Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
COTONI-COAST DAIRIES NATIONAL MONUMENT PUBLIC ACCESS


You can impact public access to the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument! That's right… YOU! This process will determine how the public can access the 6,000 acre property. Do you want sustainable trails and better trail connectivity? Get involved & speak up for trail access! Remember that public planning is decided by those who show up!

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proceeding with the planning process for Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument! This process will pave the way for public access to the 6,000 acre property on the North Coast surrounding Davenport and adjacent to San Vicente Redwoods, and it will be crucial in determining trail access on the property. We need you to get involved! The graphic below helps you understand the full planning process, emphasizing opportunities for you to get involved. For more info from the BLM on their planning process click here.
(click the graphic to view larger)

Note that you MUST participate in the Public Scoping Period and/or Public Comment Period in order to participate in the Public Protest Period!
The best way to stay engaged with this project is by reading our weekly e-newsletters (click here to subscribe). We will update you on the project and keep you informed of any public involvement opportunities.
ACTION ALERT! PUBLIC MEETINGS: 7/17 & 7/18

The BLM has two upcoming public meetings where they will be seeking public input on how the property should be managed. Please make time to attend one of these meetings to speak up for trail access! MBOSC has provided suggested talking points below.
Wednesday, July 17, 6:30-8:30pm
Louden Nelson Community Center
301 Center St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Thursday, July 18, 6:30-8:30pm
Pacific Elementary School
50 Ocean St., Davenport, CA 95017

MBOSC TALKING POINTS

Click here to download the complete list of MBOSC talking points!
Cotoni Coast Dairies (CCD) is a property that has many amazing resources both natural and cultural. It also has the potential for world class recreational access that would serve both local residents and visitors to Santa Cruz County's North Coast. The Bureau of Land Management has a responsibility to balance the management of these various resources with public access which MBOSC believes they can do successfully. MBOSC has assessed opportunities for trail based recreation on the property and has the a number of recommendations. Some talking points are highlighted below, and please download the complete list here.

  • CCD is a large enough property to support the conservation of cultural, and ecological resources while still providing a diverse and substantial trail network to provide for public enjoyment of the property.
  • Trail access should be provided for a diversity of trail users including walkers, hikers, runners, disabled users, mountain bikers, and equestrians.
  • Trail planning, construction and maintenance should place a high value on minimizing disturbance to sensitive cultural, biological, and hydrological resources consistent with NEPA and BLM Manuals and Handbooks/policies and practices.
  • The trail network should be designed and constructed using today's best practices.
  • Trail connectivity to other parks and regional trails (existing and planned) should be a priority for trail network design.

ACTION ALERT!
SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS: 6/24 - 8/2


If you cannot attend one of the public meetings, please submit a written comment requesting trail access using the MBOSC talking points above. Written comments will be accepted from June 24 through August 2. It is always more impactful to write your own letter, but if you are short on time, you can download the MBOSC sample letter by clicking here. Just fill it out, save or print it, then email, fax, or mail it to the contact info provided below:
Submit written comments by:
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 831-582-2266
Mail: BLM Central Coast Field Office
Attn: Cotoni-Coast Dairies RMPA/EA
940 2nd Avenue
Marina, CA 93933-6009


ABOUT THE CCDNM PROPERTY

The Coast Dairies Property is approximately 6,000 acres and consists of six distinct watersheds, more than seven miles of coastal resources (including seven beaches) hundreds of acres of agricultural lands, 700 acres of redwood forest, and other unique natural and cultural resources.


Until the mid-1700s, this was Costanoan/Ohlone land. From the mid-1700s to mid-1800s it was held under Spanish and Mexican land grants. Sometime in the early 1900s, it fell under the ownership of Coast Dairies and Land Company and the Portland Cement Company. In 1998 it was acquired by the Trust for Public Land, and then donated to the BLM in 2014. At the very end of the Obama administration in 2017, it was made a National Monument through Presidential Proclamation 9563.

A key thing to note about the Presidential Proclamation is that the language within it states that the property "shall become available for public access upon completion of a management plan." It's that public access that's at the center of this BLM management plan planning process.

The Coast Dairies Management Plan recognizes the recreational opportunities for trails as long as the use is consistent with the goals of protection and preservation of natural and cultural resources. This is a beautiful place. The property offers high marine terraces, steep canyons cut by local creeks, virgin second- or third-growth redwood forest, and panoramic views of the coast and surrounding landscape. Unlike Wilder Ranch, the Pacific Ocean is a dominant part of the background when views from atop the marine terraces.

This land represents a significant recreational and cultural resource for Santa Cruz County. MBOSC will be active participants in the stewardship of the Coast Dairies lands so that we can protect and enjoy this treasure of public land for many generations.

It is critical for trail-users to make sure the BLM knows we want access to this land. This is especially important because access to the CCDNM will be essential in providing connectivity between the planned 30 miles of trails at San Vicente Redwoods and the coast, which is a key component for better trail connectivity in the county.

MORE PROJECT BACKGROUND

If you are interested in more background on this project and MBOSC's involvement, please read through the following MBOSC news stories that have been posted about CCDNM:


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
COAST DAIRIES PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS RECAP
Posted on July 22, 2019 by Amanda Schaper
Photos by Jay Melena

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is making great progress in the public planning process for public access to the Cotoni-Coast Diaries National Monument (CCDNM). We are currently in the Public Scoping Period, during which the BLM is gathering public input on what people are concerned about, what kind of access we want, and why this is important. On Wednesday, July 17, and Thursday, July 18, the BLM held two Public Scoping Meetings in Santa Cruz and Davenport, respectively. Each meeting started with an open house format where attendees could view maps and have casual conversation with BLM staff. After 30-minutes of mingling, we all sat down for three quick presentations from BLM staff before a 60-minute "listening session," where participants were invited to make public comments.

BLM PRESENTATIONS

The first to present was the BLM Central Coast Field Manager, Ben Blom. Ben provided more details about the BLM and gave a great overview of the CCDNM property. We learned that the BLM is focused on sustaining the health and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. They have a priority focus on public access, recreation, and conservation. It was interesting to hear that the BLM actually manages 10% of the land in the USA!

The BLM has managed the CCDNM property since 2014. Until the mid-1700s, this was Costanoan/Ohlone land. From the mid-1700s to mid-1800s it was held under Spanish and Mexican land grants. Sometime in the early 1900s, it fell under the ownership of Coast Dairies and Land Company and the Portland Cement Company. In 1998 it was acquired by the Trust for Public Land, and then donated to the BLM in 2014. At the very end of the Obama administration in 2017, it was made a National Monument through Presidential Proclamation 9563.

A key thing to note about the Presidential Proclamation is that the language within it states that the property "shall become available for public access upon completion of a management plan." It's that public access that's at the center of this BLM management plan planning process. As Ben stated, the planning process is intended to figure out how to "get people on the property while still being good neighbors and protecting resources."

The next person to speak was Sky Murphy, BLM Planning & Environmental Coordinator. Sky gave an overview of the BLM's public planning process. We are currently in the 30-Day Public Scoping Period, which lasts through August 2. This will guide the BLM's development of the draft management plan, which will be made available for a 30-day Public Comment Period. The BLM will take those comments into consideration to create the final management plan, which will be released for a 30-Day Public Protest Period. (Note that you can only participate in the Protest Period if you have also participated in the Scoping Period and/or Comment Period. That's why it is so important to get involved NOW!) The BLM will respond to any protests, and then finally an approved plan will be published. At the meetings we learned that the BLM is planning to have an approved plan published by July 2020.

The last speaker before the listening session was Mike Powers, BLM Natural Resource Specialist. Mike summarized what was learned at the public workshops that were held in December 2018. MBOSC attended those workshops, and you can read our overview here. The comments heard at the public workshops included providing public access while minimizes environmental impacts; developing a multi-use trail network with regional trail connectivity; concerns regarding traffic, trash, and trauma; providing access for all income levels and physical abilities; and engaging a variety of partners to support public access management.

LISTENING SESSION

After the three BLM presentations, it was time for public comments. Nearly 30 people spoke at each meeting, and while there were a lot of differing opinions, the overall tone was very respectful and considerate. The graphic below provides and overview of public comments heard at the two meetings:

We were very happy to see so many familiar faces at the BLM Public Scoping Meetings for public access to the CCDNM. Thank you to everybody who made time to attend these meetings and speak-up for trail access. You each shared important, thoughtful comments and represented us as a user group in the best possible way!

One of the most thoughtful and memorable comments came from our very own Emma Ussat. Emma spoke on the importance of compromise and collaboration, and her comment is copied below because it should guide how we all view this project:

Hi! My name is Emma and I am a Bonny Doon resident, and the Community Outreach Manager at Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. First I want to thank BLM staff, Sempervirens Fund, and the Amah Mutsun Land Trust for all they have done for Cotoni-Coast Dairies so far.

I feel so lucky and blessed to be here for a lot of reasons, but I'm going to name a few.

First, I feel so lucky we are having a public process, as this land was previously planned to be developed.

Second, I've recently been to several BLM properties, including the Paradise Royal trail system in Shelter Cove, and I was very impressed with their modern trail system techniques. The BLM is on the cutting edge for developing best practices for trail management.

So- we are not developing the land, and we have a land manager at the forefront of sustainable trail design. Which means we can restore and protect cultural and archaeological sites, ecological resources, and also plan and develop the first sustainable trail system in Santa Cruz County from scratch.

Given this, I would hope that we, as the public, with a diverse range of values, can support the BLM in managing the property by taking on an attitude of consideration, compromise, and collaboration.

Consideration for those we may not agree with.

Compromise in developing a plan that may not fully embody our visions for the property, but one that responsibly balances competing needs.

Collaboration in working with the BLM and each other to create a National Monument that we can all be proud of.

ADD YOUR VOICE!
If you were unable to attend one of the public meetings, please submit a written comment requesting trail access using the MBOSC talking points. Written comments will be accepted from June 24 through August 2. It is always more impactful to write your own letter, but if you are short on time, you can download the MBOSC sample letter by clicking here. Just fill it out, save or print it, then email, fax, or mail it to the contact info provided below:

Submit written comments by:

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 831-582-2266

Mail: BLM Central Coast Field Office
Attn: Cotoni-Coast Dairies RMPA/EA
940 2nd Avenue
Marina, CA 93933-6009
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Thanks for the reminder!

I just sent the below. Perhaps it will serve as inspiration for others:

Hello,

I would like to voice my strong support for allowing public recreation in the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument. As part of this, I ferevently hope that the the final trail plan allows for mountain biking on singletrack. Like many in the bay area, I believe mountain biking is a wonderful way to appreciate nature, and, given the other planned trails in the area, being able to cycle in Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument would allow for some quite epic and enjoyable rides through what I believe is one the most beautiful parts of the world.

Thank you for managing this very important process. It's exciting looking at some of the tentative plans, and I can't wait to take my children on a ride in the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument one day.

All the best,
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top