News.bytes Extra, issue 267

Carrizo Plain National Monument management plan moving forward

Carrizo Plain - Painted Rock and Soda Lake, view to the northeastWith a re-appointed Monument Advisory Committee and a new environmental review process, BLM is developing a new management plan for the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

BLM will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement rather than the Environmental Assessment for the Carrizo Plain National Monument, said Johna Hurl, acting monument manager, at the advisory committee's January 27 meeting.

About 30 members of the public attended the meeting at the Carrisa Plains Elementary School. Although longstanding concerns about grazing were raised, increased visitation was also mentioned as an issue:

Scoping meetings will be held this spring. Specific dates and locations of public meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local news media, BLM’s Carrizo mailing list and on BLM’s web site, www.blm.gov/ca.

The advisory committee tentatively scheduled a May 5 meeting that also would include a scoping meeting.

Under the proposed schedule, the draft plan will be released for comment in late 2007 and the plan will be completed in late 2008.

Acting monument manager Johna Hurl and Monument Advisory Committee chair Neil Havlik address the meeting:
Acting monument manager Johna Hurl and Monument Advisory Committee chair Neil Havlik address the meeting

The Carrizo Plain, the largest undeveloped remnant of the once vast San Joaquin Valley ecosystem, was designated a national monument in 2001 in recognition of its special resource values, including threatened and endangered species such as the San Joaquin kit fox, giant kangaroo rat, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard. It also contains nationally significant geological features, such as one of the best exposed examples of the 10-million year old San Andreas Fault, as well as one of the most significant cultural sites in California at Painted Rock. In the spring, the Plain exhibits a lavish wildflower display of native plants such as goldfields, purple owls, lupine, and the rare California jewel flower.

D. Christie, 2/5/07

BLM California News.bytes, issue 267