Public Comments on Draft RMP/Draft EIS Analyzed. Jones & Stokes Associates (JSA) has analyzed the comments received during the 90-day public comment period for the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP)/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM). The comment period ended on December 16, 2004. We received more than 185 letters, e-mails, and response forms. From these, JSA has identified approximately 600 comments and summarized them in a table format. Three key issues were reiterated in a large number of comments. These are: 1) BLM jurisdiction (Comments expressed concern that management actions proposed in the various alternatives extend outside of BLM jurisdiction); 2) sensitive site characterization (Comments expressed the opinion that characterization of sensitive sites should dictate management actions, including potential restrictions on use), and 3) recreational access (Numerous comments, generally from Recreational Fishing Alliance members and supporters, expressed concern about the RMP’s potential impacts on recreational fishing and other water-based activities around the monument). For these three issues, master responses will be prepared, rather than preparing individual responses to each comment. All other comments will receive individual responses. Of these, JSA has identified seventeen substantive issues to be addressed. These issues are: 1) commercial fishing impacts, 2) economic impacts of fishing, 3) coordination with Marine Life Protection Act initiative, 4) law enforcement, 5) Native American rights/lands, 6) public education, 7) public outreach, 8) research permits/priority, 9) transportation, 10) intertidal species, 11) invasive species, 12) cultural resources, 13) definition of CCNM, 14) future revisions of RMP, 15) military and U.S. Coast Guard access, 16) off-shore oil/gas exploration, and 17) shipwrecks. The responses to all of these issues will be included in the Proposed RMP/Draft EIS that will be released for public review in the Spring of 2005.
Core Team Established to Oversee the Completion CCNM RMP. The CCNM Manager Rick Hanks set up a core team to oversee the development of the RMP for the CCNM. The specific purpose of the RMP core team is to ensure that the document accomplishes the following: 1) meets the needs for of the BLM; 2) addresses the concerns of the other two core-managing partners- -California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR); 3) incorporates the input from the “cooperating agencies”; 4) accommodates a collaborative approach with all current and potential partners; 5) is understandable to the general public; and 6) provides the basic framework and direction for the implementation and management of the CCNM for the next 10 to 20 years. The core team consists of representatives from each of the five BLM California coastal field offices, the BLM California State Office (CASO), and the two core-managing partners. The team members are the CCNM Manager; Eli Ilano, CASO; Bob Wicks, BLM Arcata Field Office (FO); Gary Sharpe, BLM Ukiah FO; Sky Murphy, BLM Hollister FO; John Skibinski, BLM Bakersfield FO; Greg Hill, BLM Palm Springs/South Coast FO; Marija Vojkovich, DFG; and Dave Schaub, DPR. After two conference calls, the core team met in Sacramento on January 18 and 19, 2005, to discuss the development of the Proposed RMP and review each program area with JSA. The core team will continue to oversee the RMP development until the Approved RMP is sent to the printer.
Initiating Planning for the First “CCNM Gateways”. With the completion of the CCNM RMP less than a year away, plans are being developed to begin the implementation of the first five “CCNM Gateways”, one in each of the five BLM coastal field offices, within the first year or so following the completion of the RMP. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks is working with Steve Razo, BLM California Desert District’s external affairs chief, to develop some of the key actions and documents needed to initiate a CCNM Gateway. CCNM Gateways are sections of the California coast that will serve as visitor contact points or portals for the CCNM. These are areas, towns, cities, communities, or various locations that are ideal for providing visitor information and services, and have the infrastructure and interest in serving in this capacity. It is also the vehicle to establish a local “flavor” for a specific portion of the CCNM and provide local stewardship. For each CCNM Gateway, the following steps should be conducted: 1) identification and initiation of the key local partnerships; 2) development of an initial implementation/marketing plan; 3) identification, enhancement, and/or development of the initial infrastructure for interpretation and visitor contact; 4) development of visitor contact information and media packets; 5) plan for and carrying-out a roll-out ceremony; and 6) begin implementation. The first five CCNM Gateways that are currently being considered are Piedras Blancas (Bakersfield FO), Point Arena (Ukiah FO), Shelter Cove/Lost Coast (Arcata FO), Palos Verdes Peninsula (Palm Spring/South Coast FO), and Monterey Peninsula (Hollister FO).
Meeting Held to Review California Department of Game & Fish’s Draft RMP/EIS Comments. On December 7, 2004, BLM and DFG met at the DFG headquarters in Sacramento to discuss DFG’s concerns regarding the Draft RMP/Draft EIS and the remaining RMP process. Representing DFG were Sonke Mastrup, Deputy Director, Wildlife & Inland Fisheries; Marija Vojkovich, Marine Region Assistant Manager; and Paul Kelly, Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) wildlife biologist. Representing BLM were Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager; Paul Brinks, CASO National Landscape Conservation System coordinator; and Eli Ilano, CASO planning and environmental coordinator. Jones & Stokes, the RMP project contractors, were represented by Principal Mike Rushton and Project Manager Michael Stevenson. Hanks opened the meeting with a brief summary of the CCNM DRMP status, public comment period, comment analysis process, and the plans to complete the Proposed RMP/Final EIS and the Approved RMP/Record of Decision (ROD). Mastrup stated DFG’s position and discussed jurisdictional issues and ways the RMP can be crafted to help solve public perception problems and not add to them. He added that DFG recognizes that we are dealing with a “multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency beast” and that we can use the RMP to describe what BLM’s roll is in “the whole picture”, as well as the role of DFG and that of our other core-managing partner, DPR (i.e., “partners helping each other”).
CCNM Manager Tours San Nicolas & San Clemente Islands with the Navy. In order to review CCNM features that may be associated with San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island, obtain an understanding of the Navy’s activities on and around both islands, and assess how these activities might affect the CCNM, the U.S. Navy provided CCNM Manger Rick Hanks tours of both islands. Under the administration of the U.S. Navy, San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands are the two southern most islands of the eight Channel Islands off of southern California. There are some rocks and exposed reefs offshore of each of these islands that are technically within the jurisdiction of the CCNM. Flying out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Point Mugu in Ventura County on December 15, 2004, Hanks toured San Nicolas Island with Alex Stone, NAVAIR Weapons Division Sea Range environmental coordinator; Tony Parisi, Head of NAVAIR Readiness Sustainability office, and Steve Schwartz, San NicoIas Island environmental manager. On January 26, 2005, Hanks flew out of NAS North Island in San Diego and toured San Clemente Island. The Navy representatives on the San Clemente Island tour were CAPT Townsend G. Alexander, Commanding Officer of Naval Base Coronado (which includes NAS North Island and Naval Air Facility San Clemente Island); CDR Robert Lockerby, Naval Air Facility San Clemente Island Commanding Officer; LCDR Mary Reismeier, Naval Region Southwest (NRSW) environmental counsel; Tom Soden of Southern California Offshore Range coordinator; Dr. Andy Yatsko, NRSW cultural resources program manager; and Janet Townsend, NRSW environmental coordinator. Both of these islands are, and will continue to be, critical to a wide variety of Navy and Department of Defense (DOD) operations. The Navy also has a very active on-going natural and cultural resources management program with a variety of on-site professionals on both islands. As a result of the tour, BLM and the Navy are, as an interim step, pursuing the development of an arrangement where the Navy would serve as the “Steward” for any portion of the CCNM that may be within one nautical mile off the shoreline of San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands. For the long-term, BLM and Navy would like to clear up any ownership question regarding any rocks off of the immediate coastline of San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands by having “all unappropriated and unreserved islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles” within one nautical mile of the coastline of the two islands being transferred to DOD. Ways to accomplish this objective will need to be pursued.
CCNM, CCNM Corridor, & CCNM Planning Area. The public comment period indicated that there is a need to more clearly distinguish between the CCNM and the area within which the CCNM is located as delineated by the Presidential Proclamation. Therefore, at the CCNM RMP Core Team meeting in September, the core team identified three terms to distinguish the CCNM from the area delineated by the proclamation, as well as the area to which the CCNM RMP applies. These three terms are as follows:
- CCNM - The rocks, the more than 20,000 rocks (i.e., portion above mean high tide) that make up the CCNM.
- CCNM Corridor - The 14,600 square nautical mile area (i.e., mean high tide out 12 nautical miles) off the shoreline of the State of California, as delineated by Presidential Proclamation Number 7264 that established the CCNM.
- CCNM Planning Area - The CCNM Corridor plus the California Coastal Commission’s coastal zone. It is within the “coastal zone” that the CCNM will have its CCNM Gateways and its interpretive/educational locations.
CCNM Manager’s Meetings. Over the past three months, the CCNM Manager attended a variety of meetings, met with a number of individuals, and discussed various aspects of the CCNM and/or the RMP processes. Some of the key meetings, not addressed above are listed below:
- CCNM socio-cultural aspects and field visit of CCNM Monterey Peninsula, Rob Winthrop, BLM Washington Office senior social scientist (with Kate Winthrop, BLM Washington Office fire archaeologist) November 23, 2004
- USDI Minerals Management Service (MMS) re: collaborative partnership, John Romero, public affairs officer & outreach coordinator, MMS Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Regional Office, Camarillo, December 16, 2004
- U.S. Congressional District 17 re: CCNM Update, Congressman Sam Farr, Salinas, January 7, 2005
- Lost Coast CCNM Gateway & King Range National Conservation Area (KRNCA) tidepool management, Gary Pritchard-Peterson, KRNCA Manager & Carol Sullivan, KRNCA outdoor recreation planner, at BLM California Recreation & NLCS Workshop, Bakersfield, January 11, 2005
- Rancho Palos Verdes re: Palos Verdes Peninsula CCNM Gateway, Holly Starr, Recreation Services Manager, City of Rancho Palos Verdes, January 24, 2005
- CDFG-OSPR’s Science Field Operations Group annual meeting, presentation re: CCNM, San Diego, January 25, 2005
- BLM California Desert District, re: Palos Verdes Peninsula CCNM Gateway, Steve Razo, Deputy District Manager, Outreach Division, California Desert District, Moreno Valley, January 26, 2005
- PRBO Conservation Science re: CCNM seabird conservation initiative, Bill Sydeman, Marine Ecology Division Chief; Christina Abraham, seabird biologist; & Julie Thayer, seabird biologist, Stinson Beach, February 9, 2005
- Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Central Coast planning workshop, Santa Cruz, February 16, 2005
- MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force briefings, Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, & Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, February 22, 2005
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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California Coastal National Monument:
A partnership in protecting unique California coastal resources
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