It’s National Public Lands Day!

Join our colleagues at the Bureau of Land Management in celebrating the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Celebrate with volunteers in your community at parks and other public lands.

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting an #NPLD20 Social Media Meetup on September 28 to help you share your experiences volunteering on National Public Lands Day! Visit http://blm.gov/npld to join in on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Yonder. They’ll retweet, reblog, like, and share the best pictures and posts throughout the day.

BLM's National Public Lands Day flyer

Are you a Woodsy Owl fan?  While we’re not sure if Woodsy Owl is a protected species, did you know that he is a Federally protected mascot, covered by criminal statute?  When researching this post, we came across an ominous “Use Restriction” note in our online catalog:

Use Restriction(s): Restricted - Possibly
Note: The use and reproduction of the Woodsy Owl symbol is restricted by Public Law 82-359, as amended by P.L. 93-318, Title 18 U.S.C. 711A, and 36 CFR 272.

We ran it past Hannah Bergman, our resident legal eagle from the Office of General Counsel and this was her response:

"This is the most enjoyable question I’ve answered all day. Woodsy is so cute. Plus he is protected by criminal statute. That’s amazing. The reg says:

Official materials produced for the Woodsy Owl campaign may be used without express approval from the Chief of the Forest Service where such use is solely for the purpose of increasing public knowledge about wise use of the environment and programs which foster maintenance and improvement of environmental quality.

I think your proposed gif sounds like it fits within that exception, so you should be fine.”

Thanks again, Hannah - and Happy National Public Lands Day!

This Saturday (September 29) is National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, one-day volunteer and recreation event. Over 170,000 volunteers at over 2,100 sites are slated to participate this year. Volunteers in every state will visit parks, urban green spaces, beaches, wildlife preserves and forests to chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all of us. They will improve and restore the lands the public uses for recreation, education, exercise and connecting with nature.

Additionally, all national parks, monuments, forests, recreation areas, and other federal public lands are waiving all recreation fees in honor of National Public Lands Day. This will give you that chance to finally go see Rocky Mountain National Park, the Grand Canyon, and hundreds of other beautiful publicly owned lands without having to pay an entrance fee! 

photo, h/t mypubliclands

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Arizona Partnership Involves Youth in Restoration Efforts

Tamarisk are pesky Old World shrubs and trees with scale-like leaves that consume vast amounts of water in dry areas.  These plants have damaged native riparian habitat and blocked recreational access in many areas of the desert southwest including along the Lower Colorado River and at locations along Mittry Lake in Yuma, Arizona.

The Mittry Lake Restoration Project is a joint effort between the BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Forestry Division, Arizona Western College, and Northern Arizona University

The partnership engages college students from Arizona Western College to restore more than 300 acres of riparian and upland habitat.  Restoration efforts are focused along the Lower Colorado River, including the popular BLM-managed area of Betty’s Kitchen National Recreation Trail. In addition, the project involves youth volunteers, including Boy and Girl Scouts, in native tree planting and ongoing research.

This work will enhance outdoor opportunities for the public, including nearby tribal communities, such as residents of Quechan Indian Reservation. Restoration projects have already improved fishing, bird watching, and hiking access.  The work has also created access roads through planting sites to be used as fire breaks. 

Tamarisk creates extremely salty soils, damaging habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. To restore riparian habitat, the partnership works to remove tamarisk along the river and replant native species. Project partners installed an enhanced water pumping station to flood large tracts of land in order to moisten soils and reduce salinity before planting native plants.

The partnership has worked collaboratively on avian surveys as a variety of migratory and nesting neo-tropical birds can call this place home. The birds include the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and the Federal candidate species yellow-billed cuckoos.   

The BLM used sandy material from a local Bureau of Reclamation Project to provide the infrastructure needed to create a mesquite bosque from what was once a swamp dominated by tamarisk.  The material was also used to fill in hazardous dry channels within the Betty’s Kitchen area.  Additional efforts include the removal of invasive phragmites and creation of a rock berm for safer access to fishing holes on Mittry Lake. 

Arizona Western College student interns remain involved in the daily operations of the project, including volunteer leadership, irrigation, monitoring, and data collection. Students collect and analyze data to provide managers with scientifically based information to make the best decisions based on the most recent science available.  The partnership introduces field-based natural resources practices to students who would not normally be exposed to these activities. 

The BLM educates the college students on natural resource topics, including the wildlife species that will likely use the restored areas once trees have matured and how certain techniques in restoration work better than others.  In addition, the Arizona Western College Science Club encourages students to get involved in growing native trees within the college greenhouse facilities. The trees are donated for volunteer tree planting days sponsored by the National Public Lands Days, Earth Day Events, or other community outreach events.

BLM-Arizona nominated this program for the Interior Secretary’s “Partners in Conservation” Awards. The Department will formally announce those selected to receive an award in January.

This Saturday, over 170,000 volunteers are expected to roll up their sleeves as part of National Public Lands Day. You can visit http://bit.ly/nKsSH9 to find a project site near you and join in the fun. And even if you don’t volunteer, all national parks and most other federal public lands will be offering free entrance to everyone tomorrow. So come on out and celebrate your national public lands!

Photo: National Public Lands Day 

Coffee’s Ready!  September 29 is National Coffee Day — and National Public Lands Day!

Gale Taylor, St. Ignace, Michigan seeing if the coffee has started to boil. 07/1939.

From the Historic Photographs file of the National Forest Service (Eastern Region)

Where will you be enjoying your coffee today?  National Park? State Forest?  City park?

President Barack Obama declares September 29, 2012 as National Public Lands Day


President Barack Obama signed a proclamation declaring this Saturday, September 29 as National Public Lands Day. In the proclamation, President Obama states, “Cities and communities across our country will join together to restore the lands and waters we share, and families nationwide will explore the natural splendor that stretches from our Atlantic shores to the Pacific’s rocky coasts.”

This is the fourth year in a row that National Public Lands Day has received a Presidential Proclamation. 

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BLM Prepares for National Public Lands Day 2013

Bluebirds, chickadees, swallows and other cavity-nesting birds will have new homes this year at Chilly Slough Wetland in Thousand Springs Valley in Eastern Idaho.  Local high school students helped the BLM build birdhouses that will be installed by volunteers for the National Public Lands Day event on August 10.

By: Krista Berumen

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Yes, we know the biggest reward that comes from doing good is that warm, fuzzy feeling you get for doing something selfless.

But let’s admit it, it’s kind of nice to get something a little extra.

In the case of National Public Lands Day coming up on Sept. 29, the good deeds range from picking up trash to planting trees to trail maintenance topainting cannons. The reward at most parks (again, besides the warm and fuzzy feeling) is a coupon for a free one day admission to a participating park for the coming year. And don’t worry about having to use it the day you volunteer, the admission fee is waived for everyone (volunteer or not) at most sites as part of National Park Fee Free Days.

And did we mention that many sites will offer their own special reward for volunteers? Think shirt giveawaysmarshmallow roastspanning for goldand demonstrations with National Park Service Dogs. A handful will even make sure volunteers are well fed. Some projects require registration, so check with the site before you go.

A FRIEND TO PUBLIC LANDS

This pooch loves public lands. Mandy and her owners volunteered at a previous National Public Lands Day event that benefited the BLM Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. You too, can show your love for public lands by volunteering at a NPLD event this Saturday, September 29. Join BLM Arizona on this national day of service. See the link to learn how you can volunteer with us on a NPLD event: http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/september/npld12.html

Day 138 Straining Peach-Pineapple Tepache

Day 138 Straining Peach-Pineapple Tepache

Fermenting, bubbly and got the white surface npld happening.

Got the white mold film over the surface over the Peach-Pineapple Tepache. I think I have enough fermentation happening here to go ahead and strain this batch. I sanitized a pitcher and some cheesecloth and strained…the liquid seemed a little thick and a little slimy. I believe that’s the peach peels breaking down. The SG is at 1.072,…

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