« Yellowstone Grizzlies Must Be Fully Recovered Before Federal Protections Are Removed | Main | Corporate Criminals and the Need for Strong Protections Against Illegal Logging »

11/18/2013

Protecting California's Stornetta Public Lands

Stornetta hearingThe crowd unanimously supports protecting Stornetta Public Lands. 

Earlier this month the California coast put on a tremendous show to welcome Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell; the sun was shining, surf pounding, blowholes spouting, and humpback whales breaching.

Secretary Jewell came to Point Arena to hold a town hall meeting to discuss the community’s vision for the permanent protection of this outstandingly scenic area, and specifically to get their reactions to the proposal to add the Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument, a proposal that the Sierra Club strongly supports. In July the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 1411, Representative Jared Huffman’s bill enabling the monument to “expand onto the land,” and S. 61, a companion bill sponsored by both of California’s Senators is under consideration in the other chamber.

Public enthusiasm for this idea was demonstrated by a standing-room-only crowd of at least 300 people who crammed into the diminutive Point Arena city hall to welcome the Secretary, Congressman Huffman, Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director Neil Kornze, and countless other federal, state, and local dignitaries. Members of the Point Arena/Manchester Band of Pomo Indians opened the gathering with a prayer and a dance, followed by students from Pacific Community Charter reading their own poetry and singing “This Land is Your Land.” In response, Secretary Jewell thanked the Stornetta family for their stewardship and vision, and went on to recognize that “communities know lands that are special, lands that have nurtured people for thousands of years. “ When she asked for a show of hands on recommending that the President use his powers under the Antiquities Act to add Stornetta to the California Coastal National Monument should Congress fail to act, the expression of support was instantaneous and unanimous — including that of the Secretary herself, whose hand reached towards the sky.

Despite the remote location, several dozen Sierra Club representatives attended this inspiring event, including Redwood Chapter Conservation Chair Diane Beck, Mendocino coastal activist Linda Perkins, Deputy Program Director Michael Bosse, and national Wildlands Committee member Angel Martinez. I had the privilege of appearing at the podium on behalf of the Redwood Chapter to thank Secretary Jewell for visiting the North Coast, express the Club’s enthusiastic support for the permanent protection of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands by including it in the monument, and present her with 1,800 signatures on a support petition gathered by the Sierra Club.

Next step: we’re all looking forward to making another journey to the Mendocino coast for the dedication ceremonies.

-- by Victoria Brandon, Redwood Chapter Chair 


User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Rss Feed



Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.