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California Coastal National Monument Gets New Jewel

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Contact: 
Virginia Cramer, Washington, D.C., 804-519-8449
Victoria Brandon, Redwood Chapter, 707-994-1931

California Coastal National Monument Gets New Jewel

Washington, D.C -- President Obama today designated Point Arena- Stornetta Public Lands as part of the California Coastal National Monument. Located along the south coast of California’s Mendocino County, these public lands include 1,665 acres of majestic views, tide pools and coastal wetlands.

“In his State of the Union speech, President Obama promised to use his authority to protect more of our public lands for future generations.  We commend him for making this irreplaceable coastal refuge one of them. This special piece of America deserves to be recognized as part of the California Coastal National Monument,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.   

Adjacent to Manchester State Beach and the Point Arena Lighthouse, the Point Arena- Stornetta Public Lands area includes more than two miles of coastline, portions of the Garcia River, the Garcia estuary and a five-acre island—Sea Island Rocks. Its wildflower meadows and shifting sand dunes provide a home for otters, seals, pelicans and a host of other wildlife.

This designation marks the first expansion onto land for the national monument and it will protect important habitat for migratory birds, salmon, and several endangered species including the Point Arena mountain beaver and the Behren's silverspot butterfly.

There is broad local support from community members, conservationists and business leaders for including Point Arena-Stornetta public lands in the national monument-- a move also championed by Congressmen Thompson and Huffman, and California Senators Boxer and Feinstein who have helped lead efforts to protect the area.

“Local citizens have been working with the Bureau of Land Management to support appropriate use of the area, but the scarce resources available have been overburdened by the demands placed on this fragile, special place,” said Sierra Club Redwood Chapter Chair Victoria Brandon. “Today’s designation will encourage effective management to ensure the permanent protection of Point Arena- Stornetta Public Lands for the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren.” 

The California Coastal National Monument is comprised of more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs and pinnacles along 1,100 miles of coast between Mexico and Oregon. Permanently protecting Point Arena- Stornetta Public Lands as part of the national monument provides significant conservation and recreation benefits, including the potential for more than ten miles of California Coastal Trail extending from the City of Point Arena to Manchester State Park.

“Once again we see President Obama listening to the widespread desire among Americans for permanently protecting our outdoor heritage for future generations. We hope he will continue to heed the call to protect other special places as national monuments,” said Brune.

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About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.

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