In 1992, the threat of losing the last pristine section of the Dana Point coastline became a big deal to my friends and I. We attended meetings in the Harbor in support of the groups that were fighting to save the Dana Point Headlands. We were asked to show our support and were given these blue and orange stickers. I stuck mine on a box that I now use for leather tools.
Shortly after we started attending meetings, a group of scientists discovered a rare and tiny mouse that was previously thought to be extinct in the area. That mouse, the Pacific Pocket mouse is not much larger than a human thumb and though it is very tiny it needs a fair amount of open space to survive. This discovery led the California Coastal Commission to step in and aid in the protection of the Headlands.
In the end a balance was struck between the developer, the coastal commission, the city of Dana Point and its residents. Twenty years later and still calling Dana Point home I feel very lucky to be able to stroll through the narrow Headlands Trails in pursuit of whales while keeping one eye out for the mini mouse.
To learn a little more about the Pocket Mouse and the fund raising effort on its behalf, click here.