A Carrizo Plain National Monument sign stands in a large valley with mountains in the background.
Rafting the Kern River Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield Painted Rock. Carrizo Plain National Monument. Poppy Piedras Blancas Lightstation, San Simeon
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Frequently Asked Questions. Carrizo Plain National Monument

overlooking soda lake

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What is a National Monument?
National Monuments are designated to protect objects of scientific and historic interest by public proclamation by the President of the United States as authorized by the Antiquities Act of 1906.  Monuments are also created by Congress through legislation.  Historic landmarks, historic or prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest on public lands may warrant designation as a monument.

Why was the Carrizo Plain designated as a National Monument?
The Carrizo Plain is the largest remaining remnant of the original San Joaquin Valley habitat, and as such is of prime historic and scientific interest.  Its preservation is vital to the survival of this habitat and the wildlife it supports.

Who manages the Carrizo Plain National Monument?
The National Monument designation applies only to public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  Existing private lands within the monument boundaries are not affected by the designation.  The overall Carrizo Plain, which includes some state owned land, will continue to be jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy.  

What kinds of restrictions apply to using the Monument?se caliente mountain range
The Monument Proclamation establishes specific direction and limitations to ensure protection of the monument´s resource values.  Current laws and regulations designed to protect sensitive natural and cultural resources will continue to be enforced.  Currently permitted livestock grazing will remain as part of the ongoing research to maintain a healthy ecosystem for many listed species. The Carrizo Plain National Monument is also withdrawn from any new mineral entry under the mining laws and the mineral leasing laws. Valid existing rights at the time of designation will not be affected.  

For more information, see the Carrizo Plain National Monument Approved Resource Management Plan and Record of Decision [RMP], dated April 10, 2010.

pronghorn buck

Is hunting allowed?
Hunting, camping and similar recreational activities will still be permitted on public lands.  Private in-holdings will remain closed to the public.  Target shooting is prohibited.

Is there a user fee?
The RMP calls for an assessment of recreation sites and programs to determine whether or not they meet the criteria for charging standard or extended amenity fees under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. If a site or program is determined to meet the criteria, the appropriate process for establishing fees will be followed, which will include opportunities for public involvement.  See Action REC-1(P) in the RMP.

What are the benefits of becoming a National Monument?
The primary benefit of becoming a National Monument is to ensure continued protection of the Carrizo Plain's unique natural and cultural resources.  Increased management also allows BLM to provide better visitor services.  This national designation attracts the attention of not only the visiting public, but also federal and state agencies, private organizations, and  schools and universities interested in environmental education or research opportunities. Further research will enhance our understanding of listed and other species, aiding in appropriate management of the area as a whole.  Due to the unusually high number of sensitive species, there is much to be learned within the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and this information can ultimately be applied in other areas.  The designation as a national monument elevates this unique natural area into a national system designed to identify and protect such values.

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Bakersfield Field Office
Carrizo Plain National Monument
Goodwin Education Center
Phone: (805) 475-2131
Open: December 1 - May 31.
Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Th. - Su.
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Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Phone: (661) 391-6000
Fax: (661) 391-6041
Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., M-F
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