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May 29th
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Home News Community letters Brandon: Support for creating Point Arena-Stornetta monument

Brandon: Support for creating Point Arena-Stornetta monument

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Last week President Obama took bold action to preserve our nation’s cultural and natural heritage by naming five new national monuments, including the San Juan Islands on the Pacific Coast.

By protecting these special places he is fashioning an enduring legacy for the benefit of our children and grandchildren: thank you, Mr. President!

Here in on the North Coast we’re also blessed with a wealth of exceptional places where people can connect with nature.

For example, last Friday I had the privilege of attending an enthusiastic public gathering on the headlands above Arena Cove, hosted by Congressman Jared Huffman to announce his intention to introduce legislation adding the spectacular Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument.

The bill would also add 10 miles to the California Coastal Trail, making it possible to hike along the bluffs all the way from Point Arena to the Lighthouse and on to Manchester State Park.

This bill will be cosponsored by Congressman Mike Thompson and paired with companion legislation introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

It’s a great idea with apparently unanimous public support, but with little likelihood of success under current Congressional leadership: the 112th Congress was the first since World War II to fail to protect so much as one new acre of public land as a park, national monument or wilderness area.

So I’m joining Congressman Huffman in urging President Obama to step forward to permanently protect this irreplaceable natural treasure by adding the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to the Coastal National Monument by executive order.

Victoria Brandon is chair of the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter. She lives in Lower Lake, Calif.

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