U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|California Coastal National Monument|
August 31, 2008
“This agreement will enhance both the environment and the local economies, better preserving America’s diverse recreational and scenic assets -- a source of immense national pride,” said Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior, who signed the agreement. “Geotourism showcases what is authentic and unique and defines us. It is the right concept to protect our public lands for future generations.”
“Tourism in recent decades has exploded to become one of the most pervasive industries on Earth. By this collaborative, sensitive approach to tourism, the destructive pitfalls of mass tourism can be avoided in our country’s great outdoors,” said John Fahey, National Geographic president and CEO. “Today’s signing is a tremendous step forward for geotourism and sustainable tourism in the United States.”
“Working together under this MOU will build upon our collective strength. It builds upon many of our existing initiatives and will further our working more effectively across boundaries and jurisdictions,” said Mark Rey, Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who also signed the MOU. “The framework will focus on what is distinctive and unique about our great American public lands.” In addition to Kempthorne, Fahey, and Rey, officials at the event included Paul Hoffman, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior; Mary Bomar, Director, National Park Service; Jerold Gidner, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs; Henri Bisson, BLM Deputy Director; Kenneth Stansell, FWS Deputy Director; and Sally Collins, Associate Chief, U.S. Forest Service.
This new collaboration builds upon existing National Geographic, Department of Interior agencies’ and U.S. Forest Service pilot projects that enhance opportunities for communities, tribes, and regions to benefit from sustainable tourism. The first prototype project was a geotourism effort that straddles the border of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, serving as a catalyst to help encourage citizens, communities, and tribes to become actively involved in the stewardship and conservation of the public land and water. Subsequently, the state of Arizona has declared itself “geotourism dependent,” after assessing the enhanced quality of life and economic benefits derived.
In 2003 the National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD) established a new approach to tourism by combining its expertise with the design capabilities of National Geographic Maps and the knowledge of local people to facilitate wise stewardship of cultural and natural resources worldwide. With direction from National Geographic, Geotourism Charters have been signed in Norway, Romania, Honduras, the Cook Islands, and the states of Arizona (U.S.) and Sonora, Mexico. CSD partnered with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the people of Appalachia to create the first Geotourism MapGuide, published in 2005. Geotourism MapGuides also have been published for Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the Sonoran Desert region of Arizona and Mexico, Baja California, and the Crown of the Continent (parts of Montana and Idaho in the U.S. and Alberta and British Columbia in Canada). Currently, CSD is working with Peruvian authorities and the World Bank on a Geotourism MapGuide and Stewardship Council Project for the Vilcanota-Sacred Valley of the Inca; similar projects are underway for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Northern California Coast, and the nation of Guatemala.
California Coast Geotourism Initiative Start-Up.
To formally announce the beginning of the California Coast Geotourism Initiative (See CCNM Updates 12/30/06, p. 1; 4/30/07, pp. 1 & 2; & 12/30/07, p. 2) and to discuss the strategy and timetable for this coast-wide undertaking, a meeting was held at Malibu Creek State Park near Calabasas, CA, on May 29, 2008. While Rick Hanks, California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) Manager chaired the meeting, Ron Schafer, California State Parks’ Angeles District Superintendent, provided the welcome and Jim Dion, National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations Associate Director, and Angela West, BLM’s National Tourism and Community Service Program Director, explained the California Coast Geotourism Initiative. Also in attendance were Brent Reed, California State Parks Deputy Director for Partnerships and Consumer Strategies; Russell Galipeau, Channel Islands National Park Superintendent (and co-chair of the National Park Service’s Ocean Program); Richard Strom, Mendocino County Promotional Alliance; Greg Thomsen, BLM California Desert District Project Manager and CCNM Southern California Coordinator; Danella George, BLM California Partnerships in Entrepreneurship and Geo/Ecotourism Coordinator; and Sarah Graham, SPG Consulting and coordinator of the Monterey Bay geotourism initiative. The California Coast Geotourism Initiative consists of three projects -- Northern California Coast Project, Central California Coast Project, and Southern California Coast Project. It was announced that adequate funding for the Northern California Coast Project has been committed to kick it off in the Fall of 2008. It will start with development of a Geotourism MapGuide for the Northern California coast region and the formation of a regional geotourism stewardship working group. BLM, through the CCNM will take the initial lead on this project. Sarah Graham announced that if the preliminary work advances as planned, the Central California Coast Project could be kicked off as early as January 2009. The Southern California Coast Project could begin sometime during the winter of 2010. A Statement of Intent to collaborate in the planning, development, and implementation of the California Coast Geotourism Initiative was also signed by representatives at this meeting. To date, BLM (California State Office), NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program (West Coast Region), California State Parks, California Travel and Tourism Commission’s North Coast Tourism Council, Mendocino County Promotional Alliance, and Coastwalk have all signed the Statement of Intent.
North Coast CCNM Gateway Partners Gather for Concurrent Signing of Geotourism Principles Amendment.
Recognizing that unmatched scenery and unique communities draw tourists from around the world to the northern California coast, the BLM and local North Coast CCNM Gateway partners agreed to cooperate in supporting tourism approaches that protect the integrity, diversity, and natural resources of the region. Gathering on August 28, 2008, in both Trinidad and Point Arena for a “concurrent signing,” representatives from the BLM and its North Coast CCNM Gateway partners signed agreements that incorporate a series of “geotourism approaches and principles” into their existing partnerships. “These principles were initially developed by the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations and then adapted for use by the U.S. Department of the Interior and Department Agriculture through a national MOU [memorandum of understanding] signed recently in Washington, D.C., with the National Geographic Society,” said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. “Under the principles, local communities and organizations promote tourism in ways that sustain or enhance what makes the California Coast so special, that is its natural environments, cultures, aesthetics, and community heritage.” The signed agreements are amendments to the existing memoranda of understanding that each CCNM Gateway partners has with the BLM. The CCNM Gateway partners in the North Coast that signed the amendments include the City of Trinidad, Trinidad Rancheria, Trinidad Museum Society, Tsurai Ancestral Society, and the Yurok Tribe for the CCNM Trinidad Gateway and the City of Point Arena, Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, and Mendocino Coast Audubon Society for the CCNM Point Arena Gateway. Coastwalk, a CCNM Collaborative Partner that participates in both the CCNM Trinidad and Point Arena Gateway initiatives, already has the CCNM Gateway Geotourism Principles as part of their MOU. In the amendments, the partners agreed to support tourism development designed to:
The tourism principles call on communities and businesses to be heavily involved in developing plans to attract tourists who appreciate the need to protect the character of the coast. The tourism principles stress that coastal economies can benefit by sustaining natural resources and managing tourism at levels that do not cause environmental damage.
Traveling Exhibit Featuring CCNM Gateway Posters & Bob Wick Photography Available for the Road.
Featuring the five initial CCNM Gateway posters and the photography of Bob Wick, a traveling exhibit for the CCNM has been put together and is available for use in a variety of venues. The complete exhibit consists of three free standing banners, the five CCNM Gateway posters, three information panels, and two dozen select photographs. The exhibit was developed with the graphic assistance of Kim Mincer, BLM visual resource specialist in the Alaska State Office. The key aspect of the exhibit is the photography of Bob Wick. Bob, an avid nature and landscape photographer for many years, serves as the CCNM’s resident photographer. In his current position as the BLM Arcata Field Office’s Planning and Environmental Coordinator and CCNM Northern California Coordinator, Bob had the opportunity to take photographs throughout much of California. In April of 2006, armed with a Canon EOS 5D” 12.8 megapixel digital camera, Bob took on the assignment of visiting the five initial CCNM Gateway locations and taking at least one poster quality photo for each gateway. This resulted in the five CCNM posters and more than 400 photos associated with the CCNM Gateways. In addition to the five posters, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks selected 50 of the Wick photos and used a select panel of “judges” to recommend photographs for use in the exhibit. Based on comments from the judges, Hanks made the final selection of photos. Selection was made based on photo quality, composition, and subject. There is at least one photo to supplement each of the CCNM Gateway posters for the five initial CCNM Gateways. All of the photos represent features within nine of the 12 CCNM Gateway areas and provide an image of the CCNM’s diversity.
BLM Selected as Lead for Torch Spill Seabird Disturbance Restoration Program.
On June 16, 2008, the Torch Trustee Council formally selected BLM, as managing agency of the California Coastal National Monument, to serve as the lead entity for Seabird Colony Enhancement Project for the Torch Oil Spill restoration effort. In this role, BLM would coordinate the implementation of the $1.2 million multi-agency project. Almost all of the agencies involved in this effort are currently formal CCNM partners. The Torch Spill was a 1997 oil spill associated with the Point Pedernales pipeline operated by the Torch Operating Company. The pipeline transported an emulsion of crude oil and water from offshore oil drilling Platform Irene on the Outer Continental Shelf off of Vandenberg Air Force Base at Point Conception along the Santa Barbara County coastline. The offshore pipeline break caused impacts to a variety of natural resources, including more than 600 seabirds. The Torch seabird restoration project objectives include: (1) Developing and enforcing appropriate seabird colony protective measures; (2) Educating the public and specific user groups about protective measures; and (3) Monitoring and evaluating program effectiveness to ensure integration into long-term statewide seabird management programs.
The primary goal of the Seabird Colony Enhancement Project is to improve the nesting success of seabird species such as cormorants and common murres by reducing human disturbances at their breeding colony sites along the central California coast. Additionally, the project is intended to improve the survivability and condition of roosting seabirds such as California brown pelicans by reducing human disturbances at roosting sites. Breeding seabird species are highly susceptible to human disturbances. These activities include, but are not limited to, recreational boating, flying planes and helicopters, fisheries operations, and water-based ecotourism such as diving and kayaking. The Seabird Colony Enhancement Project is intended to reduce disturbance to seabirds by implementing an educational program along the central California coast. The program involves signs, buoys, and outreach materials designed to educate users of the coast about the presence of nesting and roosting seabirds and ways to avoid disturbing these sensitive seabirds.
The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) is currently implementing a Seabird Colony Protection Program as part of the Command Spill Restoration Project and covering an area from Point Reyes in Marin County south to the Castle Rock/Hurricane Complex near Point Sur in Monterey County. The Torch seabird project will entail collaborating with the GFNMS program to extend the project area south into Santa Barbara County and the Channel Islands. Additional partners include, but are not necessarily limited to, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Island National Park, Fish and Wildlife Service, California State Parks, California Coastal Conservancy, and California Department of Fish and Game. Work on the project will begin in federal fiscal year 2009.
The Sea Ranch Association Monitoring of Gualala Point Island Continued.
The Sea Ranch Association CCNM Stewardship Task Force continued monitoring of Gualala Point Island by duplicating and expanding the monitoring conducted in 2007. The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA), a CCNM Steward, began monitoring of Gualala Point in order to document possible impacts to seabirds and harbor seals as a result of the fireworks display associated with an Independence Day celebration in Gualala, CA. On June 12, 2008, the California Coastal Commission issued a cease and desist order to the Gualala Festivals Committee for their planned 2008 Independence Day fireworks display event. Monitoring Gualala Point Island without the fireworks in 2008 provides a good comparison for the similar period in 2007 with the fireworks. Under the guidance of BLM biologists, The Sea Ranch CCNM Task Force had more than 30 volunteers between April 1 and August 31, 2008, to monitor seabird colonies at three sites along the Sea Ranch in northern Sonoma County, with weekly inventory of conditions and census of seabirds present during the nesting season. An intensive daily monitoring period extended from June 25 to July 14, 2008, to document seabird breeding success and harbor seal populations at the height of the seabird nesting season and during this high-activity holiday/vacation period for people. Although there was no fireworks display this year, an inadvertent low flight of the Outback Steakhouse blimp on July 6, 2008, caused seabirds to momentarily abandon their nests. This event called attention to the need to work with the Federal Aviation Administration to put flight advisories over seabird colonies at key locations across the entire CCNM. In addition, a new monitoring protocol tracked the survival and growth of Western Gull chicks during the intensive monitoring period. The results will furnish a baseline to compare nesting productivity and mammal behavior in future years. This year’s monitoring analysis has been assisted by an $11,000 science grant from the BLM National Landscape Conservation System program. This grant is funding the Madrone and Mendocino Coast Audubon Society chapters to analyze the seabird monitoring data, as well as conducting terrestrial plant surveys on CCNM rocks off central Mendocino County. As part of the initial plant surveys, TSRA Task Force member Elaine Mahaffey found the first recorded population of the rare Blasdale's Bent Grass (Agrostis blasdalei) offshore from the Sea Ranch, on a rock island in the CCNM. This is the first BLM sensitive species to be identified in the CCNM.
Marcia deChadenèdes Takes Position as CCNM Outreach & Partnership Coordinator.
The CCNM finally has another permanent full-time employee working out of the CCNM headquarters office in Monterey, California. Marcia deChadenèdes has moved from the BLM’s New Mexico State Office to the CCNM to serve full-time as the CCNM Outreach and Partnership Coordinator. She will work with the outreach, environmental education, visitor use, and partnership initiatives and activities for the CCNM. “Marcia brings a breadth of skills needed to elevate our current capabilities in implementing the priorities of the California Coastal National Monument,” said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. For the past few years, Marcia has been the BLM’s Continental Divide National Scenic Trail National Liaison and New Mexico Project Lead. Prior to that, she was the BLM’s representative in partnership with the State of New Mexico in the creation and opening of El Camino Real International Heritage Center in Socorro, New Mexico, a 20,000 square foot interpretive center for the National Historic Trail. As the center’s associate director she served as the federal spokesperson for the center, developed new and expanded existing community relationships and local, statewide, international, and virtual education opportunities, and worked with various non-profit and state management partners on exhibitions, marketing, media, interpretation, development, education, and public outreach efforts. Before working for the BLM, Marcia was Outreach and Education Program Manager for the Museum of New Mexico (i.e., four museums and six state monuments) in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Community Grants Program Evaluator for the Oregon Arts Council in Salem, Oregon; museum curatorial intern for the Native American collections for the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the tribal Museum at Warm Springs in Warm Springs, Oregon; and Arts and Creative Education Programs Manager for the Centrum Foundation in Port Townsend, Washington. Marcia also worked for three years as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. She has served as a trainer, consultant, and advisory board member for numerous non-profit organizations, as well as assisted in the creation of several other non-profit organizations in order to facilitate and recognize public participation in the stewardship of cultural and natural resources. Marcia has a BA degree in Political Science with a major in International Relations from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; a BFA degree with a major in Studio Art and a minor in Indigenous Art History from Emily Carr Institute of Arts and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia; and a MS degree in Arts Administration with a focus of Native American issues, Folklore, and Communities from the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
Redwood Region Audubon Society Partners with CCNM.
The Redwood Region 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. On May 27, 2008, the CCNM Collaborative Partnership went into effect. 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 coast of the redwood region. The Redwood Region Audubon Society will also work with the BLM and other partners in planning, developing and implementing the CCNM Crescent City Gateway and other CCNM Gateways initiated in the area. “There are a variety of opportunities to work with the Redwood Region Audubon Society from the Oregon border to the Lost Coast,” said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. He added that, “We are particularly looking forward to future collaboration with our new partner when we work with the Crescent City community to develop the local gateway initiative.”
Implementation of CCNM Lost Coast Gateway Underway.
The staff for the BLM’s King Range National Conservation Area (KRNCA) is taking the lead to develop the CCNM’s Lost Coast Gateway Initiative. KRNCA Manager Gary Pritchard-Peterson and KRNCA interpretive specialist Rachel Sowards have been discussing options with a variety of existing and potential partners, including investigating opportunities to tie in with visitor center plans in Garberville. Plans are also being made to hold an initial meeting sometime this coming Fall. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks says that the CCNM Gateway for the Lost Coast “provides the catalyst for a collaborative management effort for the entire Lost Coast region and a simple way to link the BLM’s newly developing Lost Coast Headlands project to the north with King Range National Conservation Area, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, and the Save-the-Redwood League’s Cape Vizciano property to the south.” Rachel Sowards and CCNM Northern California coordinator Bob Wick are working with a local artist to gather ideas for future CCNM interpretive panels and brochures. This will be the sixth of 12 potential CCNM Gateways identified in the CCNM Resource Management Plan. Existing partners are BLM, California State Parks, California Department of Fish and Game, Coastwalk, Redwood Region Audubon Society, and Lost Coast Interpretive Association, while potential partners include Save-the-Redwood League and Cape Mendocino Lighthouse.
Celebrating Piedras Blancas Light Station as the Newest Addition to the National Landscape Conservation System.
A light station that has warned sailors of danger since 1875 is the newest shining light in BLM’s system of special places. About 200 people gathered at the Piedras Blancas Light Station near San Simeon on July 19, 2008, to celebrate the addition of Piedras Blancas to BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). Legislation making Piedras part of the system was enacted in May of 2008. The lighthouse and the surrounding historical area are now designated the Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area. Elena Daly, Director of the National Landscape Conservation System, pointed out that this legislation is significant because it is the first piece of legislation where Congress formally recognized the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System.
Congresswoman Lois Capps, who sponsored the legislation, noted the area is a “sacred space” used by Native Americans for generations before the light station was constructed. “It’s a treasure for us and hopefully will be for generations to come,” she said. She credited area residents, San Luis Obispo County supervisors, and others who worked on the designation. “Piedras Blancas has been preserved through a great collaboration,” she added.
Piedras Blancas lighthouse was operated by employees of the U.S. Lighthouse Service until 1939 when the Coast Guard assumed command. Light Station functions were automated and the Coast Guard subsequently transferred management of Piedras Blancas to BLM on October 12, 2001. Piedras Blancas also serves as part of the CCNM Piedras Blancas-San Simeon Gateway initiative.
CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls & Events.
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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