California Resources Corporation

Elk Hills Conservation Area

Tupman, California, United States

Certified through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
Elk Hills Conservation Area
Other Habitats
About the Program
California Resources Corporation (CRC) performs oil and gas development at the Elk Hills Oilfield, about 25 miles west of Bakersfield. Since 1998, the team has managed the Elk Hills Conservation Area, an 8,053-acre habitat of lower Sonoran grassland close to the state-run Tule Elk Reserve. The area is characterized by valley saltbush scrub and valley sink scrub at gently sloped and at lower elevations, while non-native grassland is present at higher elevations. Originally set aside as compensation land to offset the impacts of oil and gas development, the area now serves as critical habitat for threatened and endangered species of the San Joaquin Valley. CRC collaborates on intensive biological studies with local conservation programs and universities, hosts the local school district for tours of the land and serves as a member, and sponsor, of local conservation clubs.

Practices and Impacts
  • CRC implemented controlled grazing activities along fence lines and pipeline corridors in 2020 as a cost-effective and less environmentally harmful alternative to heavy equipment and herbicides.
  • The team has observed several endangered species on-site, including San Joaquin antelope squirrels, side-blotched lizards, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, kangaroo rats and San Joaquin kit foxes.
  • The team conducts wildlife monitoring through road surveys, fall foot surveys, spotlighting, scent stations and small mammal trapping. They share the data gathered from these biological studies with local conservation programs and universities, hosts the local school district for tours of the lands and participates in local conservation clubs to achieve regional conservation goals for threatened and endangered species in the San Joaquin Valley. Endangered species training is provided to all employees.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY