A hidden gem in America’s Pacific Northwest is the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon. Called an amazing treasure, Cascade-Siskiyou covers more than 62,000 acres and is best known for the unique landscapes created by the convergence of species from the high deserts of the Northern Great Basin to the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Coast. 

As BLM photographer Bob Wick said: “This area is a botanist’s dream where the Cascade, Great Basin and Coast Range-Klamath ecosystems come together. You can turn a corner and go from walking through a dense mossy red fir forest to sagebrush and mountain mahogany in a few feet.”

Pictured here are some of the stunning views from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, including the sun, full moon, Mount Shasta and Pilot Rock, all captured May 3, 2015. Photos by Bob Wick, mypubliclands.


BLM Lands Among Most Amazing Hidden Gems

Four beautiful BLM locations were highlighted in the Weather Channel’s recent feature - Most Amazing Hidden Gem in Every State:  

  • Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado; 
  • Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico; 
  • Rio Grande National Monument in New Mexico (labeled Texas); and 
  • Black Sands Beach/Shelter Cove within the King Range National Conservation Area in California.

CLICK HERE to view the entire set. 

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

A Desert of White Sand

The Tularosa Basin in White Sands National Monument is one of the world’s most unique natural wonders — its glistening dunes resemble snow-capped peaks, and the sand is cool enough for barefoot trekking. Surrounded by the Sacramento and San Andres Mountains, the 700 square kilometer desert is located in the depths of the American southwest in New Mexico, and unlike other deserts of the world, is made up entirely gypsum grains.

Desert sand is most commonly made up of quartz grains, and for good reason: quartz is an incredibly hard mineral and highly resistant to chemical weathering. Gypsum, on the other hand, is one of the softest known minerals and extremely soluble in water, so it isn’t usually found in granular form. As you might have guessed, the geology and formation of the Tularosa Basin are the main reasons for its unique gypsum sands.

The first hint to its geology is the word “basin” — there is no outlet that drains the basin, so any inflow of waters, along with sediments or dissolved minerals, is trapped. The mineral-rich waters mainly collect in dry lakebeds, creating seasonal lakes known as playas. As water evaporates, the minerals are left behind and deposited on the dry lake surface. Gypsum is most commonly formed in this manner, and the extreme desert conditions rapidly break down the gypsum crystals into sand-sized grains.

Although the gypsum dunes began forming about 10,000 years ago, the white sands themselves are actually much older. About 250 million years ago, a shallow ocean that covered most of the American southwest began to dry up, leaving behind huge amounts of gypsum. Then, some 70 million years ago, a change in tectonic plate geometry caused the Laramide Uplift, which helped form the Rocky Mountains and also uplifted the deposits of gypsum. The Tularosa Basin first began forming 10 million years ago, as the uplifted gypsum dome collapsed due in part to the opening of the Rio Grande rift. Finally, during the last Ice Age about 20,000 years ago, the cooler and wetter climate saturated the basin with dissolved gypsum from the surrounding mountains. As the ice age ended and the climate shifted back to warmer conditions, the accumulated gypsum eventually broke down to form the white sands that comprise the Tularosa Basin today.


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This year marks an important milestone for the BLM’s National Conservation Lands – America’s newest conservation system turns 15! These lands include 30 million acres of National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails, and Conservation Lands of the California Desert.

We invite you to celebrate with us, and VISIT, SHARE, and SUPPORT your National Conservation Lands throughout the year.

VISIT any of the anniversary events or some of the 874 sites in the system of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. Find an event

SHARE your experiences on National Conservation Lands with hashtag #conservationlands15 on social media. View the Twitter conversation

SUPPORT National Conservation Lands through service opportunities and volunteer events. Learn about how you can get involved


Happy Birthday Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument!

One year ago today, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico was established  to protect significant prehistoric, historic, geologic, and biologic resources. The 496,330 acre monument - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - includes the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Doña Ana Mountains.

The Organ Mountains are a steep, angular mountain range with rocky spires that jut majestically above the Chihuahuan Desert floor to an elevation of 9,000 feet. It is so named because the needle-like spires resemble the pipes of an organ. Located adjacent to and on the east side of Las Cruces, the Monument provides many opportunities for photography, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, and wildlife viewing. 

All week, members of the Las Cruces community have celebrated the one year milestone of the monument with multiple events and a new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks girl scout badge.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the monument.

Pompey’s Pillar and graffiti

Some years ago during July, a group came upon this sandstone monolith in southern Montana during a long summer hike along the Yellowstone River. One of the travelers climbed the block, saw that it presented an impressive view of the surrounding countryside, noted the presence of some Native American rock art on the pillar, and decided to add his name.

That traveler was named William Clark, one part of the “Lewis and Clark” team that explored the Louisiana Purchase in the early 1800s. To the knowledge of historians, this graffiti is the only remnant of the Lewis and Clark expedition surviving to this day. The rock was nicknamed “Pompey’s Pillar” after Clark’s nickname for Baptiste Charbonneau, the child of Native American Sacagawea, who accompanied the travelers on their trip. A protective frame now covers that signature.

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Idaho Eighth Graders Explore The Moon!

Eighth graders from Lemhi County, Idaho, were treated to a day of learning and exploration in the outdoor classroom of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. The BLM partnered with Salmon Valley Stewardship and the National Park Service to hike alongside students through the weird and scenic landscape to learn about geology, safety, public land management and recreation ethics!

Read the full story:

Statue Of Liberty National Monument - See America Edition Print

“See America” - Statue Of Liberty National Monument Print 

The “See America” Collection features stunning artwork of America’s most beautiful and historic locations inspired by the WPA posters made in the 1930’s & 1940’s.  

All prints (Excluding 12x18) are printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Deep Matte Paper. Fuji Crystal Archive Deep Matte paper is the premier matte paper.  It features true non-reflective matte with warm whites and a super smooth finish. It’s unique lusterless surface provides elegant, rich color reproduction with subtlety and warmth while maintaining pure whites and sharp text quality.  Standard Archival Value of over 100 years in home displays & over 200 years in dark storage. 

*12x18 Special Limited Edition Posters are printed from one of the finest printing papers made today, 130# Cover/352 GSM Classic Thick Felt press paper has a luxurious feel and smooth finish, producing a high-quality, timeless option for press products. It is an acid free, archival and Forest Stewardship Council certified paper.    

Custom orders are available upon request. Contact

(Print does not include frame or matting unless otherwise purchased)

Prints are never shipped rolled up, always flat and well protected. 

© This design is copyright of Purple Moose Basics. You may not copy or reproduce this product. Although sharing is encouraged