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 News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 438

 Pacific Grove residents and visitors join celebration of NLCS, California Coastal National Monument

The opening of a BLM temporary exhibit, a cake cuting, trolley tours, Roscoe the snake and remarks by Congressman Sam Farr were on the program for a 10th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument and National Landscape Conservation System Saturday in Pacific Grove. The BLM partnered with the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History to help with the museum’s monthly “Science Saturday” that had “Habitats: Past and Present” as its June theme. (text continues below)

Boy looks closely at head of snake he is holding around his shouldersA boy looks closely at the head of a snake he holds over his shoulders
Roscoe the gopher snake drew young herpetologists of both genders, including John (above) and Cassidy, below.
A girl with a snake draped aournd her neck

The event gave youngsters a chance to build replicas of coastal rock from clay, make pop-ups, do a scavenger hunt, view plant structures under microscopes and handle wildlife that inhabit the area – a tiger salamander, legless lizard and gopher snake. (more below)

A boy models with clay
Ian uses clay to build a replica of coastal rocks

The day’s activities centered around the opening of the California Coastal National Monument’s photo exhibit “A Spectacular Interplay of Land and Sea” featuring the photography of BLM’s Bob Wick and a display of marine and terrestrial fossils found in the hills west of Interstate 5, the general location of the California coastline 30 to 65 million years ago. 

BLM Hollister Field Office's archaeologist Erik Zaborsky and botanist Ryan O’Dell gave a presentation on fossils finds from the Moreno shale formation.

BLM’s California Coastal National Monument Manager Rick Hanks conducted trolley-bus tours of the portion of the monument along the coast of Pacific Grove, with seals and seabirds providing the major highlights. “This provided the public a first-hand look of at least a small part of the monument,” said Hanks.

At the day’s end, the event participants gathered in the Museum for some brief comments by the Museum’s Education Coordinator Annie Holdren, BLM’s Hollister Field Office Manager Rick Cooper, Pacific Grove Mayor Carmelita Garcia, and Congressman Farr.

Farr said discussion of the coastal monument began based on interest in putting cell towers and possibly billboards on the coastal rocks. He introduced legislation to protect the rocks, but was unable to get it passed. After a tour and discussion with then-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, the monument was created by Presidential Proclamation signed by William J. Clinton on January 11, 2000.

Farr added that Monterey was California’s first industrial city, producing cattle hides and other commodities, but didn’t develop urban sprawl due to residents’ respect for the area’s natural resources.

“It’s because of the land and the sea,” he explained. “We didn’t rush into sprawl and cut it all down.”

The event was culminated with the cutting of a large 10th anniversary cake by Farr and Hanks with the help of a dozen kids.

The California Coastal National Monument consists of more than 20,000 rocks, small islands, exposed reefs and pinnacles from above mean high tide out 12 nautical miles along the 1,100 miles of the California coast from San Diego to the Oregon border.  The National Landscape Conservation System conserves and protects treasured landscapes including national monuments, wilderness, wild and scenic rivers and other special areas across the west.

A girl mounts a photo on paper
Marley chooses photos to use in making pop-ups -- another popular activity of the day

 Adults help a child cut a cake for celebration
Congressman Sam Farr and BLM California Coastal National Monument Manager Rick Hanks cut the cake with help from young friends.

A man helps a girl with her clay rock project
BLM Archaeologist Erik Zaborsky assists Sophia with her project.

A boy shows off his project, arranged on a paper plate
Marshall shows off his coastal project.

People gather on the sidewalk as a tire-based trolley pulls up
Trolley tours of a local portion of the California Coastal National Monument were offered as part of the anniversary celebration.

- David Christy, BLM Central California District

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 438

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Last updated: 12-21-2010