BLM California News.Bytes Issue 1031

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Owens Peak Wilderness and Domeland Wilderness, valley with wild flowers

Owens Peak Wilderness and Domeland Wilderness, Bakersfield Field Office

ISSUE 1031 - January 13, 2023

Blooms in the Desert

Desert flower on the ground

Primrose at North Algodones Dunes Wilderness

Take a drive to the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness area to view the primrose and verbena growing for miles along the Coachella Canal - it's a beautiful sight! (BLM CA Facebook)

Desert blooms

Desert blooms in full effect

These beautiful desert blooms can be found in the Anza Borrego desert area. These have been blooming since November but are coming to an end. Go visit them soon. (BLM CA Facebook)

Headlines and Highlights

Solar panels in the desert

Blythe Mesa Solar Project is fully operational

The Bureau of Land Management announces that the Blythe Mesa Solar Project anticipated to produce solar energy to power 94,000 homes in Riverside County, is fully operational. (BLM News Release)

Hills with a waterfall

Fee-Free Day on January 17

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, explore your public lands on Fee-Free Day! The Bureau of Land Management will waive standard amenity recreation fees for visitors on January 17. (BLM CA Facebook)

Coast with lighthouse in the far distance

California Coastal National Monument turns 23!

Happy Anniversary to the California Coastal National Monument! Designated by a Presidential Proclamation on January 11, 2000, this beautiful monument connects the Pacific Ocean with the land. (BLM CA Facebook)

San Jacinto desert mountains and cactus

San Jacinto Mountains land swap between Agua Caliente, BLM finalized after 17 years

President Joe Biden signed into law legislation on Friday that will place 2,560 acres of land in the San Jacinto Mountains into trust for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, finalizing a land exchange between the Tribe and the federal government that's been in the works for more than two decades. (Desert Sun)

Winter Impacts on Public Lands

Road wash out in the desert

Movie Road closure at Alabama Hills

Due to damage from the storms this week, the Alabama Hills, Movie Road has been closed. Check our website  for more information on weather and road conditions in the area (BLM CA Facebook)

Washed out road and truck in the distance

Road closures San Vicente Culvert, Santa Cruz County

Road closures are in effect in San Vicente Culvert, Santa Cruz County. Multiple washouts and landslides in the area are closed to traffic with no turnarounds, specifically on San Vicente Road.  (BLM CA Facebook)

Fire and Fuels Management

Pile burn in forest

BLM to oversee Pine Hill Preserve pile burn operations

The Mother Lode Field Office will conduct prescribed fire operations as soon as next week in the El Dorado Hills and Shingle Springs area. This prescribed burn consists of approximately 20 acres in the Pine Hill Preserve. (BLM News Release)

Pile burn in a snowy forest

BLM to reduce wildland fire risk for Case Mountain Giant Sequoias 

The Bureau of Land Management plans to conduct pile burn 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. (BLM News Release)

Fire statistics with a fire helicopter

Year-to-Date acres burned from lighting fires

As of December 31, 2022, the top states reporting the most acres burned by lightning-caused wildfires include Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Texas and Montana. (NIFC Facebook)

Fire restriction dashboard with a map.

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!

Fireworks are not allowed on BLM-managed public lands.

Careers on Your Public Lands

BLM employees walking through a meadow

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: Planning and Environmental Specialist

Locations - Alturas, CA and Susanville, CA 
Salary: $57,118 - $89,835 per year
Positions close Jan 25th

Other current open positions:

Administrative Support Assistant, GS-05/06/07, Palm Springs, CA 
Assistant IHC Superintendent, GS-0462-08, Bakersfield, Placerville, Susanville, CA 
Forestry Technician (Wildland Fire Operations Technician), GS-0462-8/9, Bishop or Lee Vining or Topaz, CA                                                  

Question of the Week

We have expanded our question of the week to topics beyond wildlife, including geology, botany, etc. Have an idea? Email us!

The Desert Candle is a desert flower that belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is related to what edible plant:

Desert flora plants
  1. Lettuce
  2. Broccoli 
  3. Potatoes
  4. Radishes


DOI & BLM National News

Ridge and a pasture

DOI completes vote to remove derogatory names from five locations

The Department of the Interior announced the Board on Geographic Names has voted on the remaining replacement names featuring the word sq___. (DOI News Release)


Abandoned wells

Secretary Haaland establishes Orphaned Wells Program Office 

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued a Secretary’s Order to establish an Orphaned Wells Program Office as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investment in orphaned well clean up. (DOI News Release)

BLM logo patch on shirt

This Week at Interior - January 13

Interior marks National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day; Secretary Haaland establishes an Orphaned Wells Program Office; the power is on at the Blythe Mesa Solar Project in Riverside, California; Interior honors the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with a food drive and free admittance to public lands. (DOI YouTube)

Question of the Week Answer

If you answered 2, you are correct! 

The Desert Candle although not edible, is related to broccoli and mustard which are part of the Brassica family. Similar to these vegetables, it gets small flowers arranged in characteristic fashion.

This is a heat and drought tolerant plant with an interesting form and very pretty flowers. The plant itself resembles a tall candle with a flame on top. Its stalk is yellow and linear, averaging about 28-30 inches tall (roughly 70 cm) with small, reddish-purple flowers atop with four petals, so it resembles a beautiful candle in the desert.

Desert Candles grow wild in Southern California and Nevada. It is part of the wild flora of the hot Mojave Desert.

You can find many of these plants and more wildflowers within your Bakersfield Field Office.

Source: Gardening Know How