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California coastal monument extended in late act by President

President Obama has acted to extend the California Coastal National Monument in the few weeks of his term. The monument is a series of coastal formations along the Pacific Coast, and the expansion added about 6,200 acres to the protected landscape. The action from the president was in keeping with the wishes of numerous state politicians and several activities groups, who have been asking for the expansion for some time.

The monument also extends into the sea along the coast. It goes about 12 miles outward. It is an effort to protect sea life and the existing landscape, including seabirds, sea lions and seals. The monument was originally created in 2000 and has been added to since then on a fairly regular basis to reach the large area that is covered today.

What does this mean for California businesses or land developers? The type of area covered by this monument isn't all likely to be appealing to developers, unless a business is looking to create new resort area in an otherwise crowded landscape. However, the coastal land might come into play for those who have businesses elsewhere in the state or in adjacent properties, because the waters are also protected by a number of laws on top of the national monument status.

As a business or developer, understanding federal and state environmental laws is essential to success. Working with a natural resource law professional can help you understand how you can use land legally and what obligations you might be under regarding water treatment or resource use. By planning with such requirements in mind, you can avoid surprising obstacles and expenses later.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Obama expands the California Coastal National Monument, fulfilling multiple California lawmakers' wishes," Sarah D. Wire, Jan. 12, 2017

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