California Coastal National Monument
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March 20, 2004


CCNM Mission & Vision Statements Finalized for Use in RMP. The mission and vision statements for the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) have been put in a final form so they can be used in the CCNM Resource Management Plan (RMP). In addition, a series of five bullet statements regarding “What is the CCNM?” have been developed in order to enhance the mission and vision statements and focus on the key points that make up the CCNM. The mission, vision, and bullet statements are as follows:

Mission: To protect and foster an appreciation for and a stewardship of California’s unique coastal resources through cooperation, collaboration, and partnerships.

Vision: The CaliforniaCoastalNational Monumentis a catalyst for protecting and fostering an appreciation and stewardship for coastal ecosystems and their biological, physical, and cultural components by bringing together communities, agencies, organizations, academic institutions, and publics.

Bullets Statements: “What is the CaliforniaCoastalNational Monument?”

·  A string of more than 20,000 rocks, small islands, exposed reefs, and pinnacles that runs the  entire length of the Californiacoastline

·  Overwhelming beauty and magnificent scenery, providing a unified landscape that defines the western edge of California

·  A unique biological and geological treasure, rich in biodiversity, and providingessential habitat for many species

·  Irreplaceable scientific values vital to protecting the fragile ecosystems of the California coastline

·  A partnership in protecting unique Californiacoastal resources

In initiating the development of the Draft RMP for the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM), Jones & Stokes, the contractor preparing the CCNM RMP, raised the point that it would be helpful if there were a mission statement for the CCNM. Since there was (1) a draft vision statement created by BLM California managers and resource specialists at a CCNM December 2000 meeting in Sacramento, (2) a CCNM “tag line” (i.e., CCNM: “A Partnership in Protecting Unique California Coastal Resources”) that was developed for the CCNM dedication in May 2002, and (3) five bullets statements addressing “What is the CCNM?” and developed for use on the display at the November 2003 partnership conference in L.A., these were all used in finalizing the mission, vision, and bullet statements. 

As a quick explanation, a “mission statement” is usually a simple, single sentence encapsulating the main purpose of an organization or an entity, the more concise the better. On the other hand, a “vision statement” is a statement of what an organization sees itself being in the future (i.e., what it’s working towards becoming). Although the organization may not be there yet, the vision statement is written in the “present tense” as if it is functioning that way now. By the way, a “tag line” is a “motto” or an often repeated phrase associated with an individual, organization, or commercial product (i.e., it’s something “tagged” onto the end of something).

The “What is the CCNM?” bullet statements are brief phrases intended to cover the key points that make the CCNM what it is.  As much as practical, wording or phrases from the Presidential Proclamation establishing the CCNM were used. The first bullet states physically what the CCNM is (i.e., it’s rocks!) and where it is located. The second bullet links directly with first sentence and paragraph of the Presidential Proclamation, and ends with a phrase from the visual resource management section of the Management Situation Analysis prepared for the CCNM. The third bullet focuses on why the rocks are important, while the fourth bullet is a direct quote from the Presidential Proclamation and links the CCNM directly with the ecosystems of which it is an integral part. The fifth bullet is the tag line and emphasizes that the CCNM is nothing if it is not a partnership initiative.

1st Administrative Draft RMP/Draft EIS Prepared for Internal Review. The first Administrative Draft RMP/Draft EIS for the CCNM will be completed and available for BLM’s internal review by April 5, 2004. A meeting to brief the BLM California State Director and the BLM coastal field office managers is set for April 6, 2004. Shortly after this briefing, the Administrative Draft RMP/Draft EIS will be review by the entire CCNM RMP Interdisciplinary (ID) Team and made available to the CCNM agency and organization contacts. The Draft RMP/Draft EIS is scheduled to be released for a 90-day public review period by July 9, 2004. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS is scheduled to be available to the public by April 2005 and the Final RMP and Record of Decision should be signed by July 2005.

CCNM Sub-Units Developed. The CCNM Manager has divided the entire CCNM into 36 "sub-units." These 36 sub-units are intended to be the smallest initial division of the CCNM for planning and management purposes. The intent was to avoid creating so many sub-units that they become unwieldy but not to have so few sub-units that it would be difficult to differentiate between them. The sub-units divide the coast primarily on the basis of the presence or absence of rocks, segmenting like sections of the coast and clusters of rocks into a sub-unit. At a minimum, the sub-units provide a means to distinguish one segment of the CCNM from another. Each sub-unit has been provided an initial rating based on its physical (i.e., number, size, and uniqueness), biological (i.e., resource values, e.g., seabird & pinniped colonies), and cultural (i.e., scenic values, interpretive possibilities, & partnership opportunities) attributes and then ranked on a scale from 0 to 5 (with 5 as the highest). In addition, a signal sub-unit was identified as the "Primary Priority" and from one to three "Secondary Priority" sub-units for each of the five BLM coastal field offices. These sub-units have been entered in the GIS data base and will be used in the RMP.

J.P. Harrington’s Manuscript & Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Visit. In January, the CCNM Manager visited John Johnston, Curator of Anthropology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, to review the museum’s microfilm copy of John P. Harrington’s 1947 manuscript titled “Ocean Projecting Rocks and Islands of the Coast of California.” The manuscript is part of “The Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957,” on file in the National Anthropological Archives in Washington, D.C. The first portion of the microfilm consists of copies of Harrington’s handwritten field notes, much of which are a single sentence on a sheet of paper or notes on his various informants’ words for specific places or things not necessarily related to coastal rocks and islands. The manuscript itself is a typed preliminary draft of a paper prepared for publication, possibly by the Bureau of American Ethnology or the Heye Foundation, but was never published. There is a fair amount of ethnographic place name references related to the Channel Islands, but most of the references to other rocks and islets are location information and names that can be found on current maps and are not ethnographic references. Nevertheless, it will be well worth the effort to obtain a copy of the manuscript if for no other reason than for BLM records and to give BLM staffers the opportunity to review the entire document. With the assistance of BLM’s Ukiah Field Office, the CCNM is in the process of purchasing the microfilm reel (Reel 15, Papers of JP Harrington, Part 8, cat. no. 690570-015) for use by BLM and its partners.

CCNM on Cover of Sunset Magazine. The CCNM is on the cover of the February 2004 Sunset magazine (at least the California version) related to an article on the "20 Best Seaside Getaways." The magazine, unfortunately, does not reference the CCNM, but it is on the cover nonetheless. The cover photo was taken from the ocean side of a bed and breakfast (B&B) in Elk (our "poster child") looking out onto the rocks and sea stacks, including the large arched sea stack in Greenwood Cove. The cover photo reference says, "The Harbor House Inn (page 81) affords breathtaking views of Northern California's rugged Mendocino coastline." The magazine's article is titled "The West's 20 Best Seaside Inns" and lists five locations in British Columbia and Washington, five in Oregon, five in Southern California, and five in Northern California. Of the five in Northern California, three have views of the CCNM (two in Elk and one in Gualala). Again, there is no mention of the CCNM but in the brief write-up for the two Elk locations both mention Greenwood State Beach as an added feature (Note: Greenwood State Beach and its visitor center/museum in the old headquarters for a timber company that shipped logs and lumber from the cliffs and rocks of Elk, is one of the dozen priority California State Parks units BLM is considering under its partnership with California Department of Parks & Recreation). The Harbor House Inn write-up says, "From the garden, there are stunning views of an arched rock and sea stacks." The other Elk B&B is the Elk Cove Inn. In its write-up, the magazine article identified Point Arena Lighthouse, located 17 miles south of Elk, as a "nearby treat."

Of the five inns in Southern California, there are two inns that most likely have a view of BLM rocks as well. These are the Blue Lantern Inn at Dana Point and the Beachcomber Motel in San Clemente.  From Dana Point, the San Juan Rocks are visible and from San Clemente, the San Mateo Rocks can be seen. However, since both of these Orange County rock clusters are still under two 1930s Congressional withdrawals, they may still be under BLM administration but they are not now part of the CCNM (Congress would have to remove the two "temporary withdrawals" before any Orange County coastal rocks can be included in the CCNM).

BLM Invited to Participate in Coastal America. The BLM, through the CCNM, was invited to serve as a member of Coastal America’s Southwest Region Implementation Team (SWRIT) that involves the California coast. This invitation followed a conference call between the CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and Jim Colby, Coastal America Deputy Director for Regional Programs in Washington, DC, and the Co-Chairs for Coastal America’s SWRIT Paul Michel (U.S. EPA’s Southwest Water Projects Manager) and CDR Steve Thompson (NOAA’s San Francisco Bay Project & Navigation Manager) where the partnership opportunities associated with the CCNM and the role of Coastal America were discussed. Coastal America is a unique partnership formalized in 1992 with a memorandum of understanding signed by nine sub-cabinet level Federal agency representatives. They committed their agency to work together and integrate their efforts with State, local, and non-governmental activities. Within a goal to establish better management of coastal resources, they pledged to coordinate their statutory responsibilities and combine their resources and expertise.

Created because Federal agencies found it difficult to address complex coastal issues independently, the partnership now involves more than a dozen Federal departments, 250 State and local governments, and over 300 private business and organizations working together on more than 500 U.S. coastal projects. The Federal agencies include Interior, Commerce, Defense, Agriculture, Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Executive Office of the President. Deputy and Assistant Secretary level representatives of these agencies serve as Coastal America’s “Board of Directors.” This national Principals Group for Coastal America meets semiannually. In addition, there is a National Implementation Team made up of a senior national-level management staff member for each agency that meets at least monthly.  At the regional and local level, there are seven Regional Implementation Teams that meet quarterly and Local Project Implementation Teams that are formed to tackle the actual work.

The Coastal America process helps identify areas of overlapping mandates, authorities, policies, and objectives. It encourages cooperation in those overlapping areas and operates on the premise that if one agency identifies a project that needs group assistance, all agencies review their own mandates for applicable programs. Agencies with seemly disparate missions can seek common ground. Without encroaching upon any agency’s individual authority, the Coastal America process encourages collaboration. The strategy is a simple one: where there are common goals, join forces. Coastal America also works under the assumption that no new Federal funds are required. The collaborative process brokers skills and leverages funding to enhance problem solving and generate simultaneous State, local, and private efforts (including corporate partners) and funds. The partnership demonstrates that when Federal, State, local, and non-governmental entities do that, they accomplish what no organization could undertake alone.

The CCNM manager will be attending the SWRIT meeting on March 30, 2004, in San Francisco.

Meeting to Kick-Off Coastal Consistency Review with California Coastal Commission. On January 20, 2004, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and Jones & Stokes representatives Michael Stevenson (RMP Project Manager) and Maryann Hulsman (RMP Project Coordinator) met with California Coastal Commission (CCC’s) staffers Marina Cazorla, Environmental Specialist (& CCC’s CCNM contact) and Larry Simon, Coastal Program Analyst, met at the CCC office in San Francisco to discuss the consistency review requirement under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act. Jones & Stokes will be assisting BLM with the Federal Consistency Review process and Larry Simon has been assigned to serve as the CCC staffer to oversee this process for the CCNM RMP/EIS initiative. This appears to be the first Federal Consistency Review that basically involves the entire California coast.

CCNM Core-Managing Partner Coordinators Meeting. A meeting of the CCNM “core-managing” partner coordinators was held in Sacramento on January 29, 2004. Attending the meeting were BLM’s coordinator Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager; California Department of Fish and Game’s (CDFG’s) coordinator Marija Vojkovich, Assistant Marine Region Manager (and Offshore Ecosystem Coordinator); California Department of Parks and Recreation’s (CDPR’s) coordinator Dave Schaub, Natural Heritage Section Manager; Jack Mills, BLM California State Office’s Planning and Environmental Coordinator; and Jim Berry, CDPR Senior State Park Ecologist (and CDPR Representative on the RMP ID Team). In addition, Mike Rushton and Maryann Hulsman of Jones & Stokes attended the meeting.  Mike is the Principal for the BLM RMP Project and Maryann is the Project Coordinator. After being given a briefing on the status of the CCNM RMP process, the bulk of the meeting focused on the collaborative management aspect of the CCNM and the RMP.  The challenge of portraying the “total picture” of the management situation and the jurisdictional complexities associated with the CCNM to the public was discussed. It was recommended that the RMP should lay out some examples of how the collaboration will work and include a matrix of the various Federal and State laws, regulations, and codes that already apply to the protection of CCNM resources and the management of the CCNM.

BLM’s Northwest Resource Advisory Council Visits the Coast. The BLM’s Northwest Resource Advisory Council (RSC) participated in a field visit and meeting on the Mendocino County coast. On February 5, 2004, the Northwest RAC visited the CCNM at Elk and the Stornetta Ranch near Point Arena, held their meeting the next day at the Point Arena Light Station. Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, had the opportunity to provide the RAC with an introduction to the CCNM at Elk’s Cuffey Cove and discuss the CCNM with individual RAC members during lunch at Greenwood State Beach. During the RAC meeting, Hanks also briefed the RAC on the present status of the planning effort for the CCNM and the potential of using local partnership initiatives such as the Point Arena and Piedras Blancas Light Stations as CCNM nodes.

U.S. Coast Guard Hosts Seabird Disturbance Mitigation Work Group Meeting. Inquiries to the CCNM Manager from residents near Trinidad about a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) training exercise than disturbed the Common Murre breeding colony on Green Rock helped precipitate a work group meeting held on February 26, 2004. Sponsored by the USCG’s Pacific Area Operations Oversight group, the USCG invited BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program, and California Department of Fish and Game to meet with the USCG’s key aviation operation personnel to address over-flight disturbance concerns. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks represented BLM at the working group meeting. The group discussed ways of working together to develop initiatives that will minimize seabird disturbance but still allow the USCG to effectively and safely operate. The meeting’s outcome included (1) the identification of communication lines with the USCG, (2) initiation of the development of job-aids (e.g., providing USCG with electronic info regarding federally regulated no over-flight zones and protected or sensitive areas), (3) development of and presentation by the resource agencies of biannual briefings/training of USCG pilots and associated personnel, and (4) an open invitation by the USCG to the protected marine resource agencies to participate in “ride-alongs.”

PRBO Conference Call to Kickoff Assistance with Seabird Monitoring & Research.  As a follow-up the last CCNM RMP ID Team meeting, a conference call was setup with PRBO Conservation Science to discuss long-term seabird monitoring and research needs associated with the CCNM. PRBO, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to conserving birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems through innovative scientific research and outreach, is a formal CCNM “collaborative partner.” Conducted on March 10, 2004, the conference call participants included Bill Sydeman, PRBO Marine Ecology Division Director; Christine Abraham and Julie Thayer, PRBO seabird biologists; Paul Kelly, CDFG’s Office of Spill Prevention and Restoration (OSPR) seabird biologist (and CDFG representative on the CCNM RMP ID Team); Ron LaValley, Mad River Biologists senior biologist (and ID Team member); Mike Rushton, Jones & Stokes Associates Principal for the CCNM RMP contact (and ID Team Chair); Aaron King, NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas Center marine researcher (and working half-time with the CCNM on developing site characterization approach); and Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager. It was agreed that inventory, protection, monitoring, and research were key elements in discussing seabirds and the CCNM. In order for the CCNM actions to effectively provide protection to seabirds, the initial priority needs to be on inventory and monitoring, including repeating the 10-year surveys, addressing the data gaps (e.g., information on burrowing and nocturnal seabirds use of the CCNM), and establishing inventory and monitoring protocols. Protocols that are simple to do, can be done by a variety of people (including local BLM personnel), and are repeatable are needed. Attention will be paid to using the RMP to provide priorities and possibly techniques to be used on the CCNM for inventory and monitoring, and maybe even serve as a template for others to use as well.

CCNM Display at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Annual Currents Session. Accepted the invitation to staff a CCNM display at the Sanctuary Currents 2004 Symposium, sponsored by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and held at California State University-Monterey Bay in Seaside, California, on March 6, 2004, the CCNM Manager took the opportunity to talk with a number of the 300 attendees.  This year’s symposium theme was “Clean Waters, Healthy Oceans.” About a dozen other marine and coastal related programs also provided staffed exhibits.

Regional Response Team IX Meeting at Monterey. Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, John Keys, California Desert District Hazmat Specialist, and Tim Moore, Hollister Field Office Hazmat Specialist, represented BLM at the Region IX Regional Response Team (RRT) Meeting held in Monterey, California, from March 16 through 18, 2004. The RRT is chaired by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with U.S. Department of the Interior, Federal Emergency Management Administration, California Office of Emergency Services, CDFG’s OSPR, and other Federal and State agencies participate on the team. With the CCNM running the entire length of the California coast, the BLM has the opportunity to be an active participant with the RRT’s marine area committees. The BLM has been invited to serve as a “Multi-Agency Coordinating Group” participant in the up coming California Spill of National Significance (SONS) 2004 Exercise, an oil spill response exercise in the Southern California area. SONS 2004 is scheduled from April 19-23, 2004.

Papers on CCNM Website. Slightly revised versions of the two papers presented last fall by CCNM Manager Rick Hanks at two conferences have been added to the CCNM website. They can be found under “Articles of Interest” in the Table of Contents. These two papers include “Naming 20,000 Rocks? Challenges and Opportunities for Naming Rocks and Islands Along California’s Coast,” presented at the Council of Geographic Names Authorities in the United States 2003 annual meeting on September 30, 2003, at Pacific Grove, California, and “Rocks, Buttons, Ecosystems, and Partnerships: Developing a Management Approach for the California Coastal National Monument,” at the Sixth California Islands Symposium on December 3, 2003, in Ventura, California. The CCNM website can be found at

Catalina Island’s Offshore Rocks & Islets. In reviewing a recently released book on Santa Catalina Island, the CCNM Manager noted that it shed some light on the questions of whether or not there are any CCNM rocks around Santa Catalina Island. The book is Catalina Saga: An Historical Cruise Around Santa Catalina Island, written by Richard and Marjorie Buffum (Abracadabra Press, Balboa Island, CA, 2003). Based on the authors’ findings, there are no CCNM offshore rocks around Catalina Island. The authors state that this is documented in the Santa Catalina Island Company archives. In discussing Santa Catalina Island’s privately-owned Bird Rock (a.k.a. White Rock), the Buffum’s mentioned that in 1925, Henry Kirchmann Jr., and his colleagues Fred Morton and William Warrington, “discovered that the Wrigley’s title included all lands outside Avalon and all rocks and islets around the island, except for Bird Rock” (Bird Rock was held in Federal ownership by the General Land Office). The three partners acquired Bird Rock four years later (1929) using some old Valentine scrip.

What is the Definition of “Mean High Tide”? Various people have asked the question, “What is the definition of 'mean high tide?'" The Presidential Proclamation of January 11, 2000, establishing the CCNM uses the term "above mean high tide" but provides no definition. When California was ceded to the U.S. from Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, the Federal government had ownership of all of the land, including the offshore rocks and islands that were not part of a recognized land grant. However, since 1950 when Congress quitclaimed all the Federal interest in tideland and seabed areas 3 miles from the coastline to the states, "mean high tide" has been the delineating marker between submerged lands and surface ownership.  The States were given the jurisdiction from below the mean high tide line out 3 nautical miles, while the Federal government retained title to the area beyond the 3-mile limit. Nevertheless, the Federal government retained ownership of its holdings above mean high tide (i.e., from the shoreline out 12 nautical miles). Therefore, mean high tide has become the "jurisdictional boundary" marker along the coast. 

Although the Presidential Proclamation does not provide a definition, "mean high tide" is formally defined as the average height of the higher of two unequal daily high tides over a 19-year period. Due to the pull of the Sun and the Moon, two high tides per day are created and in California we experience a higher high tide and a lower high tide usually each day, with each tidal bulge (high tide) being about 50 minutes later each day. It is the height of the higher tide for each day that is averaged out over a 19-year period to determine the mean high tide for any given portion of the California coast. With over 1,100 miles of California coastline and a wide variety of exposures, there is no single mean high tide measurement for California. One could, however, take 19 years of daily tide table data for a specific portion of the California coastline and determine the mean high tide mark for that specific portion. 

This demonstrates why the CCNM can only be managed effectively through partnerships and a cooperative management approach. The boundaries between Federal, State, and local governmental and tribal jurisdictions, and even private ownership, are next to impossible to clearly delineate. Collectively, however, we can manage California's unique coastal resources.

Contact Information. Any questions, comments, or requests for additional information?  Contact Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940, telephone 831-372-6105, or e-mail at or

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California Coastal  National  Monument:

A partnership in protecting unique California coastal resources