Chapter 11
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)

Introduction

The designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) is authorized in Section 202 (c)(3) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA, P.L. 94-579). ACECs include public lands where special management attention and direction is needed to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, cultural, and scenic values, fish, or wildlife resources or other natural systems or processes; or to protect human life and safety from natural hazards. ACEC designation indicates BLM recognizes the significant values of the area and intends to implement management to protect and enhance the resource values.

For further information on the relevance criteria for ACEC determinations refer to Appendix A-1 of the draft RMP/EIS, pages 443-444.

Designation and management prescriptions apply only to public lands and minerals activities on Federally reserved mineral estate. Private lands within or adjacent to ACEC boundaries are not affected by these designations or management prescriptions. Existing permittees and other authorized land uses are recognized as valid and grandfathered rights to the extent applicable under the land use authorization.

In addition to the identification of areas to be designated as ACECs, the RMP outlines management objectives and prescriptions for each ACEC. The management objectives and prescriptions provide guidance for the Bureau to implement a resource management regime for the special resources of the area, in responding to public uses of the areas and in responding to applicants for land use authorizations. All ACEC's are considered land use authorization avoidance areas as they are known to contain resource values that will pose special constraints for and possibly denial of applications for land uses that can not be designed to be compatible with the management objectives and prescriptions for the ACEC.

Should additional management direction beyond that included in this RMP become necessary to meet management objectives, deal with public uses or respond to applications for land use authorizations, an activity plan may be prepared for the ACEC. The general objectives outlined in this appendix would guide the development of those activity plans. All parties of interest, including private landowners, permittees, other state and federal agencies and local governments, will be encouraged to become involved in the activity level planning processes.

A variety of supporting management activities may be taken to implement the management prescriptions. These generally include: posting boundaries, installing information signs, inventory and monitoring, acquisition of access, where appropriate, acquisition of additional lands from willing parties as necessary to meet management objectives,  and resolution of unauthorized uses. Support actions unique to an ACEC are listed as part of the ACEC description.

Summary

Fifteen ACECs are identified in the RMP containing approximately 238,800 acres. Of the 15 five are existing ACECs  identified in land use plans being carried forward by the RMP. The locations of the ACECs are shown on the Resource Area map included in the map packet and on individual maps found at the end of Chapter 11. The chart at the end of the chapter summarizes the information contained in the individual ACEC narratives that follow.

Coast Management Area:

Valley Management Area:

South Sierra Management Area:

Management Prescriptions: Coast, Valley, and South Sierra

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ACEC Maps

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