BLM California News.Bytes Issue 981

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
Happy New Year!

ISSUE 981- January 7, 2022

Winter Recreation

Bridge covered in snow.

Looking to cross-country ski on public lands?

The Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail received some fresh snow! You can ski to the west tunnel from the Devil's Corral trailhead and back, which is a nice 3.5 mile trip. Snowshoeing is another great option! If you're on snowshoes or hiking, please stay out of ski tracks set by cross country skiers. It's cold now, and this snow should be sticking around for a while! (BLM CA Facebook)

Two people hiking on a dirt trail.

Enjoy a hike!

Your adventures don’t have to stop when the weather gets cold. There are plenty of fun activities to do on public lands in the winter! Make sure you plan ahead and bring plenty of water, food, and warm layers to keep you (and your furry companions) comfortable. For more tips on staying safe, visit the Recreate Responsibly website.

Desert landscape blanketed by snow, with Bald Mountain in the distance.

Winter sports in the desert?

It may seem far-fetched, but if your timing's right, BLM-managed lands in northeast California offer just that opportunity. These high desert rangelands do receive snow in big storms. When conditions are right, you can explore this former rail corridor on your snowmobile, cross country skies or snowshoes. (BLM CA Facebook)

Two people taking a selfie on top of a mountain.

But first, let me take a selfie..

Taking selfies outdoors is a great way to remember a visit & share your adventures. While selfies can be fun, remember to stay on the trail, avoid stepping on sensitive resources & keep safety as a top priority. Sometimes though, we need to pause and reconsider how we appreciate our natural spaces. (Seattle Northcountry)

Headlines & Highlights

A person working in a dry creekbed.

Habitat restored in partnership

The Barstow Field Office, American Conservation Experience Team, and several volunteers recently worked with our conservation partners at
The Nature Conservancy and a private landowner in a tree planting project to assist in recovery efforts from the Willow Fire. Over 400 trees were planted! Thank you to those who enabled this project to take place! (BLM CA Facebook)

Eight people standing on a balcony overlooking a lake.

Firewise Community Meeting held in Lake County

BLM Fire & Mitigation Specialist, Jeff Tunnell met with community of Clearlake Oaks Hillside in Lake County to help them achieve Firewise status. This status signifies that the community has taken individual responsibility to prepare their homes by taking appropriate measures to become more resistant to wildfire structural damage. (BLM CA Facebook)

A truck on a dirt road next that runs parallel to the river

Access to Merced River Recreation Area is back open!

Briceburg Road has been cleared and the Emergency Road Closure at Merced River Recreation Area has been lifted! ‍Crews worked quickly to safely remove huge boulders that landed in the roadway during a rock slide last week. (BLM CA Twitter)

Two elephant seals arching their backs.

4 places to see animals along the Central Coast

Whether its the Lost Coast Trail or the Piedras Blancas rookery, you are bound to view wildlife at these outdoor trips you can take over a weekend traveling along the central California coast. (LA Times)

Clean Energy on Public Lands

Solar arrays in a valley.

The BLM approves Arica and Victory Pass solar projects

The Palm Springs South Coast Field Office has authorized two solar projects in eastern Riverside County, the Arica solar project and Victory Pass solar project. The approval is for constructing, operating, maintaining, and decommissioning the two solar photovoltaic projects that would generate approximately 465 MW of energy and up to 400 MW of battery storage each. (BLM CA News Release)

Solar panels in the desert

BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Guidance for Renewable Energy on BLM 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. Once finalized, the updated guidance will provide enhanced financial and regulatory predictability for solar and wind energy projects authorized on public lands. (BLM News Release)

Solar panels in a desert landscape.

Interior Department advances three solar projects in California, marking significant progress to develop a clean energy economy

The Department of the Interior announced today it has approved two solar projects with a third nearing final completion on public lands in Riverside County, Calif., underscoring the Department’s commitment to promoting onshore renewable energy production. (DOI News Release)

Question of the Week

How soon do western snowy plover chicks leave the nest?

A small brown and white bird on the beach.

A. 3 hours

B. 3 days

C. 3 weeks

D. When they turn 18

Keep scrolling to find out!



Photo: Michael L. Baird, NPS

DOI & BLM National News

A desert sunset spotted with cacti.

A year of progress: Interior's bold actions

We made great progress in 2021! Learn more about what we're doing to steward the nation’s public lands, strengthen important environmental protections, honor our relationships with Tribal Nations, and more. (DOI News Release)

Sunset over a desert valley with wildflowers.

Biden-Harris Administration invites public comment on development of new conservation and stewardship tool

The Department of the Interior invites public comment and announced listening sessions regarding the development of the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a new tool that will be used to reflect baseline information on the lands and waters that are conserved or restored. (DOI News Release)

An orphaned oil well.

BLM to host webinar on orphaned well program

Mark your calendar! On January 6, the Bureau of Land Management will host a roundtable-style webinar focused on the new program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provides $250 million to identify and remediate orphaned wells on federal lands. (BLM News Release)

Huge smoke plume above a forest.

Once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure will bolster wildland fire management

As climate change drives the devastating intersection of extreme heat, drought, and wildland fire danger across the United States, creating wildfires that move with a speed and intensity previously unseen, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides historic investments in wildland fire management for both the Interior and Agriculture departments. (DOI Blog

A mountainous valley.

Interior Department to host Tribal consultations on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The law invests more than $13 billion directly in Tribal communities across the country to bolster community resilience, replace aging infrastructure, expand access to clean drinking water and help ensure that everyone has access to high-speed internet. (DOI News Release)

The Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building

This Year at Interior!

A look back at 2021 from Secretary Deb Haaland and Interior senior leadership.

 (DOI YouTube)

Question of the Week Answer

Answer: A. 3 hours

Young snowy plover leave their nest within three hours of hatching! They flatten themselves on the ground when a parent signals the approach of people or potential predators. They walk, run, and swim well and forage unassisted by parents, but require periodic brooding for many days after hatching.

The western snowy plover, a threatened species, is a small shorebird who calls the deserted beaches of the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, South Spit, Humboldt Bay, home. The snowy plover prefers to lay eggs in wide-open expanses of beaches, where they can easily see and ward off predators. Resourceful and intelligent, they use shallow depressions in shells, driftwood, rocks and even human footprints to make their expertly camouflaged nests. When hatched, the adorable snowy plover chicks are about the size of a person's thumb.

Source: NPS