morley nelson snake river birds of prey


#TravelTuesday with BLM Wilderness Specialist Bob Wick to Idaho’s Canyon Country!

Southern Idaho’s Snake River Plain’s basalt uplands are dissected by several deep river canyons that offer spectacular scenery and world-class bird viewing and photography opportunities among their recreation offerings.  Just south of Boise is the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This area supports one of the world’s densest concentrations of nesting birds of prey and hosts about 800 pairs of falcons, eagles, hawks and owls that arrive each spring to mate and raise their young.  Catch a glimpse of the area’s birds of prey at Dedication Point, a dramatic overlook on the rim of the Snake River Canyon. A ¼-mile trail with interpretive signs offers insights about the birds, geology and other wildlife. 

Photo tip: Photographing moving wildlife, especially flying birds, requires a very fast shutter speed.   I typically use 1/1000 of a second or faster.  By panning your camera and shooting images as you match the speed of the wildlife, you’ll get sharper images and also blur the background, creating a greater sense of movement.

A bit further from Boise, but still within an easy drive, is the Bruneau Canyon Overlook. The Overlook is the only readily accessible spot from which to view this deep canyon carved through basalt and rhyolite by the Bruneau River, recently protected by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River. The canyon appears to be narrower than it is deep which is almost the case – the opposite rim is only 1,300 feet away from the overlook, and the drop from rim to riverbed is 800 feet. From this spot near the northern terminus of the 60-mile canyon, you can view the wild and scenic Bruneau River tumbling out of the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness.  The viewpoint provides a taste of one of the more remote corners of the U. S. – the Bruneau-Jarbidge-Owyhee River Canyon system.  These canyons offer whitewater boating, fishing, hunting, and unlimited exploring for properly equipped adventurers.

Photo tip: Canyons and other landscapes with sharp differences between bright sun and deep shade surfaces can be especially hard to photograph as your camera’s sensor can only pick up a certain range of light – much less than your eye can.  Cloudy days and the time right before sunrise and right after sunset have much lower range of brightness and are perfect for capturing these landscapes.  A technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is another method for capturing landscapes with highly contrasting light levels.  HDR software blends multiple images taken at different exposures.

Check out our @esri Idaho Canyon Country multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, helpful links and a map of the area: .


Happy Earth Day 2015 from the BLM!

Enjoy a snapshot of your amazing public lands - #noplacelikehome.

Whether you #hike #ride #climb #bike or #volunteer, share your own nature photos today with tag #NatureSelfie.

Not much better than a starry night and sunrise together over a beautiful Idaho landscape!

This morning, BLMer Bob Wick shared this shot with the following note: “Caught this at 4:30 AM at Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, just as the moon was setting and right before dawn started breaking.”


Celebrate National #TakeAHikeDay by Exploring Your Public Lands!

Visitors enjoy countless types of outdoor adventure – not just hiking – on the approximately 250 million acres of BLM-managed public lands in the United States.

In an increasingly urbanized West, these recreational opportunities in beautiful natural landscapes are vital to the quality of life enjoyed by residents of western states, as well as national and international visitors.

Photos by BLMer Bob Wick.


On this day in 1946, the General Land Office and Grazing Service merged to become the Bureau of Land Management!

Today, we manage more than 245 million acres of public land and administer 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate in support of the following mission:

To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

In celebration, we’re sharing a stunning photo collection of of America’s public lands cared for by the BLM’s 10,000+ employees, volunteers, and partners. Explore #yourlands!

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#mypubliclandsroadtrip Recap in BLM Idaho

On the Idaho leg of our summer roadtrip, we hiked a volcano, visited a ghost town, and drove a buggy around the St. Anthony Dunes.  And we explored stunning Idaho waterways - from lakes to wild and scenic rivers - known for world-class fishing and boating.  Click individual photos for name and photographer.

Check out all BLM Idaho photos on My Public Lands Flickr, and view the BLM Idaho storymap journal!


Trivia Tuesday!

#DYK – The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in Idaho supports the highest concentration of nesting birds of prey in North America, if not the world.

Springtime in southwestern Idaho welcomes the return of more than 800 pairs of eagles, falcons, hawks and owls to their nest sites in this conservation area - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. In April and May, join BLM-guided day hikes in the beautiful Snake River Canyon and learn about the area’s geology, plants and raptors. Plan your trip:

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM


#BlackFriday? No thanks, #GetOutFriday and #OptOutside instead!

Federal lands and waters are a bargain on any day! Thanksgiving is full of food and fun. Fill Black Friday with fresh air and the great outdoors. You will be thankful you did!


Thank you for following the BLM Idaho week of the #mypubliclandsroadtrip! From wild and scenic rivers to archaeological digs and ghost towns to sand dunes and caves, check out the recap in the BLM Idaho multimedia roadtrip journal:

Tomorrow, join us as #mypubliclandsroadtrip heads to BLM California for beautiful beaches, solitude in the desert, and so much more!