BLM California News.Bytes Issue 982

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Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ISSUE 982- January 14, 2022

We celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his dream of a better world has inspired millions to serve others. We thank our Bureau of Land Management volunteers and employees who serve today and every day on public lands and in local communities -- for the benefit of present and future generations.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s service to our nation, the Bureau of Land Management will waive certain recreation fees on public lands for visitors on Monday, January 17, 2022, as the first fee-free day of the year.


Recreation & Public Access

After a heavy snow storm, South Cow Mountain with a beautiful sunrise.

The BLM seeks public input on improvements to South Cow Mountain off-highway vehicle area

The Ukiah Field Office will host a virtual public workshop on Thursday, Jan. 20, starting at 5:30 p.m., to hear public input on how to make the South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area more family friendly, increase safety and improve the trail system. (BLM CA News Release)

A mix of coastal fog and the King Range mountains.

Volunteers needed for King Range improvement project

Volunteers are welcome to help the Bureau of Land Management and its partners, Saturday, Jan. 29, in a project to spruce up the main access road into the King Range National Conservation Area near Shelter Cove. (BLM CA News Release)

An off-highway vehicle kicks up loos dirt as it descends a rugged incline with a slight slope, between boulders and shrubs.

BLM implements public safety measures for 2022 King of the Hammers off-highway vehicle races

The Bureau of Land Management will implement a temporary closure of public lands in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area in San Bernardino County Jan. 29 – Feb. 5, to enhance public and participant safety during the 2022 King of the Hammers desert race events. (BLM CA News Release)

A dirt road hugs low green rolling hills.

Spring Branch Road improvements require temporary closure 

The Tehama County Public Works Department will be completing maintenance and improvements to the Spring Branch Shooting Area access road, within the Bureau of Land Management’s Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area. The closure will affect Spring Branch Road from the junction of Jelly’s Ferry Road to the shooting area from Monday, Jan. 10, through Thursday, Jan. 13. (BLM CA News Release)

California Wild Horse and Burro Anywhere Scavenger Hunt

Join us for a scavenger hunt!

BLM California is hosting a Wild Horse and Burro - Photo Scavenger Hunt now through February 14. We’ll email you clues and you can take photos of your adopted wild horses or burros to submit your answers!

Work in teams or on your own, have fun and be creative! Show us your adopted animals!

To participate, please email us for the clues!

For those of you who requested a 2022 BLM California planner, they are on the way! Due to unforeseen delays, the planners are later than usual, but be assured they are coming in January.


Renewable Energy

A solar array in the desert at sunset.

BLM approves Oberon Solar Project

Bureau of Land Management approved the Oberon Solar project in Riverside County, CA, supporting the Biden Administration’s goal of carbon-free electricity by 2035. The project will generate up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy and 200 megawatts of battery storage. (BLM CA News Release)

Wind turbines in the California desert.

Biden-Harris Administration to accelerate reviews of clean energy proposals on public lands

The U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense, Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Memorandum of Understanding to improve federal agency coordination and streamline reviews for clean energy projects located on public lands managed by the Interior and Agriculture Departments. (DOI News Release)

The White House.

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration races to deploy clean energy that creates jobs and lowers costs

The Biden-Harris Administration is making major leaps forward on wind, solar, transmission, and other clean energy projects to create high-quality jobs and deliver affordable, carbon pollution-free electricity across the country. (Whitehouse)

Fire & Fuels Management

Two fire fighters in knee high weeds igniting prescribed fire. Smoke rising with a line of firefighters working in the background.

The BLM to conduct prescribed fire operations at Lake Mathews Reserve to reduce wildfire risk

Fire crews from the California Desert Interagency Fire Program will treat up to 40 acres of public lands with prescribed fire in the Lake Mathews-Estelle Mountain Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat Reserve in western Riverside County from January to May. (BLM CA News Release)

Small burn piles ignited with smoke rising. In the backdrop the King Range mountains meet the ocean.

King Range National Conservation Area to receive fuels treatments

Fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management will be conducting a prescribed burn this month near the community of Petrolia in the King Range National Conservation Area. Burning in the Prosper Ridge Project will take place only when conditions allow for safe and successful burning. (BLM CA News Release)

 A snow covered mountain road lined with tall conifers.

BLM to reduce wildland fire risk for Case Mountain giant sequoias

The Bakersfield Field Office plans to conduct prescribed fire operations of up to 1,000 piles of downed hazard trees, branches and understory brush at Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area, southeast of Three Rivers, Tulare County. Pile burn operations will start as early as Monday, Jan. 10. (BLM CA News Release)

Fire crews attending to a prescribed burn in a field.

Fire crews conduct prescribed fire at Dos Palmas Preserve to reduce wildfire risk

Fire crews from the California Desert Interagency Fire Program treated up to 133 acres of land with prescribed fire in the Dos Palmas Preserve in eastern Riverside County. (BLM CA News Release)

Piles of brush burning on a hillside.

Prescribed fire completed in northern CA

Applegate Field Office crews completed almost 50 acres of pile burning at the Modoc Gulch RX Project near the town of Dorris, on the California-Oregon border, with a plan to do an additional few hundred acres weather permitting. These piles are from earlier work to improve rangeland health and reduce wildfire risks. (BLM CA Facebook)

Question of the Week

What is the collective name for a group of crabs?

A Dungeness crab on the ocean's floor with a diver is in the distance.

A. Plague

B. Pod

C. Cast

D. Pail

Keep scrolling to find out!



Photo: Ian Miller, Washington Sea Grant

DOI & BLM National News

Keeler abandoned mine land landscape view of desert and mountains.

Interior Department extends abandoned mine land program through 2034

The Department of the Interior announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is extending the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund program through 2034 and making other changes to the program, as directed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. (DOI News Release)

Landscape view with a field of grasses in the foreground, mountains in the background overlooking Calcutta lake area.

Interior Department seeks nominations for committee to replace derogatory names

The Department of the Interior announced today that it is seeking nominations for members of the new Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names. The committee will identify geographic names and federal land unit names that are considered derogatory and solicit proposals on replacement names. (DOI News Release)

Three people in BLM uniforms looking at a paper.

Join our team!

At the BLM, our people are our greatest resource. Whether you have a background in science, engineering, law enforcement, fire management, business or another related field, we could use your skills and expertise to help manage our country’s public lands and resources. With a career at the BLM, you can do what you love in a great location, and support an important mission with like-minded coworkers. (BLM Careers)

Close up of a crab.

Question of the Week Answer

Answer: C. The collective name for a group of crabs is a cast.

Dungeness crab, Metacarcinus magister (formerly Cancer magister), can be found in the deep cold waters of Alaska to California. As a crustacean, Dungeness crabs have an exoskeleton, or carapace, that they molt. As they grow, they form a new shell, a process that can take several weeks. Dungeness crabs prefer living in salt water and can also live on land, while some live alone others live in groups.

Did you know, the BLM’s spectacular and pristine Trinidad area, established as a California Coastal National Monument Gateway, is part of the Yurok cultural landscape. Yurok people subsisted on the abundant plants and game of the redwood forests as well as marine resources such as salmon, rock fish, surf fish, eels and seaweed, and the Dungeness crab (or ko’-ses in the Yurok language), all caught or gathered along their ancestral coastline. Today, they maintain their legacy with commercial and recreational fishing operated by the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria.

Explore more of the Trinidad Gateway!