On Dec. 6, 2013, Mendocino Land Trust purchased a beautiful 73-acre property south of Point Arena from the California Institute of Environmental Studies (CIES). It was named “Pelican Bluffs" in honor of the important work conducted by Frank Gress of CIES documenting eggshell thinning and reproductive failure of California brown pelicans. Through the years, his research and conservation efforts were instrumental to the recovery of California brown pelican populations in the Channel Islands, and we are proud to honor that environmental achievement with our preserve.
The California State Coastal Conservancy funded this purchase, which protects endangered species habitat and supports the construction of a new segment of the California Coastal Trail. This stunning preserve offers habitat for two federally-listed endangered species, the Point Arena Mountain Beaver and the Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly.
We are very excited about our ownership of the property and look forward to stewarding the land’s unique ecology and building a new public trail. MLT has designed a 2.2-mile trail and will begin construction in summer 2017, with funding from the Coastal Conservancy.
The trail will guide visitors from the parking lot to a lush grassy field surrounded by trees, a perfect spot for a picnic. From there, the path will be enveloped by deep verdant Bishop pine forest before revealing the dramatic coastal landscape. The trail will continue over a small bridge and down toward the bluff edge, with dramatic sheer, white cliffs plunging to the sea below. This is a great spot to see the peregrine falcons that nest nearby. From there the trail loops back, this time through the wide coastal prairie, before returning to the parking lot.
We look forward to sharing this very special place with you in the months ahead. Stay tuned for more information on a groundbreaking workday, volunteer opportunities and a grand opening.