Bike Santa Cruz County has signed on to endorse the recently renamed Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument campaign. The 5,800 acre Coast Dairies property is located on the North Coast, north of Wilder Ranch State Park and south of Swanton Pacific Ranch. It spans six watersheds and contains redwood forests, coastal prairies, and critical wildlife habitat.
National Monument designation would ensure permanent federal protection and conservation status for this unique property. National Monument status could also help bring in funds for trail development, including bike trails. Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz has been actively involved in discussions around mountain bike access in the property, and the property is also the end point of the newly funded North Coast Rail Trail segment. Someday, we imagine riding on the rail trail to start a hike or mountain bike ride in the Cotoni-Coast Dairies property.
The campaign has raised concerns from some community members about the impacts of National Monument status. We asked National Monument campaign manager Steve Reed to answer some of our questions about the campaign.
1. How will National Monument designation help to create more opportunities for bicycling on the North Coast?
The Monument will open up new territory, new trails and new opportunities for cyclists. The Monument will encourage convenient use of the Rail Trail. Monument trails, vistas and mixed uses will bring people together around shared love of nature and outdoor recreation and education opportunities.
2. How will access decisions be made if National Monument status is awarded? How will impacts like trash collection and traffic be addressed, and how can the public get involved?
Once the Monument determination is made (I remain very confident that this unique property will become our newest National Monument!), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will convene a community wide, and stakeholder planning process to finalize a Management and Access Plan for the Cotoni – Coast Dairies National Monument. I encourage everyone to be involved. The Plan will include access, signage and natural interpretation and parking options. It will include trail alignments, and illustrate sensitive habitats, archeological and cultural sites, site security and oversight. BLM will try to open a small area of the Coast Dairies property as soon as possible, but the remainder of the property will not be open until the Management and Access Plan is completed, and until funds are adequate to open sections of the Monument when trails are built and other public accommodations are in place. If residents have concerns about the services provided beyond the 5,800 acres, they can contact their local representatives, Congresswoman Eshoo, Assemblymember Stone and Supervisor Coonerty.
3. How can our readers support the National Monument Campaign? Anything else you’d like us to know?
The Cotoni – Coast Dairies National Monument campaign invites Bike Santa Cruz County members and their riding friends and family to sign the pledge of support. You will be joining more than 10,000 other local residents, more than 75 local clubs, organizations, local governments, businesses, schools, houses of worship, and kids supporting the Monument. We are only asking that you ‘sign the pledge’ of support (see instructions, below); we are not asking for anything other than your name in support. The petition in support of the Monument will be transferred to the White House. Under the terms of the 1906 Antiquities Act, ONLY the President can make this National Monument decision. We are also asking that kids have a chance to sign the petition too. This is a ‘teachable moment’ for kids in our community; it illustrates the power and responsibility that citizens have to protect our environment, and steward our resources. In fact, this Monument will become theirs, more than it will be ours!
Please pledge your support at: www.cotonicoastdairies.org
Find us on:
Facebook: /CotoniCoastDairiesNational Monument