#mypubliclandsroadtrip meets BLM’s Boise, Idaho Smokejumpers

Did you know?

-The U.S. has about 450 jumpers. (Conversely, Russia uses about 4,000 jumpers.)
-Smokejumping in the U.S. dates back to 1939. The first operational fire jump occurred in 1940 on the Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho.

-The Boise jump base employs some 80-85 jumpers every season. During the fire season, these jumpers are based out of other locations in the Great Basin, depending on where the needs are.
-When a smokejumper leaves the airplane, he or she is wearing about 85 pounds of equipment.
-Smokejumpers suit up in approximately 2 minutes. The load of jumpers takes about eight minutes to get suited up and into the air after getting a dispatch.

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The following except was taken from an article in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on August 21, 2015:

A document that will guide the management of more than 1 million acres in western Colorado for 20-plus years is now complete, setting the stage for a possible new round of battles.

The Bureau of Land Management  issued its record of decision Friday for the resource management plan for the Grand Junction Field Office, which has been embroiled in controversy over the handling of travel routes and the treatment of lands with wilderness characteristics….

…The final plan did too little to set aside lands with wilderness characteristics, said Ken Rait, director of the U.S. Public Lands Program for the Pew Trusts, noting that citizen inventories identified 465,000 acres of lands with wilderness characteristics.

Areas such as the South Shale Ridge, Little Bookcliffs, Prairie Canyon, and Granite Creek were largely ignored, according to the Pew Trust’s Western Lands Initiative.

“The Grand Junction plan falls short on providing a balanced plan for conservation values, such as wilderness, quiet recreation, and wildlife.

While BLM commits to maintaining an ongoing inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics, we believe this should have been done as part of the planning process itself to allow for the most informed management going forward,” Rait said.

Photo: South Shale Ridge, near Grand Junction, is made up of geological formations that twist through miles of canyons; it is home to bald eagles and big game. Credit Scott Braden.

Sawtooth Range Morning Reflection, Idaho.
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Ringing in the weekend on the Montana #mypubliclandsroadtrip!

Ringing Rocks outside of Butte, Montana, is a very unique geologic site. It may be one of the only areas where the public is encouraged to hit public land with hammers. This gigantic pile of boulders make distinct musical chimes when hit with hammers.

After taking a mountain road up to a parking area, it’s a quick hike to the Ringing Rocks boulder pile in the Highland Mountains. The road to Ringing Rocks is just off the Pipestone exit near Homestake Pass. In addition to Ringing Rocks, the area offers an extensive network of off-highway vehicle trails. A high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is strongly encouraged. The road gets quite narrow and rough toward the top.

Once visitors make it to the top, it’s pretty easy to see which rocks make the best musical instruments by the many hammer strikes evident on the rocks.

It’s unclear exactly how the rocks got their musical abilities, but it is believed that a combination of the composition of these particular rocks and how the pile has eroded may contribute to this unique quality. The rocks no longer ring if removed from the pile.

To learn more about this natural phenomenon and the other recreation opportunities in the Pipestone area, visit

-Story and photos by Alyse Backus, BLM Montana/ Dakotas. Watch a great video from Ringing Rocks by Alyse here on the BLM Montana/ Dakotas Facebook page.

Repost from @mypubliclands
First stop on the #mypubliclandsroadtrip in Montana… The #BlackfootRiver! “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” ― Norman Maclean, “A River Runs Through It”

The Blackfoot River outside of #Missoula, Montana, is one of Montana’s most iconic waterways. Made famous by #NormanMaclean’s “#ARiverRunsThroughIt,” the river winds its way through the mountains and #PotomacValley outside of Missoula.

The Bureau of Land Management Missoula Field Office manages 12 miles of the Blackfoot River. The Blackfoot River’s waters are cold and fast with many deep spots, which makes it an ideal habitat for several #trout species. Those who fish the Blackfoot can fish the exact holes detailed in Maclean’s novella.

The river also is destination for many floaters who are looking to cool off in the summer months. Day use areas and campgrounds are spread out along a well-maintained dirt road that follows the river and winds it’s way up the canyon. -Story and photo by Alyse Backus, @BLM Montana/ Dakotas.

#mypubliclands #nature #BLMMontana #Montana #river #roadtrip #bucketlist #canyon #photography #travel #explore #SeeBLM #beauty #GetOutdoors #GetOutside #BLMroadtrip #findyourpark #mountains #scenic #photooftheday

#conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover, July 15th, Wild and Scenic Rivers by Bureau of Land Management
Via Flickr:
Our July #conservationlands15 Bucket List Location: Take a step back in time and paddle through history along the BLM Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River in Montana “The hills and river Clifts which we passed today exhibit a most romantic appearance…. The bluffs of the river rise to hight of from 2 to 300 feet and in most places nearly perpendicular; they are formed of remarkable white sandstone which is sufficiently soft to give way readily to the impression of water…” Meriwether Lewis, May 31, 1805. You can camp in the same locations as the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition on your multi-day canoe expedition down the “Big Muddy”. The river is a relatively easy paddle with current and riffles but no major rapids. Along the way, camp under the shade of spreading cottonwoods and try your luck catching a paddlefish – some weigh over 100 pounds. The Breaks Country surrounding the river offers opportunities for scrambles and cross country hikes to the bluffs above. The unique geology and harsh landscapes that were extensively described by Lewis and Clark are in a condition that has changed little since the passage of the expedition. Historic homesteads dot the river banks, and remnants of the steamboat era remain in inscriptions that were etched on the rock walls. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM
Some of Colorado’s wildest places may still be at risk
Hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness quality lands in northwest Colorado are not being protected under new management plans for the region.

Post by Juli Slivka, The Wilderness Society

While one northwest Colorado plan does not do enough to protect wildlands, a neighboring management plan highlights how the agency can adopt new practices to protect and preserve wild areas.

Recently the Bureau of Land Management rolled out final decisions for two Colorado land use plans– Grand Junction and White River– bringing the total to five final land use plans adopted by the agency in Colorado this year. The plans have changed little since they were released as draft plans this spring, and we noted at that time the stark contrast between the approaches to conserving wild public lands.

The Grand Junction and White River plans span 2.5 million acres of public land in Colorado and will guide management decisions for those lands for many years to come. Yet the plans being adopted by the BLM’s field offices could not be more different in how the agency will manage wildlands while guiding energy development to more suitable locations in the region. The White River plan appears to embrace modern management tools to better balance the many use of our public lands but the Grand Junction plan fails to do that.

The White River plan, which is focused on oil and gas development across the planning area, identifies more than 300,000 acres of lands with wilderness characteristics - nearly 140,000 acres of which will be managed to protect those wild qualities, and placing limits on the rest to protect against any unnecessary degradation. The White River plan also finalizes a Master Leasing Plan for the public lands south of Dinosaur National Monument. The Master Leasing Plan includes significant resource protection measures, including a phased leasing approach and restricting development in wilderness-quality lands to ensure that oil and gas drilling is balanced with other multiple uses.

The Grand Junction plan, on the other hand, failed to acknowledge hundreds of thousands of acres of lands with wilderness characteristics identified, and supported for protection, by The Wilderness Society and the public. There was some good news in that the final decision for the Grand Junction region took steps to remedy this problem by recognizing the agency must continue working to identify and consider wilderness-quality lands. However, the management plan was the best opportunity for lands with wilderness characteristics to be considered for protective management, and we now face an uphill battle in ensuring these important wildlands are not lost to oil and gas development and off-road vehicle use.

We are encouraged and inspired by the unprecedented public engagement in these land use plans, an effort that influenced the BLM to employ new planning tools to craft more balanced management plans for Colorado’s public lands. Tools such as Master Leasing Plans and identification of lands with wilderness characteristics help the BLM adopt modern management approaches and demonstrate a commitment to conservation. We still have work to do for our public wildlands, but we are moving on the right path.

The dramatic vertical cliffs of #DiabloCanyon Recreation Area...

The dramatic vertical cliffs of #DiabloCanyon Recreation Area make the area a hiking and climbing destination near the Río Grande. The cracked basalt of Diablo Canyon offers some of the best multi-pitch tradition and sport rock climbing in #NewMexico. It’s also a popular film site with movies like 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and City Slickers (1991) shot there. BLM photo (@mypubliclands) courtesy of Steven W. Martin Photography by usinterior

from The 65 Connection | Hot New Mixtapes

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National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration Just Announced

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the release of the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration today. The strategy will guide efforts to restore public lands after landscape-scale ecological changes such as wildfires and hurricanes.  

“Having the right seed to plant in the right place at the right time will make a huge difference in the health of our lands as we address impacts of large-scale disturbances such as drought, climate change, fire, and invasive species,” Secretary Jewell said.

Across the United States, the strategy will help foster resilient and healthy landscapes important to wildlife and to our economy by guiding ecological restoration, especially for those lands – such as sagebrush habitat – damaged by large rangeland fires.

The Strategy is the work of the 12-agency Federal Committee of the Plant Conservation Alliance, and supports the goals of a number of other national initiatives, such as the President’s Climate Action Plan.  Among the partners in the plan is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages the federal government’s largest land management portfolio of about 245 million acres.

The seed strategy delivers on Secretary Jewell’s wildfire plan and will be helpful in ensuring that landscapes – like sagebrush landscapes – can stay healthy for the sake of our economy and our wildlife.

Read the press release and follow @BLMNational on Twitter using #itstartswithaSEED for more information. For stories about ongoing projects happening across BLM visit the My Public Lands Flickr.

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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. - - Although the Perseids Meteor Shower peaked earlier this week, its not too late to catch some great meteor watching this weekend as the shower winds down. Look to the northeastern sky in the late night and pre-dawn hours. This image was taken last night in the newly designated Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument in California. Public lands have dark skies away from city lights and offer great places for star gazing. The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument offers viewing opportunities in the back yard of Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Areas. Parts of the monument south of Highway 20 are currently closed due to fires so check with the local office before venturing out. Photo and description by Bob Wick, BLM #landscape #california #travel #scenic #stars #starry #nightsky #stargazing #starwatching #meteorshower #camp #camping #berryessasnowmountain #mountains #photography #getoutdoors #getoutside #monumentsforall #conservationlands15 #mypubliclands #SeeBLM #instagood #instacool #photooftheday via via
Editorial: Desert plan balances energy needs, conservation
However, conservation groups are right to be concerned about some vagueness in the way BLM is looking at the land it plans to add to the National Conservation Lands System under the DRECP. In the final plan, that designation should be permanent, as it is throughout the rest of the system — subject to undoing only by an act of Congress. And no new mining claims should be permitted on that conservation-designated land.

In the heart of the Santa Rosa Range - just an hour north of Winnemucca -Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers have been working hard to conserve critical greater sage-grouse habitat. 

The greater sage-grouse are facing habitat degradation from many different threats so, as part of an integrated conservation effort aimed at reducing the impact of these threats, Friends of Nevada Wilderness in partnership with the Winnemucca District U.S. Forest Service has been working diligently to protect the greater sage-grouse and its habitat.

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