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National Monument Northeast Of Central Coast Threatened By Trump Administration Review


It’s an unspoiled, mostly overlooked slice of nature northeast of Santa Maria.

But, it’s also at risk, because it’s one of more than two dozen national monuments the Trump Administration has ordered to be review for possible reversal of its protected status.

Carrizo Plain National Monument is more than 246,000 acres of grasslands which are home to some rare animals, amazing geology, and even some little known petrogliphs. But, all the federal protections which limit things like oil exploration in the national monument are at risk now, with the Trump Administration ordering the Secretary of the Interior to review its monument status.

Bryant Baker is with Los Padres Forestwatch, which is a non-profit conservation group which works to protect public lands on the Central and South Coasts. He says the Carrizo Plain monument was established by President Bill Clinton in 2001, and after an extensive public review process.

The plans to review the monument status have people in the environmental community upset, calling it a big step backwards. Ileene Anderson, with the Center for Biological Diversity, says it’s incredible that they have to go back and defend an area which was already set aside for preservation.

Baker says they’ve launched a campaign to build support for protecting the Carrizo Plain. But, the clock is ticking. There is a 120 day window for the public to weigh in on the future of the Carrizo Plains. That window opened May 11th. Booster say what makes it tough is that while the area is incredibly unique, it’s also not nearly as well known as places like Channel Islands National Park, or the Los Padres National Forest. They are hoping people on the Central and South Coasts, as well as in Kern County will step up to make their voices heard.

Link to Carrizo Plain comment website created by Los Padres ForestWatch:

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.