U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|California Coastal National Monument|
April 30, 2008
CCNM-Wide Collaborative Partnership Established with Coastwalk. With the signing of a CCNM Collaborative Partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU), the BLM, through the California Coastal National Monument, has become Coastwalk’s first formal partner to share in their state-wide mission. Coastwalk, a grassroots organization founded in 1983, works to promote responsible public access to the California coast, in part through promotion and stewardship of the California Coastal Trail. A key element of the partnership is building public awareness of California’s coastal and ocean resources and responsible public use of them. Through the MOU, Coastwalk and the BLM have agreed to coordinate in long-term protection and public education efforts regarding the rocks and islands of the CCNM and California’s coastal and ocean resources. In addition, Coastwalk will participate in developing a series of CCNM community gateways where the public can learn more about the CCNM and about the California Coastal Trail. “We are thrilled to be a partner in the California Coastal National Monument,” said Coastwalk President Fran Gibson. “We look forward to working with all Monument partners to champion the California coast.” CCNM Manager Rick Hanks added that, “Coastwalk members will help provide expertise regarding ways to inform the public about the CCNM and using the California Coastal Trail to view and enjoy the CCNM.” The California Coastal Trail, mandated in 1972 by Proposition 20, is one of the great trails in the United States. Roughly half the 1,200-mile trail, which runs along the entire California coastline, is currently complete. Gibson believes that this “partnership will benefit both organizations in ways we cannot yet predict.”
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society Partners with CCNM to Help Monitor the Mendocino Coast. The Mendocino Coast Audubon Society has signed a collaborative partnership agreement focusing on the long-term preservation and stewardship of the CCNM and its various resources and resource values. Through a memorandum of understanding, the BLM and the local Audubon Society chapter agree to coordinate in monitoring natural resources, particularly birds, and informing the public about the national monument and its resources along the Mendocino coast. The organization will also work with the BLM and other partners in developing and managing the CCNM Point Arena Gateway and other CCNM Gateways initiated in the area. “Members of the Audubon Society chapter have deep knowledge and understanding about the natural resources and birds of the Mendocino Coast,” said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. Hanks added that, “We look forward to their insight as to the best ways to protect these resources and inform the public about them.” David Jensen, president of Mendocino Coast Audubon, stated, “We welcome the opportunity to work more closely with our friends at the BLM. We helped the BLM purchase the Stornetta property in Point Arena and continue to monitor bird populations in that special area. This agreement formalizes our commitment to expand those efforts to the critical offshore nesting and feeding habitats.”
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy Signs-On as First CCNM Collaborative Partner for PVP Gateway Initiative. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy has signed a CCNM Collaborative Partnership memorandum of understanding with BLM, an action which will help kick start the CCNM Gateway initiative for the Palos Verde Peninsula (PVP). “As an organization that is focused on the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is a key partner in helping to develop a successful peninsula-wide gateway initiative”, said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. He added that the BLM “is looking forward to a long and active working relationship that will benefit all of the gateway initiative participants.” Founded in 1988 by a group of concerned area residents as a non-profit, non-political, public benefit corporation, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s mission is to preserve undeveloped land in perpetuity as open space for historical, educational, ecological, recreational, and scenic purposes. In addition, PVP Land Conservancy works cooperatively with cities, property owners, and environmental groups, locating funds for purchasing land, providing tax benefits for land donation, restoring habitat, and promoting the conservation of natural open space. They have also partnered with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in obtaining and coordinating a grant from the Annenberg Foundation to develop a vision plan for linking the City’s coastal and upland parks.
California Ocean Protection Council Providing Half the Funding for the Northern California Coast Geotourism Initiative.At the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) meeting in Ventura, California, on February 29, 2008, OPC agreed to grant half of the funding needed to initiate the Northern California Coast Geotourism “MapGuide.” The MapGuide is the initial product for the California Coast Geotourism Initiative that the BLM and various partners are developing with the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD)(See CCNM Updates 12/30/06, p. 1; 4/30/07, pp. 1 & 2; & 12/30/07, p. 2). The BLM is using the CCNM as a catalyst for developing a cohesive “geotourism” region for the California coast. This initiative fits neatly with the basic implementation framework that has been developed for the CCNM. The CCNM, in turn, is working with its “core-managing partners” (i.e., California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks), as well as the California Travel and Tourism Commission, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program, and the National Park Service to secure the remaining funding and get this initiative started. Support letters for the Northern California Coast Geotourism Initiative were sent to the OPC by BLM, the City of Point Arena, and Humboldt State University Marine Laboratory, as well as the Mendocino County Lodging Association and the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau. In his support letter, BLM California State Director Mike Pool stated that this project represents “a unique opportunity…to bring in the National Geographic Society’s international brand and expertise to help us package and promote California’s coastal treasures within an educational framework and in an environmentally and culturally sustainable fashion.”
Geotourism Approach & Principles Developed for CCNM Gateways Initiative. With the implementation of the CCNM Gateways initiative, there is an increasing need for a common set of principles for each of the gateway members to follow. The development of the California Coast Geotourism Initiative provides the opportunity to take the basic approach and principles developed by the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations for their various geotourism councils and link them with the CCNM Gateways initiative. These principles are consistent with the World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the International Council on Monuments and Sites’ International Cultural Tourism Charter. Using these principles and the version adapted by the BLM, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Forest Service in the geotourism MOU that is being developed with National Geographic Society, the following geotourism definition, approach, and principles have been adopted for the CCNM Gateways initiative:
Definition. Geotourism, as defined below, is the tourism approach to be applied to the California Coastal National Monument Gateways initiative:
Approach. The geotourism approach:
Principles. The 10 guiding geotourism principles for the CCNM Gateway initiative are as follows:
1. Integrity of Place – (a) Respect local culture and tradition and (2) Enhance geographical character through developments and improvements that are distinctive to the locale and reflective of its natural and cultural heritage.
2. Market Differentiation – (a) Promote the unique qualities of the community in order to appeal to the entire demographic spectrum of the geotourism market and maximize economic resiliency and (b) Encourage growth in tourism market segments most likely to appreciate, respect, and disseminate information about the distinctive community assets.
3. Sustainable Tourism & Enhancement of Destination Appeal – (a) Promote good stewardship of the community’s assets; (b) Anticipate tourism pressures and apply management techniques and limits that ultimately sustain and respect natural habitats, heritage sites, scenic appeal, and local culture; and (c) Encourage citizens, visitors, and businesses to follow sustainable tourism practices that (1) contribute to conservation of biodiversity; (2) nurture the well being of people; (3) include an interpretive/learning experience; (4) involve responsible actions on the part of tourists and the tourism industry; (5) stress local participation, ownership, and business opportunities, particularly for rural populations; (6) emphasize delivery of goods and services to small groups by small-scale business; and (7) focus on low consumption of non-renewable resources.
4. Tourist Satisfaction – Strive for an engaging and informative visitor experience so that tourists will impart their positive experience to others, thereby ensuring continuing demand for the destination.
5. Community Investment – (a) Seek community partnerships that provide distinct, authentic experiences and market destinations effectively and (b) Help businesses develop approaches to tourism that foster sustainable tourism opportunities and nurture the area’s natural environment, history, culture, tradecrafts, arts, cuisines, and other community attributes.
6. Community Benefit – (a) Build community understanding of the benefits of geotourism and (b) Encourage tourism business strategies that emphasize long-term economic and social benefits of the community.
7. Land Use and Planning – (a) Anticipate development pressures and engage in collaborative planning to address issues of potential overdevelopment and resource degradation; (b) Encourage appropriate land use methods that are sensitive to the unique natural and cultural character of the community; and (c) Recognize and respect immediate economic needs without sacrificing long-term character and the geotourism potential of the destination.
8. Indigenous Knowledge – (a) Include the contributions of local and regional indigenous knowledge and (b) Involve local tribal communities and indigenous peoples to incorporate appropriate institutionalized knowledge of the local and regional area that encompasses original homelands and sacred places.
9. Interactive Interpretation – (a) Engage visitors in experiences that allow them to learn about and understand the distinctive elements of the geotourism region and (b) Encourage local information processes regarding the natural and cultural heritage of communities, so that tourists gain a richer experience and residents develop pride in their locales.
10. Evaluation - Ensure some means of periodically evaluating the effectiveness of the geotourism initiative(s) and making appropriate adjustments.
BLM Presidential Management Fellow Visits CCNM & Assists with Gateways & Geotourism Initiatives. On a two-week work detail to the CCNM, BLM Presidential Management Fellow Nell Triplett had the opportunity to pack a lot in over a very short time. Nell, who is serving as a natural resources specialist in the National Landscape Conservation System Office in the BLM’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., spent the first week of her CCNM visit accompanying CCNM Manager Rick Hanks on a trip north from Monterey to Trinidad, viewing the CCNM and visiting various CCNM Gateway locations, including the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Coast, Sonoma Coast, Point Arena, Elk, Mendocino, Lost Coast, and Trinidad. In addition, she participated in the BLM Northwest California Resource Advisory Council’s (RAC’s) CCNM field trip at Trinidad and the RAC business meeting at the BLM Arcata Field Office (see below). Nell spent her second week in the CCNM Monterey office reviewing and editing the draft CCNM geotourism principles (see above) and updating the CCNM Gateways briefing paper and question and answer sheet, including adding the California Coast Geotourism Initiative to it. She was also able to visit the Monterey Peninsula and part of the Big Sur gateway locations, bringing her total visits to CCNM Gateway locations to nine of the twelve proposed CCNM Gateways. Nell is a Californian with a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in communications and a master’s degree in international environmental studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Trinidad Tour & Two-Hour Discussion of CCNM Initiatives Part of BLM Northwest California Resource Advisory Council Meeting.The CCNM was a dominant theme for the BLM’s Northwest California Resource Advisory Council (RAC) meeting hosted by the BLM Arcata Field Office on Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 and 20, 2008. On Wednesday, RAC Members convened in Trinidad for a walking field tour focusing on the CCNM and the Trinidad Gateway to the Monument. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks explained the offshore features of the Monument in the Trinidad area, and Arcata Field Office wildlife biologist Arlene Kosic, California State Office ecologist Jim Weigand, and California State Office wildlife biologist Paul Roush provided opportunities for the RAC members to view the rocks and related wildlife through spotting scopes. Speakers from the Tsurai Ancestral Society (a CCNM Collaborative Partner), the Yurok Tribe, and the Trinidad Rancheria (both CCNM Stewards) discussed the importance of the area to the native people. The RAC was especially appreciative of the presentation of native stories by Axel Lindgren of the Tsurai Ancestral Society.
At the RAC business meeting in the BLM Arcata Field Office on Thursday, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks noted that the BLM is moving into the third year of implementing the CCNM Resource Management Plan (RMP). He discussed the CCNM’s management framework established by the RMP, the implementation priorities, the Gateways initiative, the monitoring initiative associated with the Gualala fireworks, and the need for more long-term monitoring of a variety of CCNM resources and resource values (e.g., seabird nesting colonies, terrestrial plants, and rocky intertidal species). Hanks also updated the RAC on the California Coast Geotourism Initiative and the work with the National Geographic Society to develop the Geotourism MapGuides for the California Coast, beginning with the Northern California coast. Hanks provided the RAC members with a copy of the draft CCNM Gateways Geotourism Approach and Principles for their review and comment. He informed them that he is planning to add these principles as an attachment to any new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a CCNM partner associated with a CCNM Gateway, as well as modifying the MOUs with existing CCNM Collaborative Partners or Stewards involved in a CCNM Gateway initiative.
The Sea Ranch Association Presented with the First CCNM “Rock Star” Award. At The Sea Ranch Association CCNM Stewardship Task Force celebration luncheon at The Sea Ranch on March 19, 2008, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks presented The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) with the first CCNM “Rock Star” Award. The CCNM Rock Star Award is intended to be periodically presented to select individuals or organizations that make a significant or special contribution to the implementation, stewardship, and/or management of the CCNM. This first of the CCNM Rock Star Awards was presented to TSRA for their exemplary assistance in monitoring seabirds and marine mammals on the rocks and islands adjacent to The Sea Ranch properties. Hanks told the luncheon attendees that TSRA’s contribution to the CCNM in just a year far exceeded what could be expected from a CCNM Steward. As a CCNM Steward, TSRA contributed more than 960 hours of volunteer time related to this effort. More than 700 of those hours were directly related to the actual in-the-field seabird and Harbor Seal monitoring associated with Gualala Point Island and the Gualala fireworks event. The value of the monitoring, data recording, and associated logistics assistance, along with the donated aircraft time, equipment usage (including personal cameras, spotting scopes, digital camcorders, Garmin GPS units, and sound level meters), and technical expertise, is conservatively estimated at more than $30,000. According to Hanks, “The cost would have been at least three or four times as much if the work was conducted by BLM or contactors.” He added that, “This illustrates the value of having a well trained cadre of ‘citizen scientists’ working with us on the stewardship of the CCNM.”
Final 2007 Gualala Fireworks Monitoring Report Posted & Monitoring for Gualala Point Island 2008 Nesting Season Announced. The BLM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on March 25, 2008, issued a joint news release announcing the availability of the results of a monitoring study conducted last June and July at Gualala Point Island and that a second monitoring study will be conducted in June and July 2008. The report of the study results, co-authored by BLM ecologist Jim Weigand and FWS seabird biologist Gerry McChesney, is titled “Seabird and Marine Mammal Monitoring and Response to a Fireworks Display at Gualala Point Islands, Sonoma County, CA, May to August 2007,” and is available online at: www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/ccnm.html
The report acknowledges the assistance of the members of the Sea Ranch CCNM Stewardship Task Force and the major role they played in the fieldwork, logistics, equipment, and expertise that enabled the monitoring, analysis, and report to be completed. It also acknowledges the contributions from various other volunteers and professionals who assisted with this undertaking.
Gualala Point Island, the focus of the study, is a part of the CCNM and is located off the northern portion of The Sea Ranch properties in the northwest corner of Sonoma County, California. According to the study, “the monitoring was conducted in response to reports of disturbance [to nesting seabirds] from a fireworks display [held] in [the community of Gualala on] July 2006…. In 2007, monitoring examined potential impacts to seabirds and marine mammals during a fireworks display on 6 July and gained additional basic knowledge of this little studied colony.” The study states “observations documented a visible response by nesting seabirds…during the 6 July fireworks display” and details specific impacts. The community of Gualala is located on the north side of the Gualala River at the southern end of Mendocino County and is 1.8 km from Gualala Point Island. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks stated that work will again be conducted using BLM/FWS established scientific data protocols, and that volunteers and partners are critical to the success of this effort.
Strategy for Implementing the CCNM Gateway for Elk Discussed. Representatives from the BLM and California State Parks, two CCNM Core-Managing Partners, met with Mendocino Regional Parks Association (MRPA) and Mendocino County Historical Society representatives to discuss the CCNM Gateway concept as it would apply to Greenwood State Beach and the coastal area around the Mendocino County community of Elk. Meeting on February 21, 2008, at the Greenwood State Beach Visitor Center and Museum, BLM was represented by CCNM Manager Rick Hanks, Ukiah Field Manager Rich Burns, Northern California Public Affairs Officer Jeff Fontana, and Ukiah Field Office Park Ranger/Interpretive Specialist Larry Ames, while District Superintendent Marilyn Murphy represented State Parks. The lead museum docent Pru Wilcox represented the MRPA and the Mendocino County Historical Society was represented by First Vice President Lorene Christiansen, board member Martin Christiansen, and past-president John Ross. Hanks explained the current status of the CCNM Gateways initiative and how the CCNM Gateway at Elk could easily take advantage of Greenwood State Beach’s existing infrastructure (e.g., museum, parking lot, and trails, both to the beach and along the cliffs) for visitor use and to focus on the historic aspect of the CCNM (especially the ties with coastal communities, “dog-hole ports”, wharfs, and commercial ventures). Developing CCNM Collaborative Partnership arrangements with the Mendocino County Historical Society and the MRPA was discussed, as was the California Coast Geotourism Initiative with the National Geographic Society, an initiative that, among other things, is intended to help maintain the quality, economic sustainability, and authenticity of communities such as Elk. Also discussed were other local organizations and interests to involve in the gateway initiative and setting up a meeting with the community in order to get their input and participation.
Initial Meeting Held for Proposed Crescent City CCNM Gateway. About 20 people representing more than a dozen entities and organizations met on April 16, 2008, in Crescent City to discuss the initiation of the CCNM Gateway initiative for the Crescent City area. Organized by Susan Calla representing the Redwood Region Audubon Society, the meeting included representatives from the Crescent City Chamber of Commerce, City Council of Crescent City, Crescent City Planning Department, Crescent City Planning Commission, Smith River Rancheria, Elk Valley Rancheria, Del Norte Local Transportation Commission, Del Norte County Historical Society, North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association, California State Parks, and National Park Service. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and BLM Arcata Field Office Manager Lynda Roush represented the BLM and provided an introduction to the CCNM and the CCNM Gateways initiative and answered a wide variety of questions. The group was very interested in the CCNM Gateway concept and discussed a number of benefits, links with existing activities and initiatives, and other possible participating organizations. The group agreed to meet again in a few months. They also asked BLM to put together a map with the ownership and administrative jurisdiction of all of the offshore rocks and islands from the Klamath River to the Oregon border.
CCNM Site Characterization Section Added to Website. A CCNM Site Characterization section has been added to the CCNM website. The CCNM Site Characterization is a collection and synthesize of what is known about the CCNM. This compilation of CCNM data is far from being completed. It is, therefore, intended that the CCNM Site Characterization functions as a "living" document. The products of this initiative will be periodically modified, improved, and updated in order to remain current and useful. The current information includes a brief discussion of the ecological approach to the CCNM, the Monument’s general setting and importance, and excerpts from CCNM planning documents regarding the physical setting, the biological communities, and human influences associated with the CCNM. While much is known about the natural history and ecology of the coastal mainland of California and its related marine resources, only limited attention has been paid to the offshore rocks and small islands. As a result, one of the on-going priorities related to the implementation of the CCNM RMP is the collection of data specific to the resources and resource values associated with the Monument. In order to provide a complete ecological perspective of the CCNM, all three of the basic dimensions of an ecosystem--physical (abiotic), biological (biotic), and socio-cultural (cultural) or the “ABCs” of an ecosystem (i.e., abiotic, biotic, and cultural)--need to be taken into account. Working to understand the interconnectedness of all three of these dimensions as they apply to the CCNM is an ongoing effort. To date, two main literature searches have been completed for the CCNM. These are a summary of the key birds and marine mammals and a geologic characterization study. Copies of both of these reports are available in pdf format on this website: www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/ccnm/site_characterization.html
CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls & Events. In addition to the various meetings, activities, and actions discussed above, the CCNM Manager, other CCNM staff, and BLM California coastal field offices (FOs) staff also participated in a variety of meetings, events, and conference calls, including the following:
Any questions, comments, or requests for additional information? Contact Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, at 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940, or telephone (831) 372-6105 or 372-6115, or e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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