mypublicland

10

Weekend Inspiration from My Public Lands Instagram!

Are you excited for the weekend? There are so many possibilities to explore your lands! From taking a boat trip down the waters of Alaska’s Delta Wild and Scenic River, to visiting a historic ranch to view fall foliage in Utah.  We hope you follow us on Instagram and share your adventures by tagging the MyPublicLands account! 

America’s public lands are wonderful places to love and be in love. Experiences in national parks, wildlife refuges and scenic wildernesses are even better when shared with the people you care about most. We’re celebrating these great love stories with this cute video of romantic moments on public lands. Thanks to everyone who shared their photos and helped make this sweet Valentine’s Day video!

As if Fantasy Canyon isn’t already a great name, this remote wonderland in Utah has also been called “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit.” Off the beaten path of more famous Southwestern sites, Fantasy Canyon is protected by the Bureau of Land Management and boasts some of the most amazing erosional features you will ever see. Sunrise photo courtesy of Brock Slinger.

5

Fun Fact Friday: How Do You Survive in the Big Empty? These Lagomorphs Use Superpower Adaptations, of Course.

By Nancy Patterson, Public Affairs Specialist, Greater Sage-Grouse Rocky Mountain Region

It’s wide open in the Big Empty of sagebrush country. For the more than 350 species that live here, hiding spots are few and horizons are long. When you’re a favorite food of lots of predators you need special adaptations to survive. Lagomorphs are adaptation champs in this ecosystem. The term lagomorph describes mammals in the order of lagomorpha, better known as hares, rabbits, and pikas. In sagebrush country, some lagomorphs you might see are jackrabbits, cottontails, and pygmy rabbits.

Rabbits and hares have big eyes set on the sides of their heads. This gives them a wide viewpoint to look around for threats. Their large ears act like giant microphones to capture the slightest sound. And their long back feet act as a speedy superpower. With them they can spring into the air and dart quickly in a jig-jag pattern to escape predators. Jackrabbits can run at speeds of 40 miles per hour and their powerful hind legs can propel them in 10-foot leaps with each bound. Imagine trying to keep up with one of these athletic racers!

But, it’s tough to survive on big feet, eyes, and ears alone. It also helps to have superpower hiding adaptations. And rabbits and hares have some that act just like invisibility cloaks.

Keep reading

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a stunning desert landscape in Nevada. The grey limestone of the La Madre Peaks contrasts beautifully with the red sandstone in Rainbow Mountains. About the area, photographer Bob Wick says: “It’s amazing to be in a wilderness setting looking at the Las Vegas Strip just 10 miles away as the crow flies.” Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management ( @mypubliclands ).

4

Fun Fact Friday: A Natural Winter Windbreak in Sagebrush

Story By Nancy Patterson, Public Affairs Specialist, Greater Sage-Grouse Rocky Mountain Region; Photos by Nancy Patterson (BLM), Lisa Marks (BLM), and Tom Koerner (USFWS)

It’s blizzarding in sagebrush country! Negative temperatures, snowfall, and winds pull together for a threatening whiteout. What are wildlife to do out in the Big Empty to protect themselves from winter weather conditions? Let sagebrush come to the rescue!

While black-tailed prairie dogs hide out in their burrows during snowstorms and horned lizards move into hibernation, many of sagebrush country’s more than 350 species depend on lucky breaks among the shrubs for food and shelter.

Sagebrush have a long tap root, which helps secure it to the ground and draw water and nutrients from the soil. These nutrients enter the plant and some transpose to wildlife that eat their ever-verdant leaves. Mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and Greater sage-grouse all depend on this food source in winter months.

Keep reading

Handies Peak Wilderness Study Area in Colorado is breathtaking in the summer. Handies Peak rises 14,048 feet over the area, and this vibrant wilderness also hosts three major canyons, glacial cirques and three alpine lakes. Handies Peak is one of more than 500 wilderness study areas – lands unspoiled by roads or other development that provide outstanding opportunities for solitude. Photo by Bob Wick, @mypubliclands.

5

Fun Fact Friday: To Migrate or To Staycation? Sagebrush is a Great Home for These Birds

By Nancy Patterson, Public Affairs Specialist, Greater Sage-Grouse Rocky Mountain Region

Brrr! It’s getting cold out in northern sagebrush country! With snow beginning to fall, animals are on the move. Like Greater sage-grouse, more than 350 species call this place home, but some only spend part of the year here and others stay year-round.

Many birds head south. Sage thrashers and Brewer’s sparrows fly to the warmer southern United States and Mexico. Swainson’s Hawks left months ago, gathered into kettles of tens of thousands of birds to travel all the way to Argentina for the winter months. Imagine doing a round-trip trek of more than 12,000 miles from South America to northern North America each year like these world travelers do!

For some, the sagebrush landscape is their favorite winter resting spot. All summer Rough-legged hawks spent in the Arctic tundra. Their journey south brings some of them to the western sagebrush landscape. You might see them perched on utility poles, transmission lines, fence posts, and other high ground throughout the winter months.

Keep reading

10

THANKS FOR FOLLOWING THE #MYPUBLICLANDSROADTRIP AT THE NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER OR NIFC!

This past week our @mypubliclands Instagram account shared photos of and from BLM firefighters - we are beyond thankful for their hard-work and service! Thanks for following this week and learning more about NIFC.

View the NIFC roadtrip journal-storymap here: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtripnifc.

3

The Perseid Meteor Shower didn’t disappoint last night in Utah’s Valley of the Gods, where 500+ foot rock spires offered a great foreground.  BLMer Bob Wick took the starry photo of the area last night and the day shots earlier in the week. A scenic loop tour travels through the spectacular sandstone formations – accessible to a passenger car in dry conditions.  #weekendinspiration

10

Happy anniversary to the Wilderness Act!  On September 3, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed this landmark conservation legislation. The BLM has stewardship responsibilities for 223 Wilderness Areas with over 8.7 million acres in 10 Western States. These areas are protected in their undeveloped state and offer outstanding recreation opportunities for visitors willing to experience nature on its own terms. BLM managed wilderness areas include vast southwestern deserts, red-rock canyons, rugged Pacific coastline and alpine peaks.

4

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.   

New photos by Sherman Hogue, BLM New Mexico.

5

Ending the day with new photos of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and wilderness within the stunning desert landscape – by Bob Wick, BLM.  The grey limestone of the La Madre Peaks Wilderness contrasts beautifully with the red sandstone in Rainbow Mountain Wilderness, most often associated with the conservation area.  

About the area, Bob says: “Its amazing to be in a wilderness setting looking at the Las Vegas Strip just 10 miles away as the crow flies (see Las Vegas Night).”  

3

Fun Fact Friday: What’s a Greater sage-grouse to do when it’s feeling parched? Find a guzzler to guzzle from.

Story by Kelly Bockting, Wildlife Biologist, BLM-MT Dillon Field Office, and Nancy Patterson, Public Affairs Specialist, Greater Sage-Grouse Rocky Mountain Region

Did you know much of the sagebrush ecosystem receives less than 12 inches of precipitation per year? That’s less than half of the United States’s average 30 inches annually! The more than 350 species that live here are specially adapted to live in this dry place. But the lack of moisture can make it tough for animals to get enough to drink. One way BLM-Montana/Dakota’s Dillon Field Office helps provide that extra drink is with water guzzlers for wildlife.

Wildlife guzzlers catch rainwater and snowmelt in a storage tank and dispense the water into a drinker so all wildlife species have access to drinking water. Since water can be hard to find in the sagebrush ecosystem, guzzlers are generally placed 2-3 miles from other water sources to provide water in between other oases of the range.

Dillon Field Office has installed several wildlife guzzlers in recent few years. Their goal is to provide a reliable water source during drought cycles and to enhance water distribution throughout big game summer habitats. The guzzlers also help reduce pressure on private lands, especially on agricultural lands where pronghorn, deer and elk may congregate in late summer when their summer range begins to dry up. 

Keep reading

7

Kicking off the weekend with the John Day River in Oregon – one of our nation’s longest free-flowing river systems. Designated under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Oregon Scenic Waterways Act, the area provides amazing recreation opportunities, from boating and fishing to camping and horseback riding.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

4

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!