Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stornetta Public Lands

The breathtaking beauty of the Stornetta Public Lands

     A few months ago I took a trip up to the newly created Stornetta Public Lands in Mendocino County.  My family is From Ukiah, county seat of Mendocino, and I don't need much of an excuse to visit the coast.  

Rebecca Hale, a local farmer, chases off a troublesome horse with a low caliber pellet gun.
The executive order that created the new monument has been billed as a universal good for the land, the people and the local economy (The New York Times recently ranked it the #3 place to visit in 2014).  However, some wonder if a local constituency has been overlooked.

Isaac Rios in front of the Garcia River
Isaac Rios is a Pomo Indian, a group indigenous to this remote stretch of the Mendocino Coast.  The Stornetta Public Lands are of ceremonial importance to the Pomo people.  Restriction on structures and fires have long prevented the Pomo from performing rites and ceremonies on the lands, restrictions which will continue now that the area is officially open to the public.  Is there a way to allow public access and a rite of return to ceremonial practices for indigenous groups?

An aging surfboard borders Rebecca Hale's garden.

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