Wildflowers, Carrizo Plain

Vast fields of wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain create an abstract image of pastel colors in this aerial image.

Owners of 17 businesses in the Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos were among 134 from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Kern counties who signed an Aug. 16 letter sent to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in support of the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Carrizo Plain — located at the intersection of those four counties — is one of 27 national monuments across the country that are under review by the Department of the Interior following an April executive order issued by President Donald Trump.

The review will determine whether to shrink the size of the monuments or rescind their protections entirely, said a spokeswoman for Los Padres Forestwatch.

Zinke plans to issue a recommendation on the Carrizo Plain National Monument by Aug. 24.

The business owners and CEOs that signed onto the letter range from farmers and outdoor recreation stores to artists and local eateries, the spokeswoman said.

Los Alamos business whose owners added their names to the letter are Bedford Winery, Bell Street Farm, Bob’s Well Bread, Casa Dumetz Wines, Frequency Wine Co., Full of Life Foods and Municipal Winemakers.

Los Olivos businesses are Arcadia Studio, Beckmen Vineyards and Solminer Wine; Buellton businesses are Creative Garden Design and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.; and Solvang businesses are Dr. J’s Bicycle Shop and Manzanita Nursery.

Santa Ynez businesses whose owners signed on are Om El Arab International Stallions, Roots Organic Farm and Valley Piggery.

The letter notes Carrizo Plain National Monument is an important draw for tourism in the region, especially during spring wildflower season, the spokeswoman said, noting this year’s “California Superbloom” during March and April drew record crowds.

The monument also contains 4,000-year-old petroglyphs; historical homestead ruins; hiking, horse, mountain bike, and jeep trails; and bird and big-game hunting.

A prominent section of the San Andreas Fault bisects the monument, which contains the largest alkali wetland in Southern California and the last of the Central Valley’s vast native grasslands that provide habitat for the greatest concentration of threatened and endangered wildlife in the state.

For more information or to join the list of Carrizo Plain supporters, visit savethecarrizo.org.

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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