public lands

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has some spectacular sunrises, like this one from Hazel Mountain Overlook. Just 75 miles from Washington, DC, Shenandoah offers an escape from the city with cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas and quiet wooded hollows. National Park Service photo.

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.

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!

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This stunning installation of 888,246 red ceramic poppies was created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper in commemoration of the centennial of Britain’s involvement in World War I. Entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, each flower represents a British or Colonial military fatality.

This staggering installation is a work in progress, with the ceramic pippies being planted by volunteers in the dry moat that surrounds the Tower of London. The planting process began a few weeks ago and will continue throughout the summer until a final flower is symbolically planted on November 11, 2014.

Visit the Historic Royal Palaces website to learn more about this moving project. You can also follow the progress of the volunteer planters by following the #TowerPoppies on Twitter.

[via Colossal]

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El Capitan in Yosemite National Park (California) glows at sunset. This effect is known as alpenglow, and it commonly occurs Yosemite during the winter months. iPhone photos by Kari Cobb.

California Coastal National Monument at Crescent City, California — Bob Wick, Instagram Guest Photographer 

About the photo: Using a very slow shutter speed (several seconds or more) softens moving water and helps convey a sense of movement.  In addition to using this technique on rivers and waterfalls, it works great to capture ocean and large lake waves as shown here on California’s far north Coast. This image was taken in Crescent City, the northernmost town along the 1,100 mile California Coastal National Monument. The National Monument and the tall trees in nearby Redwood National Park make this a photographers paradise.

Camera Settings: Lens focal length: 70mm, aperture: f22, shutter speed: 6 seconds, ISO 50

The slopes of Mount Rainier in Washington are a patchwork of brilliant fall colors this time of year. Mount Rainier National Park is located southeast of Seattle and has more than 260 miles of maintained trails — making it a perfect place to explore the beauty of our public lands. Photo by National Parks Service.

America’s first national monument, Devils Tower is a geologic feature that protrudes out of the rolling prairie in Wyoming. David Lane captured this amazing 16-image panorama of the monument illuminated by the Milky Way and green airglow. Of visiting Devils Tower, David says: “From ancient stories of the Pleiades taking refuge at the top to the generations of Native Americas that held it sacred, it had a deep sense of age and a stoic nature that impressed me. It’s so unexpected, so large in person, so steeped in traditions.”

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We’re excited and honored that the Washington Post has run a feature highlighting 16 of their favorite photos from our Tumblr. According to the Post:

From redwood forests to Gulf Stream waters, workers from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have photographed the often-remote terrain they supervise. Here are a few of the best images and descriptions from My Public Lands, the bureau’s lively Tumblr site, of the land that Woody Guthrie wrote “was made for you and me.’’

To the more than 43,000 of you that have chosen to follow us over the past 8 months, thank you. We love sharing stories about the science, history, beauty, and recreation on more than 245 million acres of public lands, and hope you’ll get out and enjoy your public lands!

See the entire gallery at http://wapo.st/10AvITb 

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

Happy Birthday to William “Buffalo Bill” Cody!
(February 26, 1846 - January 10, 1917)

In 1935 several fraternal organizations in Cody Wyoming hosted the 63rd annual Wyoming Stock Growers Association conference and since it was in his namesake city, they naturally used a photograph of Cody for the conference program cover. This program is found in our Department of Grazing records, a defunct agency created by the Department of the Interior in 1934 to administer livestock grazing on the remaining public domain lands.  In 1946 it was rolled into the newly created Bureau of Land Management, which still exists today. (They’re also on Tumblr at mypubliclands)

(National Archives Identifier 2519019, “Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1934-1939,” Box 137. Records of the Bureau of Land Management, 1685 - 2006.) 

via the National Archives at Denver on Facebook

Find more William “Buffalo Bill” Cody items in the National Archives Catalog →

Senate amendment 166, would remove protections from all wilderness study areas which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has recommended be designated as Wilderness.

“If enacted, this amendment would be the largest rollback on land conservation that we’ve seen in decades,” said Brian O’Donnell, Executive Director, Conservation Lands Foundation. “Ninety percent of the lands managed by the BLM are already available to oil and gas drillers. Efforts to undermine the protection of places that provide us with clean water, places to hunt, and preserve sacred places are a slap in the face to Americans who strongly support the protection of our public lands.”

Wilderness study areas are an invaluable set of lands throughout the West that have been identified for protection because they have a unique character, provide critical wildlife habitat and outstanding recreational opportunities and preserve our cultural and historic resources. If enacted into law, the amendment would eliminate protections for more than five million acres of wilderness study areas making them vulnerable to mining, oil and gas drilling and overdevelopment.

“Removing protections for millions of acres of public lands is an affront to the huge number of Americans who cherish these lands for recreation. It would have a major negative impact on the outdoor recreation industry, which is a $646 billion-dollar part of our nation’s economy,” said John Sterling, Executive Director, Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor businesses that support conservation initiatives. “Outdoor businesses rely on protected public lands and intact outdoor places. This approach is a huge step backwards for conservation in America and one that our businesses strongly oppose.

Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa was established for the protection of migratory birds. It is located along the Mississippi River Flyway, one of the major routes for migrating waterfowl. Key goals of the refuge are to conserve and enhance the quality and diversity of fish and wildlife and their habitats; and to restore floodplain functions in the river corridor. 

Photo: Jessica Bolser, USFWS