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.

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    It’s almost the weekend! Will you spend it outside like Chelsy D, soaring over public lands at Pucker Pass in Moab, Utah?

    The BLM yesterday introduced three vintage posters and postcards depicting some of the spectacular landscapes of our National Conservation Lands, to include Eagletail Mountains Wilderness in Arizona.

    The Eagletail Mountains Wilderness was selected for protection with the adoption of the Arizona Desert Wilderness Act of 1990.  Located approximately 65 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona in the Sonoran Desert, this vast 97,880-acre desert preserve represents one of the finest examples of unspoiled desert landscapes in Western Arizona. Not only does this area offer spectacular scenery, unusual geology and interesting flora and fauna, but this wilderness also contains numerous petroglyphs, showing the vibrant native cultures that survived in this harsh landscape for thousands of years.

    Geology

    Named for three columnar stone shafts that resemble the tail feathers of an eagle, the feature attraction of the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is rock.  The Wilderness consists almost entirely of volcanic rock.  Running the length of this range is a prominent dike, which forms a row of jagged spires and peaks.  A number of unusual formations, such as natural arches, are also tucked away in the range.  Lava flows dating back to the Tertiary period characterize some areas of the Wilderness, and bajada plains fan out from the range on either side.  

    Flora and Fauna

    The vegetation in the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is typically Sonoran Desert.  Palo verde, mesquite, saguaro cactus, creote bush, barrel cactus, cholla, ocotillo, desert hackberry, tomatillo, and range ratany are the principal plants.  Mule deer, cactus wren, desert tortoise, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, king snake, great horned owl, American kestrel, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, kangaroo rat, cottontail, Sonoran shovelnose snake, and ash-throated flycatcher are among the many animals that inhabit the wilderness.  

    Petroglyphs

    Petroglyphs discovered in the rocks reveal secrets of some of the earliest Native American inhabitants in the Southwest.  Certain sites along the Wilderness trail have significance because they were the sites of a spring providing a critical source of water in the arid desert. This area only gets around 4 inches of rain per year, so these springs were essentially the only way to survive out in this land. An examination of the petroglyphs reveals the classic signs of corn fields aligned with solar angles to tell these ancient people when to plant and harvest their corn.

    Activities

    The Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.  The area offers opportunities for challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. 

    The Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals.  The Bureau of Land Management manages these public lands as part of the National Landscape Conservation System

    View and download photos of the vintage poster and landscapes on the My Public Lands Flickr site, Earth Day 2014: Vintage Poster set

    It’s Wilderness Wednesday!

    Enjoy this photo of Fan Hill in the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area of California courtesy of Crew Superintendent, Harlan Walker. 

    HAPPY EARTH DAY 2014!

    In celebration of Earth Day 2014, the Bureau of Land Management is introducing three vintage posters and postcards depicting some of the spectacular landscapes of our National Conservation Lands. As a part of a continuing series, the purpose of the campaign is to highlight these ruggedly beautiful and culturally rich places that belong to all Americans. 

    The inaugural posters and postcards artistically portray three different areas, illustrating the diversity of the landscapes protected under the system. They are Eagletail Mountains Wilderness Area in Arizona, Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana and Headwaters Forest Reserve in California.  

    There are now nearly 900 designated areas of National Conservation Lands spanning almost 27 million acres – or 11 percent of the lands managed by BLM. They include national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness and wilderness study areas, national wild and scenic rivers, national scenic trails and national historic trails. 

    Learn more about your National Conservation Lands: http://on.doi.gov/19NBFQl

    First Place: 
Title: Fir in the Capitan Mountains
Location: Near Roswell, New Mexico 
Taken By: Travis Meidinger, Engine Operator, Roswell Field Office Fourth Place:
Title: Yucca 
Location: West of Carlsbad 
Taken By: Tanner Nygren, Natural Resource Specialist, Carlsbad Field Office Second Place:
Title: Cottonwood Tree
Location: Largo Canyon (North of Cuba, New Mexico)
Taken By: Tamara Faust, Realty Specialist, Farmington Field Office Fifth Place: 
Title: Texas Madrone 
Location: West of Carlsbad 
Taken By: Tanner Nygren, Natural Resource Specialist, Carlsbad Field Office

    2014 BLM NEW MEXICO EMPLOYEE PHOTO CONTEST

    The Bureau of Land Management New Mexico recently held its 6th annual employee photo contest. Today we feature the winners in the Plant Category.

    Visit the @BLMNewMexico Facebook page for more winners.

    LAST WEEK AT THE BLM: April 13-18, 2014

    Announcements, Events, and News

    Last week, the Trust for Public Land donated nearly 6,000 acres of stunning coastal landscape in Santa Cruz County, California, that will now be managed by the BLM for public recreation and preservation of natural resources. Known as Coast Dairies land, the donation completes a long-term effort by partners and local communities to provide a natural landscape that can be experienced and enjoyed as public lands.  Read a summary about the donation from Trust for Public Land, or read the article in the San Jose Mercury News.

    On April 14-15, the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board met in Sacramento, California, to discuss issues related to the management and protection of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands.  Download the meeting agenda or presentation notes.

    Social Media Highlights

    Last week, the BLM shared an amazing “blood moon” photo as viewed by BLM Wilderness Specialist Bob Wick along the American Wild and Scenic River in California, one of the few urban rivers in the U.S. to have a wild and scenic designation. The river flows from the Sierra crest to downtown Sacramento.  The BLM manages segments of the North and South forks of the river which are popular for whitewater boating and gold panning. View the photo and original post on My Public Lands Tumblr.

    The BLM last week celebrated National Environmental Education Week on its social media sites, particularly its My Public Lands Tumblr and @BLMNational Twitter. On Twitter, the BLM highlighted its long-standing partners in education and volunteer activities:  @neefusa (National Environmental Education Foundation); @publiclandsday (National Public Lands Day); and @the_sca (Student Conservation Association). The BLM and its partners shared Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s video message about National  Environmental Education Week.

    BLM Daily (Internal News) Top Stories

    On March 12, 2014, BLM Director Neil Kornze presented the Linda Siebert Career Achievement Award to biologist Craig Johnson of the BLM Idaho Cottonwood Field Office for his outstanding service to fish and wildlife conservation on public lands. For more than 40 years, Johnson has worked for the BLM, applying his passion for natural resources to on-the-ground success stories. Read the story on the Department of the Interior’s website.

    BLM regional paleontologist Phil Gensler recently packed a Penske truck and took off for Washington D.C. The truck was filled with the most complete specimen of large carnivorous dinosaur ever found in the state of New Mexico — and it was found on BLM-administered land in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area. The specimen now is displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as a part of a current T-rex exhibit. Read the full story on the Department of the Interior’s website.

    Follow www.blm.gov/socialmedia

    This week, the Trust for Public Land donated nearly 6,000 acres of stunning coastal landscape in Santa Cruz County, California, that will now be managed by the BLM for public recreation and preservation of natural resources. Known as Coast Dairies land, the donation completes a long-term effort by partners and local communities to provide a natural landscape that can be experienced and enjoyed as public lands. 

    BLM lands will connect the Coast Dairies shoreline beach, recently donated to California State Parks, to the Santa Cruz Mountains east of Highway 1. The landscape includes stunning coastal terraces, rolling pastoral grasslands, oak woodlands and redwood forest. Come #DiscoverTheCoast.

    Photos by Jim Pickering, BLM

    It’s #ThrowbackThursday and with everyone looking up at the sky this week, we thought we’d share this shot of a sunburst taken over the Tumco historic town site. The Rigg’s house is one of the few remaining structures of an early 19th century gold mining town. This ghost town is located in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains, just east of BLM’s Imperial Sand Dunes, California. http://ow.ly/vTr41

    Photo: David Zielinski

    Bistahieversor - aka the ‘Bisti Beast’ – Goes to Washington

    The BLM New Mexico’s regional paleontologist recently packed a Penske truck and took off for Washington D.C. The truck was filled with the most complete specimen of large carnivorous dinosaur ever found in the state of New Mexico — and it was found on BLM-administered land in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area.

    The Bistahieversor—affectionately known as the Bisti Beast—was a 30-foot tyrannosaur that roamed the Earth around 74 million years ago. It was a member of the same family as Tyrannosaurus rex, looked like a compact version of T.rex, and might have been one of its ancestors. This was an extremely rare find and is of exceptionally high scientific value. It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of the skeleton was preserved.

    The 41,170-acre wilderness area is a rolling landscape of badlands which offers some of the most unusual scenery found in the Four Corners Region. The wilderness area is composed of formations of interbedded sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt. Paleontologists have studied and researched this area for nearly a century. The Badlands feature an exposure of rocks known as the Fruitland/Kirtland Formations that represent a time near the end of the Cretaceous Period (approximately 75 to 80 million years ago). These continental sediments chronicle the time near the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. This sequence of rock formations is one of only four known in the world that record this transition and may help explain why the dinosaurs became extinct.

    In 1998, the specimen was removed in two pieces after being encased in a protective plaster “jacket,” each weighing nearly a ton. Because the skeleton was located in a wilderness area, it was removed by Army National Guard helicopter and deposited on a large flatbed trailer for transport to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, in Albuquerque, N.M., where is has been housed ever since.

    BLM and New Mexico Museum of Natural History staff packed the specimen for the three-day road trip to Washington, D.C., where it will be on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

    "My favorite classroom has no walls: the great outdoors." -Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell

    Check out this video of Secretary Jewell discussing the outdoors as an ideal environmental education classroom.  Great message during National Environmental Education Week!

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