BLM California News.Bytes Issue 944

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Rock formations with purple wildflowers in the front.

Trona Pinnacles, Ridgecrest Field Office 

ISSUE 944- April 2, 2021

Track the Bloom

Be sure to follow hashtag #TrackTheBloom on social media to see the latest updates on wildflower sightings on BLM California public lands!

A mountainside with purple and white wildflowers.

Colorful wildflowers abound in the Sierra Foothills

Sprays of popcorn flowers (delicate white flowers) and brodiaea (purple clusters) can be discovered throughout the San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area in Fresno and Madera counties. (BLM CA Facebook)

A purple wildflower in the desert.

Rare plants offer vibrant color in a sandy landscape

At the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument, BLM staff spotted some of the federally endangered Coachella Valley milkvetch. This rare plant species only occurs within the Coachella Valley, in sand dunes and sandy wash habitats and can be seen in bloom from February to May when it produces pink to deep-magenta colored flowers. (BLM CA Facebook)

A field of yellow flowers next to a road.

Wildflowers delight runners at the 2021 San Joaquin River Trail Half Marathon

At the San Joaquin River Gorge Recreation Area, runners raced along the Wuh-kio Trail competing in a half marathon & 10k. They traversed trails lined with wildflowers and a lush landscape. A beautiful day for a run! (BLM CA Facebook)

A dry grassy plain.

Planning a trip for wildflower viewing?

Rising temperatures and low precipitation are expected to impact this year's wildflower blooms in some areas. The vibrant spring landscape we have come to love in the Carrizo Plain National Monument is unlikely to appear this year. Discover other areas throughout California where the wildflower colors are popping! (BLM Website)

Recreation & Public Access

Coastal sand dunes.

Discover a remnant of a nearly lost coastal dune ecosystem at Ma-le'l Dunes

When most people think of California and a trip to the beach, they envision surfing, swimming, and sandcastles. On California’s far north coast, however, that beach trip can mean a hike through a world of wildflowers and wetlands in a coastal dunes ecosystem that has escaped the pressures of development. (BLM Medium Blog)

A sign that reads Panoche Hills Recreation Area.

BLM closes Panoche Hills to vehicle access early due to dry conditions

The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office will be temporarily closing vehicle access to the Panoche Hills Recreation Area in Fresno and San Benito counties effective at 7 a.m. on Friday, April 2. The closure will help prevent unnecessary destruction of plant life and wildlife habitat due to abnormally hot and dry weather conditions. (BLM CA News Release)

Poison oak growing near a rock.

Leaves of three, let them be!

It is that time of year when nature calls to us to explore its wonders. Don't forget to be situationally aware when hiking on your public lands. Poison oak is abundant throughout California and can be green this time of year (and the urushiol oils can irritate your skin even when green)! (BLM CA Facebook)

Close up of someone's boots as they are walking on a trail.

Five ways to refresh your Leave No Trace skills

After a winter of hibernation, many of us are getting back on the trails and into natural spaces. Here are a few ways to refresh your Leave No Trace skills to protect those special places this spring. (Leave No Trace Website)

A man holding a plant pulled from the ground.

Invasive weeds removed from Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Volunteers from Friends of the Desert Mountains tackled some invasive weeds on the Snow Fire burn site in Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. They removed Sahara mustard plant, bromus grass, & fountain grass. The weeds were then carefully bagged to not lose seeds en route to their final resting place. (BLM CA Facebook)

A river flowing over rocks.

Camp hosts needed in Northern California!

We're looking for camp hosts near the beautiful Trinity River in Northern California! We provide a space with hookups for your RV or camp trailer and provide a stipend to help cover expenses. If interested, reply to this email for contact info or check out this Facebook post.

Headlines & Highlights

A waterfall flowing over a rock ledge.

BLM schedules virtual public meetings on NW California land use planning

The Bureau of Land Management invites the public to a series of virtual public meetings to develop a plan for 400k acres of forests, meadows, rivers, lakes and coastline within Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Siskiyou, Trinity, Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties. (BLM CA News Release)

A man in a business suit.

Ukiah Field Office welcomes new Field Manager Nick Lavrov

As field manager, Lavrov oversees a field office jurisdiction covering parts of Marin, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Colusa, Glenn, Yolo, and Solano counties. The field office manages areas including parts of the California Coastal National Monument in the Point Arena-Stornetta area and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. (BLM CA News Release)

Stars in the night sky.

Campfire Talk April 8 - Dark night sky project

Did you know that there are places in the Mojave Desert where the night sky is dark and ideal for stargazing? The Mojave Trails National Monument is one of those places. Join us for virtual Campfire Talk with WISDOM (Women In Science Discovering Our Mojaveinterns who will share their findings from a dark night sky survey they conducted in the monument. (BLM CA Facebook)

DOI & BLM National News

Natural rock formations in front of a sunset.

Interior Department welcomes President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

The plan contains several provisions that would fund Interior initiatives seeking to address the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes, and invest in a clean energy future. (DOI News Release)

DOI official seal.

Statement from Secretary Haaland on International Transgender Day of Visibility

As the nation honors International Transgender Day of Visibility, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland released a statement: (DOI News Release)

Yellow wildflowers on top of a mountain.

Interior invests $1.6 billion to improve infrastructure on public lands and Tribal schools

This unprecedented investment will support an estimated 18,851 jobs and contribute $2 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2021.  (DOI News Release)

This week at Interior, March 26, 2021

A busy first full week for Secretary Deb Haaland, as she begins her tenure as the 54th Secretary of the Interior; the Department hosts a virtual public forum, part of its comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program; for the first time in 100 years, the endangered California condor will return to the Pacific Northwest; the Bureau of Land Management seeks public comment on a proposed solar energy project in California. (DOI Video)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Gopher snake.

Which California snakes have venom that is poisonous to humans?


A. Rattlesnake

B. Gopher snake

C. Both - Rattlesnake and Gopher snakes


Keep scrolling to find out!

Fire Safety

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 A. you are correct! 

Snakes are crossing roads and trails on your public lands that they call home. Two common snakes are gopher snakes (5 types in CA) and rattlesnakes (10 types). Both snakes are helpful to humans by naturally controlling rodent population and share similar good looks in coloring (shades of tan, brown and even green with patterns). Where the gopher snake is harmless the rattlesnake has venom. Not all their bites inject venom, but all bites require immediate medical attention for treatment.  Keep an eye out as both gopher and rattlesnakes blend well into their environment. 

Source: California Herps