Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced at a press conference in Point Arena, California today that he intends to introduce a bill to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands on the Mendocino coast to the California Coastal National Monument. The bill would add approximately 1,255 acres to the California Coastal National Monument.
"I am introducing this bill to preserve the beauty of the North Coast for our children and grandchildren," Congressman Huffman said. "The Point-Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are a national treasure and we must do everything we can to protect this complex ecosystem."
This bill would add ten miles to the California Coastal Trail and include other natural jewels such as the Garcia Estuary, the five-acre Sea Island Rocks Island, and two miles of the Garcia River, a critical habitat for salmon and steelhead.
Congressman Huffman will introduce this legislation when he returns to Washington, D.C. in early April. He will be joined by Congressman Mike Thompson, who previously represented the North Coast. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
Congressman Huffman, joined by Congressman Thompson and Senators Feinstein and Boxer, sent a letter to President Obama on February 26, 2013, urging him to use his executive authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands in the California Coastal National Monument.
Huffman was joined today by Point Arena Mayor Lloyd Cross, former mayor Leslie Dalhoff, California State Director of the Bureau of Land Management Jim Kenna, as well as representatives from the Sierra Club, the Trust for Public Land, Mendocino Land Trust, Redwood Coast Conservancy, and the Conservation Lands Forum. A representative from Senator Feinstein's office attended the event and Senator Boxer sent a letter of support.
Students from the Pacific Charter School shared watercolor paintings of the North Coast they prepared to accompany a letter for First Lady Michelle Obama asking for her help in getting these lands designated as part of the Coastal Monument.