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BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, Issue 600 


Secretary Jewell Visits Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands in Mendocino County

More than 300 residents of the Mendocino Coast turned out for a public listening session hosted by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to share the community vision to conserve a scenic and significant area of coastal public lands in Mendocino County. Secretary Jewell was joined by Congressman Jared Huffman, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze, and BLM California State Director, Jim Kenna.

“Today I had a chance to hike this spectacular coastline and to see first-hand how important this area is for the community and for its economy – from tourism to outdoor recreation,” said Jewell. “And this afternoon I heard from a community who is proud of their incredible landscapes and proud of the work they’ve done over the years to protect them for current and future generations. We have an opportunity here to not only support the community’s vision to conserve this land, but also to create a world-class destination for outdoor recreation and the study of coastal resources, and to strengthen the local economies.”

A group who participated in a coastal hike with Secretary Jewel pose with the coast in the background. BLM photo
A group who participated in a coastal hike pose with the coast in the background. 
(Photo by Jim Pickering/BLM)

Residents of Point Arena and surrounding communities enthusiastically welcomed the secretary. Youth from the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians performed a traditional ceremonial dance to open the public meeting, and Point Arena students presented the Secretary with poetry and art inspired by the Point Arena and Stornetta Public Lands. A group of about 40 fourth and fifth graders opened the public comment portion of the meeting by performing four versus of the Woody Guthrie folksong, "This Land is Your Land."

Speaker after speaker endorsed adding the Point Arena and Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument, a proposal they dubbed "Expand onto the Land." No one spoke in opposition.

In addition to the public meeting, the Secretary met individually with community leaders and stakeholders and toured the Point Arena Lighthouse, climbing to the top of the tallest such facility on the West Coast.

Weather was picture perfect for the secretary’s four-mile hike along dramatic coastal bluffs overlooking the offshore features of the California Coastal National Monument. A breaching pod of humpback was a captivating sight, bringing cheers from the hikers.

Photo collage with a welcome banner for Secretary Jewel, Salley Jewel with two lighthouse board members, Jewel and Larry Stornetta, and Jewel with other visitors standing high up on the lighthouse. BLM photo
(Photos by Jim Pickering/BLM)
Top left Photo: A welcome banner greets Secretary Sally Jewell at Point Arena.
Top right photo: Secretary Jewell and other visitors view the coastline from the lighthouse.
Bottom left photo: Secretary Jewell talks to Larry Stornetta, whose family sold part of a family ranch, allowing public access on the Stornetta Public Lands.
Bottom right photo: Secretary Jewell and museum volunteers stand at in front of the light display at the lighthouse museum.

Collage with:  Members of the Pomo Band of Manchester Indians provide a ceremonial opening and members of the public talk with Secretary Jewel. BLM Photo
(Photos by Jim Pickering/BLM)
Photo on the left: 
Members of the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians provide a ceremonial opening to the public listening session. 
Photo on the right: Secretary Jewell talks to members of the public at the listening session


A BLM report estimates that outdoor recreation on the public lands in California contributed nearly $900 million to the economy in 2012. 

For the past decade the BLM has been working with partners, including the Trust for Public Land, the Conservation Lands Foundation, California Natural Resources Agency, California Coastal Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy and many other partners and private land owners to preserve the coastal bluffs and meadows of the Stornetta and Point Arena ranches.

With completion of several land acquisitions, in part funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the public now has unfettered access to 12 miles of federal and state-managed public lands, from the community of Point Arena north to Manchester State Beach.
The lands provide breathtaking vantage points for the rocks, islands and exposed reefs of the California Coastal National Monument, which was established in 2000. Point Arena community leaders have led efforts for protection and increased recognition of these public lands.
Administered by the BLM, the Stornetta Public Lands, located along the Mendocino County coast just north of the town of Point Arena, include more than two miles of coastline, the estuary of the Garcia River and adjacent beach, and a small island accessible during low tide. Stornetta borders the Pacific Ocean and the historic Point Arena Lighthouse on the west. To the north it is bordered by Manchester State Park. To the east it is bordered by State Highway 1 and Windy Hollow County Road. 

Secretary Jewel gestures out at the ocean in awe. BLM Photo
Secretary Jewell gestures out at the ocean in awe. 
(Photo by Jim Pickering/BLM)

In addition to providing recreation access for residents and visitors to the southern Mendocino County coast, the property provides an outdoor classroom setting immediately adjacent to Point Arena schools, and is within easy reach of a community college and a state university. The lands are recognized by several state and federal agencies as containing significant natural resources, including important wildlife habitat, several riparian corridors, extensive wetlands, ponds and other water sources, cypress groves, meadows and sand dunes.

The area is important habitat for migratory waterfowl, shore birds and raptors, as well as several endangered or threatened species, such as the Point Arena mountain beaver, Behren’s silver spot butterfly, western snowy plover, California red-legged frog, and salmon and steelhead that live in the Garcia River. The Garcia River is prime Coho and Chinook salmon habitat.

Secretary Jewel, BLM Director Neil Kornze, BLM California State Director Jim Kenna and others view the ocean from Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands. BLM photo
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, Neil Kornze, BLM Director, Jim Kenna, BLM California State Director, tour Point Arena Stornetta public lands with members of the community.  (Photo by Jim Pickering/BLM)

Ocean view from Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands. BLM PHoto
View of the ocean from Point Arena Stornetta public lands. 
(Photo by Jim Pickering/BLM)

To learn more about our California Coastal National Monumement please visit our website at: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/content/ca/en/prog/blm_special_areas/nm/ccnm.html

-- Dave Christy, Public Affairs Specialist, Central California District (November 2013)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 600-- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 11-20-2013