03.19.14

Welcoming Stornetta to the National Conservation Lands

With the sun shining off the surf off the California coastline, the entire community of Point Arena, California came out to celebrate the first on-land expansion to the California Coastal National Monument and the newest addition to the National Conservation Lands.

The celebration was possible thanks to President Obama responding to the local community request to permanently protect the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands as part of the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM).

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.

Our California Director Sam Goldman, had this to say about the designation, “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. 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.”

The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands were previously owned by the Stornetta ranching family, and as part of the National Conservation Lands, the national monument ensures that ranching, along with outdoor recreation, will continue.

The designation provides further protection for the Garcia River watershed, which is prime coho and Chinook salmon habitat. It also protects critical wildlife habitat for a number of migratory waterfowl and endangered and threatened species, including the Point Arena mountain beaver.

MonumentsMatter cakeThe president used his authority under the Antiquities Act to add approximately 1,600 acres to the California Coastal National Monument.

“The support for this designation is practically unanimous in the Mendocino business community as it will further raise the visibility and 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.”

Be sure to also read “BLM Photographer Bob Wick Highlighted in CBS News Story” our blog post on the photographer who has captured some amazing photographs of Stornetta and other units of the National Conservation Lands.