BLM seeks public input on exploratory drilling project in Kern and San Bernardino Counties


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Ridgecrest Field Office

Media Contact:

Brushy desert with a highway and mountains in the background

RIDGECREST, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on a proposed exploratory drilling project on BLM-managed lands north of Johannesburg, in Kern and San Bernardino counties.

The proponent, Gold Discovery Group LLC, seeks authorization to drill up to 293 eight-inch diameter holes on their mining claims to assess the potential for gold. The proposed project would temporarily disturb about 12 acres of BLM-managed land. Each drill site and associated vehicle tracks would be reclaimed as the project progresses and no road or drill pad construction would result from this project.

The proposed project includes design features that avoid or mitigate potential conflict with the desert tortoise and other natural and cultural resources. The proposed project area is in the Fremont-Kramer Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

The environmental review analyzes potential impacts from the proposed exploratory drilling project to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and other regulatory and permitting requirements. The review will also compile available data relevant to the project area, evaluate the technical accuracy of data and modeling, and conduct independent impact analyses.

The 30-day public comment period ends on March 27. The environmental assessment is available for review on the BLM ePlanning website at The public may submit comments via email to, by fax at 760-384-5499, or by U.S. mail to the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office, Attn: Randall Porter, 300 South Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, CA 93555.

For additional information on the proposed project, please contact BLM Geologist Randall Porter at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.