The Cambrian

Senate subcommittee sets monument hearing

The U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining has set a hearing for Thursday, Oct. 8, on a bill to add various coastal properties, including the circa 1875 Piedras Blancas Light Station, to the California Coastal National Monument.

That subcommittee is part of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 

The hearing will be held in Washington, D.C. 

Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein co-sponsored Senate Bill 1971, which Boxer introduced on Aug. 5. The bill also would add to the national monument other properties in Humboldt and Santa Cruz counties. 

Rep. Lois Capps introduced a similar bill in the House on Sept. 18.

The legislators and other proponents of the change say the national monument status could provide additional grant possibilities for the historic, 20-acre site north of San Simeon, and bring the light station and surrounding coastal land to the attention of potential visitors who might be unfamiliar with the area.

Donovan Marley, coordinator of the Piedras Blancas Monument Initiative, has said the remaining State Park acreage in the Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area could be added to the coastal monument later, once cooperative management arrangements are finalized with the California parks agency.