A Carrizo Plain National Monument sign stands in a large valley with mountains in the background.
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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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BLM>California>Bakersfield>What We Do>Land Use Planning>Caliente Resource Area: RMP>Valley Management Area Proposed Action
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Chapter 2
VALLEY MANAGEMENT AREA
PROPOSED ACTION

 
 

 

MANAGEMENT AREA SUMMARY
 

Acres

TOTAL AREA 4,761,520 Acres including portions of:
 

 

Kern County
Tulare County
Kings County
San Luis Obispo County 
Santa Barbara County
Ventura County

2,393,000 Acres
   894,000 Acres
   890,600 Acres
   480,000 Acres
   103,000 Acres
          920 Acres

 

FEDERAL LANDS 385,570 Surface Acres
 

 

BLM

Surface/minerals
Minerals only
Surface only

   497,700 Acres

   192,000 Acres
   205,300 Acres
   100,400 Acres
 

US Forest Service

 

           200 Acres

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Wildlife Refuges)

Kern
Pixley
Bittercreek .

      28,200 Acres

      10,200 Acres
        4,200 Acres
      13,800 Acres
 

Department Of Energy

Elk Hills NPR-1

     47,500 Acres

Military

Lemoore NAS

     16,600 Acres

BIA 

Santa Rosa Rancheria

 

          170 Acres

Bureau of Reclamation
 

          500 Acres

 


Management Area Objectives

Provide a leadership role in developing and implementing regional conservation strategies. Dedicate or reposition public lands to meet San Joaquin Valley conservation goals.

Integrate management objectives with and assist local county governments, private organizations, and state agencies in the development and implementation of local management plans (e.g. Habitat Conservation Plans, mitigation banks, county general plans, air and water quality plans).

Collaborate with the oil and gas and livestock industries in meeting mutually beneficial management objectives.

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Management Mechanisms, Allocations and Actions

Special Designations

Approximately 156,800 acres of Federal surface and subsurface; 55,700 acres of surface only; and 19,300 acres of subsurface, in 6 areas would be identified for Area of Critical Environmental Concern designation. See management prescriptions in RMP Chapter 11.

The Carrizo Plain Natural Area ACEC, encompassing 143,300 acres surface and subsurface, 10,880 acres subsurface only, and 55,730 acres surface only, would replace 3 existing ACECs. It would be managed for the protection of sensitive plant, animal, cultural, Native American traditional lifeway, and geologic resource values.

The Lokern ACEC (3,110 acres surface and subsurface and 3,420 acres subsurface only) would be managed for the protection of listed plant and animal species and oil and gas production.

The Alkali Sink ACEC (402 acres surface and subsurface) would be managed to protect the rare alkali sink plant community and habitat for state and federally listed plants and animals.

The Goose Lake ACEC (40 acres Federal surface and subsurface) is an existing ACEC, and it would be continue to be managed for the protection of the rare alkali sink vegetation, habitat for numerous shorebirds and raptors, and cultural resource values.

The Kettleman Hills ACEC (6,730 acres Federal surface and subsurface and 3,765 acres subsurface only) would be managed to protect significant paleontological values and wildlife habitat for federally listed species and oil and gas production.

The Chico Martinez ACEC (3,240 acres surface and subsurface and 1,280 acres subsurface only) encompasses and replaces the existing Reef Ridge ACEC. It would be managed to protect significant paleontological resources, as well as geologic type formations.

Approximately 114,960 acres of Federal surface and subsurface and 4,840 acres of subsurface, would be identified for one new and two existing Special Management Areas. See management prescriptions in RMP Chapter 12.

The existing Temblor Mountain and Caliente National Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management Areas (NCLWMA) would be continued with the adoption of the following objectives.

Public land within the existing Temblor NCLWMA would be managed for improved wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities as well as soil stabilization.

Public land within the existing Caliente NCLWMA would be managed for improved vegetative communities and recreational opportunities.

Public land within the Bittercreek National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 960 acres of Federal surface and subsurface and 4,840 acres of subsurface only, would be managed to serve as conserved lands. Management as a Special Management Area would provide the special attention required for management of the Bureau administered surface and subsurface to be compatible with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's management of the surrounding Bittercreek National Wildlife Refuge.

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Summary of ACEC/SMA Management Allocations
and Management GuidelinesValley Management Area

 
 

ACEC/Size

Management Prescription

Alkali Sinks

402 acres

Open for the leasing of oil, gas, and geothermal resources subject to NSU.

Proposed for withdrawal from entry under the mining laws.

Manage as a Day Use area

Access off designated routes of travel is restricted to pedestrian travel.

Water diversions are prohibited.

Collection of vegetative materials within the ACEC requires authorization.

Unavailable for livestock grazing due to other resource concerns

Carrizo Plain *

199,030 acres

Open for the leasing of oil, gas, and geothermal resources subject to the following special stipulations: LSU - Protected Species, LSU - Sensitive Species and LSU - Raptors.

Implement the Carrizo Plain Natural Area Management Plan.

Soda Lake and the surrounding wetlands shall be proposed for withdrawal from entry under the mining laws.

Camping is restricted to designated locations.

Portions are available for livestock grazing for research and to meet ACEC goals.

Chico Martinez *

3,240 acres and
1,280 acres minerals

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.

Available for livestock grazing.

Goose Lake

40 acres

Open for leasing of oil, gas, and geothermal resources subject to NSU.

Proposed for withdrawal from entry under mining laws.

Manage as a Day Use area

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

Collection of vegetative materials within the ACEC requires authorization.

Unavailable for livestock grazing due to other resource concerns

Kettleman Hills

6,730 acres and 3,765 acres minerals

Open for the leasing of oil, gas, and geothermal resources subject to the following stipulations: LSU - Protected Species and LSU - Raptors.

Available for livestock grazing and is currently allotted and grazing will continue to be authorized.

Lokern

3,110 acres and 3,420 acres minerals

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.

Unavailable for livestock grazing due to other resource concerns, unless research shows grazing is necessary to meet management objectives

 

*Includes existing ACECs

 

SMA/Size

Management Prescriptions

Bittercreek

960 acres and 4,840 acres minerals

Closed to the leasing of oil, gas and geothermal resources.

Available and currently allotted for livestock grazing.  Grazing will continue to be authorized.

Seasonal restrictions and limits on access may be required to prevent disturbance to condors.

Caliente/Temblor NCLWMA

114, acres

Open for the leasing of oil, gas and geothermal resources subject to LSU - Protected Species stipulation.

These lands are withdrawn from application under the non-mineral public land laws and from disposition under the homestead, desert land entry and script selections laws.

Available for livestock grazing.

 

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Biological Resources

Public lands identified by the USF&WS and CDF&G as important for the recovery of Federally listed species would be managed as conserved lands (see "A Conservation Strategy for Threatened and Endangered Species in the San Joaquin Valley" in RMP Chapter 9). These areas would be managed in a manner consistent with the direction established by the USF&WS and CDF&G through the Kern Valley Floor HCP and any pertinent recovery plans, and would complement local conservation plans.

Lands within threatened and endangered species range would be available for oil, gas, and geothermal leasing subject to the limited surface use threatened and endangered species stipulation, with the exception of lands within Bittercreek SMA, which is closed to leasing, and Alkali Sink and Goose Lake ACECs which are open to leasing subject to NSU (see Map packet).

Land Tenure Adjustments

Approximately 80,000 acres (250 parcels) would be identified for local repositioning through land exchanges to consolidate natural resource values, with an emphasis on meeting conservation needs identified in species recovery plans and county habitat conservation plans. See RMP Chapter 4 for detailed information.

Approximately 7,000 acres would be identified as suitable for New Managers where lands would be transferred to other parties as follows:

Approximately 5,500 acres would be targeted for transfer to the U.S. Forest Service.

Approximately 1,500 acres would be targeted for transfer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Bittercreek National Wildlife Refuge. These lands would be managed to serve as a threatened and endangered species conservation area.

Approximately 5,400 acres in the Kettleman Hills would be cooperatively managed with the BLM Hollister Resource Area.

Livestock Grazing

Approximately 275,000 acres of the public land within the Valley Management Area would be available for livestock grazing. Of this figure, 270,200 acres lie within existing allotments, and 4,800 acres are currently unalloted and would be available for application for livestock grazing. The remainder of the public lands in the Management Area, approximately 18,000 acres, would be classified as unavailable for livestock grazing.  Authorizations will only be made on lands available for grazing. The following criteria are used to identify lands unavailable for grazing:

Unalloted lands which have known sensitive resource concerns would be considered closed to new grazing authorizations.

Unalloted lands which are inaccessible to livestock due to heavy brush, steep slopes, rough terrain, or are too far from water sources would be considered unsuitable for new grazing authorizations.

Livestock grazing would continue to be authorized on 270,200 acres of public land in 54 allotments at levels shown in RMP Chapter 6.

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New grazing applications may be authorized if residual impacts to sensitive resources are not significant.  Applications or new grazing allotments would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis following the criteria listed in RMP Chapter 6. Mulch, utilization and seasonal use restrictions would be consistent with guidelines used for existing allotments found in RMP Chapter 6.

Minerals

Fluid Minerals

The Valley Management Area contains a total of 397,300 acres of mineral estate of which a total of 136,000 acres are currently leased. Approximately 24,700 acres within the existing Caliente Mountain WSA are closed to leasing.  The remaining 253,200 acres in the management area are unleased. Public acreage that is currently leased will not be subject to additional stipulations; however, if leases expire, and new leasing occurs, special stipulations may be applied.

Approximately 5,800 BLM acres at Bittercreek SMA would be closed to oil and gas leasing.

Approximately 500 BLM acres in Goose Lake and Alkali Sink ACEC would be open to oil and gas leasing with a No Surface Use Stipulation (NSU). Approximately 300 acres are currently leased.

Approximately 18,000 acres would be open to oil and gas leasing under standard terms and conditions.

Approximately 348,300 acres would be open to oil and gas leasing with a Limited Surface Use (LSU) stipulation; of that total, approximately 136,000 acres are currently under lease.

Special categories of the LSU stipulations include:

212,300 acres would be subject to the LSU-Protected Species stipulation of which 136,000 acres are currently leased.

300 acres would be subject to the LSU-Critical Habitat stipulation.

126,500 acres would be subject to the LSU-Sensitive Species stipulation, of which 42,100 acres are currently leased.

113,100 acres would be subject to the LSU-Raptor stipulation of which 26,500 acres are currently leased.

Areas within the Valley Management Area that would be subject to more than one category of the LSU stipulations include: the Carrizo Plain Natural Area ACEC where protected species, sensitive species and raptor stipulations apply; Lokern ACEC, where both protected species and sensitive species stipulations apply; and Kettleman Hills where protected species and raptor stipulations apply.

The 16,600 acres of Federal mineral estate under the administration of the Department of Defense (DOD at Lemoore Naval Air Station) would be open to oil and gas leasing subject to the LSU-Defense stipulation.

Solid Minerals

Approximately 7,900 acres are proposed for withdrawal from entry under the mining law in four areas. These areas would include the Alkali Sink, Carrizo Plain Natural Area (Soda Lake only), Chico Martinez and Goose Lake ACECs.

The remaining 389,400 acres within the Valley Management Area would remain open to solid mineral and mineral material exploration and development under existing laws and regulations. Management objectives and guidelines would be utilized to evaluate applications for development of the solid mineral and mineral material resources.

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Return to Chapter 2 - Management Objectives & Allocations

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