BLM California News.Bytes Issue 912

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Sand dunes with mountains in the background.

Cadiz Dunes Wilderness, Needles Field Office

ISSUE 912- July 23, 2020

Recreation and Public Access

Comet NEOWISE over a sunset on the Lost Coast.

Comet NEOWISE visible for a few more days

Here’s some tips for catching a glimpse of the comet before it disappears for another 6,800 years:

🌃 Find a spot away from city lights

⭐️ Just after sunset, look below the Big Dipper in the NW sky

🔭 Bring binoculars or a small telescope (BLM CA Facebook)

RV parked next to large rocks in the Alabama Hills.

Bureau of Land Management proposes camping limits in Alabama Hills

Both proposed management alternatives for the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area would cut the amount of overnight camping by half while adding numerous infrastructure improvements, including toilets, and regulating a number of recreational activities, from climbing to OHV use to flying drones. The more restrictive alternative proposes day-use permits for most activities, banning RVs and trailers from some roads, and moving all camping to a new, single campground. (Inyo Register)

Related: BLM seeks public input on Alabama Hills Management Plan (BLM CA News Release)

Woman and her dog looking out into a mountain valley.

Stay Hydrated, Stay Alive

Drink more water at altitude: Doing any activity at higher altitude can lead to dehydration. You’re less likely to crave water and feel thirsty at higher elevations, so it’s important to drink frequently. (BLM CA Facebook)

Graphic that says Pack it in, Pack it out.

Leave no trace

Respect your public lands and water, as well as Native and local communities. Take all your garbage with you and Leave No Trace#RecreateResponsibly (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)

Headlines & Highlights

Brochure for Latino Conservation Week with people doing various activities.

¡Vamos afuera!

It’s officially Latino Conservation Week and the celebration is nationwide! Now, more than ever, we need nature and the benefits it provides! LCW supports the Latino community getting outdoors and taking action in learning about and protecting our natural resources. Get involved and find the event nearest to you. (BLM Facebook)

A snake on some rocks.

Look what the trailcam at CA Coastal National Monument caught!

At CA Coastal National Monument at Piedras Blancas, the most commonly seen snake is a garter snake. Their name, “garter”, is thought to derive from the garment garters that used to be worn by men and women to hold up stockings. There are 35 species of garter snakes, and they range across North and Central America. Because of this, their habitat is also varied to woodlands, meadows, and scrublands. (BLM CA Facebook)

Mining claim stake in the ground.

Public land mining claim fees and waivers are due to the Bureau of Land Management by September 1

Reminder: Claimants who wish to retain their existing mining claims on federal public lands through the 2021 assessment year must pay a maintenance fee or file a Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification (Small Miner’s Waiver) on or before the September 1st deadline to prevent the mining claim from being declared forfeit and void. (BLM CA News Release)

Graphic that says July 16, 1946-2020

Bureau of Land Management celebrates 74 years

July 16 marked the 74th anniversary and formation of the Bureau of Land Management. On this day in 1946, the Grazing Service merged with the General Land Office to form the BLM within the Department of the Interior. (BLM CA Facebook)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

Fire burning on a hillside at night.

Multiple fires burning in Northern California 

Currently, 43 large fires have burned 403,946 acres in the U.S. New large fires were reported in CO, MT, NV, and OR. The Hog Fire and Gold Fire in northern CA are burning near communities and evacuation orders are in effect. (NIFC Website)

A graphic that says Drones

If you fly, we can't!

Fire aviation experts believe that if drones continue to be flown over fires, it is only a matter of time until a collision occurs between a drone and a firefighting aircraft. Please don’t take this risk (BLM Fire Facebook)

Map of smoke in California

Where's that smoke coming from? 

This website shows you where the fires are located and which direction the smoke is headed.

How to protect yourself from wildfire smoke:

🔹 Stay indoors and keep your air clean – install a high efficiency filter
🔹 Avoid outdoor activities during smokey conditions
🔹 If driving, keep your windows rolled up and set the A/C to recirculate

Fire burning in a field and trees.

Fuels treatments, wildfire, and post-fire resiliency - Goose Creek storymap

In 2008, the West Desert District began a series of treatments near Grouse Creek, Utah to mitigate the risk of wildfire and reduce threats to sagebrush habitat. In 2018, these treatments were put to the test when the Goose Creek Fire started. The wildfire presented West Desert District land managers with a unique opportunity to assess whether the treatments were effective at modifying fire behavior, reducing burn severity, and helping promote post-fire resiliency.(DOI Wildland Fire News)

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

Civil war bronze monument with American flag in background.

Charles Laudner named Executive Director of President Trump’s Interagency Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, as chair of President Donald J. Trump’s Interagency Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes (Interagency Task Force), announced the designation of Charles “Chuck” Laudner as the Executive Director of the Task Force. As the Executive Director, Mr. Laudner will be responsible for coordinating the day-to-day activities of the Interagency Task Force.(DOI News Release)

Yellowstone general store with people walking around on the street.

Trump administration advances efforts to improve the visitor experience at National Parks

The Trump Administration announced that for the first time in twenty years, the National Park Service (NPS) is proposing long overdue improvements to the regulations that govern contracts to enhance visitor services at NPS units. If approved, the revisions would reduce administrative burdens for concessioners to promote competition, provide more flexibility to add new services and encourage investment in concession facilities. (DOI News Release)

A brown horse in a field.

ICYMI: Home on the Range

As of March 1, approximately 95,000 federally protected wild horses and burros were estimated to roam on BLM-managed public lands in the West — more than three and a half times what the land can sustainably support and the most ever estimated by the BLM in a given year. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Casey Hammond highlighted the BLM’s challenging mission to preserve and protect these animals in an op-ed published last week in the Las Vegas Review Journal. (BLM News Release)

Dirt road and border fence.

Secretary of the Interior transfers jurisdiction of 65.74 acres of Federal land to the Dept. of the Army in Arizona & New Mexico

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that the Secretary of the Interior has transferred a total of 65.74 acres of federal public lands in Arizona and New Mexico to the Department of the Army.The transfers will facilitate installation of power and other utility infrastructure and engineering of the road network to provide access along the southern border with Mexico for border security purposes. (BLM News Release)

People standing on steps of a building.

Commonsense reforms to federal reviews key to economic prosperity

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced its finalized rule, Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to accelerate environmental reviews, improve American infrastructure, and advance a smarter regulatory agenda for the American people.. (DOI News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

White-lined sphinx moth

What is the wingspan of the White-lined Sphinx moth?


1. 1 inch

2. 4 - 5 inches

3. 2 - 3 inches

4. Less than 1 inch

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 Comment Deadline - 7 August 2020

The BLM is seeking public comment on the Alabama Hills Management Plan by August 7. (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)

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is 3! The White-lined Sphinx moth has a 2-3 inch wingspan and has swift flight patterns like a bird, which is why it is sometimes called the Hummingbird moth. They are one of the largest flying insects of the desert and can be found throughout the Mojave Desert. The caterpillars feed on desert wildflowers in the spring and are known to be ardent eaters.