California Coastal National Monument

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CALIFORNIA COASTAL NATIONAL MONUMENT

UPDATE

April 30, 2012
 

City of Fort Bragg & Four Additional Organizations Sign-On as CCNM Collaborative Partners to Help with Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway.  At a signing ceremony held at the historic Guest House Museum in Fort Bragg, California, on January 27, 2012, five new California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) Collaborative Partners joined more than a dozen current CCNM partners to initiate the CCNM Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway effort. The newest CCNM partners are the City of Fort Bragg, Caspar Community, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, and the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Historical Society. An official representing each of these five entities signed an individual memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The partnership MOUs, earlier signed by BLM California State Director Jim Kenna, commit the partners to assisting one another with the long term preservation, stewardship, public education, and promotion of the CCNM rocks and islands and coastal resources.

A significant part of the event was the City of Fort Bragg’s announcement that its Promotion Committee will take the lead in coordinating the CCNM Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee. As such, Fort Bragg becomes the first municipality to take the lead in coordinating a CCNM gateway committee. 

Fort Bragg Mayor Dave Turner welcomed the group of more than 30 attendees and signed the MOU on behalf of the city. Mendocino County Board of Supervisor Kendall Smith (also a BLM Northwest California Resource Advisory Council member) addressed the group about the importance of the partnership. At the end of the ceremony, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks presented a CCNM Rock Star award to Ruth Sparks, a member of the city promotional committee and the Mendocino Study Club. Sparks was recognized for her leadership in promoting the CCNM on the Mendocino coast. [See a few photos of the event in the BLM California News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 517, 02/10/2012]
 
Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee Up & Running.  The newest partnership in the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument is off and running on the northern Mendocino coast. The CCNM Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee held its first meeting on March 14, 2012. The city of Fort Bragg’s Promotion Committee is taking the lead in coordinating the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee organization. The Committee agreed that its area of emphasis will be a stretch of the Mendocino County coastline from the Navarro River on the south to Rockport on the north.  The gateway area includes portions of both the BLM’s Arcata Field Office and the Ukiah Field Office. While some organizational details are still being worked out, some of the Committee members are already progressing on the Gateway’s first project to promote the Monument. A draft “Rock Walks” map showing good onshore viewing locations for the offshore rocks was reviewed by committee members and developed by the Mendocino Study Club.

The meeting was chaired by the City of Fort Bragg Promoting Committee’s co-chair Mary Knoerdel with assistance from the Promotion Committee other co-chair and Mendocino Study Club representative Ruth Sparks. Representing the BLM were CCNM Manager Rick Hanks, Ukiah Field Office Manager Rich Burns, and Arcata Field Office Manager Lynda Roush, plus Ukiah Field Office volunteer Cindy Oster who is assisting Rich Burns on coastal and gateways initiatives. CCNM Collaborative Partner representatives from the City of Fort Bragg, Caspar Community, Mendocino Land Trust, Mendocino Coast Audubon Society, Mendocino Area Parks Association, Mendocino County Historical Society, Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society, Mendocino Study Club, and Native Daughters of the Golden West (Fort Bragg Parlor No. 210) participated in this first Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee meeting. Other CCNM Collaborative Partners participating in this gateway effort are the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, Visit Mendocino County Inc., Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, Coastwalk California, and Recreational Fishing Alliance, as well as both CCNM Core-Managing Partners -- California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks.
 
CCNM Gateways are areas in which the BLM and its partners can provide public information about the CCNM’s rocks and islands and their importance for coastal communities. The gateways also provide opportunities for groups to work together on projects to protect the monument features and the habitat they provide for seabirds, marine mammals, unique plants, and cultural resources, as well as serving as a catalyst for fostering cooperative stewardship of the entire gateway areas. [See two photos of the meeting and photos of the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway area in the BLM California News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 523, 03/23/2012]
 
Rock Walks Map for Mendocino Coast Now Complete.  It was not until 2010 that members of the Mendocino Study Club (a CCNM Collaborative Partner) discovered that the off-shore rocks along the Mendocino Coast were part of the California Coastal National Monument. To recognize and promote the Monument rocks, the Study Club had a “Stop and View the Rocks” contest with more than 200 entries. Curious about some of the places that had been named in the contest, Study Club member Ruth Sparks glued trail markers on a 5½ foot wooden map created from the California Coastal Trail website map. The popularity of the big map suggested that a smaller paper map should be created. Study Club pledged $125 towards the project. “Rock Walks” map plans went forward when $1,000 was received to print the maps from the Mendocino County Lodging Association. At the first meeting of the CCNM Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee, the Study Club proposed that the entire Gateway Committee sponsor the development of the Rock Walks Map. The Committee members agreed that since the Mendocino Study Club was already well into moving the project along, they should continue with the lead on developing the Rock Walk Map. The Gateway Committee attendees were, however, very supportive of the project and agreed to assist as they or their organizations may be able to in the form of review, editing, and/or funding. The Mendocino Study Club accepted the challenge to coordinate printing 10,000 maps as a Community Service Project. There are now many individuals and sponsors who have contributed to the map. The Study Club especially enjoyed the expert assistance of Rixanne Wehren, California Coastal Trail cartographer. The “Rock Walks” map is now back from the printer and available for distribution.
 
BLM Director & California State Director Tour Cypress Abbey Phase 1 Property at Point Arena.  BLM Director Bob Abbey and California State Director Jim Kenna took a walking tour of the BLM’s newly acquired Phase 1 portion of the Cypress Abbey property that borders the northwestern side of the City of Point Area along California’s Mendocino County coast. They were not alone on their January 25 hike. An entourage of more than 30 people accompanied them on the hike led by the Dave Sutton from the Trust for Public Lands (TPL). TPL coordinated the acquisition and transfer of the property to the BLM. The coastal hikers with the BLM Director and BLM California State Director included acting BLM Deputy Director Neil Kornze, Point Arena Mayor Lloyd Cross and Vice Mayor Doug Burkey, plus representatives for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman Mike Thompson, the California State Coastal Conservancy, California Wildlife Conservation Board, California Department of Fish and Game (a CCNM Core-Managing Partner), California State Parks (a CCNM Core-Managing Partner), and a few local nonprofit organizations. Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (a CCNM Collaborative Partner), City of Point Arena (a CCNM Collaborative Partner), and TPL talked about federally listed Point Arena Mountain Beaver and Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly, the importance of the public lands to the City of Point Arena, and the long-term vision for the properties. Former mayor of Point Arena and now representative of the Moat Creek Managing Agency (a CCNM Collaborative Partner), spoke about the BLM Stornetta Public Lands and the CCNM’s benefit to the community. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks gave an overview of the California Coastal National Monument and briefly discussed the CCNM Point Arena Gateway program. 
 
The Cypress Abbey Phase 1 acquisition involved 127 acres of underdeveloped land within the northwestern portion of the Point Arena city limits. Working in cooperation with TPL, the Phase 1 property was acquired using funding from the BLM, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the California State Coastal Conservancy. The next step is working on the acquisition of the 420 acres of the Phase 2 parcel that would connect the Phase 1 parcel with the Stornetta Public Lands. The Phase 2 acquisition would allow coastal trails to link the Stornetta Public Lands with the City of Point Arena and would provide excellent opportunities to view features of the California Coastal National Monument. [See two photos of the Cypress Abbey tour in the BLM California News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 512, 02/03/2012]
 
BLM Director Tours CCNM on Monterey Peninsula.  The Hollister Field Office hosted a visit from BLM Director Robert Abbey on Thursday January 12, 2012. The all-day tour lead by BLM Hollister Field Office Manager Rick Cooper included stops in Monterey County at Pacific Grove Museum of National History and the California Coastal National Monument rocks and islets at Point Piños in the City of Pacific Grove and Bird Rock off the coast of Pebble Beach. At the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (a CCNM Collaborative Partner), Director Abbey had the opportunity to hear from the Pacific Grove Mayor Pro Tempore Bill Kampe about the current effort to establish a Monterey Bay National Heritage Area, an effort that the CCNM staff has been helping to facilitate; NOAA Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (another CCNM Collaborative Partner) Superintendent Paul Michel about the importance of partnerships and collaborations with the CCNM; and the Museum’s Executive Director Lori Mannel about the future collaborative potential with the development of the CCNM Monterey Peninsula Gateway with the opportunity for the Museum to service as the hub for the effort.
 
At Point Piños a briefing on the local natural and cultural resources was provided by BLM Hollister Field Office Archeologist Erik Zaborsky and Wildlife Biologist Dr. Michael Westphal. Dr. Westphal is also the science lead for the Seabird Protection Network Point Sur-Point Mugu (California’s South Central Coast) Chapter. At Bird Rock on the famous Pebble Beach 17-Mile Drive, BLM Hollister Field Office Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator Andrew Breaux provided a QR (“Quick Response”) Code demonstration. QR codes are the small, black and white square images similar to a bar code that are designed for scanning by smartphones. The code Andrew created linked to an informative video which Director Abbey enjoyed. This demonstration also illustrated the future capabilities of providing instant on-the-ground supplemental information not available on site.
BLM Rocks Orange County Children's Water Education Festival. What happens when you put thousands of children together and sprinkle them with a little bit of magic, a little bit of Disney, and a lot of enthusiastic agencies and volunteers? The Orange County Children's Water Festival! On a perfectly sunny day after a weekend of rain to "wet" their appetites, more than 6,000 4th, 5th and 6th graders converged on the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda for the 16th annual Orange County Children's Water Education Festival. Recognized nationally as the largest event of its kind, the Orange County Children's Water Festival presented a unique opportunity to educate students about local water issues and to help them understand how they can protect water supplies and their environment. Since its inception, more than 85,000 children from schools throughout Orange County have participated in the festival.
 
This year the Orange County Children's Water Festival featured 58 education stations with venues as varied as Disneyland, a Green Earth Magic Show, the Wyland Foundation, National Geographic Columbia Memorial Space Center, and the BLM's California Coastal National Monument. At each station, organizations engaged the students through interactive presentations taught according to California State Science Standards. Consequently, educators have consistently given the festival high marks. Showcasing the California Coastal National Monument, this was the first appearance by the BLM -- and likely not the last. Students and teachers alike voiced many positive comments about the fast paced fun and learning at BLM's Let's Get Rockin activity.
 
After a brief introduction to BLM and the California Coastal National Monument, students launched into a loud and interactive game of Let's Get Rockin -- a game of bingo with a BLM twist. Students identified and learned about important organisms and objects associated with the national monument. The enthusiasm of presenters Barbara Croonquist of the BLM California Desert District Office, Tracy Albrecht of the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, and the teams of Disney volunteers was infectious. Let's Get Rockin rocked! [See photo of the event in News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 526, 04/13/2012]
 
1st Graders Visit to Trinidad Gateway “Was the Best Field Trip Ever.”  Forty-seven first graders and their accompanying parents and chaperones received a close-up view of the Trinidad Gateway to the California Coastal National Monument. On April 23, 2012, the students met at the City of Trinidad (a CCNM Collaborative Partner) trailhead to Trinidad Head and hiked up the trail. At the first stop, the BLM had spotting scopes set-up to view Flatiron Rock, part of one of the CCNM’s most important seabird areas. Here students got a close up look at a large nesting seabird colony of Common Murres, hauled out seals, and even a common porpoise. Students learned why the rocks are important to marine mammals and birds, and played games where they learned how whales use echolocation to find food and navigate. The second and third stops also included spotting scopes and binoculars giving students the opportunity to see a cormorant on its nest and sea otters on Little Trinidad Head and Pilot Rock.
 
After the hike, the group walked up to the Humboldt State University (HSU) Marine Lab (another CCNM Collaborative Partner) to take a closer look through microscopes at some of the smaller residents of the offshore rocks. HSU Marine Lab Naturalist Amber Ginther showed students nudibranchs, sea urchins and krill under the scope. The Jacoby Creek School first graders also got to touch sea stars and sea anemones in the touch tanks.
 
The students wrote enthusiastic thank you letters with comments such as, “This was the best field trip ever!” and “Looking in the microscopes was fun!” BLM Arcata Field Office Interpretive Specialist Leisyka Parrott, who led the field trip, was equally excited about the first CCNM field trip in partnership with the HSU Marine Lab. “The HSU Marine Lab is a natural partner for the CCNM and the field trip in combination with a hike on Trinidad Head was ideal,” she enthusiastically stated. “Students viewed the seastacks with binoculars and telescopes and then had the opportunity at the Marine Lab to take a much closer look at the marine life that calls the rocks home.”
 
CCNM Participates in “Whale of a Day” at Rancho Palos Verdes.  For the second year in a row, it was a picture perfect day for the “Whale of a Day” festival held on Saturday, March 3, 2012, on southern California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula. The California Coastal National Monument participated in this 28th annual day-long event with a booth featuring a number of CCNM kid-oriented activities. The CCNM booth also provided the opportunity to speak with parents and other adults about the California Coastal National Monument and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Co-sponsored by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes (a California Coastal National Monument Collaborative Partner) and the docents of Los Serenos de Point Vicente, “Whale of a Day” is an annual festival held at the City’s Point Vicente Interpretive Center. The ideal weather brought out more than 3,000 visitors who came to look for whales, explore the interpretive center, and enjoy the various booths, activities, and entertainment.
 
At the California Coastal National Monument booth, a steady stream of visitors made CCNM buttons, created their own CCNM booklet and decorated it or a CCNM rock coloring page as they pleased using color markers, crayons, and/or a variety of sea life-related rubber stamps. Some of the kids commandeered plastic crabs, starfish and other creatures on top of a tidepool tablecloth, while other kids studied the plastic specimens under magnifying lenses. CCNM manager Rick Hanks spent much of the day talking to booth visitors about the California Coastal National Monument and passing out CCNM brochures, including one that identifies six locations on the Palos Verdes Peninsula where you can see California Coastal National Monument rocks and exposed reefs. California Desert District public contact representative Barbara Croonquist was the primary handler of the button making process, while California Desert District administrative assistant Jennifer Wohlgemuth took care of the activities with the rubber stamps and color markers. Three BLM volunteers were critical to the success of the day-long activities at the CCNM booth. They were Dee Deckert, Michael Croonquist, and Ahmicqui Kennedy.
 
The “Whale of a Day” festival celebrates the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale from the winter breeding and calving grounds in Baja California to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chuchki Seas in Alaska. This year's event reported the sighting of only about seven whales, but porpoise sighting where common and the clear view of Catalina Island to the south and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north made the time spend looking for whales worthwhile. [See photos of the event in News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 521, 03/09/2012]
 
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Now a CCNM Collaborative Partner.  The City of Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium has become the newest California National Monument Collaborative Partner. Located in San Pedro, California, on the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and receives support from the non-profit corporation Friends of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The purpose of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is to engage all visitors in education, recreation, and research to promote knowledge, appreciation, and conservation of the marine life of Southern California and to provide resources for educators teaching about the Southern California marine environment. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is a participant in the CCNM Palos Verdes Peninsula Gateway effort.
 
“The aquarium is an outstanding outreach facility that provides onsite environmental education to hundreds of thousands of inner city school children each year,” said Greg Thomsen, BLM California Desert District project manager and CCNM Southern California coordinator. He added that, “The aquarium also hosts special events such as an Earth Day festival where the BLM has participated with a CCNM booth, is an internationally recognized scientific institution, and offers fascinating hands on and interactive marine exhibits.”
 
BLM & CCNM Booth at Naval Support Activity Monterey’s Earth Day Celebration.  The Naval Support Activity Monterey, home of the Naval Postgraduate School, held its second annual Earth Day celebration on Thursday, April 19, 2012. The Navy’s theme this year was “Partnering for a Greener Future,” and the event sought to showcase the various government agencies, environmental organizations, and green businesses that serve the Monterey Bay community. The BLM Hollister Field Office and the California Coastal National Monument were among the 40+ organizations in attendance on the warm, sunny Monterey Bay afternoon. The BLM/CCNM booth was manned by BLM Hollister Field Office staff members Andrew Breaux and Mike Chiodini who greeted a multitude of students, faculty, and staff from the Naval Postgraduate School. Visitors were given information about the CCNM, BLM’s conservation efforts in the local community, and wildfire prevention. Event patrons were happy to add CCNM brochures, pins, and scenic posters, along with Smokey the Bear bookmarks, comic books, and antenna toppers to the collection of goodies that they acquired from visits to the various booths.
 
Thompson Introduces Bill to Add Stornetta Public Lands to CCNM.  Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA-1), on April 27, 2012, introduced a bill to add the Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument. H.R. 4969 would add the 1,255 acres of BLM administered lands to the CCNM as part of the National Landscape Conservation System in order to provide additional protection. This would also be the first onshore portion of the CCNM. Currently, the entire CCNM consists of more than 20,000 offshore rocks and small islands, with no portion onshore.
 
The proposed legislation would provide permanent protect for the land, which includes more than two miles of coastline with natural bridges, tide pools, waterfalls, sinkholes, and blowholes.
H.R. 4969 acknowledges that “the ocean and coastal ecosystems adjacent to the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are internationally recognized as significant centers of coastal upwelling that support the diverse, abundant and productive marine ecosystems and wildlife underlying the local economy and identity of coastal communities.” It also recognizes that “the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands represent a model partnership where future management can be successfully accomplished among the Federal Government, State of California, Mendocino County, local communities, and private groups.”
 
In addition, H.R. 4969 includes a clause that recognizes that any lands or interests in land within or adjacent to the lands added to the CCNM by this legislation and acquired by the United States after the date of the enactment of the legislation would be added to and administered as part of the CCNM. H.R. 4960 has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and is awaiting action.
 
Presidential Proclamation Establishes Fort Ord National Monument.  President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation, on April 20, 2012, designating the 14,600 acres of federal land of Fort Ord Public Lands as the nation’s newest national monument. The new Fort Ord National Monument will remain under the jurisdiction of the BLM and becomes a part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
 
The Fort Ord National Monument holds some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands on the Monterey Peninsula. The area plays a vital part in the protection of rare species of plants and animals. Many of the rare plants in the former Fort Ord military base have 50-90% of their worldwide habitat here. The new national monument also has 86 miles of trail that are open every day from dawn to dusk, and are used by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, wildlife and wildflower photographers, and nature enthusiasts. Visitors can walk or ride the narrow trails on the grassland hills or on the generous winding trails through oak woodlands and coastal chaparral. People can also visit three trail access points and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
 
The swiftness of the action caught some people by surprise, but most local officials are pleased with the designation. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the Fort Ord designation came from the Obama administration's "grassroots-based conservation agenda," in which local communities say what needs protecting and "we do what we can do to help." President Obama called the former Army base, where 1.5 million soldiers went through basic training during its 77 year history, "a world-class destination for hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the area's history and scenic landscapes." Using his authority under the Antiquities Act, the President chose Fort Ord as the second national monument he has created in his three years in office. In November 2011, President Obama first used the act to designate the Fort Monroe National Monument from a deactivated Army fort in Hampton, Virginia, a fort that, among other things, was a refuge for fugitive slaves during the Civil War.
 
BLM Grant Writing Workshop Held in Point Arena.  A variety of BLM partners on California's Mendocino Coast learned the nuts and bolts of grant writing in a workshop coordinated by the BLM from March 27-29, 2012, in Point Arena, California. Organized by BLM Ukiah coastal and gateways initiatives volunteer Cindy Oster, the workshop was an activity of the CCNM Point Arena Gateway Committee and was put on by the BLM National Training Center out of Phoenix, Arizona. A total of 30 students learned from instructors Pat Pinney, associate vice chancellor for rural, community and native education at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks; David Knight, a fundraising consultant; and Helene Aarons, a consultant and former BLM National Landscape Conservation System partnership coordinator. The session covered a range of topics including project planning, partner relationship building, funding resources, and grassroots resources. The students worked in teams on building actual grant proposals by writing grant objectives, describing project needs, and developing project budgets. Workshop participants represented diverse agencies and organizations including the City of Point Arena, various conservation groups, local resource management agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The BLM partners with agencies on the Mendocino Coast in gateway committees for the California Coastal National Monument and in the management of the Stornetta Public Lands near Point Arena. BLM Ukiah Field Office Manager Rich Burns added that, “All those who attended mentioned what a great opportunity this was and really hoped we would do this again.” [See photos of the event in News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 525, 04/04/2012]
 
 
Twilight Tour Marks Piedras Blancas Light Station 137th Birthday.  A twilight tour on February 18, 2012, marked the 137th anniversary of the Piedras Blancas Light Station. The tour featured guides and assistants in 1909-era attire, historic enactments and sunset viewing. The twilight tour also celebrated completion of the first phase of lighthouse restoration -- removing the old, discolored lead-based paint. Visitors delighted in seeing the lighthouse gleaming bright, with a fresh coat of white paint.
 
Piedras Blancas is located on California's central coast, just north of San Simeon. The point is named for a white rock out cropping (now part of the California Coastal National Monument) located just off the end of the point. In the 1866, this location was chosen to fill the gap between the lighthouses at Point Conception and Point Sur. The Piedras Blancas Light Station was completed in 1875. The original tower was 100 feet tall and housed a first-order Fresnel lens. In 1876, a two-story Victorian-style dwelling and a storage building were added. Piedras Blancas Light Station was operated by U.S. Lighthouse Service until 1939 when the Coast Guard assumed command. The tower sustained structural damage, and new technology eventually replaced many of the functions of the lightkeepers with automated equipment. The Coast Guard subsequently relinquished control and management of the Piedras Blancas Light Station to the Bureau of Land Management on Oct. 12, 2001. On May 8, 2008, the Congress designated the Piedras Blancas Light Station an Outstanding Natural Area and included as part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
 
Although currently there are no plans for more twilight tours, public day-time tours of the Piedras Blancas Light Station continue to be offered. From September 1 through June 14, tours are offered on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10 a.m. From June 15 through August 31, tours are offered Monday - Saturday at 10 am. There are no tours on federal holidays. Tours last two hours and feature the historic lighthouse, support buildings, wildlife, plants, and spectacular coastal scenery (including offshore rocks that are part of the California Coastal National Monument) along an easy half-mile interpretive trail. For all tours, meet at the former Piedras Blancas Motel, located 1½ miles north of the light station at 9:45 am. (Don’t wait at the gate to the lighthouse). The tour price is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6 -17, no fee for children 5 and under. Reservations are not required for tours of less than 10 people. For groups of 10 or more please call (805) 927-7361 or e-mail PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com. Tours may be cancelled due to inclement weather. [See photos of the tour in News.bytes at www.blm.gov/ca/news/newsbytes, Issue 520, 03/02/2012]
 
Piedras Blancas Light Station Restoration Phase 1 Completed.  A large crowd gathered at the base of the lighthouse stairs at the Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area, on February 29, 2012, to cheer the official ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the re-opening of the tour within the tower. The lighthouse tower had been closed while the structure was being painted. The Light Station was 137 years old on February 15, 2012. This was a grand way to celebrate 10 years of work completed by the BLM and to switch the focus to the next phase, restoring the upper levels of the tower. This evening event was attended by newly appointed BLM Associate State Director Angie Lara, Acting BLM Central California District Manager Paul Bannister, BLM Bakersfield Field Manager Tim Smith, Associate Field Manager John Skibinski, Piedras Blancas Site Manager Jim Boucher, and a host of invited volunteers. 
 
Job Opportunities at Piedras Blancas ONA & CCNM Discussed at Cal Poly Joint Advisory Council Meeting.  The Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Advisory Council Meeting along with 2012 College of Agriculture Food and Environmental Sciences Joint Advisory Councils Meeting were held at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), in San Luis Obispo, California, on March 15, 2012. The BLM was represented at this joint advisory councils meeting by John Skibinski, BLM Bakersfield Assistant Field Manager. For many years, Skibinski has served as the BLM representative on the Cal Poly Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Advisory Council. The meeting included discussions concerning changes to the educational programs for students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science and an opportunity to meet the current University President Jeffrey Armstrong. Skibinski also had opportunities to discuss potential jobs for students at both the BLM’s Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area and the California Coastal National Monument.
 
Reminder: CCNM Office Has Moved to Santa Cruz -- New CCNM Mailing Address & New Telephone Numbers.  As a reminder to all, the California Coastal National Monument office has moved from Monterey to Santa Cruz. As announced in the previous CCNM Update (see CCNM Update, December 20, 2011, p. 9), the CCNM is now 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, California. 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. Although the mailing address is a Natural Bridges Drive address (See below), the entrance is at 2801 Mission Street on the north side of the building. The CCNM office is M-131, located in the middle of the USGS office complex. Once you are buzzed into the building, you will have to ask for directions to find it.
 
The new mailing address and telephone numbers for the CCNM office are as follows:
 
California Coastal National Monument
USDI Bureau of Land Management
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
 
General CCNM Phone:      (831) 421-9546
CCNM Manager’s Phone:  (831) 421-9430
CCNM Fax Number:          (831) 427-4748
 
Also, the BLM has dropped the “ca” from its e-mail addresses. Therefore, the CCNM e-mail addresses are as follows:
 
CCNM General E-Mail: ccnm@blm.gov
CCNM Manager Rick Hanks: hhanks@blm.gov
 
CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls & Events.  During the time period covered by this CCNM Update (i.e., December 20, 2011 through April 30, 2012), 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:
 
  • Conference call regarding draft CCNM Priorities Plan & other related projects (Rick Hanks, Marcia deChadenedes & Jim Weigand), December 30, 2011 
  • Tour of CCNM partners & rocks of Monterey Peninsula for BLM Director Bob Abbey (Rick Cooper, Erik Zaborsky, Mike Westphal & Andrew Breaux), Pacific Grove & Pebble Beach, CA, January 12, 2012 
  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Committee (Leisyka Parrott & Chris Heppe), Trinidad, CA, January 20, 2012 
  • Tour with BLM Director Bob Abbey, Acting Deputy Director Neil Kornze, California State Director Jim Kenna, et al. of Cypress-Abbey Property next to BLM Stornetta Public Lands & adjoining CCNM (Hanks, Rich Burns & Alice Vigil), Point Arena, CA, January 25, 2012 
  • CCNM Collaborative Partnership MOU signing ceremony with City of Fort Bragg, Caspar Community, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association & Fort Bragg-Mendocino Historical Society (Hanks, Burns & Cindy Oster), Fort Bragg, CA, January 27, 2012 
  • Conference call with PRBO Conservation Science seabird monitoring coordinator Dan Robinette re: Seabird Protection Network Point Sur to Point Mugu Chapter Year 2 funding (Hanks, Eric Morgan & Kelly Cole), February 1, 2012 
  • Meeting with BLM California State Director Jim Kenna re: updating CCNM Core-Managing Partnership MOU & drafting MOU to cover BLM & California Natural Resources Agency coastal collaboration (Hanks, Angie Lara, Cindy Staszak, Mark Conley, Bob Wick & Cathi Bailey), Sacramento, CA, February 2, 2012 
  • Monthly conference call with BLM National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) Washington Office re: BLM California & BLM Nevada NLCS activities (Hanks), February 6, 2012 
  • Webinar re: Grant Writing -- “The Case for Support” (Hanks), February 7, 2012
  • Conference call re: CCNM Share Point site development (Hanks, deChadenedes, Josh Hammari & Jeff Graham), February 16, 2012 
  • Conference call re: Japan Tsunami Debris Update (Hanks), February 23, 2012 
  • Official Ribbon cutting ceremony to mark Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area re-opening of tours within lighthouse tower (Angie Lara, Paul Bannister, Tim Smith, John Skibinski & Jim Boucher), San Simeon, CA, February 29, 2012 
  • CCNM booth at “Whale of a Day” at Point Vicente Interpretive Center (Hanks, Barbara Croonquist, Jennifer Wohlgemuth & volunteers), Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, March 3, 2012 
  • Meeting with NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program West Coast Regional Director Bill Douros re: BLM & California National Marine Sanctuaries coordination update & possible CCNM collaborative partnership MOU revision (Hanks), Monterey, CA, March 7, 2012 
  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Committee (Parrott & Lynda Roush), Trinidad, CA, March 9, 2012 
  • BLM booth at Los Angeles Environmental Education Fair & disseminated brochures & information re: CCNM (Croonquist & volunteers), Arcadia, CA, March 10, 2012 
  • Monterey Bay National Heritage Area Alliance Steering Committee Monthly Meeting (Hanks & Breaux), Marina, CA, March 12, 2012 
  • Submitted How to Use Binoculars and Bird Time Budget articles to Green Teacher magazine, (Tracy Albrecht), March 12, 2012 
  • Meeting of CCNM Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway Committee (Hanks, Burns, Roush, Oster & Jeff Fontana), Fort Bragg, CA, March 14, 2012 
  • Meeting of Trinidad Bay Watershed Council (Parrott), Trinidad, CA, March 14, 2012 
  • Meeting with California State Parks Mendocino District Superintendent Loren Rex re: CCNM Gateways (Hanks), Mendocino, CA, March 15, 2012 
  • Meeting with City of Point Arena Vice Mayor Doug Burkey & City Administrator/City Clerk Hunter Alexander re: CCNM Point Arena Gateway kiosk & Cypress Abbey Phase 1 acquisition (Hanks), Point Arena, CA, March 15, 2012 
  • Meeting with BLM Hollister Field Office staff re: Point Piños & temporary protection (Hanks, Cooper, Zaborsky, Breaux & Peter Fonken), Hollister, CA, March 20, 2012 
  • Sent Wilder Ranch State Park (Santa Cruz County) CCNM brochures & State Park interpreters included information re: CCNM in their geology docent training (Croonquist), March 24, 2012 
  • Field trip of Humboldt State University (HSU) recreation planning class with Dr. Steve Martin to Trinidad Head with CCNM Trinidad Gateway representatives including Trinidad Museum President Patti Fleschner (Parrott), Trinidad, CA, March 27, 2012 
  • BLM National Training Center Grant Writing Workshop coordinated by BLM Ukiah Field Office (Oster), Point Arena, CA, March 27-29, 2012 
  • Activity area at Orange County Children’s Water Festival -12 classes of 3rd to 5th graders played “Look Who’s Rockin” Bingo & disseminated CCNM posters & brochures to teachers (Croonquist & Tracy Albrecht), Yorba Linda, CA, March 28-29, 2012 
  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Committee (Roush & Parrott), Winterhaven, CA, March 30, 2012 
  • Monterey Bay National Heritage Area Alliance Steering Committee Monthly Meeting (Hanks), Marina, CA, April 9, 2012 
  • Meeting of Trinidad Bay Watershed Council (Parrott), April 10, 2012 
  • BLM booth at “Get to Know Your Wild Neighbors” at Griffith Park Observatory & disseminated CCNM brochures (Croonquist & volunteers), Los Angeles, CA, April 14, 2012 
  • CCNM booth at Children’s Fun Day (Whale Day) at Leo Carrillo State Park (Wohlgemuth & volunteers), Malibu, CA, April 14, 2012 
  • Meeting with City of Pacific Grove Public Works Director Mike Zimmer re: seasonal protection needs for Harbor Seal pupping & Black Oystercatcher nesting at Point Piños (Hanks), Pacific Grove, CA, April 17, 2012           
  • BLM booth at California Trails & Greenways Conference - made contacts & disseminated CCNM brochures (Croonquist & Hammari), Woodland Hills, CA, April 18-20, 2012 
  • BLM booth at Naval Support Activity Monterey 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration (Breaux & Mike Chiodin), Monterey, CA, April 19, 2012 
  • Field trip of 47 Jacoby Creek School first graders & their parents to local CCNM rocks, Trinidad Head & HSU Marine Lab (Parrott), April 23, 2012 
  • On-site meeting with BLM, City of Pacific Grove, California Department of Fish & Game, & NOAA Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary re: discussion of seasonal protection options for Harbor Seal pupping & Black Oystercatcher nesting at Point Piños (Hanks, Cooper, Zaborsky & Breaux), Pacific Grove, CA, April 24, 2012 
  • Meeting of CCNM Trinidad Gateway Interpretation Sub-Group re: implementation of CCNM Trinidad Gateway strategic plan’s interpretive priorities (Roush & Parrott), Arcata, CA, April 25, 2012


 Contact Information.  

Any questions, comments, or requests for additional information? Contact Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, at:


Bureau of Land Management
California Coastal National Monument
20 Hamilton Court
Hollister, CA 95023-2535
Phone: (831) 630-5006
fax: (831) 630-5055
Contact us by e-mail


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