Strategic Community Firebreak Improvement

I sent out this letter to the USFS re public comment for their plan. I am reproducing it here. Today was the last day for comment, but there will be another one later, and I will keep all informed here at that time.

I am writing in response to your letter dated November 20, 2012, ref no. 1950-3, soliciting public comments.

First, I would like to offer that I support the comments made by the Monterey Firesafe Council.

Second, I am distressed to note that NONE of the South Coast of Big Sur is included in your proposal. I see none of the traditional, and long standing firebreaks on the South Coast, south of Anderson Peak are included in your plan, either in the writing, or in the map, including Big Creek Reserve, Lucia Lodge, the Hermitage, Cone Peak, South Coast Ridge Rd, Plaskett Ridge Rd, and Willow Creek Rd, as well as Home Ridge, which helps to protect your own Pacific Valley Station and our local school. All of these areas were threatened in 2008.

I had been going to write specifically about Plaskett Ridge Rd, which has not been maintained since 2000, and which is in such dismal shape that your own fire trucks could not get up it for the last fire of thankfully only 12 acres, about 3 years ago, and which necessitated taking a much longer route, which doubled your response time. Instead, I find myself writing in defense of an entire community which is not addressed in this plan. We are part of the Monterey District of the Los Padres National Forest, and yet never see the attention and consideration afforded the rest of Big Sur. If there is a totally separate plan, businesses, homeowners, and residents should be informed of this. If not, why are we not included? We are a part of Big Sur and the Monterey District.

After the Basin Fire of 2008, you may recall, came the Chalk Fire in October of that year. Many homes and businesses were threatened, and yet I see no indication of any plan to provide “Strategic Community Firebreak Improvement” down here. Yes, we have the Silver Peak Wilderness Area down here, but there is much of our area that is not within the Wilderness, and for which a strategic plan can and should be developed.

Now that I have realized that we are not even a part of this plan, I will be contacting others in my community, businesses and homeowners so that we can find out why, what the USFS has planned for us, and what we can do to facilitate a plan such as the one put forth for the rest of Big Sur.

I would greatly appreciate any plans the USFS has for this area, so I can pass it along through my blog ( and emails to other residents who will be interested.

Kathleen Woods Novoa
Law Office of KWNovoa
HC67 #1794
Big Sur, CA 93920

Snow Report

This is the report i wrote last Saturday, but could never get posted!

I woke to an inch of snow at sunrise, yesterday, and by 7:30 am, it was snowing again. It snowed again that afternoon at around 2 pm, large, fluffy flakes. That one didn’t last, although the one this morning lasted for an hour or two. I did get some photos, which I will post later. Missy has finally settled down to nap-she is quite the busy girl, we have a fire going, and I feel a nap coming on, too!

I have power issues, at the moment. As you may recall, my dog sitter drained my battery on the solar system so low, it won’t run the inverter or charge control. I picked up a high zoot, very smart battery charger, but couldn’t run it today due to wetness. Considering what I paid, I didn’t want to take a chance. Also, I have been carrying around an empty gas can that I thought was full. Duh was without power in all its manifestations, until a little bit ago. Hopefully, by Tomorrow, both conditions will be rectified, and I will be back online with power, Internet, phone, and my usual resources.

Fortunately, I have a new hardcover book I have been wanting to read, a solar light, oil lamps, flashlights, and TONS of batteries. I also have an inverter for my car, if I need to charge the phone or iPad. I also have lots of firewood, so power is not a big thing. I’ll be back Sunday afternoon, or so.



As I had bigsurdeb post for me, I got my power issue sorted out, and today, managed to get my coaxial fixed. It was a two pronged problem. First, it had apparently frozen in one storm or another, and then the wind picked up and broke it clear through. Secondly, we had put it on a high pole, which necessitated connecting up two 25′ lengths of coaxial, with a connector. Even though the connector had been taped with electrical tape, it had still corroded through from the rain. Rock knocker fixed both lengths of coaxial, used only one, put it up on the roof, and voila, I have a green light ALL the time. The bad connections would also explain why my Internet (and cell service) have been so intermittent for such a long time.

So, tomorrow, a Missy update with photos, I think. BIGSURKATE IS BACK! … At least until the next mountain adventure. Lets hope no wind storms, as the TV antenna and cellular booster antenna need some hunkering down to survive the high level winds I get up here!