Monday, March 31, 2008

Putting MLPA in Perspective

Posted on MLPA Comments

To whom it may concern March 28 2008

I am writing today to support proposal 2XA. Not because I feel this is a proper or fair proposal but because of the three proposals given a choice proposal 2XA seems the best for the coastline and our devoted coastline owners. I have lived on the Southern Mendocino Coast all my life, my husband is fourth generation for our community. In my lifetime I have personally witnessed landowners protecting their coastline. As far back as I can remember I have images of Delia Hay parked outside her Mote Creek entrance north of Anchor Bay. Parked with her truck blocking the gate to the coastline entrance far to many tourists would love to have gained entrance to and taken their legal or not so legal amounts of abalone and trampled upon the shore us locals so proudly Cherish. In the case of Mote creek, Our State of California forced the Hay family into giving that property to them so they could develop four to five houses on the southern cliff, this was the trade the state felt proper in order for them to build on the coast. Well because of water issues those homes never got developed but that Coastal access was now owned by the State of California and is now lined with cars and trucks miles in each direction along with a full parking lot the State has provided. When is it lined you may ask. During abalone season , not weekends with families walking on the beach, not surfers enjoying the waves, no Abalone season, when there are so many trampling on the land and in the water it's amazing they find enough for them to keep returning. Delia Hay passed on in the 1980's, fortunately for her she doesn't have to see the effects that the State has had on her once cherished property that she so determinedly protected.

Another family I have witnessed my entire live has been the Ratcliff family North of Anchor Bay and South of Point Arena. They own an amazing stretch of coastline not to many locals have even walked on. It has always been fenced and privately protected by it's family members. I have always seen their family vehicles parked alone the highway or them personally walking the highway guarding their Private personal estuary. I say estuary for a stretch of land that large in the lifetime I have lived here, I attended school with their child and have family members that are very close to their entire generation of family, yet have we even walked the bluff or shoreline, no I have not. I have no right to, I do not own the property. I feel very strong about what people own remain their own, especially when in My lifetime I have always witnessed landowners taking far better care of their property than any one else could ever hope to do. I would also like to mention, The Ratcliff's entire acreage has always been immaculately maintained. The grass has always been mowed regularly, the fence always maintained, brush removed, dead trees tended to, all by the family. They do not have a home in the view of the ocean, they have not blocked or changed the landscape or view of this coastline in the 41 years I have been seeing it. This speaks volumes in my eyes, because in my lifetime, I have witnessed so many of our coast developed or poorly maintained and obstructed by new comers and State officials who govern our coast but do not live on it or Cherish it the way long time land owners can and do.

I can't even speak of the now State owned Stornetta Property north of Point Arena adjoining and connecting to the Point Arena Lighthouse property. I am long time friends with three generations of Stornetta's and I have to say I can't even drive North now and Look out at the duns or gaze out onto the beach or ocean from the highway one drive. I can't bear to see the massive amounts of people trampling on the once precious sacred land that the State of California couldn't manage to save and protect as the estuary it had been for over 100 years under the ownership of it's property owners .

So in reading the proposals 13, 4 and 2XA, I am sorry any of these have even been written, I can't believe we need to write letters to try and save the rights of our landowners. What year is it? What Country do we live in ? All that aside, haven't our Northern and Southerns Mendocino and Sonoma County Landowners prove with generations of years that they have maintained the beauty of their coastline? Every long time resident I have known that has owned their property for generations has always respected that land more than anyone claiming to be looking out for the people. Families depend on the plants, the sea life and the peacefulness of their own private property for their lifestyles.. I Can't bear to see my friends grandchildren not enjoy the property as their great grandparents have their entire life.

In closing a local issue came to mind, we have a local group pressuring landowners from Gualala to Anchor Bay to give up rights to enough space for this group to build walking paths along the coastline and Highway. I just drove around looking at the paths they have been developing, I was not surprised , but still saddened to see that you can't even see the path now, less than a year old. The grass has overtaken the gravel and chips laid in to the pathway and grown all around the wood boarder that is to define the path. It seams that people with good intentions for the good of the people just don't have to time or the Passion to follow through. I however noticed that on the first dry weekend of the year the long time landowners on the North Coast did manage to mow all their acres on both sides of the road, thank you Ratcliff family for always making the coast view as maintained and yet as natural as god made it ...


Brent and Kelly M. Mason
Jeremy Mason
James H. Lampman

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