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Presidential Protection for Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands

PHOTO: President Obama is using his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands. Photo credit: Dept. of the Interior.
PHOTO: President Obama is using his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands. Photo credit: Dept. of the Interior.
March 11, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO - A slice of the Mendocino coastline in Northern California is getting presidential protection as of today. President Obama is using his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands. The designation makes the 1600 acres part of the California Coastal National Monument.

According to Scott Schneider, president and CEO of the organization Visit Mendocino County, the designation will boost the county's tourism, which supports close to 5000 jobs and brings in more than $20 million in state and local taxes.

"Federal designation and the national recognition these lands will now receive will make a huge impact. It'll bring those people that are coming north of San Francisco further north to the county to experience all that we have to offer," Schneider declared.

The new National Monument area includes more than two miles of coastline and the estuary of the Garcia River, which is prime spawning habitat for coho and chinook salmon.

Last summer, the House unanimously approved a measure by Representative Jared Huffman to add the area to the California Coastal National Monument, but the legislation and another measure by Senator Barbara Boxer stalled in the Senate. Schneider said supporters were encouraged when President Obama indicated in his State of the Union address his willingness to use his authority to protect more federal lands.

"It's so important to our local economy, obviously so important to the environment, to get it done," he said. "And, I'm just thrilled that the president thought it was that important to use the Antiquities Act of 1906 to do it himself."

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who meet with supporters in Point Arena last year, will officially dedicate the lands at a ceremony Wednesday.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA