BLM California News.Bytes Issue 1013

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news bytes - bureau of land management california
A rocky mountain range.

Mobius Arch Loop Trail, Bishop Field Office

ISSUE 1013 - August 19, 2022

Capturing the Beauty of Public Lands

The milky way over a forest.

Look to the stars!

Your California public lands are the perfect place for stargazing and photography! The South Yuba Wild and Scenic River Recreation Area and National Trail is is open to hiking, horseback riding, trail running and mountain biking. (BLM CA Website)

A black and white photo of an old tree.

Public lands through the viewfinder

For World Photo Day, we wanted to share some amazing photos from one of our BLM Range Technicians, William Johnson out of the Eagle Lake Field Office. We hope his photos inspire you to grab your camera when visiting your public lands! (BLM CA Facebook)

The sunset over a mountain range with orange wildflowers.

Building a great landscape photo

There is more to landscape photography than just finding a beautiful natural place, although it is a great way to start. There are lots of ways to arrange the elements in your photo for the impact you want - they key is taking time to consider the field and being prepared to walk around in it.  Learn more in this article from Adobe.

Caring for Your Public Lands

A mountain biker on a trail on a mountain.

Volunteer group receives grant for Fort Ord National Monument trails

The Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association has been awarded $78,000 from the Bureau of Land Management to pursue a trail improvement project at Fort Ord National Monument. (Monterey Herald)

Graffiti on a small building.

Removing graffiti at the Imperial Sand Dunes

Bureau of Land Management California crews worked hard to paint and repair the facilities at Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area that had been vandalized. There's more work to do, but they've made great progress! (BLM CA Facebook)

Smokey bear and children.

Teaching families to care for public lands

BLM interpretive specialist Tracy Albrecht presented at the Desert Hot Springs Library and taught families about local camping areas, fire ecology, and fire safety, including an outdoor session with a practice campsite. (BLM CA Facebook)

Headlines and Highlights

A solar energy farm.

Desert Sunlight Battery Storage Facility fully operational

In another step in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to create a clean energy future, Bureau of Land Management California announces the 230-megawatt Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System is fully operational on public lands near Desert Center in Riverside County (BLM News Release)

A dirt road going off in the distance towards a desert.

Desert Advisory Council to meet Aug 27

The BLM will host a virtual public meeting of the Desert District Advisory Council on Sat., Aug. 27, from 9 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public with a comment period scheduled in the afternoon. Participants must register in advance. (BLM CA News Release)

a road with damage to the cement.

Old Spanish Trail reopens after repairs

The BLM advises those traveling on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail Scenic Byway to go slow and use caution between Aster Way near Charleston View and Furnace Creek Wash Road in Tecopa. There is loose gravel around the repair site. (BLM CA Facebook)

Horses running on the range.

Twin Peaks gather complete

The BLM captured 2,111 wild horses and 339 burros. Up to 110 mares will be treated with a fertility control drug and released back into the herd management area. Details on adoption or purchase will be announced.  (BLM CA News Release)

Fire and Fuels Management

Under a dark sky. Fighting wildfires at night.

Fighting wildfires at night

Wildland firefighters conduct operations at night when the conditions are right and it is safe to do so. Learn about how crews, engines and heavy equipment operate under a dark sky. (NIFC YouTube)

Two people target shooting.

Shoot safe, shoot responsibly

It is that time of year for target practice with hunting season right around the corner! Please ensure you are taking every precaution when target shooting on public lands because one simple spark can ignite a wildfire. (BLM Fire Twitter)

A cartoon house with rocks being poured around it.

It's not too late to harden your home

Many people think the work they do around their homes won’t matter in the face of a wildfire, when in fact it’s what matters most! Help BLM firefighters by being ready for wildfire! Create a survivable space around your home, even if it is August! (NIFC Twitter)

Fire Danger, Very High, Today.

#FireTipFriday: Red Flag Warning vs Fire Weather Watch

Do you know the difference between a National Weather Service Red Flag Warning and a Fire Weather Watch? A watch indicates potentially hazardous conditions while a warning indicates hazardous conditions are occurring or will occur. To learn more, watch this YouTube video.

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

True or False: The California sheephead is always born female.

A California sheephead fish.

Scroll down for answer!









Photo by Derek Stein, CDFW

Careers on Your Public Lands

Smoke billowing above a mountain range.

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: Mitigation & Tresspass - GS-8/9, Permanent

3 Vacancies
Location: Various
Pay: $49,549 - $87,395 per year
Position closes Aug. 31 - Apply today!

Here's a few more open positions:

Fire Engine Operator - GS 6-7, Permanent

Fire Helicopter Crew Supervisor - GS 9, Permanent

DOI & BLM National News

An oil derek behind fencing.

$1.1 million awarded to plug orphaned wells in Utah and California

Agency’s first Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contracts aim to reduce methane emissions, improve public safety and restore impacted public lands. (BLM News Release)

A child petting a burro in a corral.

Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board seeking nominations

The BLM and U.S. Forest Service are seeking nominations to fill three positions on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The Advisory Board advises the BLM and USFS on the protection and management of wild horses and burros under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as amended. (BLM Website)

Upcoming Events

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)

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 True, you'd be correct!

A pink fish swimming.

One of California's key ocean predators is always born female. Only later do some California Sheepheads change into males. And they can live for 50+ years!

This species inhabits rocky reef and kelp bed habitats throughout the California Coastal National Monument, and normally stays 3-30 meters deep. They hunt during the day for sea urchins, bivalves, barnacles, and bryozoans. At night, they take refuge in crevices where it wraps itself in a mucous cocoon to hide scent from predators.

Source: USCD Sea Grant California

A juvenile California Sheephead. Photo by Ed Bierman