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>Irish Hills SMA
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Chapter 12 Special Management Area Descriptions
Coast Management Area

Irish Hills

The Irish Hills Special Management Area is approximately six miles southwest of the city of San Luis Obispo, and just southeast of Montana de Oro State Park and consists of 1,104 acres of Federal surface and subsurface and 560 acres of Federal mineral estate.

The primary plant communities here are Coast Live Oak Forest, Southern Bishop Pine Forest, and Chaparral (Holland 1986). The Southern Bishop Pine Forest is a plant community considered rare by the California Department of Fish and Game. Bishop pine is plentiful in the Coon Creek watershed extending from its summit to the sea. This is a closed-cone pine whose seeds are normally released only during fire (Hoover 1970). Some of the largest oaks in San Luis Obispo County occur here and manzanitas two feet in diameter and forty feet high have been identified. Two federally listed plants, Morro manzanita and Indian Knob mountainbalm, are known to occur west of the SMA boundary and may occur within the SMA as well. A waterfall on Diablo Creek has scenic value.

The area has a number of rights-of-way, including roads and transmission lines serving the nearby nuclear power plant.  There is no general public access to several of the parcels due to security measures at the nuclear facility.

There are no mining claims on public lands within the SMA. There are three oil and gas leases within the SMA. A portion of this area is patented to the State of California through the R&PP Act. A portion of the SMA is withdrawn as CA 250 03/15/1973.

This SMA lies within the Santa Maria Basin which is considered to have high potential for the occurrence of oil and gas. A drill well operated by Texaco was plugged and abandoned in 1958.

Objective      Manage the Irish Hills to protect natural landscape and coastal plant communities.

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.

Support Actions

Establish a Cooperative Management Agreement with state parks, Pacific Gas and Electric, or adjacent landowners.

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Legal Description


T. 31 S., R. 11 E., MDB&M
Sec. 8 NE¼NE¼, SE¼SE¼
Sec. 9 NW¼NW¼
Sec. 17 Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, W½NE¼, NW¼
Sec. 18 Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, W½NE¼
Sec. 20 Lots 1, 2, 3, N½NE¼
Sec. 21 Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, N½N½, SW¼NE¼


T. 31 S., R. 11 E., MDB&M
Sec. 8 NW¼NE¼, E½NW¼, NE¼SW¼
Sec. 14 NW¼SW¼, NE¼SW¼, S½SW¼, N½SE¼, SW¼SE¼

Area Map

Page 144

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