Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today introduced his first bill as a United States Congressman, the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act of 2013 (H.R. 1411). The bill will add the 1,255-acre Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands on the Mendocino coast to the California Coastal National Monument.
"I am proud that the first bill I introduce as a United States Congressman is one that would permanently protect over 1,200 acres of pristine California coastline," Congressman Huffman said. "The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are a national treasure and we must do everything we can to preserve the beauty of the North Coast for our children and grandchildren."
The bill would add 10 miles to the California Coastal Trail and includes other natural jewels such as the Garcia Estuary and two miles of the Garcia River, a critical habitat for salmon and steelhead. The land includes habitat for endangered species, including the Point Arena mountain beaver and the Behren's silverspot butterfly. The bill keeps the current recreational, ranching and research uses and would boost the regional economy with an increase in tourism, the area's largest employer.
Huffman was joined by original cosponsor Congressman Mike Thompson, who previously represented the North Coast. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
"The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are a national treasure," said Thompson. "I am proud to join Jared in co-authoring this important legislation. 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."
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's bill is supported by the Sierra Club, the Trust for Public Land, Mendocino Land Trust, Redwood Coast Conservancy, and the Conservation Lands Foundation, Point Arena Mayor Lloyd Cross, the Manchester-Point Arena Band of Pomos, local business and civic leaders and the local community.