BLM California News.Bytes Issue 918

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Fort Ord National Monument, Central Coast Field Office

ISSUE 918- September 3, 2020

Recreation & Public Access

Graphic that says Check what's open

Planning Labor Day adventures?

As many tourist destinations in CA have reopened remember to do your research and call ahead to ensure that the area is safe for travel. Be aware of the place that you are heading, do your research, and be extra careful as sometimes it's just not worth the risk. Let's do our best to preserve these lands and take caution while getting outside! (BLM CA Facebook)

People standing on a trail being shown an ipad by someone in uniform.

Headwaters Salmon Pass hikes available by reservation

In northern California, Headwaters Salmon Pass guided hikes are in full swing every third Sunday throughout the summer. Last Sunday, Susan Halpin, BLM Friends of Headwaters docent, led a 4-mile round trip hike into the old-growth redwood forest. Susan uses photos, sound bites and illustrations about the plants, birds and wildlife unique to the redwood ecology of the Reserve. Hikes are available through November and are limited to ten participants every 3rd Sunday. To learn how to make reservations, please visit their website.

Smoke billowing from a mountain.

Junction City Campground closed for temporary use as a wildfire incident command base

The Bureau of Land Management Junction City Campground, about 50 miles west of Redding along State Highway 299, will be temporarily closed to public use as fire crews establish an incident base on the site as they fight the nearby Hobo Fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The incident base will be in use and public access restricted until further notice to protect public and firefighter health and safety.  (BLM CA News Release)

Bicyclists traveling on a trail after crossing a bridge below a rock formation.

BLM reopens Bizz Johnson Trail & Dodge Reservoir campground as fires subside 

The Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office has reopened the Dodge Reservoir Campground and the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail in Lassen County, as danger from two wildfires has been reduced. The BLM temporarily closed the sites in late August, when the W-5 Cold Springs wildfire moved within a mile of the campground, and there was potential for the Sheep Fire to spread into the trail corridor. While fire crews continue to work on both incidents, active fire is now far from each of the recreation sites. (BLM CA News Release)

A graphic that says Excessive Heat Watch and has a map of areas affected in California.

Extreme heat returns this weekend

An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued for this upcoming Labor Day weekend into early next week. If you have plans outdoors this weekend, be prepared for hot temperatures. (NWS Facebook)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

People standing in a food line at an incident command base.

We thank our partners in the Nevada Division of Forestry!!

Food service for the firefighters at the #W5ColdSpringsFire Incident Command Post is being provided by a Nevada Division of Forestry Mobile Kitchen Unit (MKU) from Tonopah. This is the first time that this MKU has been requested to go “off-district” and support an emergency incident in California. (BLM CA Facebook)

Super scooper aircraft flying over a forest with billowing smoke rising.

Super Scooper assisting in Modoc County

Watch these two Super Scoopers, who just scooped water from the West Valley Reservoir near the community of Likely in Modoc County, as they drop water on the active W-5 Cold Springs fire on the east side of the Warner Mountains. Stay safe out there! (BLM CA Facebook)

Silhouette of firefighters against a fiery backdrop.

The West is burning, so California struggles to find help fighting its wildfires

California’s wildfire resources are the envy of the world: It owns the most extensive fleet of firefighting aircraft, and the largest and best-equipped crews. Yet, already this year, CalFire can’t keep up with the fire siege hitting the state, whipped by a barrage of lighting strikes, an historic heat wave and plenty of brush and buildings poised to burn. Harried state officials readily admit there are not enough firefighters to fill every need. (Cal Matters)

Smoke billowing from a mountain top.

Canada to partially fulfill the United States’ request for firefighting help

Early last week the United States requested help from Australia and Canada in battling the wildfires in California and other states. The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, through the National Interagency Fire Center, asked Canada for four to five 20-person hand crews and requested 55 overhead personnel from Australia. The three 20-person crews from Quebec will be arriving in Boise Wednesday September 2. (Wildfire Today)

Fire burning along a forest floor among small saplings and large pine trees.

Increasing use of prescribed fire: Barriers and opportunities

Despite broad recognition of its value, managers are not able to use prescribed fire at the levels necessary to improve landscape resiliency in the western United States. A better understanding of policy barriers and opportunities is therefore needed. Limited research suggests that a range of factors constrain prescribed fire implementation including narrow burn windows, air quality regulations, lack of adequate funding and personnel, and other environmental laws. (USFS Website)

Silhouette of firefighter standing in front of a field that is burning.

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

- Inciweb 
- Cal Fire
- National Fire Situational Awareness Tool 

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

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

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and adjacent areas
Junction City Campground

Map showing the July fire outlook

Wildland fire outlook

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

BLM & DOI Highlights

An old historical photo of women sewing a flag.

A century of suffrage

On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was officially certified and the right to vote in the United States could no longer be denied on the basis of gender. To mark 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Trump Administration recently designated the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, as a National Historic Landmark. First Lady Melania Trump is launching a new exhibit honoring this centennial anniversary. (DOI Video)

William Pendley Perry

ICYMI: America’s largest land manager now amidst the public’s lands– Op-Ed by BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley

On August 10, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt completed the BLM’s move by signing a secretarial order formally establishing Grand Junction as the bureau’s headquarters. Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley describes the BLM’s move to the West in an op-ed published on August 31 in The Denver Post. (BLM News Release)

Close up of several flags against a wall.

Secretary Bernhardt signs order creating the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed Secretary’s Order 3384 establishing the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA). The BTFA will report to the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney and assume responsibility for financial operations functions currently performed by the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians effective October 1, 2020. (DOI News Release)

Several people standing on a wooden platform above water at a mine.

The BLM’s final rule streamlines royalty rate reduction process for non-energy solid minerals mined on public lands

As part of the Trump Administration’s commitment to streamlining regulations and promoting American economic prosperity, the Bureau of Land Management today finalized changes to its non-energy solid minerals leasing regulations. These reforms will remove unnecessary and burdensome requirements while providing much needed regulatory relief and efficiencies for producers of many essential commodity minerals on public lands. (BLM News Release)

Department of Interior seal in front of a mountain.

Validating Interior’s unprecedented ethics initiatives, Office of Government Ethics program review contains zero findings or recommendations

In stark contrast to the 14 recommendations issued in 2016 to the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) issued no findings or recommendations for Interior’s ethics program. This is the first time in the Department’s history that it has received such a report after a Program Review by the OGE. (DOI News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Brown Pelican standing on a rock by the water.

How much can a Brown Pelican weigh?

A. 4 pounds

B. 8 pounds

C. 12 pounds

D. 15 pounds

Keep scrolling to find the answer.

Upcoming Events

Oil field equipment.

Public comments for the oil and gas lease sale in Kern County are due by September 25th

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)

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is B, 8 pounds! The brown pelican weighs up to 8 pounds and may have a wingspan of 7 feet. Nesting colonies of brown pelicans on the Pacific coast are located from the Channel Islands in the Southern California Bight to the islands off Nayarit, Mexico. Prior to 1959, intermittent nesting was observed as far north as Point Lobos in Monterey County, California. Brown pelicans roost communally, generally in areas that are near adequate food supplies, have some type of physical barrier to predation and disturbance, and provide some protection from environmental stresses such as wind and high surf. The brown pelican uses breakwaters, jetties, sand spits and offshore sand bars extensively as daily loafing and nocturnal roost areas. Brown pelican numbers in a given area may vary greatly with the season. The brown pelican is rarely found away from salt water and does not normally venture more than 20 miles out to sea.
Source: USFWS