BLM California News.Bytes Issue 901

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A firefighter battling wildfires in a forest.

ISSUE 901- May 8, 2020

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

Headline & Highlights

A field of wild flowers.

Happy #NationalWildflowerWeek!

From early spring to late fall, nature puts on a spectacular show with wildflower blooms across the country. Wildflowers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and can be found in unusual places. You might expect to see them in mountain meadows and along forest edges, but these colorful displays can surprise you in salt marshes and across desert plains. To help you make some flowery friends and learn a little more about your public lands, here are a few more of our favorite wildflowers. (DOI Blog)

Rock formations in the desert during sunset.

Happy #StarWarsDay!

What do the #publiclands in Bureau of Land Management - California's Trona Pinnacles have in common with deserts outside of Abu Dhabi? Both are shooting locations for the Desert Planet of Jakku, Rey’s home world in 2015’s "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". (BLM CA Facebook)

A dog in a patch of yellow wild flowers.

Hiking the Bizz Johnson Trail

The Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail provides a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature's spring displays. Recreate close to home, practice social distancing, and keep your eyes open for beautiful bursts of spring color to delight you and even your furry hiking companion. (BLM CA Facebook)

A graphic showing the erosion of the Sierra Nevada

Outdoor Observations: How the Alabama Hills got their shapes

In this episode of Outdoor Observations, naturalist Molly Trauscht explains the natural processes that shaped the unique and magical Alabama Hills. Going back in time 50 million years, Molly explains how chemical weathering and tectonic uplift carved the whimsical shapes we see today. (BLM CA YouTube)

Campsite with picnic table.

BLM seeking public comment on upgrades at McCain Valley campgrounds

The Bureau of Land Management El Centro Field Office is seeking public comment on proposed upgrades and modifications at McCain Valley campgrounds, within the McCain Valley Recreation Management Zone in eastern San Diego County, near the town of Boulevard. The 30-day public comment period will end on June 5. (BLM CA news release)

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 graphic that reads ready for wildfire.

Wildfire Preparedness Week

Each May, wildland fire organizations across the country join together to raise awareness about how we can all be #ReadyForWildfire. This year, the Bureau of Land Management is focusing on the top wildfire causes and what we can all do to prevent wildfires. (BLM CA Facebook)

A graphic showing out door construction activities.

Working outdoors safety tips

If you are working outdoors, please consider wildfire safety, especially the timing of your outdoor home projects! Working in the morning and having a fire extinguisher ready can prevent a wildfire. (BLM CA Facebook)

A graphic of a fire.

One spark less

One less spark really can mean one less wildfire. We need your help to prevent wildfires this summer. You play a valuable role in preventing wildfires. In California, 95% of wildfires are caused by humans each year. Most of these fires can be prevented. (BLM CA Facebook)

A graphic that ready be ready now.

 Be ready now!

Summer will be here before you know it and that means camping⛺️ season is right around the corner. Enjoy your public lands, but remember to extinguish campfires properly with water and dirt until coals are cool. Wildland fires🔥 are easy to prevent. Start by making sure your campfire is completely out before you leave it.  (BLM CA Facebook)

A graphic showing wildfires.

Wildfire awareness Wednesday: Create defensible space

Wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape; however, the fire season across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year.
Each year the California state governor proclaims the first week of May as Wildfire Awareness Week. To highlight the need for proactive wildfire readiness in Tehama County, the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County and its nonprofit the Tehama Conservation Fund extend the proclamation from a week to a month of awareness. (Red Bluff Daily News)

Video still of a firefighter.

California begins preparations for wildfire season amid the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak 

Wildfire Preparedness Week started Monday, but this year getting ready for the annual challenge of battling large blazes takes on a whole new meaning as crews across the state face a combination higher fire danger and the COVID-19 outbreak. (San Francisco CBS)

Picnic table

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)

BLM Fire engine and crew.

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 area with a fire ring.

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)

Desert valley and mountains.

BLM initiates Whitewater Canyon closure due to increased wildfire risk

The Bureau of Land Management will temporarily close public lands in and near Whitewater Canyon, located in Riverside County, due to the potential threat of wildfire. The public safety closure will begin on Wednesday, May 6, and will remain in place until October 31. (BLM CA news release)

U.S. Map with wildfire outlook.

Wildland fire outlook

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

BLM Armchair Adventures

A canoe in a lake.

Lake Vermillion, Minnesota

Over 100 small pine and spruce clad islets dotting Lake Vermillion and surrounding water bodies in far northern Minnesota are under the stewardship of BLM's Eastern States Office. These glacier scoured rocky outcrops host nesting loons and cormorants and provide roosts for bald eagles and osprey to scan the lake for walleye and other fish for a possible meal. (BLM Instagram)

Desert mountain with low clouds and snow.

Sierra de los Organos, New Mexico

Happy #CincoDeMayo from Sierra de los Organos on the Camino Real del Adentro, managed by BLM New Mexico. In 1598, Don Juan de Oñate noted “Sierra de los Organos” (Organ Mountains) in his journal as he passed by their 9,000-foot tall needle-like spires as they reminded him of a pipe organ. This was the maiden voyage that began a 300-year history of travel on the Camino Real del Adentro, or Royal Road to Interior Lands.  (BLM Instagram)

Wildflowers with a lake and mountain range int he background.

Bodie Peak, California

This sweeping view from near the summit of Bodie Peak includes Mono Lake in the center of the image with the Sierra Crest in the upper right – Yosemite lies to the east of the crest. In the foreground, spring wildflowers bloom during the short subalpine summer here at 10,000 feet. The climate here is dry, cold and windy. Patches of windblown aspen cling to sheltered moist drainages, while expanses of sage cover the rolling peaks. (BLM Instagram)

BLM & DOI Highlights

BLM fire engine.

Hello, my name is IRWIN

Not everyone who works in wildland fire has heard of IRWIN - Integrated Reporting of Wildland Fire Information. With the latest release, that should change. IRWIN is an interagency effort that plays a pivotal role in the wildland fire community and makes all our lives easier (DOI Office of Wildland Fire)

Elk migrating.

Interior announces $24.7 million in support for habitat conservation in big game migration corridors and winter range in the west

Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced over $4.4 million in grant funding for habitat conservation projects in 11 western states that conserve migration corridors and winter range for elk, mule deer and pronghorn, including $3.1 million from a public-private partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. (DOI news release)

Bison grazing.

Interior and partners commit to long-term initiative to conserve the American Bison

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the Bison Conservation Initiative, a new cooperative initiative that will coordinate conservation strategies and approaches for the wild American Bison over the next 10 years. (DOI news release)

Bison walking gin snow.

BLM statement on bison conservation initiative

BLM Deputy Director William Perry Pendley issued the following statement in support of the initiative. (BLM news release)

Yosemite national park

This Week at Interior May 1, 2020

In accordance with President Trump's guidelines for Opening Up America Again, Interior and the National Park Service are working to restore access to the American people’s national parks as rapidly as possible; Independence Day fireworks will light up the skies over Mount Rushmore National Memorial after an 11-year absence. (DOI video)

Wildlife Question of the Week

Pronghorn in a range.

True or false

Pronghorns have the best speed-endurance capability of any mammal on the planet.

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

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

True; Pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) have the best speed-endurance capability of any mammal on the planet. They can run at 55 mph and maintain a speed of up to 40 mph for more than an hour! Their hearts and lungs are several times bigger than that of other mammals of the same weight and they have twice as much blood circulating through their bodies -- all serve to efficiently replenish oxygen to their running muscles. Pronghorns are much faster than any North American predator leading some scientists to theorize that they adapted to outrun extinct species such as the American cheetah.


Source: BLM Instagram, All About Birds, Visit Big