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>Salinas River ACEC
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Chapter 11 - ACECs
Coast Management Area

Salinas River

The Salinas River ACEC is located in San Luis Obispo County approximately two miles east southeast of Santa Margarita, and lies between the La Panza and Santa Lucia Mountain Ranges. The ACEC encompasses 1,000 acres of Federal surface and subsurface and 835 acres of Federal minerals.

This ACEC includes excellent examples of several rare riparian communities such as the central coast live oak riparian forest, central coast arroyo willow riparian forest, sycamore alluvial woodland, and central coast riparian scrub (Holland 1986). The riparian zone along the river harbors a wide diversity of plants and animals, many of which are not found elsewhere under the management of the BLM's Caliente Resource Area. Two plants which are on the California Native Plant Society's List 1B occur within the ACEC, Hardham's evening-primrose and one-awned spineflower. Additionally, this riparian system, with its nearly perennial water flow, supports habitat for and is within the range of nine sensitive species of animals. More survey work is needed to document the occurrence of these animals within the ACEC boundaries. The Salinas River, including the section within the ACEC, provides critical migratory and nesting habitat for Neotropical Migrating Birds, an assemblage of species which has experienced a drastic population decline in recent years.

The BLM portion of the river is entirely underlain by Cretaceous granitic rock. Most of the rock is deeply weathered and commonly decomposed, giving rise to a highly dissected terrain that supports a dense growth of chaparral. Slightly weathered rock is intermittently exposed along the Salinas River. In a 1985 BLM mineral exam of a parcel of land within the ACEC, a small amount of gold was recovered by panning gravels of the Salinas River. Although the area does not have potential to support a viable economic operation, there may be sufficient gold for hobby or recreational mining.

There are no land use authorizations, mining claims, oil and gas leases, or grazing leases within the ACEC.

ACEC designation will provide an opportunity for public education regarding riparian systems, preserve an important example of a rare plant community, and protect a sensitive riparian system. For these reasons, the area meets the relevance and importance criteria for ACEC designation.

Objective     Manage the Salinas River ACEC to protect the exemplary riparian area.

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Management Prescriptions

Manage the riparian zone as a Day Use area.

Horse travel is limited to designated routes in the riparian zone.

The ACEC is unavailable for livestock grazing due to it's unsuitability and other resource concerns.

Ten acres of riparian zone are proposed for withdrawal from mining.

Support Actions

Studies shall include the inventory and monitoring of vegetation and wildlife species (including noxious plants and threatened and endangered species) and cultural resources.

Trespass involving any existing unauthorized water diversions shall be resolved.

The Bureau shall notify the state of water use in order to protect water for wildlife and riparian values.

Suitability for Wild and Scenic River designation shall be studied.

Legal Description

T. 29 S., R. 13 E., MDB&M
Sec. 23 S½NE¼, NW¼NW¼, S½NW¼, S½
Sec. 24 NW¼NE¼, NW¼, N½SW¼
Sec. 25 S½
Sec. 26 W½NE¼, SE¼NE¼, E½NW¼, N½SE¼, SE¼SE¼
Sec. 36 N½

T. 29 S., R. 14 E., MDB&M
Sec. 31 Lots 1, 2, W½NE¼, E½NW¼

Area Map

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