U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|California Coastal National Monument|
April 30, 2009
The Sea Ranch CCNM Stewardship Task Force Receives a BLM National Volunteer Award. The Sea Ranch Association California Coastal National Monument Stewardship Task Force has been selected as a winner of the 2009 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Making a Difference National Volunteer Award. The Task Force is one of eight recipients from a field of sixty nominations throughout the United States. Task Force Co-Chair Diane Hichwa will travel to Washington, DC to accept the award at an Interior Department ceremony on May 14, 2009.
The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) signed a stewardship agreement with BLM in 2006 to protect wildlife and monitor and document human disturbances on California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) rocks, islands, and exposed reefs along the 12 mile-long stretch of coast off The Sea Ranch properties in northern Sonoma County. In 2008, TSRA stewards expanded the monitoring and inventory program begun in 2007 in order to provide year-round monitoring of major seabird colonies and resident marine mammals within TSRA stewardship area. The award recognition includes the following description of the TSRA’s accomplishments: “The Taskforce of 45 monitoring volunteers has…used ingenuity, technical expertise, and scientific method to develop and refine monitoring protocols, document a year-round baseline of the habitat use on Monument islands by marine wildlife in northern Sonoma County, California, and maintain high-quality, biologically significant information in detail rarely seen.”
Stewardship Task Force Co-Chairs Rich Kuehn and Diane Hichwa send their thanks and congratulations to members of the Task Force and to all those volunteers in the north coast Mendonoma area of both Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, including the Mendocino Coast and Madrone Audubon Society chapters, who worked together with common concern for seabirds and wildlife which are dependent on the CCNM rocks for resting and nesting.
National Landscape Conservation System Put into Law. On March 30, 2009, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which among other things put into law the 26-million acre National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) within the Bureau of Land Management. Section 2002 of the Act establishes the NLCS in order “to conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations.” The more than 850 units of the NLCS includes the California Coastal National Monument, 15 other National Monuments, 14 National Conservation Areas and six similarly designated lands (e.g., Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area), as well as 41 National Wild and Scenic Rivers, three National Scenic Trails, 10 National Historic Trails, 190 Wilderness Areas, more than 580 Wilderness Study Areas, and public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area administered by the BLM for conservation purposes. The NLCS is the first new federal land conservation system in 50 years.
Final Month for North Coast Geotourism MapGuide Site Nominations. May is the last month of the three-month site nomination period for the initial development of the Geotourism MapGuide for California’s North Coast. While the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation, serving as the lead nonprofit partner on this project, worked with developing a contract with the National Geographic Society to produce a web-based, interactive Geotourism MapGuide, the three-month site nomination process continued. The Foundation’s contract with National Geographic reflects the opportunities brought about by the loss of funding for a paper Geotourism MapGuide. It turns out that the development of the web-based Geotourism MapGuide is (1) half the cost of developing a paper version, (2) allows unlimited sites to be included, and (3) has much greater flexibility, utility, and longevity. The web-based Geotourism MapGuide and the site database of locally defined regional geotourism features are owned by the North Coast Tourism Council with the North Coast Geotourism Committee acting in an advisory capacity.
The site nomination process officially commenced March 1 and will end May 31, 2009. Support from chambers of commerce and historical societies has been strong and numerous e-mail lists, reaching thousands, have received invitations to participate. The most effective means to engage the public has been though direct encounters, so that has been the overarching strategy. En route to the wide variety of engagements to inform and invite site nominations (See “CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls & Events” section below), canvassing of the communities has occurred, directly inviting relevant entities to participate in the effort. The various individuals who have elected to participate on the North Coast Geotourism Committee have been active in helping to solicit site nominations and are poised for the final month of gathering nominations.
The North Coast Geotourism Committee will be meeting for two days in August to review the site nominations, develop potential themes, and address other North Coast Geotourism MapGuide items to be passed on to the National Geographic Mapping Division that will be preparing the North Coast web-based Geotourism MapGuide. The Mapping Division has recently informed the North Coast Geotourism Committee that the North Coast web-based Geotourism MapGuide should be up and running before the end of November of 2009.
CCNM Part of Featured Plenary Session for Trails Conference. CCNM Collaborative Partner Coastwalk California sponsored the Featured Plenary Session at the 2009 California Trails and Greenways Conference and invited CCNM to participate. Focusing on the California Coastal Trail, the session was titled “The California Coastal Trail: An Economic Engine for Revitalizing Coastal Counties.” Representing CCNM, Monument Manager Rick Hanks participated on a panel made up of statewide representative from the federal, state, regional, county, and private sectors. Each of the panelists provided a PowerPoint presentation highlighting strategies and examples related to the economic benefits linked to the California Coastal Trail and related local and regional initiatives. Hanks discussed regional geotourism as an economic stimulus. The panel was chaired by Mike Reilly, Coastwalk California board member and recently retired Sonoma County Supervisor. The other panelists included Sam Schuchat, California Coastal Conservancy Executive Officer; Greg Cox, Chairman of San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Ron De Carli, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments Executive Director; and Walter Keiser, Founding Partner of Economic and Planning Systems. The session, set up by Coastwalk California’s President Fran Gibson and coordinated by their Executive Director Una Glass, was held at the Tenaya Lodge, on April 24, 2009, near the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park.
Palos Verdes Peninsula Becomes CCNM's First Southern California Gateway. About two dozen people representing more than a dozen community and governmental agencies met on March 26, 2009, at the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ Point Vicente Interpretive Center to form the Palos Verdes Peninsula Gateway of the California Coastal National Monument. The Gateway is a collaborative partnership to assist BLM with the preservation, stewardship, and appreciation of the CCNM, as well as to advance the understanding and protection of California’s coastal and ocean resources.
At the Gateway meeting, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes presented BLM with a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) making the city the CCNM’s most recent municipality to become a CCNM Collaborative Partner. This MOU brings the city in as a formal partner to work with the BLM and other CCNM partners in the development and implementation of the CCNM Gateway for the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
In addition to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the other organizations and agencies represented at the meeting included three current CCNM Collaborative Partners--Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Coastwalk California, and the Recreational Fishing Alliance, as well as the City of Palos Verdes Estates, the City of Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society, Los Serenos de Point Vicente, South Coast Chapter of California Native Plant Society, Endangered Habitats League, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific Region Restoration Center, and the Montrose Settlement Restoration Project. Representing BLM were CCNM Manager Rick Hanks; John Kalish, Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office Manager; Greg Thomsen, CCNM Southern California Coordinator; David Briery, California Desert District Public Affairs Officer; and Tracy Albrecht, Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office Interpretive Specialist.
Greg Thomsen, who moderated the Gateway’s first meeting, said, "It took nearly four years of hard work by a number of BLMers and community organizers to get to this point." He added that, "The meeting room on a bluff overlooking the shore was a fantastic setting, but it did present a unique challenge for keeping the attention of roomful of marine-life experts." Midway through the meeting all eyes turned to the sea when a pair of Pacific gray whales performed a mating ritual in full view of everyone. During the meeting, all of the attendees had the opportunity to discuss their organization and identify what they would like to get out of the gateway initiative. The next meeting will focus on formalizing additional CCNM partnerships and collaborative projects.
First Historical Society to Become CCNM Collaborative Partner. With the signing of a memorandum of understanding by BLM California Associate State Director Jim Abbott on March 6, 2009, the Mendocino County Historical Society became the first historical society to formally partner with the CCNM. The Mendocino County Historical Society is an independent, private, non-profit organization dedicated to public service and educational pursuits. The purpose of the historical society is to locate, collect, and preserve historical media and artifacts and stimulate research into and perpetuate the history of Mendocino County. In addition, the historical society aids and cooperates with other historical organizations in Mendocino County; publishes materials related to the history of the area; maintains and preserves the Held-Poage Memorial Home, Library, and grounds; and assists with the operation of the Greenwood State Beach Visitor Center and Museum.
“The Mendocino County Historical Society will be a key partner in the development and implementation of the gateway initiative for Elk,” says CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. “We also look forward to their participation with the current Point Arena Gateway initiative and the planned gateway initiatives for Mendocino and Fort Bragg.” In addition to working on the CCNM Gateway initiatives in Mendocino County, the historical society will work with the BLM and other CCNM partners on the development, research, and interpretation of the historic component of the CCNM as it relates to the Mendocino coast.
CCNM Gateway Kiosk Placed at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium was presented with a California Coastal National Monument Gateway three-sided kiosk for the Palos Verdes Peninsula on March 26, 2009, by a contingency of BLM representatives. Accepting the kiosk from BLM was the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Exhibits and Collections Curator Dr. Julianne Kalman. Representing BLM were CCNM Manager Rick Hanks, Palm Springs/South Coast (PSSC) Field Office Manager John Kalish, California Desert District’s (CDD) CCNM Southern California Coordinator Greg Thomsen, PSSC Interpretive Specialist Tracy Albrecht, and CDD Public Affairs Officer David Briery.
“The aquarium is a perfect place to educate Southern Californians about the California Coastal National Monument,” says BLM Field Manager Kalish. “The exhibits and research laboratories of the aquarium provide great opportunities to learn about the marine ecosystem and how to protect it. That’s a perfect fit for what we hope to accomplish with the monument.”
Located in San Pedro on the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks as a non-profit public aquarium that prides itself in engaging its more than 300,000 annual visitors--many of them inner-city students--in education, recreation, and research of the marine life of Southern California. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium also takes great pride in its unusual design by world-famous architect Frank Gehry.
CCNM Wayside Exhibit on Its Way to Piedras Blancas. Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area is preparing a 2'x3' wayside exhibit interpretive panel featuring the CCNM. The wayside will be located along the half-mile interpretive trail at the light station’s western most viewing area. This viewing area faces the dominant natural feature of the area--the Outer Islet and also low lying exposed reefs. During tours, which are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, visitors are able to view marine mammals and sea birds which use the outcroppings as haul out and resting areas. Commonly seen are California sea lions, harbor seals, and occasionally sea otters. Bird species such as brown pelican, western gull, Brandt's cormorant and peregrine falcon are frequently seen. Visitors are provided binoculars. Tour guides talk about the establishment of the CCNM, as well as the web of agencies administering the Piedras Blancas offshore areas. The wayside will assist with these tours by including a map of the CCNM and text explaining the role and function of the Monument. The wayside also features photos with captions about several of the local marine mammals and coastal birds that utilize the Monument. The wayside is being prepared by Leslie Stone Associates in Sausalito and should be completed and installed by June 2009.
CCNM Participates in Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Earth Day. Pelican headbands and CCNM brochures were the popular items at BLM’s California Coastal National Monument table during the Earth Day Program at the City of Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, California, on April 18, 2009. On a sunny southern California Saturday, at least 1,000 people of all ages attended the day-long event. More than three dozen organizations and governmental agencies participated with booths and activities. At the BLM booth, dozens of kids colored, cut and assembled pelican headbands while their parents discussed the California Coastal National Monument with Monument Manager Rick Hanks and Palm Springs/South Coast Monuments Interpretive Specialist Tracy Albrecht, with the assistance of BLM volunteer Lance Albrecht.
CCNM Point Arena Gateway Brochure Completed. The CCNM Point Arena Gateway Committee has completed a basic interpretive brochure for the Gateway area. The color, tri-fold brochure was developed by the Gateway’s interpretation and environmental education sub-committee with input from the entire Point Arena Gateway Committee. The major focus of the brochure is on “Adventures and Discovery in the Point Arena Gateway.” It covers “Point Arena—A Community and Its Lighthouse,” including its “downtown” the working municipal pier at Arena Cove, and the lighthouse with its early history and current visitor opportunities; the unique Bowling Ball Beach—“Nature’s Coastal Bowling Alley”; Manchester State Park with “Wildflowers and Room to Roam”; and BLM’s Stornetta Public Lands with its working landscape “where farming and cattle grazing exist in harmony with hikers and wildlife watchers.” A downloadable version of the brochure will be available on the CCNM website (see “CCNM Website Gets New Simplified Address” below).
CCNM Website Gets New Simplified Address. Because of the content management software that the BLM uses for its websites, the web address (URL) for the CCNM has become very long and unwieldy. To fix this, the CCNM webmaster has created a simplified address that will redirect browsers to the Monument's home page. The new URL, www.blm.gov/ca/ccnm, will get the reader to the home page, from which the reader can then navigate to the secondary pages within the website. Any questions or problems about the new URL can be directed to the CCNM webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 State Office and coastal field offices (FOs) staff also participated in a variety of meetings, conference calls, and events, 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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California Coastal National Monument:
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