BLM California News.Bytes Issue 973

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Newsbytes logo with the BLM 75th anniversary.
Fall foliage on the side of a mountain.

Wall Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Eagle Lake Field Office

ISSUE 973- October 22, 2021

Conservation Areas You'll Fall For

This week, the Bureau of Land Management California celebrates the anniversaries of two of our incredible National Conservation Areas! Congress designates National Conservation Areas for their exceptional scientific, cultural, historical and recreational features and the BLM manages these areas for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.. In California, these places include the King Range National Conservation Area and the California Desert Conservation Area, which we are celebrating this week.

Visit our website for more information on BLM California’s conservation lands. 

A sunset over the beach next to mountains.

Celebrating 51 years of the King Range National Conservation Area

A rugged coastal range adjacent to the Pacific Ocean became the Nation’s very first National Conservation Area (NCA) in 1970.The King Range NCA along California’s dramatic north coast is so remote, it's often referred to as the Lost Coast. The King Range NCA’s Douglas fir-covered peaks attract hikers and hunters, while the coast beckons to surfers and anglers. (BLM CA Website)

Wildflowers in front of a desert crater.

45th anniversary of the California Desert Conservation Area

In 1976, Congress designated a 25-milion acre expanse of resource-rich desert lands in southern CA as the California Desert Conservation Area, home to the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, & Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monuments. (BLM CA Website)

People holding a trash can on a dirt road next to bushes.

National Public Lands Day event Saturday, Oct. 23rd at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Join us for a volunteer opportunity at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument this coming Saturday, 8 am to noon! Make a difference with campground and wildland improvements. Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and sun protection. (BLM CA Facebook)

Desert trees with a mountain in the distance.

12 National and State Parks in California without the crowds

Skip Yosemite this year—hardened lava tubes, underwater kelp forests, and towering redwoods await. To fully experience California’s rich natural diversity—and to escape (at least some of) the crowds drawn to its marquee destinations—point your GPS to any of these 12 equally impressive public lands. (Conde Nast Traveler)

Headlines & Highlights

Fall foliage along a river.

Fall colors are peaking on northeast California public lands, and there should be good opportunities between upcoming storms to get out and enjoy the show. This Saturday, Oct. 23, our Eagle Lake Field Office will make the trip a little easier by partnering with Lassen Rural Bus of Susanville for a bike and bus shuttle, eliminating the need for you to arrange a vehicle shuttle for a trail outing. (BLM CA News Release

People carrying a log in dry grass.

Huge thanks to everyone for volunteering at NPLD at Carrizo Plain!

Carrizo Plain National Monument held its 28th Annual National Public Lands Day celebration at Saucito Ranch, Carrizo's oldest historic ranch dating back to circa 1878. Local volunteers cleared weeds and downed limbs, and cleaned up debris. (BLM CA Facebook)

horses running in a sagebrush field.

BLM completes Surprise Complex wild horse gather

The Bureau of Land Management has completed gathering excess wild horses from the Surprise Complex of herd management areas in northwest Nevada. In the effort, 1,216 wild horses were gathered as part of the effort to return populations to sustainable levels. (BLM CA News Release)

Attorney General Rob Bonta and BLM State Director, Karen Mouritsen

Eradication of more than one million marijuana plants as part of interagency effort to combat illegal grows.

The Bureau of Land Management partnered with local, state, and federal agencies to protect CA’s economy, environment, and communities through the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP). CAMP teams have eradicated nearly 1.2M illegal marijuana plants, harmful infrastructure, and disrupted the flow of toxic chemicals from streams and rivers. (AG News Release)

A four-wheeler driving on a dirt road.

Free ATV skills training for OHV Safety Week

Dress for the crash and always know what gear is required for your type of recreation. Get more safety and riding tips during the FREE ATV skills training being offered throughout California OHV Safety Week, Oct. 23 and 24, as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. (OHVMR Website)

Fire & Fuels Management

Piles of wood burning in a controlled fire.

Prescribed fires near north Eagle Lake and Horse Lake in Lassen County planned

The Bureau of Land Management will conduct prescribed fire projects to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat near Eagle Lake and Horse Lake in Lassen County, when weather permits during the fall and winter months. (BLM CA News Release)

Workers looking at the ground on a hillside.

BLM plans prescribed burning projects in north coast region.

The Bureau of Land Management is planning prescribed burning projects for the fall and winter months on public lands in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. Crews will ignite the pile burns and broadcast burns only when weather and fuel conditions allow for safe and successful burning and smoke dispersion. Smoke may be visible from nearby communities. (BLM CA News Release)

A burned mountain with charred tree stumps.

National Preparedness Level decreased

The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group at NIFC decreased the National Preparedness Level to 2 last week. This change is due to a lower risk of wildfires across most of the country due to cooler temperatures and precipitation. (BLM Fire Facebook)

Silhouette of a firefighter against flames.

Diamond Mountain hotshot recognized for his film "Fire Season" 

The U.S. Army XVIII Airborne Corps showcased some incredible films made by United States service members stationed all over the world this year. One of the top films was "Fire Season" by Sgt. Forrest Moreland. His film captured the Bureau of Land Management California's Diamond Mountain Interagency Hotshots. (BLM CA Facebook)

Read more about Sgt. Moreland and how he serves his country.

A picnic table with mountains in the background.

BLM eases Eastern Sierra seasonal fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management has eased seasonal fire restrictions for public lands managed by the Bishop Field Office in the Eastern Sierra effective immediately, due to cooler weather and more moderate wildland fire danger. (BLM CA News Release)

A lush green forest.

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

A legless brown lizard.

They slither and blink, they aren't what you think. A snake-like force, it's a legless lizard of course!

True or False? Legless lizards have ear holes.

Keep scrolling to find out!

Photo courtesy of California Herps

DOI & BLM National News

A river flowing through forested mountains.

Biden Administration takes action to complete study of boundary waters area watershed

The Departments of the Interior and Agriculture announced actions to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and surrounding watershed in northeastern Minnesota, a unique natural wonder and one of the jewels of the National Wilderness Preservation System. (DOI News Release)

A person paddling a canoe in a lake.

This Week at Interior October 22, 2021

This Week at Interior, Interior leaders visit Oregon to focus on conservation, support for rural and Tribal communities and survey wildland fire damage; an odd-looking fish has a great comeback story in the Colorado River; millions around the world take part in the Great ShakeOut of 2021; and a full Moon rises over the Mojave Trails National Monument in our social media Picture of the Week! (DOI Video)

A long legless lizard.

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is True!

The California Legless Lizard (Anniella pulchra) is a secretive fossorial (adapted to living underground) lizard found in the coastal ranges from Antioch, California south to Baja California, Mexico. It occurs in sparsely vegetated habitat types including coastal sand dunes, chaparral, pine–oak woodland, desert scrub, open grassland, and riparian areas.

How to tell snakes and legless lizards apart?

  • If it blinks with an eyelid – legless lizard (snakes have small clear covers or cap and cannot blink)
  • If it has ear holes – legless lizard (snakes lack external ears)
  • If t​he scales are uniform on back and belly – legless lizard (snakes have longer scales on their belly for moving)
  • Does it have a long tail – legless lizard (it’s true legless lizards have longer tails than snakes when measured from their pelvic bones)

Source: CDFW

Photo courtesy of California Herps