The Cambrian

Piedras Blancas protection gets SLO County supervisors’ endorsement

The Piedras Blancas Light Station on San Luis Obispo County’s North Coast.
The Piedras Blancas Light Station on San Luis Obispo County’s North Coast. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

San Luis Obispo County supervisors have added their endorsement to a list of agencies and groups that favor including the Piedras Blancas Light Station and Outstanding Natural Area within the California Coastal National Monument.

The supervisors unanimously approved a resolution of support as part of their consent agenda on April 5.

The resolution states that within the affected area are “an historic 20-acre light station with four structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a lighthouse that has been in continual operation since 1875,” lands owned by federal and state agencies, and a variety of species, habitats and cultural assets. A total of 444 acres are included in the Outstanding Natural Area.

The resolution also notes that including the Outstanding Natural Area into the national monument “brings eligibility for funding available only to lands that are part of the National Landscape Conservation System,” and will “unify the response of federal, state and volunteer organizations to current management challenges,” thereby balancing “visitor use with protection of the resources.”

Inclusion of the light station is supported by at least nine legislators (including Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Lois Capps, all Democrats), 12 chambers of commerce, nine business/tourism alliances, 21 service and fraternal groups, various county agencies and a dozen environmental groups, according to a list submitted with the resolution.

As stated in a letter from Kenny Dahlen, chairman of the county’s Parks & Recreation Commission, including the light station and Outstanding Natural Area in the state Coastal National Monument “will bring a higher level of recognition to this important part” of the county’s coast.

Dahlen added, “We look forward to hiking the California Coastal Trail within the Piedras Blancas portion of the California Coastal National Monument in the near future.”

The trail “is a network of public trails for walkers, bikers, equestrians, wheelchair riders and others along the 1,200 mile California coastline.” It is more than half complete, according to www.californiacoastal trail.info.

To learn more

For more on the Piedras Blancas Light Station, go to http://piedrasblancas.org or http://on.doi.gov/1pf1bvG. For more on the movement to add it to the coastal monument, go to www.piedrasblancasmonument.com.

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