seeblm

On this day in 2001, Carrizo Plain (CA), Sonoran Desert (AZ), Pompeys Pillar (MT), Upper Missouri River Breaks (MT) and Kasha-Katuwe (NM) National Monuments were designated by Presidential Proclamation.

Pictured here, the #milkyway over North Maricopa Wilderness in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.

6

Valley of the Giants - Oregon

A tiny 51 acre BLM preserve nestled deep in the heavily logged Oregon coast range on the north fork of the Siletz river, the Valley of the Giants boasts some the most massive douglas firs I’ve ever seen. It’s a stunning patch of forest, exploding with life even in the dead of winter. The 30 mile drive through a maze of gravel logging roads was totally worth it just to stand in the presence of these ancient giants.

6

Join #mypubliclandsroadtrip Today at Headwaters Forest Reserve in California

Spectacular in its beauty, the Headwaters Forest Reserve is also a vital ally in conservation efforts to protect the most iconic forest species in the Pacific Northwest. Located 6 miles southeast of Eureka, California, these 7,542 acres of public lands feature magnificent stands of old-growth redwood trees that provide nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet (a small Pacific seabird) and the northern spotted owl. Both species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, as are the coho salmon, chinook salmon, and steelhead trout that have important habitat in the reserve’s stream systems.

Joining forces, the federal government and the State of California acquired the land for the reserve in 1999 to protect these important resources. The historic value of a once busy mill town named Falk is also commemorated in interpretive signs along the Elk River Trail, which follows an old logging road to the now vanished community. The BLM partners with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage the Headwaters Forest Reserve as part of the National Conservation Lands.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

10

SNAPSHOTS FROM BLM NEVADA 

Today, we share a few of our favorite shots from BLM Nevada’s annual photo contest. See more amazing outdoor photography on BLM Nevada’s Flickr.

9

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!

4

It’s easy to see why Lower Calf Creek Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, designated 20 years ago today. The hike traverses a lush streamside oasis that bisects the dramatic and harsh bedrock landscape east of the community of Escalante. Observant hikers on the 6 mile round-trip trek can spot pictographs and rock granaries perched on the opposite canyon walls as they wind up the cottonwood lined canyon. The hike is relatively level, but stretches of soft sand make it moderately strenuous.  

At the end, the reward is a picture-perfect 126 foot cascade over a red-rock cliff. The green and yellow colors that line the contours of the column of water came from algae growing on the sandstone that thrive on the falls’ year-round flow.  A must for your bucketlist!

External image

10

#TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick to Northern Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs! 

Some of my favorite photo locations are in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, located in northern Arizona along the Utah border. The area contains colorful sculpted rock formations that are beyond description.  Most famous is “The Wave” which has a very limited number of entry permits issued through a lottery to protect its unique and fragile features.  However, South Coyote Buttes (permit required) and the White Pocket (no permit needed) offer equally spectacular and unique formations.  The area offers year-round photo opportunities, although winter access to remote locations may be blocked by snow, and back roads become impassible when wet at any time of year. Summer visitors should bring plenty of water and plan outings to avoid the unrelenting mid-day sun. 

Photo tip: The many slickrock basins hold water at certain times and provide for great reflections of the adjoining formations. To capture water reflections, photograph in early morning and late evening when glare is lower and the water is more likely to be calm.  Optimally the sun should be shining on the subject that is being reflected.  Interesting skies with textured clouds also make excellent reflection subjects.

The Vermilion Cliffs themselves form a dramatic rampart in the southern part of the monument and offer endless photo angles. Make sure to stop at the California condor release site, just two miles up House Rock Road from the main highway. The majestic condors are visible year-round at the site which is used to reintroduce them into the wild. A very long telephoto lens is needed to get good photos of the condors.

Photo tip: The “golden hour”, such as the time close to sunrise and sunset, almost always offers the best light for photography and this is especially true in the Vermilion Cliffs and other areas of the Colorado Plateau. Here the rock colors come alive with vibrant reds, oranges and golds with low sun angles, but become washed out during the mid-day.  Photographing with sidelight (camera pointed 90 degrees from the sun) will ensure that you have more texture and three dimensional qualities to your images.

Check out our @esri Vermilion Cliffs National Monument multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, videos, helpful links and maps of the area: mypubliclands.tumblr.com/traveltuesdayarizonavermilioncliffs.

4

Good morning

BLMer Bob Wick shared these supermoon-eclipse shots from yesterday evening at Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument in California. The trees in the foreground are blue-oak woodlands which are iconic in this Monument. 

Thanks for sharing, Bob!

5

The Continental Divide Wilderness Study Area in New Mexico offers amazing hiking, backpacking, camping, photography and solitude. The landmark of the area – the Pelona Mountain – rises to 9,212 feet. Rolling grassland gives way to steeper slopes covered in piñon pine woodland and ponderosa pine forest, although the summit of the mountain itself is mostly grassland. Climb the Pelona Mountain for views that stretch out for miles across the surrounding plains, or take a walk along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail that passes through this stunning wilderness. A worthy addition to your roadtrip list, especially for the #sunset!

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM.

4

#traveltuesday – beautiful new shots from Moab taken last weekend by BLMer Bob Wick.

Corona Arch in Utah is a free standing arch with a 140 by 105 foot opening. Corona and adjoining Bowtie Arch are a popular hike located just 20 minutes from Moab.  The 1.5 mile trail climbs 400 feet. Note that there are two short stretches of steeper slick rock, but cables and footholds are provided.

The Highway 128 corridor follows the Colorado River corridor through slick rock canyons east of Moab. The area is a recreation mecca with a paved bike trail (western part of the corridor), numerous campgrounds, trails, and flatwater boating opportunities. About 30 miles east of Moab, the canyon opens up into Castle Valley with its numerous spectacular rock formations – including Fisher Towers. The towers are renowned as photo subjects and  also provide for challenging rock climbs.  The BLM provides a picnic site at the base of the towers and a 2.2 mile trail offers close up views.  A definite bucket list location!

10

The December #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover Ends with the Top 15 Film Locations on National Conservation Lands.

1. Pacific Crest Trail, CA-OR. Wild (2014) chronicles Cheryl Strayed’s (Reese Witherspoon) 1,000 mile journey on the trail that challenges, strengthens and ultimately heals her. The 2,650 mile trail includes segments on BLM lands in California and Oregon.

2. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, OR. In The Ring (2002), the lighthouse takes on an eerie glow for scenes from this supernatural horror flick starring Naomi Watts.  

3. Paria Canyon Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, AZ. The deep canyons, tall cliffs and pinon covered uplands were backdrops for scenes from Billy the Kid (1941) and later the Outlaw Josie Wales with Clint Eastwood (1976).

4. Unaweep Canyon Wilderness Study Area, CO. Follow Thelma and Louise – the famous roadtrip duo– along a scenic byway backed by several Wilderness Study Areas (Sewemup Mesa and Palisade) with towering cliffs.

5. Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, NM. Terminator Salvation (2009), Natural Born Killers (1994) and Wild Hogs (2007) are among the films that used the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to film dramatic scenes above the canyon and churning river almost 600 feet below.

6. Fort Ord National Monument, CA. The Bugle Sounds (1942) stars Wallace Beery as a cavalry sergeant reluctant to replacing horses with modern equipment.

7. The San Juan Islands National Monument, WA. The film location for Free Willy II (1992) included the islands and surrounding rocks and islets of this national monument.

8. Rogue Wild and Scenic River, OR. Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon floated the river during the River Wild (1994), preceded by John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn who were filmed on the river in the 1975 film Rooster Cogburn.

9. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, UT.  The Pariah townsite in the southern part of the monument included a movie set which was built in the early 1960s for Sergeants Three, a Western featuring Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. It also provided settings for the television series Death Valley Days and Gunsmoke. The last movie filmed there was The Outlaw Josie Wales in 1976.

10. California Coastal National Monument Point Arena, CA. This spectacular coastal landscape capped by California’s tallest lighthouse provided a dramatic setting for the ending scenes of Forever Young starring Mel Gibson (1992) and Need for Speed (2014).

11. Valley of the Gods and Road Canyon Wilderness Study Area, UT. This iconic red-rock landscape was the backdrop for Forrest Gump (1994) when Forrest, played by Tom Hanks, ended his cross-country run.

12. Red Rock National Conservation Area, NV.  Red Rocks featured Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger in Bells of San Angelo (1947) and was a location for The Stalking Moon with Gregory Peck in 1968.

13. Organ Mountains National Monument, NM. In Due Date (2009) with Robert Downey, Jr.,  the Organ Mountains were used extensively as a backdrop for the movie, once being cited in the film as mountains in Dallas, Texas, which is actually quite flat!

14. Saint Anthony’s Dunes Wilderness Study Area, ID.  Although Napoleon Dynamite (2004) was not actually filmed here, St. Anthony’s gets a prominent mention when Napoleon’s grandma breaks her coccyx riding a bike in the dunes and leaves him in the care of his uncle.  A proclamation by the Idaho State Legislature commending the movie’s portrayal of the state calls out Saint Anthony’s as a “long honored Idaho vacation destination”

15. Blackfoot River, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, MT. Flowing just east of Missoula Montana, the Blackfoot was made famous by Norman Macleans novel “A River Runs Through It” and a movie of the same name starring Brad Pitt (1992). Filming was conducted on several other river segments, as fishing on the Blackfoot had declined since the Macleans fished there.  However, the movie sparked a restoration effort and the Blackfoot is once again a popular flyfishing destination.

Thanks for following the #conservationlands15 posts all year.  Check back on Dec. 20th for the 12 Days of National Conservation Lands, an end-of-year recap of our monthly Top 15 posts!

Happy Wildlife Wednesday from a hawk taking flight in southern Idaho!

Travis Malzahn, BLM Idaho’s Pocatello Field Office seasonal employee, captured this amazing photo of a juvenile hawk in southern Idaho. He was out installing route markers as part of the Curlew/Deep Creek Travel Management Plan when he was able to take this photo with his cell phone

Submitted by Amy Lapp, BLM Idaho Archaeology 

9

Happy Birthday, Oregon!

They say that “Virginia is for lovers.”  But it’s Oregon that was born 156 years ago today, on Valentine’s Day.  Maybe that’s why there are so many things to love about BLM-managed lands in Oregon, more than 15 million acres of forests, rangelands, beaches, mountains and more!

5

On this day in 2002, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area and 13 wilderness areas in Nevada were established through the Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002.

A part of the BLM’s National conservation Lands, Sloan Canyon NCA offers solitude with unique scenic and geologic features and extraordinary cultural resources. The centerpiece of the area is the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site, one of the most significant cultural resources in Southern Nevada. Archaeologists believe the more than 300 rock art panels with 1,700 individual design elements were created by native cultures from the Archaic to historic era.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

7

Visit one of Oregon’s most beautiful rivers! Renowned for outstanding salmon and steelhead fishing and whitewater challenges, the North Umpqua River offers the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Almost 34 miles of the North Umpqua have been designated as a Wild and Scenic River and this section has been set aside exclusively for fly-fishing. The North Umpqua Trail parallels the river and offers challenging hiking and mountain biking experiences.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

7

We continue our weekend celebration of National Scenic and Historic Trails and National Wild and Scenic Rivers with fall foliage along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.  

The BLM manages a section of the Continental Divide Trail in Montana, with a majority located within the Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area.  A part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, the Centennial Mountains WSA contains some of the most wild and biologically important lands in southwest Montana. Backcountry hiking, equestrian, hunting and fishing are popular along this segment of the trail. During the winter months, you can experience exceptional backcountry skiing opportunities and endless views.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

6

This morning, #mypubliclandsroadtrip skips the open road and takes to the sky in Southern Oregon!  

To the sky?  You bet.  From public lands?  Absolutely.  

At Woodrat Mountain just outside Medford, hang-gliding off a mountain is possible and even recommended for those paragliders and hang gliders skilled enough to catch a thermal or two. In fact, Woodrat Mountain is world-renowned as a gliding destination, according to the Rogue Valley Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.  Thanks to great collaboration – the BLM maintains a safe take-off spot and two wineres provide landing zones – the skies are often filled colorful sails and thrilled pilots.  

Sound like fun?  Follow the #mypubliclandsroadtrip here and in our Extreme Public Lands interactive journal this week for more adventures. 

7

Kicking off the weekend with the John Day River in Oregon – one of our nation’s longest free-flowing river systems. Designated under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Oregon Scenic Waterways Act, the area provides amazing recreation opportunities, from boating and fishing to camping and horseback riding.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

7

Meet BLM Idaho River Ranger Evan Worthington on Today’s #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover!

Evan Worthington grew up on a 100+ acre farm in West Virginia, where the New River flowed less than a mile away. For Evan, a career in the outdoors was a given. 

At the age of 18, Evan became a commercial whitewater river guide along the New and Gauley Rivers. Ten years later, in 1995, he packed up the VW van and headed west for something different. Evan found a new home when the old VW broke down in Idaho (he’s been in Idaho ever since).  

Evan’s passion for the river and artistic talent came together in Idaho as he established county programs to educate teens about the environment and the arts.   Also at this time, he became a seasonal river ranger on the BLM’s Lower Salmon River in Cottonwood, Idaho. Evan even used a BLM Take It Outside grant to develop a high school whitewater program called the Salmon Surfers, with Leave No Trace, safety and hands-on water instruction. 

Evan is now a permanent wilderness/river ranger in the Owyhee Canyonlands of the BLM’s Boise District.  He runs the stunning Bruneau-Jarbidge Wild and Scenic River System, with its nearly 40 miles of designated wild and scenic river sections. And Evan shares the wild and scenic river with local youth, visitors, and most important, his wife and two daughters.