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Happy Birthday, Fort Ord National Monument! 

Three years ago today, Fort Ord National Monument in California was created by Presidential Proclamation.

The Fort Ord National Monument - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - holds some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands along the Monterey Peninsula, over 35 species of rare plants and animals, and miles of world-class recreation trails.  The BLM is committed to managing this treasured landscape in a manner that honors the nearly 2 million soldiers who passed through the gates of the former Fort Ord.

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The multi-function tail of the Western Banded Gecko

Coleonyx variegatus (Gekkonidae) is a beautiful gecko native to the Mohave and Sonoran deserts, in the United States and northern Mexico. It has moveable eyelids and hypnotic large eyes with vertical pupils. 

If disturbed, the gecko will wave its tail to divert attention of a would-be predator away from its head and body. However, the tail of the gecko serves as more than a way of escaping predation: it has specialized fracture planes that allow it to easily break off, and also stores food and water that the animal uses during lean times, including winter dormancy. Regrowing the tail is energetically expensive and the loss of the tail can put the survival of the lizard in jeopardy—especially if it was lost just before the onset of winter.

Photo credit: ©randomtruth | Locality: Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, California, US (2011)

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Check Out What Happened #lastweekattheblm: April 13-17, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday, April 17, announced that the BLM will open a public dialogue on potential changes to federal onshore oil and gas regulations. The BLM is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on potential updates to BLM rules governing oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances. Read the press release.

Last week, the BLM celebrated International Dark Sky Week 2015 with a My Public Lands Tumblr photo collection of night skies over Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument in Arizona and other BLM lands, by BLMer Bob Wick.  The International Dark Sky Association recognized the unspoiled quality of Grand Canyon Parashant’s pristine and breathtaking night skies with an official IDA designation as “Parashant International Night Sky Province,” joining an elite group of other international Night Sky Places around the globe. See the popular photo collection on My Public Lands Tumblr.

On April 15, the National Conservation Lands continued its monthly #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover of the BLM’s national social media accounts, a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. The April takeover focused on wildflowers and native plants on public lands.  View all #conservationlands15 posts here: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/tagged/conservationlands15.

The BLM continued its new #WomeninSTEM Wednesday series on My Public Lands Tumblr with a post about BLM California Botanist Lara Kobelt, from her early work as a chicagobotanicgarden intern to a Botanist on National Conservation Lands. View all #WomeninSTEM Wednesday posts at http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/tagged/WomeninSTEM.

Finally, a recent article by huffingtonpost, These Photos From America’s Public Lands Will Make You Want To Go On An Adventure, included a beautiful sunset over BLM Oregon’s Warner Wetlands.  Read the article about sunrises and sunsets on public lands