Press Release-President’s Plan to Expand California Coastal National Monument Cheered
President’s Plan to Expand California Coastal National Monument Cheered by the Conservation Lands Foundation and Business Groups
Point Area-Stornetta Public Lands to become newest addition to the National Conservation Lands
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 8, 2014) – The Conservation Lands Foundation applauded the news that President Obama plans to expand the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands in Mendocino County, California. This expansion will add approximately 1,600 acres to the national monument and be the first on-land access point for CCNM. The expansion will also add these lands to the National Conservation Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
“We appreciate President Obama responding to local communities and protecting our most important public lands.” said Sam Goldman, California Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “The expansion of the California Coastal National Monument is a step forward in reconnecting Americans with the outdoors, and it ensures that one of the most significant parts of the California’s coastline will be protected for current and future generations.”
The monument expansion comes in response to broad support from the local community, state and local elected officials, the local Manchester-Point Arena Band of Pomo Indians, business and civic leaders, and conservation organizations.
“The support for this designation is practically unanimous in the Mendocino business community as it will further raise the visibility an interest in the area, driving additional visitation to the county,” said Scott Schneider, President and CEO of Visit Mendocino County. “It means more than they will ever know that the President and Secretary Jewell saw fit to protect this area in a way that will also have a positive impact on our local tourism economy.”
The California Coastal National Monument, made up of more than 20,000 small islands, rocks and reefs along the California coast, is possibly the most viewed but least known of America’s national monuments.
“The addition of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument will provide a new gateway for visitors to experience the monument,” added Goldman. “This designation is expected to increase recognition of the area among visitors and locals while permanently protecting an important part of Northern California’s unique cultural and coastal heritage.”
As part of the National Conservation Lands, the national monument expansion will ensure that current uses including ranching, outdoor recreational and research will continue. The designation will also provide further protection for the Garcia River watershed, which is prime coho and chinook salmon habitat. It will also protect critical wildlife habitat for a number of migratory waterfowl and endangered and threatened species, including the Point Arena mountain beaver.
The National Conservation Lands are a 27-million acre collection of the most ecologically, culturally and historically significant public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. In California, these lands include nearly five million areas of public lands including national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, and national scenic and historic trails.