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PLANNING UPDATE

December 30, 2006

    

Fish & Wildlife Service Newest CCNM Collaborative Partner.  With the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the beginning of the new Federal Fiscal Year (FY 2007), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) became the newest California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) collaborative partner. The FWS is the first bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior to formally partner with the BLM in the management of the CCNM. According to the CCNM Manager Rick Hanks, “This new collaborative partnership provides a great opportunity to take advantage of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s coastal research, monitoring, and restoration experience and expertise and incorporate their current activities related to the California Coastal National Monument into the monument’s developing programs.” Through the MOU, the FWS has agreed to assist the BLM and its various partners with the (1) identification and development of monitoring and research needs and long-term strategies for seabird and other marine life for the CCNM; (2) identification of possible resource protection needs, methods, and techniques; and (3) communication to the general public regarding the unique coastal habitats, protection needs, and appropriate public use of the CCNM and the results of research and management activities associated with these unique coastal habitats, and (4) coordination of outreach program initiatives. In addition, through the MOU, the FWS will help the BLM with developing its capabilities related to oil spills, hazardous substance releases, and other contaminant incidents that affect the CCNM and its various resources and, as appropriate, serves as the BLM’s representative associated with specific response incidents and restoration councils and projects.

CCNM to Prepare a Business Plan for RMP Implementation.  During FY07, the BLM will be developing a business plan to cover the implementation of the CCNM Resource Management Plan (RMP). This business plan will be used as a communication tool within BLM and an outreach tool to outline BLM commitments and priorities for the CCNM in the next five years. BLM has contracted with Jones & Stokes to develop the template for a BLM Business Plan and, using the content and photographs provided by BLM, to assemble the CCNM Business Plan. In order to pull together the content for the CCNM Business Plan, the CCNM RMP Core Team has been re-assembled into a CCNM Business Plan Working Group. The primary focus of this working group is to assemble the information to be used by Jones & Stokes to package a final version of the CCNM Business Plan and to assist the CCNM Manager with overseeing the various activities and undertakings that will be producing products or elements (e.g., CCNM Outreach Plan or CCNM socio-cultural assessment of Trinidad) to be incorporated into the final CCNM Business Plan. The completed CCNM Business Plan should be available by the end of the FY07.

CCNM Working with National Geographic Society to Develop a California Coast Geotourism Region.  The BLM is currently working with the National Geographic Society’s (NGS’s) Center of Sustainable Destinations to use the CCNM as a catalyst for developing a “geotourism” region for the California coast. The initiative of the NGS’s Center for Sustainable Destinations would fit neatly with the basic implementation framework that has been developed for the CCNM. The business plan that is being developed for the CCNM could provide the vehicle to incorporate the NGS’s geotourism region approach with its various parts (i.e., a Geotourism Stewardship Council, the coast-wide map or booklet, an environmental education piece, etc.) with the CCNM and its wide variety of partners.

The NGS’s Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD) seeks to use the economic leverage of responsible tourism to help protect and revitalize the Earth’s great places.  Tourism in recent decades has exploded to become one of the largest, most all- pervasive industries on Earth. By its very nature, it affects the Earth’s most significant, appealing places first and fastest. In order to affectively deal with these growing pressures on these significant places, the CSD uses a “geotourism” approach. “Geotourism” is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place - its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism is sustainable tourism energized. It sustains, but it can also enhance by means of restorative and constructive forms of tourism that fit the nature of the destination. For instance, as the CSD points out, tourist revenue can help to restore historic districts and support for local craftspeople. It can help preserve and develop local cuisines, based on distinctively local ingredients supplied by local growers. It can help to retain traditional cultural celebrations and performing arts that would otherwise disappear. It can help to beautify ugly places and enrich poor places. It does those things best when focused on the distinctiveness of a place, avoiding the destructive pitfalls of undifferentiated global mass tourism. This being said, the NGS and its CSD staff feel that the California coast, with the CCNM serving as the catalyst, would make a great geotourism region. Working with Angela West, the BLM’s tourism and community services program coordinator, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks will be developing a strategy with the CSD’s Director Jonathan Tourtellot and Associate Director Jim Dion to initiate this unique opportunity for the California coast.

Socio-Cultural Assessment Contracted for CCNM Gateway Community at Trinidad.  Even with limited funding, the CCNM was able to initiate the socio-cultural dimension of the CCNM Site Characterization by contracting with Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E&E) to conduct a socio-cultural assessment of the Trinidad area. E&E developed a discussion guide that formed the basis for stakeholder interviews and conducted interviews in the Trinidad area from December 3 through December 8, 2006. About two dozen persons participated in the field interviews about the CCNM Trinidad Gateway. Additional casual contacts were made with kayakers, birdwatchers, beach walkers, and local businesspersons to assess awareness about the identity of offshore rocks as part of the CCNM. The preliminary assessment of the information from these interviews has suggested the following topics: (1) The social context of Trinidad as a community with a changing social and economic identity (e.g., a “fishing community”, “a village”, “a tourism town”, “paradise”, “ancestral homeland”, & “a spiritual place”); (2) Place assessments of the “coast” and the “rocks” (i.e., these assessments suggest the offshore rocks are an essential part of the aesthetics and place identity of this portion of the California coast); (3) The identity of offshore rocks as the CCNM (i.e., an attribution of “protection”, skepticism about the need for the CCNM designation given the “natural” protection, and assessments of the threats and opportunities associated with the designation of the CCNM); (4) Management issues (including BLM as the appropriate management agency, the value of local partnerships, the stewardship benefits resulting from partnership with local agencies, and expectations about the educational and community benefits of the “Gateway Community” status as well as its interactions with current trends in tourism). These four major categories will be developed in the report of fieldwork findings. The systematic analysis of the data collected is also likely to identify other issues and themes. A draft findings report will be submitted to the CCNM before the end of January 2007. The final results of the study will be incorporated into both the CCNM Site Characterization Study and the developing CCNM Business Plan. If funding is available, this assessment process will be applied to the Point Arena area, followed by the remaining three initial CCNM Gateway areas of Piedras Blancas-San Simeon, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Pigeon Point (San Mateo-Santa Cruz Coast).

NMPAC Bows Out Due to Cut in Funding.  After more than three years, the cooperative arrangement between the CCNM and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Marine Protected Areas Center (NMPAC) regarding a shared BLM position has come to an end. Due to cuts in the NMPAC’s funding, a shift in their priorities, and a set of year-long federal budget continuing resolutions for FY07, the Director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, the office that oversees the operation of the NMPAC, requested the termination of the agreement between NOAA and BLM that provided NMPAC funding that covered a share of the cost for a BLM employee. This is the position filled by Aaron King who has served half of his time as the CCNM’s research and grants coordinator and half of his time as the NMPAC’s Navigating Marine Protected Areas project manager.  BLM funding permitting, Aaron will continue in his BLM role on a half-time basis at least through mid-year FY07.

CCNM Trinidad Gateway First Meeting. The partners in the CCNM Gateway initiative for the Trinidad area held their first meeting on October 12, 2006, in Arcata, California. This was the first formal meeting of any of the five initial CCNM Gateway initiatives. Held at the BLM Arcata Field Office, the meeting was opened by the BLM Arcata Field Office Manager Lynda Roush and CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. Also representing BLM were Don Holmstrom, Arcata Assistant Field Office Manager, and Bob Wick, CCNM Northern California coordinator. In addition to BLM, the representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game, Trinidad Rancheria, Trinidad Museum Society, City of Trinidad, Tsurai Ancestral Society, and the Yurok Tribe were in attendance. The working group discussed the expectations of each of the partners and what each partner was interested in contributing to the undertaking and what where some of the initial activities for the group. The working group also created two committees, one to deal with natural resource issues and one to deal with cultural resources. The CCNM Trinidad Gateway working group decided that they would meet quarterly, while the two committees would meet as often as needed.

Cal State Parks Mendocino District & BLM Ukiah FO Met to Discuss Stornetta Public Lands Patrol & CCNM Gateway. On December 13, 2006, BLM Ukiah Field Manager Rich Burns and California State Parks Mendocino District Superintendent Marilyn Murphy, with members of their respective staffs, met in Manchester, California, to discuss coordinated activities in the Point Arena area. This included coordinated management between the BLM’s Stornetta Public Lands and Manchester State Beach and the agencies’ roles and responsibilities related to the management of the CCNM, and involved a tour of the Stornetta Public Lands. In addition to the managers, Diane Knox, BLM Stornetta Public Lands project coordinator, and Walt Gabler, BLM Ukiah Field Office Supervisory Law Enforcement Ranger, represented BLM, while the California State Park’s Mendocino District was represented by 11 staff members, including seven of the district’s law enforcement rangers.  As a result of the coordination meeting, State Parks agreed to assist BLM with patrolling the Stornetta Public Lands and are looking forward to being an active participant in the developing CCNM Gateway initiative for the Point Arena area.

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:

  • Meeting with City of Rancho Palos Verdes Recreation Services Manager and staff  at Point Vicente Interpretive Center re: draft MOU for establishing CCNM Gateway initiative for Palos Verdes Peninsula & to explore CCNM interpretative opportunities (Steve Razo & Greg Thomsen), Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, October 10, 2006

  • Meeting with the Orange County Coastal Coalition Tidepool Committee re: briefing on CCNM & opportunities for partnering (Thomsen), Dana Point, CA, October 10, 2006

  • Meeting with Scott Quakenbush, Humboldt State University Marine Laboratory Director re: CCNM & collaborative partnership (Rick Hanks), Trinidad, CA, October 12, 2006

  • Meeting with PRBO Conservation Science’s Christine Abraham re: CCNM update (Hanks), Petaluma, CA, October 13,2006

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, October 16, 2006

  • CCNM Managers Conference Call with BLM California State Director, October 19, 2006

  • CCNM presentation to Sierra Club’s CA/NV Wilderness Committee (Hanks), Paso Robles, CA, October 21, 2006

  • Attended California Chapter of the American Planning Association Awards Banquet & received planning award (Hanks), Anaheim, CA, October 24, 2006

  • Meeting with City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ Holly Starr & Karen Peterson at Point Vicente Interpretative Center to discuss CCNM Gateway interpretative possibilities (Hanks, Razo, Diane Nelson, & Kim Mincer), Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, October 25, 2006

  • Meeting with Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Michele Roest at Coastal Discovery Center re: CCNM Gateway interpretative possibilities (Hanks, Nelson, & Mincer), WR Hearst SB, San Simeon, CA, October 26, 2006

  • Interview with Elaine Weinreb, McKinleyville Press, re: CCNM article for November Issue (Bob Wick), October 31, 2006

  • Interviewed by Rebecca Key (NOAA contractor) re: spill response assessment (Hanks), Monterey, CA, November 6, 2006

  • Meeting with BLM Hollister Filed Office (HFO) personnel (Sky Murphy & Tammy Jakl) re: CCNM initiatives for HFO (Hanks), Monterey, CA, November 8, 2006

  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway natural history committee re: initial concepts for kiosk and brochure (Wick), Arcata, CA, November 8, 2006
     
  • Meeting with Point Arena Mayor Leslie Dahlhoff re: CCNM Point Arena Gateway formation (Diane Knox), Point Arena, CA, November 14, 2006

  • Meeting with California State Parks Mendocino District Superintendent Marilyn Murphy re: CCNM Point Arena Gateway & partnership (Knox), November 14, 2006

  • Meeting with representatives of Trinidad Rancheria & Yurok Tribe to select a final site for the Trinidad Kiosk (Wick), Trinidad, CA, November 14, 2006

  • Presentation to Explore North Coast (Humboldt County Sea Kayaking Group) re: CCNM & the north coast (Wick), Arcata, CA, November 15, 2006

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, November 20, 2006

  • Meeting with Aimee David, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Office for the Future of the Oceans re: CCNM background (Hanks & Aaron King), Monterey, CA, November 22, 2006

  • Meeting with Bill Douros, NOAA-National Marine Sanctuary Program’s West Coast Region Superintendent, re: oil spill restoration project coalition (Hanks & King), Monterey, CA, November 27, 2006

  • Meeting with PRBO Conservation Science’s Christine Abraham & Bill Sydeman re: possible collaborative projects (Hanks), Petaluma, CA, November 28, 2006

  • Meeting of North Coast Seabird & Marine Mammals Working Group (Hanks & Paul Roush), Arcata, CA, November 29, 2006

  • Meeting with Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers Executive Director Rae Radtkey & Board of Directors member Grace Carter re: CCNM Point Arena Gateway & partnership (Knox), Point Arena, CA, November 30, 2006

  • Conference call with Public Affairs Officers re: development of CCNM Outreach Plan (Hanks, Razo, Dave Christy, Jeff Fontana, & John Dearing), December 5, 2006

  • Meeting with USFWS representative of the Trustee Council for the American Trader oil spill re: discuss funding of outreach materials (Thomsen), Carlsbad, CA, December 5, 2006

  • Meeting with Gerry McChesney, USFWS Common Murre Restoration Project Manager, re: CCNM sensitive seabird sites (Hanks & King), Newark, CA, December 6, 2006

  • Conference call with Jim Dion, Associate Director, National Geographic Society’s Center of Sustainable Destinations, re: CCNM & California coast geotourism region (Hanks, Angela West, & Cat Darst), December 8, 2006

  • Meeting with USFWS representative of the Trustee Council for the Montrose chemical spill re: potential funding of outreach materials, seabird inventories, & restoration (Thomsen), Carlsbad, CA, December 12, 2006

  • Meeting with Redwood Community Action Agency re: development of  themes for CCNM kiosk/brochure (Wick & Rachel Sowards), Eureka, CA,  December 14, 2006

  • CCNM Monthly Conference Call, December 18, 2006

  • Meeting with City of Laguna Beach Marine Safety Chief & Marine Protection Officer & an Ocean Laguna Foundation board member re: joint funding of seabird/shorebird inventory, collaborative partner MOU, & MLPA & environmental education (Thomsen & Tracy Albrecht), Laguna Beach, CA, December 28, 2006

Contact Information.  Any questions, comments, concerns, or requests for additional information?  Contact Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940, telephone (831) 372-6105 or 372-6115, or e-mail at hhanks@ca.blm.gov or cacnm@ca.blm.gov.


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