Our 1,100 miles of California coastline with more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon is called the California Coastal National Monument. The scenic qualities and critical habitat of this public resource are protected as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, administered by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.
History of the California Coastal National Monument
On January 11, 2000, the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) was established by President Bill Clinton with the signing of Presidential Proclamation No. 7264 at a ceremony at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, a ceremony that also established two other Bureau of Land Management (BLM)administered national monuments. With the establishment of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) within the BLM a few months later a contract was issued to the environmental consulting firm Jones and Stokes for assistance in the preparation of the Monument’s Resource Managment Plan (RMP) and Rick Hanks was selected as the Monument’s first manager.
1998 – Congressman Farr introduced HR 3911 to designate “all unreserved and unappropriated ocean islands…., reefs, rocks, and islets lying within three miles off the Pacific coast of the State of California from Oregon to the Mexican border and above the mean high tides….as wilderness” to be part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Partnerships & Gateways:
Key to the success of the California Coastal National Monument has been the establishment of a wide variety of partners and the initiation of CCNM Gateways.
CCNM partnerships and CCNM Gateways were identified as two of the six implementation priorities in the Approved RMP. Since June of 2000, with the execution of an interim memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the BLM and the two other CCNM Core-Managing Partners to collaborate in the management of the CCNM, more than two dozen CCNM partnerships have been developed and memorialized with individual memoranda of understanding.
Many of the CCNM partners are active participants in the CCNM Gateway initiatives. One initial CCNM Gateway was identified for each of the five BLM coastal field offices .
- The California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) is one of the Nation’s most unique national monuments.
- CCNM consists of more than 20,000 rocks and small islands located off the 1,100 miles of the California coastline.
- Under the responsibility of the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (commonly referred to as the “BLM”), the CCNM is part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
- Established on January 11, 2000, by Presidential Proclamation under the authority of section 2 of the Antiquities Act of 1906.
- CCNM is among the most viewed but the least recognized of any of the Nation’s national monuments.
- The CCNM was established to elevate the protection of “all unappropriated or unreserved lands and interest in lands owned or controlled by the United States in the form of islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles above mean high tide within 12 nautical miles of the shoreline of the State of California.
- The Presidential Proclamation recognizes the need to protect the CCNM’s overwhelming scenic quality and natural beauty, and it specifically directs the protection of the geologic formations and the habitat that these rocks and small islands (i.e., the portion above mean high tide) provide for seabirds, sea mammals, and other plant and animal life (both terrestrial and marine) on the CCNM.
- In addition, the proclamation recognizes the CCNM as containing “irreplaceable scientific values vital to protecting the fragile ecosystems of the California coastline.”
- CCNM is home for thousands of seals and sea lions, a haven for hundreds of thousands of seabirds, a habitat for millions of upper rocky intertidal species, and a spectacular interplay of land and sea.
- The mission of the CCNM is to protect and foster an appreciation for and a stewardship of California’s coastal resources associated with the CCNM, while the stated goals for the CCNM include using the CCNM to help enhance cooperative and collaborative initiatives and partnerships through cooperation, collaboration, and partnerships with a variety of communities, agencies, organizations, academic institutions, the public, and other stakeholders.
- The only way that the CCNM can be effectively managed is with partnerships. The CCNM is located adjacent to or embedded within many jurisdictions, including other federal and state agencies, counties, municipalities, tribes, and private entities. With the myriad of adjacent and overlapping responsibilities and jurisdictions, BLM intends to continue with existing partnerships and develop new partnerships to share some of the management responsibilities.
- The three partnership categories for the CCNM are:
- Core-Managing Partner: Each of the three “core” agencies- -BLM, California Department of Fish & Game, and California State Parks- -responsible for collaborating in the overall management of the entire CCNM.
- Collaborative Partner: An organization, governmental or private, that is interested in collaborating with the core-managing partners in any of a variety of programs, actions, and management elements associated with the long-term management of the CCNM.
- Steward: A select entity with ownership and management responsibility for a specific portion of the coast that adjoins part of the CCNM and that is interested in serving as the “steward” for that portion of CCNM.
- The CCNM Resource Management Plan (RMP), completed September 2005, provides the “blueprint” for the management of the CCNM by establishing the management framework, outlining the goals and objectives, identifying dozens of management actions needed to implement the plan over the next 15 to 20 years, and providing the major implementation priorities.
- The basic framework established for the CCNM consists of four equally important aspects, each with a corresponding focus- -Preservation (the management focus), Landscape (the ecosystem focus), Partnerships (the collaborative focus) and Communities (the local focus).
- The CCNM RMP identifies the following six implementation priorities:
- Protecting the CCNM resources and resource values
- Developing and maintaining partnerships
- Conducting, maintaining, and updating the CCNM Site Characterization Study and Survey
- Establishing and supporting a series of “CCNM Gateways”
- Developing and implementing a Seabird Conservation initiative
- Initiating and maintaining a Tidepool Connections network
- Key to the successful management of the CCNM is the development of effective community involvement and a sense of community “ownership.” The primary means to accomplish this is the establishment and implementation of a series of “CCNM Gateways.” Located at various points along the California coast, the CCNM Gateways provide a sense of place for this unique and extensive monument. The CCNM Gateways help to bring the monument into focus and serve as a way to link it with local communities and initiatives.
- CCNM Gateways are sections of the California coast that serve as focal points or visitor contact locations for the CCNM. They can be areas, towns, cities, communities, or various locations that are ideal for providing visitor information and services, and have the infrastructure and interest in serving in this capacity. Each CCNM Gateway is also the vehicle to establish a local “flavor” for a specific portion of the monument and provide local stewardship.