BLM California News.Bytes Issue 914

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Large mountain with with yellow wildflowers.

Carrizo Plain National Monument, Bakersfield Field Office, Photo by Sarah Bullock, BLM
2020 BLM-CA Employee Photo Contest Winner

ISSUE 914- August 6, 2020

Recreation and Public Access

Off road vehicle on sand dunes by the beach.

Great American Outdoors Act signed!

In Fiscal Year 2019, there were nearly 12.3 million recreational visits to BLM-managed public lands in California. Great American Outdoors Act funds could support projects like accessibility and road upgrades that enhance recreational access. (BLM CA Facebook)

Woman and child looking into tidepools.

Time to tip toe into the tidal zone!

The tidepools at Shelter Cove in the Rocks and Island Wilderness on the Northern CA coast are a wonderful way to beat the heat and explore your public lands. To really understand life in the tidepools, watch the animals from the waters edge. Remember, removing sea creatures puts delicate ecosystems at risk. Here’s some tips to help you tip toe into the tidal zone:

🦀 Plan tidepool exploration at low tide.
🐠 Walk on bare rocks or sand.
🐙 Return everything to its home.
🐌 Never pry animals from the rocks, it rips of their tiny feet!

Use our King Range NCA Junior Explorer Activity Book for some fun educational activities along the coast!

Woman holding a small dog sitting next to a large dog.

Explore your neighborhood with Ranger Tammy

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. We ❤️ our Rangers! (BLM CA YouTube)

Silhouette of a woman jogging up a hill.

Stay hydrated - stay alive

Pre-hydrate: It’s common practice to pre-hydrate before exercising, same is true when hitting the trails. Drink about 17–20 fl. oz. about two hours before heading out. More tips to know before you go can be found on our website

A graphic that lists ways to recreate responsibly

Do your part & recreate responsibly

As state and local guidelines evolve, we can all be a part of making the outdoors a safe place to be. Following the #RecreateResponsibly guidelines will keep everyone safe as we enjoy our parks, waters, trails, and forests. (BLM CA Website)

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

Electric facility and transmission lines

BLM approves El Dorado-Lugo-Mojave Capacitor project 

The Bureau of Land Management approved the Southern California Edison’s El Dorado-Lugo-Mojave Capacitor Project which amends their existing rights-of-way, on public lands in California and Nevada. This authorizes the installation of electric and telecommunication facilities, installation of fiber optic repeater facilities and optical ground wire along 232 miles of 500 kilovolt transmission line. In addition, it provides for the construction of two new series capacitors at the Pisgah substation to increase the transmission capacity and the stability of the line. (BLM CA News Release)

Woman petting a horse

'It's about humanity': California therapy program helps both kids and horses

Arnold Guevara started with his Huntington Beach, California-based horse therapy program two weeks after losing his dad in a work accident. "Where I grew up there was sometimes shooting and fires and things like that," he told NBCLX. "And it gets me worried because I feel like... that's going to happen to my family." On one of his first days in the Free Rein program, Guevara was talking to a group of other students and volunteers about his dad when a nearby horse noticed his distress. (NBC Philadelphia)

Rock formations in the sunlight.

These strange rock formations have been a filmmaking hotspot for over a century

Located in Central California, just west of the town of Lone Pine, the Alabama Hills are one of Hollywood’s least famous but most filmed stars. Less “hills” and more giant huddled masses of stone, they are identifiable by the surprising smoothness of their rounded contours, which creates a gorgeous contrast with the sharp lines of the Sierra Nevada mountains that form their backdrop. Though this landscape is truly unlike anywhere else on Earth, its uniqueness hasn’t hindered the diversity of the roles it gets to play onscreen. (Atlas Obscura)

Marijuana crops seen from above

Authorities arrest 5, seize estimated $5 million in cannabis in North County grow operation

Last Thursday and Friday, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office along with partner agencies investigated two illegal trespass cannabis grows in North San Luis Obispo County. The cultivation sites were located in the area of Parkhill Road and Huer Huero Road east of Santa Margarita. Detectives harvested various stages of cannabis plants being illegally cultivated.(Paso Robles Daily News)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

Wildflower with purple ribbon.

Mid-air collision involving two contract Single Engine Air Tankers

A mid-air collision involving two U.S. Department of the Interior-contracted Single Engine Air Tankers, or SEATs, occurred on the Bishop Fire, approximately 17 miles SW of Caliente, NV. The incident occurred on July 30, 2020. Both pilots were killed in the crash. Recovery operations are currently underway and initial notifications are still being made. The incident is under investigation. (BLM Fire Facebook)

A fire dozer in front of a raging fire clearing a fireline.

BLM Dozer 3183 taking heat while fighting the July Complex Fires on the Modoc NF

This dozer is based out of our Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office and was assisting the California Interagency Management Team trying to contain the July Complex Fires. Dozers are critical to wildland firefighting efforts as they can scrape a fire break along the ground to slow fire spread and increase containment. Stay safe out there! (BLM CA Facebook)

Cows grazing in a field surrounded by rocks.

Fire restrictions implemented in multiple counties in California & NE Nevada

The Bureau of Land Management implemented fire restrictions for public lands managed by the Eagle Lake and Applegate field offices in Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta and Siskiyou counties in California and in Washoe County, Nevada. The restrictions went into effect Saturday, Aug. 1, and will remain in effect until further notice. These seasonal restrictions are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order issued on April 28. (BLM CA News Release)

Smoke covered sun over a mountain.

Apple Fire forces partial closure of the Pacific Crest Trail

A portion of the Pacific Crest Trail managed by the Bureau of Land Management has been temporarily closed due to the Apple Fire currently burning in the Banning Canyon area located in Riverside County. The closure impacts approximately 20.5 miles of trail between the Cottonwood Trailhead near the community of San Gorgonio and the San Bernardino National Forest boundary in Mission Creek Canyon in Riverside County. For the safety of the public and the firefighters battling the flames, unless authorized, no person shall travel along this portion of the trail until further notice. (BLM CA News Release)

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!

Specific BLM Field Office Fire Restrictions:

BLM CA issues statewide Fire Prevention Order

Northern California District:
BLM Arcata Field Office
BLM Eagle Lake & Applegate Field Offices
BLM Redding Field Office

Central California District:
BLM Bakersfield Field Office
BLM Bishop Field Office
BLM Central Coast Field Office
BLM Mother Lode Field Office
BLM Ukiah Field Office

BLM California Desert District
BLM initiates Whitewater Canyon closure due to increased wildfire risk

Map showing the July fire outlook

Wildland fire outlook

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

BLM & DOI Highlights

President Trump holding up the Act he signed.

President Trump signs most historic conservation funding legislation in U.S. history

Wednesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law, which will significantly help address the historically underfunded, multi-billion-dollar deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks and public lands. In celebration of this historic achievement, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced that entrance fees paid by visitors coming to lands managed by the Department will be waived on August 5, 2020. Secretary Bernhardt also announced that August 4th will be designated “Great American Outdoors Day,” a fee-free day each year moving forward to commemorate the signing of the Act. (DOI News Release)

Secretary Bernhardt sitting at a table.

Trump Administration task force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes

The Task Force is in communication with private and public entities across the country, discussing the restoration of damaged statues of American heroes. Additionally, the Task Force sent letters to every governor as well as 2,000 letters to local County Commissioners and Supervisors seeking their input on location for the National Garden, asking them to name any statues to donate or loan to the Garden and submit any heroes they feel should be honored. The Task Force is receiving an overwhelming level of response to these letters and is reviewing responses as they are received. (DOI News Release)

Man standing in front of a sign.

BLM transferring 28 engines to fire cooperators around West

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management this year will transfer 28 engines to rural fire departments and rangeland fire protection associations. A 2018 law allows BLM to transfer trucks and command vehicles directly to established local cooperators at no cost to the recipient, instead of going through the federal General Services Administration process that prioritizes government agencies. (Capital Press)

Graphic that says Eyes on Earth

Eyes on Earth, Episode 30 - Remapping LANDFIRE

In the days before LANDFIRE, fire scientists often struggled to find the vegetation and fuels data they needed to map the path of fires, keep firefighters safe, and to model fire recovery. The dizzying array of data points found in the map layers of the LANDFIRE product suite—from hundreds of vegetation classes to tree canopy height and bulk to fuel potential and beyond—became indispensable upon its release in 2005. (USGS Podcast)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Green sea anemones in a tidepool.

Which of the following are Sea Anemones related to?

1. Octopus

2. Sea Kelp

3. Lobster

4. Jellyfish

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

Mountain peaks of the Alabama Hills.

BLM seeks public input on Alabama Hills Management Plan

Public Comment Deadline - 7 August 2020

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on the Alabama Hills Management Plan by August 7. (BLM CA news release)

Mining claim

Public land mining claim fees and waivers are due to BLM by September 1st

Public land mining claim fees and waivers are due by September 1st. 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 deadline to prevent the mining claim from being declared forfeit and void. For full details please read the news release.

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is 4! As a close relative of coral and jellyfish, anemones are stinging polyps that spend most of their time attached to rocks on the sea bottom or on coral reefs waiting for fish to pass close enough to get ensnared in their venom-filled tentacles. Some anemones, like their coral cousins, establish symbiotic relationships with green algae. In exchange for providing the algae safe harbor and exposure to sunlight, the anemone receives oxygen and sugar, the bi-products of the algae's photosynthesis.

They form another, more famous symbiotic alliance with clownfish, which are protected by a mucus layer that makes them immune to the anemone's sting. Clownfish live within the anemone’s tentacles, getting protection from predators, and the anemone snacks on the scraps from the clownfish’s meals.

Source: National Geographic