My Public Lands

This is an official tumblr for the Bureau of Land Management. Follow the next generation of BLMers as they share their experiences on the public lands.

All photos government work unless otherwise noted.

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    Moon rises as the Lodge Fire burns with a view of Shelter Cove. Taking a break on the Lighting Trail on the way to King Peak with the Lodge Fire in the background. Teaching the proper way to eat Gooseberries. Can you tell that it is windy? Looking our best on the way back down... Dinnertime! Beautiful King Crest Trail.

    Rising Moon Setting Sun

    Throughout the year, BLM long-term partner Youth Alive! sponsors day and overnight outdoor adventures in northern California to get kids outside to experience their public lands. Last week, I led a Rising Moon, Setting Sun hike for several local youth as part of the SoHum (Southern Humboldt County) Youth Alive!

    We started out from the Lightning Trailhead in the King Range National Conservation Area and hiked 3 miles with 1,700 feet of elevation to the summit of King Peak. Along the way we talked about edible plants, past fires in the King Range, and animals that make the King Range their home.

    The moon was rising and wind was picking up as we made our way to King Peak. On King Peak we huddled in the shelter and ate our dinner. Then it was on the headlamps as we descended into darkness and back to Lightning Trailhead. 

    -Justin Robbins

    Don’t Bug Montana

    In a place called Big Timber, Montana, the small mountain pine beetle has taken its toll…the destructive beetle has killed up to 90 percent of the lodgepole pines. According to BLM forester Bruce Reid, “You can almost hear them chewing though the trees on quiet days.”

    Read more in Don’t Bug Montana - a feature article in the Bureau of Land Managements’s My Public Lands Magazine, Summer 2014.  

    Happy Birthday, Yaquina Head!

    Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873.

    The offshore islands are a year-round refuge for harbor seals and a spring-summer home for thousands of nesting seabirds. Gray whales can be spotted during their annual migrations to Mexico (late fall-early winter) and Alaska (late winter-early spring). During the summer months some gray whales take the opportunity to feed in the shallow waters around the headland.

    Cobble Beach is compiled of millions of round basalt rocks that produce an applause-like sound as the waves roll in. When the tide is low a vibrant ocean floor is revealed—pools of colorful animals including orange sea stars, purple sea urchins, and giant green anemones.

    Photo by Jeff Clark, BLM

    It’s Wilderness Wednesday!

    The Pit River Canyon Wilderness Study Area in California is comprised of 10,984 acres and has outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive types of unconfined recreation. There are 13 miles of the Pit River within the WSA with dynamic geology, wildlife, and historic values. The flats above the canyon have yearlong populations of deer and antelope, while birds of prey utilize the canyon resources. Segments of the 1848 National Historic Lassen Emigrant Trail is located within the boundary of the WSA. Legal access is limited due to intermingled private and public lands, always secure permission prior to entry.

    Learn more:

    Photo: Bob Wick, BLM

    Girl Scouts Volunteer on Scenic South Fork of Snake River

    Thanks to Girl Scout Troop #60 who volunteered with the BLM along the beautiful South Fork of the Snake River. The girls rafted the roadless canyon stretch, stopping at designated campsites along the way to sign bald eagle nesting habitat, install new designated camping signs, and remove thistle and other noxious weeds.  The group collected over 25 trash bags full of thistle! It was the first time on the river for many and for some, their first time on a raft! The girls enjoyed their volunteer work and even got to see several of the 21 raptor species that call this area home. Learn more about the South Fork of the Snake River: Volunteer with us:

    -Krista Berumen

    Trivia Tuesday from BLM Montana

    Pompeys Pillar National Monument is home to Captain William Clark’s signature carved into a sand stone butte along the Yellowstone River in 1806. Clark’s inscription is still the only remaining physical evidence along the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. - My Public Lands Magazine

    During his return trip to St. Louis, William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition climbed the Pillar and carved his signature and the date in the sandstone. Clark wrote, “This rock I ascended and from its top had a most extensive view in every direction on the Northerly Side of the river high romantic Cliffs approach & jut over the water for Some distance both above and below…I marked my name and the day of the month and year.”

    While archaeological digs and other recent research have uncovered artifacts that may have been left by the Corps of Discovery, Clark’s inscription is still the only remaining physical evidence of Lewis and Clark’s passing visible on their actual route. This historic carving on the sandstone butte that Clark called a “remarkable rock” has inspired generations of visitors for more than 100 years.

    Pompeys Pillar National Monument in Montana, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, was proclaimed a national monument in January 2001. Prior to its monument status, it was a designated national historic landmark in 1965. It is located along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Learn more:

    Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

    Did you know that the popular arts festival Burning Man occurs on BLM public lands in Northwest Nevada?  Each year, tens of thousands of people travel to the Black Rock Desert Playa to participate in this unique community event. Burning Man takes place on approximately 4,400 acres of public land for a nine-day period – making “Black Rock City” one of the largest cities in Nevada.

    The BLM works with event organizers to ensure measures are implemented that provide for a safe environment where participants can enjoy the event while respecting fellow “burners” and protecting the fragile desert ecosystem.  Burning Man is authorized under the largest, most complex special recreation permit (SRP) issued by the BLM.  Under this permit, the event organizers agree to follow stipulations related to event set-up and signage, public access, traffic control, resource management, fire management, dust abatement, security and public safety and sanitation in addition to practicing leave-no-trace principles and practices. The outcome of this team effort is the establishment of a mid-sized city in the desert for an amazing event, followed by its complete removal, leaving this special area of public lands, the Black Rock-High Rock-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, in its remote unspoiled condition.

    Nationally, the BLM utilizes SRPs to manage specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters.  They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses. 

    This year, Burning Man will take place from August 24 through September 1, marking its 14th year on “the playa” and the largest leave-no-trace event in the world. Photos by BLMer Bob Wick from the 2012 Burning Man event.

    CLICK HERE for more information about SRPs and this year’s Burning Man event.


    BLM Arizona’s Telecommunications staff provides operational support for all aspects of public land management.  Over 500 BLM Arizona Law Enforcement, Fire, Resource, Maintenance, and Administrative personnel depend on our Telecommunications staff to perform their jobs effectively.  Their duties include operational support pertaining to radio, telephone, mobile devices, teleconferencing, and network infrastructure. The most exciting part of their job is servicing communication sites, where they climb towers to service telecommunication equipment critical to BLM staff and the resource work they accomplish every day on public lands in Arizona.

    Check out this video featuring Telecommunications Specialist Bobby Miller as he discusses the importance of his duties and the thrill of climbing towers! 

    Video by: Jayson Barangan, Project Manager - Messaging & Mobile Work Environment for the BLM Arizona State Office

    Check Out What Happened Last Week at the BLM: August 11-15, 2014

    Announcements, Events and News

    On August 12, 2014, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center where she met with members of the interagency fire leadership team and employees, to include the BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew. The veterans’ crew program started in 2012 as a new program for BLM focused on providing firefighting jobs for veterans. Read the full story about the BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew, Secretary Jewell’s visit to California, and current firefighting efforts.

    The BLM on August 12, 2014, issued guidance to its state and field offices on how to evaluate activities on thousands of miles of public land that was granted to railroad companies as rights–of-way under a 19th century law. BLM land managers will use the guidance to determine whether the lands are being properly used under the law. If an evaluation under the new guidelines determined that an activity served a railroad purpose, the BLM would take no action and the activity would continue without BLM oversight.  If, however, an evaluation found that an activity does not serve a railroad purpose, then the activity would require BLM authorization under the Federal Land Management and Policy Act or the Mineral Leasing Act.  Read the press release.

    Social Media Highlights

    The BLM’s My Public Lands Instagram account reached 20,000 followers last weekend.  Also last week, the Roosevelts blog recognized the BLM in a piece entitled, The Bureau Of Land Management Is Killing It On Instagram [50 Photos].  About My Public Lands Instagram, the Roosevelts said: “To spread the word on what they do, the BLM maintains one of the best Instagram accounts of any government agency. The photos, taken by proud and passionate BLM staffers, showcase the beauty of our western states.”  View the BLM’s My Public Lands Instagram on the web.

    Last week on social media, the BLM featured the article Hunting the Hunter! about the BLM-managed Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in Florida, a peaceful waylay for tourists looking for tranquility away from spring breakers, motorcycles, and urban development. But the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse has a secret past few have ever known. Back in WWII, the lighthouse served as a U.S. intelligence spy station. Read Hunting the Hunter! by Bob Gilcash in the BLM’s My Public Lands Magazine, Summer 2014.

    This year, the BLM and other land management agencies, non-government partners and the American public celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  For this anniversary, the Wilderness Society has been featuring beautiful wilderness areas across the United States.  Last week, the Wilderness Society featured “15 of America’s Most Photogenic Wilderness Areas,” which included nine BLM-managed wilderness areas, all a part of the BLM’s beautiful National Conservation Lands!  View all 15 wilderness photos.



    There is some excellent stargazing to be had in the Pole Creek Wilderness, Idaho.

    Photo: Bob Wick

    Beautiful photo of BLM-managed Pole Creek Wilderness in Idaho by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist for the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.

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