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A hidden gem in America’s Pacific Northwest is the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon. Called an amazing treasure, Cascade-Siskiyou covers more than 62,000 acres and is best known for the unique landscapes created by the convergence of species from the high deserts of the Northern Great Basin to the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Coast. 

As BLM photographer Bob Wick said: “This area is a botanist’s dream where the Cascade, Great Basin and Coast Range-Klamath ecosystems come together. You can turn a corner and go from walking through a dense mossy red fir forest to sagebrush and mountain mahogany in a few feet.”

Pictured here are some of the stunning views from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, including the sun, full moon, Mount Shasta and Pilot Rock, all captured May 3, 2015. Photos by Bob Wick, mypubliclands.

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Pack Your Bags - We’re Going on a Roadtrip!

The BLM manages over 245+ million acres of amazing public lands and resources. Today, we’re kicking off the #mypubliclands Weird and Wild Summer Roadtrip to visit those lands throughout the summer.

Moving east to west, we’ll spend a week in each state or group of states where the BLM manages lands, mostly in the west. Along the way, we’ll visit breathtaking wild landscapes, explore one-of-a kind and sometimes weird resources and events, and go behind-the-scenes with employees in the field. From ghost towns to Burning Man to bat research, we’ll have something for everyone.

You can read individual roadtrip posts here, and then track our progress all summer on http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtrip. We’ll add our “stops” to the map along the way, in real time. 

And we’re inviting you to participate through weekly Instagram challenges! Each Monday through Saturday of the summer, tag your photos with #mypubliclandsroadtrip, and we’ll post our favorites each Sunday.  Learn the rules of the road on http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtripinstagram.  

Join us tomorrow morning as we head out for a stop in Maryland and then down to the Florida coast!  

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!

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

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.

America’s first national monument, Devils Tower is a geologic feature that protrudes out of the rolling prairie in Wyoming. David Lane captured this amazing 16-image panorama of the monument illuminated by the Milky Way and green airglow. Of visiting Devils Tower, David says: “From ancient stories of the Pleiades taking refuge at the top to the generations of Native Americas that held it sacred, it had a deep sense of age and a stoic nature that impressed me. It’s so unexpected, so large in person, so steeped in traditions.”

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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!

These public statements by politicians (Republicans, all of them) will either make you laugh or weep, or maybe hurl.

Reintroducing wolves would solve the “homeless problem”

In a recent rant against the Endangered Species Act and the protection of wolves, Rep. Don Young (Republican, Alaska) “mocked” 78 members of Congress who asked the Secretary of the Interior to protect gray wolves. Young — who has long fought protections for land and wildlife — claimed that their districts would benefit from releasing wolves in urban areas because “you wouldn’t have a homeless problem anymore.”

State control of national forests would mean fewer terrorists

Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory (Republican) said he was told by a terrorism expert that forests are now a terrorist target and argued that the fire risk would be reduced if they were managed by the states instead of the federal government.

Environmental protections enable “drug cartels and human smugglers”

Sen. John McCain (Republican, Arizona) stated that “For decades, drug cartels and human smugglers have exploited U.S. land management laws by crossing our borders illegally and harming Arizona’s national parks and protected areas.”

Drinking water protections will regulate “your grandmother’s bird bath”

Senator Pat Toomey (Republican, Pennsylvania) said that “the EPA’s new [clean water rules means] that a puddle from your garden hose will ultimately end up in a navigable waterway, so the agency should have dominion over that water too.” The Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity even went as far as asking, “will the EPA soon seek to regulate puddles on your property, baby pools, standing water in the local Wal-Mart parking lot, or your grandmother’s bird bath?”

Obama will “negotiate with Iran,” but not on Alaska oil drilling

Angered by the Obama administration’s work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Republican, Alaska) said that administration “is willing to negotiate with Iran, but they won’t negotiate with Alaska.”

Obama is an “imperialist” or a monarch for conserving public lands

In response to the announcement that President Obama was planning to protect one of Colorado’s most popular rivers, Rep. Ken Buck (Republican, Colorado) said of the President: “He is not king. No more acting like King Barack. That is not how we do things in the U.S.” Rep. Doc Hastings (Republican, Washington), a former member of the House, called Obama an “imperial president” for expanding a national monument that protects critical areas of the Pacific Ocean.

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