News Release

For Release: June 1, 2006
Contact : Rick Hanks at (831) 372-6105 or John Bogacki (805) 927-2968
CA-CC-06-46

BLM Accepts Transfer Of Piedras Blancas Coastal Outcropping

The striking white rocks off the coast of San Simeon that once served as a guidepost for sea-faring vessels were donated by the Hearst Corporation to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last month, furthering the agency's efforts to protect the unique natural resources and scenic values of California's coastline through the California Coastal National Monument.

The Hearst Corporation, working in partnership with the American Land Conservancy, transferred the rocks to the BLM in mid-May. The rocks serve as a nautical gateway to the BLM-managed Piedras Blancas Light Station, located adjacent to the Hearst Castle State Historic Monument on scenic, coast Highway 1. This donation completes the last phase of the corporation's efforts to conserve their San Simeon Ranch holdings.

"The Hearst Corporation and the American Land Conservancy have been strong advocates for preservation and protection of these rock formations," said Ron Huntsinger, BLM Bakersfield Field Manager. "The transfer of this important coastal resource to the BLM benefits the public by protecting these distinctive geologic and panoramic characteristics of the California coast, as well as the marine life that depends on them."

The rock outcroppings were named Piedras Blancas (white rocks) by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo on his 16th century exploration of the California shoreline. The formations were purchased by William Randolph Hearst as part of his San Simeon Ranch holdings and include Piedras Blancas 1 and 2, the Outer Islet off the Piedras Blancas Light Station, and La Cruz rock north of the light station.

The California Coastal National Monument, created by presidential proclamation in January 2000, was established to safeguard all undesignated rocks, islands, exposed reefs and pinnacles up to 12 nautical miles off the California coastline. Management and protection of the monument relies heavily on partnerships with other agencies, organizations and communities working collaboratively to ensure the monument's natural, cultural and visual resources are preserved and protected.

Information regarding the California Coastal National Monument is available online at http://www.blm.gov/ca/pa/coastal_monument/index.html, or by contacting Monument Manager Rick Hanks at (831) 372-6105.

Information is available on the Piedras Blancas Light Station website at http://www.blm.gov/ca/bakersfield/pbls/, or by contacting John Bogacki, Piedras Blancas Light Station manager, at (805)927-2968.

-BLM-

See more photos of these rock outcroppings.

Bakersfield Field Office 3801 Pegasus Dr.. Bakersfield, CA 93308