Cotoni-Coast Dairies land.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Cotoni-Coast Dairies update, salmon release at the wharf, Big Basin plans

Hello again, Lookout friends. It’s Tuesday, May 30 (I won’t lie, though, I definitely wrote Monday there before realizing my mistake), and a partly sunny day is the forecast for Santa Cruz County, with temperatures in the 60s and low 70s.

Quite a bit to explore on Lookout as we roll into the last couple days of May, so right this way if you’d rather explore solo.
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It’s to the great outdoors we go first, with a trio of dispatches. In a sneak preview of his latest In the Public Interest newsletter, Christopher Neely examines what’s continuing to hold up public access to the Cotoni-Coast Dairies property that President Barack Obama included in the California Coastal National Monument way back in 2017.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, meanwhile, is continuing its recovery from the devastating CZU Complex fires of 2020, Max Chun reports, and State Parks officials and a local nonprofit land trust are looking to engage the public on what’s next.

The Santa Cruz Wharf will be the spot Wednesday evening for another state-nonprofit collaboration, this one set to dump thousands of juvenile salmon into Monterey Bay. Jessica M. Pasko has more in an early taste of Lookout’s weekly food & drink newsletter.

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, John Brown Childs, a UCSC professor emeritus who recently came under racist verbal assault, and former UCSC police chief Nader Oweis write about incidents of intolerance and how we all might go about countering a rising tide.

The Tuesday headlines also include Stephanie Tracy’s remembrance of her husband, late Santa Cruz firefighter Brian Tracy, and Wallace Baine’s check-in with land artist/al fresco dining pioneer Jim Denevan, so please, read along.

Parking battle leaves Santa Cruz County’s lone national monument gated from the public

Part of the 5,800-acre Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument north of Santa Cruz.
(Jim Pickering / Bureau of Land Management)

More than six years after President Barack Obama included the Cotoni-Coast Dairies area on Santa Cruz County’s northern coast in the California Coastal National Monument, a dispute over parking has pushed the likely opening date to late 2024. Christopher Neely has the details.

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Read past editions of Lookout’s local politics and policy newsletter and sign up to get it right in your inbox

Juvenile salmon to be released Wednesday at Santa Cruz Wharf

Young salmon being released.
(Via Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project)

State officials and the nonprofit Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project are set to release 160,000 juvenile chinook salmon off the Santa Cruz Wharf after dusk Wednesday, with the public invited to watch and learn more about efforts to boost the local population. Read more here from Jessica M. Pasko.

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Santa Cruz County Job Board

A brisk start to the abbreviated workweek, and Lookout certainly isn’t done there. I’ve given you a preview of some of what’s in both Christopher Neely’s In the Public Interest and Jessica M. Pasko’s weekly food & drink update, and you can sign up here to get both of those newsletters, coming later Tuesday, sent directly to an inbox near you (you can get breaking news alerts via text and email at the link, too!). Lookout is on social media, of course — follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay current with Santa Cruz County news and views.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Hey, it’s Tuesday already! Get out there and make the most of it.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz