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This skunk family at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is so stinkin’ cute!

Nestled in central Wisconsin, Necedah hosts habitats including wetlands, prairies, savannas and forests. The usfws refuge is home to whooping cranes, trumpeter swans, skunks and red-headed woodpeckers. Visitors to Necedah can enjoy great hiking trails and wildlife viewing. Video by Ariel Lepito.

California Coastal National Monument at Crescent City, California – Bob Wick, Instagram Guest Photographer 

About the photo: Using a very slow shutter speed (several seconds or more) softens moving water and helps convey a sense of movement.  In addition to using this technique on rivers and waterfalls, it works great to capture ocean and large lake waves as shown here on California’s far north Coast. This image was taken in Crescent City, the northernmost town along the 1,100 mile California Coastal National Monument. The National Monument and the tall trees in nearby Redwood National Park make this a photographers paradise.

Camera Settings: Lens focal length: 70mm, aperture: f22, shutter speed: 6 seconds, ISO 50

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That last seal looks so confused…

It’s National Public Lands Day!

Join our colleagues at the Bureau of Land Management in celebrating the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Celebrate with volunteers in your community at parks and other public lands.

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting an #NPLD20 Social Media Meetup on September 28 to help you share your experiences volunteering on National Public Lands Day! Visit http://blm.gov/npld to join in on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Yonder. They’ll retweet, reblog, like, and share the best pictures and posts throughout the day.

Are you a Woodsy Owl fan?  While we’re not sure if Woodsy Owl is a protected species, did you know that he is a Federally protected mascot, covered by criminal statute?  When researching this post, we came across an ominous “Use Restriction” note in our online catalog:

Use Restriction(s): Restricted - Possibly
Note: The use and reproduction of the Woodsy Owl symbol is restricted by Public Law 82-359, as amended by P.L. 93-318, Title 18 U.S.C. 711A, and 36 CFR 272.

We ran it past Hannah Bergman, our resident legal eagle from the Office of General Counsel and this was her response:

“This is the most enjoyable question I’ve answered all day. Woodsy is so cute. Plus he is protected by criminal statute. That’s amazing. The reg says:

Official materials produced for the Woodsy Owl campaign may be used without express approval from the Chief of the Forest Service where such use is solely for the purpose of increasing public knowledge about wise use of the environment and programs which foster maintenance and improvement of environmental quality.

I think your proposed gif sounds like it fits within that exception, so you should be fine.”

Thanks again, Hannah - and Happy National Public Lands Day!

“These peaks have been called the ‘Cathedral Group,’ especially as viewed from the northeast… Cathedral-like indeed is this scene in late afternoon once the sun has retired behind the range… or when, a few hours later during the fleeting moments in which the sky and mountains are together transfigured, the natural hues of the summits change swiftly, marvelously, into delicate shades of rose and blue and lavender”

– Fritiof Fryxell, professor, mountaineer, explorer, and first Park Ranger Naturalist of Grand Teton National Park.

Photo: K. Manley

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Happy World Wildlife Day!

We celebrate wildlife today and every day on our nation’s public lands. More than 3,000 species of wildlife call BLM-managed lands home - that’s a backyard of more than 245 million acres in 23 states, dispersed over ecologically-diverse and essential habitat.

Enjoy a few of our favorite wildlife photos from your public lands!

Looking North from Slater Butte towards the Red Buttes Wilderness ~ Eileen Kitayama 2015

Klamath National Forest in Northern California

Summer sunsets at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska are truly special. Kent Miller snapped this dream-like photo two days ago of a moose walking along Reflection Pond. In the background, the top of Denali is illuminated by the setting sun at midnight. Photo by Kent Miller, National Park Service.

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We’re excited and honored that the Washington Post has run a feature highlighting 16 of their favorite photos from our Tumblr. According to the Post:

From redwood forests to Gulf Stream waters, workers from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have photographed the often-remote terrain they supervise. Here are a few of the best images and descriptions from My Public Lands, the bureau’s lively Tumblr site, of the land that Woody Guthrie wrote “was made for you and me.’’

To the more than 43,000 of you that have chosen to follow us over the past 8 months, thank you. We love sharing stories about the science, history, beauty, and recreation on more than 245 million acres of public lands, and hope you’ll get out and enjoy your public lands!

See the entire gallery at http://wapo.st/10AvITb