Letters to the Editor

Thanks to those who helped protect SLO County’s beautiful coasts

Spectators gathered to observe elephant seal pups fattening up on the beach south of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on Jan. 28, 2017.
Spectators gathered to observe elephant seal pups fattening up on the beach south of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on Jan. 28, 2017. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

We all love the Central Coast for its unparalleled natural beauty, and that is nowhere more spectacular than the area around Piedras Blancas. This love of the coast is captured by the stewardship of the land by the Hearst family, by their agreement to conserve the land forever, and by the commitment of State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s protection of our coastal waters and land.

The volunteers of the Friends of the Elephant Seal, the Piedras Blancas Light Station Association and others have been the on-the-ground ambassadors of San Luis Obispo County to the many visitors who explore our coast. Our economy depends on vibrant tourism, and our quality of life depends on preservation of our natural areas.

I thank President Barack Obama for the designation of Piedras Blancas as part of the California Coastal National Monument. I thank Sen. Barbara Boxer and former Rep. Lois Capps and Reps. Jared Huffman and Anna Eshoo for their support. But most importantly, I thank Donovan Marley and the many volunteers from the community who committed thousands of hours to gain this national recognition of what the many volunteers, residents, businesses and local governments have continuously supported: protected and accessible access to our natural lands forever.

Nick Franco, director of San Luis Obispo County Parks

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