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Central California District
Release Date: 08/03/10
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-3146  
  Erin Curtis , 916-978-4622  
News Release No. CA-CC-10-90

BLM Closes Clear Creek Management Area to New Mining Claims

Hollister, Calif. - To reduce airborne asbestos emissions and minimize overall risk to human health and the environment, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued a temporary closure of 28,953 acres of public lands in Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) in southern San Benito and western Fresno counties to new mining claims.

The Secretary of the Interior proposes to withdraw the lands from location and entry under the United States mining laws for a period of 20 years. This action temporarily segregates the lands for up to two years from new mining claims while various studies and analyses are made to support a final decision on the withdrawal application. 

Comments, objections or requests for a public meeting in connection with the proposed withdrawal will be accepted for 90 days. Written comments should be addressed to the Field Manager, Hollister Field Office, BLM, 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, Calif. 95023.

BLM closed CCMA to public entry on May 1, 2008, in response to a human health risk assessment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that concluded “public use activities could expose an individual to excess lifetime cancer risks,” adding that “children may be at greater risk…because of their life expectancy.”

“Protecting the public’s health and safety is BLM’s number one priority,” said Rick Cooper, BLM’s Hollister Field Manager.  “Based on EPA’s results, we believe a temporary closure of most of the CCMA to new mining claims is in the public interest.”

BLM manages approximately 63,000 acres of public lands in the CCMA.  The area has been used extensively for OHV recreation for many years as well as for other recreational uses such as hunting and rock hounding. The lands include a variety of landforms, including the Serpentine Area of Critical Environmental Concern, the San Benito Mountain Research Natural Area, and three major watersheds, the Pajaro, the Arroyo Pasajaro and Silver Creek.

For further information on the mining closure contact Dan Byrne, realty specialist in the Hollister Field Office at (831) 630-5021, Duane Marti, realty specialist in the BLM State Office, at (916) 978-4675, Brandon Anderson, BLM lands clerk, at (916) 978-4674.


Central California District   5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762  

Last updated: 08-03-2010