City of Point Arena First Municipality to be CCNM Collaborative Partner in Gateway Initiative. On January 24, 2006, the Point Arena City Council passed a resolution to partner with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) related to the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) and serve as a CCNM Gateway for the Point Arena portion of the CCNM. As a follow-up, on March 7, 2006, Point Arena Mayor Leslie Dalhloff signed a CCNM Collaborative Partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU). With BLM California State Director Mike Pool signing the MOU on March 16, 2006, the City of Point Arena became the first municipality to partner with the BLM in the implementation of a "CCNM Gateway." "This is a key partnership in kicking-off the entire CCNM Gateway initiative," said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. "Point Arena provides a central location along the northern California coast, links neatly with the BLM's new Stornetta Public Lands Project, and demonstrates the important role that California coastal communities will play in the long-term success of the California Coastal National Monument," Hanks explained.
The Sea Ranch Association Signs On as a CCNM Steward. The Sea Ranch Association has become the CCNM's most recent "Steward." The Sea Ranch Association is a non-profit corporation of property owners that was established in 1965 to serve as "stewards for the conservation and enhancement of the environment and to administer The Sea Ranch affairs." "This is a great opportunity to involve a community that is very interested in the protection of their coastline and coastal resources," said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. The Sea Ranch Association Board of Directors authorized The Sea Ranch Community Manager John Fox to sign a Steward MOU with BLM, which he and the BLM California State Director Mike Pool signed in January 2006. Under the MOU, The Sea Ranch Association will serve as a steward for a 12-mile portion of the CCNM offshore of The Sea Ranch properties along the northern-most part of the Sonoma County coastline. Community Manager John Fox said that he was pleased "to bring The Sea Ranch into the family of CCNM Stewards."
Trinidad Museum Society to Help Develop the "CCNM Gateway" for Trinidad. The Trinidad Museum Society has become a CCNM Collaborative Partner to help BLM and its other partners to plan, develop, and implement a "CCNM Gateway" for the Trinidad portion of the CCNM and advance the understanding and protection of California's coastal and ocean resources and its users. In January of 2006, Trinidad Museum Society President Ned Simmons and BLM California State Director Mike Pool signed a MOU to formalize this partnership. Incorporated in 1983 as an education, non-profit corporation, the Trinidad Museum Society's mission is to enhance appreciation for the area's rich past. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and interpret material and information illustrative of the human and natural heritage of California north coast and increase public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the diverse cultural and natural history of the Trinidad region through collections, exhibits, and educational activities. This makes the Trinidad Museum Society a key partner in ensuring a successful CCNM Gateway initiative.
CCNM Overall Theme for Quarterly North Coast Strategic Partnership Coalition Meeting in Trinidad. The BLM Arcata Field Office and the Trinidad Rancheria co-hosted the January 17, 2006 meeting of the Strategic Partnership Coalition held at the Trinidad Rancheria's Sunset Restaurant in the Cher-Ae Heights Casino at Trinidad, California. The coalition consists of various Federal and State agencies and tribes associated with the north coast of California. Attended by over two dozen agency and tribal representatives, the meeting was kicked-off with a presentation by Dr. Kenneth Aalto, geology professor from Humboldt State University, on the geology of the offshore rocks and the instability of the coastal zone. Bob Wick, BLM planning and environmental specialist (and the Arcata Field Office's CCNM coordinator), gave a CCNM presentation highlighting the monument's background, planning effort, and initial implementation efforts, with emphasis on the CCNM Gateway initiative and the developing Trinidad partnerships. Karen Holmstrom, BLM Arcata Field Office GIS coordinator, provided large maps of the offshore coastal zone as visual aids for discussing the CCNM. Shirley Laos, Vice Chairperson of the Trinidad Rancheria, and Lori McKinnon, Yurok Tribe EPA Director, both gave overviews of their tribal involvement to date with the CCNM and stated that the two entities desire to work together to protect traditional uses and interpret CCNM resources. Ron LeValley, senior biologist for the consulting firm Mad River Biologists and the California coordinator for the Pacific Coast Joint Venture (PCJV), gave a presentation on the birds of the CCNM, emphasizing their sensitivity to human disturbance, and discussed how the PCJV can be used as a platform to make data accessible and user friendly to a wide range of users. Ron suggested that PCJV would provide a good forum for incorporating the data related to the offshore rocks managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Redwood National and State Parks, Smith River Rancheria, and others into the CCNM's site characterization effort in order to make it an all inclusive initiative. During the meeting, Shirley Laos and Greg Nesty, Trinidad Rancheria Environmental Program Coordinator (and Trinidad Rancheria CCNM liaison), mentioned that the Trinidad Rancheria is in the planning/funding phase of redesigning and reconstructing the Trinidad Pier and that the pier area and the tribe's adjoining Seascape Restaurant would be excellent locations for interpretive displays associated with the CCNM. BLM Arcata Field Office's Don Holmstrom, Amy Krause, Emily Evans, Nick Angeloff, and Marlene Gargaard also participated in the meeting.
Wick Represents CCNM at Initial Meetings for Northern California Coastal Conservation Needs Assessment. "Linking Land to Sea" is the label that has been placed on a one-year project under contract with the California State Coastal Conservancy to conduct a Northern California Coastal Conservation Needs Assessment. The Coastal Conservancy was awarded the contract by NOAA's Coastal Services Center (CSC). The Coastal Conservancy obtained the serves of the Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA) and Pacific Marine Conservation Council (PMCC) to assist with the project. The purpose of the project is to assess and document the specific needs of the northern California coastal area's conservation organizations for regional strategic coastal (marine and terrestrial) conservation planning and implementation in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties. Bob Wick, BLM planning and environmental specialist and the Arcata Field Office's CCNM coordinator, represented BLM and the CCNM at the initial kick-off meeting on January 18, 2006, with the project's advisory group, regional stakeholders, the Coastal Conservancy, and the CSC. Bob provided information on CCNM and other BLM northern California coastal conservation issues. He also attended the follow-up meeting on February 18, 2006, and will keep track of this project as it progresses.
CCNM Representatives Participate in California Pacific Coast Joint Venture Meeting. BLM Arcata Field Office's Amy Krause, Bob Wick, and Karen Holmstrom attended the California Pacific Coast Joint Venture meeting held in Arcata, CA, on January 24, 2006, and provided a briefing on the CCNM's background, planning, partnerships, and opportunities. The California Pacific Coast Joint Venture is the California portion of the larger Pacific Coast Joint Venture (PCJV). Coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the PCJV is a public-private partnership, focusing on the identification, protection, and restoration of the most important wetlands and associated upland and riparian habitats in coastal British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Northern California. The PCJV was created to implement the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and has since been expanded to include all native flora and fauna and the full range of habitats associated with the region's wetland ecosystems. The California PCJV includes Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, and Siskiyou Counties. More than a dozen partners are involved in the California PCJV including the FWS, California Department of Fish and Game, and the California State Coastal Conservancy. Other JV's in California include the San Francisco and Central Valley JVs. There are also JVs in Oregon and Washington State, Canada and Mexico. Over the last 5 years, over $4.5 million has been allocated for the acquisition and restoration of wetlands in Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties. Recently, partnership-sponsored projects at Big River and the Stornetta Ranch in Mendocino County were among those funded. Ron LeValley of Mad River Biologists has been contracted to serve as the California PCJV coordinator. As a follow-up to the CCNM presentation, it was proposed to form a Rocks and Islands Working Group facilitated by the California PCJV. A meeting is being planned for May of 2006 in order to establish this working group.
Julie Anne Delgado Named CCNM Resource Protection & Partnership Coordinator. Julie Anne Delgado, a 20-year BLM veteran in natural resource conservation, has been named the resource protection and partnership coordinator for the CCNM. In her new position, Delgado will oversee resource protection initiatives and help coordinate partnership activities for the National Monument. She begins working from the CCNM headquarters office in Monterey in early April. "Julie Anne brings a wealth of experience working in the BLM's multiple-use venue and working with variety of public land partnership initiatives," said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks. "Combining this with her professional expertise, her passion for collaborative resource management, and her interest in the protection of California's coastal region, we have the right fit for this position."Delgado began her career with BLM in wildlife and resource protection through the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP) working in the Folsom Field Office, and completing the program in conservation biology and botany in the BLM office in Susanville, California.She has spent the past seven years as the botanist for the BLM Hollister Field Office, working on a variety of projects and activities throughout central California. She holds a bachelor's degree in environmental science from California State University Fresno and a master's degree in conservation biology and ecology from San Francisco State University.
Greg Thomsen to Serve as CCNM's Southern California Representative. In order to provide the CCNM Manager with needed assistance related to the implementation of the CCNM Resource Management Plan (RMP), California Desert District's Project Manager Greg Thomsen will add the CCNM to his project responsibilities. Greg will serve as the Southern California representative for the monument. As part of this role, he will represent the BLM's Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office Manager in the implementation of the CCNM Gateway initiative for Palos Verdes Peninsula and coordinate, as appropriate, with the field office staff. In addition, Greg will help the CCNM Manager with a variety of opportunities and tasks associated with the CCNM, including working with interested coastal communities, investigating various partnership opportunities, and developing links with existing initiatives.
Brad Damitz Leaves CCNM & Federal Position. Brad Damitz, a BLM employee on the CCNM staff and detailed to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, has resigned his federal position to enable him to live full-time with his wife in their new home in San Rafael, CA. Brad has worked for over two years on a BLM term-appointment. For the near future, Brad will be hired as a consultant by the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation to work on a project for the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
BLM Tours Possible CCNM Gateway Venue at Rancho Palos Verdes. On February 24, 2006, a BLM delegation was provided a behind the scene tour of the new Point Vincente Visitor Center at Rancho Palos Verdes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and situated in the center of the southern California coast. The visitor center is scheduled to be opened in early summer of 2006. With the okay of the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council, the center will serve as the visitor contact station for the CCNM Gateway for the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes' Holly Starr, the Recreation Services Manager, and Karen Peterson, Recreation and Parks Administrative Analyst, provided the site tour for CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office Manager Gail Acheson, as well as Steve Razo, California Desert District (CDD) Deputy District Manager for Outreach, Greg Thomsen, CDD Project Manager, and Emily Evans, Arcata Field Office interpretative specialist working on interpretive materials for the CCNM Gateway initiative. Situated on top of the coastal cliff and next to the U.S. Coast Guard's Point Vincente Light Station, the visitor center has a great view of the Pacific Ocean and the peninsula's marine terraces. The visitor center will include displays on both the area's terrestrial and marine resources, including a replica of a cliff face, a tide pool, and a walk-through sea cave; a whaling exhibit and whale models; a Tongva prehistoric house structure; and peninsula history panels. The BLM contingent also visited other sites on the Palos Verdes Peninsula that could serve as locations where peninsula visitors could view CCNM rocks and exposed reefs. These sites included the City of Rancho Palos Verdes' Abalone Cove city park unit, Royal Palms State Beach administered by the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles' Point Fermin Park and Lighthouse, and Flat Rock and Bit Rock in Bluff Cove off of the City of Palos Verdes Estates. If the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council approves the use of the new Point Vincente Visitor Center as a CCNM Gateway visitor contact station, this could prove to be a great partnership and would provide a key and very unique location situated within the greater Los Angeles megalopolis.
CCNM Staff Visits Site of Future Piedras Blancas/San Simeon CCNM Gateway. As an initial step to begin the process of establishing the CCNM Gateway initiative for the Piedras Blancas/San Simeon portion of the CCNM, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and three CCNM staff members took a drive down the Big Sur coast to San Simeon and Piedras Blancas on March 9, 2006. The CCNM staff members included Aaron King, Research and Grants Coordinator; Julie Anne Delgado, Resource Protection and Partnership Coordinator; and Rachel Saunders, Community and Public Relations Coordinator. After picking up Kate Krumpschmidt, a BLM student intern at the Piedras Blancas Light Station and a history major at Cal Poly, the group met with Michele Roest, NOAA-Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's (MBNMS') education and outreach specialist. Michele is working in partnership with California State Parks on the development of the "Coastal Discovery Center." Although small, the center's 700 square foot visitor room will contain some very dynamic interactive displays and will focus on local coastal resources and partnerships. This makes the center an ideal facility to serve as the initial visitor contact station for the CCNM Gateway for the Piedras Blancas/San Simeon portion of the CCNM until BLM develops the visitor capabilities at the Piedras Blancas Light Station. Located on William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, across Highway 1 from Hearst Castle, the Coastal Discovery Center has the potential of attaching a fair portion of the areas one million-plus visitors a year. The Coastal Discovery Center's grand opening is scheduled for July 22, 2006.
CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls, & Events. In addition to the various meetings and trips 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:
· Trinidad Museum Society meeting to discuss collaborative partnership MOU (Bob Wick, Arcata FO), Trinidad, CA, January 9, 2006
· Trinidad City Council meetings related to CCNM Gateway and collaborative partnership agreement (Lynda Roush & Bob Wick, Arcata FO), Trinidad, CA, January 24, February 8, & February 28, 2006
· The Wilderness Society's National Landscape Conservation System Five-Year Anniversary Celebration and Photo Exhibit Opening Reception (Rick Hanks with Mike Pool, Jan Bedrosian, Paul Brink, & Julie Anne Delgado), Thoreau Center for a Sustainable Environment's Gallery, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, January 25, 2006
· Meeting with Gerry McChesney, FWS Common Murre Restoration Project Manager, and Rick Golightly, Humboldt State University wildlife professor, regarding partnership grant opportunities regarding seabird research, developing a collaborative partnership with FWS, and possible placement of common murre colony webcam for select CCNM rocks off of Trinidad (Bob Wick and Amy Krause. Arcata FO), Arcata, CA, February 1, 2006
· Coastal America Southwest Region Implementation Team meeting with California Ocean Protection Council staff (Rick Hanks), San Francisco, CA, February 6, 2006
· Point Arena conference call with Point Arena Mayor Leslie Dalhloff (Rick Hanks & Rich Burns), February 7, 2006
· BLM Arcata Field Office conference call with Field Manager regarding various CCNM topics, including Trinidad CCNM Gateway (Rick Hanks & Lynda Roush & Arcata FO staff), February 9, 2006
· Trinidad Rancheria meeting with Greg Nesty, Environmental Program Coordinator, to discuss placement of CCNM interpretative panels at Trinidad Pier area (Bob Wick, Emily Evans, & Amy Krause from Arcata FO), Trinidad, CA, February 15, 2006
· Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's Annual Currents Symposium (Rick Hanks & Aaron King), California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA, March 4, 2006
· CalTrans conference call with Aileen Loe, Big Sur Coast Project Manager, regarding background on Federal & State highway enhancement funds & CCNM opportunities (Rick Hanks & Aaron King), March 8, 2006
· BLM California Planning Workshop including CCNM PowerPoint presentation & CCNM "mini-tour" (Rick Hanks), Marina, CA, March 13-16, 2006