BLM California News.Bytes Issue 904

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Sunset on a California beach.

 Trinidad Head, Arcata Field Office

ISSUE 904- May 28, 2020

  • Recreation and Public Access
  • Headlines & Highlights
  • Wildland Fire & Fuels Management 
  • BLM & DOI Highlights
  • Wildlife Question of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

Recreation and Public Access

BLM CA recreation safely tip sheet.

Please recreate responsibly and safely

Please remember these helpful tips while out enjoying your public lands. Be sure to check our list of BLM CA sites that remain closed. (BLM CA Facebook)

A ranger speaking.

Alabama Hills: Introduction to Flora and Fauna

Have you ever wondered what makes the plants and animals of the Eastern Sierra so unique? In this video, Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association Naturalist Molly Trauscht explores the meteorological and ecological processes that are responsible for the majestic and vibrant plant and animal life of the Alabama Hills. (BLM CA Facebook)

Don't crush the brush.

Don't crush the brush

The plant life at the scenic Alabama Hills took hundreds of years to grow and can be destroyed a careless instant. Please follow these tips to help preserve the wildlife and natural beauty of the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. Watch this short video to ensure you take care of the brush! (BLM CA Facebook)

Elephant seals on a beach.

Spotting elephant seals at SLO County beaches? Try a game of tag

Thousands of seals are on the beach at Piedras Blancas now. The beach near San Simeon is crowded, but there’s plenty of space along the boardwalk for visitors to be socially distant. In May, it’s all adult females and young seals, both male and female. They are on the beach to molt their skin. This annual event gives them new skin to face the coming year. You can see the difference between the old, brown skin and the pearly gray new skin. (The Tribune)

A camper setting up a tent.

California’s car camping getaways

It’s the mobile basecamp transporting you to hidden natural wonders, where time slows down and the only set schedule moves along on its own course. You’re just along for the ride because you chose to be there, making the drive with enough provisions to see you through on your car camping excursion. All you need is for happenstance to deliver...expect the unexpected and enjoy the ride while soaking in the many surprises at some of California’s best car camping locales. (

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)

Headline & Highlights

Doris Lora driving China Boots.

My wild horse story: Doris and China Boots

Today's #WildHorseWednesday #MyWildHorseStory comes from Doris and China Boots. "Her legs were very fragile, delicate like fine China. She was born in China Lake, so we named her China Boots. Booty for short." (BLM blog)

Ranger Tammy with two dogs.

Exploring Your Neighborhood with Ranger Tammy

Nature is all around us. Have you ever taken a minute to explore the plants and animals in your own backyard? Take a walk with Ranger Tammy as she discovers the world of insects, birds and reptiles in her own neighborhood. (BLM CA Youtube)

Related: Ranger Tammy Explores her Neighborhood: Part II. (BLM CA Youtube)

A river otter.

World Otter Day 2020

It's #WorldOtterDay! Check out this curious coastal neighbor as he makes his way through the headwaters of the Mattole River on the north coast of California. Many of BLM California's coastal lands are home to these smart and playful mammals. (BLM CA Facebook)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

A wide river and forest.

BLM Mother Lode Field Office initiates seasonal fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions, effective May 29, for public lands managed by the Mother Lode Field Office in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, 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)

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 & DOI Highlights

U.S. Fish and Wildlife firefighter Reynaldo Navarro attacks a spot fire with an Australian firefighter.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service firefighters reflect on assisting in wildfire suppression efforts in Australia

Although Australia is no stranger to wildfires, the 2019-2020 season was one of the worst fire seasons on record. Major bushfires began in spring 2019 (June), and by September were stronger, more intense, and more frequent. The fire situation continued to worsen, and by November, Australia requested international assistance to suppress the thousands of fires on the landscape. (DOI Office of Wildland Fire)

The President and first lady pledging allegiance to the flag.

In Case You Missed It: Interior Continues to Safely Restore Access to Public Lands

This week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt traveled to New Mexico and Arizona before joining President Donald J. Trump at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland to commemorate Memorial Day. The Secretary met with Tribal leadership, staff from the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and visitors to our public lands to ensure the Department of the Interior is safely restoring access to America’s public lands. (DOI news release)

Rock and brush.

Comment period for Farmington Mancos-Gallup Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment Extended 120 Days

The Bureau of Land Management Farmington Field Office, in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Regional Office, has prepared a joint Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement to analyze and update resource management issues, resource data, laws, regulations, and policies. (BLM news release)

Secretary Bernhardt speaking to employees.

This Week at Interior May 22, 2020

Secretary Bernhardt was on the road again, affirming the extraordinary coronavirus recovery efforts underway in Indian Country, and continuing to increase public lands access for visitors; the Second Lady joins Interior's Deputy Secretary to talk about the mental health benefits of the great outdoors and more. (DOI video)

Wildlife Question of the Week

Sea otter eating a crab.

Multiple choice

How much does the sea otters eat in food every day?

a) 10% of their body weight
b) 25% of their body weight
c) 50% of their body weight

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)

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 b). Sea otters eat 25 percent of their body weight in food every day.

Sea otters eat 25 percent of their body weight in food every day. Sea otters’ diet includes sea urchins, crabs, mussels, and clams, which they’re known to crack open with a rock and eat while floating in the water. To find food, sea otters may occasionally dive as deep as 250 feet and will use their sensitive whiskers to locate small prey inside crevices or their strong forepaws to dig for clams.


Source: DOI blog