you are small
you are maybe smaller today
than you have ever been before
but you are not the only small heart
beating hard and heavy with bad news
you are not the only one scared
and i do not know
if that makes it worse
or makes it better
there is a heart in your chest,
beating, and it is still your chest.
there is a heart in your chest
and it is still beating.
from sea to shining sea–
across prairie and desert and peak–
here are your hands, shaking,
and here are your hands, steady,
and here are your hands,
small against the sky,
which keeps going and going on.
here is your heart,
big and beating and beautiful.
we have work to do.
…from darkest jungle to brightest desert, from mountain peak to marshy bog, that grubby Horklump-encrusted boy would track, as he grew up, the beasts described in the following pages. I have visited lairs, burrows and nests across five continents, observed the curious habits of magical beasts in a hundred countries, witnessed their powers, gained their trust and, on occasion, beaten them off with my travelling kettle.
A big thank you to the many volunteers who built fences, planted trees, cleaned up trash and more during the 23rd annual National Public Lands Day yesterday! Now get outdoors and explore #yourlands, like the beautiful Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The monument offers stunning views, great hikes and picnic areas for a day trip with family and friends.
Today, President Obama announced three new national monuments: Sand to Snow National Monument, Mojave Trails National Monument and Castle Mountains National Monument. These new monuments protect 1.8 million acres of spectacular landscapes, fragile wildlife habitat, unique historic resources and important cultural sites – ensuring that current and future generations can enjoy the unique beauty of the California desert.
Mojave Trails is a stunning mosaic of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows and spectacular sand dunes. The monument contains the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of Route 66 and some of the best preserved sites from the World War II-era Desert Training Center. Photo by @mypubliclands.
An integral part of the California desert, Castle Mountains National Monument protects some of the finest Joshua tree forest and native desert grassland in the Mojave Desert and contains important cultural resources including Native American archeological sites and vestiges of mining, ranching and the railroad from the period of western expansion. Photo by National Park Service.
Rising from the floor of the Sonoran Desert to San Gorgonio Peak, the tallest in southern California, Sand to Snow National Monument includes lush desert oases, significant archeological sites and 30 miles of the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail. The area is a favorite for camping, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, photography, wildlife viewing and even skiing. Photo by @mypubliclands.
Organ Mountains featured by the Los Angeles Times: “Walk in the footsteps of Billy the Kid and Apollo astronauts at this national monument in New Mexico”
Michael Mello of the Los Angeles Times shared, “As you drive through this crossroads of the Southwest, it’s difficult not to notice the sawtooth-ridged mountains bracketing the city to the east. Known as the Organ Mountains, these rhyolite and andesite peaks emboss New Mexico’s southern basin and range area. The mountains love to show off in the evening, reflecting the orange hues of the setting sun.” Read the full article HERE.
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was established on May 21, 2014, by Presidential Proclamation, and is a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. The National Monument - a total of 496,330 acres - includes four distinct areas with a wide variety of recreation opportunities: the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Doña Ana Mountains.
The Organ Mountains range from 4,600 to just over 9,000 feet, and are so named because of the steep, needle-like spires that resemble the pipes of an organ. Alligator juniper, gray oak, mountain mahogany and sotol are the dominant plant species here, but in the upper elevations stands of ponderosa pine may be found. Seasonal springs and streams occur in canyon bottoms, with a few perennial springs that support riparian habitats. Wildlife includes desert mule deer, mountain lion, a variety of song birds, and a race of the Colorado chipmunk.
The area is an island in the sky rising almost 6,000 feet above the desert floor to peaks that top out at just below 10,000 feet. The range has been glaciated, and has several cirque lakes which are very uncommon in the Great Basin. The 4WD access route travels through huge patches of aspen interspersed with meadows. Whitebark and Limber Pine cover the peaks giving the area its name. This part of Nevada is as dark as anywhere in the continental U.S. so the Milky Way is very visible.
On this day in 1946, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service merged and became the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior (@americasgreatoutdoors). With historical roots spanning 200+ years, the BLM now manages many places – like ghost towns, mining camps, and homesteads – that give visitors a glimpse of our nation’s history.
And we manage national monuments, wilderness, wild and scenic rivers and other specially-designated areas as well as recreation areas - from backyard to backcountry - with an eye to the future.
Today, on our 69th “birthday,” we share a few of those amazing landscapes.
BLM New Mexico recently announced the winners of its 7th annual employee photo contest. Today, we bring you a few of our favorites from the seven photo categories: landscape, wildlife - mammals, wildlife - non-mammals, plants, historical and cultural, work of the BLM, and recreation.
Congratulations to the winners! CLICK HERE to view all employee photos.
In 2000, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt linked special landscapes designated by the President or Congress into one conservation system named the National Landscape Conservation System, or National Conservation Lands. As a part of the 15th anniversary celebration this year, our National Conservation Lands team took over the BLM’s national social media accounts on the 15th of each month.
Throughout the year, the monthly takeovers featured stunning landscapes, science and history, unique wildlife, and more. Tomorrow, we’re kicking off a Twelve Days of National Conservation Lands – a recap of the twelve #conservationlands15 takeovers. Follow us into the New Year for the entire collection of “Top 15” lists, and prepare your 2016 bucket list along the way!
Follow #mypubliclandsroadtrip Stops This Week in BLM New Mexico and Nearby States!
BLM in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas care for 13.5 million acres of public lands, from breathtaking prairies and lush riparian areas to open woodlands and desert peaks – the iconic landscapes of the American West. Join #mypubliclandsroadtrip all week to explore outstanding national monuments and wilderness areas, visit unique historic and prehistoric sites, enjoy a diversity of recreation sites and more!