BLM California News.Bytes Issue 1012

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
A grassy plain with a mountain in the distance.

Shaffer Mountain, Eagle Lake Field Office

ISSUE 1012 - August 12, 2022

The Good, the Bad & Not So Ugly

A milkweed plant.

An intimate look at a fascinating native plant

Most folks know how important milkweed is to monarch butterflies – their caterpillars must feed on it in order to grow into adult butterflies, and the plants impart natural toxins that protect both caterpillar and butterfly from predators. But that’s only one of the remarkable qualities of this important native plant. Read more at the Mojave Desert Land Trust blog!

Rolling golden hills with sagebrush and dry grasses.

Preventing invasives in sagebrush country

The impacts of the invasive annual grasses and wildfires can ruin habitat for wildlife and our outdoor activities. They are creeping into sagebrush country, a place of incredible biological diversity, and recreators play a key role in preventing their spread as well as halting the ignition of rangeland fires. To learn more, watch this video from Partners In the Sage.

A woman looks at sheep grazing in a field.

Grazing sheep reduce invasive species

Lots of animals, just like kids, can be picky eaters! Fortunately for the Ukiah Field Office, local sheep farmers have trained their flocks to eat yellow star-thistle, an invasive and noxious weed that can take over and outcompete native and rare plant species. (BLM CA Facebook)

Exploring Your Public Lands

A rugged desert mountain landscape with a large plant.

Biodiversity on SoCal public lands

The Kingston Range Wilderness is an ecological transition zone between the Great Basin and Mojave Desert with numerous species of flora and fauna. The wilderness is also botanically one of the most diverse areas in the California desert. (BLM CA Facebook)

A man taking a photo of a bison close to the animal.

How close is too close for wildlife?

If you follow outdoor news, you’ve likely heard the oftentimes too familiar story: a visitor finds themselves too close to wildlife, the wild animal reacts, and some unfortunate consequences follow. That’s why we’re covering the burning question, how close is too close when it comes to wildlife? 

Read the Leave No Trace blog to learn more!

Birds floating on water in a preserve.

Connecting with Cosumnes River Preserve

The Cosumnes River Preserve has several free events each month! These events include guided bird surveys, guided historical walks, guided photography walks as well as guided paddle. Come out and join the fun!

Cosumnes River Preserve event calendar

Headlines and Highlights

A solar farm in the desert.

Interior announces full operation of Palen solar project in California

In another step in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to create a clean energy future, the Department of Interior announced the full power operation of a solar project on BLM California public lands that will supply enough energy to power approximately 116,000 homes. (DOI News Release)

Wind turbines next to water and a mountain.

BLM seeking public input on Whitewater River Groundwater Replenishment Facility

The Bureau of Land Management welcomes public input on an environmental analysis for renewal of the Coachella Valley Water District’s Whitewater River Groundwater Replenishment Facility in Palm Springs. (BLM CA News Release)

A dry road towards a desert mountain range.

Improvements to Dumont Dunes Road

The Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Highway Administration will begin road improvements to Dumont Dunes Road in San Bernardino County to improve access. The public should be aware of the pending road construction when planning a visit to the Dumont Dunes OHV area. (BLM CA News Release)

The Alabama Hills mountains.

Alabama Hills Artist-in-Residence showcase

The BLM, Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and Friends of the Inyo are pleased to an Artist-in-Residence event Saturday, Aug. 20 with artist Heather Heckel. Join her for a watercolor postcard making project after her presentation. All ages are welcome! (BLM CA News Release)

Fire and Fuels Management

Two firefighters standing in front of a fire engine.

Preventing wildfires when target shooting

Every year, target shooting is the cause of multiple wildfires. To mitigate that risk, many public lands implement temporary target shooting restrictions, including some BLM California areas. This short video from our neighbors at Bureau of Land Management Nevada provides some great tips! (BLM NV YouTube)

Significant wildland fire potential outlook August 2022

Significant wildland fire outlook - August

Above normal significant wildland fire potential indicates a greater than usual likelihood that significant wildland fires will occur. For the full outlook, visit the National Interagency Fire Center.

In case immediate evacuation is required, remember the 6 P's.

#FireTipFriday: Do you know the 6 P's for evacuation when a wildfire is in the area?

- People and pets
- Papers, phone numbers, and important documents
- Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses
- Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
- Personal computer hard drive and disks
- “Plastic” (credit cards, ATM cards) and cash

Having the 6 P's part of your Wildfire Action Plan will help when the time comes to leave your house quickly. For more information on creating a Wildfire Action Plan, please visit CALFIRE.

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

What is the lifespan of the Behrens's silverspot butterfly?

An orange and brown butterfly.

A. 3 days

B. 3 weeks

C. 3 months

D. 3 years






Photo by Kathryn Barnitz, BLM

Scroll down for answer!

Careers on Your Public Lands

Remains of an old stone building.

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: Paleontologist - GS-12/13, Permanent

Location: Negotiable
Pay: $79,363 - $122,683 per year
Position closes Aug.22 - Apply today!

Here's a few more open positions:

Fire Engine Operator - GS 6-7, Permanent

Engineering Equipment Operator - WG-10, Permanent

Fire Helicopter Crew Supervisor - GS 9, Permanent

DOI & BLM National News

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

Secretary Haaland announces members of the Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the members of the Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names, a federal advisory group to help identify and recommend changes to derogatory terms still in use for places throughout the country. (DOI News)

A person reaching to pet a horse in a corral.

New opportunity to support management of wild horses and burros

The BLM is accepting proposals to help support the agency’s mission to manage and protect wild horses and burros. The funding opportunity is open to local and state governments, tribes, other federal agencies and non-profit organizations. (BLM News Release)

Sage-grouse in a grassy field.

Sage-grouse in balance: Predators

Sage-grouse are adapted to natural predation from some of the hundreds of other species that inhabit sagebrush-steppe ecosystems – coyotes, badgers, golden eagles and other raptors, even snakes. They are less adapted to novel predators – ravens, red foxes and skunks – that can follow human activity into the sage, where they only rarely ventured previously. Read more on the BLM Blog.

Four people standing on a stage posing for a photo.

AIM team receives GIS award

The BLM's Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) team at the National Operations Center was honored with a 2022 Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award at the Esri User Conference in July. The annual award recognizes the outstanding use of, and leadership in, the field of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. (BLM Blog)

Rock homes carved from the mountain.

This Week at Interior - August 12

Secretary Haaland announces members of the federal advisory group tasked with identifying and recommending changes to derogatory place names; nearly $725 million in funding is now available to address legacy pollution caused by past coal mining; a major solar energy project is fully operational in California; $2 million in grants help repatriate ancestral remains and ceremonial objects; the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement celebrates its 45th birthday. (DOI YouTube)

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 B. 3 weeks, you'd be correct!

An orange and brown butterfly near the ocean on a flower.

Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly is in the Nymphalidae, or brush-footed butterfly family. It has golden brown and orange wings, dappled with brown spots and bands. The undersides of the wings bear silver spots, as indicated by the common name. Behren’s Silverspot is known only from coastal northern California and historically ranged from the Russian River in Sonoma County north to southern Mendocino County. Its preferred habitat is coastal terrace prairie. The butterfly is now only known from a single population at Point Arena. 

Behren’s Silverspot adults mate and lay eggs in the mid- to late summer. The eggs hatch shortly thereafter and the larvae enter a period of dormancy then resume feeding the following spring as their sole food plant, a Violet (Viola adunca) begins its spring growth. Following 2-3 months of feeding and 4 molts, the larvae pupate. After a short pupation, the adults emerge, living approximately 3 weeks during which they live to mate and drink nectar.

Source: UC Berkeley

Photo by USFWS