CCNM Plan Receives Two Planning Awards. The California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) Resource Management Plan (RMP) has so far generated two prestigious awards. On April 11, 2006, the RMP was honored by the California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) with the award for Best Planning document (for population of 50,000 or greater) at the organization's annual conference in Newport Beach, California. Gail Acheson, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field manager of the Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office, which oversees the southernmost portion of the monument, accepted the award on behalf of CCNM Manager Rick Hanks; Jones and Stokes, the environmental planning consultants who helped develop the plan and the associated environmental impact statement; and all the BLM staff and CCNM partners who worked on the plan, including the two main state partners, the California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks. On June 9, 2006, at an event in Oakland, BLM also received the Planning Implementation Award (for large jurisdiction) from the Northern Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). Howard Stark, serving as acting Deputy State Director for Natural Resources, accepted the award for BLM. The CCNM RMP is now eligible for the APA's statewide plan implementation award and the AEP's western region planning award.
Hearst Corporation Donates Piedras Blancas Islets to CCNM. The striking white rocks off the coast of San Simeon that once served as a guidepost for sea-faring vessels were donated by the Hearst Corporation to the BLM in mid-May, furthering the agency's efforts to protect the unique natural resources and scenic values of California's coastline through the CCNM. Located near Hearst Castle State Historic Monument at the northern end of the scenic San Luis Obispo County coastline, the formations donated to the CCNM include Piedras Blancas 1 and 2, the Outer Islet off the Piedras Blancas Light Station, and La Cruz Rock north of the light station. A model of private, non-profit, and government collaboration, the transfer was a partnership effort between the Hearst Corporation, the American Land Conservancy, and the BLM. A transfer ceremony recognizing the Hearst's contributions to the CCNM was held at the BLM's Piedras Blancas Light Station on June 16, 2006. Approximately 40 people, including VIPs from the Hearst Corporation, American Land Conservancy, BLM, State Parks, and San Luis Obispo County, as well as representatives for various federal and state elected officials and a contingency of BLM's Piedras Blancas volunteers, were in attendance. As part of the ceremony, California State Director Mike Pool presented Steven Hearst with a framed commemorative photo as a token of BLM's appreciation for the Hearst Corporation's generous donation. Following the ceremony that included a proclamation reading by the Town Criers of San Luis Obispo County, a light station tour and lunch were offered to all in attendance. As summarized by one of the ceremony attendees, it was "a perfectly gorgeous day….The speeches were short and sweet...[and] the weather was perfect."
City of Trinidad & Tsurai Ancestral Society Latest Collaborative Partners in CCNM Trinidad Gateway Initiative. The BLM is pleased to welcome the City of Trinidad and the Tsurai Ancestral Society as the latest CCNM Collaborative Partners in the CCNM Trinidad Gateway initiative. With the BLM California State Director Mike Pool signing of the CCNM Collaborative Partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the City of Trinidad on March 23, 2006, and the BLM California Associate State Director Jim Abbott signing of the CCNM Collaborative Partnership MOU with the Tsurai Ancestral Society on April 3, 2006, both are now key members of one of the five initial CCNM Gateway initiatives underway along the California coast. The City of Trinidad and the Tsurai Ancestral Society join the BLM and its two CCNM core-managing partners, the California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks, along with the Trinidad Museum Society and the Trinidad Rancheria, as the initial members of an innovative effort to provide local involvement in the management of the Trinidad portion of the CCNM and the development of the CCNM's Trinidad Gateway. "We now have the initial partners to begin this unique challenge that will rely heavily on local involvement in determining how the Trinidad Gateway for the California Coastal National Monument will work and will control the pace at which this effort will move", said CCNM Manager Rick Hanks.
The City of Trinidad, that claims to be "the smallest, oldest, and most westerly city in California", is the second municipality to become a formal CCNM collaborative partner. The Tsurai Ancestral Society is a non-profit organization that oversees the care of the ancestral Yurok village on which the current City of Trinidad resides and provides the basis for the City of Trinidad's claim that it is the "oldest" city in California. The overall purpose of the Tsurai Ancestral Society is to protect and maintain the identity and culture of the Tsurai people, including the preservation, protection, and maintenance of the burial grounds and the adjoining properties pertinent to the ancestral lands.
Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers First Non-Government Collaborative Partner in Point Arena CCNM Gateway Initiative. With the BLM California Associate State Director Jim Abbott's signing of the MOU on April 26, 2006, the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc. became the first non-government member in the partnership to develop the CCNM Gateway for the Point Arena portion of the CCNM. Incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1982, the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers' mission is to preserve the historical Point Arena Light Station and to keep the station open for the enjoyment of the public. Rae Radtkey, the new Executive Director for the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, will serve as the organization's contact for this initiative.
CCNM Receives Funding to Develop Implementation Plan. The California Coastal National Monument and the King Range National Conservation Area, along with the Hollister and Ukiah Field Offices, received end of the year (i.e., Federal Fiscal Year 2006) funding for the completion of implementation plans related to their respective Resource Management Plans (RMPs). An implementation plan is intended to assess all the decisions within an RMP and determine the implementation priorities and an implementation strategy for at least the first five years. It is hoped that the CCNM can use this opportunity to also develop a marketing approach associated with the RMP implementation strategy.
BLMArcata Field Office & Trinidad Museum Society Provide Father's Day Introduction to Trinidad Portion of CCNM. Some of the most amazing parts of the California Coastal National Monument are located off the coast of Trinidad, California. On Father's Day, June 18, 2006, residents and visitors to the town of Trinidad had an opportunity to learn about these coastal treasures and the habitat they provide for birds and marine mammals. Staff members of the BLM's Arcata Field Office joined with members of the Trinidad Museum Society, a CCNM collaborative partner, to provide a 45-minute presentation at Trinidad Town Hall about the CCNM rocks and islands of the Trinidad area. The presentation was followed by a one-mile hike around Trinidad Head. Over 70 people, including members of the Trinidad Museum Society, local residents, and a few visitors from out of the area, were present for the Town Hall presentation. BLM staffers Bob Wick and Emily Evans provided a computer-based slideshow detailing information about the local CCNM. Emily gave a short summary of the geologic creation of the off-shore rocks and islands and described the habitat that the rocks provide for seabirds and marine mammals. Bob told visitors how these rocky homes are now part of the CCNM and then discussed some of the more impressive rocks off the Trinidad coast. Following the Town Hall presentation, about 30 interested participants joined BLM staff and museum society officers for a one-mile walk around Trinidad Head. Ned Simmons, Trinidad Museum Society President, shared his local knowledge of the plants around Trinidad Head and on the monument rocks. Bob passed around his binoculars at various view points for visitors to take a closer look at Green Rock, Flatiron Rock, and many of the other locally important CCNM rocks. In all, the participating public, museum society members, and BLM staff had a great day. The museum society expressed great appreciation of the BLM's cooperation and excitement over the numbers of interested people that showed up to hear about why their local coastline "rocks!"
CCNM Site Characterization Meeting of Scientists Held at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. On May 15, 2006, the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) hosted a gathering of about two dozen scientists to discuss the creation of the "CCNM Site Characterization and Survey", an undertaking to assess the full array of the CCNM's resources and resource values. The gathering included scientists representing all three dimensions of the ecosystems associated with the CCNM- -physical (abiotic), biological (biotic), and cultural (socio-cultural). This included marine biologist, intertidal researchers, seabird specialists, terrestrial biologists, geologists, archaeologists, and social scientists. The objective of this project is to use an inter-disciplinary team of academic scientists to collect and synthesize existing information, draft site descriptions for the CCNM, and conduct a site survey of select portions of the monument resources. Issues discussed included: 1) scope and depth of information to be synthesized; 2) coordination of documents to create a single project "online report"; 3) cross-cutting issues (e.g., administration, GIS data and support, etc.); 4) compilation of an online website and bibliography; 5) scheduling, mapping, and support for survey expeditions; 6) timeline needed to complete work; and 7) discussion of funding required to accomplish these goals. U.S. Congressman Sam Farr dropped by the meeting and provided the group with a historical perspective related to how the CCNM was created, current federal budget problems, and inspiration regarding the long-term importance of the CCNM and coastal resource protection. A wrap-up report of this meeting should be available within the next few weeks.
eBook Being Developed for CCNM. Diane Nelson, the BLM National Training Center's (NTC's) GIS and Partnership Coordinator, is overseeing the development of a electronic book (eBook) for the CCNM. The "CCNM Overview eBook" presents information about the major aspects and focus of the CCNM: Preservation, Landscape, Partnerships, and Communities. The eBook is constructed using Geobook Author software (Sanborn, Inc., of Colorado Springs), and runs on a Windows platform. The GeobookÒ product offers features such as hyperlinking (e.g., link with CCNM site characterization initiative), video, animation, and interactive mapping within a friendly "book-like" interface. The eBook is intended to be used in a variety of distance learning, educational, and informational tracks (i.e., interactive kiosks, distribution on CD, and downloading from a website). The final release date for the CCNM Overview eBook is expected to be January 2007.
BLM Washington Office Presidential Management Fellow Spends Two Weeks with CCNM. As one of her final rotational assignments under her Presidential Management Fellowship program, Melissa Brandt elected to spend a couple weeks working with the CCNM. From Lodi, California, Melissa has an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences from UC Berkeley, a law degree from Columbia University, and a Master's degree in public administration from Harvard University. She is currently working as an alternative dispute resolution specialist in the BLM headquarters in Washington, D.C. Interested in the partnership approach being used by the CCNM, Melissa had the opportunity to get a first-hand exposure to a variety of CCNM tasks. During her limited time on the CCNM staff, she was able to review the CCNM Gateway initiative and the various CCNM partnership memoranda of understanding (MOUs), work on finalizing the Steward MOU with the U.S. Navy, clean-up the CCNM MOU templates, tour central coast portions of the CCNM, and attend a CCNM orientation session for docents at San Simeon and a seabird protection advisory committee meeting in San Francisco.
Wick Photographs CCNM Gateways. While the BLM Arcata Field Office was getting a face lift and the staff was without an office for a few weeks, Bob Wick, Arcata Field Office's CCNM coordinator, spent one of those weeks photographing the five initial CCNM Gateways. Starting at Trinidad and then moving south to Point Arena, Pigeon Point, Piedras Blancas/San Simeon, and Palos Verdes Peninsula, Bob created a portfolio of quality CCNM photos available for a variety of uses. At the top of the list of these uses will be the development of a poster for each of the five initial CCNM Gateways. Each photo is a 12-megapixel, high resolution shot that is capable of being extensively enlarged while maintaining its quality.
CCNM Wall Display for National Geographic Hearst Castle Theater Lobby. A CCNM wall display will hang for the entire summer in the lobby of the National Geographic Theater at Hearst Castle State Historic Park in San Simeon, California, where it is expected to be viewed by thousands of visitors. As part of the summer-long celebration of the opening of NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Coastal Discovery Center on the William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, the CCNM was invited to put up a display next to the BLM's Piedras Blancas Light Station display on the back wall of the theater lobby. In addition to the BLM displays, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (CCNM's first collaborative partner), as well as California State Parks and the Friends of the Elephant Seals, all have wall displays in the lobby. The CCNM display features three of Bob Wick's enlarged photos with one representing the northern, one representing the central, and one representing the southern portions of the CCNM. NOAA's The Coastal Discovery Center will have its grand opening on Saturday, July 22, 2006, and will also serve as the visitor contact station for the CCNM Gateway for San Simeon/Piedras Blancas.
CCNM Training Packet Now Available. A training packet for the CCNM is now available for use in providing an overview of the framework on which the CCNM operates, including it major aspects, focus, and implementation priorities, as well as the basic physical, biological, and socio-cultural values associated with this unique national monument. This training packet was put together for the various docent and volunteer groups that will be assisting with the outreach initiatives associated with the monument, and particularly for the "CCNM Gateways", as well as for the personnel and staffs of the various partners associated with the monument. However, since this document actually consolidates a number of briefing papers and website data that are in current use and excerpts from the CCNM Resource Management Planning documents, it serves nicely as an introductory, background document for anyone interested in a complete overview of the monument and its current management direction.
The CCNM training packet consists of four modules. These four modules are:
Module 1 – A Rocky Vision: Background, Mission/Goals, & Purpose of the CCNM (General background on CCNM, BLM, & NLCS; Presidential Proclamation management directives; vision/mission statements & goals; general management approach & monument administration; sub unit delineation; & BLM offices associated with CCNM)
Module 2 – Rocks, Ecosystems, Partners, & Gateways: Major Aspects & Focus of the CCNM (Brief discussion of the four major aspects- -Preservation, Landscapes, Partnerships, & Communities- -and the corresponding focus- -Management, Ecosystem, Collaboration, & Local- -of the CCNM)
Module 3 – A Rocky Start: Implementation Priorities for the CCNM (Brief discussion of the CCNM Resource Management Plan and a discussion of the six CCNM Resource Management Plan implementation priorities)
Module 4 – Learning the ABCs: Abiotic, Biotic, & Cultural Values of the CCNM (Brief discussion of the ecological approach to the CCNM, the monument's setting and importance, and excerpts from CCNM planning documents regarding the physical, biological, and socio-cultural resources and values of the CCNM, and includes a list of acronyms and abbreviations, glossary, explanation of the CCNM logo, and a brief list of suggested references)
The training packet is also includes a PowerPoint Presentation and a wall map of the CCNM. The overall intent of this training packet is to consolidate the basic information needed to help one understand the CCNM and its various components. It is also an evolving document and will change as our understanding of the monument changes and grows.
CCNM Related Meetings, Conference Calls, & Events. In addition to the various meetings and events discussed above, the CCNM Manager, other CCNM staff, and BLM California coastal field offices (FOs) staff also participated in a variety of meetings, events, and conference calls, including the following:
Meeting with The Sea Ranch Association Community Manager John Fox regarding CCNM Steward MOU implementation (Rick Hanks & Rich Burns), Sea Ranch, CA, March 21, 2006
- Point Arena Gateway Meeting (Rick Hanks & Rich Burns), Point Arena, CA, March 21, 2006
Meeting with Arcata Field Office regarding CCNM Gateways (Rick Hanks, Lynda Roush, Gary Pritchard-Peterson, Bob Wick, & Emily Evans), Arcata, CA, March 22, 2006
BLM Central California Resource Council Advisory Meeting, CCNM powerpoint presentation & discussion regarding CCNM RMP implementation priorities (Rick Hanks), Aptos, CA, March 23, 2006
Safe Seas Spill Exercise Initial Meeting (Rick Hanks), San Francisco, CA, March 24, 2006
Tour of CCNM Malibu Sub-Unit (Rick Hanks & Greg Thomsen), April 3, 2006
Field Trip with Humboldt State University Recreation Planning Class to CCNM Trinidad Sub-Unit (Bob Wick), April 4, 2006
Reconnaissance of CCNM rocks off Naval Base Point Loma with U.S. Navy's LCMR Daniel Eldridge, Alex Stone, & Andy Yatsko (Rick Hanks), San Diego, CA, April 4, 2006
CCNM Mini-Tour of CCNM Monterey Peninsula Sub-Unit for BLM Hollister Field Office Manager Rick Cooper (Rick Hanks), April 19, 2006
Meeting with Carolyn Skinder, NOAA-Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, regarding docent training for NOAA Coastal Discovery Center (Rick Hanks), Monterey, CA, April 20, 2006
Meeting regarding California State Parks' Hearst coastal properties acquisition, Hearst Castle State Historical Park (Rick Hanks & John Bogacki), San Simeon, CA, May 4, 2006
Introductory meeting with The Sea Ranch Association's coastal trails & harbor seals monitoring committee chairs regarding the CCNM Steward MOU implementation (Larry Ames), May 9, 2006
Multi-Agency Public meeting regarding California State Parks' Hearst coastal properties acquisition (Julie Anne Delgado & John Bogacki), Cambria, CA, May 10, 2006
Meeting with Karen Peterson, City of Rancho Palos Verdes Recreation & Parks Department, regarding update on CCNM Gateways initiatives & photo shoot (Rick Hanks), Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, May 11, 2006
CCNM Mini-Tour of Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, & Castle Rock-Hurricane Point for Diane Nelson & Pam Clemmer, BLM NTC, and Lucinda Power, BLM Washington Office (Rick Hanks), May 16, 2006
June 19th Meeting with Trinidad Caltrans Gateway committee regarding reallocation of BLM funding to other Trinidad Gateway projects (Bob Wick), Trinidad, CA, June 19, 2006.
Conference call with U.S. Navy (Jan Larson, Alex Stone, Dan Eldredge) regarding CCNM Steward MOU (Rick Hanks, Greg Thomsen, Steve Razo, & Melissa Brandt), June 26, 2006
Training session for California State Park docents for NOAA Coastal Discovery Center (Rick Hanks), Cambria, CA, June 28, 2006
Seabird Colony Protection Program Advisory Committee meeting (Rick Hanks), San Francisco, CA, June 29, 2006