Chapter 1

Resource Management Plan Overview

The RMP identifies management objectives, levels and types of uses that may occur, conditions to be maintained, limitations on uses, and provides resource specific management guidelines on an area-wide and site specific basis. The decisions made in this RMP will be implemented either directly, or through subsequent site specific activity plans supported by appropriate NEPA analysis with opportunities for public involvement.

This RMP will provide BLM with direction for management for an estimated fifteen year period following the issuance of the Record of Decision. "Land Use Allocation" decisions, such as designating the Cypress Mountain Area of Critical Environmental Concern, go into effect when the Record of Decision is signed by the State Director. Other RMP decisions will be implemented as funding is available. Some RMP decisions will require completion of site specific activity plans prior to being carried out.

BLM will monitor the RMP on an annual basis to track completion of the actions approved in the RMP and to identify needed changes to the RMP. Minor changes not requiring alteration of land use allocations will be documented in supporting records to maintain the plan over time.

Should the plan require revision through amendment, the BLM will fully involve the public in any substantive modification of this RMP. Any change to land use allocations will be effected through a formal plan amendment or revision prepared in conformance with BLM planning regulations found in Section 1610.4 of Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Agencies, organizations, and individuals expressing an interest in the Caliente RMP will be informed of any proposed changes and will be provided an opportunity to participate in the amendment and revision process.

Resource Area Overview

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Caliente Resource Area encompasses a geographic area including 13.8 million acres of land in central California. The Caliente Resource Management Plan (RMP) will guide management of the approximately 590,000 acres of public land and an additional 450,000 acres of Federal reserved mineral estate (split estate) within the geographic area, including rocks and islands along the California coast of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The Caliente Resource Area, includes portions of Kern, Kings, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties. Major cities include Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. Stretching from the Pacific Ocean across the southern Central Valley and through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, public lands are scattered across the planning area in numerous small parcels. The larger blocks of public land lie in the Carrizo Plain of eastern San Luis Obispo County, in the Lake Isabella - Walker Pass regions of Kern & Tulare Counties and in the Chimney Peak and Three Rivers regions of Tulare County.

The planning area has been divided into three separate management areas: Coast, Valley and South Sierra.  Characteristics of the management areas are briefly described below.

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Coast Management Area

The Coast Management Area includes 20,400 acres of public land in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. Most of the public land, including the largest parcels, are in mountainous terrain between Nacimiento and Twitchell reservoirs. Public lands contain several sensitive plant species and habitats. The Sespe area includes some concentrated oil and gas development, although there are few public lands in the area. The California Condor is the only federally listed threatened or endangered species known from public lands in the area. There are an additional 48,600 acres of Federal subsurface mineral rights.

Valley Management Area

The Valley Management Area includes the southern San Joaquin Valley and the Carrizo Plain. There are approximately 293,000 acres of public land, and an additional 205,300 acres of Federal reserved mineral estate. Private lands in the management area are predominantly devoted to agriculture, livestock grazing and oil and gas development.  Most of the public land is found in the area of the Temblor Mountains-Carrizo Plain-Caliente Range. The management area is one of the largest oil and gas producing zones in the nations. Many parcels of federal land and federal mineral estate contribute to the production, which is important at the national, state and local levels. Many of the public land parcels provide habitat for five plant species and six animals that are Federally listed as threatened or endangered.

South Sierra Management Area

The South Sierra Management Area includes 276,000 acres of public land and approximately 196,000 acres of Federal reserved mineral estate. The larger blocks of public land lie near Lake Isabella, Walker Pass, Chimney Peak, and Three Rivers. The lands have value for watershed and wildlife habitat, unique plant communities and a variety of recreational uses. The management area includes five designated wilderness units containing approximately 109,000 acres and 116 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

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Management Area Boundaries

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