public lands

Experience America’s favorite drive at the Blue Ridge Parkway. Meandering for 469 miles, the parkway reveals stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands in North Carolina and Virginia – not to mention some of the most magical sunrises and sunsets. Want to see more amazing pics from Blue Ridge? Follow usinterior on snapchat as Blue Ridge shares live updates from the park.

Photo by Susan Harris (


Check Out “Mapping Out America” – A Feature Article in My Public Lands Magazine Summer 2015

There are somewhere between two and three million land markers, or corners, that designate property lines across the U.S., and cadastral surveyors with the BLM may be able to find every single one.

The early survey history goes back over 200 years to before the Declaration of Independence was penned in 1776, and took off when the General Land Office or GLO was formed in 1812.

Today’s surveyor requires the mathematics background of the those early intellectuals, a predisposition to being outdoors like the GLO expansion days, and a little historical sleuthing. 

CLICK HERE to spend a day with BLM surveyors in New Mexico to see what the work looks like in 2015. 

Vulture Culture Photo Challenge Day 21: What got you into vulture culture

This was one of my first “vulture” finds, before I knew about Vulture Culture at all. In fact, it was probably a year prior to getting into VC. I found this chewed up doe skull while hunting on the public land with my man. We took it home and it sat in the shed for a long time (and got some spray paint on it).

Some time later, I had to do an assignment for one of my classes where we had to make a brochure for a fake store of our choosing. I picked a taxidermy store, because I always have liked taxidermy. Well, then I began looking around the internet and tumblr doing research on taxidermy, I found some blogs like Naturepunk and Skelelegs and I was hooked. I suddenly realized I have always loved this stuff!

Shortly after that I took the doe skull out of the shed and put her in my room along with a few other little things. I got my boyfriend to help me find the box with his dad’s old tanned deer hides, and I put them in my room along with other things that are “on loan” from him, too. I gradually started getting more and more of my own collection, and now I can’t seem to get enough of VC!

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 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!

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


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.

This Saturday (September 29) is National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, one-day volunteer and recreation event. Over 170,000 volunteers at over 2,100 sites are slated to participate this year. Volunteers in every state will visit parks, urban green spaces, beaches, wildlife preserves and forests to chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all of us. They will improve and restore the lands the public uses for recreation, education, exercise and connecting with nature.

Additionally, all national parks, monuments, forests, recreation areas, and other federal public lands are waiving all recreation fees in honor of National Public Lands Day. This will give you that chance to finally go see Rocky Mountain National Park, the Grand Canyon, and hundreds of other beautiful publicly owned lands without having to pay an entrance fee! 

photo, h/t mypubliclands

The slopes of Mount Rainier in Washington are a patchwork of brilliant fall colors this time of year. Mount Rainier National Park is located southeast of Seattle and has more than 260 miles of maintained trails – making it a perfect place to explore the beauty of our public lands. Photo by National Parks Service.


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 

This Land Is Your Land: Why National Parks Matter

Our national parks are public treasures that provide more than a window to our past or a means to preserve the natural bounty within them. They’re some of the most beautiful places on Earth, where you can rekindle your sense of awe and adventure.

By Douglas H. Chadwick