BLM California News.Bytes Issue 985

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
A desert mountain with cactus.

McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area, El Centro Field Office

ISSUE 985 - February 4, 2022

With a Little Help from Our Friends

Fort Ord National Monument.

Extra-ORD-inary friends of Fort Ord National Monument

Last year, the Bureau of Land Management at Fort Ord National Monument inducted four citizens into the "Extra-ORD-inary Friends - Hall of Fame". Fort Ord National Monument staff feel honored to have such a wonderful community of neighbors and partners to collaborate with to manage this monumental place and give back to the communities where we live. (BLM CA Facebook)    

Piedras Blancas Light Station.

Piedras Blancas Light Station gets a helping hand from Americorps crew

Bureau of Land Management California has been hosting an AmeriCorps crew at different locations throughout the state as they work on projects and lend a hand to BLM field staff. At a recent assignment at the Piedras Blancas Light Station, they helped remove the invasive Ice Plant and New Zealand Spinach, as well as a few other invasives from over 25 acres. (BLM CA Facebook)

A monarch butterfly in grass.

How community science might be key in saving CA’s monarch butterfly migration

For butterfly enthusiasts, the monarch’s “overwintering” period — when they settle in parts of the coast from October to mid-February to wait out the coldest part of the year — is the best time to see them up close in large groups. Butterflies can’t move in extreme cold and form clusters to keep each other safe, as they do at the Pacific Grove sanctuary. (Cap Radio)

Headlines & Highlights

A dirt bike rider in the BLM Chappie-Shasta OHV area near Redding, Calif, tall conifers stand in the background. (BLM)

BLM to hold virtual public meetings to discuss OHV grant funds

The Bureau of Land Management welcomes anyone interested in off highway vehicle recreation on public lands to share ideas about the use of grant funding, when the BLM Northern California District hosts a virtual public meeting via Zoom, Thursday, Feb. 17, from 3 to 6 p.m. The meeting will be divided into three, one-hour segments for the Eagle Lake, Redding and Arcata field offices. (BLM CA News Release)

Sand to Snow National Monument.

Game on! Sand to Snow National Monument most popular site on Agents of Discovery 

Sand to Snow National Monument was awarded the most popular site with the highest number of users in a contest period from Sept. to Nov. by Agents of Discovery. The Bureau of Land Management and the San Bernardino National Forest utilized the Agents of Discovery platform to create an educational game to get youth active and engaged with the world. (BLM CA Facebook)

California Wild Horse and Burro Anywhere Scavenger Hunt.

Have you adopted a wild horse or burro? Join us for a virtual scavenger hunt!

There's still time to participate in our Wild Horse & Burro Anywhere Scavenger Hunt, it continues through February 14th! If you have adopted a wild horse or burro from the Bureau of Land Management, you are welcome to participate. Just send an email to to receive the clues!

Fire & Fuels Management

A pile of brush in a snowy field.

BLM controlled burns improve wildlife habitat in Mono County

Wildland fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, in coordination with interagency partners, plan to improve wildlife habitat for sage grouse and migratory mule deer by burning piles on roughly 230 acres of public land near Lee Vining in Mono County. Pile burning will start as soon as feasible, and periodically until spring. (BLM CA News Release)

A firefighter in green grasses.

Habitat improvement projects at Humboldt Bay continue

Arcata Field Office fire crews are burning piles of invasive beach grasses and other plants in an ongoing project to improve coastal grasslands and dunes habitats to benefit native plants and animal species. This 20-acre project area at the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, South Spit, Humboldt Bay, is where the BLM and partners have been active for years creating conditions that will allow native species to thrive. (BLM CA Facebook)

A firefighter standing near smoldering fire.

Looking for a Fire job?

Bureau of Land Management California is looking to fill a State Fuels Specialist, GS-0401-12, position located in Sacramento, CA. Visit USAJOBS to apply today. The announcement closes on February 16, 2022.

Click for more BLM California Fire jobs

Upcoming Events

Solar Panels.

BLM California Desert District to host Desert Advisory Council virtual public meeting

Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The BLM California Desert District will host a public ZOOM meeting of the Desert Advisory Council on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, and the public comment period is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. 

The Desert Advisory Council meeting will include presentations on the status of several renewable energy and mining projects; a presentation on BLM law enforcement coordination; and updates on off-highway vehicle recreation and Desert Advisory Council subgroups. Managers and staff from the five field offices and fire program will also report on their activities. (BLM CA News Release)    

An OHV on sand dunes.

The BLM seeks Desert Advisory Council subgroup applicants by February 28

The BLM California Desert District is seeking applicants who may be interested in serving on any of three subgroups that assist the Desert Advisory Council, a citizen-based advisory committee that develops recommendations for the BLM related to public land management issues. (BLM CA News Release)

Question of the Week

What common names do Punxsutawney Phil and his yellow-bellied marmot cousins in California go by?

A groundhog on a rock.

A. Woodchuck

B. Groundhog

C. Rock Chuck

D. Whistle Pig

Keep scrolling to find out!



Photo: Walt Kaesler, NPS

DOI & BLM National News

An abandoned oil well in the desert.

Biden Administration announces $1.15 billion for States to create jobs cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells

The Department of the Interior today announced $1.15 billion in funding is available to states from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create jobs cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells across the country. (DOI News Release)

A cow grazing in a field.

BLM and USDA Forest Service announce 2022 grazing fees

The federal grazing fee for 2022 will be $1.35 per animal unit month for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.35 per head month for lands managed by the USDA Forest Service. The 2021 public land grazing fee was $1.35. (BLM News Release)

Red sandy canyon with a river.

Interior and Agriculture Departments join Western Governors to launch collaborative Conservation Task Force

The Departments launched a Task Force on Collaborative Conservation designed to enhance collaboration across federal, state and local jurisdictions and focus on the strategic coordination necessary to meet our collective natural resource management challenges. (DOl News Release)


A father and son with fishing poles.

This week at Interior - February 4, 2022

This Week: Secretary Haaland honors Black History Month at Interior; Interior announces $1.15 billion in available funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for states to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells;the applications are now open for the American World War II Heritage Cities Program; and we're sending our best wishes to Team USA in our social media Picture of the Week! (DOI Video)

Question of the Week Answer

If you guessed all of them, you'd be correct! They go by many names!

Punxsutawney Phil is a groundhog (Marmota Monax), which is just one of fourteen marmot species, and they are one of the largest members of the squirrel family. They can be two feet in length and weigh up to 11 pounds. Their large body size is an adaptation to the cold, high elevation sites in which they live. Their cousins the Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) can be found on Bureau of Land Management public lands on the eastern parts of central and northern California. 

Source: NPS