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Chapter 5 - Part I
Oil/Gas and Solid Minerals Management Guidelines

Oil and Gas

Introduction

Allocations proposed under this plan identify lands open for and closed to leasing for oil, gas and geothermal resources.  In addition, for lands open to leasing, the plan identifies proposed stipulations to be associated with the lease.

Public lands that are closed to leasing separate into two groups. Tracts that have been closed by previous legislation or secretarial policy form one group of lands and are known as non-discretionary closures. The second group of closed lands consisting of those proposed for closure under this plan, are called proposed discretionary closures.

Lands open to oil and gas leasing separate into the following groups: open to leasing under a standard lease stipulation; open to leasing under a no surface use stipulation; and open to leasing under a limited surface use stipulation. The standard oil and gas lease form includes those preprinted lease terms and conditions that apply to all leases. Other stipulations developed in this plan are applied in lease areas with special resource concerns, and supersede any inconsistent provisions of the standard lease form. The special stipulations proposed in this plan address no surface use for areas where very unique resources exist, and limited surface use for areas with resource protection needs slightly different from the standard lease stipulation. The Limited Surface Use stipulation provides additional protection for Department of Defense lands; Federally Proposed and Listed Species; Proposed and Designated Critical Threatened and Endangered Species Habitat; Federal Candidate, State Listed and Bureau Sensitive Species; and three Coast Management Area ACEC's/ SMA's.

Lands Closed to Oil and Gas Leasing

Non-Discretionary Closures To Leasing

The 1920 Mineral Leasing Act, as amended, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to lease Federal oil and gas resources on public domain and acquired lands. Federal minerals excluded from such leasing by legislation or secretarial policy include those underlying units of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuges, Native American reservations, incorporated cities, and lands closed under previous land use decisions. Lands recommended for wilderness designation, wilderness study, or already within the National Wilderness Preservation System are also non-discretionary closures by existing legislation. Non-discretionary closures are discussed under the general framework of the Caliente Resource Area Plan for reference purposes but are not part of the Plan's land use allocation scope and purpose.

Lands Proposed for Discretionary Closures To Leasing

Discretionary closures cover lands proposed to be closed to oil, gas and geothermal leasing by the allocations in this plan. They include areas of extreme resource sensitivity requiring a level of protection that may only be achieved through closure to leasing activities.

In the Coast Management Area, the Point Sal ACEC containing approximately 77 acres is proposed to be closed to leasing.

In the Valley Management Area, the Bittercreek Special Management Area containing 480 of Federal surface acres and 4,840 acres of Federally reserved minerals is proposed to be closed to leasing. This area will be managed in association with adjacent National Wildlife Refuges for the California Condor. As mentioned above, all National Wildlife Refuges are excluded from leasing under the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act.

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In the South Sierra Management Area the Piute Cypress and Blue Ridge ACEC, and the Deer Spring and Erskine Creek SMA containing 4,800 acres are proposed to be closed to leasing.

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Chapter 5 - Part II

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