BLM California News.Bytes Issue 911

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Sacramento River flowing by oaks and a rocky rivers edge.

Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area, Redding Field Office

ISSUE 911- July 16, 2020

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

Recreation and Public Access

Headwaters Trail through wooded forest.

Bureau of Land Management opens South Side Trail, announces Salmon Pass guided hike opportunities at Headwaters

The Bureau of Land Management has opened the South Side Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve and announced the start of guided hikes in the Salmon Pass area on the south side of the reserve, in Humboldt County. The new South Side Trail runs parallel to the Elk River Trail beginning at the Elk River Trailhead. (BLM CA News Release)

Two people looking at the sunset on a mountain top.

California’s ultimate outdoor bucket list: 45 natural wonders

We made the list – here's the top 45 natural wonders of California!  🧡 Leading experts were asked to name their absolute top 5 no-to-be-missed day outings, and BLM California lands were a top pick for many. How many of these California bucket-list places have you visited? (California Sun)

Stay close to home graphic

Explore locally

Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails, and public lands. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit. #RecreateResponsibly. Visit the BLM website to find public lands near you. (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

BLM Rangers standing next to the Ridgecrest Field Office sign

Bureau of Land Management Rangers to the rescue!

Check out the harrowing experience of two travelers who found themselves in need of rescue when their camping trip literally took a turn for the worse. "Before this trip we did not even know the Bureau of Land Management has Rangers to police and protect our public lands. The BLM police force oversees vast areas of wilderness and is equipped for search and rescue." (The Daily Independent)

Comet Neowise in the night sky above the American river

Have you seen comet NEOWISE?

It will be visible through the middle of the month in the NE horizon during early AM, then later in the month in the NW sky after dusk. Have your binoculars handy and view it from your own backyard or venture out on public lands. 

The photo was taken near the lower American Wild and Scenic River in Sacramento, which drains to the west slope of the Sierra Nevada’s before emptying into the Sacramento River. BLM California manages several segments of the American River which is very popular for whitewater rafting, fishing and other activities. (BLM CA Facebook)

Man holding a burro at a window of an assisted living facility for residents to see.

The Bureau of Land Management has some amazing volunteers and adopters.

Two volunteers for BLM California, Karin Usko & John Auborn, have done some fun things with their adopted burros. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they found a way to make people happy by visiting a local assisted living facility to cheer up residents and staff. To maintain proper social distance they walked the animals around outside & said hello to residents through their windows. Even at a distance, the residents enjoyed seeing the burros & the burros enjoyed seeing the people! (BLM Tales from the Trails Blog)

Marijuana plants in a manzanita grove

$45 million worth of marijuana found on 1,500 acres: Hemet, Sage

Marijuana cultivation sites spread out over more than 1,500 acres of public and private land in unincorporated areas of Hemet and Sage were taken down this week by deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, who said the cannabis street value was estimated at $45 million. More than 91,000 marijuana plants were eradicated, and 680 pounds of processed marijuana were found, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department who worked in coordination with BLM. (Patch)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

A BLM truck in front of smoke from Mineral fire

Fire Update: Mineral Fire, Fresno County

The Mineral Fire has burned XXX acres near the Coalinga Mineral Springs County Park, which provides parking for the Coalinga Mineral Springs National Recreation Trail to Kreyenhagen Peak. Access is currently closed due to nearby fire activity. For the latest updates visit Inciweb.

Helicopter dropping water on a fire on a rocky mountain

Aviation resources are critical to our wildfire response in California

Last Friday, BLM CA Helicopter 554, based out of Apple Valley, assisted wildfire suppression efforts on the Elliot Fire near San Diego. These helicopter water buckets can hold up to 240 gallons of water and precisely target wildfire locations to support containment. (BLM CA Facebook)

Burned trees and shrubs from the Numbers fire in Nevada.

Truck’s faulty exhaust may have sparked big Nevada wildfire

Federal fire investigators believe a faulty exhaust system on a semi-tractor trailer sparked the Nevada wildfire along U.S. Highway 395 last week that destroyed three homes and burned more than 28 square miles (72 square kilometers) of mostly rangeland and rugged terrain near the California line. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and East Fork Fire Protection District said Monday the possible failure of the exhaust system “allowed hot particles to be discharged along the highway right-of-way, igniting dry grass and brush” along the Sierra’s eastern front. (Associated Press)

Graphic saying Current Fire Restrictions

Current Fire Restrictions

BLM California has issued season fire restrictions due to increased wildland fire danger in the state. Here’s an interactive MAP showing all current fire restrictions. Be sure to bookmark it for future use!

Full list below:

BLM CA issues statewide Fire Prevention Order
BLM Bakersfield Field Office issues seasonal fire restrictions.
BLM Bishop Field Office issues seasonal fire restrictions
BLM Central Coast Field Office issues seasonal fire restrictions
BLM Mother Lode Field Office initiates seasonal fire restrictions
BLM initiates seasonal fire and target shooting restrictions in the California Desert District
BLM initiates Whitewater Canyon closure due to increased wildfire risk
BLM Ukiah Field Office initiates seasonal fire restrictions
BLM announces seasonal fire restrictions for public lands managed by Redding Field Office
BLM announces seasonal fire restrictions for public lands managed by Arcata Field Office

Map showing the July fire outlook

Wildland fire outlook

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

BLM & DOI Highlights

Wild horses running on a plain.

Court sides with Bureau of Land Management in two cases important to wild horse and burro management

 The Bureau of Land Management recently received two favorable decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that support the agency’s on-going efforts to address a growing overpopulation of wild horses and burros on public lands. (BLM News Release)

Matthew Buffinton sitting at a desk with a microphone.

Bureau of Land Management names Assistant Director for Communications 

The Bureau of Land Management today announced the appointment of Matthew Buffington as the new Assistant Director for Communications. Buffington, a career communications professional with more than 15 years of experience, will begin his new position on August 6 at the BLM’s Robert F. Burford Headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado. (BLM News Release)

A fallen tree in a forest that has been cut to allow the trail to pass.

Making public lands healthier in Western Oregon

The health of our forests and timbered area can mean life or death for citizens in the Northwest. Actively managing our timbered lands by permitting responsible timber harvests, clearing dead and dying timber and conducting other fuel treatments helps prevent wildfires and better protects communities from ruin. (DOI News Release)

Secretary Bernhardt sitting at a desk speaking into microphone.

Trump Administration launches inaugural meeting of the Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes

the Trump Administration hosted the first meeting of the Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes (Task Force) at the United States Department of the Interior chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt. (DOI News Release)

Researchers examining a soil sample.

After a wildfire, how intense does rainfall need to be to cause a debris flow?

Debris flows are mixtures of water, soil, and rock (think flowing concrete) that behave different from floods. Because debris flows are a thick slurry and can carry large boulders and trees, they can generate high impact forces which may damage buildings and infrastructure and, more importantly, pose significant threat to human life and safety. In recently burned landscapes, there is frequently a rapid switch from floods to debris flows once a critical rainfall intensity is exceeded. One of the of questions our research addresses is how intense does rainfall need to be to cause a debris flow in the Southwest? (DOI Office of Wildland Fire/Arizona Geology)

Question of the Week - Space Exploration

Comet Neowise over Lassen Peak mountain

How long have scientists known about Comet NEOWISE?


1. Eight years

2. Six months

3.Two years

4. Four months

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

Mountain peaks of the Alabama Hills.

Bureau of Land Management seeks public input on Alabama Hills Management Plan

Public Meetings - 22, 23 July 2020

Public Comment Deadline - 7 August 2020

The BLM is seeking public comment on the Alabama Hills Management Plan by August 7. Virtual public meetings on July 22 and July 23. (BLM CA news release)

Cahuilla Station

Bureau of Land Management seeks public input on new Cahuilla Ranger Station

Deadline is 31 July 2020

The BLM El Centro Field Office is seeking public input on the proposed replacement of the Cahuilla Ranger Station located at 4500 Gecko Road, Brawley in Imperial County. The new facility would better serve the needs of the public as well as BLM emergency medical staff, law enforcement, and park rangers. (BLM CA news release)


3rd Annual Wild Horse Walkabout

9 a.m. 21 August – 5 p.m. 23 August

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)

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is 4. Four months. NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission discovered the icy visitor on March 27, 2020, using its two infrared channels, which are sensitive to the heat signatures given off by the object as the Sun started to turn up the heat.

The spacecraft was launched in December 2009 and was originally named the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). WISE was not designed to study asteroids and comets and is now long past its expected lifetime of 7 months. Although incapable of discovering large numbers of near-Earth asteroids and comets, the spacecraft has provided information on their numbers and sizes based on a sample of them and was repurposed for this use in 2013 by what is now known as NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

For more on how to view the comet, visit:

Source: NASA