Obama to add Stornetta Lands to monument

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will expand the California Coastal National Monument to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, a White House official said Saturday.

Stornetta mapCalifornia’s U.S. Senators and two congressmen have been pushing hard for this, and wrote to the president a year ago to urge his action. The White House said Obama will make the move as part of his State of the Union pledge to “use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.”

President Bill Clinton established the California Coastal National Monument in 2000 to protect the area’s scientifically valuable coastal resources, including geologic formations that offer unique habitats for breeding seabirds, marine mammals, and other native species.

Obama will be adding about 1,665 acres of federal lands located on California’s Mendocino County coast, just north of the Point Arena.

The area is an economic engine for the local community, driving tourism and offering outdoor recreation opportunities; a Bureau of Land Management report estimates that outdoor recreation on public lands in California contributed nearly $900 million to the economy in 2012. But it also will offer scientific opportunities for geologists, archeologists, historians, and biologists, as well as recreational opportunities.

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein as well as Reps. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and Mike Thompson, D-Napa, have championed adding this land to the monument, and offered legislation that would’ve done so.

“I am so pleased that President Obama is taking action to permanently protect this majestic piece of California’s coast for future generations to enjoy,” Boxer said in a statement issued Saturday. “Expanding this monument will not only help preserve this sensitive coastal area and protect marine life along the coast, it will also boost the tourism economy in Mendocino County, which supports 5,000 jobs.”

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell held a public listening session in November in Point Arena to hear from the community about its vision for conserving the lands; Jewell will return to the area Wednesday to celebrate the president’s action.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    If we don’t get some water, the whole coast will be “pristine” desert–Mojave by the sea.

  • JohnW

    Fortunately, maybe, it looks good for El Nino next year.

  • Elwood

    Anyone who has any doubt that Barbara Lee is a racist loon should read her oped piece in today’s CCTimes.

  • JohnW

    I skipped that op-ed, because I was more interested in Dan Borenstein’s column and the editorial about BART strikes. Your post inspired me to go back and read the op-ed. Barbara Lee is not my favorite politician. But I thought her comments were very good. Was curious what it was about them that you found to be “racist” or “loony.”

  • Elwood

    The entire thing was African-American this, African-American that and African-American the other thing. No mention of any other ethnicity or race other than the ever popular “people of color”.

    She proposes all sorts of wonderful programs to remedy the dreadful situation she describes without a hint of how to pay for them. Typical loony dimmiecrat money from heaven approach.

    Another possibility: perhaps there is no solution. Horse to water, etc.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    BareLee speaks for me, if “me” is poor, dark-skinned, left-wing or stuck in 1967 (self-loathing, guilt-ridden Whiteys)

  • JohnW

    Good point. It definitely had that A-A feel to it. Probably because that’s what the “My Brother’s Keeper” program is about — saving inner city African American boys from the cycle of failure, so that we don’t pay later for keeping them behind bars.

    Barbara Lee completely overlooked the the plight of young Caucasian boys growing up in Lamorinda. The legacy burden of growing up upper middle class. All the pressure to succeed in those great schools. The humiliation of being stopped for Driving While White. Never having the experience of growing up without a role model dad, because he’s in prison. Missing all the excitement of gunfire in your neighborhood. Yup, definitely a one-sided Op-Ed.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    My White Liberal friends are getting a little put out by the ingratitude shown by black folks. The WLs sacrificed a lot and spent yrs being sympathetic to Blacks and haven’t gotten a few mumbled thanks. Be careful, Black people, u can’t take White Libs for granted much longer.

  • Elwood

    Very clever, John. I can hear you chortling at your cleverness as you wrote it. Strangely enough, there are other “oppressed” groups in this country such as Latinos, some Asians and some poor white trash, but Bobbie Lee don’t care ’cause they ain’t black. All our resources must be directed at saving the blacks, donchaknow? Rich honkys in Lamorinda can pay for it with higher taxes. It’s only fair to try to wipe out income inequality, donchaknow?