Barack Obama has a ways to go if he wants to top the 19 new national monuments created during Bill Clinton’s two terms in the White House, but with President Obama’s addition of 1,665 stunning acres of Pacific cliffs and coastline to the California Coastal National Monument today, great progress is being made.
Until now, the California Coastal National Monument was little known because it was all underwater. It’s crucial coastline, home to kelp beds and sea mammals and river access for endangered salmon. As of today, there’s land for the humans to venture onto—along with the rare Point Arena mountain beaver that lives here along the dramatic Northern California coast: The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands have been permanently placed under the protection of the National Monument system.
If you haven’t been up to this gorgeous and lightly traveled part of California, now is a great time to go. (It’s always a great time to go, but if you head out this weekend you’ll beat the New York Times crowd—Point Arena made the paper of record’s “52 places to visit in 2014” list. It was Number 3 on the list. (Your editor is fond of the Mar Vista Cottages, just down the road in Anchor Bay. You’ll find fresh eggs from the hens in a basket each morning, ready to cook up with whatever you’ve picked from the gardens between the cabins. There’s a trail to the rocky shore across Highway 1, and an old California hot tub under the stars.)
With his mighty pen, Obama today brought his national monument count up to 10. Just 10 more, and he’ll be ahead of Clinton’s total, and then Hillary Clinton will be compelled to add 21 new national monuments, etc. Hooray for the Common Good!