Watchable Wildlife Viewing Sites


Watchable Wildlife sites: 21 of the best wildlife viewing areas in the state, are  completely or partly on BLM-administered land.

"Ultimate Wildlife Watching" can help you see more wildlife and enjoy yourself more - and you will be less likely to inadvertently cause harm to the animals you encounter.



Something to think about while viewing wildlife

The continued existence of both non-human and human life depends on conserving varied habitat, plants and wildlife. This "biological diversity" is not just a pleasing variety of wildlife and plants to look at -- it also provides many critically-needed medicines; offers increased productivity; helps increase insect, disease, and drought resistance in existing food sources; and leads to the discovery of new food crops.

Some 26 species of wildlife and 12 types of plants that occur on public lands are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Almost 200 other species on public lands are rare enough to be candidates for threatened or endangered status.

The BLM is working with various partners around the state to help preserve varied habitat, while providing for recreation, mineral development, and other uses where appropriate. This effort includes:

  • setting aside natural areas and reserves;
  • cooperatively managing important habitat areas;
  • giving special attention to the recovery of rare species;
  • and conducting critical research on threatened and endangered species.

Natural areas, such as those showcased here, help preserve California's wildlife for future generations. But the management of the wildlands between these management areas is equally important. The BLM recognizes the need to protect and manage ecosystems, biological communities, and landscapes. Large-scale regional efforts must include federal, state, and local governments as well as private landowners, conservation and other groups, and developers.

Community and public participation are needed to make it all work. The Watchable Wildlife program contributes to this effort by establishing a nationwide network of quality viewing areas, marked by the easily recognized "binoculars" sign. A companion series of state wildlife viewing guides -- known as the Watchable Wildlife Series -- includes the California Wildlife Viewing Guide.

More about The National Watchable Wildlife Program and the California Wildlife Viewing Guide can be found at

The Bureau of Land Management's mandate, under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, requires the agency to manage public lands in a way that accommodates its many uses -- such as fishing, camping, hiking, boating, grazing, timber harvesting and mining. This style of management is aimed at promoting biological diversity (nature's variety of life forms and processes) and sustainable development (the long-term use of natural resources without damaging the environment).

Although conflicts between different groups of land users are inevitable, the BLM tries to reduce these conflicts by encouraging groups to resolve their differences through negotiation rather than litigation. The BLM also tries to achieve consensus by soliciting advice from all affected parties or "stakeholders" -- such as ranchers, environmentalists and recreationists -- before making any major land-management decisions.

logoWatchable Wildlife Sites map and list