BLM California News.Bytes Issue 929

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news bytes - bureau of land management californiaTall mountain peaks with rolling hillsides leading to them.

Jawbone Canyon OHV Area, Ridgecrest Field Office
Photo by Jesse Pluim, BLM

ISSUE 929 - November 20, 2020

Get your copy of the BLM California planner today!

Enjoy the beauty of California public lands all year long!

We manage 15.2 million acres of public lands in California - nearly 15 percent of the state’s land area - and 1.6 million acres in northwestern Nevada. This year’s monthly planner features stunning public lands across the state with impressive employee photography.

Get your FREE 2021 calendar while supplies last HERE!

Recreation & Public Access

A motorcycle rider driving on a dirt trail with mountains in the background.

BLM Fort Sage races found perfect weather

315 riders turned out for the first-ever Cross Country Promotions, District 36 motorcycle races at the BLM Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area near Doyle, CA on Nov. 14 and 15, where they found excellent weather and track conditions. Following safe COVID-19 protocols, racers and spectators had an awesome weekend! We look forward to the race again next year! (BLM CA Facebook)

A person standing on a pier fishing.

Fishing and hunting, long in decline among Californians, rebound

Fishing has been in decline in California for years, but at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is prompting more people to get outdoors, a shift appears to be underway. The sale of California fishing licenses is up this year for the first time in more than 10 years, with 1.87 million total licenses sold, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The sale of fishing licenses is up more than a quarter million and counting from last year, said Peter Tira, a department information officer. (SF Chronicle)

Mountain range at sunset.

The economics of outdoor recreation

When it comes to spending on outdoors recreation, it's hard to beat the hunters, anglers, RV enthusiasts and other outdoor lovers in Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Florida, Wyoming and Maine. Those six states lead the nation when it comes to the percentage of state gross domestic product generated by spending for outdoor recreation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (National Parks Traveler Media)

Headlines & Highlights

Several children dressed in Native American ceremonial clothes.

National Native American Heritage month celebration

On October 30, 2020 President Trump issued a proclamation designating November 2020 as National Native American Heritage Month. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor the storied legacy of American Indians and Alaska Natives in our Nation. Their cherished legacy, rich cultures, and heroic history of military service inspire us all. This month, as we recommit to supporting Native American Tribes and people, we resolve to work side-by-side with their leaders to secure stronger, safer communities and preserve their sacred heritage for future generations. (DOI Indian Affairs News Release)

A brown and white horse standing in front of a building in a harness.

The BLM R3C virtual horse adoption last night was a huge success!

All 8 saddle-trained horses found new homes during the competitive-bid event where 30 bidders were able to participate. For a couple of the participants, this was their 2nd or 3rd saddle-trained horse from this program! The inmate training program helps support BLM's overall efforts to manage for healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public rangelands. (BLM CA Facebook)

Smoke rising from a hillside.

Officials assess damage from 2,000-acre Laura 2 Fire near Doyle; post office reopens

Fire officials are assessing the damage from the Laura 2 Fire near Doyle, Calif., early Wednesday, according to officials with the Bureau of Land Management. On Tuesday, an estimated 20 structures had been damaged by what officials now estimate to be a 2,000-acre fire. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Fire damaged trees and brush

Update on Mountain View Fire

The Mountain View Fires was fanned by erratic winds that drove the fire into the residential area of Walker, and burned 80 or more homes, businesses, vehicles, and other structures. The cause of the fire has not been officially determined at this time. The wild fire has burned 20,879 Acres and is 20% contained. Almost all of the residents of Walker and Coleville were displaced, according to the sheriff’s office. (Sierra Wave Media)

Current Fire Restriction Updates

Graphic that says BLM Fire Restrictions on Public Lands

BLM California has issued season fire restrictions due to wildland fire danger in the state. Here’s an interactive MAP showing all current fire restrictions. Be sure to bookmark it for future use!

Target shooting and other fire restrictions remain in effect for some areas of BLM-managed public lands in California. Find specific restrictions by field office on our Fire Restriction webpage. Restrictions on target shooting do not prevent hunting with a valid hunting license, as hunting on BLM public lands is managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Please visit the State website for more information.


A hill that has been burned.

BLM temporarily restricts access to Fort Sage OHV Area

The Bureau of Land Management is temporarily restricting public access to the Fort Sage Off-Highway Vehicle Area in Lassen County to protect public health and safety in the aftermath of the Laura 2 Fire. (BLM CA News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Snake looking away.

San Francisco garter snakes, if unable to escape, as last line of defense will…

A) Strike and bite
B) Strike and constrict
C) Emit a foul-smelling substance
D) Play dead

Keep scrolling to find out!

DOI & BLM National News

A sage-grouse bird standing next to another bird sitting in dry grass.

The BLM's sage-grouse plans affirm commitment to managing public lands to support western communities

The Bureau of Land Management announced it will publish six final supplemental environmental impact statements for the management of Greater sage-grouse habitat on public lands in seven Western states. This effort further supports the collaborative process undertaken in 2019 to develop plans that reflected the needs of Western communities and sagebrush-steppe habitat. (BLM News Release)

A firefighter standing in a field of dry grasses while igniting a prescribed fire.

Trump Administration reduces wildfire risk by record 5.4 million acres

The U.S. Department of the Interior has made progress to reduce wildfire risk nationwide, treating 5.4 million acres since 2017 & a 10-year best, 1.5 million acres in 2020. The Bureau of Land Management exceeded presidential goal removing hazardous fuels on more than 782,000 acres in FY 2020. (DOI News Release)

Horses drinking from a natural water source.

The BLM posts significant accomplishments for wild horse and burro management in fiscal year 2020

During Fiscal Year 2020 – which ended Sept. 30, 2020 – the BLM humanely removed 10,139 wild horses and burros from overpopulated Herd Management Areas throughout the West. At the same time, the agency placed 6,162 animals into private care through adoptions and sales. The agency also secured contracts for seven new off-range pastures to provide humane long-term care for up to 5,000 unadopted and unsold wild horses in a cost-efficient free-roaming environment. (BLM News Release)

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is C. The San Francisco garter snake will emit a foul-smelling substance so that their attacker will release them.

The San Francisco garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, is often called the most beautiful snake in the United States. The first things you notice are the burnt-orange head, the slender, turquoise-blue body and bold stripes. The stripe pattern that runs along the snake's "shoulders" is black, red-orange, black. Large adults can reach a meter (3 feet) or more in length.

San Francisco garter snakes are primarily active during the day. They may hunt after dark on warm evenings. The snakes are extremely shy, difficult to locate and capture, and quick to flee to water or cover when disturbed.

Garter snakes are not dangerous. In California, only rattlesnakes have venom that is dangerous to humans.

(Fish & Wildlife Service)