mypubliclands

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.

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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! 

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 ).

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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).”  

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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BLM New Mexico – with offices in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas – recently announced the winners of their annual employee photo contest. A few of our favorites are featured here; click photos for employee names and titles.

Visit the BLM New Mexico Flickr to view all contest winners.

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The Pine Forest Range, in northern Nevada’s Great Basin, is a rare and exceptional area of abundant streams and clear, cold subalpine lakes. Nestled in a cirque and fed by snowmelt and springs, these lakes are not only visually stunning but also possess an excellent trout fishery. The lakes are surrounded by a rare population of white bark and limber pines; stands of aspen and mountain mahogany are also found throughout the area. Fall brings out colors found in few other places in northern Nevada.  

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM.

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Heading into the holiday weekend with beautiful new shots of Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Utah.  Add Red Cliffs to your bucket list for rugged beauty and miles of trails – great for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.  #getoutdoors

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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Great #wildlifewednesday closeup – a black-chinned hummingbird lands softly onto her nest. 

Thanks to Sherman Hogue, BLM New Mexico, for sharing this video.

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The Continental Divide Wilderness Study Area in New Mexico offers amazing hiking, backpacking, camping, photography and solitude. The landmark of the area – the Pelona Mountain – rises to 9,212 feet. Rolling grassland gives way to steeper slopes covered in piñon pine woodland and ponderosa pine forest, although the summit of the mountain itself is mostly grassland. Climb the Pelona Mountain for views that stretch out for miles across the surrounding plains, or take a walk along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail that passes through this stunning wilderness. A worthy addition to your roadtrip list, especially for the #sunset!

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM.

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The bluest water you have ever seen – that is what the Molalla River is famous for.  Come visit the natural treasure just southeast of Portland for amazing hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing – and yes, swimming, too!

The Molalla River Trail System is an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. And nearby the Molalla corridor is the Table Rock Wilderness, also managed by BLM!

If the lush, green forests and columnar basalt features of the river canyon aren’t enough to dazzle, there are also views of the Cascade mountains! Don’t miss this great #mypubliclandsroadtrip stop!