25 Years of Conservation in the Gila Box

Before the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area in Arizona was created by Congress in 1990, it was possible (and common) for people to drive vehicles in the 20-mile long streambed of Bonita Creek, a key tributary of the Gila River in eastern Arizona.

Twenty five years after its designation, there is such an abundance of riparian plants and so many beaver ponds on Bonita Creek that NCA Manager Tom Schnell told me I’d be hard-pressed to even walk it.  On my first visit, the water offered such a clear view of the creek’s five rare native fish species it reminded me of an aquarium.  

These improvements are a direct result of the steps BLM’s Safford Field Office has taken to protect this fragile place during a quarter century of careful management by dedicated people. Managing public lands, like a lot of things, is so often about good planning in anticipation of the future.

A trip to the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area is a great chance to see that work in action..

By Adam Milnor, BLM Arizona and My Public Lands Tumblr Blogger



After a wonderful National Public Lands Day weekend, we would like to thank the many volunteers who joined in our efforts to help take care of America’s public lands nationwide. 

Now go enjoy your public lands! Here are some of our favorite fall foliage photos across BLM managed lands. 



On this day in history - March 30, 2009 - President Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Among other things, the Act established a National Landscape Conservation System, which includes Bureau of Land Management-administered National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, National Conservation Areas as well as components of the National Trails System, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and National Wilderness Preservation System.

The mission of the National Conservation Lands is to conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes that are recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values. National Conservation Lands are part of an active, vibrant landscape where people live, work and play. They offer exceptional opportunities for recreation, solitude, wildlife viewing, exploring history, scientific research, and a wide range of traditional uses.

The National Conservation Lands sustain for the future - and for everyone - these remarkable landscapes of the American spirit. As a part of the 15th anniversary celebration this year, our National Conservation Lands team will take over BLM’s national social media accounts on the 15th of each month. Follow each takeover using #conservationlands15. 

#ActOnClimate because our kids and grandkids should be able to enjoy beautiful places like these.

The EPA today released a proposal that will set the first-ever national carbon pollution standards limits for America’s existing power plants. Find out how the rules will make our communities healthier, and learn more about the President’s plan to cut carbon pollution in America.

Today, post photos of your favorite places, of places where you and your family get outdoors, and tag with #ActOnClimate.  We’ll post our favorites here on My Public Lands Tumblr!

View more beautiful BLM-managed places on the BLM’s My Public Lands Flickr site; photos here by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist.

Show Some Condor Love! Follow Our California Condor Release for National Public Lands Day

Today, the BLM, The Peregrine Fund and partners will release three California condors in the BLM-managed Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. The annual release coincides with National Public Lands Day, and you can join the celebration on social media!  

Follow using the hashtags #CondorsOnTheRise, #WelcomeCondors and #NPLD on BLM’s Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. 

Photo by #CondorsOnTheRise Partner Arizona Game and Fish.  See more photos on our My Public Lands Flickr set,

Learn more about the annual event and condor recovery:


Meet Creatures of the Coast at the California Coastal National Monument

The California Coastal National Monument, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, stretches the entire length of California’s 1,100 mile coastline. With more than 20,000 islands, rocks, reefs, and pinnacles, there is plenty to see and experience. 

Checkout this website for tips on viewing wildlife in coastal California: #SeeBLM

Photos by Justin R. Robbins, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the BLM-California King Range National Conservation Area


Since our launch in August 2012, we’ve shared 2,000 posts!  

Thank you, Tumblrs, for following along as we share beautiful landscapes, stories about our employees, and cool information about our mission work in conservation, energy, science, and so much more!


BLMer Bob Wick went out early this morning to catch some full moon shots near the Cosumnes River Preserve.

Nestled in the heart of California’s Central Valley, the Preserve is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl.

Over 250 species of birds have been sighted on or near the Preserve, including the State-listed threatened Swainson hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Canada geese and numerous ducks.   



The long narrow canyon that surrounds the Deschutes River in the Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area area pulls visitors away from nearby human influences and places them in a spectacular steep-sloped channel of unique character. Noise from human infrastructure is masked by the roar of the river at the falls, and hikers become entranced by the colors of the stream-side vegetation and the textured reds and browns of the cliff walls.

The Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area is a 3,240-acre area along the west side of Crooked River Ranch. This segment of the Deschutes River is designated “scenic” under the Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Photos by Michael Campbell, BLM



The BLM delivers significant economic benefits for communities across the Nation. Each year, lands under the BLM’s management contribute over $100 billion in local economic activity and support more than 440,000 jobs.

We administer more land than any other Federal agency, managing and conserving resources for multiple use and sustained yield on more than 247 million surface acres of public land, including the following: energy and mineral development of both conventional and renewable resources; timber production; domestic livestock grazing; outdoor recreation; rights-of-way; fish
and wildlife conservation; and conservation of natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

We are responsible for onshore subsurface mineral estate development on 700 million acres.

We manage the National Conservation Lands, including 20 national monuments, 21 national conservation areas and similarly designated areas, and 221 wilderness areas.

In 2014, over 10,000 employees and over 30,000 volunteers worked to conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources on the public lands and provide recreational and interpretative opportunities and programs.

Read more about our mission activities and President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the BLM:


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. 


It’s National Bird Day!  

And what better to share on National Bird Day than one of our favorite bird-friendly places - Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in Idaho?

A part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, the Snake River Birds of Prey hosts some of the largest concentrations of raptors in the U.S. The area’s 485,000 acres host some 800 pairs of hawks, owls, eagles and falcons that come each spring to mate and raise their young. As a complete, stable ecosystem, the NCA is a valuable place for research and education.

Check out BLM Idaho’s website for great information about the area and educational materials for learners of all ages:


Today marks the first day of Great Outdoors Month 2014!  

June is designated as Great Outdoors Month each year through a Presidential Proclamation, and highlights the numerous benefits of getting outdoors on our American parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and waters. Great Outdoors Month features include National Trails Day®, National Fishing and Boating Week, the Great American Backyard Campout, and National Get Outdoors Day.  

All month, we’ll be posting amazing places - from #backyard2backcountry - where you can enjoy the great outdoors.


My greatest experience with condors was during a Grand Canyon camping trip on the North Rim with friends. As we stood near the edge and looked down, we saw a pair of condors gradually rising on a thermal. As they rose to where we stood we could hear the force of their massive wings cut through the air with a powerful “Whoosh!”  It was absolutely exhilarating! It’s one unforgettable site to see. –Rachel Tueller, BLM Arizona Strip District Public Affairs Officer

In celebration of National Public Lands Day today, the BLM, The Peregrine Fund and partners released three California condors in the BLM-managed Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona.  Watch a short clip from a previous NPLD release event to see the condor fly.


Follow the #WILDERNESS50 Conference

On Sept. 3, 1964 President Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, making the United States the first country in the world to define and designate wilderness areas through law. Today, the BLM manages 221 Wilderness areas, encompassing 8.7 million acres, through its National Conservation Lands. Another 528 WSAs remain, totaling 12.7 million acres. 

This week, wilderness partners, stewards, educators, students and researchers will gather in New Mexico for a National Wilderness Conference. The event will include more than 20 keynote speakers and panelists, 84 presenter sessions and a poster session exploring contemporary topics in wilderness stewardship - even free webinars for virtual participation.

Follow the conference events all week using #Wilderness50.  CLICK HERE to learn more.


BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis Meets Oregon World War II Veterans and Shares Memories of His Daughter at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Last Saturday, May 16, fifty World War II veterans from across Oregon toured Washington, D.C. as a part of a veteran’s Honor Flight trip.  Their day began on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As they moved from the Korean War Memorial to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and beyond, these veterans reflected on their service and the sacrifices of so many others.

At the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, the veterans met Bureau of Land Management’s Deputy Director Steve Ellis who was visiting the memorial display for his daughter Jessica.  Ellis shared that his daughter, a native Oregonian, asked him to watch over her car while she was in Iraq.  He still does so to this day.  The license plate reads: 4 U Jess.

Watch or read the full story on Oregon’s KTVZ news site:

This Memorial Day weekend, the BLM family remembers, with gratitude, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.