Tribal Lands, Redwoods, Watersheds Protected
Santa Cruz, CA, January 12, 2017.
Sempervirens Fund is delighted that President Barack Obama has used his authority under the Antiquities Act to add the Cotoni-Coast Dairies property to the existing California Coastal National Monument.
“The national monument designation is a smart, effective way to ensure the Cotoni-Coast Dairies land is protected in perpetuity and gets the resources and attention it deserves. This designation is now a reality thanks to the strong and diverse support that came from the local communities and political champions like former Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Anna Eshoo, California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, and the President, all of whom understand the importance of land conservation and the preservation of cultural resources,” said Sara Barth, Executive Director of Sempervirens Fund, the nonprofit that has led the monument campaign since its inception.
“This is the ‘stuff’ of a dream come true. After years of hard work by so many, this majestic property will be protected in perpetuity,” Representative Anna Eshoo said. “I salute our region’s environmental leaders and conservationists, the dedicated work of thousands of local citizens, local elected officials, conservation advocates, and tribal leaders who have worked so hard to secure this designation. And I thank President Obama for his extraordinary leadership of environmental conservation. Today’s proclamation ensures that this jewel will forever remain a part of California’s coastal crown, allowing future generations to learn from its history and enjoy its beauty.”
“This is a historic day for Cotoni and Amah Mutsun descendents. Our Cotoni ancestors lived on these lands for thousands of years as they raised their families and stewarded the lands so they provided for all living things. The National Monument designation will protect and conserve the beauty and spirituality of this land for all future generations. We thank those who supported this effort,” said Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman Valentin Lopez. Currently, four registered ancestral Native American archaeological sites have been documented on the property, and many more may still be identified through formal archaeological surveys.
“We are celebrating this day, but understand this is just the beginning. We look forward to continued engagement to ensure Cotoni-Coast Dairies is properly stewarded,” continued Barth. “Monument status will ensure this landscape is well-managed and restored, and that a now-closed area will eventually be opened to the public so they can enjoy this special place responsibly and sustainably.”
The Cotoni-Coast Dairies addition to the California Coastal National Monument consists of 5,800 acres of federally-owned land in Santa Cruz County, and encompasses numerous watersheds, critical wildlife habitat, scenic beauty and rich cultural resources. Cotoni-Coast Dairies is part of a statewide campaign to designate 6 land-based additions that can serve as “gateways” to the existing California Coastal National Monument (Cotoni-Coast Dairies, Piedras Blancas, Lost Coast Headlands, Trinidad Head, Orange County Rocks, and Lighthouse Ranch).
Sempervirens Fund has conserved lands in the Santa Cruz Mountains for 117 years. The organization has a long history of establishing important protected public lands like Big Basin, Castle Rock and Butano State Parks. The nonprofit will partner with BLM to continue to support and be involved in the new national monument. Residents and others interested in the future of the national monument can stay abreast of developments by joining the Sempervirens Fund email list at sempervirens.org/ccdnm