Rand Mountains Management Area

The Rand Mountains Management Area (RMMA) is designated as a limited-use area that is comprised of approximately 65,000 acres of public land. The RMMA is located 35 miles south of Ridgecrest and immediately north of the California City boundary. The RMMA has been a popular OHV recreation area since the 1960’s and was a desired location for competitive race events through the 1970’s, with a peak of 25 events and 10,845 participants in 1975. The RMMA has seen a steady decline of OHV use and disturbance since 1980 when the California Desert Conservation Act (CDCA) was passed. There is currently 129 miles of designated routes for motorized vehicles within the RMMA. Each operator of a motorized vehicle is required to obtain a free permit before riding within the boundaries of the RMMA. The management area contains 110 square miles of crucial Desert tortoise habitat, which is part of the Kramer-Fremont Desert Wildlife Management Area. Resource inventories conducted in the 1980’s determined there was a decline in Desert tortoise population from 250 tortoises per square mile in 1981 to 179 per square mile in 1987. The BLM and other Federal agencies have implemented a number of management plans to improve habitat and protect the Desert tortoise. These include the CDCA, the Rand Mountain-Fremont Valley Plan, the Rand Mountains Education and Permit Program, and the Endangered Species Act. Other sensitive species that reside in the RMMA are the Mojave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis), burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), desert kit fox (Vulpes velox), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus). Dominant plant communities within the management area are creosote bush scrub, creosote bush-rocky slopes, Joshua tree woodland, and alkali sink scrub. The management area supports 154 species of annual and perennial plants including creosote bush, Joshua tree, winterfat, cheesebush, four-wing saltbush, and California buckwheat. The RMMA is used for various recreation and commercial activities including OHV riding, hunting, mining, and grazing. The nearby mining town of Randsburg has a couple of restaurants, antique shops, and a general store that caters to tourists and recreationists. ~ (courtesy of the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office)