California Coastal National Monument

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April 30, 2007

CCNM & National Geographic Society to Work with California Travel & Tourism Commission on Develop of California Coast Geotourism Region. 
Meeting at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) California State Office in Sacramento on April 19, 2007, key officials from the BLM, California State Parks, and the California Travel and Tourism Commission were given a brief presentation on the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) and the National Geographic Society’s (NGS’) world-wide geotourism initiatives (See CCNM Update, 12/30/06). CCNM Manager Rick Hanks gave the presentation on the monument and James Dion, Associate Director for the NGS’ Center for Sustainable Destinations, provided an excellent presentation on geotourism. The presentations were followed by a discussion on how best to implement the geotourism initiative for the California coast. The general agreement was that a three-year initiative should be developed using the California tourism regions as much as practical, beginning with a northern coast segment (from the Oregon border to north of San Francisco), followed by the central coast segment (from south of San Francisco to Los Angeles County), and concluding with a southern coast segment (encompassing all or some of the Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County tourism regions). The participating agencies agreed to continue to work with the NGS to further develop this proposed initiative. Representing BLM at the meeting were Mike Pool, California State Director; Jim Abbott, California Associate State Director; Jan Bedrosian, California Deputy State Director, External Affairs; Tony Danna, California Deputy State Director, Natural Resources; Angela West, Washington (DC) Office Travel, Tourism, and Community Services National Program Lead; and (via call-in) Danella George, California State Office Partnerships in Entrepreneurship and Geo/Ecotourism Program Lead. California State Parks was represented by Director Ruth Coleman and Brent Reed, Deputy Director, Partnerships and Consumer Strategies. Representing the California Travel and Tourism Commission were Executive Director Caroline Beteta and Jonelle Norton, Rural Tourism Coordinator.
Humboldt State University Marine Lab Newest Trinidad CCNM Collaborative Partner. 
The Humboldt State University (HSU) Marine Laboratory has brought an added academic and research perspective to the CCNM Trinidad Gateway initiative by becoming the newest CCNM collaborative partner. With the signing of the partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU) in early March 2007, the HSU Marine Lab has agreed to service as a member of the CCNM Trinidad Gateway stewardship group and help advance the understanding and protection of California’s coastal and ocean resources, especially as it relates to the Trinidad portion of the CCNM. HSU Marine Lab Director Dr. Scott Quackenbush has already begun using the CCNM partnership to help pursue possible National Science Foundation grant funding that would add to the CCNM Trinidad Gateway environmental education and resource monitoring aspects.
Point Arena Holds Initial CCNM Gateway Meetings. The CCNM Gateway initiative for Point Arena BLM is underway through a series of monthly meetings held at the Coast Community Library in the City of Point Arena. The start-up meeting was held on February 22, 2007, with follow-up meetings held on March 22, 2007, and April 12, 2007. The focus of the meetings has been on identifying the current and potential partners and the area to be included in the gateway initiative, as well as issues to be addressed, resource data to be collected, coastal access to be identified, and potential projects to be pursued (e.g., development of a local gateway guide brochure and display panels for the City of Point Arena’s developing city park). As a start, the CCNM Point Arena stewardship group agreed to use the area from Alder Creek on the north to Stewart’s Point on the south as the preliminary working area for the Point Arena gateway effort, with Point Area to Gualala Point Island being the initial portion for project focus. The current CCNM Point Arena Gateway partners with signed MOUs are BLM, California State Parks, California Department of Fish & Game, the City of Point Arena, and the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers. Identified potential partners are the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society, Dorothy King Young Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Mendocino County Farm Bureau, Mendocino College, and the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy. The next meeting is set for May 17, 2007.
Socio-Cultural Assessment Completed for CCNM Gateway Community at Trinidad.  
The consulting firm of Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E&E) has completed their final report of the socio-cultural assessment of the CCNM Gateway community for the Trinidad area of California’s north coast. Entitled Trinidad as a Gateway Community for the California Coastal National Monument (January 2007), the information for this report was collected using an ethnographic interview approach to identify how interested parties attentive to coastal issues construct the meaning of the CCNM Trinidad Gateway. A discussion guide was developed and used to structure open-ended interviews. Persons in the Trinidad area interested in and knowledgeable about coastal issues were identified through consultation with BLM staff and other locally knowledgeable persons. Twenty-three persons participated in the field interviews about the CCNM Trinidad Gateway, including a small discussion group with members of a local kayak club. Additionally, casual contacts were made with kayakers, birdwatchers, beach walkers, and local businesspersons. The interview data were coded based on the unique information that emerges from the data. The coded information was organized into themes to describe the identity, values, and benefits of the CCNM for local communities. There are two major themes that emerged from interviews about Trinidad as a gateway community to the CCNM. One theme concerns the fit between Trinidad’s community identity and the gateway community status and a second theme concerns the benefits and challenges of gateway community status for Trinidad and the CCNM. Interview data suggest a general perception of more benefits than challenges. This report will be included in the CCNM Site Characterization and made available on the CCNM website. The availability of future funding will determine whether similar social-cultural assessments will be completed for other CCNM Gateway communities.
CCNM Integrated Communication Plan Drafted.  
The CCNM has taken a unique step with the drafting of the CCNM Integrated Communication Plan. With public awareness of the CCNM and its role as a “partnership in protecting unique California coastal resources” being one of the initial actions needed in the development of the CCNM and the implementation of the CCNM Resource Management Plan (RMP), it was decided at the “CCNM Summit” held last August in Monterey, California, to take a non-traditional approach to implementing this action. This approach was to incorporate the task of developing an environmental education and interpretative plan for the CCNM, as identified in the RMP, with the development of a CCNM Communication Plan, an action normally taken to help develop the messages and get the word out to the public regarding the implementation of the various RMP decisions. The CCNM Integrated Communication Plan combines the public affairs, outreach, environmental education, and interpretation management actions and tasks identified in the CCNM RMP and associated with the CCNM RMP implementation into a single activity plan. As a follow-up to the “CCNM Summit” (See CCNM Update, 9/30/06), the BLM public affairs officers working with the CCNM volunteered to take the lead on developing an integrated communication plan for the CCNM. On January 24 and 25, 2007, the CCNM Public Affairs Working Group met in Monterey and developed the framework for the CCNM Integrated Communication Plan and prepared an initial draft that focused primarily on the public affairs portion. On April 17 and 18, 2007, the CCNM Environmental Education and Interpretation (EE&I) Working Group met in Monterey, reviewed the initial draft, and completed a draft of the CCNM Integrated Communication Plan. This plan includes communication goals to build awareness with internal and external audiences, build public understanding of CCNM partnerships and encourage community participation, foster voluntary environmental stewardship of the coastal resources, and share consistent messages with the scientific community about the monument and opportunities for research. It also includes actions to achieve the overall communication goals. The final version of the plan should be completed by mid-Summer 2007. The CCNM Integrated Communication Plan is intended to cover a three to five year period and be updated and extended as needed.
CCNM Present at First NLCS Managers Meeting.
More than 45 managers and representatives from various National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) units throughout the BLM, many of the BLM’s Washington (DC) Office NLCS staff, and an assortment of other BLM officials and invited presenters met in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from April 23 through April 26, 2007, to participate in the first NLCS Managers’ Meeting. Representing California were CCNM Manager Rick Hanks, Santa Rosa-San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Manager Jim Foote, and BLM California NLCS Coordinator Paul Brink. The CCNM was one of only ten NLCS units invited to provide a display related to its partnership initiative. CCNM was asked to showcase its unique gateway program. The primary purpose of the meeting was to build consensus and a vision for the future of the NLCS with focus on strategic goals, including raising awareness, meeting public expectations, involving communities and partners, and making science available, usable, and visible. The meeting included a couple joint sessions with the BLM’s annual national public affairs workshop attendees, presentations by past Secretaries of the Interior Stewart Udall and Manuel Lujan, and panels or presentations addressing such topics as BLM’s Healthy Lands Initiative, BLM’s historic role in conservation and participatory governance, NLCS national partners, interpreting “Generation Y”, and visitor services and tourism for the future. For more information on the NLCS, visit the BLM’s website at:
CCNM Gateway Posters & Postcards Available. 
A limited number of posters and postcards for the five CCNM initial Gateways are now available. Using photographs taken specifically for the CCNM by photographer Bob Wick (CCNM Northern California coordinator), CCNM Manager Rick Hanks took advantage of assistance from BLM National Training Center’s Diane Nelson and BLM Alaska State Office’s Kim Mincer to develop a standard template for CCNM posters and ensure quality lay-out, set-up, and printing. The posters series includes the Trinidad, Point Arena, Pigeon Point, Piedras Blancas/San Simeon, and Palos Verdes Peninsula gateways. Diane Nelson also had postcards made up from the poster set for each of the initial gateways. A supply of the posters for the appropriate gateway, as well as a stock of postcards, will be made available to each of the five BLM coastal field offices. Each of the formal gateway partners will receive copies of the posters. The remaining posters and postcards will be available to help promote the CCNM and the gateway initiative. CCNM partners with venues associated with specific gateways are encouraged to investigate ways in which they can fund the printing of additional copies and make them available of sale to the public. Revenues from the sale of CCNM Gateway posters and/or postcards could then be used by the partner to help raise funding to support their specific venue.
Tri-Fold Brochure Developed for Viewing CCNM Sites on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. 
A tri-fold gateway brochure to assist visitors and promote appreciation for viewing CCNM sites on the Palos Verdes Peninsula has been drafted by BLM. The brochure includes a map of six places with public access where CCNM rocks and wildlife can be observed, directions and services at each site, relevant information on the natural and human history particular to those sites, photos, tips on safe and responsible practices among tidepools and along shoreline areas, and website and phone numbers for facilities where more information may be obtained. Prepared in-house by BLM, the development process involved correspondence with affiliate organizations to receive comments and feedback. The reviewers included Holly Starr, Recreation Services Manager of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes; Greg Hernandez, Media Relations and On-line Editor, NOAA Office of Communications, Washington D.C.; Judy Smith, Assistant City Manager and Safety Director for Palos Verdes Estates; Barbara Dye, Executive Director, Palos Verdes Land Conservancy; Jessica Walkup of the California Coastal Commission, San Francisco; and Diane Alps, Operations Manager for the American Cetacean Society, San Pedro. The brochure is a proto-type of a simple informational brochure that can be easily duplicated through various inexpensive printing or photo-copying techniques. The final brochure will be available in the near future at various venues on the peninsula, beginning with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ Point Vicente Interpretative Center.
Rachel Saunders Leaving CCNM-MBNMS Assignment.  
After more than five years as the Community and Public Relations Coordinator for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNM), the first year as a NOAA contractor and most of the past four years as a BLM-CCNM employee detailed to MBNMS, Rachel Saunders is leaving for a public relations position with the Big Sur Land Trust. Rachel has played a key role in developing and maintaining a positive relation relationship between the MBNMS and the wide variety of communities and organizations associated with the Sanctuary, as well as providing an important link between MBNMS and the developing CCNM. Her experience and expertise will be noticeably missed.
Becky Ota Assigned to Serve as DFG’s CCNM Coordinator.
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), one of the CCNM’s core-managing partners, has assigned Becky Ota to replace Marija Vojkovich as the DFG’s CCNM Coordinator. Marija Vojkovich, the DFG Marine Region Assistant Manager and Offshore Ecosystem Coordinator, served as the DFG’s CCNM Coordinator through the development of the CCNM Resource Management Plan and helped to ensure that DFG’s interests and concerns where appropriately addressed in the plan that established the working framework for the entire CCNM. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks expressed that “Marija played a key part in helping to establish the foundation for DFG’s role as a core-managing partners.” He added, “Now that we are into the implementation stage of the monument, Becky will play an important role in future operations of the monument and the involvement of DFG in the implementation.” Becky is the Senior Environmental Scientist and Project Review Leader in the DFG Marine Region Office in Belmont, California, located south of San Francisco. In her role as the DFG’s CCNM Coordinator, Becky will represent the entire Department of Fish and Game.
Assistance Agreement Signed with PRBO to Conduct Shorebird Inventory for Laguna Beach. 
In April 2007, PRBO Conservation Science and BLM signed an assistance agreement to conduct an inventory of shorebird use of coastal and near-shore habitats along the coastline of Laguna Beach, California. This cooperative effort was initiated by Ed Almanza of Ocean Laguna Foundation (OLF) and has been developed in coordination with Greg Thomsen, BLM’s Southern California CCNM Coordinator. OLF and BLM will jointly fund this initiative. Nils Warnock of PRBO will develop detailed methods for field observation and train Audubon Society field crews. The Orange County Chapter of the Sea and Sage Audubon Society will mobilize volunteers for the field crews to conduct the inventories. The inventories will be conducted over a one-year period. OLF will process and analyze the field data in a GIS format. Assistance in the data analysis will be provided by PRBO, who will also prepare a technical report of the findings. The final report will focus on the number and species of shorebirds observed along the coast, their habitat use and preferences, and identification of recommended management actions.
BLM Ecologist Met with The Sea Ranch Association, A CCNM Steward, to Initiate Monitoring Protocol Strategy. 
BLM California State Office Ecologist Dr. Jim Wiegand met with members of The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) on April 17, 2007, to work on a strategy for establishing protocols and responsibilities related to TSRA’s role as a CCNM stewardship partner (See CCNM Update, 3/20/06). Meeting at The Sea Ranch, located along a 12-mile stretch of coast in the northwest corner of Sonoma County, TSRA representatives included John Fox, Committee Manager, and members of the Trails Committee (Nancy Powers, David Windsor, Dave Osteraas, and Paul Gudiksen), the Security Committee (Paul Plakos), and the Seal Docent Group (Sandy Bush). Dr. Weigand emphasized resource monitoring by visual means from onshore, preserving the integrity of rocks and islets offshore by freeing them from human impact, reducing interference with wildlife, minimizing the potential for deposition and growth of invasive plant species derived from the adjacent bluff, and striving to minimize disturbance on the bluff in order to protect the islets. He advised adopting modest and attainable goals and exploring ways to coordinate with other parties who have interests in the coastal zone. Using the CCNM map base, plans were discussed to integrate existing and new map data and photographs into a database that can be used to document changes which may occur over time. It was agreed to begin by identifying a small number of areas of known concern, such as Gualala Point Island, Tidepool, Dunedrift, and Cormorant Close. Gualala Point Island is an important home and nesting area for Brandt’s cormorants and Peregrine falcons, among other species, and was suggested as a prototype study area for documenting and describing human activity which may impinge on the well being of the wildlife. The group discussed how TSRA could best organize itself to oversee their CCNM stewardship area and whether they should rely upon the existing committees or create a new one. This question is still open, however, the group resolved to include the Native Plant Committee, the photography group, the bird group, and all other relevant resources in its future endeavors. Paul Gudiksen, member of the Trails Committee, volunteered to coordinate efforts in the prototype study area and recruit interested TSRA members in this effort to protect the offshore islets and adjacent bluff areas.
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, conferences, events, and conference calls, including the following:
  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Brochure & Kiosk Sub-Committee (Bob Wick, Rachel Sowards & Julie Clark), Trinidad, CA, January 10, 2007

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, January 22, 2007

  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway stewardship group (Wick, Lynda Roush & Don Holmstrom), Arcata, CA, January 23, 2007

  • Presented paper titled “Rare Bird Colonies & Invasive Plants on CCNM Islets” (by Jim Weigand, Julie Anne Hopkins, & Jennifer Wheeler) for special symposium on “Wildlife & Invasive Plants: Finding Common Ground in Protecting Ecological Diversity" at the Western Section of the Wildlife Society Annual Meeting (Jim Weigand), Monterey, CA, January 30, 2007

  • Attended Pacific Seabird Group Annual Meeting (Rick Hanks), Asilomar, CA, February 8-10, 2007

  • Conducted first CCNM Point Arena Gateway stewardship group kick-off meeting (Hanks, Rich Burns, & Diane Knox), City of Point Arena, CA, February 22, 2007

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, February 26, 2007

  • Presented a CCNM update at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Staff Meeting (Hanks), Monterey, CA, February 27, 2007

  • Conference call initiated by Fish & Wildlife Service with Federal & State agencies to discuss current & future seabird restoration programs & projects (Hanks & Aaron King), February 28, 2007

  • Meeting with Ocean Laguna Foundation, PRBO Conservation Science, & Orange County Chapter of the Sea & Sage Audubon Society re: a proposal to conduct a shorebirds inventory of Laguna Beach coast & near-shore environment (Greg Thomsen), Laguna Beach, CA, March 1, 2007

  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Brochure & Kiosk Sub-Committee (Wick), Trinidad, CA, March 3, 2007

  • Attended Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Annual Currents Symposium (Hanks), California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA, March 3, 2007

  • Meeting of CCNM Business Plan Working Group (Hanks, Wick, Thomsen, Steve Razo, & Eli Ilano), San Diego, CA, March 5, 2007

  • Meeting with Karen Peterson, Rancho Palos Verdes Department of Recreation & Parks, re: CCNM update (Hanks), City of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, March 6, 2007

  • Meeting with Diane Alps, American Cetacean Society National Headquarters Operations Manager, re: ecological role of CCNM & best viewing of wildlife in Palos Verdes Peninsula. (Tracy Albrecht), San Pedro, CA, March 10, 2007
  • Site visits with Mimi & Victor Ortiz, local San Pedro residents & educators, re: natural history & recreation use information & photos rel. to six specific locations recommend for viewing CCNM on Palos Verdes Peninsula (Albrecht), Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, March 10 & 11, 2007

  • Meeting with Holly Starr, City of Rancho Palos Verdes Recreation Services Manager, re: placing CCNM exhibit in Point Vicente Interpretive Center, soliciting input on draft CCNM Palos Verdes Peninsula brochure & draft "Bird Behavior Time Budget" lesson plan, & discussing draft Gateway MOU (Albrecht & Razo), Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, March 13, 2007

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, March 19, 2007

  • Conducted CCNM Point Arena Gateway stewardship group meeting (Hanks & Burns), City of Point Arena, CA, March 22, 2007

  • Attended sub-committee meeting related to Mendocino Coast Native Plant Restoration & Nursery Conference re: initiating position description for conference coordinator (Knox), Fort Bragg, CA, April 4, 2007

  • Presentation to Natural Science Collaborative of the Desert Region, re: CCNM awareness & appreciation (Albrecht), Palm Desert, CA, April 4, 2007
  • Meeting with Carol Gorbics & Annie Little, US Fish & Wildlife Service representatives on American Trader oil spill & Montrose chemical release Trustee Councils, & Milena Viljoen, NOAA outreach coordinator, re: interpretive & educational materials of common interest to Trustee Councils & CCNM (Albrecht & Thomsen), Carlsbad, CA, April 9, 2007

  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Brochure & Kiosk Sub-Committee (Wick), Trinidad, CA, April 11, 2007

  • Conducted CCNM Point Arena Gateway stewardship group meeting (Hanks & Burns), City of Point Arena, CA, April 12, 2007

  • Meeting with Ben Becker, National Park Service’s Pacific Coast Science & Learning Center, & Sarah Allen, Point Reyes National Seashore, re: integration of coast-based monitoring protocols used by the 3 National Park Monitoring Networks with coastal National Parks in California (Channel Islands, Point Reyes, Redwood) to also cover the CCNM (Weigand), Point Reyes Station, CA, April 12, 2007

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, April 16, 2007

  • Attended California Ocean Protection Council Federal & State Government Coordination meeting (Hanks), Monterey, CA, April 16, 2007
  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway stewardship group (Wick & L. Roush), Arcata, CA, April 17, 2007 
Contact Information.  
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 or

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California Coastal  National  Monument:
A partnership in protecting unique California coastal resources