Chapter 12 - Special Management Area Descriptions
Coast Management Area

Frog Pond Mountain

Frog Pond Mountain consists of a 53-acre parcel of public land located in western San Luis Obispo County. The parcel is located four air miles southwest of Atascadero and eight air miles northeast of Morro Bay.

The area includes 10 acres of California Bay Forest, a plant community considered rare by the California Department of Fish and Game. The California Bay Forest on public land ranges from exclusive stands of California bay forming closed canopies along the riparian zone supported by Frog Pond Spring, to mixed stands of California bay, toyon, black sage and chamise on the north facing slopes. Deciduous willows with maidenhair, sword and coffee ferns, moss and other wet area species occur along a second riparian corridor that extends north of Frog Pond Spring. This small patch of California Bay Forest may be one of the few locations on public lands, and one of the southernmost examples of this community type. The parcel is adjacent to a growing development of private home sites. With increased population, it is anticipated that human visitation and use of the site will increase.

Steep topography and the presence of dense vegetation, which includes poison oak at the one easily accessible location of the parcel, has helped to prevent significant impacts to the site. Current impacts to the parcel include an unauthorized water diversion by a private landowner for domestic household use. Increased water diversion or even continued water diversion may adversely impact the California Bay Forest which is heavily dependent on moist conditions.

A wildfire swept over the parcel in 1994. With the exception of the riparian zone supporting the California Bay Forest the entire parcel was burned.

No oil and gas leases, grazing authorizations or land use authorizations have been issued within the area. Most of the area is underlain by Jurassic basalt flows, except for a bed of chert several hundred feet wide on the western part of the area. Manganese is often associated with these chert beds in the Coast Ranges. Although there are no active mining claims, there is a low potential for the occurrence of manganese.

Highlighting this area as a SMA will provide an opportunity for public education regarding riparian systems, preserve an important example of an extremely rare community, and protect a sensitive riparian system.

Objective      Manage Frog Pond Mountain SMA for the protection of riparian resources, and California Bay Forest.

Management Prescriptions

The SMA is open for the leasing of oil, gas and geothermal resources subject to LSU-Biological stipulation.

The SMA will be proposed for withdrawal from entry under the mining laws.

The SMA is unavailable for livestock grazing due to its unsuitability.

Travel in the riparian zone is limited to pedestrians.

Terminate the Public Water Reserve and manage water resources for the benefit of the riparian system.

Collection of vegetative materials within the SMA requires authorization.

Support Actions

Work with adjacent private landowners in implementing objectives to protect the riparian resources.

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Legal Description

T. 28 S., R. 12 E., MDB&M
Sec. 31 Lots 1, 2

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Map: Frog Pond Mountain SMA

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