BLM California News.Bytes Issue 902

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
A night view of wildflowers, the milky way and mountains.

The Nobles Emigrant Trail, Eagle Lake Field Office

ISSUE 902- May 14, 2020

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

Headline & Highlights

An overview look of solar panels and wind turbines.

BLM authorizes Camino Solar Project in Kern County

The Bureau of Land Management has approved the Camino Solar project in Kern County, west of the town of Rosamond. The Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impact released today authorizes Aurora Solar LLC a right-of-way to construct, operate, maintain and decommission a 44-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility on 233 acres of public lands. (BLM CA news release)

Multiple screens of kids and a BLM ranger during a virtual class.

BLM wildlife biologist connects with three kindergarten classes, virtually

Learning opportunities continue with BLM! Bakersfield Field Office's Wildlife Biologist, CJ Chase connected virtually with three kindergarten classes from Fresno Unified School District on Friday, May 8th. The students are currently studying endangered species and will be doing reports on several species this week. (BLM CA Facebook)

A purple flower

Plant of the day in Cosumnes River Preserve

Today’s #plantoftheday is Dwarf Sack Clover (Trifolium depauperatum var. depauperatum)! This annual can be found around the vernal pools along Howard Ranch Trail at Rancho Seco Park. They support an array of butterflies, including Greenish Blue, Shasta Blue, and Gray Hairstreak! (CRP Facebook)

Children posing for a photo.

Happy Mother Day from Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area

Happy Mother Day to all our duning moms! This mom had a great time renewing her vows in the dunes. She spent the weekend riding and enjoying campfires with family and friends, which is what it's all about! (ISDRA Facebook)

Still of a video webinar.

The Hidden Desert - Webinar

It has been said that there are two deserts. One: a grim, desolate wasteland of unbearable heat, as experienced by strangers speeding along the highway. The second desert, the true desert: a place of rare beauty filled with exquisite blossoms and plants and animals that cling tenaciously to life. (Friends of Desert Mountains 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

An info graphic about wildfire preparedness.

Ready for Wildfire

The public plays a valuable role in preventing wildfires. Do your part to prevent wildfires and make sure you are Ready-Set-Go for the year! #ReadySetGo (BLM CA Facebook)

A photo of Tumey Hills.

BLM Central Coast Field Office issues seasonal fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions effective May 15 for public lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office, primarily located in western Fresno, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties, due to dry conditions and wildland fire danger. These seasonal restrictions are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order, issued on April 28, and will remain in effect until further notice. (BLM CA news release)

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

Baby sea turtles.

Fort Morgan Peninsula, Alabama

The white-sand beaches that make up the Gulf Shores shoreline are considered some of the finest in the world. BLM manages a small slice of the shoreline in Fort Morgan, Alabama. (BLM Instagram)

Common collared lizard.

Dominguez Canyon, Colorado

A male common collared lizard poses on a rock in Big Dominguez Canyon in Colorado. Collared lizards are named for two black bands at the base of their necks that look like collars (only one band is visible in this image). Males are very brightly colored and can grow to 14 inches long. (BLM Instagram)

A caribou.

Delta River, Alaska

A caribou looks up from feeding along Alaska’s Delta River. Caribou have adapted in several ways to live in the harsh arctic and subarctic climates. During the bright long days of summer, they have golden eyes with narrow pupils. As winter approaches the caribou’s eyes will turn blue and pupils enlarge making them 10,000 times more sensitive to the dim light in the arctic darkness. (BLM Instagram)

BLM & DOI Highlights

BLM law enforcement officers.

Saluting Interior’s law enforcement officers

This #PoliceWeek, join us in honoring the 3,000+ law enforcement officers from the U.S. Department of the Interior who safeguard lives, protect our national treasures, defend wildlife, and preserve the natural & cultural resources on #publiclands. (DOI news release)

Ranger Blevins on a trail.

Farmington law enforcement ranger selected as BLM ranger of the year

#NationalPoliceWeek: Congratulations to Farmington Field Office Law Enforcement Ranger Cole Blevins who was recently selected by the BLM Director of Law Enforcement and Security as the 2019 BLM Ranger of the Year. (BLM news release)

A wild horse.

Cash incentives help agency adopt more wild horses and burros

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Incentive Program launched in March 2019 contributed to a significant increase of animals placed into private care. (BLM news release)

A beautiful beach.

Interior issues new offshore air quality regulations

The Department of the Interior (Department) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced a final rule to update air quality regulations for applicable BOEM activities in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska’s North Slope Borough. (DOI news release)

A portrait of Lanny Erdos.

Interior takes steps to improve federal-state cooperation in mining regulations

Better coordination promotes sharing of resources, saves time, and eliminates duplicative efforts, resulting in a more effective implementation of standards, and further ensures the safety of the general public and the protection of the environment. (DOI news release)

Coal crane.

Interior proposal enhances public safety for mining operations

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) unveiled a proposed rule today to improve the processing of Ten-Day Notices (TDNs). The OSM allows state partners ten days to address a reported mining complaint or violation. (DOI news release)

Solar panels.

Interior approves plan for the largest solar project in U.S. history

Projected 8th largest solar project in the world, estimated to power 260,000 homes (DOI news release)

DOI Secretary with NPS employees.

In case you missed it: Interior continues to restore public access to public lands

While an overwhelming majority of the 500 million acres of public lands managed by the Department of the Interior (Department) has remained accessible to the public throughout the pandemic, some public sites were closed as a result of following state and local public health directives (DOI news release)

Secretary Bernhardt with employees at Shenandoah.

This week at Interior May 8, 2020

This Week: Secretary Bernhardt visits with maintenance staff, law enforcement officers and employees at National Parks and National Wildlife refuges, working to restore access to America’s public lands that closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (DOI video)

Wildlife Question of the Week

Yellow Breasted Chat perched.

Multiple choice

Saturday was World Migratory Bird Day! This day highlights the need to conserve migratory birds and protect their habitats.

Yellow-breasted chat, a migratory bird, mimics other birds and can have how many melodies in total?

a) 40 to 100 melodies
b) 20 to 30 melodies
c) 1 to 10 melodies

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

A filed of wildflowers.

BLM invites public to participate in virtual meeting

April 17 - June 2, 2020

The BLM invites the public to participate in a virtual meeting about the recently published Draft PEIS for Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration in the Great Basin. (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)

Campsite with picnic table.

BLM seeking public comment on upgrades at McCain Valley campgrounds

Deadline June 5, 2020

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)

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). Chats mimic other birds and can have 40 to 100 melodies.

Chats are small songbirds but are large and bulky compared to other warblers. They have a long tail, large head and a relatively thick, heavy bill.  These are loud birds that tend to skulk in low, thick brush. In spring, males may sing from an exposed perch, but otherwise these birds typically stay well hidden.


Source:, All About Birds, he California Department of Fish and Wildlife