BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 534

Celebration Marks Public Access to Cypress Abbey Lands

rocky cliffs wrap around a seashore cove
Arena Cove, in the city of Point Arena, as seen from Cypress Abbey

Once open to only a select few, the rolling coastal prairies and dramatic ocean views at the Cypress Abbey Ranch near Point Arena are now accessible to the public following acquisition for public ownership and management by the Bureau of Land Management.

A crowd of nearly 200 joined officials from the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the BLM on Friday, June 1, to celebrate completion of the first phase, about 123 acres, of a planned three-phase acquisition that will eventually open about 500 acres of breathtakingly-beautiful landscapes to the public.  The TPL, BLM and the California Coastal Conservancy played key roles in the acquisition.

a speaker addresses a group seated in an area overlooking the sea
Sam Hodder, California state director for the TPL, tells the crowd about the importance of protecting the landscape and resources for future generations.  TPL acquired the property and turned it over to the BLM for management.

A man speaks to a crowd seated above a view of breaking waves along the coast
BLM State Director Jim Kenna assures the group that the BLM is committed to protecting and sustaining the Cypress Abbey property, commending the work of the BLM’s partners in leading the way for the acquisition.

In his comments to the group, Kenna commented on the “remarkable natural and historic values,” on the site,  describing the property as “a chance to feel the California coast and develop a passion that you will carry with you for your entire life.”  He affirmed the BLM’s commitment to the “partnership, shared values and joy in creating a heritage that will benefit generations to come.”

Statements of support from U. S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and U. S. Rep. Mike Thompson were presented along with statements of appreciation for the critical funding provided by the California Coastal Commission and the BLM, through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Spectacular views abound on the Cypress Abbey property:

looking down over rocks at the seashore
A view of rocks of the California Coastal National Monument from Cypress Abbey

a view from a meadow down to a rocky seashore
Coastal prairie and the Pacific.

In addition to stunning scenery, the Cypress Abbey public lands provide habitat for the Behren’s silverspot butterfly and the Point Arena mountain beaver, both of which are on the federal endangered species list.

Work on completing the acquisition with a second phase involving about 400 acres and a third phase to acquire two smaller parcels is now underway.  When completed, the Cypress Abbey property will connect to the BLM’s Stornetta Public Lands, providing a public land connection stretching from the community of Point Arena north to the Point Arena Lighthouse and Manchester State Park.

See larger versions of these photos in BLM California’s Flickr photostream:

- Jeff Fontana, Public Affairs Officer, BLM Northern California District (June 5, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 534 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.