BLM California News.Bytes Issue 980

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Newsbytes logo with the BLM 75th anniversary.
A foggy mountain valley with oak trees.

Clear Creek Management Area, Central Coast Field Office

ISSUE 980- December 17, 2021

A snowy mountain with the text 12 Days of Public Lands.

Winter recreation on #YourPublicLands


Follow #12DaysofPublicLands on social media as we share fun ways to experience the outdoors and enjoy nature this winter! We will also have a few activities that you can do at home! (BLM CA Facebook)


A duck floating in a pond.

Annual bird count across US kicks-off

Citizen scientists will again fan out across America to help the National Audubon Society conduct a winter-bird census, commonly called the Christmas Bird Count. For more than a century, this community-based science project has become an annual tradition for many (including at birding locations throughout BLM California). It results in valuable scientific data being made available to researchers. (BLM CA Facebook)

A kid with a mug of hot chocolate.

Stay warm on public lands this winter!

It doesn't get better than enjoying a steaming cup of hot chocolate, made on a campfire or camp stove while visiting your Bureau of Land Management California public lands. Whether taking in the panoramic vistas of the Trona Pinnacles, a brisk morning of fishing on Eagle Lake, or camping under the stars at the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, that hot cup of chocolate makes for a perfect memory. (BLM CA Facebook)

Bird seed in cookie cutters.

DIY holiday decorations that double as delectable treats for birds

The holidays are often a busy time in the kitchen. Make time to whip up tasty treats for birds, too! These DIY public lands inspired ornaments will attract an array of avian visitors outside your home which can be a great way to get to know different bird species and watch how they behave. (Audubon)

A guide on how to recreate responsibly.

Plan and prepare for winter recreation

It may be the winter months, but some areas still have fuels (dry vegetation) that can ignite a wildfire. Know your limits and your gear. Pack extra layers, waterproof clothing, and safety equipment or beacons for the backcountry. Have a Plan B in case you can’t access your destination. 

Recreate responsibly has rolled out their ‘Winter Edition’ but no matter the time of year #WildfireSafety should always be on our minds. (Recreate Responsibly)

Headlines & Highlights

Secretary Haaland walking with others near solar panels.

Secretary Haaland visits BLM California

The BLM California was proud to host Secretary Haaland in the California desert and highlight the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan developed to streamline renewable energy projects while conserving and protecting some of the most treasured cultural and natural resources in our nation. (BLM CA Facebook)

Three rangers walking on a trail.

BLM law enforcement protects public land resources

Bureau of Land Management Rangers and Special Agents, alongside various law enforcement partners, eradicated more than 1,000,000 marijuana plants and close to 180,300 pounds of processed marijuana this year from illegal grow sites statewide on BLM #publiclands as part of the California Department of Justice’s annual Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program. (BLM CA News Release)

A truck parked in the snow on a mountain.

South Cow Mountain temporarily closed

Although it makes for incredible photos, the South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area is temporarily closed due to poor road and trail conditions from the heavy precipitation and snow. For more information, call (707) 468-4000. (BLM CA Website)

Two people working on a trail.

Sustainable from scratch

Where do you begin when the blank slate is roughly 6,000 acres of spectacular coastal marine terraces, redwood glens, and six perennial streams of the Cotoni-Coast Dairies property north of Davenport? The U.S. Bureau of Land Management agreed to be its permanent steward with a long-term vision to allow for responsible public access, use, and enjoyment. (SCMTS)

Fire & Fuels Management

Firefighter talking into a radio watching a plane drop retardant.

DOI, USDA and Homeland Security jointly establish new Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission

Establishing this Commission fulfills a key provision of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and represents a critical step in combating the nation’s wildfire crisis and improving resilience in America’s landscapes. (DOI News Release)

Firefighters next to some flames.

New fire job dashboard launched

The National Interagency Fire Center has just launched their Bureau of Land Management fire job dashboard on their website. The dashboard hosts job announcements and helpful information about applying through the USAJOBS website. Be sure to bookmark it if you are looking to join our BLM fire crews! (NIFC)

Are you at risk?

After wildfire - know your flash flood risk!

If your home was recently affected by a wildfire, you are at risk of flash flooding and mudflows. Find out how you can be prepared! (CA Water Resources

Question of the Week

What is the common name of the forward curling crown feathers of the California quail?

California quail standing on the end of a metal fence post.

A. Topknot

B. Plucky

C. Bangs

D. Curlers

Keep scrolling to find out!


This time of year, one might think of swans a swimming, French hens or turtle doves and, of course, the California partridge in an oak woodland. You heard correctly, our endearing state bird, the California quail (Callipepla californica), has also gone by the name California partridge. 

Photo: California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

DOI & BLM National News

Carrizo Plaine's Soda Lake in the distance at sunset with an expansive valley landscape with small brush in the foreground.

Secretary Haaland highlights bipartisan infrastructure law investments in visit to CA

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland went on a five-day West Coast tour last week to highlight the bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investments to help local, state and Tribal communities tackle the climate crisis while creating good-paying union jobs, advancing environmental justice and boosting local economies. (DOI News Release)

Wildflowers in a desert.

Interior Department releases implementation guidance to states on Infrastructure Law efforts to address legacy pollution

The law includes $4.7 billion for orphaned well site plugging, remediation, and restoration activities. Separate guidance will be shared with Tribes for additional targeted resources, as well as notices for nation-to-nation consultation, in the coming weeks. (DOI News Release)

Mountains in the distance with blue skies and cloud cover, green low growing plants with yellow flowers and desert plants.

Secretary Haaland wraps “Building a Better America” tour by highlighting clean energy, drought investments

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland wrapped her week-long trip out West today as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Building a Better America” tour. (DOI News Release

A deciduous tree stand with snow on the ground with blue and pink skies.

Winnie Stachelberg joins Interior Department as Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator

The Department of the Interior announced that Winnie Stachelberg will join the Department as its new Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator. (DOI News Release)

This week at Interior, December 17, 2021

This Week at Interior

Secretary Haaland wraps up a western U.S. trip, part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Building a Better America” tour; Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs Bryan Newland meets with Tribal leaders across Washington state to discuss how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $466 million for Tribal climate resilience and infrastructure. (DOI YouTube)

Question of the Week Answer

Answer: A. Topknot 

Fun fact, the topknot is made from six feathers tightly grouped to form the comma shape cluster on the crown of the California quail. While not a true partridge, the California quail became the official state bird in 1931. A widely distributed and prized game bird, it is known for its hardiness and adaptability. They may be found in grasslands, foothills, canyons, at desert’s edge, and in woodlands of BLM public lands. You might catch them feeding on legumes and other seeds, green vegetation, arthropods, grains, and fruits.

Explore your BLM California public lands to see the iconic California partridge.

A print made from a plate with a male and female quail. Label on the print is California Partridge.

Plate - Courtesy of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, Montgomery County Audubon Collection, and Zebra Publishing