Kenneth Kahn


Hopefully, you’ve read recent news articles about potential oil and gas development, including the use of fracking, and the notice to provide comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bakersfield Field Office.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians provided comments, but if you missed the Sept. 7 deadline, I would like to encourage you to participate in the future.

Please note that this is about more than just Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Field Office of the BLM covers the entire Central Coast, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, along with much of the central California area north of Kern County/Bakersfield.

This includes places that are sacred to the Chumash people — Morro Rock, the Carrizo Plain, areas within the national forests that feature pictographs and other pre-historic paintings, as well as spots along the coast north of Point Conception that contain Chumash historic sites.

We encourage you to make it personal and share your connection to the BLM lands you’ve visited, such as Lake Nacimiento, Santa Margarita Lake, Lopez Lake and any other areas you have visited, or someday intend to visit. Maybe you just want these places preserved for your children and their children.

Missing the Sept. 7 deadline does not end the process. It is just the beginning. This was simply the deadline for scoping comments before the BLM has even started to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS), which is required before any oil and gas development can occur.

Be on the lookout for updates on this project and its associated EIS. If you want to be more proactive, you can send BLM an email asking to receive all future notices about this topic. That way, you will get personal notice of any future BLM activity on this project. For your personal notice, please send an email to Carly Summers at, blm_ca_bkfo_oil_gas_update@blm.gov

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Kenneth Kahn is chairman Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.