Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Mar 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Pinnacle Of Parks

blog pinnaclesPinnacles National Monument becomes a national park, bringing good news to the area's economy and its resident condors 

As of this month, the United States has welcomed a new addition to the National Parks Program, and it happens to be in Santa Cruz County’s backyard. President Barack Obama signed a bill on Thursday, Jan. 10 officially recognizing Pinnacles National Monument, located near Soledad, Calif., as a national park.

The bill, which has been in the works since mid-2012, was drafted by Santa Cruz’s congressional representative, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). According to a statement released by Farr, the upgrade of the park’s status could boost the area’s economy through increased tourism.

"By elevating Pinnacles National Monument to national park status we also elevate the region’s appeal to potential visitors," Farr said in the statement. "These new tourists will spend their dollars at local businesses and ultimately be the driving force that helps this region ... grow and eventually prosper."

The congressman considers the park’s new status to be a major accomplishment.

"This California gem is one of the rare examples of tectonic plate movement in the United States," his Jan. 10 statement says. "The Pinnacles is the missing novel in the grand library of the National Park System and today’s vote brings us one step closer to writing that book. With the added status as a National Park, generations of visitors will now travel to the region to experience this unique ecological and geological treasure."

The 26,000-acre piece of land was formed by the shifting of tectonic plates due to volcanic activity in the area. This left the arid landscape with its signature distinct jutting rock formations and a large series of caves that inspired President Theodore Roosevelt to designate the spot a National Monument in 1908.

The park is home to 49 different species of mammals, hundreds of species of insects and 149 species of birds, including the endangered California condor.

The California condor, which has been on the endangered species list since 1967, has had a sharp decline in population since the start of the 20th Century. The bird was often hunted for sport by settlers, who often blamed it for loss of livestock, and the various Native American tribes who were local to the area, who sometimes hunted the bird for use in making ceremonial attire.

Pinnacles, which is currently home to 32 of the 405 condors left in the world, is also a major release site for the captive-bred birds that are part of the California Condor Recovery Plan, a program started by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to repopulate and reintegrate the birds back into their natural habitat.

Groups like Friends of California Condors Wild and Free (FCCWF), a Ventura-based nonprofit, work with the Recovery Plan to help restore the bird population. FCCWF maintains and gives tours of refuges, gives lectures about condors, and works closely with release sites in Southern California.

"Although we don’t work directly with the release site at Pinnacles, we definitely see this as a positive decision, for the park and the Condors," says FCCWF President Martin Fletcher.

The Condor Recovery Plan looks forward to the benefits of Pinnacles’ newly appointed status, including increased revenue from tourism as well as garnering more national attention for the plight of the condor.

When asked about how Pinnacles’ new status will affect the Recovery Plan, Fletcher says, "It can only be a good thing."

Photo: Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) films some footage at Pinnacles in August 2012 that will serve as a virtual tour of the country's newest national park. Photo courtesy of Farr's office.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia