By @mypubliclands “This photo was the first place winner of the Fire Category from the Oregon BLM’s 2008 Photo Contest. Photographer J.T. Sohr, an Engine Boss with then six summer’s experience fighting fires, snapped this shot while his fatigued crew was taking a well-deserved break. “We’d just finished a long period of putting out fires and saw some more storms on the way,” said J.T. “Everybody knew we’d be busy, so I took this photo of us taking a breather. It was the calm before the storm.” Right after this photo, J.T. and his crew got up and went back to work.
Thank you to the firefighters out there on the line today - come home safely!
BLM Colorado Uses “Critter Cams” for Wildlife Monitoring
Biologists at the Royal Gorge Field Office in Colorado utilize guzzlers and other water collection systems to manage grazing and increase water access to wildlife. Still cameras have been placed at guzzlers along the front range of the Rocky Mountains to monitor use and activity.
Cameras provide a dimension of monitoring that give biologists an invaluable amount of information as to the frequency of use and by what species. Beyond the scientific data collected by the critter cameras, magnificent, candid photographs of coyotes, bobcats and other creatures are captured.
Sunset in Plush, Oregon, from the BLM Oregon/Washington employee photo contest.
This rural community in south-central Oregon is famous for both its abundant wildlife at the nearby Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge as well as for the sparkle of its local sunstone gems. Photo by BLMer Roman Iacobucci.
A very young seal pup was spotted near the tide pools at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, surprising BLM staffers who are more accustomed to seeing baby seals in May or early June.
Meredith Matherly, the BLM education staffer at Yaquina who captured the photographs of the male pup, said the sighting on Cobble Beach was “extremely late in the season” but that there were no visible health issues.
“This one seemed healthy and happy, though,” said Matherly, adding that soon after the sighting the pup scooted into the water to meet mom and “ride on her back as he gets used to this big wide world!”
#WILDERNESS50 - #YOURWILDERNESS IS A MONUMENTAL BLESSING
For me, wilderness is a tonic, a retreat from the frenzy of modern life, a refuge to recharge and reconnect. As we celebrate the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary, we pause to look back and thank the wilderness champions who came before us. We’ve inherited a monumental blessing. And we’re grateful to all those individuals, organizations, and agencies who continue the important work of strengthening this wilderness legacy and ensuring that these beloved areas are protected and preserved for future generations. — Jerry Perez, BLM Oregon/Washington State Director
BLM Oregon employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Steens Mountain Wilderness pictured here. Photos by Tom Wilcox and Bob Wick, BLM
#WILDERNESS50 - #YOURWILDERNESS is a hotspot for avian and mammalian diversity
Many of BLM’s resources and ecosystems are truly remarkable and offer enrichment to the National Wilderness Preservation System. For example, the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness has produced a wealth of paleontological resources including the skull of the tyranasaurid dinosaur, also known as the Bisti Beast, that have given scientists insight into the evolution of these large predatory animals, and a duck-billed dinosaur in such a state of preservation that they were able to replicate it’s nasal chamber to reproduce dinosaur sounds.
In southwest New Mexico, the Gila Lower Box Wilderness Study Area is a hotspot for avian diversity with 265 bird species documented while Cowboy Springs WSA is home to over 60 species of mammals making it one of the most significant areas for mammalian diversity in the region. These are just a few examples of the wealth of public benefits BLM’s wilderness lands provide. These areas belong to you, the public, and I encourage everyone to get out and experience these special places. — Jesse Juen, BLM New Mexico State Director
BLM New Mexico employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, Gila Lower Box Wilderness Study Area and the Continental Divide WSA pictured here. Photos by Bob Wick and Mike Howard, BLM
We join BLM Oregon biologists Bruce Zoellick and Corbin Murphy as they snorkel the Salmon River counting salmon.
How do you count fish in a river? If you’re a fish biologist working for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), you start by stuffing yourself into a dry suit and then traipsing through the forests and down to the river. With a snorkel and mask you plunge into the river and slither around in search of Coho, Chinook and Steelhead. These fish like to rest and stay cool in the recently built log jams.
To track how many fish are in the Salmon River, fish biologist Bruce Zoellick and wildlife biologist Corbin Murphy stuff themselves into dry suits and strap on a snorkel to get up-close and personal with the fish. They count fish by species as they snorkel around the log jams and side channels.
Habitat for Coho, Chinook, Steelhead, and a smattering of other fish that consider the “wild and scenic” river their home is getting a remodel. Through a cooperative effort, trees have been pulled up and hauled to the river where engineers have built log jams for fish and other aquatic species.
The Salmon River Restoration Project is a cooperative effort with several partners including the BLM, Freshwater Trust, Nature Conservancy, Portland Water Bureau, and a host of others passionate about aquatic restoration.
#Wilderness50 - #yourwilderness is a perfect backdrop for life
I feel so incredibly lucky to be an employee for the Bishop Field Office. Not only do we get to manage several beautiful and unique wilderness areas (and 14 wilderness study areas!), but we are part of a larger patchwork of wilderness that stretches from Death Valley to the top of the Sierra crest. After work, I love being able to take my dog and head up to Long Lake in the John Muir Wilderness for a run. I can’t imagine a more perfect backdrop for life. —Becca Brooke, Supervisory Resource Management Specialist, Bishop, California Field Office
BLM California employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Inyo Mountain Wilderness and Bodie Mountain pictured here. Photos by Bob Wick, BLM
With the day to day stresses in life, for me, Wilderness is a need. I need the sense of refreshment and re-centering that comes from getting lost, if only briefly, in the Wilderness on a near weekly basis. Memories from my last excursion and the excitement of my next adventure provide the daily escape I need to offset the hustle and bustle of today’s lifestyle. — Jim Beaupre,Outdoor Recreation Planner, Prineville District, BLM Oregon
BLM Oregon employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Oregon Badlands Wilderness pictured here.
"I moved to Kanab for the magnificent red-rock landscapes of Southern Utah. I will never tire of them and plan to stay here after I retire and explore for many years to come," said Tom Christensen, BLM assistant field manager in Kanab, Utah.
"That our nation had the foresight to protect these special places and that BLM is the caretaker is both a duty and privilege that I take very seriously. Wilderness protection truly represents one of the best aspects of civilization and human spirit."
#Wilderness50 - #YOURWILDERNESS offers a multitude of personal experiences
Going to the wilderness and seeing desert bighorns on high canyon walls, hiking from the top of Knowles Canyon down to the Colorado River, boating down the rivers that run through these areas… all of those personal experiences help when you’re thinking about the difficult decisions that make up BLM’s multiple-use and sustained yield mission.
Being the steward of special places grounds me and helps me strive to balance use, development and enjoyment of these public lands today with their conservation for future generations. — Katie Stevens, BLM Colorado, Grand Junction Field Manager
BLM Colorado employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness pictured here. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM
Yep. FREE. Just in time for the hiking season, we’ve got free maps of many of the spectacular BLM-Oregon/Washington wilderness areas available online for YOU! Want to download a shiny new wilderness map? Sure you do, it’s easy. Just click right HERE!
With the passage of the Omnibus Public Land Act in March 2009, the BLM now manages eight Wilderness Areas across nearly 247,000 acres in Oregon. The BLM also manages one Wilderness Area in Washington covering 7,142 acres. In addition, the BLM currently protects wilderness values on 82 Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and five Instant Study Areas in Oregon totaling more than 2.6 million acres and one WSA in Washington totaling 5,557 acres.
These maps will allow you to plan your trip, navigate the wilderness, and enjoy its solitude and splendor. Before you head out to this area be sure you know how to use a map and compass. To learn a little more about map and compass navigation check out our video on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1gCUXQo!