San Luis Obispo County

Hundreds rally to support Carrizo Plain National Monument amid uncertainty

Hundreds rally to support Carrizo...

A rally to support Carrizo Plain National Monument while it is up for federal review took place Saturday morning at Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo. 

"This is the last hurrah for a whole slew of species. This is the highest concentration of endangered species in California," a supporter who lives on the Carrizo Plains told the crowd.

It is also home to thousands of flowers species, many of which were on full display this spring during one of the areas most colorful superblooms of flowers in decades. 

"I think it is really important to protect our wild lands," says Raymond Ensign, who says visiting Carrizo Plain brings him peace. "They (natural lands) are where we find renewal,  and rejuvenation, and without nature, we'd be sunk."

After decades of work on the local level, President Clinton designated the area a national monument in 2001. If that status is removed, it could open the land to development by mining, natural gas and oil interests. 

"This attempted brazen theft of our land will be for the benefit potentially of big oil, at the expense of the public and our natural environment," San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon told the crowd. 

Speakers included former congresswoman Lois Capps and current congressman Salud Carbajal. The politicians encouraged those in attendance to write in to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who will report his conclusions on the national monuments status to President Trump in August.


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