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
BLM>California>Bakersfield>What We Do>Land Use Planning>Caliente Resource Area: RMP>Chico Martinez ACEC
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Chapter 11 - ACECs
Valley Management Area

Chico Martinez

The Chico Martinez ACEC is located along Chico Martinez and Carneros Creeks in Kern County, west of the town of Buttonwillow and northeast of the town of McKittrick. The ACEC encompasses 3240 acres of federal surface and subsurface, and 1,280 acres of federal minerals.

The Reef Ridge area was designated as a Research Natural Area (RNA) in the 1984 Coast Valley RMP to protect exposed paleontologic and geologic formations and tar seeps. The BLM does not administer surface acreage near the seeps or on Reef Ridge itself so that area is removed from consideration and the new name of Chico Martinez ACEC  will be used to highlight type locations of significant geologic formations and sites of cultural interest.

The area is the type location for the Zemorrian Stage and for a number of members of geologic formations, including the following: within the Monterey Shale, the Gould Shale member and the reference section of the McLure Shale member; within the Temblor Formation the Button bed member, the Carneros Sandstone member and the Phacoides sand member. Oddities such as 10 inch diameter concretions and sandstone (clastic) dikes with fault-offset are a highlight of a trip to the area. The well exposed rock outcrops here facilitate the study of geology and stratigraphy.

The ACEC provides habitat for the blunt nosed-leopard lizard, the San Joaquin kit fox and the prairie falcon.

A small creek originates at Carneros Spring, at the base of the Carneros rocks. The spring and natural caves were used by travelers along the early California trail from San Pedro to East Oakland. Native Americans, sheepmen, cattlemen, and wild horses used this spring. Stories describe outlaw bands in the days of Joaquin Murietta as using Carneros rocks as a rendezvous place.

Current uses include field trips to view the outcrops of famous rock formations. School and professional society field trips frequently come to view the well-exposed geology and stratigraphy of some of Kern County's most fossiliferous and oil-bearing formations.

Objective      Manage the Chico Martinez ACEC to protect significant exposures of important paleontologic resources, geologic rock type formations, and endangered species.

Management Prescriptions

This ACEC is open for the leasing of oil, gas, and geothermal resources subject to the LSU - Protected Species stipulation.

Access off designated routes of travel is limited to pedestrian and equestrian travel.

The ACEC is available for livestock grazing and is currently allotted and grazing will continue to be authorized.

Support Actions

A Cooperative Management Agreement will be developed with adjacent landowners.

Legal Description

T. 29 S., R. 20 E., MDB&M
Sections 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11
Portions of the following Sections including:
Sec. 2 Lots 4, 5, SW¼NW¼, SW¼, S½SE¼
Sec. 6 E½ including Lots 1, 10 - 12, 21 - 24, 65, 66
Sec. 7 E½ including Lots 1, 2, 11, 12, SE¼
Sec. 12 N½NE¼, NW¼, SW¼
Sec. 17 N½, N½SW¼, N½SE¼
Sec. 18 NE¼, E½NW¼, NE¼SW¼, N½SE¼

Area Map

Page 125 

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