American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management’s California Coastal National Monument, is seeking TWO Interpretive Interns who will dedicate 10 Weeks to assisting BLM staff in the management and operations activities at Piedras Blancas Light Station, a BLM Outstanding Natural Area and component of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS).
This is an exciting and historic opportunity to restore a piece of California’s maritime history. Completed in 1875, Piedras Blancas Light Station is home to more than 60 species of California native plants, including a thriving population of a variety of thistle listed as threatened in CA. This healthy population is up from just a single plant in 2001, a result of BLM heavily investing in the eradication of non-native plants at the site. With the eradication of roughly 2/3 of the non-native and exotic species once found at the site, the environs surrounding the Station have also seen the rebound of a diversity of animal life, including bobcat, raccoon, skunk, deer, gray fox, rabbit, coyote, squirrels, and a variety of birds and reptiles. The near shore marine environments have been minimally impacted by human activity and support healthy populations of southern sea otters, abalone, mussels, and anemones, while the Outer Islet is a significant haul-out point for California sea lions. The largest mainland U.S. rookery for the northern elephant seal stretches for miles to the north and south of Piedras Blancas.
The Bureau’s mission is to “manage and restore the Piedras Blancas Light Station to a period in history when the site played a significant role in the protection of central California maritime activities. In addition, preserve and protect the natural, historical and cultural resources of the site while providing opportunities for compatible scientific, cultural, social and interpretive activities for the benefit of present and future generations.”