Area Businesses Support Carrizo Plain National Monument

 Over 130 Local Business Owners Urge Interior Secretary Zinke to Keep Protections in Place for Carrizo Plain National Monument

Fate of Central California Iconic Landscape Will Be Decided by August 24

Today, 134 businesses throughout San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Kern counties sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in support of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The Carrizo Plain – located at the intersection of San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties– is one of 27 national monuments across the country that are under review by the Department of the Interior following an April 2017 Executive Order by President Trump. The review will determine whether to shrink the monuments or rescind their protections entirely.

The Carrizo Plain National Monument provides an important draw for tourism in the region, especially during spring wildflower season. This year’s “California Superbloom” during March and April brought record crowds to the Carrizo Plain who stopped for gas and supplies in towns such as Atascadero, Santa Margarita, and Taft – all of which are considered “Gateway Communities” to the monument. For many rural towns in the region, businesses are sustained by visitors on their way to and from the Carrizo Plain National Monument who stop for a meal or book a room.

Business support for the monument is about more than just the bottom line, however. For area residents, the monument offers outdoor recreational opportunities for almost everyone with its 4,000-year-old petroglyphs and historic homestead ruins, hiking, horse, mountain bike, and jeep trails, and bird and big-game hunting. The Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreation provides $92 billion to California’s economy each year and provides nearly 700,000 jobs.

The Carrizo Plain’s other unique features are also highlighted in the letter. A prominent section of the San Andreas Fault bisects the monument, and the largest alkali wetland in southern California offers world class birdwatching and a silvery reflection of the sky and surrounding Temblor Range. It is the last of the Central Valley’s vast native grasslands, providing habitat for the greatest concentration of threatened and endangered wildlife in the state.

The business owners and CEOs that have signed on to today’s letter represent a diverse group of businesses in the region ranging from farmers to artists and from outdoor recreation stores to local diners. “National monuments help nearby communities diversify economically while increasing quality of life and recreational opportunities that make our cities and towns more attractive for new residents, businesses, and investment,” reads the letter sent to Interior Secretary Zinke, who will be issuing a recommendation to possibly reduce or rescind the Carrizo Plain National Monument by August 24th.

You can learn more and add your voice to the list of Carrizo Plain supporters by visiting © Floris van Breugel

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2 Responses to Area Businesses Support Carrizo Plain National Monument

  1. Citizen Reporter August 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Another attempt to strip away property rights while bypassing 5th Amendment protections.

  2. William Hicks August 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I’m somewhat familiar with Carizzo , but never knew it was a “monument.”

    It is a place in California where there is an attempt to reintroduce American Pronghorn. Because it is primarily similar to desert area with little natural resources, that I’m aware of, I see no reason why it couldn’t retain its monument status.


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