Conservation at Work
An endangered species, the lesser prairie-chicken is spotted moving across a prairie.
The presence of the lesser prairie-chicken is an indicator of the rangeland health of the southern Great Plains. NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to bring the chicken back and make their operations more resilient to drought.
  Photo:  Gary Kramer

An endangered species, the lesser prairie-chicken is spotted moving across a prairie.

The presence of the lesser prairie-chicken is an indicator of the rangeland health of the southern Great Plains. NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to bring the chicken back and make their operations more resilient to drought.


Photo:  Gary Kramer

Farmers and ranchers conserved lesser prairie-chicken habitat on almost 1 million acres! Read more.

Farmers and ranchers conserved lesser prairie-chicken habitat on almost 1 million acres! Read more.

mypubliclands:

Rainbow Mountain Black Velvet Canyon view with Hedgehog CactusPhoto by Chelise Simmons

mypubliclands:

Rainbow Mountain Black Velvet Canyon view with Hedgehog Cactus

Photo by Chelise Simmons

americasgreatoutdoors:

Rush hour traffic takes on a whole new meaning at Yellowstone National Park.Photo: National Park Service

americasgreatoutdoors:

Rush hour traffic takes on a whole new meaning at Yellowstone National Park.

Photo: National Park Service

Curious noses.
natureconservancy:

Let’s, let’s stay together.
Photo credit: Stephen Oachs

Curious noses.

natureconservancy:

Let’s, let’s stay together.

Photo credit: Stephen Oachs


Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence — neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish — it is an imponderably valuable gift. —Maya Angelou

americasgreatoutdoors:

Two years ago this week, Yosemite Valley looked a bit different! The snowy photo is from 2011 (which was an extremely snowy winter); the other photo is from yesterday afternoon.Photo: National Park Service

Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence — neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish — it is an imponderably valuable gift. —Maya Angelou

americasgreatoutdoors:

Two years ago this week, Yosemite Valley looked a bit different! The snowy photo is from 2011 (which was an extremely snowy winter); the other photo is from yesterday afternoon.

Photo: National Park Service

mypubliclands:

Idaho beauties!

Photo: Amy Lapp

lovagemetender:

quinciple:

Asparagus on my mind…

Yeah yeah, I know, it’s only April 2nd, but my mouth is already watering with the thought of big fat spears of asparagus, roasted with olive oil, lemon juice and loads of black pepper. I like to eat them straight off the baking sheet, with my fingers, juices dripping down my chin. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll make a nice garlicky aioli for dipping. Or how about a nice asparagus risotto with lemon zest? Or crostini topped with ricotta and the just the tender tips of asparagus? Spring is in the air, and I’m happy about that, really I am. But I want it in my mouth, in the form of some local asparagus. 

mypubliclands:

A Day Monitoring Sage-grouse

I am one lucky intern.

Through the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Conservation and Land Management internship program, I will be working under my wildlife biologist mentor in the BLM’s Cody Field Office for my third summer now. It’s a delightfully diverse job in an amazingly diverse place. I can hardly begin to describe everything I’ve learned here, but perhaps I’ll start with the task that consumes most of my energy this early in the spring: Sage-grouse monitoring.

The iconic Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species that is specially adapted to life in sagebrush steppe habitat found across many western states, including Wyoming. Male Sage-grouse establish and are loyal to particular leks, which are the areas where they perform their elaborate displays in order to attract a mate. Here in Cody, Wyoming, Sage-grouse lek monitoring has been going on for years, with data for some leks in the Cody Field Office stretching back over 54 years.

This monitoring data can be used to assess Sage-grouse population levels, which has become crucial information in light of the species’ classification as a Candidate Species for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Lek monitoring is early work, since you have to be in place at the lek before the sunrises. On the bright side, having work that takes one outside in the wee hours of the day does offer a unique opportunity to see other treasures of the field office, such as seeing the McCullough Peaks wild horses, in a different light.

By: Sammy Bray, BLM-Wyoming

The perfect spot to play duck, duck, goose.

wetlandfieldguide:

Constructed wetlands treating runoff & providing habitat for birds (at Sydney Olympic Park Osmosis)

The perfect spot to play duck, duck, goose.

wetlandfieldguide:

Constructed wetlands treating runoff & providing habitat for birds (at Sydney Olympic Park Osmosis)

Great photo!
mypubliclands:

Spring is here and the Joshua Trees are blooming!  The Joshua tree typically grows in the Mojave Desert, in southwestern North America. They grow on average 3 inches a year, although because its trunk is made of thousands of small fibers, it lacks the typical tree rings, making it tough to determine its exact age. We do know that it can live for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The flowers don’t bloom every year, but when they do they can be seen at the ends of the sword-like evergreen leaves from February to late April. Once they bloom, the trees are pollinated by the yucca moth. Wildfires can be devastating, since the moth will not find it advantageous to pollinate trees left isolated by fires, but prefer instead to pollinate within tree clusters. Story:  Iris Picat; Photo: Lynne Scott, St George Field Office Landscape Architect

Great photo!

mypubliclands:

Spring is here and the Joshua Trees are blooming! 

The Joshua tree typically grows in the Mojave Desert, in southwestern North America. They grow on average 3 inches a year, although because its trunk is made of thousands of small fibers, it lacks the typical tree rings, making it tough to determine its exact age. We do know that it can live for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

The flowers don’t bloom every year, but when they do they can be seen at the ends of the sword-like evergreen leaves from February to late April. Once they bloom, the trees are pollinated by the yucca moth. Wildfires can be devastating, since the moth will not find it advantageous to pollinate trees left isolated by fires, but prefer instead to pollinate within tree clusters.

Story:  Iris Picat; Photo: Lynne Scott, St George Field Office Landscape Architect

mypubliclands:

Wonderful a Critter Cam photo of a baby mule deer! Mule Deer usually give birth from April to June. A doe usually has a single fawn the first year she gives birth and twins in the following years. The fawn, colored reddish with white spots, weighs about 6 pounds at birth. It must nurse within the first hour and stand within the first 12 hours. During early weeks of life, the fawn sees its mother only at mealtimes for feeding. Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month. They have white camouflage spots and are further protected by having little or no scent. Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year.
Photo:  BLM Las Cruces Facebook

mypubliclands:

Wonderful a Critter Cam photo of a baby mule deer!

Mule Deer usually give birth from April to June. A doe usually has a single fawn the first year she gives birth and twins in the following years. The fawn, colored reddish with white spots, weighs about 6 pounds at birth. It must nurse within the first hour and stand within the first 12 hours. During early weeks of life, the fawn sees its mother only at mealtimes for feeding. Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month. They have white camouflage spots and are further protected by having little or no scent. Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year.

Photo:  BLM Las Cruces Facebook

wetlandfieldguide:

Mangroves in rehabilitated #wetlands near #newcastle (at Hexham Swamp)

wetlandfieldguide:

Mangroves in rehabilitated #wetlands near #newcastle (at Hexham Swamp)

NRCS works with all types of producers to improve farm operations and conservation.

Kilby’s Dairy Farm reviews conservation plans to make the farm more profitable, meet state and federal regulations, and ensure nutrients stay on her farm and out of the creeks.

NRCS Staff Brings Miss. Needles to Oregon Native Americans

Members of the Puget Salish Tribe in the Northwest are now using Southeastern longleaf pine needles from Mississippi to build baskets, all because of a connection made between two employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)—from the Gulf Coast to the West Coast.

NRCS District Conservationist Andrea Mann in Pendleton, Ore. read about Allen Hughes, who is a soil conservation technician in Poplarville, Miss. and a longleaf pine forest enthusiast, on the NRCS employee website. Hughes grew up and continues to live among the pine trees, which produce a needle that Mann learned is an excellent ingredient for basket weaving, a tradition common to many Native American tribes.

So far, he has sent 50 pounds of pine straw—another name for the needles—to Oregon, which he raked in the forest near his home. She paid for the postage and returned the favor by sending him two completed baskets.

As a Native American with ties to the Tuscarora Tribe of the Carolinas, she values the importance of the basket-making tradition. Mann would like to see other tribes start using the pine needles, too. Maybe the availability of longleaf pine needles will spur more tribes to return to this important tradition, she says.