Public lands

Located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior Isle Royale National Park in Michigan is the place to go for solitude. The park is an island of roadless backcountry reachable only by boat or seaplane – making it the least visited national park in the lower 48 states. Photographer Carl TerHaar captured this moonrise from Pickerel Cove, one of the islands’ campgrounds that consists of a narrow ridge accessible by small boat. Full moon photo courtesy of Carl TerHaar.



Alongside Oregon’s picturesque Rogue River, John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn shot their 1975 film, “Rooster Cogburn.” And now these public lands can serve as your very own personal backdrop where you’re the star of a movie about hiking, rafting, exploring, and more!

The Rogue River is located in southwestern Oregon and flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. The 84 mile, Congressionally-designated “National Wild and Scenic” portion of the Rogue begins 7 miles west of Grants Pass and ends 11 miles east of Gold Beach.

Permits are required for boaters who want to run the Wild and Scenic Rogue River between May 15 and October 15.

Learn more on BLM Oregon’s Facebook.
Towards a Working-Class Environmentalism
The environmental movement has somehow become synonymous with elite technocratic liberalism. That doesn’t have to be the case.

The 2016 election was cataclysmic for environmentalists. Despite the record global warmth of 2015 and early 2016, environmental issues played almost no role in the election (no question about climate change was asked in the three presidential debates). Major environmental groups lobbied heavily for Hillary Clinton, and her loss left them with an actively hostile President-elect Donald Trump. The appointment of climate skeptic Myron Ebell to head Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team bodes very poorly for the future. Trump has not yet nominated a secretary of the Interior, but the nominee will likely be someone who is devoted to promoting the aggressive energy development of the nation’s public lands, while showing active hostility toward land preservation, endangered species protection, and aggressive pollution controls.

The state of American environmental policy would have been unthinkable to environmentalists four decades ago. Environmentalism, once a bipartisan movement with tremendous political power to pass sweeping legislation with almost no organized opposition, is now a mere interest group in the Democratic Party. It is locked in a running battle with often hostile courts to maintain past gains, and is often seen as a threat to jobs by working Americans. What was once a popular movement now pushes a technocratic elite agenda with few connections in the American working class. Understanding and changing this is critical to building a popular political movement that again appeals to average Americans.

When environmentalism began as a popular movement in the 1960s, it succeeded for two primary reasons. First, Americans were experiencing a poisonous, toxic environment. Although early 20th-century conservation created national parks and placed the national forests under federal control, corporations could largely pollute as they did a century earlier. Cities like Pittsburgh were as notorious for their air pollution in 1960 as in 1890. Second, Americans believed themselves economically secure and thus environmental protection was not seen as a force that could cause any real economic damage.

Rachel Carson’s exposé of pesticide use in her 1962 book Silent Spring began the modern environmental movement, leading to the ban on DDT in 1972. The 1969 Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland and the Santa Barbara oil spill that same year led to widespread outrage over American environmental depredations. Legislation passed through Congress by what are now unthinkable majorities: The 1970 Clean Air Act passed the Senate without a single vote against it. The United States was becoming a green nation by popular acclaim.


This skunk family at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is so stinkin’ cute!

Nestled in central Wisconsin, Necedah hosts habitats including wetlands, prairies, savannas and forests. The usfws refuge is home to whooping cranes, trumpeter swans, skunks and red-headed woodpeckers. Visitors to Necedah can enjoy great hiking trails and wildlife viewing. Video by Ariel Lepito.

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 concept of National Parks is rooted in the dispossession of Indigenous Peoples.

Im convinced that the idolization of colonizers contributes to ongoing dispossession and erasure of Indigenous peoples. When looking at the response to the Bundy Acquittal in comparison to #NoDAPL its concluded that the difference in the justification is in the fact that the general American Public sees Natives as a thing of the past. Its the assumption that genocide has been concluded and therefore further acts of settler colonialism are justified. 
I believe part of that could be combated by smaller acts of decolonization such as mentioned above. Changing names to honor original Indigenous associations, dismantling colonizer monuments and holidays. Anything to change the popular consciousness of the American people to recognize Indigenous peoples and to stop erasing us.

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 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!

Reflection Canyon is one of the unique wonders in the Southwest. Located in a remote section of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Reflection Canyon offers unparalleled views of the Colorado River twisting and winding through colorful sandstone cliffs. After the tough hike to reach Reflection Canyon, photographer Wan Shi was rewarded with this spectacular shot. “This has to be the most colorful and surreal scene I have ever seen in American Southwest.” Photo by Wan Shi (


Happy World Wildlife Day!

We celebrate wildlife today and every day on our nation’s public lands. More than 3,000 species of wildlife call BLM-managed lands home - that’s a backyard of more than 245 million acres in 23 states, dispersed over ecologically-diverse and essential habitat.

Enjoy a few of our favorite wildlife photos from your public lands!


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