Chapter 11 - ACECs
Valley Management Area
The Goose Lake ACEC was established in September 1984 (FR 49(190):3868). It borders the Goose Lake Bed in Kern County. This 40-acre parcel of public land is 6 miles southeast of the intersection of Interstate Highway 5 and State Route 46, and 13.25 miles west of Wasco.
Goose Lake contains a significant archaeological site (CA-KER-766) which is rare in the San Joaquin Valley due to the continued conversion of most land along the shorelines of dry lakes to agriculture. Few cultural sites with high integrity remain in this cultural region. Research conducted at the site suggest that it was occupied intensively during the prehistoric Middle Period with a less intense use through to protohistoric times (Sutton 1992:53). Goose Lake was probably occupied by the Tulamni or the Tuhohi groups of Southern Valley Yokuts which inhabited the Goose Lake and Buena Vista Lake region.
The ACEC contains an example of valley saltbush scrub (Holland 1986), a plant community which has largely been extirpated from the Central Valley. This community, dominated by iodine bush, is in good to excellent condition in the north half of the parcel, while many shrubs in the south half have died, perhaps due to extended periods of flooding. The area has low potential for blunt-nosed leopard lizard and San Joaquin kit fox, but moderate potential for Tipton kangaroo rat. All three of these species are federally listed as endangered and are state listed as either endangered or threatened.
Many species of birds, including several listed by the state of California as Species of Special Concern, utilize the parcel and surrounding evaporation ponds and fields throughout the year. The northern harrier nests in the vicinity as do a number of shorebirds such as American avocet, black-necked stilt, and western snowy plover. These species once occupied similar wetlands throughout the southern San Joaquin Valley. Raptors which utilize the area in winter and during migration include the red-tailed hawk, ferruginous hawk, Swainson's hawk, American kestrel, Merlin, and prairie falcon. Numerous species of ducks winter here as well as lesser and greater sandhill cranes. Swainson's hawk and greater sandhill crane are state listed as threatened.
This ACEC lies within the San Joaquin Valley which is considered to have high potential for the occurrence of oil and gas. However, it lies atop a northwest trending downward folded or synclinal suite of sediments of the Great Valley sequence. This area is well east of the San Andreas Fault. Synclines are poor prospects for oil and gas because both will float on water; therefore oil and gas are found in upwarps or anticlines. Oil production is nearby to the west in the Lost Hills and Belridge anticlines, and to the east in the broad gentle upward flexures of Trico. These anticlinal areas are beyond the Goose Lake ACEC boundaries.
The ACEC is currently managed under the Goose Lake ACEC plan developed in October, 1986. Many of the objectives and recommendations have been implemented. Goose Lake ACEC is closed to grazing. There are no mining claims or oil and gas leases within the ACEC.
Goose Lake continues to meet the relevance and importance criteria as an ACEC due to its significant cultural and biological resource values.
Objective Manage Goose Lake ACEC to protect the unique cultural, plant and wildlife communities which are rarely extant in this agricultural region of the valley.
The ACEC is 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.
The ACEC is open for leasing of oil, gas, and geothermal resources subject to NSU.
The ACEC is unavailable for livestock grazing due to other resource concerns.
T. 27 S., R. 22 E., MDB&M
Sec. 14 NE¼NE¼
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