California Coastal National Monument
Coastal Monument Kayaker enjoying the California Coastal National Monument Coastal Monument Sunset over one of the Islands in the California Coastal National Monument Coastal Monument
BLM>California>What We Do>National Conservation Lands>California Coastal National Monument>Planning Update Archives>Planning Update 12/15/05
Print Page
California Coastal National Monument
     Coastal Monument logo


December 15, 2005


Initiating First CCNM Gateways Priority for FY06. The beginning of the new federal Fiscal Year (i.e., FY06) on October 1, 2005, marked thebeginning of the implementation of the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) Resource Management Plan (RMP). The RMP identified six key implementation priorities--three “key priorities for management” and three “key management initiatives”. The three key management priorities are: (1) Protection (protecting CCNM resources and resource values); (2) Partnerships (developing and maintaining partnerships); and (3) Site Characterization (conducting, maintaining, and updating a CCNM Site Characterization study and survey). The three key management initiatives are: (1) CCNM Gateways (establishing and supporting a series of CCNM Gateways); (2) Seabird Conservation (developing and implementing a Seabird Conservation initiative); and (3) Tidepool Connection (initiating and maintaining a Tidepool Connections network).

Of the six key plan implementation priorities identified in the RMP, the initiation of the first CCNM Gateways is paramount in order to provide a sense of place to the CCNM, bring the monument into focus, and link the CCNM with local communities and initiatives. This is also a key initiative for actively involving the BLM’s five coastal field offices and linking them with CCNM partners, as well as serving as a focal point for the implementation of the other five key implementation priorities. Currently, the five initial CCNM Gateway initiatives are Trinidad for the BLM’s Arcata Field Office (FO), Point Arena for the Ukiah FO, Pigeon Point for the Hollister FO, Piedras Blancas/San Simeon for the Bakersfield FO, and Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Palm Springs/South Coast FO.

In addition, CCNM FY06 workload under the other key priorities includes: Protection- -conduct coastal and marine law enforcement coordination meeting(s) and initiate joint patrols, develop and provide oil spill response and restoration awareness training for BLM coastal field offices, and assess monitoring and research protocols applicable to the CCNM; Partnerships- -enhancement of existing partnerships and establishment of at least a half dozen new collaborative and steward partnerships; Site Characterization- -conduct scoping session and initial reconnaissance, plus initiate invasive species inventory; Seabird Conservation- -develop a beta program to assess seabird monitoring protocols for the CCNM and identify seabird monitoring gaps that CCNM might fill related to photo monitoring of conspicuous colonies, non-conspicuous population surveys, and focused surveys; and Tidepool Connection- -establish an initial working group to coordinate the development of a common “tidepool edict” for use along the entire California coast. Also, the development of a CCNM Business Plan will begin.

CCNM “Staff” Tours Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  Representatives from the California Coastal National Monument finally took the opportunity to visit the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex (OCNWRC).  OCNWRC, the CCNM’s northern neighbor, is the most similar management unit to the CCNM anywhere in the country. Spread along the entire 320 miles of the Oregon Coast, the OCNWRC consists of six National Wildlife Refuges, three are marine refuges (coastal islands, exposed reefs, and offshore rocks) and three are estuarine (estuaries and tidal marshlands).  The three marine refuges are: (1) Three Arched Rocks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 as the first NWR west of the Mississippi River; (2) Cape Meares NWR; and (3) Oregon Islands NWR, consisting of all federally-owned coastal islands, reefs, and offshore rocks not included in the other two Oregon marine NWRs. The OCNWRC includes all of Oregon’s offshore islands and rocks above mean high tide except for two rocks- -one rock under tribal administration and one privately owned rock with a lighthouse that is being used as the “Eternity at Sea Columbarium” (i.e., a cemetery/mausoleum).

On Wednesday, November 30, 2005, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and Aaron King, CCNM Research and Grants Coordinator, drove up the Oregon coast, meeting first with Dave Ledig, OCNWRC’s South Coast Unit Refuge, and visited OCNWRC’s Coquille Point and Bandon Marsh NWR acquisitions and visitor viewing facilities, Charleston Marina signing, and the  Simpson Reef overlook at Sunset Bay State Park at Cape Arago, and then with Roy Lowe, OCNWRC Project Leader, at Sea Lion Caves and visited the Oregon Islands NWR’s Blast Rock at Haceta Beach and Sea Lion Rocks State Park. On Thursday morning, December 1, 2005, in Newport, OR, Hanks and King met up with Bob Wick and Emily Evans, two of BLM Arcata Field Office’s staffers who are working on CCNM initiatives. Together the “CCNM staffers” met with Roy Lowe and OCNWRC outreach coordinator Dawn Grafe at the OCNWRC headquarters on the University of Oregon’s Hatfield Marine Science Center campus in Newport.  Lowe then took the CCNM staffers on a tour of the northern portion of the OCNWR, including Yaquina Head, Three Arched Rocks NWR, and Cape Meares NWR.  At Yaquina Head, the group visited the BLM’s Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (ONA) and met with Joe Ashor, Yaquina Head ONA Manager, and Jay Moeller, ONA interpretative specialist, and toured the ONA interpretive center, trails, tidepool area, and lighthouse, as well as viewed the associated seabird nesting areas and FWS’ Oregon Islands NWR features.

OCNWRC has developed an effective working relationship with both Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Parks and, primarily using transportation funds, has been able to develop a number of highway pull-outs and overlooks to provide visitor use facilities and interpretative opportunities associated with the OCNWRC. For example, the FWS-designed Simpson Reef overlook at Cape Arago is on Sunset Bay State Park and has interpretative panels developed by FWS in partnership with other entities and at Cape Meares State Park, adjoining the Cape Meares NWR, FWS designed and had constructed OCNWRC interpretative panels, a large walk-through visitor kiosk, and major viewing platforms. Also, key to the OCNWRC’s success has been FWS’ use and development of local community involvement, volunteers, docents, and friends groups. Some of the Oregon coastal communities have indirectly “adapted” their segment of the OCNWRC.  For example, at Cannon Beach during high visitor use times, the northern friends group sets up a portable visitor contact station on the beach and staffs it with docents to provide public information and keep people off of the rocks. The tour of the OCNWRC provided excellent working examples of some of the actions that the CCNM can take related to plan implement over the coming years.

North Coast Journal Does First Feature Article on the CCNM.  The CCNM appeared as the cover story for the October 13, 2005, edition of the North Coast Journal Weekly, covering the “politics, people and art” of Humboldt County. This article is the first feature story on the CCNM. The cover reference to this four page feature story reads: “California Coastal National Monument Celebrates Rocks [Awash] with Life and History”. Written by Journal writer Heidi Walters, the primary focus of the article is on the Trinidad area of the monument, but she does a good job explaining what the monument is and uses historical, ethnographical, and biological references to add a more direct connection to the monument. The article begins with the statement, “This is a story about a bunch of rocks” and concludes with the question “Does that convince you that a rock isn’t just a rock?” Walters does her convincing with interviews with people familiar with the CCNM’s values, the use of historical, ethnographical, and biological references, and from her own personal observations.  Bob Wick, BLM Arcata Field Office’s CCNM liaison, guided Heidi Walters one morning in kayaks from the Trinidad pier to Camel Rock and back around Trinidad Bay. In addition to Bob Wick, Walters interviewed Rick Hanks, Humboldt State University (HSU) biology professor Rick Golightly, Mad River Biologist founder and seabird researcher Ron LeValley, and Trinidad resident and local historian Ned Simmons. She also liberally used Yurok geographic place names throughout the article. Included with the article are a number of recent photos, as well as historic photos from the HSU Library and a couple sketches from J. Goldsborough Bruff’s 1851 journal. The cover photo was taken by Bob Wick and BLM GIS specialist Karen Holmstrom provided a map of the Trinidad area, complete with Yurok place names, from just south of Little River Rock to just north of Green Rock.

BLM Participates in Shoreline & Marine Boundaries Workshop.  Two sessions of a unique workshop on shoreline and marine boundaries were held at California State University (CSU) Monterey Bay on October 4 and 5, 2005, and at CSU Long Beach and NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service’s Regional Office in Long Beach on October 6 and 7, 2005. Entitled “Shoreline and Marine Boundaries: Datums, Jurisdictions, and Policy”, the workshop was developed by Marti Ikehara, NOAA-National Ocean Service’s California State Geodetic Advisor, and Paul Veisze, California Department of Fish and Game’s GIS Research Manager. The purpose of the workshop was to offer the opportunity to learn and exchange information about tidal datums and geodetic vertical datums, focus on how they relate to and impact shoreline and offshore boundaries, and discuss the technical practices and applications currently in use. The Monterey session was attended by BLM California State Office’s (CASO’s) Geographic Services Branch Chief Lance Bishop, CASO GIS specialist Clemens Arrasmith, and CCNM Manager Rick Hanks.  Hanks also represented BLM at the Long Beach session. At both sessions, Hanks participated on the National Perspectives Panels and provided PowerPoint Presentations on the CCNM and its connection to mean high tide.

CCNM One of Three NLCS Units Invited to Participate in USGS-BLM Research Meeting & Conference Call. The CCNM was one of three National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) units that participated in the meeting and conference call involving BLM’s NLCS headquarters staff and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) regarding research and research opportunities related to the NLCS. The meeting was held on October 13, 2005, at the USGS headquarters in Reston, VA. Representatives from USGS’ Eastern, Central, and Pacific Offices were also involved in the conference call. In addition to the CCNM, the two other NLCS units invited to participate were Utah’s Grande Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Colorado’s Gunnerson Gorge National Conservation Area. Each of the three NLCS unit representatives was asked to provide a brief overview of the respective unit’s research programs and opportunities. CCNM Manager Rick Hanks represented the CCNM and provided a brief overview of the CCNM and its research opportunities. This resulted in connecting the CCNM with the USGS Coast and Marine Geology Division’s Pacific Science Center at Santa Cruz, CA (See “CCNM Meets with USGS Pacific Science Center” below).

Jones & Stokes Holds “Cast Party” to Celebrate RMP Completion.   As a celebration for the successful completion of the CCNM Resource Management Plan, Jones & Stokes held a small get together in the Board Room at their office in Sacramento, CA, on the afternoon of October 13, 2005. Jones & Stokes are the environmental consulting firm that BLM contracted with to prepare the RMP. Although the entire “cast” of Jones & Stokes staffers, sub-contractors, Interdisciplinary Team members, and other BLM, California Department of Fish and Game, California State Parks, and cooperating agency representatives were invited, about 15 people made their appearance at this small gathering. Mike Rushton, the Jones & Stokes Principal on the entire project, hosted the get together.  BLM was represented by Tony Danna, Deputy State Director, Natural Resources; Rick Hanks, CCNM Manager; Jack Mills, CASO Senior Planning and Environmental Coordinator, and Eli Ilano, CASO Planning and Environmental Coordinator.

CCNM Meets with USGS Pacific Science Center.  As a follow-up to the NLCS-USGS meeting/conference call, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and CCNM Research and Grants Coordinator Aaron King met with USGS’ Sam Johnson and Guy Cochrane in Santa Cruz on October 18, 2005. Sam Johnson is the USGS Pacific Science Center’s Chief Scientist and Guy Cochrane is a Research Geophysicist and project chief. The Pacific Science Center is part of USGS’ Coast & Marine Geology Division. After background discussions regarding the CCNM and the various projects and activities of the Pacific Science Center, possible information sharing, data collection, and research opportunities were discussed. The possibility of involving the Pacific Science Center in the CCNM’s Site Characterization Study and Survey was also discussed. In addition, the CCNM was added as a participant in the USGS coordinated inter-agency/inter-organization marine and coastal mapping collaborative initiative.

CCNM Manager Attends Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) 2005 Workshop.  CCNM Manager Rick Hanks attended the two day Multi-Agency Rock Intertidal Network annual workshop at the University of California-Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory on the weekend of October 22 and 23, 2005. More commonly known as “MARINe”, it is a network of more than two dozen governmental agencies, universities, and private organizations working together on long-term monitoring of shoreline resources in order to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of rocky intertidal communities. MARINe is coordinated by the Minerals Management Service (MMS), BLM’s sister agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior. MARINe organizes its participants along the west coast of the U.S. by setting intertidal sampling and data storage protocols so that data between researchers are compatible and comparable. The program uses two monitoring protocols- -the “core” protocol focusing on 18 target species and over 60 core species, as well as a number of optional species, and the comprehensive protocol. The core protocol is applied at most sites twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. MARINe now has 80 core sites, including new sites at Shelter Cove, Cape Mendocino, Kibesillah Hills, and Bodega Bay. The comprehensive protocol is a one-time survey designed to provide a temporal snapshot of a select site. Out of concern for the potential of intertidal impact resulting from the conversion of privately owned land to public access, The Nature Conservancy recently funded a comprehensive protocol assessment of the abalone population just offshore of BLM’s recently acquired Stornetta Ranch property at Point Arena.

CCNM Participates in 2-Days of California Seabird Meetings.  Two back-to-back California seabird meeting were held in Santa Cruz at the beginning of November.  The annual California Seabird Research Coordination Meeting was held at the NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory in Santa Cruz, CA, on November 2, 2005. The following day, November 3, 2005, at the UCSC Inn and Conference Center in Santa Cruz, NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary held a Seabird Colony Protection Workshop related to the T/V Command Trust Council Restoration Plan implementation. The major discussion at the annual California seabird meeting focused around the high number of spring and early summer die-offs (i.e., majority analyzed died of starvation) and the need to fill the major gaps in monitoring, monitoring data analysis, and monitoring consistency. The next day’s meeting focused on the development of a seabird disturbance reduction program for the Central Coast from roughly Point Reyes in the north to Hurricane Point along the northern portion of Big Sur in the south. Most of the key agencies and organizations involved in Central Coast seabird monitoring, research, management, outreach, and education initiatives were represented. It is the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary’s intent to develop a “one-stop shopping” approach to seabird outreach for the northern portion of the Central Coast. This initiative is funded by T/V Command Trust Fund monies. CCNM Manager Hanks attend both meetings, while Aaron King and Julie Ann Delgado also represented BLM at the Seabird Colony Protection Workshop.

CCNM Manager Attends California Marine Mapping Strategic Planning Workshop.  CCNM Manager Rick Hanks was one of more than 70 attendees of a two day Strategic Planning Workshop for California Marine Habitat Mapping held on December 12 and 13, 2005, at CSU Monterey Bay in Seaside, CA. The workshop was part of the California Ocean Protection Council initiative to develop a strategic plan for a statewide seafloor mapping initiative regarding state waters (i.e., from mean high tide out 3 nautical miles) in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The California State Coastal Conservancy, functioning for the California Ocean Protection Council, has arranged for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation to handle the contracting for a $1.1 million project to begin the mapping initiative for the Central Coast. As this initiative progresses, it should provide data that will help delineate the broader ecosystems of which the CCNM is a part. The CCNM’s rocks and small islands are what can be seen from the surface, while seafloor mapping will depict the complete picture. In the future, this data will be very useful in helping to better understand the CCNM.

CCNM Manager’s Meetings.  In addition to the various meetings and workshops discussed above, the CCNM Manager also attended a variety of other meetings including the following:

  • Dennis Long, Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation Executive Director (with Aaron King), Monterey, CA, October 17, 2005
  • BLM Northwest Resource Advisory Council (Presentation on CCNM, RMP, & implementation priorities), Arcata, October 20, 2005
  • Ned Simmons, President, Trinidad Museum Society (Discussion of CCNM Gateway concept & potential collaborative partnership), Trinidad, CA, October 20, 2005
  • BLM Arcata Field Office Staff  (Briefing on 10/7/05 meeting to collect data related to Arcata FO portion of CCNM), October 21, 2005
  • CCNM “Staff Meeting” (with Aaron King, Rachel Saunders, Brad Damitz, & Julie Anne Delgado), Monterey, CA, November 9, 2005
  • Milos Radakovich, Bay Net (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer Network) Program Director (Discussion of CCNM Gateways for Monterey Bay area; with Aaron King),  November 18, 2005
  • CCNM Site Characterization planning meeting (with Judith Kildow, Professor, Division of Science & Environmental Policy, CSU Monterey Bay; Liz Uttal, Executive Director, Friends of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories; & Aaron King), CSU Monterey Bay, CA, November 14, 2005
  • CCNM Gateways & Arcata FO (with BLM’s Lynda Roush, Bob Wick, Gary Pritchard-Peterson, & Aaron King), Arcata, CA, November 29, 2005
  • GIS for Arcata FO portion of CCNM (with BLM’s Bob Wick, Karen Holmstrom, Dave Fisher, Don Holmstrom, & Aaron King), Arcata, CA, November 29, 2005
  • California Marine Life Protection Act Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group Meeting, Monterey, CA, December 6, 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 or

Return to archive index

California Coastal  National  Monument:

A partnership in protecting unique California coastal resources