A Carrizo Plain National Monument sign stands in a large valley with mountains in the background.
Rafting the Kern River Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield Painted Rock. Carrizo Plain National Monument. Poppy Piedras Blancas Lightstation, San Simeon
BLM>California>Bakersfield>What We Do>Land Use Planning>Caliente Resource Area: RMP>Rusty Peak SMA
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Chapter 12 - Special Management Area Descriptions
Coast Management Area

Rusty Peak

Rusty Peak consists of 797 acres of Federal surface and 635 acres of Federal mineral estate. The area is approximately eight miles west of Atascadero, and six miles north of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County.

Vegetative communities consist of serpentine chaparral, coast live oak woodland, and valley and foothill grassland (Holland 1986). Serpentine soils are present within the area. The San Luis serpentine dudleya is known to occur here and potential habitat exists for other serpentine endemics such as the San Benito fritillary, and the Brewer's spineflower. Oaks occur on site, and the area has high quality scenic values.

This SMA is within the historic range of the federal and state endangered California condor. Lacking large rock promontories or large trees suitable for perching, the only conceivable use to which condors may put this area is foraging. The habitat here is typical of the coast range, but unique for the Bureau because of the limited amount of such habitat under Bureau management.

No other sensitive species are known or thought to occur on this parcel. Wildlife species typically seen are mule deer, bobcat, brush rabbit, fence lizard, California quail, California towhee, scrub jay, American kestrel, and red-tailed hawk.

Most of this SMA is underlain by Jurassic basalt flows, however the southwest portion of the area consists of serpentinite. On the northwest end of the area in the NE¼SE¼ Sec 30, a small amount of chromite was recovered at the Middlemast Ranch Mine. In Section 32 a small tonnage of chromite was mined from the Jitney Mine. In addition, there is a copper prospect known as the Prodigal Son Mine in Section 30. There is low to moderate potential for the occurrence of additional chromite here. The potential for economic deposits of copper is extremely low. There are no oil and gas leases or mining claims and no land use authorizations within the SMA.

Objective      Manage Rusty Peak SMA to protect serpentine chaparral, coastal live oak woodland, perennial grassland, San Luis serpentine dudleya (Dudleya bettinae), and other sensitive plant species.

Management Prescriptions

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

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

Legal Description


T. 28 S., R. 11 E., MDB&M
Sec. 29 W½SW¼, SE¼SW¼
Sec. 30 Lots 2, 3, 4, SW¼NE¼, SE¼NW¼, E½SW¼, SE¼
Sec. 31 Lot 16
Sec. 32 Lots 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


T. 28 S., R. 11 E., MDB&M
Sec. 20 Lot 3, W½SE¼
Sec. 29 E½, NE¼NW¼, NE¼SW¼
Sec. 32 Lots 10, 11

Area Map

Page 144 

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