Press Release – Conservation Leader Receives National Advocacy Award
Mendocino’s Ann Cole Recognized for Defending and Promoting Conservation
San Francisco, CA (October 30, 2013) – Ann Cole, Executive Director of the Mendocino Land Trust, received the Advocate of the Year award from the Conservation Lands Foundation. This award is granted for exhibiting outstanding leadership, courage, creativity, and effectiveness in defending, promoting, and expanding the National Conservation Lands. Cole received the award for her exceptional work advocating for the inclusion of the Stornetta Public Lands in the California Coastal National Monument. The award ceremony took place on Saturday, October 26 in Bend, OR.
“I have had the opportunity to walk the Stornetta Public Lands with Ann and her passion for the preservation of this property is admirable,” Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro said. “She understands the importance for strong advocacy and has taken every possible opportunity to talk with community stakeholders about the conservation and the importance of the California Coastal National Monument to our state. It is great to see Ann’s work on behalf of our public lands has been recognized by the Conservation Lands Foundation.”
Under Cole’s leadership, the Mendocino Land Trust endorsed Congressman Jared Huffman’s legislation to include the Stornetta lands in the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM). Currently Cole is leading a coalition of local elected officials, business owners, and community members to advocate for the national monument designation for Stornetta Public Lands.
The existing CCNM is entirely off-shore, protecting 1,100 miles of scenic off-shore sea stacks, rock formations and marine habitat off the California coastline. Protecting Stornetta as part of the monument would add 1,700 acres of land to the CCNM and provide visitors a chance to enjoy an on-shore portion of the monument. In addition to bringing increased attention to the CCNM, this would bring national attention to Mendocino County creating a positive economic impact to the local economy.
“Ann’s energy, experience and leadership have enabled her to play a pivotal role in helping advance the effort to expand the California Coastal National Monument in Mendocino County,” stated Sam Goldman, California State Director with the Conservation Lands Foundation.
In addition to her advocacy on Stornetta, during her tenure at the Mendocino Land Trust, the group has been working to design, plan, and obtain permits to create a new segment of the California Coastal Trail, a trail system that runs the length of the coast.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Cole has had an extensive career in land use law, environmental project management and executive leadership including ten years with the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization. She also served on the board of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting and has done work for The Conservation Fund, FIRST 5 Mendocino and Mendocino County Resource Conservation District. Cole became the executive director of the Mendocino Land Trust in March 2013.
The California Coastal National Monument is part of the National Conservation Lands, protected public lands and waterways managed by the BLM. In California, this includes nearly five million areas including national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers and national scenic and historic trails.
Media Contact: Meghan Kissell, 571-643-3526, meghan AT conservationlands.org