CARRIZO PLAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT is easily one of California's most spectacular hidden gems that should be experienced by any nature lover. Located in a remote area between San Luis Obispo and Bakersfield, this ecological masterpiece offers panoramic views of rolling grassland and epic "super blooms" in the springtime. With the largest concentration of threatened and endangered wildlife in California as well as Southern California's largest remaining natural alkali wetland, Carrizo Plain was designated a national monument in 2001 and now consists of over 204,000 acres of federally protected land. With the help from The Nature Conservancy, Carrizo Plain is now the largest protected habitat along the pacific flyway, which is a route used by migratory birds spanning from Alaska all the way down to Patagonia.
CAMPING in Carrizo Plain is an experience unlike any other. Operated by the Bureau of Land Management, this incredible landscape is publicly owned by you. You the tax payer have the right to explore and stay on this land at no additional cost, with some minor restrictions. When dispersed car camping, if you plan to have a campfire, you need to apply for a permit at the Goodwin Education Center situated near Soda Lake. While dispersed camping, it's crucial to reuse existing campsites (e.g. someone else has already previously stayed there) in order to ensure the land stays protected and not damaged. It's also important to leave no trace behind, similar to camping anywhere else.
Let's do our best to take care of this precious ecosystem so future generations can continue to visit and enjoy this significant landscape.
Be sure to check out the Campfire Adventure Co. gear in the shop. 20% of the proceeds goes directly towards helping protect our public land, which includes places just like Carrizo Plain.
Be aware that when you drive to this stunning landscape you'll witness one of its greatest threats: humans. Surrounding this peaceful sanctuary are dozens upon dozens of various oil companies extracting oil from the ground. As you approach Carrizo Plain from the east, you travel through a horrifying sight of barren land littered with pumpjacks and towers for fracking oil.
With these oil companies circling this protected area, the terrifying future for this land is unknown. Carrizo Plain is one of the 27 monuments that have been put under review by the Trump administration in 2017. With the reduction in size of both Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah last year, it's important to understand the danger Carrizo Plain may be in if the administration does, in fact, choose to reduce the size of the national monument. Remember, this land is yours so why not experience it for yourself and protect it for future generations to enjoy.
If interested, read more in the link below on why it's critical for our federal government to fund and operate our public land instead of being managed by the states. An important read that relates directly to the national monuments currently being reviewed by the Trump administration.
Why You Don't Want the States Managing Public Land
By Wes Siler, Outside Magazine (November 2, 2017)
Have you been to Carrizo Plain? If so, share your tips and/or suggestions below in the comments section.
Till the next adventure.
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Always pack out what you pack in and leave absolutely no trace of your stay when you leave any campsite.
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