national public lands day

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Happy 101st birthday, National Park Service! 

For the last century, the National Park Service has protected America’s Best Idea, ensuring current and future generations can experience the country’s natural, cultural and historic treasures. Established 44 years before the National Park Service, Yellowstone was the world’s first national park and sparked a worldwide movement to protect special places.

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I spent national public lands day working on a trail in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area along the Montana/Idaho border.  We cleared the trail, did a ton of cross cuts of logs that had fallen across the path, and dug drainage ditches.  We were basically in a cloud the entire time, and everything was damp and misty but so so beautiful.  Trail crews are super fun!

On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born. Despite his humble beginnings and lack of formal education, Lincoln distinguished himself as an honest leader and a powerful speaker. Leading the nation through the Civil War, our 16th President fought for unity and helped bring an end to slavery in our country. Modeled after the Parthenon in Greece (the birthplace of democracy), the Lincoln Memorial honors his legacy. It’s a towering icon on the Washington, D.C., landscape that attracts visitors from all over the world to be inspired by Lincoln’s words and accomplishments. Photo courtesy of Drew Geraci.

Happy Groundhog Day! Groundhogs have short ears and a short tail, and can weigh up to 11 pounds. They have two layers of fur: A dense grey undercoat and a longer coat of banded guard hairs that gives the groundhog a “frosted” appearance. Despite how they look, groundhogs are good swimmers and tree climbers. Photo of a groundhog eating a flower at Shenandoah National Park by National Park Service.

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!

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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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BLM Celebrates National Public Lands Day with Condor Release

Managing public lands for healthy ecosystems, including diverse plant communities and viable wildlife populations, is an important part of BLM’s work related to the Endangered Species Act. The California condor recovery program is an important part of BLM’s mission.  As a wildlife biologist, father and grandfather, I would like my children and grand children to always have this unique vulture species abundant and soaring in the skies over the Arizona Strip. -Tim Hughes, BLM Arizona State Office Threatened and Endangered Species Specialist

Tomorrow, Sept. 27, the BLM, The Peregrine Fund and partners will release three California condors in the BLM-managed Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. The condors were hatched and raised as part of The Peregrine Fund’s captive breeding program at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, and will be transported to Arizona for the release.

As of June 30, 2014, 72 of the world’s total 439 birds live in the wild throughout northern Arizona and southern Utah. Recovery efforts have successfully helped the species recover from the brink of extinction when numbers fell to just 22 condors worldwide in the 1980s.  Success is due to the efforts of contributing partners, including the BLM Arizona, The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park.

The annual release coincides with National Public Lands Day and results in approximately 300 participants. Join the celebration on social media! You can follow the fun tomorrow using the hashtags #CondorsOnTheRise, #WelcomeCondors and #NPLD on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Flickr.

Happy Arbor Day! We’re celebrating with this pic of majestic trees offering a window to a gorgeous view of Yosemite Falls at Yosemite National Park in California. Cascading more than 2,400 feet above Yosemite Valley, it’s the tallest waterfall in North America. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Nguyen.

Happy Alaska Day! On this day in 1867, the Territory of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States. To celebrate this important day in Alaska history, we’re highlight some of Alaska’s lesser known (but breathtaking) national parks on Instagram. Be sure to follow along all day for amazing photos of Alaska’s wild frontier: https://www.instagram.com/usinterior/

Photo of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve by by Ken Hill, National Park Service.

Looking for a last-minute adventure? We’re waiving the entrance fees for all national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands on Monday, January 16, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We hope to see you out there! Photo of Turret Arch Framed by North Window at Utah’s Arches National Park courtesy of Jacob W. Frank.

Happy World Oceans Day – a day dedicated to celebrating the impact of oceans on our daily lives and raising awareness about how to better protect them. Pictured here is the colorful coral reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. The usfws refuge is located halfway between Hawai‘i and American Samoa and is one of the most diverse and spectacular coral reef systems in the world. Photo by Jim Maragos, USFWS.

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BLM joins partners at the 18th National Boy Scouts of America Jamboree

The Bureau of Land Management joins over 20,000 Scouts, Scoutmasters, and visitors in the 18th National Boy Scouts of America Jamboree taking place July 19-28. Boy Scouts will be coming from all across the country, as well as a few from abroad, to learn about leadership, earn merit badges and explore the great outdoors. The Jamboree will take place at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve (SBR), adjacent to the New River Gorge National River, Mount Hope, West Virginia. 

As stewards, the BLM manages public lands for the benefit of current and future generations. At this event, BLM staff will be on hand to teach boy scouts and their families about shared conservation with activities about energy, invasive weeds, archaeology and paleontology at three exhibits along the “Conservation Trail”.  The “Conservation Trail” is a stretch of resource-oriented exhibits hosted by 20+ government agencies and other organizations.  Each scout who completes a specified number of activities offered along the Conservation will earn a Conservation Area prize.

The BLM has a long standing partnership with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) at the local, regional, and national levels to provide information about and foster participation in volunteer training, outdoor education opportunities, and volunteer service projects.  BLM and other agencies collaborate and cooperate with BSA to serve the American family and connect kids to public lands by increasing leadership development opportunities for youth, increasing healthy choices among young people, and actively engaging children and families in the outdoors to encourage physically active lifestyles.

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The sweetest Valentine’s Day video you will watch all day! 

Every year thousands get engaged and married on America’s public lands — making these special places part of their love story. Today, we are celebrating these great love stories with this cute video of proposals and weddings on public lands. Thanks to everyone who shared their photos.

Yesterday was National Wildlife Day, a dedicated to raising awareness for animals and conservation efforts. Pictured here is an adorable Mexican Spotted owlet found at Zion National Park in Utah. Zion is critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, a species classified as threatened on the federal level. National Park Service photo.

Happy Father’s Day everyone. We want to share this amazing story of James and Jonah Geier (as told by James’ daughter Laura Geier). Celebrating Dads like James is what Father’s Day is all about.

“Perseverance. Shared by both the Arch in withstanding time and change, and the resolve of a father to hike his disabled son to the Arch to experience the incredible symbol of natural beauty and strength. Retired Law Enforcement Officer James Geier hiked his eighteen year old son Jonah Geier three miles, and 480 feet over slickrock trails, and up red rock steps to share with Jonah a worldwide symbol of strength and endurance. Neither Geier nor Arch is deterred by challenges.”

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America’s public lands are wonderful places to love and be in love. Every year thousands get engaged and married in national parks, wildlife refuges and scenic wildernesses. We’re celebrating these great love stories with this video of proposals and weddings on public lands. Thanks to everyone who shared their photos and helped make this sweet Valentines Day video!

It’s Take a Hike Day! Some of the best hiking trails in the world wind through America’s public lands. Whether you’re taking a day hike or spending the summer on the Appalachian Trail, you’re sure to see amazing sights and enjoy the fresh air. Pictured here is a hiker on the North Marshall Trail in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. What’s your favorite hiking trail? Photo by National Park Service.

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Happy Veterans Day! We’re celebrating the men and women who serve our country with this great video of veterans enjoying public lands. Thanks to everyone who submitted their photos and stories!

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Thanks to the many volunteers who spent time at National Public Lands Day events today, enjoying and improving the public lands we all love. And a special thanks to BLM staff, partners and volunteers who braved the weather for a successful NPLD condor release in Arizona.

We close the day with photos of White Pocket in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument by Bob Wick, where our condors fly tonight.

The towering escarpments of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and nearby wilderness areas provide ideal habitat for the condors. Here they can safely nest among the ledges and soar. –Mitch Owens BLM Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Outdoor Recreation Planner

Stay tuned next week for more photos and stories from our day of “CondorsOnTheRise”.