Check Out What Happened Last Week at the BLM: September 15-19, 2014

Announcements, Events and News

The BLM hosted several local National Public Lands Day events in anticipation of the nationwide NPLD 2014 celebration on Saturday, September 27, 2014. NPLD began in 1994 and is now the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. For the 20th Anniversary of NPLD last year, 175,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at 2,237 public land sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Almost 2,000 projects are planned for this year’s observance. To find a NPLD event near you visit: http://www.publiclandsday.org/.

Social Media Highlights

The BLM last week celebrated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s Golden Birthday. Encompassing 1.9 million acres, the Monument was created on September 18, 1996, by presidential proclamation – the first monument entrusted to BLM management. World-class dinosaur excavations have yielded more information about ecosystem change at the end of the dinosaur era than almost any other place in the world. Among the fossil finds, paleontologists have identified dinosaurs not previously known to have inhabited this region, as well as several new species. View photos and more information on My Public Lands Tumblr.

The BLM continued its month-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with beautiful photos of and personal accounts about the significance of wilderness.  View some of the stunning wilderness landscapes managed by the BLM’s National Conservation Lands on the My Public Lands Instagram.

Internal Featured Stories

In 2009, a remarkable new dinosaur tracksite was discovered in the BLM’s Moab Field Office, containing one of the largest multi-animal tracksites in North America. The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite preserves 10 different types of tracks, including various dinosaurs, birds and crocodiles, with over 200 tracks documented in an area of approximately 500 meters. The site is being studied by an international team led by Dr. Martin Lockley of the University of Colorado at Denver. The tracks, approximately 112 million years old, are preserved in the Lower Cretaceous Ruby Ranch Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation. Read the My Public Lands Tumblr story, originally published internally, about BLM Utah’s work with partners to clean up the area, document the tracksites with 3D photography, and build a walking trail for public education.

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“As important as it is to develop public resources for the benefit of current generations, it is equally important to preserve the wild integrity of some our lands for future generations.” — Jeff Kitchens, Pompeys Pillar National Monument Manager

BLM Montana employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area, Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness and the Cow Creek WSA pictured here. Photos by Bob Wick, BLM


Racing to Tunnel View

When we descended Nevada Falls, we realized there was just enough time to get out to see the valley. It’s fine enough to get the view while driving in, though we arrived too late the night before to see anything other than silhouettes in the moonlight. But, if it’s okay, I would recommend waiting until you’ve actually experienced the park on foot first.

It’s a different feeling, I guess. But what joy can one really expect to experience when all they had to do to get to this spot was sit in climate-controlled box on wheels that plays their favorite music? If anything, I’m glad to have come to this point after a long day of climbing, sweating, freezing, swimming, and just taking in what this magical place has to offer. What can you really expect to take from this view if you arrive in any state but tired, hungry, and filthy? Sure, okay, it’s pretty and breath taking no matter the method of your arrival to this point. If that’s all you want, stop here any time until the sun goes down. Which in our case, it wasn’t exactly taking its time doing so. The shadows were climbing up the walls of the walls of the valley just as fast as we were, but there was a feeling of victory in beating them to the top.

Watching the last delicate brush stroke of sunlight fade away from El Capitan was bested only by the incredible explosion of the place’s magenta aura that came just after sundown. We were all quiet- fixed still and silent like the small cloud above Cloud’s Rest. Like I said, this isn’t the time to stop here, as was evidenced by the sudden exodus of all the cars in the parking lot to our backs. This is the time to exist here, staring out. This is the moment to be here.