BLM California News.Bytes Issue 935

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A snow-covered bridge over a small river in a forest.

Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, Eagle Lake Field Office

ISSUE 935- January 29, 2020

Recreation & Public Access

A river covered in snow.

Winter recreation gets a new layer of snow!

With a major snowstorm hitting northeast California this week, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing conditions should be great on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail just west of Susanville in the coming weeks. The scenery is great too! Stay safe and recreate responsibly! (BLM CA Website)

Green mountaintops with clouds or fog in the valley.

Precipitation causes temporary closures at South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area

The South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area is temporarily closed due to heavy precipitation and poor road and trail conditions. For more information and updates on reopening, visit the website or call (707) 468-4000.

Dirtbike racers jumping large rocks on a trail.

BLM seeks public input for OHV grant proposals

The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public input on projects and management needs that would benefit off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands managed by the Eagle Lake Field Office. The comment period will remain open through Monday, Feb. 15. (BLM CA News Release)

A person on a dirtbike jumping in the air in the desert.

BLM seeks public input on 2021 off-highway vehicle grant proposals

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting several virtual public and stakeholder meetings to gather input on the development of off-highway vehicle grant proposals for submission to the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. Grant applications are currently being prepared by BLM staff for the 2021 grant cycle. (BLM CA News Release)

A small building with a flagpole and antenna out front.

BLM seeks public comment for Cahuilla Ranger Station replacement

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) El Centro Field Office is seeking public input on a draft environmental assessment analyzing the impacts of a proposed replacement of the Cahuilla Ranger Station located in Imperial County. The new facility would better serve the needs of the public as well as BLM medical staff, law enforcement, and park rangers. The 30-day public comment period will close on Feb. 19. (BLM CA News Release)

A fast river flowing over large rocks in a canyon.

Leave no trace and recreate responsibly

To recreate responsibly means to keep yourself healthy, to keep others safe, and to preserve and protect our public lands, waters, and parks. Pack out your waste and leave no trace! Check out these helpful guidelines and enjoy your California public lands! (BLM CA Facebook)

Headlines & Highlights

A woman kissing a goat.

BLM Careers - Not your ordinary job

Some of our hard-working Bureau of Land Management employees love their jobs so much, they can’t help but have a fun day at work! We appreciate everything they do on a daily basis to continue the mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of California’s public lands. From fish biologists, maintenance workers, hydraulic technicians, geographers, engineers, teachers, park rangers, IT and HR specialists, and wildland firefighters, BLM employees make a difference every day. (BLM CA Facebook)

A curved rock formation.

The BLM releases Alabama Hills management plan

The Bureau of Land Management has released the decision and approved comprehensive management plan for the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. The plan is designed to provide diverse, high-quality recreational opportunities while minimizing user conflicts, addressing human health and safety concerns, reducing recreational impacts, and enhancing other resources, values, and uses. The release begins a 30-day appeal period that ends on Feb. 15. (BLM CA News Release)

Current BLM fire Restrictions

Don't let your guard down just because it's cold! Some fire restrictions still in effect

There's still fire danger in some parts of the state. Avoid activities that could spark a wildfire! 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.

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

Two firefighters stand by a pile burning.

BLM to oversee prescribed fire in Lake County's Black Forest

The Bureau of Land Management Ukiah Field Office, in cooperation with CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, plans to conduct prescribed fire operations in the Black Forest along Soda Bay Road, on the northeast side of Mount Konocti in Kelseyville, Lake County. Pile burn operations started the week of Jan. 24 and may continue periodically through the winter and spring. Burning will take place only when weather and fuel moisture allow for safe and successful burning. (BLM CA News Release)

A densely wooded forest.

BLM has started Paradise Ridge Forest Health project in King Range NCA

Crews from the Bureau of Land Management have started work on an extensive fuel break construction project along Paradise Ridge Road in the King Range National Conservation Area. The Paradise Ridge Road Forest Health Shaded Fuel Break Project will consist of thinning and chipping brush and small diameter trees in a path up to 200 feet wide along both sides of the road. The project will extend from the junction of Paradise Ridge Road and Shelter Cove Road north for about 8 miles. (BLM CA News Release)

A firefighter standing next to a pile of brush in a snowy landscape.

BLM to conduct prescribed fire operations in Mono County

Crews from the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office are planning winter pile burning with interagency partners in areas of Mono County. Slash piles composed of limbs, branches, and trees will be burned across 65 acres of public land in the Bridgeport Canyon area north of Mono Lake. Smoke may be visible from Lee Vining, Mono City, Conway Ranch Estates, Conway Summit, June Mountain, Bridgeport, and Hwy 395. (BLM CA News Release)

Several piles of brush burning in the snow.

BLM fire crews will conduct prescribed fires in northeast Lassen County

Bureau of Land Management fire crews will conduct prescribed fires in northeast Lassen County during the winter and spring. Crews will be burning piles of brush, limbs, and small juniper trees at various locations in northeast Lassen County and smoke may be visible from the Ravendale and Termo areas and along the U.S. Highway 395 corridor. (BLM CA News Release)

Piles of wood and brush on a forest floor.

BLM to oversee prescribed fire at Case Mountain

The Bakersfield Field Office plans to conduct prescribed fire operations at Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area, southeast of the Town of Three Rivers in Tulare County. Pile burn operations started the week of Jan. 19 and may continue periodically through the spring. The prescribed fire is designed to improve landscape health and to remove hazardous fuels that could feed wildland fire at the recreation area. (BLM CA News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

A badger laying in sand surrounded by green grass.

How much do adult badgers weigh?


A. 15-20 pounds

B. 5-10 pounds

C. 25-30 pounds

D. 40-45 pounds

Keep scrolling to find out!

DOI & National News

A tall snowy mountain range in the distance with an antelope walking on top of another mountain.

Fact Sheet: President Biden to take action to uphold commitment to restore balance on public lands and waters, invest in clean energy future

President Joe Biden will sign an Executive Order today that will help restore balance on public lands and waters, create jobs, and provide a path to align the management of America’s public lands and waters with our nation’s climate, conservation, and clean energy goals. (DOI News Release)

A large caribou standing in front of tall mountains.

Fact Sheet: Interior Department welcomes day one Executive Orders to restore public lands and waters, combat coronavirus

Immediately following his inauguration, President Joe Biden signed Executive Orders that take critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice, while reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies. (DOI News Release)

View of the US Capitol from above on inauguration day.

Interior Department announces members of Biden-Harris leadership team

The Department of the Interior today announced key members of agency leadership who will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda to build back better and address the four intersecting challenges of our time: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. (DOI News Release)

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is A! Adult badgers weight about 15-20 pounds. Although badgers are widely distributed throughout California, they may be comparatively uncommon or absent from some areas where they historically occurred. This fella was photographed in the Panoche Hills within the Central Coast Field Office management area. Badgers are primarily solitary, although breeding pairs and family groups are sometimes observed.

Badgers have short, stout legs and a flattened body. A badger’s head is relatively small in proportion to its body and a distinctive white stripe extends from its nose over the back of the head. Its ears are short and it has a short, furry tail. Adult badgers are nearly 2 ½ feet in length from their nose to the tip of their tail and weigh about 15-20 pounds

Badgers have long foreclaws and are excellent diggers. They use their claws to excavate dens for protection, sleeping sites, food storage, places to give birth, and as focal areas for foraging. Badgers are carnivores and are well-adapted to preying on burrowing rodents, including ground squirrels, but they will also prey on other non-burrowing mammals. Have you been lucky enough to see one from a distance?

Source: CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife