BLM California News.Bytes Issue 943

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Orange poppies in a canyon.

Merced River Recreation Management Area, Mother Lode Field Office
Photo by Dave & Tracy Greenwood, BLM

ISSUE 943- March 26, 2021

Recreate Responsibly

Flower on a beach.

Ma-le’l Dunes distinguished as a National Natural Landmark

The Ma-le’l Dunes offer a range of recreational opportunities that allow visitors to experience a diverse and dynamic coastal landscape of forests and salt marshes, sand dunes and beaches, and were recently recognized as a National Natural Landmark! (USFWS News Release)

A dirtbike rider on a dirt trail in a forest.

Top BLM OHV recreation opportunities 

Motorized trails see countless riders every year across the country. With 100's of trails on public lands, we need your help to maintain motorized routes. Stay on trails! Off-trail travel creates damage and is illegal. Slow down and enjoy the scenery. (BLM Top OHV Map)

An elephant seal lying in the sand.

Take a peek at what the elephant seals are up to!

The elephant seals from California's Piedras Blancas Light Station put on quite the show! They may seem slow and sluggish at first, but if they’re disturbed or agitated they can move very quickly - stay at least 150 ft away! (Elephant Seal Live Cam)

A snowy mountain landscape.

South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area has reopened

The South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area was temporarily closed due to heavy precipitation and poor road conditions, but has since reopened. For the latest conditions, please call (707) 468-4000 or visit the website.

Headlines & Highlights

A green canyon with wildflowers.

#TracktheBloom at the Merced River Recreation Management Area

The Merced River RMA is popping with color as the wildflowers are at their peak! Visit during the week or have a back-up plan for an alternate location if large crowds. Park safely without blocking emergency routes! (BLM CA Facebook)

A bald eagle flying in the sky.

America’s bald eagle population continues to soar

Populations of the American bald eagle — the bold national symbol of the United States — have quadrupled since 2009, according to a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners. Bald eagles once teetered on the brink of extinction, reaching an all-time low of 417 known nesting pairs in 1963 in the lower 48 states. (DOI News Release)

Horses standing in a corral.

Litchfield Corrals is now scheduling appointments for wild horse and burro adoption visits

The Bureau of Land Management has resumed appointment scheduling for people interested in adopting or purchasing a wild horse or burro from the Litchfield Corrals near Susanville. Contact 530-254-6575 to make viewing and pick up arrangements. (BLM CA News Release)

A tall mountain range with a desert in the foreground.

Bishop Field Office has some AMAZING camp host opportunities in 3 of their campgrounds

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer camp host, please click on the links below:

- Tuttle Creek 
- Pleasant Valley Pit
- Horton Creek

DOI & BLM National News

Secretary Deb Haaland being sworn in.

Interior Secretary Haaland's introductory video message

From a global pandemic and racial inequity, to the challenges of climate change, it’s going to take all of us to build back better and leave a livable planet for future generations. (DOI Video)

Oil rigs in the ocean.

Secretary Haaland delivers remarks at Interior’s public forum on the federal oil and gas program

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland delivered opening remarks at today’s virtual public forum on the federal oil and gas program. The public forum is part of Interior’s comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program as called for in Executive Order 14008. (DOI News Release)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Orange butterflies on a rock.

What color are the chrysalis (pupae) of the California Tortoiseshell butterfly?


A. Orange

B. Black

C. Turquoise

D. Grey-lilac

Keep scrolling to find out!

Photo courtesy NPS

Fire & Fuels Management

Piles of wood burning in a snowy landscape.

Prescribed fire in Lassen County reduces risks of catastrophic wildfire

Even though the calendar says spring, good winter-like burning conditions persist in northeast California and our Eagle Lake Field Office fire crews continue to make progress on their 450-acre Rodeo Flat pile burning project. (BLM CA Facebook)

The side of a house with landscaping.

Wildfire prevention starts at home

Happy first week of Spring! The spring equinox signifies the return of sunshine, warmer temperatures, and spring cleaning! Now’s the time to clean up and create defensible space to protect your home from the threat of wildland fire. (BLM Fire Twitter)

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.

Question of the Week Answer

If you chose D. you are correct!

The California Tortoiseshell butterfly has a two-inch wingspan with stunning bright orange-brown coloring and dark markings, in contrast to its subdued brown underside. The Tortoiseshell is part of the Brush-footed family of butterflies. Check out their fore-legs and you’ll see that they are stumpy and have brush like hairs. When conditions are right these butterflies are known for population explosions and mass migrations. If you have the good fortune to see a mass migration you could witness miles and miles of butterflies traveling along the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. These beautiful butterflies can be seen from foothill canyons and into high elevations.

A lavender chrysalis of a butterfly hanging.

Source: NPS