U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|California Coastal National Monument|
CALIFORNIA COASTAL NATIONAL MONUMENT
December 20, 2011
CCNM Adds Five New Collaborative Partners at Fort Bragg Signing Ceremony. Five organizations joined the California Coastal National Monument’s (CCNM) family of partners with the signing of individual CCNM Collaborative Partnership memoranda of understanding (MOU) at a ceremony on October 26, 2011, in Fort Bragg, California. The new CCNM partners are the Mendocino Land Trust, Mendocino Area Parks Association, Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, Native Daughters of the Golden West Fort Bragg Parlor #210, and Visit Mendocino County, Inc.
Sponsored by the Mendocino Study Club, a CCNM Collaborative Partner, the ceremony was attended by more than 30 people including members from other existing CCNM partners. These CCNM partners included more than a half dozen Mendocino Coast Audubon Society members and a half dozen Mendocino Study Club members, plus representatives from the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Mendocino County Historical Society, and California State Parks. With the addition of the five new CCNM Collaborative Partners, the CCNM now has 40 formal partners involved with “a unique partnership in protecting California coastal resources.”
Mendocino Study Club president Margaret Ward opened the meeting with an introduction to the CCNM, followed by Mendocino Study Club member Robin Wheat’s reading of a coastal poem, and Mendocino Study Club’s Ruth Sparks, the organizer of the ceremony, identifying the more than a dozen CCNM partners involved in the Fort Bragg-Mendocino area. CCNM manager Rick Hanks introduced BLM Ukiah Field Office (UFO) manager Rich Burns and UFO volunteer Cindy Oster who is assisting Rich Burns on coastal and gateways initiatives. Hanks then introduced, one at a time, the five new CCNM Collaborative Partners and oversaw the signing of the individual MOUs. The signers were Mendocino Land Trust Board of Trustees President Winston Bowen, Mendocino Area Parks Association Executive Director Carolyne Cathey, Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center Chief Executive Officer Debra De Graw, Native Daughters of the Golden West Fort Bragg Parlor #210 President Kelly Richardson, and Visit Mendocino County, Inc.’s Director of Tourism Development Richard Strom.
The event was held at the Cliff House Restaurant overlooking the entrance to Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor and in view of at least a dozen CCNM’s rocks. The Cliff House Restaurant provided hors d’oeuvres and punch and the Mendocino Study Club arranged for “sweet snacks,” including rock candy and rock cookies.
“With this level of local interest and involvement, the Fort Bragg area is now set to begin the development and implementation of a California Coastal National Monument Gateway initiative for the Fort Bragg-Mendocino region,” said Hanks. “The local partners can take the CCNM Gateway concept and run with it.”
CCNM Participates in Washington D.C. MOU Signing Ceremony with Interior Department & International Marine Insurance Groups. CCNM manager Rick Hanks attended the signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States Department of the Interior and the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs in the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C., on November 1, 2011. The signing ceremony was followed by a day-long workshop with representatives from the Department of Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, BLM, International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, and International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs). The aim of the MOU “is to promote expeditious and cost-effective restoration of injured natural resources… resulting for ship-source oil spills and from response actions to address the threat of an oil spill in the USA.”
The P&I Clubs are an un-incorporated group of 13 marine insurance associations that cover 90% of the world ocean-going tonnage. Each P&I club is an independent, non-profit, mutual insurance association, providing cover for its ship owner and charter members against third party liabilities, including cargo loss and damage, oil pollution, wreck removal, and dock damage.
The MOU was signed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs Lori Faeth. After presentations on the Department of the Interior (i.e., “a tree with many branches”) and its oil spill response and cooperative assessment processes, four of the Department’s bureaus gave presentations on their roles and responsibilities. Ron McCormick, BLM Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) ecologist in the BLM Washington (DC) Office’s Division of Environmental Quality and Protection, gave the presentation on the BLM and Hanks provided a presentation on the CCNM. Paul Meyer, BLM NRDAR coordinator at the BLM National Operations Center in Denver, Colorado, provided back-up during the questions and answer session.
Permanent CCNM Outdoor Display Panel Installed at Trinidad Museum. After more than two years of discussion and planning, last week a California Coastal National Monument outdoor display panel was installed at the Trinidad Museum in Trinidad, California. Designed by Chris Lohoefener of the Redwood Community Action Agency and with the artwork by local artist Gary Bloomfield, the panel includes a graphic depiction of the area from Big Lagoon to Little River, the CCNM Trinidad Gateway portion of the California coast. The offshore rocks and islets of the California Coastal National Monument are depicted on the panel with their names in English and in two dialects of Yurok. “Now people can view the Monument and know the names of the rocks,” say Patti Fleschner, president of the Trinidad Museum Board of Directors. She also added, “The panel is marked with trails and locations where you can view rocks and wildlife.”
The Trinidad Museum Society is one of the first CCNM Collaborative Partners and is an active participant in the CCNM Trinidad Gateway committee, of which the new panel was one of their projects. The Trinidad Museum serves as the local CCNM visitor contact station for the CCNM Trinidad Gateway, providing local information regarding the Monument. The museum, situated at 400 Janis Court just off Main Street and Patrick's Point Drive at the entry way to the town of Trinidad, is in a newly rehabilitated circa 1899 Victorian Italianate bungalow.
Orange County Rocks Bill H.R. 944 Passed to Senate. Congressional bill H.R. 944, which deals with removing the current withdrawals of the federal rocks and small islands off the coastline of Orange County, was passed out of the House of Representative by voice vote on December 7, 2011, and on to the US Senate for consideration. The following day, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In the Senate, the bill may be wrapped in with a number of other natural resource related bills and heard together, for example as another Public Lands Omnibus bill. H.R. 944 was introduced on March 8, 2011, by Congressman John Campbell (R-CA48).
[For additional information re: H.R. 944, see “Bill Introduced in Congress Again to Add Orange County Rocks to CCNM,” CCNM Update 04/18/11, p.7 & “Orange County Rocks Bill H.R. 944 Reported to the Full House by Unanimous Consent,” CCNM Update 08/18/11 p, 2]
California Desert District Advisory Council Tours the CCNM on Palos Verdes Peninsula. On a sunny, breezy December Friday on the California coast, the BLM’s California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) traded creosote bushes and roadrunners for starfish and seabirds. On December 2, 2011, the DAC took the opportunity review the California Desert District’s (CDD) role and responsibility for the southern California portion of the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM). Lead by Greg Thomsen, CDD project manager and CCNM Southern California coordinator, the DAC toured the Palos Verdes Peninsula (PVP) and visited with a variety of CCNM partners. Beginning at the City of Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the day included a hike down the bluffs to the Abalone Cove, lunch at Abalone Cove Park, a visit to the interpretive overlook at Pelican Cove, and a tour of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ Point Vicente Interpretive Center.
Throughout the day the council heard, “the California Coastal National Monument is all about partnerships,” as stressed by CCNM manager Rick Hanks. At the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Aquarium’s director Dr. Mike Schaadt gave an incredibly in-depth personal tour of the facility. Holly Star, recreation services manager for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, BLM’s central gateway partner on the peninsula, welcomed the DAC to the city’s Abalone Cove Park, as well as gave a personal tour of the City’s Point Vicente Interpretive Center.
Los Serenos de Point Vicente docent Joe Moeller led the hike down to the CCNM rocks and exposed reef at Abalone Cove. At the Pelican Cove overlook Danielle LeFer, conservation director for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, discussed the land conservancy’s coastal programs, including open space and trail development. Jenn Boyce, NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service seabird biologist, briefed the group on the coastal contaminants spill program and the Montrose chemical spill restoration effort, including seabird protection. Ending at Point Vicente Interpretive Center, the DAC had the opportunity to view the CCNM wall display and kiosk, plus step outside to the observation deck and view a few Fin Whales spouting nearby (See photos of the tour in the BLM California News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 511, 12/16/2011).
On Saturday, December 3, 2011, the DAC met in nearby Redondo Beach, California. BLM California State Director Jim Kenna outlined his priorities, including management of BLM California’s National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). BLM California State Office NLCS program coordinator Mark Conley and acting Desert District NLCS coordinator Greg Hill briefed the council on the many NLCS features in Southern California from desert wilderness to trails and scenic rivers and from the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument to, of course, the California Coastal National Monument.
Sea Ranch Association Task Force Releases 2010 Monitoring Report. In October, The Sea Ranch Association CCNM Stewardship Task Force submitted the final 2010 report, which analyzes the 2010 monitoring results and continues the examination of colony attendance patterns and relative breeding parameters for seabirds and marine mammals at Gualala Point Island. Gualala Point Island is located off the north end of The Sea Ranch, along the northern end of the Sonoma County coast. The 2010 data, collected through the citizen science effort of The Sea Ranch CCNM Stewardship Task Force (Task Force), furnishes further baseline information for Gualala Point Island seabirds and marine mammals, which will refine future monitoring efforts and help in guiding the management of the California Coastal National Monument.
The monitoring program of the Bureau of Land Management and the Task Force includes (1) a quarterly coastal island survey along the ten miles of The Sea Ranch coastline; (2) a monthly non-breeding season survey at three islands; (3) a weekly breeding season survey at the same three islands; and (4) the daily Intensive monitoring at Gualala Point Island over a 20-day period in June and July. This was the fourth year of a five year intensive monitoring program, which that was designed to document disturbances and provide a baseline data for the nesting seabird colonies on Gualala Point Island.
Surveys demonstrated that the same five species of seabirds nested on Gualala Point Island in 2010 as in the previous surveys of the island going back to 1992. As in the previous three years, data was collected on all species observed; However, monitoring efforts focused on the colony of Brandt’s Cormorants because of their known sensitivity to human disturbance and the relatively large sample size that could be monitored. For this species, colony monitoring combined land-based nest monitoring and bird count data from a series of aerial photographs. The aerial photography established “snapshots” in time and provided coverage of the entire cormorant colony. Land-based nest monitoring was constrained because only about 11% of the colony was visible from the mainland vantage point. Still, land-based nest monitoring provided relatively detailed information on individual visible nests and helped interpret aerial photographic results.
The aerial photographs showed 71 pairs of Brandt’s Cormorants on Gualala Point Island in 2010. The number of nests decreased dramatically compared to 2009 when 152 nesting pairs where observed. Overall, 75% of nests hatched eggs, compared to 67% in 2009. This decrease in nest numbers was likely correlated with ocean conditions rather than a local event. Western Gulls nested in larger numbers than in 2008-09, with 58 nests monitored in 2010 compared to 41 in 2009. Apparent nesting success with an estimated hatching rate of 2.5 chicks per nest was higher than in 2009, but still lower than in 2007-2008. The Task Force also monitored other species, including Pelagic Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Oystercatchers, Brown Pelicans, and Harbor Seals.
The report was prepared by Ron LeValley and Annessa Musgrove of Mad River Biologists, under a BLM contract with the Madrone Audubon Society. The report will be available on the CCNM website at www.blm.gov/ca/ccnm sometime after January 1, 2012.
Seabird Protection Network Point Sur to Point Mugu Chapter Reports First Year Accomplishments. Last summer, BLM provided the Torch/Platform Irene Trustee Council with a report summarizing the accomplishments of the first year (Phase 1) of the five year project to implement the Seabird Colony Enhancement Program as outlined in the Torch/Platform Irene Oil Spill Restoration Plan/ Environmental Assessment, released in 2007, and further refined by the Trustee Council. As the planning to implement this program evolved, the Trustee Council designated this effort as the Seabird Protection Network Point Sur to Point Mugu Chapter. The project consists of the three components identified below. Each component includes a brief summary of the first year accomplishments.
Seabird and Human Disturbances Monitoring - PRBO Conservation Science, a CCNM Collaborative Partner, has the lead for this component, with Senior Seabird Biologist Dan Robinette serving as the coordinator out of Lompoc, California, working in cooperation with Gerry McChesney, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) seabird biologist and Common Murre Restoration Project Manager, who has the lead for the annual aerial photographic surveys of surface-nesting seabirds along the central and northern coast of California.
Coordinated Enforcement and Management - The BLM has the lead for this component of the project with the BLM Bakersfield Field Office Chief Ranger Kelly Cole and BLM Hollister Field Office Chief Ranger Brian Martin with the role of co-coordinators.
Information and Outreach - The lead for this component is with California State Parks, a CCNM Core-Managing Partner. Cara O’Brien, an Interpreter II with the San Luis Obispo Coast District for California State Parks, serves as the coordinator of the Outreach/Education Team.
The BLM has submitted the proposed Scope of Work for the second year (Phase 2) to the Trustee Council and is waiting for approval to initiate Phase 2 of the project. During the second year, the attention will be paid to: (1) Developing a citizen science monitoring program to augment monitoring efforts; (2) Integrating information obtained from monitoring seabird populations and disturbances to develop and support “hot spot”-specific disturbance network messages directed to targeted ocean and coastal users; (3) Collecting year-round monitoring data on seabird populations, seabird breeding success, and human disturbance of seabirds; (4) Promoting awareness of the significance of seabirds and legal measures to protect them among a wide variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; (5) Developing an information and outreach strategy to address the human-caused disturbance mechanisms identified through the results of the monitoring; and (6) Developing additional interpretive materials to distribute and programs to provide them locally.
Audubon California Survey of Black Oystercatcher Reveals Density Higher Than Expected. The findings of the 2011 Audubon California and the US Fish and Wildlife Service led survey of the American Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) were a surprise to scientists. A total of 1,346 birds and 175 nests were counted. When compared against the total amount of suitable habitat, the result suggests the total number of breeding American Black Oystercatchers in the California may be much higher than the last estimate of approximately 1,000-1,200 individuals.
The preliminary report of the survey stated that, at a very minimum, at least 20% of the American Black Oystercatcher’s potentially suitable breeding habitat was covered. When compared against the total amount of suitable habitat, the result suggests the total number of breeding oystercatchers along the California coast may be two or more times higher than the last estimate. The actual population, therefore, could be well over 2000 birds. The bird’s population size is ultimately regulated by the availability of high quality nesting and foraging habitats.
The highest bird densities were reported from Mendocino and Sonoma counties. The highest nest densities reported were 12 nests/10 linear km. A few pairs of nests were within 30 meters of each other. Virtually all nests were located on rocks tidally separated from shore and with high shelves and niches for nests. Off the mainland, the large majority of these nests were on the California Coastal National Monument.
“With this information, conservation efforts can be directed to address specific issues like survival and reproduction success,” said Weinstein. “The next step is to determine what these action items are.” Further analyses, including reproductive success at a number of sites, are pending.
Audubon California and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have completed the final analysis of the 2011 survey and are in the process of finalizing the report on the results of the first ever California coast-wide, targeted species survey of the American Black Oystercatcher. The survey was conducted in June 2011 in 13 counties (from Del Norte to Orange County) along the California coastline where the American Black Oystercatcher lives year-round. It was carried out by a network of more than 140 experienced amateur and professional observers, including BLM staffers and CCNM partners. The report is being prepared by Audubon California’s Anna Weinstein and Linda Trocki, US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rob Doster, and Mad River Biologists’ Ron LeValley. The peer-reviewed final report will be submitted for publication by early Spring 2012.
The Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument was a key agency partner. Other agencies involved included in the survey were the US Fish & Wildlife Service, California State Parks, National Park Service, and the US Geological Survey. Organizations involved in the California coast-wide survey included the Audubon Canyon Ranch, The Sea Ranch Association, Laguna Ocean Foundation, Mad River Biologists and Carter Biological Consulting. Individual Audubon chapters involved included Redwood Region, Mendocino Coast, Madrone, Golden Gate, Monterey Peninsula, and Morro Bay.
The Black Oystercatcher is one of the most distinctive birds in all of North America. The global population of the species is only 10,000. It is entirely black, with bright yellow eyes and a bright red bill. Biologists consider the size of the Black Oystercatcher’s population a good indicator of the overall health of the rocky intertidal community in California.
[For additional information re: the American Black Oystercatcher see “CCNM Assisting Audubon California with Coast-Wide Black Oystercatcher Survey,” CCNM Update 04/18/11, pp.1 & 2 & “Coast-Wide Black Oystercatcher Survey Field Work Completed,” CCNM Update 08/18/11 p, 2]
Marcia deChadenedes Takes Position as BLM Colorado National Landscape Conservation System Program Lead. The CCNM outreach and partnership coordinator Marcia deChadenedes has accepted the position as the BLM Colorado State Office’s National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) program lead and will be transferring to Denver, Colorado, in mid-January 2012. Marcia has been with the CCNM since August of 2008 and has been active in helping to elevate the awareness of the CCNM, expand CCNM partnerships, and develop new CCNM initiatives. Marcia’s first CCNM responsibility was as the North Coast Geotourism project manager were she oversaw the development of the Redwood Coast on-line Geotourism MapGuide, working closely with the National Geographic Society’s Center of Sustainable Destinations and the California Travel and Tourism Commission’s North Coast Tourism Council for the six county region of Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, and western Marin.
During her three and a half years with the CCNM, Marcia juggled a wide variety of CCNM outreach, education, and interpretive tasks, while handling a number of activities in support of the national BLM’s heritage tourism and partnership programs. She developed the CCNM interpretive plan, revised and upgraded the CCNM-wide brochure, helped in the development and expansion of the Seabird Protection Network, initiated and facilitated the development of the Monterey Bay National Heritage Area Alliance, supported planning and production of the BLM California NLCS Anniversary activities, served as an active contributor on the National Partnership Program Strategy Team and the National Ocean Policy implementation strategy, the Monterey Bay America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, and worked on the national “Navigating the Nonprofit Culture” curriculum, as well as the interagency publication The Practitioner’s Guide to Partnerships with the BLM National Training Center and US Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center, contributed to the BLM National Scenic and Historic Trails handbook and manual production, and worked on the post-NLCS Summit communities strand with input that is now an element in discussion for the BLM National Partnership Program Strategy.
In her new position, Marcia will be primarily responsible for policy, budget, coordination, and training for the NLCS units in Colorado. Colorado’s NLCS program includes Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, three National Conservation Areas, five Wilderness Areas, 54 Wilderness Study Areas, and portions of two National Scenic & Historic Trails. These NLCS units compose 1.14 million acres, about 14% of BLM Colorado’s 8.35 million acres.
CCNM Office Moving to Santa Cruz. After 10 years of office space being provided in Monterey by NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a CCNM Collaborative Partner, the CCNM will be moving its office across the Monterey Bay to Santa Cruz. The CCNM will be sharing offices with the US Department of the Interior’s Geological Survey (USGS) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center located near the University of California Santa Cruz campus on the west side of the City of Santa Cruz. The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center is situated in the University Business Park (the old Wrigley gum factory) building located at the corner of Mission Street and Natural Bridges Drive at the south end of Western Drive and just off the Highway One.
CCNM manager Rick Hanks stated that, “We’d like to thank the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for the opportunity to have spent the past 10 years with them, getting connected with the ocean and marine aspect of California, as well as having the Sanctuary serving as our connection to the rest of NOAA and its various marine related programs.” He added that “Our partnership with the Sanctuary and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation has been invaluable and we look forward to continuing to expand our working relationship with them on a number of projects and initiatives.”
As of January 30, 2012, the new address for the CCNM office will be as follows:
The office telephone numbers will also be changed, but as yet, the new numbers have not been provided.
CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls & Events. During the time period covered by this CCNM Update (i.e., August 20, 2011 through December 20, 2011), the CCNM Manager, other CCNM staff, and the managers and staff of the BLM California State Office and coastal field offices (FO) also participated in a variety of meetings, conference calls, events, and activities, including the following:
Any questions, comments, or requests for additional information? Contact Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, at:
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California Coastal National Monument:
A unique partnership in protecting California's coastal resources