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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Bakersfield Field Office

Land Use Planning

In 1976 Congress passed "The Federal Land Policy and Management Act", often referred to by its acronym of "FLPMA". With this act, Congress directed how BLM is to manage public lands. FLPMA specifies several key instructions for the Bureau, notably:

  • that goals and objectives be established as guidelines for public land use planning, and that management be on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield unless otherwise specified by law;
  • and that the public lands be managed in a manner:

    • that will protect the quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resources, and archaeological values;
    • that where appropriate, will preserve and protect certain lands in their natural condition;
    • that will provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic animals;
    • and that will provide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use.

As prescribed by FLPMA, BLM prepares land use plans that identify goals and objectives for the management of public lands, and allocate certain kinds of uses.
Examples of land use allocations within the Bakersfield Office include:

  • identification of lands to be leased for oil and gas development, and what stipulations may be attached to those actions;
  • identification of lands available for livestock grazing, and how grazing will be managed;
  • identification of lands available for sale or exchange; and
  • identification of lands that warrant protection as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
Resource Management Plans

The Bureau of Land Management calls its land use plans "Resource Management Plans" (RMPs). These plans prescribe management only on BLM managed public lands and federal mineral estate - they have no jurisdiction over private or state lands, or public domain managed by other agencies.

Resource management plans are built upon public involvement. Prior to preparation of the plan, the public is invited to help identify issues and concerns, they are briefed on proposals through open houses and public advisory councils, they are invited to comment on the draft plan, and if they feel that the proposed RMP is misguided, they may even protest the action in question. Once completed, an RMP may guide management for fifteen or more years.

  • On December 22, 2014, the Bakersfield Field Office "Approved Resource Management Plan/Record of Decision" (ARMP/ROD) was signed by State Director James Kenna.  This document revises two existing Resource Management Plans (RMPs); the 1997 Caliente RMP and portions of the 1984 Hollister RMP, to address the availability of new data and updated policies, emerging issues, and changing circumstances that have occurred during the 14 plus years since the Record of Decisions (RODs) for these plans were signed. 
  • The Carrizo Plain National Monument RMP was completed April 2010. View a copy of the Final EIS and Approved RMP with the Record of decision from this link:  Carrizo RMP status page.   From this link, view the previous Carrizo Plain Natural Area Plan.
  • The California Coastal National Monument RMP was completed in 2005. The RMP guides BLM management of rocks and islands off the coast of California, stretching from the Mexican border to Oregon. The portion within the Bakersfield Field Office is in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. View the California Coastal RMP.