You may have never heard of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the federal government agency that manages more than 245 million acres of public land across the country.
But with just shy of 25,000 followers, the Bureau of Land Management is already killing it on Instagram. The fact its responsibilities include overseeing the most gorgeous parks, deserts, and forests across the country makes it perfect for the photo-sharing platform.
Many of the BLM’s Instagram photos are taken by its employees out in the field.
Social media is an interesting strategy for government agencies. The TSA’s Instagram account is known for posting pictures of bizarre, illegal weaponry people try to bring on flights.
Caption: The Rogue River is located in southwestern Oregon and flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. The 84 mile, Congressionally designated 'National Wild and Scenic' portion of the Rogue begins 7 miles west of Grants Pass and ends 11 miles east of Gold Beach. The Rogue was one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The Rogue National Wild and Scenic River is surrounded by forested mountains and rugged boulder and rock-lined banks. Steelhead and salmon fishery, challenging whitewater, and extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities have made the Rogue a national treasure. Black bear, river otter, black-tail deer, bald eagles, osprey, Chinook salmon, great blue heron, water ouzel, and Canada geese are common wildlife seen along the Rogue River. Popular activities include: whitewater rafting, fishing, jet boat tours, scenic driving, hiking.
Caption: Yaquina Head Lighthouse turned 141 years old this week! Since August 1873, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse has commanded a striking vista along the #Oregon #Coast. Today, it does double-duty as a working #lighthouse and as the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, managed by the BLM as part of the National Conservation Lands. The area affords public access to a point that juts one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall, the light house provides a beacon to guide ships and their supplies along the craggy coast.
Caption: Aerial photo of the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska or NPR-A Natures patterns are often more visible from the air, and they are even more striking here than most places I've been -- the evidence of the power of ice is everywhere. By Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist
Caption: On Feb. 26, the BLM New Mexico State Director Jesse Juen presented Arizona's Friends of the Agua Fria National Monument with the BLM's 2014 'Public Lands Partnership Excellence' National Award. The Friends of the Agua Fria National Monument were honored for their outstanding service to the BLM in the management and protection of the Monument's valuable natural and cultural resources.
Adjacent to rapidly expanding communities, the 70,900-acre Agua Fria National Monument is approximately 40 miles north of central Phoenix. The area is located on a high mesa semi-desert grassland, cut by the canyon of the Agua Fria River and other ribbons of valuable riparian #forest, contributing to an outstanding biological resource.
The diversity of vegetative communities, topographic features, and a dormant volcano decorates the landscape with a big rocky, basaltic plateau. The Agua Fria river canyon cuts through this plateau exposing precambrian rock along the canyon walls. Elevations range from 2,150 feet above sea level along the Agua Fria Canyon to about 4,600 feet in the northern hills. This expansive mosaic of semi-desert area, cut by ribbons of valuable riparian forest, offers one of the most significant systems of prehistoric sites in the American Southwest.
In addition to the rich record of human history, the monument contains outstanding biological resources. The area is the home to coyotes, bobcats, antelope, mule deer, javelina, a variety of small mammals and songbirds. Eagles and other raptors may also be seen. Native fish such as the longfin dace, the Gila mountain sucker, the Gila chub, and the speckled dace, exist in the Agua Fria River and its tributaries. http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/natmon/afria.html
Caption: This Labour Day, #getoutdoors and enjoy your public lands - like the amazing geological formations of the Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area in New Mexico. The Ah-shi-sle-pah WSA is located in northwestern New Mexico and is a badland area of rolling water-carved clay hills. The area is rich in fossils and has little vegetation to conceal geological formations. It is a landscape of sandstone cap rocks and scenic olive-coloured hills. Water in this area is scarce and there are no trails; however, the area is scenic and contains soft colours rarely seen elsewhere. Photo by Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM's National Conservation Lands
Caption: Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada's first National Conservation Area. Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159. The area is 195,819 acres and is visited by more than one million people each year. In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with exhibit rooms and a book store. The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. One million visitors each year enjoy the spectacular desert landscape, climbing and hiking opportunities, and interpretive programs sponsored by the BLM.
Caption: Ready for the supermoon tonight? Check out this amazing photo of a supermoon setting over the Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area in southwestern Montana. A sight to behold from Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM's National Conservation Lands.
Caption: Nestled in the heart of California's Central Valley, the Consumnes River Preserve is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Over 250 species of birds have been sighted on or near the Preserve, including the State-listed threatened Swainson hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Canada geese and numerous ducks. The Preserve is home to California's largest remaining valley oak riparian forest, and is one of the few protected wetland habitat areas in the state. This habitat has been reduced by more than 90% of its historical occurrence in California. The Preserve includes 46,000 acres of central valley grasslands, vernal pools, wetlands and valley oak forests. Photos: Bob Wick, BLM
Caption: While out scouting training locations for riparian areas with proper functioning conditions, BLM seasonal employees snapped this photo of a storm system moving into the area. Photos courtesy of BLM Miles City Field Office employees Kelsey Weyerbacher and Cindy Tusler
Caption: On This Day in History - The BLM Was Established On July 16, 1946, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service merged and became the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of Interior. With historical roots spanning 200+ years, the BLM now manages many places -- like ghost towns, mining camps, and homesteads -- that give visitors a glimpse into what life may have been like for early settlers and pioneers.
Pictured here is the BLM-managed Garnet Ghost town in Montana. A young nation expanded into the Montana territory in the mid-1860s. Many scoured the mountains for gold and other precious metals. Settlements grew overnight around mining claims. The town of Garnet was born in 1895, and within several years, hundreds of people called it home. The blasts of dynamite and the shouts of miners echoed through the gulches. But Garnet was not destined to last. Today, most of the town is publicly owned, and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM stabilizes and preserves the remaining two dozen buildings and provides visitors a glimpse into this fascinating part of our past. Photos: Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist
Caption: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WYOMING, FROM THE PONY EXPRESS TRAIL! On this day in history, Wyoming became the 44th state in 1890. The Bureau of Land Management administers more than 17.5 million acres of public lands and 40.7 million acres of federal mineral estate in Wyoming.
The state's rugged and historic lands are rich in legend of outlaw activity in the late 1800s, most notably Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch Gang. BLM Wyoming manages the Middle Fork, Hole in the Wall and other infamous western sites as well as the longest and most intact segments of the National Historic Trails System which includes 1400 miles of the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, Pony Express and Nez Perce trail.
The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Wyoming is a cooperative partnership between BLM, the National Historic Trails Center Foundation and the City of Casper. The Trails Center interprets the significant role of the area's historic trails in the history of the United States, and seeks to promote public understanding of both America's western Native cultures and historic westward expansion while highlighting BLM's role as active stewards of public lands. Photo by Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM's National Conservation Lands
Caption: Developed cooperatively in the late 1990's, Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail is located in southern Utah's red rock country, and received National Recreation Trail status in 2006. It is not surprising, with the spectacular views offered from the mesa rims, and the technical terrain challenging mountain bikers, that this winding singletrack and slickrock is a local, and now international, favourite! Photo by Iris Picat, BLM
Caption: America's Heroes and America's Public Lands: Military Families and Veterans Recreation Adventure The BLM Eastern States Office has teamed up with the Sierra Club to co-host the America's Heroes and America's Public Lands Day from 9:00 am to 3:00 p.m. this Saturday, June 21, 2014 at Meadowood, Virginia to honour our nation's veterans. This free event is open to everyone who would like to honour our veterans and share a day of activities for the entire family.
Events include a guided bird walk, games for children, pony rides, a rock climbing wall, fishing, archery, a guided mountain biking ride, hiking, and a reptile show. We are also holding a wild horse and burro adoption. America's Heroes and America's Public Lands Day is made possible by a national agreement signed between the BLM and Sierra Club in 2013 that has provided opportunities for military veterans and their families to recreate on public lands across the nation.
Caption: Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM's National Conservation Lands, sent us this photo from the Forty Mile Wild and Scenic River, BLM Alaska. His message - The moose calves were not photoshopped - their legs really are that lanky!
Caption: BLMer Bob Wick shares this beautiful photo of Paria Canyon Vermillion Cliffs National Monument -- 'One of the greatest dark sky areas in the country is this part of southern #Utah and Northern #Arizona, so the #MilkyWay is spectacular at night.'
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