REP. MIKE THOMPSON INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO PRESERVE POINT ARENA-STORNETTA PUBLIC LANDS
Apr 27, 2012 -
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today introduced H.R. 4969, the California Coastal National Monument Expansion, which would incorporate Stornetta Public Lands and other public lands in the Point Arena area into the existing California Coastal National Monument. These public lands include more than three miles of coastline with natural bridges, tide pools, waterfalls, sinkholes and blowholes. The lands are also open to the public for daytime activities such as hiking, fishing, bird watching, nature photography and wildlife watching.
“The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are a national treasure,” said Thompson. “We need to make sure this wonderful stretch of coastline is preserved for the protection of wildlife and the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren.”
“Public lands are vital to Mendocino County’s economy,” said Scott Schneider, President and CEO of Visit Mendocino County, Inc. “Visitors come from all over the world to experience the beauty and natural wonders of California’s North Coast. With the threat of State Park closures and the growing importance of travel & tourism to our economy, increasing visitors’ access to public lands is more important than ever. These lands are our “Disneyland” and without them our economy would suffer. Travel & tourism are responsible for the largest job segment in Mendocino County as well as the State of California with close to 5,000 jobs earning over $114 million annually in Mendocino County and over 900,000 jobs earning $30 billion annually throughout California. Visitor spending in Mendocino County brings in $19 million in state and local taxes. With the huge decline in the timber and fishing industries, it is more important than ever to keep the travel and tourism industry strong. These public lands are vital in ensuring our close to 2 million annual visitors to the county continue to visit.”
Stornetta is an ecologically important area. It is home of the endangered Point Arena Mountain Beaver and Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly, and houses salmon and steelhead trout in the Garcia River, abundant bird life such as the arctic Tundra Swans and harbor Seals.
"Congressman Thompson should be commended for working to safeguard California's coastal heritage," said Sam Goldman, California State Director with the Conservation Lands Foundation. "Permanently protecting the Stornetta Public Lands will ensure this iconic section of Mendocino's coastline will be persevered for future generations. It will also protect habitat for migratory waterfowl and the mouth of the Garcia River which is critical for Coho and Chinook salmon."
The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are contiguous with Manchester Beach State Park, the Point Arena Lighthouse, and the California Coastal National Monument. The California Coastal National Monument is located off the 1,100 miles of California coastline, comprising more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon.
Current agricultural activities such as grazing are not affected by the designation.
“The Stornetta Lands are one of the most ecologically important parts of the northern California coast,” said Dan Hamburg, Mendocino County Supervisor. “They are an essential part of the Garcia River watershed with abundant salmon and steelhead trout. The area has scenic waterfalls, “blowholes” where geysers of salt water shoot upward from caves in coastal bluffs, and abundant bird life including large flocks of elegant Arctic tundra swans. Permanently protecting this area will ensure that residents and visitors alike can continue to enjoy hiking, fishing, bird and wildlife watching and nature photography for generations to come.”
“The Stornetta Public Lands are much beloved by our community and thousands of yearly visitors. They provide us the access to experience the exhilarating interface of land and ocean at the very edge of the continent,” said Leslie Dahlhoff of the Point Arena Gateway Committee. “Though only minutes from the City of Point Arena, it’s a wild place of coastal prairie and quiet forest, dripping sinkholes, waterfalls, vernal pools and home to endangered plants and animals. It’s as though the National Landscape Conservation System was created with the intent to protected and conserve this spectacular piece of the California coast.”
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the Counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Yolo. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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