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Some of the best campsites in California are on the grounds of BLM

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If you’ve spent enough time trying to snag one of the very limited camping spaces within Joshua Tree National Park, you’ll eventually find some helpful advice from a park ranger or fellow camper: “Head to blm Earth.” That’s what an avid camper, LA hiker is furniture factory Josh Jackson heard From a friend as he struggled to find a last minute campsite for his family in 2015.

BLM, or Bureau of Land Management, is a federal agency that oversees 245 million acres of public land and 700 million acres of mineral estate. Unlike the National Park Service, BLM lands are managed for a variety of uses, including mineral extraction, industrial leases, and power generation—but much of the land is focused on conservation and recreation.

Jackson found a spot near Trona Pinnacles, a series of tall tufa spiers located south of the city of Trona in the Searles Valley, and after this first experience, he was linked. Over the next five years, a period when the public lands came under increasing threat, he delved into the history of the office and the lands it administered. He felt that one of the most obvious weaknesses of BLM Land is that very few people know how beautiful it can be.

So Jackson set out, putting 14,000 miles on his car and more than 300 miles on his shoes, to explore and document “every accessible acre of BLM land in California.” (There are more than 15 million acres in California alone.) Although the end game for this project is a book, Jackson also launched an Instagram account Forgotten lands to chronicle his journey, show off terrain that is as dazzling as any national park, and share beautiful hand-made maps and many books on his extensive outdoor reading list.

I spoke with Jackson about his project and some of his favorite BLM spots in California.

What does being in nature mean to you?

It means slowing down. Long and slow walks. listen. Noticing each type of plant, geological patterns, and the way the Earth curves, rises, and falls. Remember that whatever you want to see is all around you at every moment.

What place inspires you and why?

Public lands managed by BLM’s Owens Wild Peak, where three large ecosystems collide in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada. This ecological transition zone is where the deserts of the Mojave and Great Basin meet the soaring Sierra Nevada Mountains, where creosote gives way to Joshua trees and finally pinyon pines and junipers. Among open meadows, meandering streams, rocky outcrops and an abundance of vegetation, this unique landscape has a great story to tell.

If you could change one thing about the way people think about nature, what would it be?

[We should] learn to see nature in our own backyard; in the eucalyptus and live oaks that line the streets of our city; in the flowers that bloom from cracks in the pavement and along deserted hillsides; In the Northern Mockingbird she sings from her perch on a telephone pole. We should all lean on him William CrononWisdom: “If savagery can stop existing (only) there and begin (also) here, if it can begin to be human as is natural, then perhaps we can move forward in the never-ending task of struggling to live.” properly in the world–not only in the garden, not only in the wilderness, but in the home that includes them both.”

What is your personal item that you can’t live without when you’re abroad?

Whether or not it can prevent damage, the wild whistle brings me much comfort when I am hiking alone in the backcountry woods or desert. Water, lots of water. and download offline topographic maps from onX.

What is the first piece of advice you would give to people who want to strengthen their relationship with nature?

Start by looking for it where you live. Walking down the street, around the block, or in the yard can be a wonderful experience with the natural world. Learn the names of the trees. Listen to the birds.

4 things to do

A wolf stands among dry grass on a hillside.

Coyote makes tracks in Liberty Canyon in the Agoura Hills. Saturday’s OC Interpretive Walk will look for animal and wilderness tracks.

(Caroline Cole / Los Angeles Times)

1. Find the tracks in Weir Canyon. Join rangers and naturalists on an easy five-mile interpretive hike Ware Canyon In the open space of Irvine Ranch in Orange County. There will be an introduction to animal tracks and droppings, and the group will keep their eyes peeled along the way for signs of animal life. free. The age should not be less than 12 years. Register in advance wanted.

Two children wearing hats stand holding hands in front of a glowing landscape.

Visitors learn about the Aboriginal fire environment in “A Forest for the Trees”.

(Juan Garcia Quintero)

2. See the forest for the trees. Tour the 28,000-square-foot interactive art installation in downtown Los Angeles and reimagine your relationship with the natural world around you. Directed by artist Glenn Keanu.forest of treesis a collaborative work involving Atlantic journalists, environmental scientists and indigenous tribal leaders. The installation was scheduled to close to all ages earlier this year but has been extended through December 11. Adult tickets $33.50 or $37.

Outside train depot covered in Christmas lights.

Get ready to ride the holiday train at Griffith Park.

(Rebecca Gustavson / GPRah Enterprise LLC and Griffith Park Train Rides)

3. Holiday train ride. The Griffith Park Holiday Festival of Lights Train is back! Starting Friday, the mile-long Griffith Park & ​​Southern Railroad track will be transformed into a winter wonderland with holiday scenes and thousands of lights. This year, the grounds will also have a number of outdoor photo booths and gift stands. Tickets are $7 per person and It can be purchased online. The holiday train runs nearly every night through January 6th, though it will be closed on December 24th, 25th, and 31st and in case of rain or high winds.

Close-up of six hands holding or wearing handmade bracelets and rings.

Narrow milkweed rope jewelry.

(National Park Service)

4. They met in a milkshake workshop. You may have heard of milkweed and its relationship to monarch butterflies (and hopefully, you’ve heard of the need of monarchs Sweetened milkweed), but the native narrow-leaved milkweed is also important to people. Join the volunteers at Rancho Sierra Vista on Saturday at 10 a.m. to learn about the importance of narrow-leaved milkweed to the Chumash, Tongva, and Tataviam peoples. Stay for a rope-making workshop led by Chumash jewelry designer Lia Valenzuela. free. Reservation required.

Must read

People stand on a paved area between mountain peaks.

It should be possible for city dwellers to escape the crowds when they are in Yosemite National Park.

(Brian Van der Brugh / Los Angeles Times)

allow? We don’t need stinky permits! But…maybe we do? A few weeks ago, I told you Arches National Park was Summer pass pilot program terminated Announcing plans for 2023 soon. Yosemite National Park has used a similar reservation system the last three summers due to construction and the COVID-19 warning, but they Abandon control of traffic summer 2023. Entry permits are a thorny issue. On the one hand, they make it more difficult to visit the parks, especially for people who can’t sit on a website that hits an update and wait for passes to open. On the other hand, they help reduce the often tired feet and car traffic that threatens the places we love. Park officials announced that they would be seeking input in December for a potential new system, so stay tuned. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are located in the region An open comment period about visitor experiences like that.

Check out “The Times” podcast for essential news and more.

These days, waking up to current events can be daunting. If you’re looking for a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse group of reporters from the Los Angeles Times award-winning newsroom, presents the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe Wherever you get your podcast.

red flag

A man is standing on top of a mountain, his arms stretched over his head, looking out over a bank of clouds.

Guide Andrew Maffei gives a prayer of thanks atop Mount Kilimanjaro, 19,341 feet high.

(Jack Dolan/Los Angeles Times)

Times investigative journalist Jack Dolan has always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. This year, he finally had his chance, but as is often the case, reality didn’t quite match his utopian vision. Dolan long piece is a beautiful look at the complex issues surrounding tourism on the mountain, as well as the changes that higher temperatures and new weather patterns have on the photo Kelly had when he began bagging the summits.

cool stuff

A human smiles while driving a small vehicle that has continuous tracks instead of wheels.

A person navigates specially designed tracks on a track chair.

(Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

Since I laced up my first pair of hiking shoes in 2005 (yes, I started late!), it’s been truly inspiring to watch the outdoor community welcome more people—and more people with different abilities. Some of the last and most difficult barriers are those faced by people with mobility issues, but there are a few agencies and programs that are making exciting progress. In The Washington Post, Andrea Sachs and Natalie B. Compton to state and federal agencies across the country that help everyone get outdoors through the use of Rugged all-terrain wheelchairs on specially designed tracks.

Wild thing

A woman wearing a bucket hat kneels on the ground next to a large tortoise.

Naturalist Lisa Lavelle examines a desert tortoise at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area in California.

(Irrfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

I’ve spent a lot of time in the deserts of California, but I’ve never seen a Mojave Desert tortoise. Just 80 years ago, the Mojave supported hundreds of turtles per square mile, but today, most areas outside protected recovery areas have only two to three adults per square mile — not enough to ensure population survival.. Times writer Louis Sahagún Effort details Take combos to protect The official state reptileincluding deterring predatory crows with lasers and petitioning for the tortoise to be listed under the California Endangered Species Act.


says the slogan "The next generation Trail Leader 2023."

Be a leader on the American Hiking Association’s NextGen Trail.

(American Hiking Association)

Looking to start a career in the outdoors? The American Hiking Association is accepting applications for its 2023 NextGen Trail Leaders program, a year-long boot camp for people looking to gain real experience advocating for public lands. Participants receive a stipend, training and support, an equipment scholarship, and the opportunity to meet with national leaders and legislators about trail and public land issues. The application deadline is December 4, so get it!

For more insider tips about Southern California beaches, trails, and parks, check out Previous editions of The Wild. To view this newsletter in your browser, click here.

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