Wildflowers carpet the hillside at Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. The 23,000-acre area is truly an oasis in the desert with four perennial waterways that are the lifeline for this remarkable place. The Gila River canyon section, known as the Gila Box, is composed of patchy mesquite woodlands, mature cottonwoods, sandy beaches and grand buff-colored cliffs. Bonita Creek – popular for birdwatching, hiking and picnicking – is lined with large cottonwoods, sycamores and willows. Cliff dwellings, historic homesteads, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and over 200 species of birds make this year-round watery Arizona spot worth the drive. Photo by @mypubliclands.

anonymous asked:

This is going to sound like a stupid question, but it seems like most of your campsites are literally just in the middle of no where, not like at a legit camping ground. Is that necessarily legal? Asking because I'm real inspired to try something like this myself

This is not a dumb question at all - and perfectly relevant to our current fight to protect our public lands.  I can legally camp in the middle of nowhere because I do so on public lands - lands owned by all American Citizens.  This is land set aside for public use - be it camping, hunting, fishing, biking, climbing, hiking, etc…  Public Lands are owned and supported by tax payers and also sometimes referred to as Federal Land (most research shows public land costs about $4 dollars per tax payer a year).  Restrictions depend on the agency that manages the area - most BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land has very few restrictions and allows for camping almost anywhere (without the need for a campground).  However, I strongly encourage Leave No Trace ethics when camping in wilderness and if you are going to camp on our public lands please go to the following link and read the 7 Leave No Trace Principles:

 https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles 

I prefer to camp in the wild - to leave the city behind and experience the outdoors as a refuge from human impact - and in order to continue to experience it as such we need to keep it looking as if we were never there.  I am a climber, a hunter, a mountaineer, a fisher, a hiker, a biker, and most importantly I was lucky enough to be born in the USA which gives me access to public wilderness as if I had the money to own a cabin in the mountains.  However, I don’t have the money to own a cabin and so when the weekend rolls around I throw a few things in the back of the Land Cruiser and head for public lands… I find a spot that is my own, that feels as if I am one of the few lucky enough to sit on this rock and watch the sun go down - and I am lucky.  

Watch the video link below:  4 minute bipartisan history of how the USA came to have so much public federal land, specifically in the west.  This video educated me on how almost all federal land has always been federal land - and is not land that was taken from the states:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC_mnRu-4gA

It is my opinion that there is falsehood in state legislator’s desire to want public lands to be taken from the federal government and given to the state for the resident’s interests and stats seem to support this.  Federal land is held in a trust for the use of the American people -  and that’s it, that’s all, it is there for our future generations - so that I can teach my kid to ethically hunt and camp in the mountains just as my grandfather and father taught me.  Some states do a great job with land they manage for public access, but the problem is that the land is no longer explicitly a trust and if the wrong individuals become elected, or are already are elected, that land can now be sold to private entities and will no longer be accessible to the public. In FACT 156 MILLION acres of Federal Public Land has been transferred to states and of that land 70% has been sold to private entities - that is 110 MILLION acres that we don’t have shared access to use anymore.  I would rather not risk the possibility of my land being sold off so that I can not use it.  Historically this has occurred when a state’s budget isn’t balanced because it is pretty easy to sell of a chunk of land to compensate for debt. 

Please read the Field and Stream article in the Link below it is easy and incredibly informative:

http://www.fieldandstream.com/keep-public-lands-in-public-hands#page-3

Please vote to protect our public lands! 

Public lands for our use and what agency manages them can be seen in the map below: 


Olympic National Park’s rugged shoreline is rich with life. Invertebrates of countless shapes, sizes, colors and textures inhabit the tide pools along Washington’s coast. Pictured here is a starfish with Giant Green Anemones that opens its tentacles like flower petals in the tidal waters. Photo courtesy of Keith Ladzinski.

Need something to get you through Monday? Here’s a pic of an adorable clutch of baby peregrine falcons on banding day at Cabrillo National Monument in California. At birth, peregrine chicks weigh about 1.5 ounces, but they grow quickly – they can double their weight in just six days. They reach nearly full size after only seven weeks. Cool fact about peregrine falcons: They are among the fastest birds, flying at up to 55 mph and diving at more than 200 mph when striking avian prey in mid-air. Photo by National Park Service.

You never know what you are going to see on America’s public lands. Case in point: This photo from Big Bend National Park in Texas. A mother bobcat perches in a mesquite tree with her large juvenile kittens, teaching them the ropes of feline life in the wilderness. An employee captured this shot not too far from a park road. This family group was likely hunting from the tree where they would have a good view of passing rodents. But maybe they were just enjoying the view! Photo by Big Bend Natural History Association. 😺😺😺

Canyonlands National Park sits under the desert sun nearly every day, but in the early morning hours when the air is cool and the sun is rising, a majestic glow of indigo filled this Utah valley with mist. The iconic Airport Tower can be seen in the distance, standing just behind the Washer Woman Arch. Photo courtesy of Sam Koerbel.