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

Lands Open to Oil and Gas Leasing

Outside of those lands listed above as closed to leasing by discretionary or non discretionary closure, all public land and Federally reserved mineral estate within the Resource Area are open for oil and gas leasing activities.

The process of nominating a federal parcel for a lease sale is initiated when a letter of interest in oil and gas leasing is submitted to the Sacramento Office of the Bureau of Land Management. Lease sales would be scheduled a maximum of four times a year, depending on oil industry interest, for the fifteen year life of the Plan. The RMP will be used to determine the applicability of lease stipulations attached to parcels nominated for lease interest at the time of the lease sale. Three categories of lease stipulations would include.

1. Offered for lease with a Standard Lease stipulation
2. Offered for lease with a No Surface Use stipulation
3. Offered for lease with a Limited Surface Use stipulation

Leasing with Standard Lease Stipulation

The Standard Lease stipulation includes the terms and conditions that are the national standards printed on Bureau of Land Management lease forms (form 3100-11, Oct. '92).

Under standard terms a proposed exploration and development operation can be modified by the operator and Bureau to minimize impacts of the project's operation design. Modifications are limited to moving the proposed operation less than 200 meters and delaying the project less than 60 days in one lease year.

No Surface Use Stipulation

This lease is within an area that contains unique or significant natural or cultural values. To prevent or reduce disturbance to unique or significant natural or cultural values, No Surface Use is allowed on the lease.

Additional Information.

Application. The No Surface Use stipulation is intended for use when adequate protection of surface resources cannot be provided through mitigation. Mineral development of the lease from an off-site location is recommended.

Review Process.  At the time of a lease sale, the No Surface Use stipulation would be applied to tracts nominated within seven areas identified in this Plan, totalling 5,032 acres. The Tierra Redonda, Alkali Sink, Goose Lake, and Horse Canyon Areas of Critical Environmental Concern would be subject to the No Surface Use stipulation. Special Management Areas proposed for the application of the No Surface Use Stipulation are Huasna Peak, Granite Cave, and Ker 311.

An exception or modification to the stipulation may be approved if it can be demonstrated that operations can be conducted without causing unacceptable impacts to the critical cultural or natural values. Any decision to grant an exception or modification would be based on field inspection and inventory and the NEPA review process. The lessee should be aware that the timing of the surveys is critical, in that some species can only be surveyed during a brief period each year. The stipulation may be waived if a determination is made by the Bureau that the resource no longer exists on the leased lands.

Page 34 

Leasing with the Limited Surface Use Stipulation

Special stipulations may be proposed for use to protect unique resources or values where it may be necessary to modify surface activities beyond authorities contained under the standard lease terms (43 CFR 3103.1-3). The Limited Surface Use Stipulation allows BLM, in consultation with the applicant, to extend modification of development proposals beyond the standard 200 meters and 60 day conditions. By reserving the additional leeway in siting facilities, the BLM and applicant can generally use the combination of increased siting and timing flexibility to modify development proposals to entirely avoid or significantly minimize surface disturbing effects associated with lease development. The Limited Surface Use stipulation thus allows BLM to offer for lease parcels known to or suspected to contain unique resources or values and resolve any potential conflicts at the time when the lessee is prepared to design development proposals.

This stipulation also advises prospective lessees that they are considering the purchase of a lease in areas known or suspected to contain unique resources or values and advises them of potential constraints and development options available. Historically the BLM in cooperation with the lessee has been able to find sufficient flexibility in designing  lease development proposals, even in the most sensitive of locations, to facilitate development without adversely affecting either the resource values of concern or the oil and gas lease.

Special conditions that may be attached to new leases issued in the Caliente Resource Area are collectively referred to as the Limited Surface Use stipulation (LSU) and supersede any inconsistent provisions of the standard lease form.  The wording of the Limited Surface Use stipulation has been adjusted to address six differing resource concerns. The Limited Surface Use Stipulation would be applied at the lease sale, to parcels located as shown on the RMP map and as described below.

This stipulation has been developed to be utilized over the life of the plan without the need for further plan amendments. The LSU stipulation has been worded to allow for adjusting the geographic locations where they would be applied based on the resource condition at the time of the lease sale offering. The locations identified in this plan address 1996 resource conditions that will be updated and modified on an annual basis. Information on those updates will be available to those interested in potential lease sales.

Limited Surface Use Stipulation

a. Department of Defense (LSU - Defense)
b. Federally Proposed and Listed Species (LSU - Protected Species)
c. Proposed Critical Habitat and Designated Critical Habitat (LSU - Critical Habitat)
d. Federal Candidate, State Listed and Bureau Sensitive Species (LSU - Sensitive Species)
e. Coast Management Area ACEC and SMA (LSU - Coast)
f. Raptor (LSU - Raptor)

Waivers, Modification, Exceptions and Deferral to Other Plans

The Authorized Officer may grant a waiver, modification, or exception to the Limited Surface Use stipulation if the factors leading to the stipulation's inclusion in the lease have changed or if new information has been made available.  If the protection provided by the stipulation is no longer necessary or can be adequately mitigated and the proposed operation on a lease would not cause unacceptable impacts, a waiver would be evaluated (see 43 CFR 3101.1-4).

The Authorized Officer may also defer the addition of the Limited Surface Use stipulation referred to under b, c, and d above to requiring compliance with other existing approved plans. Those plans may include Habitat Conservation Plans, Programmatic Consultations, Conservation Agreements or others that provide for adequate protection and conservation of resources and compliance with all Federal and State laws.

Page 35 

As an example, once completed the Kern County Valley Floor Habitat Conservation Plan and associated BLM  Programmatic Section 7 Consultation on oil and gas development activities will provide adequate protection for resources identified in b, c, and d above for lands within CDOG administrative boundaries and for all federally reserved mineral estate in Kern County. Future lease sales covering parcels in those areas would defer the addition of a Limited Use Stipulation to notation that compliance with the above approved programs or plans is required.

a. Limited Surface Use Stipulation - Department of Defense (LSU - Defense)

The exact wording of the Limited Surface Use stipulation covering Department of Defense lands within the Caliente Resource Area will be developed in conjunction with the Base Commanders and would be designed to protect the base mission. Terms will be designed as necessary to:

 1. Protect the national security associated with the base mission operations
 2. Protect natural resources including Threatened and Endangered Species
 3. Protect cultural sites
 4. Protect personnel

Terms may range from prohibiting surface use on all or a portion of the lease area to seasonal lease development or operational conditions.

Additional Information

Application. The LSU - Defense stipulation would be applied to Federal reserved mineral estate under the surface administration of the Department of Defense. Approximately 69,700 acres are affected, including Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Camp Roberts, and Lemoore Naval Air Base. Coordination with local government agencies regarding the development of stipulations would be at the discretion of the Base Commander.

When a tract of land is nominated for lease sale and is located within a military installation, the applicant would be notified that a legal description of the tract of interest has been forwarded to the attention of the Base Commander.  The Base Commander would respond to the Bureau with the recommended wording of the LSU - Defense stipulation.  The wording would vary based on the base mission, and be applied to the entire military installation or to a limited portion of the parcel, at the discretion of the Base Commander. The Bureau may alternatively identify in advance of lease sale offerings the terms and conditions applicable to military installations and thus be able to offer the leases for bid with advance disclosure of the terms and conditions.

Review Process. Generally, the following procedure would be used to approve surface disturbing activities on leases with the LSU - Defense stipulation. The proposed activity would be reviewed to determine if the mission of the military installation would be affected. The review process would involve meetings coordinated by the Bureau between the lessee and the representatives of the military base to determine impacts and potential effects.

Approval. If the review determines that the mission of the military installation would not be affected Bureau approval of the proposed activity would normally be granted within 30 days of the review.

If the review determines that the mission of the military installation would be adversely affected, the BLM would coordinate with the Base Commander and the applicant to modify the proposal. Conflict resolution may range from limited surface use to no surface use on all or a portion of the parcel. Surface use may be limited for mission, health, or safety considerations as well as to protect Threatened and Endangered Species, and other sensitive biological or cultural resources. Modifications may include movement of activities, seasonal restrictions, mitigation and/or compensation. Modified proposals would be developed cooperatively with the applicant to ensure that the modified project still meets the applicant's objective.

Page 36 

b. Limited Surface Use Stipulation - Federally Proposed and Listed Species (LSU - Protected Species)

All or a portion of this lease is within the range of one or more plant or animal species (a list of species would be included with the stipulation for each lease) that are either listed as threatened or endangered, or are proposed for such listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The lessee is notified that time frames for processing applications may be delayed beyond established standards to allow for species surveys, and consultation or conferencing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Notice is also given that surface disturbing activities may be moved or modified, and that some activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods. Surface disturbing activities will be prohibited on the lease only where:

1. the proposed action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed or proposed species, or
2. the proposed action is inconsistent with the recovery needs of a listed species as identified in an approved U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Plan.

Prior to the authorization of any surface disturbing activities, a preliminary environmental review will be conducted to identify the potential presence of habitat for these species. Authorizations may be delayed until completion of the necessary surveys during the appropriate time period for these species. The lessee should be aware that the timing of the surveys is critical, in that some species can only be surveyed during a brief period each year.

The BLM may need to initiate consultation or conference with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if the site inspection concludes that a listed or proposed species may be affected by the proposed activity. The lessee should be aware that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has up to 135 days to render their biological opinion, and that there are provisions for an additional 60 day extension. Offsite habitat protection or enhancement for wildlife or vegetation (compensation) may be required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when habitat is disturbed. The consultation may also result in some restrictions to the lessee's plan of development, including movement or modification of activities, and seasonal restrictions. Surface disturbing activities will be prohibited on the lease if the consultation or conference concludes that either of the conditions identified in a or b above exist.

Additional Information

Application. The Limited Surface Use - Federally Proposed and Listed Species (LSU - Protected Species) stipulation would be attached, at the time of lease sale, to leases within the range of certain federally listed or proposed species, or to leases containing, or adjacent to, documented locations of certain federally listed or proposed species. (A list of  species would be included with the stipulation for each lease.)

The combined range of the following currently listed species will be used to determine current applicability of the LSU - Protected Species stipulation for listed species: San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, California jewelflower, Hoover's woolly-star, Kern mallow, San Joaquin woolly-threads and Bakersfield Cactus. This area is shown on the map packet. If additional species become listed, existing species become delisted, or if new range information becomes available, the area on the map packet will be modified accordingly and all subsequent lease sales will be evaluated against the modified map area. The recent historic range of the California condor was excluded from consideration due to the extensive amount of unoccupied range, however leasing within the Hopper Mountain SMA will be subject to the LSU - Protected Species stipulation.

Page 37 

Documented locations for the following currently proposed species will be used to determine current applicability of the LSU - Protected Species stipulation for proposed species: Mimulus shevockii, Clarkia springvillensis and Navarretia setiloba. Current documented locations are listed in Chapter 9 - Biological Resources Management Guidelines. If additional species become proposed, or new location information becomes available, the species and parcel lists will be modified and all subsequent lease sales will be evaluated against the modified parcel list.

Review Process. Generally, the following process will be used to approve surface disturbing activities on leases with the LSU - Protected Species stipulation. The proposed activity would be reviewed to determine if listed or proposed species would be affected. This review may involve site specific surveys for plant and animal species, conducted according to established methodologies which may specify certain seasons or other conditions. In some cases, this may mean that a survey cannot be completed until the next growing season for some plant species or after seasonal appearance for some animal species.

If the review determines that listed or proposed species will not be affected, approval of the application will normally be granted within 30 days of the review.

If the review determines that listed or proposed species may be affected, but in a beneficial, insignificant or benign manner, and written concurrence is received from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approval of the application will normally be granted within 30 days of receiving U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence.

If it is determined that a listed or proposed species may be adversely affected, the BLM will work with the applicant to modify the proposal to minimize impacts. Modifications may include movement of activities, seasonal restrictions, mitigation and/or compensation. Modified proposals will be developed cooperatively with the applicant to ensure that the modified project still meets the applicant's objective. If the modified project may still adversely affect a listed or proposed species, BLM will initiate formal consultation or conference with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Listed Species. Currently there are two options for meeting the formal consultation requirement. A new consultation may be initiated or a previously completed formal consultation may be utilized.

If a new consultation is initiated, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue a document, called the Biological Opinion. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has up to 135 days to complete a Biological Opinion and they may request an additional 60 day extension. Extensions beyond 195 days requires the consent of any applicant.

A previously completed formal consultation may also be used to meet the formal consultation requirement. Examples of previously completed consultations which may be used include the San Joaquin Valley Oil and Gas Programmatic and the Programmatic Opinion for Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1.

Upon completion of a new consultation or determination that a previously completed consultation can be used, approval of the application will normally be granted within 30 days. If the new consultation concludes that a listed species may be jeopardized, then surface disturbance will be prohibited on the lease. Surface disturbance will also be prohibited if the consultation concludes that the proposed action is inconsistent with the recovery needs of the listed species as identified in an approved U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Plan.

Coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Proposed Species. Bureau policy requires a conferencing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on any action that may adversely affect proposed species.  Depending on the complexity of the situation, a conference may be completed in a single telephone conversation or may require the time frames of a consultation. Generally, upon completion of the conference, approval of the application will be granted within 30 days.

Page 38

If the conference concludes that a proposed species may be jeopardized, surface disturbing activities will be prohibited on the lease.

Final Approval. Final approval of applications that will have no effect on listed or proposed species will normally be granted within 30 days of the review.

Final approval for projects that may affect listed or proposed species in a beneficial, insignificant or benign manner will normally be granted within 30 days of receiving U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service written concurrence. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generally responds to requests for concurrence in 30 days.

For projects that require consultation or conference with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, final approval will normally be granted within 30 days of consultation or conference completion. Conditions of approval will include any conditions specified by the BLM or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for minimizing impacts.

c. Limited Surface Use Stipulation - Proposed Critical Habitat and Designated Critical Habitat (LSU - Critical Habitat)

All or a portion of this lease lies within an area that is designated as critical habitat, or is proposed for designation as critical habitat (see attached species and parcel list) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The lessee is notified that time frames for processing applications may be delayed beyond established standards to allow for species surveys, and consultation or conferencing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Notice is also given that surface disturbing activities may be moved or modified and that some activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods. Surface disturbing activities will be prohibited on the lease only where:

1. the proposed action is likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat or proposed critical habitat, or
2. the proposed action is inconsistent with the recovery needs of a listed species as identified in an approved U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Plan.

Prior to the authorization of any surface disturbing activities, a preliminary environmental review will be conducted to identify the potential presence of habitat for these species. Authorizations may be delayed until completion of the necessary surveys during the appropriate time period for these species. The lessee should be aware that the timing of the surveys is critical, in that some species can only be surveyed during a brief period each year.

The Bureau of Land Management may need to initiate consultation or conference with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if the site inspection concludes that designated or proposed critical habitat may be affected by the proposed activity. The lessee should be aware that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has up to 135 days to render their biological opinion, and that there are provisions for an additional 60 day extension. Offsite habitat protection or enhancement for wildlife or vegetation (compensation) may be required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when designated or proposed critical habitat is disturbed. The consultation may also result in some restrictions to the lessee's plan of development, including movement or modification of activities, and seasonal restrictions. Surface disturbing activities will be prohibited on the lease only if the consultation or conference concludes that either of the conditions identified in a. or b. above exist.

Additional Information

Application. The Limited Surface Use - Designated and Proposed Critical Habitat (LSU - Protected Habitat) stipulation would be attached to leases within areas that are designated as critical habitat, or proposed for designation as critical habitat for certain species. A list of species and parcels would be included with the stipulation for each lease. Critical habitat is designated or proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service according to the regulations found in 50 CFR 424. Critical habitat means (1) the specific areas within geographical area currently occupied by a

Page 39 

species, the  at the time it is listed in accordance with the Endangered Species Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (i) essential to the conservation of the species and (ii) that may require special management considerations or protection, and (2) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for conservation of the species (50 CFR 424.02).

Critical habitat or proposed critical habitat for the following currently listed species will be used to determine current applicability of the LSU - Protected Habitat stipulation: California condor and southwestern willow flycatcher. The locations of Bureau administered lands within currently designated or proposed critical habitat for these species are listed in Chapter 9 - Biological Resources Management Guidelines. If additional areas are designated, or if proposed areas are withdrawn, the species and parcel lists will be modified and all subsequent lease sales will be evaluated against the modified species and parcel list.

Review Process. Generally, the following process will be used to approve surface disturbing activities on leases with the LSU - Protected Habitat stipulation. The proposed activity would be reviewed to determine if designated or proposed critical habitat would be affected. This review may involve site specific surveys for plant and animal species, conducted according to established methodologies which may specify certain seasons or other conditions. In some cases this may mean that a survey cannot be completed until the next growing season for some plant species or after seasonal appearance for some animal species.

If the review determines that listed or proposed critical habitat will not be affected, approval of the application will normally be granted within 30 days of the review.

If the review determines that listed or proposed critical habitat may be affected, but in a beneficial, insignificant or benign manner, and written concurrence is received from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approval of the application will normally be granted within 30 days of receiving U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence.

If it is determined that a listed or proposed critical habitat may be adversely affected, the BLM will work with the applicant to modify the proposal to minimize impacts. Modifications may include movement of activities, seasonal restrictions, mitigation and compensation. Modified proposals will be developed cooperatively with the applicant to ensure that the modified project still meets the applicant's objective. If the modified project may still adversely affect designated or proposed critical habitat, BLM will initiate formal consultation or conference with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Designated Critical Habitat. The BLM is required to initiate formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for any action that may adversely affect designated critical habitat. As a result of the consultation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a document, called the Biological Opinion. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has up to 135 days to complete a Biological Opinion and they may request an additional 60 day extension. Extensions beyond 195 days requires the consent of any applicant.

As part of the Biological Opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine if the proposed action is likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat means a direct or indirect alteration that appreciably diminishes the value of critical habitat for both the survival and recovery of a listed species. Such alterations include, but are not limited to, alterations adversely modifying any of those physical or biological features that were the basis for determining the habitat to be critical (50 CFR 402.02).

If consultation concludes that critical habitat will be destroyed or adversely modified, then surface disturbance will be prohibited on the affected portion of the lease. Surface disturbance will also be prohibited if the

Page 40 

consultation concludes that the proposed action is inconsistent with the recovery needs of the listed species as identified in an approved U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Plan.

Coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Proposed Critical Habitat. Bureau policy requires conferencing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on any action that may adversely affect proposed critical habitat.  Depending on the complexity of the situation, a conference may be completed in a single telephone conversation or may require the time frames of a consultation. Generally, upon completion of the conference, approval of the application will be granted within 30 days. If the conference concludes that proposed critical habitat will be destroyed or adversely modified, then surface disturbance will be prohibited on the affected portion of the lease.

Final Approval. Final approval of applications that will have no effect on designated or proposed critical habitat will normally be granted within 30 days of the review.

Final approval for projects that may affect designated or proposed critical habitat in a beneficial, insignificant or benign manner will normally be granted within 30 days of receiving U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service written concurrence. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generally responds to requests for concurrence in 30 days.

For projects that require consultation or conference with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, final approval will normally be granted within 30 days of consultation or conference completion. Conditions of approval will include any conditions specified by the BLM or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for minimizing impacts

d. Limited Surface Use - Federal Candidate, State Listed and Bureau Sensitive Species (LSU - Sensitive Species)

All or a portion of this lease is within the range of one or more plant or animal species (see attached list) that are either Federal candidates for listing as threatened or endangered (Federal Candidate), are listed by the State of California as threatened or endangered (State Listed), or are designated by the Bureau of Land Management as Sensitive (Bureau Sensitive).

The lessee is notified that time frames for processing applications may be delayed beyond established standards to allow for species surveys and coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game. Notice is also given that surface disturbing activities may be relocated beyond the standard 200 meters but not more than 1/4 mile and that surface disturbing activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods.

Prior to the authorization of any surface disturbing activities, a preliminary environmental review will be conducted to identify the potential presence of habitat for these species. Authorizations may be delayed until completion of the necessary surveys during the appropriate time period for these species. The lessee should be aware that the timing of the surveys is critical, in that some species can only be surveyed during a brief period each year.

The Bureau of Land Management may need to coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the California Department of Fish and Game if the site inspection concludes that a Federal Candidate, State Listed or Bureau Sensitive species may be affected by the proposed activity. Coordination may delay application processing beyond established time frames.

To prevent or reduce disturbance to Federal Candidate, State Listed or Bureau Sensitive species, surface operations may be moved up to 1/4 mile and surface disturbing activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods.

Page 41 

Additional Information

The Limited Use - Federal Candidate, State Listed and Bureau Sensitive Species (LSU - Sensitive Species) stipulation would be attached to leases the are either within the range of certain species, or that contain or are adjacent to a documented location of a certain species. A list of species would be included with the stipulation for each lease.

Ranges or documented locations for the following species will be used to determine the current applicability of the LSU - Sensitive Species stipulation: Tehachapi slender salamander, mountain plover, San Joaquin antelope squirrel, Arctostaphylos morroensis, Arctostaphylos pilosula, Atriplex cordulata, Atriplex vallicola, Calochortus obispoensis, Calochortus striatus, Calochortus westonii, Chorizanthe breweri, Chorizanthe rectispina, Cirsium fontinale var. obispoense, Clarkia tembloriensis ssp. calientensis, Cordylanthus mollis ssp. hispidus, Cupressus arizonica ssp. nevadensis, Eriodictyon altissimum, Eriogonum kennedyi var. pinicola, Eriogonum nudum var. murinum, Eschscholzia rhombipetala, Galium hardhamiae, Heterotheca villosa var. shevockii, Lasthenia glabrata ssp. coulteri, Layia heterotricha, Layia jonesii, Layia leucopappa, Layia munzii, Lepidium jaredii ssp. jaredii, Lupinus ludovicianus, Madia radiata, Mimulus morrisii, Mimulus pictus, Ribes tularense, Sidalcea hickmanii ssp. anomala, Streptanthus cordatus var. piutensis, Stylocline citroleum, Stylocline masonii.

The current list of parcels or specific geographic area for each species, is contained in Chapter 9 - Biological Resources Management Guide.

As species are added or removed from special designation, or new location information becomes available, the species list, parcel lists and geographic area lists will be modified. All subsequent lease sales will be evaluated against the modified species list, parcel list or geographic area list.

Generally the following process will be used to approve surface disturbing activities on leases with the LSU - Sensitive Species stipulation. The proposed activity would be reviewed to determine if special status species would be affected.  This review may involve site specific surveys for plant and animal species, conducted according to established methodologies which may specify certain seasons or other conditions. In some cases this may mean that a survey cannot be completed until the next growing season for some plants or after seasonal appearance for some animal species.

If the review determines that a special status species may be adversely affected, then surface disturbing activities may be relocated up to 1/4 mile and certain surface disturbing activities may be prohibited during seasonal periods. Bureau policy may also require coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or California Department of Fish and Game.

e. Limited Surface Use Stipulation - Coast Management Area/ACEC and SMAs (LSU - Coast)

This lease is within an area that contains unique or significant natural or cultural values.

The lessee is notified that time frames for processing applications may be delayed beyond established standards to allow for resource surveys. Notice is also given that surface disturbing activities may be prohibited on portions or even all of the lease, and that some activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods.

Prior to the authorization of any surface disturbing activities, a preliminary environmental review will be conducted to identify the potential presence of natural or cultural values. Authorizations may be delayed until completion of the necessary surveys during the appropriate time period for these resources. The lessee should be aware that the timing of the surveys is critical, in that some resources can only be surveyed during a brief period each year.

Page 42 

To prevent or reduce disturbance to unique or significant natural or cultural values, surface disturbing activities may be prohibited on portions or all of the lease, and some activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods.

Additional Information

Application. The LSU - Coast stipulation would be applied only to lands within the Cypress Mountain Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the Frog Pond Mountain, Irish Hills and Rusty Peak Special Management Areas, totaling 4,239 acres.

Review Process. Generally the following process would be used to approve surface disturbing activities on leases with the LSU - Coast stipulation. The proposed activity would be reviewed to determine if the values for which the area was recognized would be affected. This review may involve site specific surveys for plant and animal species, conducted according to established methodologies which may specify certain seasons or other conditions. In some cases this may mean that a survey cannot be completed until the next growing season for some plants or after seasonal appearance for some animal species.

If the review determines that the values for which the area was recognized may be adversely affected, then surface disturbing activities may be prohibited on portions or all of the lease and certain activities may be prohibited during seasonal periods.

f. Limited Surface Use - Raptor (LSU - Raptor)

This lease includes lands that have been identified as important raptor foraging, wintering or nesting areas. Notice is given that surface disturbing activities may be relocated beyond the standard 200 meters, but not more than 1/2 mile or that some activities may be prohibited during seasonal time periods to avoid unnecessary and undue disturbance to sensitive raptor foraging grounds, wintering areas or nest sites.

Addition Information

The Limited Surface Use - Raptor stipulation would be applied to the Carrizo Plain, Kettleman Hills and Case Mountain Areas of Environmental Concern.

Generally the following process will be used to approve surface disturbing activities on leases with the LSU - Raptor stipulation. The proposed activity would be reviewed to determine if sensitive raptor foraging areas, winter roosting areas or nest sites would be affected. If the review determines that sensitive raptor use areas may be adversely affected, then surface disturbing activities may be relocated up to 1/2 mile or certain activities may be prohibited during seasonal periods. Modified proposals will be developed cooperatively with the applicant to ensure that the modified project still meets the applicant's objective.

Different raptor species and different individuals vary with their sensitivity and ability to habituate to disturbances.  Type and extent of disturbance, duration and timing of disturbance, visibility of disturbance, and influence of other environmental factors, such as topography, also affect the significance of the disturbance in any particular case. Often, moving an activity out of visibility, such as behind a topographic feature, will be sufficient. Delaying certain new activities until young birds have fledged is also a common tactic. Movement of surface disturbing activities to retain roost trees or hunting perches may also be employed.

The following species or groups of species would be eligible for protection under the LSU - Raptor stipulation: golden eagle, bald eagle, black-shouldered kite, northern harrier, sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's hawk, northern goshawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, Swainson's hawk, rough-legged hawk, ferruginous hawk, osprey, American kestrel, merlin, prairie falcon, peregrine falcon and all owl species.

Page 43

Summary of Oil & Gas Stipulations by Location (Table)

Chapter 5 - Part III

Return to Chapter 5 - Part I

Return to Table of Contents