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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 338

Carrizo Plain National Monument plan draft on track

The Bureau of Land Management remains on track to release the draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Carrizo Plain National Monument in the fall.

BLM staff updated members of the Carrizo Monument Advisory Committee Saturday on the RMP’s status. (text continues below)

BLM-California Bakersfield Field Office Manager Tim Smith addresses the advisory committee and members of the public
BLM-California Bakersfield Field Office Manager Tim Smith addresses the advisory committee

Duane Christian, archaeologist for the BLM's Bakersfield Field Office, said BLM will meet with the monument’s Native American Advisory Committee on July 26 to discuss access to Painted Rock. The preferred alternative being developed for the RMP would allow public access by guided tours or self-guided tours by permit.

BLM also reported on the status of proposed energy projects around the Carrizo Plain. Tim Smith, BLM Bakersfield Field Office manager, said BLM has notified Vintage Petroleum an Environmental Impact Statement will be required to do geophysical exploration. Vintage has subsurface mineral rights and BLM manages the surface on portions of the monument.

Johna Hurl, monument manager, said a firm plans to put a meteorological tower on a 40-acre parcel inside the monument boundary. They also have filed for a right-of-way on 23,000 acres just outside the monument.

Neil Havlik, MAC chair, said he has heard of four proposals to put solar plants near the monument. He is concerned there could be hydrologic impacts to the monument.

Members of the public said additional people living or traveling to the area to work on the project could increase traffic and hurt air quality.

The next Carrizo Monument Advisory Committee meeting will be scheduled after the release of the draft RMP.

- D. Christy, 7/1/08

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 338

Last updated: 07-02-2008