BLM California News.Bytes Issue 979

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Newsbytes logo with the BLM 75th anniversary.
Celebrating 75 years of multiple-use, endless landscapes and a myriad of perspectives

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, Bishop Field Office

ISSUE 979- December 10, 2021

Recreate Responsibly

Know before you go

Winter weather is here - be prepared!

Whether you head out to go on that brisk mountain hike or are waiting for some fresh snow to hit the slopes, always plan ahead and check our website for any closures or fire restrictions. Have extra supplies in your car in case of emergency. And always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back!

To plan your next California adventure, visit the BLM Website.

A car with logos parked in a forest.

Being a good steward, off the beaten path: Leave No Trace for off-roading

Curious how you can leave a minimal impact while riding your 4×4, dirt bike, SXS, or any other motor vehicle? Here are some tips from the Leave No Trace on how to be a good steward of public land and still enjoy your experience off-roading. (Leave No Trace)

Porta-potties in front of a mountain.

Pack it in - pack it out!

Packing out all of your waste and trash includes your doggie bags and WAG bags. We ask everyone to commit to taking the next step to making sure all items find their way to the proper trash or recycling receptacles. Please do not leave your waste for someone else to clean-up! (ESIA Twitter)

Headlines & Highlights

Close up of tidepools.

BLM issues emergency closure to tidepool and beach trail at Mal Coombs Park

The Bureau of Land Management is taking steps to protect public safety and improve recreation infrastructure for accessing a small beach and tidepools at Mal Coombs Park in Shelter Cove. The steep trail and stairway leading to the beach and tidepools will be temporarily closed while the BLM plans and completes a new access route. (BLM CA website)

Two horses walking across a road.

BLM to remove wild horses for public and animal safety along highway near Cedarville

The Bureau of Land Management plans to capture and remove up to 25 wild horses from the Carter Reservoir Herd Management Area, which are posing dangers as they roam in search of food and water along California State Route 299, east of Cedarville. (BLM CA News Release)

A person pouring dirt into a cup while sitting on the ground.

Building skills and improving habitats

The Pine Hill Preserve and Cosumnes River Preserve recently welcomed a hard-working and enthusiastic AmeriCorps NCCC crew to assist their sites. The team improved wildlife habitat, planted seeds, removed trash, and helped to make a more enjoyable experience for hiking and boating visitors at the Preserves. (BLM CA Facebook)

People lined up for a photo all wearing tydyed shirts.

Keepers of the Kern - we thank you!

We thank our amazing volunteers who offer their time, skills and service to help care for the nation’s natural and cultural resources. Volunteers like the Keepers of the Kern who work with us to be good neighbors for the diverse communities we serve. (BLM CA News Release)

Fire & Fuels Management

A firefighter standing next to a pile of burning branches.

Pile burns conducted on 20 acres in the ‘Inimim Forest to reduce risk of wildland fire

Bureau of Land Management Fire crews successfully treated 20 acres in Nevada County last week. These treatments are part of the ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Project, a multi-year effort to thin dense brush and hazardous tree cover in strategic locations to improve fire resiliency. (BLM CA News Release)

A crew of firefighters in yellow and green clothes kneeling and lined up in front of two fire engines.

Not your ordinary job!

The Kern Valley Hotshots shared this awesome crew photo from this last year. When they took this photo, they were assigned to the Dixie Fire which burned more than 1,500 square miles in northern California. To learn more about this crew, visit the NIFC website. (BLM Fire Facebook

Christmas tree in living room

Fire safety during the holidays

It’s that time of year for holiday trees/lights, cooking/baking, & festive candles. Just because you’re not recreating on public lands doesn’t mean fire safety goes out the window. Please take all fire safety precautions during this holiday season! (BLM Fire Twitter

Fire burning in a pile.

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. Some fire restrictions are still in place. (BLM CA Web)

Upcoming Events

A person riding a horse on a trail.

Mustang & burro ride in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act - Dec 18

If you have adopted a BLM mustang or burro, join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act! Bring your burro or mustang for a walk or ride on the easy to moderate scenic trails at the Olmstead Loop Trailhead staging area in Cool, CA on Saturday, December 18th! To register, email us! (BLM CA Facebook)

Question of the Week

Which animal is the American pika most closely related?

Photo of a pika, a small mammal the size of a rat with round short ears and no tail, with a small white flower in its mouth.

A. Lemming

B. Mouse

C. Rabbit

D. Vole

E. Pikachu

Keep scrolling to find out!

Photo: U.S. Forest Service

DOI & BLM National News

Seasons greetings from the Interior

Happy Holidays from the Interior!

From all of us here at Interior, our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season, and a wonderful New Year! Staff and volunteers from around the country offer their season's greetings in our holiday video!

View of ocean meeting land, with rocks small and large rocks cresting out of the water.

Secretary highlights initiatives to increase conservation, expand outdoor access in San Diego visit

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited San Diego, CA, to kick off a five-day visit to the West Coast as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Building a Better America” tour. Secretary Haaland highlighted the Department of the Interior’s efforts to conserve, protect, and increase access to public lands and urban green spaces. (DOI News Release)

Wind turbines

BLM seeks public input on proposed guidance for renewable energy on public lands

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on draft guidance to promote the use of wind and solar energy on public lands. The proposed update would reduce acreage rental rates and capacity fees for existing and new wind and solar energy authorizations on public lands. (DOI News Release)

Seretary Haaland and OPM Director Ahuja in masks and gloves filling up buckets with trash, with two additional volunteers standing.

Secretary Haaland and OPM Director Ahuja highlight importance of charitable giving during environmental clean-up event

To commemorate International Volunteer Day, Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland volunteered this past Saturday at the Anacostia Watershed Society’s Nash Run Trash Trap cleanup in Washington, D.C., an effort focused on creating a trash-free Anacostia River. (DOI News Release)

Question of the Week Answer

Answer is C - Rabbit

While the Pikachu character may have been inspired by these small, rat-sized animals, they are actually related to hares and rabbits. Pikas are grayish to buffy or brownish, with short, broad, rounded ears and no visible tail. They range from 6 to 8 ½ inches in length and weigh 4 to 6 ½ ounces.

A pika peeks out from a crack in a rock standing on snow.

Welcoming in the Winter Wonderland!

American pikas (Ochotona princeps), who live above tree lines across the Sierra Nevada, depend on snowpack for protection as they hunker down for the winter. These small, adorable relatives of rabbits do not hibernate and live in rocky areas under the snowpack, keeping them hidden from predators and providing warmth. They spend all summer collecting food, such as grasses and flowers and stockpile them for a long winter in their dens. Let's hope this snow provides them the protection they need! Have you ever seen pikas on your mountain adventures? (BLM CA Facebook)

Source:  ESIA and U.S. Forest Service