BLM California News.Bytes Issue 967

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A cactus in a desert landscape.

Ibex Wilderness, Barstow Field Office

ISSUE 967- September 10, 2021

Your Public Lands

A night sky photo with a cactus.

This month, the BLM celebrates the spirit of the Wilderness Act

The BLM has played a unique role in wilderness preservation. As most of its 260 wilderness areas exist in a wide variety of desert environments, the 9.9 million acres of BLM wilderness areas add an essential network of desert ecosystems to the National Wilderness Preservation System that was established under the Wilderness Act. (BLM Medium)

The sun shines over a mountain in the desert.

California's Black Mountain

Lava flowed across the Mojave Desert as recently as 10,000 years ago. California's Black Mountain stands at 3,941 feet, a mesa rising above an expanse of desolate, ancient lava flows in the Mojave Desert. Golden eagles & prairie falcons have been seen foraging in this area, which is also known for its occasional display of spring flowers. (BLM Instagram)

A photographer taking a picture of large rock formation in the desert.

The unique Trona Pinnacles

The Trona Pinnacles are a unique geological feature in the California Desert Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa). (BLM Instagram)

Headlines & Highlights

A family wearing masks standing by the Sand to Snow National Monument.

BLM CA National Monuments highlighted in Agents of Discovery app for kids & families

Perfect for families looking to spend time outdoors, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have utilized the Agents of Discovery platform to create an educational game to get youth active and engaged with the world around them. (BLM Blog)

Rain falling on the Mojavi desert.

After the summer rains, new growth

Monsoonal rains across the Mojave Desert this summer have led to the germination of summer annuals like chinchweed and fringed amaranth in some parts of the desert. Summer precipitation in the desert can be spotty and unpredictable, with storm cells delivering a lot of moisture in brief, isolated patches. (Mojave Desert Land Trust)

A fox.

Celebrating California Biodiversity

Did you know that California is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world? Celebrate #CABiodiversityDay with us by participating in one of the many events planned Sept 7-12! Learn more here. (USFWS Twitter)

Rain falling on a mountains and forests.

Indian Valley Reservoir advisory based on mercury

A state fish advisory issued for Indian Valley Reservoir in Lake County provides safe eating advice for black bass species, Channel Catfish, Common Carp and sunfish species. Read more. (BLM CA Facebook)

Fire & Fuels Management

A firefighter next to a fire burning.

Spotlighting the Folsom Lake Veterans Fire Crew

This month, we will be spotlighting the @BLMCa Folsom Lake #VeteransFireCrew, who is a type 2 IA hand crew comprised of military veterans teamed with seasoned wildland firefighters. In the coming weeks, you will meet the crew members & learn a little about them. (BLM Fire Twitter)

Fire safety infographic.

Wildfire Tips & Resources

As seasons change, so do our practices to keep everyone safe outside, and to protect the places we play! In the spring and summer especially, the environment changes quickly and access points may be more limited. Share your commitment to #RecreateResponsibly by using the hashtag when you share these guidelines on your channels. (

A bag sitting next to a door.

Preparing Your Emergency Kit

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own foodwater and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Learn more: (DOI Wild Land Fire Twitter)

Landscape view of the Turtle Mountains Wilderness, creosote bush-bur sage, palo verde-cactus shrub and rock formations.

BLM California fire restrictions

BLM California fire restrictions or temporary public land closures reduce the risk of wildfires and protect the public. Often times, these preventative measures focus on human-related activities, such as campfires, off-road driving, equipment use and recreational target shooting, since human-related activities are the number one cause of a wildfires. Many BLM California offices have issued seasonal fire restrictions. (BLM CA Web)

Question of the Week

Close up of the Shasta Crayfish

Shasta Crayfish - Pacifastacus fortis

Native to northeast California, there are only seven remaining populations of the Shasta crayfish left and are found only in Shasta County, California, in the Pit River drainage and two tributary systems, Fall River and Hat Creek drainages. What pressure(s) have contributed to the Shasta Crayfish's being in danger of extinction?

A) Habitat loss from water diversions
B) Competition with non-native species
C) Predation

Keep scrolling to find out!

DOI & BLM National News

Bryan Newland sworn in as assistant secretary indian affairs

Bryan Newland ceremonially sworn in as Interior Department Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs

Bryan Newland was ceremonially sworn in today as Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs by Secretary Deb Haaland. (DOI News Release)

Solar panels.

Secretary Haaland highlights clean energy commitments, progress in meeting with renewable energy leaders

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland met virtually today with nearly two dozen business leaders of onshore and offshore renewable energy companies, where she underscored that the nation’s transition to a clean energy future is critical to our fight against climate change. (DOI News Release)

A video still of a man in uniform.

This Week at Interior September 10, 2021

The nation prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks; Secretary Deb Haaland celebrates Labor Day with a visit to the Pullman National Monument and salutes American workers in a video message; and the social media Picture of the Week gets the "seal" of approval! (DOI YouTube)

Question of the Week Answer

Answer: A, B & C - The Shasta Crayfish is endangered by habitat loss from water diversions, predation, and competition with the exotic signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and other species. 

The Shasta crayfish is a small- to medium-sized crayfish. The total length of its carapace (shell covering the back over the walking legs) may reach 2.5 to 5 cm (1-2 inches.) Color is variable and may range from dark brownish green to dark brown on the topside and bright orange on the underside. Members of the Fall River population are dark orange-brown on the topside and bright red on the underside, especially on the chelae (pinchers). These colors provide camouflage for the crayfish among the volcanic rubble substrates of its habitat.

#DYK The California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations includes a Closure on the take and possession of the Shasta Crayfish for its protection.

Sources: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Photo: Koen G. H. Breedveld / Spring Rivers Ecological Sciences LLC