Ending today’s #mypubliclandsroadtrip in BLM Arizona with a the history and habitat of the Agua Fria National Monument

Just 45 minutes north of Phoenix, the Agua Fria National Monument includes an abundance of wildlife as well as geological and archaeological wonders. The monument’s water resources include the Agua Fria River and streams, creeks and pools that  provide habitat for fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and larger wildlife species like deer, pronghorn, javelina and mountain lions.  To date, 194 species of bird have been recorded.

The monument also contains more than 450 recorded archaeological sites, spanning some 2,000 years of human history.  From the Pueblo La Plata site to the rock art located at the confluence of the Badger Springs Trail, visitors are encouraged to explore these sites but to help preserve them by not removing, defacing, collecting or further damaging any of the artifacts, structures or rocks.  Given the unique features of the monument, it offers excellent recreation opportunities, from hiking to camping to photography.  

Story by Michael Abalos, BLM Arizona; click photos for photographer credit

Take a step back in time and paddle through history along the Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River in Montana. 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 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. Sunset photo by Bob Wicks, mypubliclands.


Explore the desert southwest this week with #mypubliclandsroadtrip in BLM Arizona!

The BLM manages 12.2 million acres of public lands in Arizona.  While association to the iconic Saguaro Cactus is commonplace, BLM Arizona offers so much more in the form of high plateaus, rugged mountains, hidden canyons, and lush riparian habitats!  Join the #mypubliclandsroadtrip in Arizona for the exceptional beauty of its landscape and the fantastic recreational opportunities – with something for everyone.  

Follow posts here on Tumblr all week; see daily recaps of posts on the BLM Arizona storymap-journal: 


It’s about exploring. Going to places you’ve never been before, driving down roads you never knew existed. It’s not about who you are or where you’re from, all that really matters is where you’re going. It’s about an adventure. -Adam Eggers

In the following video - full of vivid, beautiful landscapes - #mypubliclands hits the road with Adam Eggers of the BLM’s Phoenix District Office for an adventure, for a new way to discover Agua Fria National Monument in Arizona.

My Public Lands Roadtrip: Wilderness along the Alpine Loop in Colorado by Bureau of Land Management
Via Flickr:
The Alpine Loop is one of America’s Back-Country Byways, providing off-the-beaten-path trips. Different routes allow you to take short trips, half-day trips, or even multi-day trips with time to camp, fish and explore along the way. A part of the National Conservation Lands, BLM Colorado wilderness areas along the loop - such Handies Peak, Red Cloud Peak, Uncompahgre and Powderhorn pictured here - offer solitude and rugged, stunning views. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM
Tumblr for Feds: Gifs, Memes, and More | DigitalGov

We’ll be presenting at DigitalGov’s “Tumblr for Feds” Webinar this morning, along with our colleagues & friends from usagov, stopbullying & mypubliclands!

Whether you’ve been waiting for a while to sign up with Tumblr or whether you’re just curious how government agencies can leverage a platform known to be the breeding ground for the latest gifs and memes, this webinar will show you examples of how agencies have successfully taken advantage of gifs, memes and everything else Tumblr has to offer to meet their missions, increase audience engagement and build brand recognition.

February 19 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Update 2/26/2014: In case you missed it, Digital Gov University recorded the webinar, and we’ve shared it here: Two for Tumblr Tuesday: Tumblr for Feds: Gifs, Memes, and More

The following excerpts are from an opinion piece by John Sztukowski of Wild Connections that rain in The Mountain Mail on Thursday, July 30:

While the Arkansas River itself is widely known as the most popular whitewater rafting river in the United States, coupled with miles of Gold Medal trout fishing, the surrounding public lands that encompass this watershed offer equally impressive opportunities for outdoor recreation including world class hiking, climbing, biking and hunting. Right now these nearly 700,000 acres of public lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are taking center stage in a new management plan being developed by the BLM called the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan.

On June 1, the BLM initiated this land management planning process for this area that covers 668,000 acres of public lands, with much of it located downriver from Salida, in the Bighorn Sheep Canyon to the Gold Belt region above Cañon City. The BLM will consider input from the public in the coming years as it finalizes a plan that will determine which areas will be conserved for their wilderness, recreation, and wildlife values, and which will be made available for multiple other uses like grazing, mining, and drilling for oil and gas….

…Over the past two years our organization, Wild Connections, took over 75 field trips to 77 areas in the region. These trips included help from over 70 volunteers, 7 summer mapping interns, and full time staff.  We took over 3,300 geotagged photos with narrative descriptions and presented our scientific findings to the BLM in preparation for this plan.

We have identified nearly 250,000 acres of BLM Lands in BLM’s Royal Gorge district that contain remote, untrammeled, wilderness character in central and eastern Colorado that should be protected.  Many of these large natural landscapes are in the Arkansas River Canyonlands and Gold Belt Region from Salida to Cañon City, which serves as an essential wildlife connectivity corridor, connecting the Front Range and Wet Mountains to the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains and southern reaches of the Mosquito Range (Aspen Ridge) near town.  They include Badger Creek and Echo Canyon in the Arkansas River Canyonlands, Red Canyon and Cooper Mountain in the Gold Belt Region, as well as other areas in the region such as Reinecker Ridge in South Park, Stanley Creek in the Wet Mountain Valley, and Cucharas Canyon in the eastern plains…

…As the planning process unfolds, the public will have numerous opportunities to make its voice heard on how the area should be managed. If you care about these wild places in the central and eastern portions of our state, especially if you recreate in these areas, we urge you to make your voice heard and urge the BLM to prioritize protecting the wild untrammeled landscapes that define this region. 

Visit the Wild Connections website to keep posted on the next steps for protecting these #BLMWild places in eastern Colorado.

Photo: Badger Creek South, credit Wild Connections.

#mymiserabledogatbeautifulplaces - Bender climbing up to the #SandyBluffs edge to #view the #sky and #clouds. It goes without saying, much of this day was shot one-handed (other hand on the #dogs leash).
Soapbox: Stop the sage grouse shenanigans
In the days to come, Congress will be making a decision on sage grouse and the sagebrush habitat necessary to sustain more than 350 species of wildlife.

ICYMI: This is a great piece, written last month by Joshua Coursey of the Muley Fanatic Foundation, about congressional attacks on our public lands and western wildlife.  

The defense bill is now in conference, and as the author says, “we can rest assured that this isn’t an end to the mischief” on this bill or some other must-pass legislation.  Congress should stop interfering in science-based fish and wildlife management and let our public land agencies do their work.


BLM Winter Bucket List #23: Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona, for Spectacular Geologic Features and Superbowl 49

This month, Phoenix, Arizona, is a buzz with #superbowl news.  As the state prepares for the big event, we’ll share information about beautiful public lands just outside of the city and others worth a day trip - like Vermilion Cliffs.

Located on the Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument 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. 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. 

Whether you’re heading to the #superbowl or just want an unforgettable outdoor experience, Vermilion Cliffs is a must see!

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist