BLM California News.Bytes Issue 1011

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
A mountain lit up red by the sunset in a desert.

Red Mountain Management Area, Ridgecrest Field Office

ISSUE 1011 - August 5, 2022

Great American Outdoors Act

 “I encourage everyone to experience the beauty and bounty of our Nation’s public lands every day of the year.”

- Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

A trail highlighted by sunset colors leading to a mountain range.
Kayakers floating down a river.

Celebrate the anniversary of GAOA by visiting #YourPublicLands

August 4th marked the second anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The law is the single largest investment in public lands in U.S. history and provides funding for much-needed maintenance of infrastructure in our national parks, public lands and Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools. (DOI News Release)

A campground with a picnic table in a high desert.

Accessibility and visitor experience improvements

Thanks to the GAOA, BLM California is increasing accessibility and improving visitor experience at eastern Sierra's iconic Pleasant Valley Pit Campground with replacement of ADA-compliant picnic tables and steel fire rings, plus a new shade structure. (BLM CA Website)

A lighthouse on the coast.

Northern CA lighthouse receives updates

Utilizing funds from GAOA, preventative measures are underway to preserve historic character and eliminate safety hazards at the picturesque Punta Gorda Lighthouse! Hikers on the Lost Coast Trail can soon explore the lantern room with a new circular staircase. (BLM Facebook)

Recreation on Public Lands

Large sand dunes with vehicles parked in the valley.

Exciting and remote - Dumont Dunes OHV Area

The Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area encompasses 7,624 acres of public land managed by the BLM’s Barstow Field Office. Bordered by steep volcanic hills and the slow running Amargosa River, the region is easily recognized from a distance by its distinct sand dunes. (BLM CA Website)

Bureau of Land Management Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Let's go agents!

Are you ready to explore Berryessa?

Kids, join in on the fun of the Bay Area Explorer virtual game by playing BLM California's Cache Creek Natural Area, Cowboy Camp, and Upper Lake Ranger Station Missions! 

Find a mission near you


A few people walking down a green trail.

Your guide to family-friendly Sacramento-area parks and nature preserves

Northern California is full of beautiful outdoor destinations — some of the most beautiful just an hour or so drive from Sacramento. But Sacramento also has plenty of family-friendly nature preserves and city parks for people to explore. (SacBee)

A heat map of California.

When is it too hot to go outdoors?

Heat related illnesses and death are largely preventable with proper planning, education, and action. serves as the premier source of heat and health information for the nation to reduce the health, economic, and infrastructural impacts of extreme heat. (

Headlines and Highlights

Ranger Tammy holding a snake with a little girl.

Ranger Tammy leads activities and hike at Fort Ord

Tammy Jakl, Park Ranger with the Central Coast Field Office attended the Asthma Camp through a partnership with the BLM, Salinas Valley Hospital, and Dr. Mark Velcoff. Tammy, along with her California kingsnake visited with campers and then took them on a hike at Fort Ord National Monument followed by a journaling activity. (Facebook Video)

A woman petting the forehead of a horse.

Happy trails Ranger, Niña, and Socks!

The BLM and Sacramento County Sheriff's Office were happy to see that all horses that were available at the July online auction were adopted! These animals were halter and had initial saddle-training by inmates at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center's wild horse training program. Learn more about this program by visiting our website!

A backhoe grabbing large boulders in a forest.

Parking area at Bizz Johnson receives updates

The Hobo Camp Trailhead of the Bizz Johnson Trail received updates to the parking area! Staff from the Eagle Lake Field Office utilized a backhoe to lengthen the parking spots by placing large boulders to designate the boundaries. Thanks for the hard work on this project! (BLM CA Facebook)

A dirt road lined with cars that are parked in a desert area.

Road access temporarily limited at Wild Willy's Hot Spring

The Bishop Field Office and Mono County Public Works will be rerouting Wild Willy’s Hot Spring access road in Long Valley from August 8-10 to improve public safety. (BLM CA News Release)

Fire and Fuels Management

An airplane dropping retardant on a burning field.

BLM fire crews respond to lightning-caused fires

When thunderstorms rolled across northeast California last weekend, they brought with them over 1,000 lightning strikes! One of those strikes ignited a fire on Shaffer Mountain. NorCal fire crews jumped on the R-1 Fire on the ground and from the air, and thanks to a successful initial attack, held the fire to 68 acres. (BLM CA Facebook)

A mountainside on fire.

Mesa Fire - 222 acres, 90% contained

Last weekend BLM fire crews responded to the Mesa Fire near Lake Isabella, along with partners at the Sequoia National Forest and Kern County Fire. Crews quickly stopped the forward rate of spread and the fire was held at 222 acres while crews worked to get it fully contained the rest of the week. (BLM CA Facebook)

Caldor fire landsat imagry.

50 years of Landsat: Watchman for wildfires

Landsat satellites have been collecting information about wildfires since the 1970s, helping land managers and emergency responders assess the impact of fires on ecosystems and communities.

This valuable intel helps prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. (USGS News)

An illustration of a campfire against a mountain.

#FireTipFriday - Campfire safety

Recent hot temperatures have increased wildfire danger. Remember that fire restrictions may be in place where you're headed and vary by location, so please #KnowBeforeYouGo by checking our fire page.

How to properly extinguish a campfire, featuring Harrison Ford on vocals! If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave. Remember, only you can prevent wildfires.

Current Fire Restrictions & Fire Information

Have you checked out BLM California's Wildfire Dashboard? At a glance you'll be able to get updates on large fires in California, view smoke impacts, check fire restrictions and find other helpful wildfire links. Bookmark it now!

Wildfire information dashboard.

BLM California fire restrictions or temporary public land closures are used to 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. View all current fire restrictions and fire orders on our interactive maps or the BLM Fire Restriction webpage.

Statewide year-round restrictions

Criteria to build a campfire, where allowed, outside of developed campgrounds:

  • maintain a five-foot diameter area cleared to bare soil and free of any overhead flammable materials in all directions around the campfire,
  • have on hand a functioning round-point shovel, with an overall length of at least 35 inches, that can be easily accessed within a reasonable amount of time in response to a fire ignition,
  • possess a valid California Campfire Permit, available free of charge at CAL FIRE's website.

Fireworks are not allowed on BLM-managed public lands.

Click here for additional District and Field Office fire restrictions


Question of the Week

Do sea stars have a backbone?  Yes or No?

A sea star on a rock covered in mollusks.

Scroll down for answer!

Careers on Your Public Lands

A man in uniform showing students something.

Now Hiring for BLM California

Bureau of Land Management California is looking to fill multiple jobs across the state. For all current vacancies, visit USAJOBS.

Featured Job: Wildlife Biologist - GS-12, Permanent

Location: Galt, CA
Pay: $86,945-$113,032 per year
Position closes Aug.12 - Apply today!

Here's a few more open positions:

Fire Engine Operator - GS 6-7, Permanent

Outdoor Recreation Planner - GS 5-9, Permanent

Finance Specialist - GS 7, Permanent

DOI & BLM National News

A creek flowing through a grassy valley.

OSMRE 45th anniversary

Today marks the anniversary of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, the law that established the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement (OSMRE).

For 45 years, OSMRE has assisted states and Tribes with abandoned mine reclamation, restoring natural spaces and creating a better future for all of us.

An overhead view of people working in dirt.

Interior Department releases coordinated approach to better protect fossils on federal lands

The Department of the Interior today published a final rule to implement the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act and provide standards for a coordinated management approach to better protect fossils on federal lands. (DOI News)

DOI Logo over landscape view of snow peaked mountains, green hills dotted with trees and a river in the foreground

Biden-Harris Admin announces availability of $725 million from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean up legacy pollution

The Department of the Interior today announced that nearly $725 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available to 22 states and the Navajo Nation to create good-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity in coal communities by reclaiming abandoned mine lands. (DOI News)

Upcoming Events

A wooden building in a lush green forest.

Nature writing workshop at Headwaters Education Center

Mark your calendars! On August 20th the Arcata Field Office is hosting a writing workshop at the Headwaters Education Center off the Elk River Trail. Check out the Facebook event for all the details or call 707-825-2300.

People standing around the base of a lighthouse.

Piedras Blancas Hike-In August 31

Come out and visit the beautiful Piedras Blancas Light Station along the California Coastal National Monument! Learn about the history of the lighthouse and local ecology from docents and BLM staff while hiking at your own pace. (BLM CA Facebook)

Question of the Week Answer

If you guessed NO, you'd be correct!

A purple sea star on a rock.

You probably know sea stars as starfish, the name they are commonly known by. But sea stars aren’t really fish. Sea stars, like sea urchins and sand dollars, do not have backbones, which makes them part of a group called invertebrates. Fish have backbones, which makes them vertebrates.

Most sea stars sport spiny skin and five arms, although some can grow as many as 50 arms. The arms are covered with pincerlike organs and suckers that allow the animal to slowly creep along the ocean floor.

Source: National Geographic

Photo by Oregon State Parks