BLM California News.Bytes Issue 905

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Desert landscapes with mountain and sun shining.

Black Mountain Wilderness, Barstow Field Office

ISSUE 905- June 4, 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

A tent lit in a dark night.

Great Outdoors Month 2020

June is #GreatOutdoorsMonth! If you head out to explore California, please #RecreateResponsibly by being prepared, flexible and respectful of other users, as well as of the natural and cultural resources on public lands. Learn more here. (BLM CA Facebook)

A tent in a desert landscape.

Who wants to go camping?!

While some developed campgrounds remain closed, dispersed camping is open on most BLM California lands. Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of enjoying the stars away from other campers. Unlike developed campgrounds, there are no facilities, so you should bring your own tables, remove your own trash and have the place to yourself. Remember to get your fire permit 🔥 and to follow the #LeaveNoTrace guidelines! (BLM CA Facebook)

A man fly fishing.

Fishing season is here!

🎣 Fishing season is here! Grab your tacklebox and enjoy some time on the river! 🐟 Did you know that each state is responsible for managing their own wildlife? This is why you need a State fishing license, even on BLM-managed lands. Get your California fishing licenses here. (BLM CA Facebook )

Three children running on a trail.

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail goes through BLM-managed #publiclands in Bureau of Land Management - Arizona and Bureau of Land Management - California. The Trail commemorates Spanish Commander Anza’s route taken on the expedition to bring colonists to the San Francisco Bay area in 1775-1776. (BLM Facebook)

Have a back up plan.

Have back-up plans

If you are planning to explore #California this weekend, be sure to have a back-up plan for an alternate location. Be flexible and if the recreation area is full, no parking is available or your destination is closed, have another option ready! Check our website for closures and other notices. (BLM CA Facebook)

A graphic of a life jacket.

Wear proper gear

Water Safety: It’s important to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest at all times when you are on or near the river. Kayakers and canoeists should always wear helmets and rafters should wear helmets in class IV and above water. For more information on #RecreatingSafely when enjoying outdoor activities on #YourPublicLands, please visit here. (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)

Headline & Highlights

A pod attached to four parachutes.

BLM is proud to be part of SpaceX journey

Did you know the BLM hosts SpaceX on public lands to conduct parachute testing and we are proud to be a part of the journey? We are celebrating our partnership with #SpaceX and following astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken on their journey as they make history! (BLM CA Twitter)

The San Benito evening primrose.

“Goldilocks” plant once believed in danger of extinction, now no longer threatened in the wild

“The recovery of San Benito evening primrose is the culmination of 35 years of planning, protection, restoration, survey, monitoring and scientific research,” said Ryan O’Dell, natural resource specialist with the BLM Central Coast Field Office. “Endangered species recovery is a worthy goal, and it is achievable.” (USFWS news release)

A pile of wood.

BLM Eagle Lake Field Office now issuing firewood cutting permits

The Bureau of Land Management Eagle Lake Field Office has resumed issuing firewood cutting permits for BLM-managed public lands in Lassen County.  Permits will be issued by mail while the office lobby remains temporarily restricted to public access. (BLM CA news release)

A teenager with a horse.

Adoptions and sales of wild horses and burros reach a 15-year high

BLM breaks 15-year record for adoptions and sales of wild horses and burros, saving taxpayers $170 million in the first year of the Adoption Incentive Program. In addition, a potentially ground-breaking fertility control study got underway in Carson City, Nevada, and the agency reported to Congress on the outlook for wild horses and burros in coming years. Read more here. (BLM CA Facebook)

A tree frog.

Amphibian Week 2020

To kick off #AmphibianWeek 🐸, let’s ask ‘What are Amphibians?’ They are cold-blooded, vertebrate animals that begin their life in water with gills and a tail, then develop lungs and legs for life on land. Frogs, toads, newts, caecilians and salamanders are all amphibians that make up over 50 different species that live in California, including 17 sensitive species that BLM manages for conservation. Check out this Pacific Chorus Frog who can be found along the northwest coast of #California!. (BLM CA Facebook)

A baby toad on a hand.

Let’s take a look at some toads!

These California Toads can be found within the Juniper Flats area managed by the Barstow Field Office. Notice how the toad blends in and almost disappears into the rocks in one photo! These little guys and gals recently metamorphosed, which means they changed from tadpole to adults. They should grow to be 2-5 inches long and have a pale light stripe down the middle of their back at maturity. And instead of hopping, California toads will often creep through the underbrush by walking in a style like a four-legged creature. (BLM CA Facebook)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

An areal satellite of fire location.

Smoke Tree Fire Update, Riverside County

Thanks to our partners at @PalmSpringsFire and @Cal_Fire
as we work to contain the #SmokeTreeFire that is burning on BLM land in Riverside Co. The fire is currently holding at 139 acres with 20% containment, but has a slow rate of spread. #2020FireSeason (BLM CA Twitter)

Campground with mountains in the background.

BLM Bishop Field Office issues seasonal fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions for public lands managed by the Bishop Field Office in the Eastern Sierra effective Monday, June 8, due to increased wildland fire danger in the region. These seasonal restrictions will remain in effect until November 1, and are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order, issued on April 28. (BLM CA news release)

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

A graphic that reads under construction.

ePlanning is undergoing migration

Please note that our BLM NEPA Register system (ePlanning) is undergoing a migration to a new system and will be unavailable from Friday, June 5 at 5:00 pm MST through Saturday, June 6 at 6:00 pm MST. We apologize for any inconvenience during this time. If you experience access issues or broken links after the migration is complete, please email the ePlanning Team at (BLM CA Facebook)

A hiker in a ravine of red slick rock.

Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs, AZ, UT

The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness in south-central Utah and north-central Arizona is home to scalloped rock walls and colorful swirls of cross-bedded sandstone. Within the Coyote Buttes North section of this stunning wilderness area, you’ll find one of the most visually striking geologic sandstone formations in the world—The Wave. (BLM Instagram)

Old grove forest with trees fallen.

BLM proposes modernizing forest management rules

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing updates to antiquated regulations governing administration of timber sales and protest of forest management decisions, which haven’t been revised in more than 35 years.(BLM news release)

Trees on a slope.

BLM proposes expedited review of timber salvage projects

The Bureau of Land Management today announced a proposal to establish a new categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, which would streamline the agency’s review of routine timber salvage projects and operations. (BLM news release)

BLM wildfire fighters.

Bureau of Land Management ensures wildfire response across the West

As wildfire activity increases across the American West and Alaska, the Bureau of Land Management is responding. (BLM news release)

Green winged teal flying over a lake.

Secretary Bernhardt Announces $160 Million in Funding for Wetland Conservation Projects and National Wildlife Refuges

Hundreds of bird species will benefit from $160 million in funding for various wetland conservation projects in North America. The funding was approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which is chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.(DOI news release)

Secretary Bernhardt speaking to NPS employees.

This Week at Interior May 29, 2020

This Week: Secretary Bernhardt and Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Rob Wallace were at Grand Canyon National Park to kick off Memorial Day weekend; the Secretary then joined President Trump at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore to mark Memorial Day and salute all those who have given their lives in service to the nation and more. (DOI video)

Wildlife Question of the Week

California Newt

True or false

California Newts (Taricha torosa) have a fire retardant layer on their skin.

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

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)


3rd Annual Wild Horse Walkabout

21 Aug at 09:00 – 23 Aug at 17:00

Join us in beautiful northeastern California for an exciting weekend of exploring and experiential learning about wild horses and their habitat. Details and registration to follow. (BLM CA Facebook)

Wildlife Question of the Week Answer

The answer is true.  CA newts have a remarkable emergency defense against wildfires. When the newt is exposed to fire, the slim coating on its skin  foams up and chars to a crusty white ash, which protects the newt from catching fire, while the foam sealed underneath serves as insulation against the heat of the flames.

The California Newt Taricha torosa is one of 5 members of the newt family (Salamandridae) which inhabit California. The California Newt is primarily located on the Coastal Range of California from Humbolt County to the Mexican border. Other isolated populations are also located in California, along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range (Petranka, 1998; Stebbins 1985; Dudek and Assoc., Inc. 2000).