Chapter 11 - ACECs
Valley Management Area


The Lokern ACEC lies in western Kern County at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. The area is east of the Temblor Mountain Range, north of the Elk Hills Range, and west of the town of Buttonwillow and contains 3,110 acres of Federal surface and subsurface and 3,420 acres of Federal minerals.

This large undeveloped area is home to high population levels of the State listed San Joaquin antelope squirrel and the State and Federally listed San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat and Tipton kangaroo rat. The Lokern area also contains virtually all populations of the Federally listed Kern mallow. A second Federally listed plant, Hoover's woolly-star, also occurs in the area. In addition, numerous sensitive animal species (short-nosed kangaroo rat, San Joaquin pocket mouse, long-billed curlew, mountain plover and ferruginous hawk) occur in the area.  The area is characterized by open grasslands, patches of saltbush scrub and a dense growth of alkali sink scrub.

The Lokern area has been identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game and in the Kern County Habitat Conservation Plan as a location important for the management lands to promote the conservation and recovery of endangered species.

This ACEC is considered to have high potential for the occurrence of oil and gas. However, the ACEC lies in a northwest trending synclinal area which is not considered highly prospective for oil and gas. Some deep wells have been drilled to find Miocene or older oil reservoirs directly to the southwest, but they have not resulted in oil production. Interest in the area continues as demonstrated by several large scale geophysical exploration projects.

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Two existing grazing leases occur in the ACEC. Several rights-of-ways for pipelines, transmission lines and roads occur in the area. Several oil and gas leases have been issued for the area, which is adjacent to several major oil fields.  There are no active mining claims.

Designation as an ONA/ACEC would provide the special management attention needed to protect resource values while still allowing compatible uses. This area meets the relevance and importance criteria for ACECs.

Objective      Manage the Lokern ACEC in cooperation with local landowners and other State, Federal and Local governments as a natural ecosystem for the benefit of threatened and endangered species and their habitats, while recognizing the rights and needs of authorized users of public lands.

Management Prescriptions

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

If a suitable mineral materials site cannot be found outside of the ACEC, sales of mineral materials may be authorized at the site of the old Elk Hill Community pit in the NW 1/4 of Section 2, Township 30S, Range 22W, MDB&M. As part of the reclamation fee, a compensation fee will be collected.

The ACEC is unavailable for livestock grazing due to other resource concerns, unless research shows grazing is necessary to meet management objectives.

Manage as a Day Use area.

Support Actions

A Cooperative Management Agreement with adjacent landowners shall be pursued in order to increase the protection afforded to listed species.

Coordinate management with the Kern County Habitat Conservation Plan and other state and federal agencies.

Legal Description

T. 28 S., R. 22 E. MDB&M
Sec. 28 SE¼ that portion west of West Side Canal

T. 29 S., R. 22 E., MDB&M
Sec. 4 S½N½, S½
Sec. 30 SE¼ that portion east of State Route 33
Sec. 32 W½, SW¼NE¼,W½SE¼, SE¼SE¼
Sec. 36 W½NW¼

T. 29 S., R. 23 E., MDB&M
Sec. 32 S½NE¼, SE¼NW¼, S½
Sec. 34 NW¼NW¼, S½NW¼, S½

T. 30 S., R. 22 E., MDB&M
Sec. 2
Sec. 4
Sec. 8 NE¼
Sec. 10

T. 30 S., R. 23 E., MDB&M
Sec. 2
Sec. 4 NE¼, NW¼, S½
Sec. 6

T. 30 S., R. 24 E., MDB&M
Sec. 6 S½SW¼, SW¼SE¼
Sec. 8 SW¼, NW¼SE¼, S½SE¼

Area Map

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