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It’s National Get Outdoors Day!  Why not celebrate on any of the more than 245 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, like the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana?

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument holds a spectacular array of plant life, wildlife, unique geological features, endless recreational opportunities and significant historical and cultural values. The rugged landscape has retained much of its unspoiled character over the centuries and, as a result, offers outstanding opportunities for solitude and dispersed recreation.

The 149-mile Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River flows through the monument. The land and the rugged, surrounding uplands (commonly call the Missouri Breaks) are defined in part by their history. The entire region was the homeland and lifeblood of American Indians. The river served as the pathway for Lewis and Clark, then the waterway for steamboats and a drawing card for fur trappers and traders. Later, the river and the Missouri Breaks were sanctuaries for desperados trying to stay a step ahead of the law. The land was also a source of hope and inspiration for several generations of homesteaders. Today the public lands in the monument make a significant contribution to the local lifestyle and the regional economy.

Within the monument you can float the river, fish, hike, hunt, drive for pleasure, find a little solitude, enjoy a sense of exploration or simply marvel at the variety of resources around you. If you cannot float the Upper Missouri or visit the backcountry, you’ll still be able to experience the cultural and natural history of the monument at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center at 701 7th Street, Fort Benton, Montana.

For more information, visit on.doi.gov/Mkrw5B

Photos by Bob Wick

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

#Repost from @instigatorkitty with Pumpkin pickin’ for kids at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House 1820 Flushing Ave Oct 12 noon. Just one day rain or shine. Family-bike friendly. Colonial crafts. L train to Jefferson St. #Ridgewoodny #queensny #pumpkins #dutchcolonial #historicnyc #Oldnyc #Timeoutny #Ridgewoodqueens #dnafocus #bwick #Bushwick #onderdonkhouse (at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House)

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The Whipple Mountains Wilderness - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - has the only stand of saguaro cactus in California. Although they are abundant in Arizona’s part of the Sonoran Desert, saguaro cactus don’t occur on the California side of the Colorado River except in this one spot.

By Bob Wick, BLM

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Happy Anniversary Antiquities Act!

On June 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, which authorized all future presidents to protect historic landmarks or objects of “scientific interest” on public lands as national monuments.

While most national monuments are established by the President, Congress also has established national monuments protecting natural or historic features. Since 1906, the President and Congress have created more than 100 national monuments. They are currently managed by multiple agencies, including the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

The photo collection here reflects the diversity and beauty of the BLM-managed national monuments, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. Photos by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist.

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL CONSERVATION LANDS, ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION SYSTEM!

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. 

The California Desert is certainly full of surprises. I took this photo on BLM lands in the Silurian Valley in the very dry floodplain of Salt Creek.  Seeing that this is a major drought year, I was completely surprised to see anything blooming anywhere, let alone in one of the driest parts of the desert, not far from Death Valley.  There was a flash flood here last summer and that must have added enough moisture to allow the flowers to sprout.

This is a beautiful valley that drains north into the Amargosa Wild and Scenic River.  The lower part of Salt Creek (about 10 miles north of here) is perennial and provides great wildlife habitat (especially birds) so is an Area of Critical of Environmental Concern (ACEC).  Once you get away from the highway,  the area looks much the way it did when the Old Spanish Trail was the main thoroughfare through the area.

-Bob Wick, BLM-California
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Today we celebrate national “Take Your Pants for a Walk Day”  ……

Yes, really.  And it’s easy.  Just put on some pants and #getoutdoors - from #backyard2backcountry.  Here are a just a few of our favorite BLM-managed lands for walking, hiking, biking and more.

Check out last summer’s bucket list posts to learn more about these and other amazing BLM-managed lands: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/tagged/bucket%20list