BLM California News.Bytes Issue 917

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Trinidad Head, Arcata Field Office

ISSUE 917- August 27, 2020

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

Firefighters standing in front of fire.

BLM Firefighters conduct firing operations to protect the town of Davenport

The crew from BLM Engine-3147 and Kern Valley Hotshots, with support from Cal Fire, conducted firing operations to try to protect the community of Davenport. The backfiring operation removed dry, decadent fuel that could intensify the main fire. These crews were fighting the CZU Lightning Fire Complex near Santa Cruz. Watch the short video clip to get a glimpse of what it's like to be part of the operation. (BLM CA Facebook)

Smoke billowing from distant hillsides.

Fire danger forces temporary emergency closures on BLM-managed lands

Multiple Bureau of Land Management monument and recreation sites were required to temporarily close due potential fire danger this past week. Some of these closures remain in place, while others such as the Ft. Ord National Monument closure was terminated only a few days later. Check out our website for all the news releases and announcements. (BLM CA News Releases)

Man wrapping a campfire ring so it does not get used.

The BLM Mother Lode Field Office increases fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field Office is increasing fire restrictions and temporary target shooting limitations for BLM-managed public lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills effective Aug. 27, due to high fire danger. This includes restrictions for campfires, barbeques or open flame of any kind, even if you are in a developed campground. (BLM CA News Release)

View of fire burning a hillside from above.

Aerial drone footage from the W-5 Cold Springs Fire  

Check out this drone footage of the W-5 Cold Springs Fire in Northern California where the fire has burned 69,200 acres with 36% containment. The latest fire information can be found on Inciweb. (BLM CA Facebook)

Firefighters in front of a fire.

Severe wildfire season shows need for flexibility

Large wildfires are burning across the country and particularly in the West, with the National Interagency Fire Center reporting 93 large fires affecting more than 1.8 million acres in 14 states. (Capital Press News)

View of a mountaintop with smoke in the background.

California condor facility burns in Big Sur fire, fate of 14 endangered birds unknown

A wildfire burning through remote terrain in Big Sur has destroyed pens, a research building and other facilities used to release California condors for the past 23 years, and 14 condors remain unaccounted for, a significant setback for the decades-long effort to restore the population of the endangered birds. (Mercury News)

Helicopter flying over a smoke filled landscape.

For the latest info on current wildfires in CA, visit these helpful websites:

- Inciweb 
- Cal Fire
- National Fire Situational Awareness Tool 

Remember to also follow on social media your local fire units for updates specific to your area and heed all evacuation warning & orders.

Headlines & Highlights

Oil field equipment.

The BLM Bakersfield Field Office seeks input on assessment for oil and gas lease sale in Kern County

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office is seeking public comment on an Environmental Assessment for a December 2020 oil and gas lease sale. There are seven parcels totaling approximately 4,330 acres of Federal minerals proposed for lease. All parcels are located in or adjacent to existing oilfields in Kern County. (BLM CA News Release)

Large excavator on a dirt road.

Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area gets access improvements

More infrastructure improvements being implemented near Imperial Sand Dunes! This 3-yr project will improve Wash Road and rehabilitate the asphalt surface at Glamis Flat and Buttercup Ranger Station. (BLM Imperial Sand Dunes Facebook)

Amargosa vole being measured.

Thanks to the concerted efforts of many, these cute little critters are making a comeback!

Holding a spot on both the California and Federal Endangered species lists, the Amargosa vole requires a specific marshy habitat to survive. Due in part to several partners, this particular marsh was enhanced, with the hopes of reintroducing the species to repopulate the very same marsh they occupied 120 years ago! So far, three males and three females have been introduced to the marsh, with more to come in the future. Ongoing monitoring shows these individuals are thriving in their new home. So far so good! (BLM CA Facebook)

Person on a motorcycle on a dirt road.

Motorsports Awareness month continues and we’ve got some tips to stay safe while having fun outdoors

 Always wear a helmet
 Follow all posted signs and warnings
 Flags ensure visibility
 Respect private property

(BLM Flickr Video)

Rocky hillside with plants growing in a pattern.

Huge “illlegal pot” grow found in Inyo Forest

On three separate days the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Air Force National Guard Unit, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Justice CAMP Team # 3 and 4 eradicated 42,306 illegal marijuana plants from three locations off public lands within Inyo County. Street value is estimated to be between $84,612,000 and $169,224,000. (Sierra Wave Media)

Current Fire Restrictions & Closures

Graphic saying 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!

BLM CA issues statewide Fire Prevention Order

Specific BLM Field Office Fire Restrictions:

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 Mother Lode FO Increased Restrictions
BLM Ukiah Field Office

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

Temporary Emergency Closures

Bizz Johnson Trail (partial)
Dodge Reservoir Campground
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and adjacent areas

Map showing the July fire outlook

Wildland fire outlook

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

BLM & DOI Highlights

Family hiking up a trail.

ICYMI: President Trump's conservation legacy - Op-Ed by BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley

On August 4, President Trump signed a historic piece of legislation that will provide billions of dollars in permanent, dedicated funding to permanently protect lands and waters across the United States. The Great American Outdoors Act will provide half of all receipts from energy development on federal lands and waters, up to $1.9 billion per year, for five years to address facility and infrastructure needs. At the same time, the legislation permanently funds the LWCF to the tune of $900 million a year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country. (BLM News Release)

BLM vehicle on a dirt road.

Trump administration seized more than 2,600 pounds of illegal narcotics in Indian country last year

Today, the Trump Administration highlighted the efforts made in 2019 by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force in Indian Country, as law enforcement officials successfully led 14 operations across seven states, resulting in more than 313 arrests and the seizure of 2,607 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $19.6 million, more than double the price tag from the previous year. (DOI News Release)

Horses standing in a corral.

National Wild Horse and Burro advisory board to meet virtually

 The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet virtually September 23-24, 2020. The Board will discuss the management of wild horses and burros on public lands, including the challenges of safely reducing wide-spread overpopulation and measures for increasing the placement of wild horses and burros into good homes through adoptions and sales. (BLM News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Amargosa vole being held in someones hand.

What do Amargosa Voles eat?

1. Insects

2. Fruit

3. Bulrush

4. Grass

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

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

Answer is C, Bulrush! Amargosa Voles eat almost exclusively bulrush - which is actually very low in nutritional value. This can only be done because the vole has specialized bacteria in their digestive system which helps them to extract what little nutrients that are found in bulrush.

Source: UC Davis