federal negotiators. (DOI news release)

Planting of a tree.

This Week at Interior April 17, 2020

President Trump unveils Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach for state and local officials to safely reopen their economies, get people back to work and continue to protect American lives during the COVID-19 pandemic; Secretary Bernhardt joins the President and First Lady at the White House for an Earth Day tree-planting. (DOI video)

Wildlife Question of the Week

Great horned owl chick in a tree trunk.

Multiple choice

On #WildlifeWednesday we celebrated cavity nesters, like this great horned owl. Dead trees, or snags, are homes to over 85 North American bird species. The removal of snags can negatively impact wildlife populations that are dependent on them as essential habitat components. This owl nest was spotted by Bureau of Land Management - Idaho's Bruce Hallman on #yourpubliclands.

How fast can a great horned owl fly in level flight?

a) up to 40 MPH

b) up to 60 MPH

c) up to 20 MPH

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

Dirt bike motorist in the desert.

BLM seeks comments on 2020 off-highway vehicle recreation proposals

Deadline May 4, 2020

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)

An electric substation.

The BLM seeks public comment on Eldorado-Lugo-Mojave project

Deadline May 18, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on modifications and installation of telecommunications facilities within Southern California Edison’s (SCE) existing rights-of-way (ROW), which crosses public lands within California and Nevada. Comments on the environmental assessment are due by May 18, 2020. (BLM news release)

Greater Sage grouse.

BLM extends comment period on greater sage-grouse analysis

Deadline May 21, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on six draft supplemental environmental impact statements for the resource management plans that guide management of greater sage-grouse habitat on public lands in seven Western states. (BLM news release)

e bikes on public land.

BLM seeks public comment on proposed e-bike regulations

Deadline June 9, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management today announced a 60-day public comment period on proposed electric bike, or e-bike, regulations, intended to make it easier for more Americans to recreate on and experience their public lands. (BLM news release)

Wildlife Question of the Week Answer

The answer is (a). A great horned owl can fly up to 40 MPH in level flight.

The Great Horned Owl, or Burbo virginianus, is the most widespread owl species in North America. These adaptable birds of prey range from the Arctic to South America where they can be found from river beds to treeline. Great Horned Owls are often migratory birds, but they can be found in Montana all year long. Listen closely and you just might spot one.


Source: BLM Facebook, All About Birds, Visit Big