BLM California News.Bytes Issue 945

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Orange poppies on the top of a mountain overlooking a river canyon.

North Fork American Wild and Scenic River, Mother Lode Field Office

ISSUE 945- April 9, 2021

Track the Bloom

Follow hashtag #TrackTheBloom on social media to see the latest updates on wildflower sightings on BLM California public lands! These beautiful blooms won't last long!

A dog standing on a hillside of yellow flowers.

Stunning views at Cronan Ranch Trailhead 

Located in Pilot Hill, CA, the Cronan Ranch Trailhead area contains 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching and other passive recreation. Please do your part to keep our public lands clean and safe. Pack-it-In and Pack-it-Out! (BLM CA Website)

A hillside covered in wildflowers above a river canyon.

California poppies thrive along river hillsides

The California poppy, our state flower, is native to the Pacific slope of North America from western Oregon to Baja California. Their seeds germinate after the first fall rains or when the soil warms in the spring, and in hot summer areas, the poppies will bloom in spring and early summer. (BLM CA Facebook)

Field of wildflowers

Lupine, baby blue eyes, poppies, and more!

Beautiful wildflowers are blooming near Magnolia Ranch Trailhead this Spring! Some of the flowers you may see in the area are baby blue eyes, five spot, California poppies, and lupine. Visitation to the area has increased and parking lots are full Saturday and Sunday, so avoid the crush of the weekend by coming midweek. (BLM CA Website)

A field of yellow flowers and an oak tree.

Fields of gold at Sacramento River Bend Area

The Sacramento River Bend Area is offering amazing wildflower viewing this spring. The rolling hills of this oak woodland are carpeted with purple and yellow in all directions. This bloom will likely be short-lived, but if you make the trip be sure to park in approved areas and stay socially distant from other visitors. (BLM CA Facebook)

Recreation & Public Access

Two hikers on a trail through a grassy field.

BLM seeking input on Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument trails

The Bureau of Land Management will host a 2nd virtual Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Trails and Travel Management Planning Workshop on Wed., April 21, which will help build a database of existing trails and routes within the monument and more. (BLM CA News Release)

A desert with a mountain in the background.

LWCF funding for Mojave Trails National Monument project announced

The Bureau of Land Management announced five Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) projects in four western states will receive recreational access funding from the program. Congress appropriated $13 million in recreational access funds in fiscal year 2020, including a project at the Mojave Trails National Monument. (BLM News Release)

A person on a trail next to a sign for Fort Ord National Monument.

Fort Ord National Monument featured as top trail running destination

We're excited to be listed as a featured trail running destination by the American Trail Running Association which highlights Fort Ord National Monument in the Monterey area! It's a beautiful trail to soak in some spectacular sights as you run through these coastal hillsides. (ATRA Website)

People sitting on the edge of the grand canyon.

Welcome to #TeamPublicLands

More and more people continue to discover what's special about public lands and many people have found joy in exploring them this year. Over the next few weeks, we'll share some tips to help protect yourself and the lands you love. (DOI Website)

Headlines & Highlights

A woman standing next to a sign for the Alabama Hills.

BLM welcomes two new members to leadership team in California

The Bureau of Land Management welcomes Erica St. Michel as the new Deputy State Director, Communications and Mark Chatterton as the new Deputy State Director, Energy and Minerals in California. Congratulations! (BLM CA News Release)

Rangewide Management and Monitoring Plan

Partners develop Southern California's first Rangewide Management and Monitoring Plan for Stephens’ kangaroo rat

The Bureau of Land Management worked with the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency to assemble a team of experts to develop Southern California's first Rangewide Management and Monitoring Plan for the Stephens' kangaroo rat, which is a federally listed endangered species. (RCHCA News Release)

Civil Engineers join us. Bureau of Land Management

Looking for work as a Civil Engineer?

The Bureau of Land Management is looking to recruit and quickly fill multiple Civil Engineer positions located in the following locations: Alturas, Arcata, Barstow, El Centro, El Dorado, Susanville, Cedarville, Redding OR Sacramento, CA. Apply by April 16. (USAJOBS)

DOI & BLM National News

A man on a rock overlooking a green valley.

Earth Day Art Contest

April 22 is Earth Day worldwide. But here at Interior, every day is Earth Day! Our mission is all about studying, protecting, preserving, and celebrating our home here on Earth. Get creative and share with us something that inspires you. (DOI Website)

DOI seal.

Robert Anderson nominated as Solicitor of the Department of the Interior

Robert (Bob) Anderson’s nomination as Solicitor of the Department of the Interior was formally transmitted by the White House to the United States Senate today. Bob has served as Interior’s Principal Deputy Solicitor since January 20, 2021. (DOI News Release)

DOI official seal.

Joint statement from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the western water crisis

In response to worsening drought conditions in the West, including in areas like the Klamath River Basin, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released this statement.

This week at Interior, April 2, 2021

Celebrating Women's History Month, and observing International Transgender Day of Visibility; Secretary Haaland joins a White House forum on offshore wind energy; a new USGS study shows significant decline of Greater-Sage grouse populations; National Park Week is set for April 17th through the 25th, and sandhill cranes take flight in our social media Picture of the Week. (DOI Video)

Question of the Week - Wildlife

A gray whale and calf from above.

Approximately how long are adult gray whales?

A. 20-25 feet
B. 42-49 feet
C. 64-71 feet
D. 96-100 feet


Keep scrolling to find out!

Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries

Fire & Fuels Management

Preparedness Level 2

National firefighting resources respond to increased fire activity

The National Preparedness Level was increased from 1 to 2 last week. The change was due to increased fire activity and potential in numerous geographic areas around the country, increased resource and incident management team commitment, and resource commitment for COVID-19. (BLM Fire Facebook)

People working on a fence in a field.

BLM crews take action to help vegetation recover from wildfire

Crews from the Eagle Lake Field Office completed a fence around a spring to protect it from grazing impacts while plants regrow after a wildfire. This work was part of an ongoing project at the site of the Ranch Fire that burned nearly 4k acres in August 2019. (BLM CA Facebook)

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.

Not Your Ordinary Job - BLM Fire

A yellow fire engine next to a road.

Find out what it takes to join our hard working firefighting crews!

Working in this field could include fire suppression, preparedness, predictive services, fuels management, fire planning, prevention, and education. Check out this video for more information! (NIFC Careers)

Piles of burning wood.

Hiring: Fire Management Officer in Alturas, CA

Full-time, permanent
Apply at USAJOBS by April 21st

Hiring: Prescribed Fire/Fuels Technician in Alturas, CA

Full-time, permanent
Apply at USAJOBS by April 16th

Question of the Week Answer

If you chose B. you are correct! Gray whales can reach 42-49 feet in adulthood.

Since 1994, NOAA has counted mother-calf pairs with binoculars from the Piedras Blancas Light Station. This site is ideal because the whales generally pass within 500 meters of our observers and sometimes stop to nurse their young in the lee of the rocky point. The eastern North Pacific gray whale population spends the winter in the shallow, protected lagoons of Northern Baja Mexico, where females nurse and care for their new calves. The northward migration begins in mid-February and is segregated by age, sex, and reproductive condition, with newly pregnant females traveling north first. Mothers with new calves are the last to migrate, traveling along the West Coast between March and May.

Counts of northbound mothers and calves have revealed surprising variability in calf production, ranging from 1,528 calves in 2004 to 254 calves in 2010. This long-term dataset allows us to examine the relationships between changing environmental conditions (e.g. sea ice) and gray whale population dynamics.

Source: NOAA Fisheries