Santa Cruz County

Monument status on the table for Cotoni Coast-Dairies

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. - Federal, state and local leaders are meeting to discuss the expansion of the California Coastal National Monument to include Cotoni-Coast Dairies located in Santa Cruz County on Friday.

Coast Dairies includes a 5,800-acre property which was inhabited by Native Americans known as the Cotoni for thousands of years.

"The Cotoni-Coast Dairies area is an important place for our tribe. For thousands of years our Cotoni ancestors raised their families, gathered plants for food and ceremonies, and stewarded these lands. Since 2006, our tribe has been working to restore our indigenous knowledge regarding land stewardship," stated Val Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Leader, and Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust.

However, not everyone welcomes the idea of making it a monument. Some locals say the area isn't built to accommodate increased traffic.

Friday's discussion is happening in Cambria, with the Bureau of Land Management, California Natural Resources, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and several state representatives.

The California Coastal National Monument said it protects thousands of off-shore rocks, reefs, islands, and pinnacles which, beyond providing stunning scenery, serve as a haven for seabirds and marine mammals.

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