Public meetings set for California Coastal National Monument
provided by US Department of the Interior
esidents of central and southern California coastal communities can get involved in management of offshore rocks, islands and pinnacles in series of public meetings in late August and early September. In the sessions, participants will suggest issues that should be addressed in a management plan for the California Coastal National Monument.
The California Coastal National Monument, designated by presidential proclamation in 2000, encompasses the rocks, islands, exposed reefs and pinnacles the entire length of the California coast, and 12 nautical miles offshore. Monument management will apply to the parts of these features that are above mean high tide.
The monument features provide important safe havens for seabirds including gulls, pelicans, murres, cormorants, auklets, guillemots, petrels, and puffins. The monument also supports shorebirds such as the black oystercatcher. The birds have retreated to the monument to nest and rear young, as shoreline development reduced their habitat. The monument also provides forage and breeding habitat for mammals, including seals and sea lions, and the threatened southern sea otter. Additionally, the monument has unique geologic features and scenic values.
Partners in management of the National Monument, the US Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Game, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, announced these meetings:
Those who cannot provide comments at one of the meetings can submit them by Oct. 25, 2002 to: Rick Hanks, Bureau of Land Management, California Coastal National Monument, 299 Foam St., Monterey, CA 93940.
We are just beginning the process to develop the management plan for the monument, said BLM Monument Manager Rick Hanks, and public participation at this early stage will help ensure that the management plan addresses the issues that matter to coastal communities. We look forward to working closely with coastal residents in developing this plan.
Meetings are also planned for northern California coastal cities including San Francisco, Bodega Bay, Elk and Trinidad.
Hanks said the BLM hopes to complete a draft management plan by next May, and aims to have a final plan in place by January 2004. There will be opportunities for public participation throughout the planning process. For more information on the meetings, or the California Coastal National Monument, contact Hanks at (831) 372-6115, or visit the website at www.ca.blm.gov/hollister/coastal_monument.html.