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Bureau of Land Management

Derrick Henry, Public Affairs Specialist

The Río Grande Gorge, located in the Río Grande del Norte National Monument. Photo by Derrick Henry/BLM.

Fifty years ago, NASA’s Apollo 15 astronauts rehearsed key parts of their 1971 mission on public land in north-central New Mexico. The landscape — a high-desert valley with a deep gorge chiseling through volcanic basalt flows and ash near Taos and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — was remarkably similar to the targeted landing site on the Moon. With the United States seeking to remain №1 in space, the Río Grande Gorge and the surrounding plains provided a real-scale learning lab to give the astronauts an extra edge before reaching the lunar…


Story and photos by Kyle Sullivan, Public Affairs Specialist

Front of house and museum, post-restoration — looking easterly.

Take a step back in time at Oregon’s Rogue River Ranch National Historic Site!

Located at the mouth of Mule Creek and nestled in the heart of the National Wild and Scenic River’s wild section of the Rogue River, this historic site tells the story of the area’s transition from mining to recreation and conservation.

Archeological excavations have shown that Native Americans inhabited the area for over 9,000 years. …


Story by David Hercher, Public Affairs Specialist. Photos by the Paria River District.

Lower Calf Creek Falls located within Paria River District’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

As a soil scientist, Raven Chavez is responsible for studying various aspects of soil around the Paria River District’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Kanab Field Office. As one would imagine, this requires many hours in the field digging in the dirt analyzing soil composition, distribution, development and behavior to determine how soils interact with organisms, animals and plants across the landscape. …


Bureau of Land Management

Amargosa Vole being fitted with a radio transmitter. (Photo courtesy of Janet Foley, University of California, Davis)

The Amargosa Vole Recovery Implementation Team, which includes BLM California Wildlife Biologists Amy Fesnock and Chris Otahal, recently received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Recovery Champion Award” for their efforts to conserve the endangered Amargosa Vole. Eight years ago, the Amargosa Vole was heading towards extinction- the research said there was an 80% chance the species would be extinct within 10 years. Today, in large part due to the efforts of the team, this species is being considered for down-listing.

The Amargosa Vole, a mouse-like rodent, lives in Bullrush Marshes on BLM, state and private…


Bureau of Land Management

Mike Nelson and Cassie Mellon look at a trestle along the Transcontinental Railroad Grade. (Photo by Bob Wick, BLM)

In 1869, workers completed one of the United States’ most significant technological feats: the Transcontinental Railroad. The railroad linked the country from East to West, opening up the American West for rapid development. A little over a century and a half later, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plays an important role in keeping the history of the railroad alive for members of the public to enjoy. The BLM manages nearly 90 miles of the old railroad grade in Utah’s west desert as a National Backcountry Byway. The byway winds through the remnants of ghost towns…


Story and photos by Bruce Hallman, Public Affairs Specialist

Two of the beneficiaries of an improved lake shoreline — red-necked grebe and tree swallow.

In May, the BLM Upper Snake Field Office hosted work efforts to restore the western shore of Henrys Lake in southeastern Idaho. The BLM, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), and Henrys Lake Foundation (HLF) worked together to design and construct nearly a mile of new wildlife-friendly fence and plant willows along the shoreline. The collaborative efforts will benefit wildlife, residents and anglers.

This project has been in the works for some time as the BLM, IDFG, and HLF bounced around ideas for ways to improve Henrys Lake shoreline and…


The Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA in Wyoming encompasses 17,150 acres of BLM-administered land and 1,390 acres of state land. BLM photo by Bob Wick.

By Derrick Henry, BLM Public Affairs Specialist

We are midway through celebrating the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 75th anniversary and meanwhile there’s optimism that the worst days of the pandemic are over. Americans are breaking in new hiking boots, respooling fishing reels, and tuning their bikes to answer the call of summer activity.

Over the last year, while the coronavirus pandemic inflicted tragedy, grief, and pain, the natural world continued to offer peace, escape, and hope for many. Now, as the nation recovers and rebuilds, the public lands are a widening band of light that keeps us at a…


Story and photos by Lisa Meredith, BLM.

During the course of the South Obenchain Fire (2020), about 48% of the fire area on BLM land burned at a moderate to high severity.

The Medford District is experimenting with a new, faster method of post-fire reforestation. The scale of the 2020 wildfire season in western Oregon has created an unexpectedly high demand for tree seedlings that exceeds the supply at local nurseries. Growing seedlings takes at least a year or two, and this shortage is likely to persist. In response, the BLM is testing out a new method of planting seeds directly on the forest floor.


Story by: Greg Liggett, Geologist (Paleontologist), Montana/Dakotas State Office

Skeletal reconstruction of Patagonykus showing the characteristic single
finger claw on each hand. From Wikipedia.

Dinosaurs continue to amaze researchers, even after 180 years of study. Their diversity is proving to be far more varied than just the perennial favorites like T. rex, Triceratops, and Brontosaurus.

A case in point is a group called the Alvarzsaurids (Alvarz-saurids) first described from an incomplete skeleton from Patagonia, Argentina, named Patagonykus (Pat-a-go-nykus). Then several additional species were named from Asia, and they have a generally poor record from North America.

The Alvarzsaurids were small dinosaurs, 1 to 3 meters long, but their most distinctive character is found in their…


BLM-California Applegate Field Office

The Bureau of Land Management has a hidden gem on your public lands that provides visitors with a celestial experience that can be experienced in only a handful of places on earth.

On the darkest and clearest nights at the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary, starlight from the Milky Way Galaxy is so bright that it casts shadows on the ground. …

Bureau of Land Management

The BLM manages one in every 10 acres of land in the United States, and approximately 30 percent of the Nation’s minerals.

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