BLM California News.Bytes Issue 920

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news bytes - bureau of land management californiaA mossy forest dense with foliage.

Headwaters Forest Reserve, Arcata Field Office

ISSUE 920- September 17, 2020

Headlines & Highlights

An opening of a railroad tunnel with a trail leading up to it.

National Public Lands Day is Sept. 26th!

Volunteers are welcome to help spruce up the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail when the Bureau of Land Management and Lassen Land and Trails Trust host a National Public Lands Day project. Volunteer teams will work on improvements at the Depot, the adjacent Susanville Trailhead and caboose, and at the Hobo Camp Day Use Area and trailhead. Precautions associated with Covid-19 prevention will be in place, and projects will be designed with social distancing in mind. (BLM CA News Release)

A dirt road with powerlines overhead next to a sign for McCain Valley.

BLM seeks public comment on McCain Valley campground improvements

The Bureau of Land Management El Centro Field Office is seeking public input on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for proposed upgrades and modifications at Lark Canyon Campground, Lark Canyon Day Use Area, and Cottonwood Campground located within McCain Valley in Eastern San Diego County, near the town of Boulevard. The 30-day public comment period closes on Wednesday, Oct., 14. (BLM CA News Release)

A woman and girl looking at an ipad.

Investigate your surroundings through the updated Agents of Discovery virtual app!

Looking for a fun activity to do with your kids at home? Check out our Agents of Discovery platform to create an educational "Mission", or game, to get youth active, engaged and learning about the world around them. Through the app, kids assume the exciting role of a Secret Agent on a mission as they gain new insights into the natural world. Fun prizes are awarded as “agents” complete their educational missions. (BLM CA Website)

Several people standing in or next to a pile of tires behind a parked semi truck.

Nevada County tire amnesty week event

Nevada County residents are invited to participate in the annual tire amnesty event Sept. 21-25, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Residents of Nevada Co., who have bald tires, flat donut replacements or worn out snow studs can bring them to this event for disposal. The Bureau of Land Management, Tahoe National Forest, Waste Management and Nevada County sponsor the event. The events will be held at different locations each day,  please visit the BLM website for locations and dates.

Three women standing next to the Afton Canyon Natural Area sign in a desert.

Women in science return to tracking bighorn in the Mojave

In partnership with the Mojave Desert Land Trust, the BLM’s initiative, the Women in Science Discovering Our Mojave (WISDOM) program, seeks to engage a traditionally underrepresented constituency – minority women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics– to collect data to aid in understanding resource management through a scientific lens. This program has provided new insights into the movement of bighorn sheep in the Mojave Desert, with game cameras collecting data and images of the elusive species. (BLM CA Facebook)

Cesar E Chavez National Monument which is a stone waterfall.

Discover Hispanic heritage at these historic sites

Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from September 15 through October 15 & pays tribute to the culture & traditions of these dynamic people. Many historic sites across the country help tell their story. (DOI Website)

Field of yellow flowers with a path down the center.

Carrizo Plain National Monument: When Nature Turns Picasso

Traversed by the San Andreas Fault with carved valleys sits a plain that Native Americans inhabited for at least 10,000 years. The Carizzo Plain National Monument is situated within the historic territory of Chumash people and offers a spiritual vibe accompanied by a landscape that is Picasso painting- worthy! Board plains and vast open grasslands here are rimmed by mountains and when the conditions are right – the surge of incredible colors from wildflowers. Let‘s take a quick journey and find out what Carrizo Plain National Monument is all about and why it is one of the most picturesque grasslands in the US and the world. (Unspoiled California)

A honey bee flying to a purple flower.

Will putting honey bees on public lands threaten native bees?

As suitable sites become scarce, commercial beekeepers are increasingly moving their hives to U.S. public lands. But scientists warn that the millions of introduced honey bees pose a risk to native species, outcompeting them for pollen and altering fragile plant communities. (Yale Environment 360)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

cows standing in a field with a red glow all around.

BLM temporarily suspends target shooting in Central California due to wildland fire danger

The Bureau of Land Management reminds recreationists that target shooting is prohibited on all BLM-managed public lands throughout the Central California District, in addition to portions of the California Desert District and the Redding field office, due to extreme wildland fire danger. The only exception is those individuals with a valid State of California hunting license and being actively engaged in the legal take or pursuit of game and non-game species in accordance with current California hunting regulations.
(BLM CA News Release)

Fire burning in a forest.

Folsom Lake Veterans Hand Crew on the CZU August Complex

The Folsom Lake Veterans Hand Crew conducted an understory burn last week while working to protect the town of Davenport during the CZU August Complex fire in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. In this video one of the members throws a handheld flare which is used to burn off the control line around the town. This resulted in a perfect understory burn along the western side of the San Vicente Creek. Great work by this Folsom Lake team! (BLM CA Facebook)

Silhouette of firefighters in front of a fire.

‘Nothing left in the bucket’: Wildfire resources run thin

Justin Silvera came off the fire lines in Northern California after a grueling 36 straight days battling wildfires and evacuating residents ahead of the flames. Before that, he and his crew had worked for 20 days, followed by a three-day break. (Associated Press)

Firefighter spraying water on a smoke filled field.

At least 35 dead as wildfires rampage along the west coast

Wildfires have now burned more than 4.6 million acres in 87 large fires across 10 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. At least 35 people have died in California, Oregon and Washington, The Associated Press reported. Dense smoke and fog enveloped an area far beyond the fires on Monday, keeping temperatures cooler but also creating new hazards in an ongoing catastrophe, with reduced visibility and a high risk of smoke inhalation. (NPR)

Graphic of a air quality meter that currently shows good air quality.

Wondering what the air quality is today?

As wildfires in California continue to burn, it's important to pay attention to the air quality before doing outdoor activities if at all possible. If the forecast is RED (unhealthy), there may still be times during the day when air quality is fine to be outside. Check current air quality to see when it’s ok to be active outdoors. (AirNow)

Current wildfire map of California, as of September 17, 2020.

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 & law enforcement agencies on social media for updates specific to your area and heed all evacuation warning & orders.

While fire activity remains high, please visit our social media pages to get the latest fire map every day:

Facebook or  Twitter

Map of the US showing the fire outlook in red.

Wildland fire outlook

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

Current Fire Restrictions & Closures

Graphic that says BLM Fire Restrictions on Public Lands

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!

Due to high fire danger, fire restrictions were increased on all BLM-managed lands to prohibit use of ALL open flames, including campfires, BBQ’s and stoves, in addition to the statewide fire prevention order and local district fire and target shooting restrictions listed below.

Seasonal target shooting restrictions are in effect for the Redding Field Office, portions of the California Desert District and all of Central California District. The target shooting restrictions do not apply to individuals with a valid State of California hunting license participating in hunting seasons in areas established by the state.

Temporary Emergency Closures

a firefighter stands on the side of a road as a fire burns in a forest across the street.

Case Mountain Recreation Area

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office has issued a temporary emergency closure of the Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area near the town of Three Rivers in Tulare County due to the proximity of the SQF Complex Fire. The closure is effective immediately and remains in effect until further notice. (BLM CA News Release)

A man fly fishing in a river.

Junction City campground reopened after Hobo Fire contained

The Bureau of Land Management has reopened the Junction City Campground west of Redding after a short temporary closure to the public while the facility was used as a base camp for firefighters working on the nearby Hobo Fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The fire has been contained after burning about 400 acres. (BLM News Release)

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and adjacent areas
San Joaquin River Gorge Recreation Area
Pacific Crest Trail in San Diego County

BLM & DOI Highlights

A lake in the middle of a green forest with a mountain range in the background.

Trump administration announces more than $130 million in public-private funding for wetland conservation projects

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, approved more than $130 million in funding for various wetland conservation projects. The 2020 North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants will be used to ensure waterfowl and other birds are protected throughout their life cycles. (DOI News Release)

Two brown burros in a field of brush.

Nominations being accepted for the National Wild Horse & Burrow Advisory Board

The BLM is seeking nominations to fill three positions on its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board plays an important role in our efforts to oversee wild free-roaming horses and burros. The Board advises the agencies on the protection and management of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by those agencies. (BLM CA News Release)

Oil drilling equipment.

The Bureau of Land Management seeks comments on oil and gas regulations

In support of President Donald J. Trump’s America-First Energy Strategy, the Bureau of Land Management  published in the Federal Register proposed revisions to three key oil and gas production reporting regulations, which kicks off a 60-day public comment period. (BLM News Release)

Mining equipment in a mine.

The Bureau of Land Management updates mineral cost recovery fee schedule

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a final rule, effective October 1, 2020, which updates the cost recovery fees that the BLM charges for processing certain actions undertaken by its mineral programs.Specifically, this final rule updates the fees charged to recover costs incurred in processing certain documents associated with oil, gas, coal, and solid mineral activities on public lands, including fees associated with mineral patent adjudications. (BLM News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Yellow and brown frog on a rock.

The time required to reach reproductive maturity for the mountain yellow-legged frog is believed to be about how many years after metamorphosis?

A. 1 year

B. 2 years

C. 4 years

D. 6 years

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 C!  The time required to reach reproductive maturity is believed to vary between 3 and 4 years after metamorphosis.

Mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae) are amphibians that inhabit naturally fishless lakes, ponds, and streams in the high country of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Once the most numerous amphibians in the Sierra Nevada, today mountain yellow-legged frogs have disappeared from 92% of their historic range. (NPS Website).