Good morning

BLMer Bob Wick shared these supermoon-eclipse shots from yesterday evening at Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument in California. The trees in the foreground are blue-oak woodlands which are iconic in this Monument. 

Thanks for sharing, Bob!


Located on the Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona includes the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. This remote and unspoiled, 280,000-acre Monument - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - is a geologic treasure, containing a variety of diverse landscapes from the Paria Plateau, Vermilion Cliffs, Coyote Buttes, and Paria Canyon. 

Visitors enjoy scenic views of towering cliffs and deep canyons. Paria Canyon offers an outstanding three to five day wilderness backpacking experience. The colorful swirls of cross-bedded sandstone in Coyote Buttes are an international hiking destination.

A permit is required for hiking in Coyote Buttes North (the Wave), Coyote Buttes South, and for overnight trips within Paria Canyon. Visit the BLM Arizona’s website to learn more about this beautiful area and plan your visit.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist


BLM Wyoming Surveys Devils Tower 

Story by John Lee, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Wyoming State Office

BLM Wyoming’s Branch of Cadastral Survey had a unique opportunity last summer. The National Park Service (NPS) was a little unsure of where the legal boundaries were for Devils Tower National Monument, so NPS hired the BLM team to perform a cadastral (boundary) survey of the north, east, south, and west boundaries of the iconic landmark.

Devils Tower was designated a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in September 1906. This was the first use of the American Antiquities Act passed by Congress in June of that year.

The proclamation states:

“And, whereas, the lofty and isolated rock in the State of Wyoming, known as the "Devils Tower,” situated upon the public lands owned and controlled by the Unites States is such an extraordinary example of the effect of erosion in the higher mountains as to be a natural wonder and an object of historic and great scientific interest and it appears that the public good would be promoted by reserving this tower as a National monument with as much land as may be necessary for the proper protection thereof; …"

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Beautiful shot of the Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona, which contains more than 487,000 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape. The Sonoran Desert is the most biologically diverse of the North American deserts and includes an the extensive saguaro cactus forest.

The dust from a recent storm front made for interesting backlighting of the rich Sonoran vegetation at the national monument.

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist for the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.


Today’s Summer Bucket List includes a trip to the moon, Craters of the Moon National Monument that is.

Managed jointly by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, Craters of the Moon, is a geologic wonder in a uniquely preserved volcanic landscape whose central focus is the Great Rift, a 62-mile long crack in the Earth’s crust. Craters, cinder coves, lava tubes, deep cracks, and vast lava fields form a strangely beautiful volcanic sea on central Idaho’s Snake River Plain. At first glance the landscape of Craters of the Moon appears to be devoid of life. Look deeper and you will observe a rich diversity of life including more than 750 types of plants and almost 300 animal species (not including insects!).

Local legends made references to the landscape resembling the surface of the moon. Some even referred to the area as the “Valley of the Moon.” In fact, the second group of astronauts to walk on the moon visited Craters of the Moon in 1969 to study the volcanic geology and to explore an unusual and harsh environment in preparation for their trip to space.

The National Monument became known as Craters of the Moon when Robert Limbert used the name in an article for a national magazine. Limbert was the first man to thoroughly explore and promote the area. The name became official with the establishment of the monument in 1924.

Visit the following websites for information about Craters of the Moon:


Meet Creatures of the Coast at the California Coastal National Monument

The California Coastal National Monument, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, stretches the entire length of California’s 1,100 mile coastline. With more than 20,000 islands, rocks, reefs, and pinnacles, there is plenty to see and experience. 

Checkout this website for tips on viewing wildlife in coastal California: #SeeBLM

Photos by Justin R. Robbins, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the BLM-California King Range National Conservation Area

Milky Way near Butterfield Pass in the BLM-managed Sonoran Desert National Monument

This area is probably only 30-40 air miles from Phoenix, and the glow from the city is visible to the north.  However, the overhead stars and southern horizon are dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way, which makes a great backdrop to the charismatic saguaros. 

-Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist


On this day in 2001, the Carrizo Plain, Sonoran Desert, Pompeys Pillar, Upper Missouri River Breaks, and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monuments were established by Presidential Proclamation. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the national monuments managed by the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM


BLM Winter Bucket List #10: Ironwood Forest National Monument, Arizona, for Mild Temperatures and Winter Photography

Taking its name from one of the longest living trees in the Arizona desert, the Ironwood Forest National Monument protects 129,000 acres of spectacular Sonoran Desert mountains blanketed with saguaro cacti and ironwood trees. The winter light on the photogenic peaks - plus an average January high temperature of 65 degrees F - make the Ironwood an appealing wintertime public lands destination.

Ragged Top Mountain is the biological and geological crown jewel of the national monument. Several endangered and threatened species live here, including the Nichols turk’s head cactus and the lesser long-nosed bat. The national monument also contains habitat for the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl. The desert bighorn sheep dwelling in the region are the last viable population indigenous to the Tucson basin. The area holds abundant rock art sites and other archaeological objects of scientific interest.

Learn more about Ironwood Forest NM:

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM


Vintage Poster Series: Celebrating America’s Newest Conservation System!

On Earth Day 2014, the Bureau of Land Management introduced three vintage posters depicting some of the spectacular landscapes of our National Conservation Lands. The BLM is proud to share the next three posters in this ongoing series:  

The BLM’s National Conservation Lands - also called the National Landscape Conservation System - conserves, protects, and restores nationally-significant landscapes and places that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations. These lands include 900 areas (more than 30 million acres) of National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Areas, and other federally-designated special places. 

See all vintage posters in the series to date with beautiful photos of the areas on the My Public Lands Flickr site:


#GetOutdoors and enjoy your public lands today!

Located off the 1,100 miles of California coastline, the BLM-managed California Coastal National Monument comprises more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon. The monument provides feeding and nesting habitat for an estimated 200,000 breeding seabirds as well as forage and breeding habitat for marine mammals including the southern sea otters and California sea lions.

Photos: Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM’s National Conservation Lands


Saying goodnight this #ColumbusDay from Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona.

The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is a vast remote landscape where the only nighttime light comes from the stars. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recognized the unspoiled quality of its 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.

Twenty-two organizations throughout the southwestern United States supported the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument’s nomination for IDA’s “Dark Sky Park” status, including the scientific community. Its pristine “Gold Tier” night sky view creates prime research and discovery opportunities.

The scenery continues to impress during the day at this rugged corner of northern Arizona, with views stretching from the lower portion of the Grand Canyon to the pine clad peaks of Mount Trumbull and Mount Logan Wilderness Areas. Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.

Photo and GIFs by BLMer Bob Wick.


Textures of the Sonoran Desert

The wave of visitors that comes to Arizona each winter might be surprised to learn that summer and early fall just might be the most interesting time in the Sonoran desert. Plants bloom, monsoon storms roll off mountainsides, and cacti put on vibrant fruit. It all makes for an absorbing mix of colors and textures, best enjoyed early in the morning or at the end of the day when temperatures are cooler (cooler being a relative term).

For those on the lookout for Sonoran Desert textures, the Ironwood Forest National Monument outside Tucson makes a fine destination.

Story and photos by Adam Milnor, BLM Arizona Gila District


In Case You Missed It: We Continued Our #conservationlands15 Celebration Last Weekend

Posts featured: the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, and a some quick facts about #nationalmonuments; the Grand-Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Arizona, as a #BLMbucketlist for its dark sky designation; and, finally, the top 15 places on #nationalconservationlands for night sky viewing

CLICK HERE to read all #conservationlands15 posts. And visit our My Public Lands Flickr album to download night sky desktop wallpaper.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM


Happy Friday from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!

The vast and austere landscape of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument offers a spectacular array of scientific and historic resources. Encompassing 1.9 million acres, the Monument was created in 1996 by presidential proclamation – the first monument entrusted to BLM management. World-class dinosaur excavations have yielded more information about ecosystem change at the end of the dinosaur era than almost any other place in the world. Among the fossil finds, paleontologists have identified dinosaurs not previously known to have inhabited this region, as well as several new species.

The vast landscapes of GSENM offers visitors a variety of recreational opportunities for a wide range of users.  From the solitude of lonesome canyons to the excitement of winding rugged backways, the Monument is truly a treasure.


Thanks for following the #mypubliclandsroadtrip in BLM New Mexico!

View the BLM New Mexico roadtrip journal-storymap here:

Next week, the roadtrip stops in BLM Montana/ Dakotas for badlands, national monuments, ringing rocks, ghost towns, and more.



In celebration of Earth Day 2014, the Bureau of Land Management is introducing three vintage posters and postcards depicting some of the spectacular landscapes of our National Conservation Lands. As a part of a continuing series, the purpose of the campaign is to highlight these ruggedly beautiful and culturally rich places that belong to all Americans. 

The inaugural posters and postcards artistically portray three different areas, illustrating the diversity of the landscapes protected under the system. They are Eagletail Mountains Wilderness Area in Arizona, Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana and Headwaters Forest Reserve in California.  

There are now nearly 900 designated areas of National Conservation Lands spanning almost 27 million acres – or 11 percent of the lands managed by BLM. They include national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness and wilderness study areas, national wild and scenic rivers, national scenic trails and national historic trails. 

Learn more about your National Conservation Lands:


Check out the feature article about Organ Mountains—Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico.

The 496,330 acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was established on May 21, 2014, by Presidential Proclamation. The BLM-managed national monument includes four distinct areas: the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Doña Ana Mountains.

While all four areas offer unique recreational opportunities, the most developed portion of the monument is the Organ Mountains which is the location of the Visitor Center at Dripping Springs. 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. This picturesque area of rocky peaks, narrow canyons, and open woodlands ranges from Chihuahuan Desert habitat to ponderosa pine in the highest elevations. Located adjacent to and on the east side of Las Cruces, this part of the Monument provides many opportunities for photography, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, and wildlife viewing. There are several recreation areas within the Monument including the Dripping Springs Natural Area, the Aguirre Spring Campground, four National Recreation Trails, and many miles of hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails.

CLICK HERE to plan your visit and #SeeBLM.

Photos by Lisa Phillips, BLM New Mexico


BLM Winter Bucket List #24: Santa Rosa-San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, California, for Rugged Trails

Rising abruptly from the desert floor, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument reaches an elevation of 10,834 feet at the summit of Mount San Jacinto.  Providing a picturesque backdrop to local communities, the National Monument is a desirable backcountry destination that can be accessed via trails from both the valley floor and the alpine village of Idyllwild. The best time of year for hiking lower elevation trails is November through April.

The National Monument’s boundary encompasses about 280,000 acres, including 67,000 acres within the San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest, and 97,000 acres within the Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert Conservation Area.  The National Monument, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, includes two federal wilderness areas as well as lands owned and administered by multiple local organizations. 

Many trails are open to all forms of non-motorized travel – hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking – but not all trails are open to everyone.  Check with the appropriate agency if you don’t know the rules. Be safe and enjoy!

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM


My greatest experience with condors was during a Grand Canyon camping trip on the North Rim with friends. As we stood near the edge and looked down, we saw a pair of condors gradually rising on a thermal. As they rose to where we stood we could hear the force of their massive wings cut through the air with a powerful “Whoosh!”  It was absolutely exhilarating! It’s one unforgettable site to see. –Rachel Tueller, BLM Arizona Strip District Public Affairs Officer

In celebration of National Public Lands Day today, the BLM, The Peregrine Fund and partners released three California condors in the BLM-managed Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona.  Watch a short clip from a previous NPLD release event to see the condor fly.