Big Sur Library Update

Another update on the Big Sur Library:
The Library closure has been extended ( again) until June 1st…

However, the library is now located at the Big Sur Grange ( hooray!) on Fridays from 11am-3pm, and will be at that location until the official opening of the branch. The Grange is located 0.1 mile away from Ripplewood, heading south on your right hand side. ( There has been so much support to make this new location a reality, and I want to send a big thank you to all involved in this process.)
During this time you will still be able to drop off, pick up holds, and browse through a large collection of materials.
Storytime is still at 11:30 on Fridays.

As mentioned before, please do call the Seaside Library at 899-2055, or any other Monterey County Free Libraries branch for help, visit our Big Sur branchlette located at Ripplewood or visit your account online, and PLEASE do consider signing up for our free Library-by-mail service. They send you materials in the mail for free! Please see here: .

Also, I do want to add that the Big Sur Memorial Day Weekend Bake and Book Sale is STILL happening. At this time, the location is determined to still be on the Ripplewood lawn.
What to do with my donations? Please see the current Round-up for full details, but you may drop off your donated materials at the Grange during ‘open’ hours from 11am-3pm.

Please do share this information with friends and neighbors as appropriate.
Thank you all so much for your support. <3

Julia Mazerik

Campfire Rules & Regulations

As with many statutes, rules, regulations, etc. especially by the federal government, these statutes are spread throughout several codes. There is the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Codes, both quoted below. I did my best to find all the applicable ones, but may not have succeeded. I simply have laid out the statutes, and am NOT offering any legal advice.

Federal Campfire Statutes:

CFR › Title 36 › Chapter II › Part 261 › Subpart A › Section 261.5
36 CFR 261.5 – Fire.

The following are prohibited:
(a) Carelessly or negligently throwing or placing any ignited substance or other substance that may cause a fire.
(b) Firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.
(c) Causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit.
(d) Leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it.
(e) Causing and failing to maintain control of a fire that is not a prescribed fire that damages the National Forest System.
(f) Building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire without removing all flammable material from around the campfire adequate to prevent its escape.
(g) Negligently failing to maintain control of a prescribed fire on Non-National Forest System lands that damages the National Forest System.
[42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977, as amended at 46 FR 33520, June 30, 1981; 73 FR 30307, May 27, 2008]

§ 261.1b Penalty

Any violation of the prohibitions of this part (261) shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both pursuant to title 16 U.S.C., section 551, unless otherwise provided.

§ 261.52 Order

When provided by an order, the following are prohibited:
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire

16 U.S. Code § 551 – Protection of national forests; rules and regulations

The Secretary of Agriculture shall make provisions for the protection against destruction by fire and depredations upon the public forests and national forests which may have been set aside or which may be hereafter set aside under the provisions of section 471 [1] of this title, and which may be continued; and he may make such rules and regulations and establish such service as will insure the objects of such reservations, namely, to regulate their occupancy and use and to preserve the forests thereon from destruction; …

Once the order is in effect under 16 USC § 551 then the following penalties are provided:
18 USC § 3559 lists the classification of offenses and states: [when not specifically designated in the statute it is determined by its punishment] six months or less but more than thirty days, as a Class B misdemeanor
18 USC §3571, class B misdemeanor carries a maximum fine of $5000
18 USC §3581, class B misdemeanor is carries a maximum jail time of 6 months

I have an example of the 2014-2015 order I will post, probably tomorrow if events allow.


Nowhere is our real home … Community and Identity in the New West

From Henry Miller Memorial Library

A new speakers series exploring how developing areas in the West can maintain their wild character in our “virtual age.”


As you read this, it’s a sunny late-March weekday morning here on the coast, and approximately 85 cars are parked along Highway 1 near Big Sur Station.

It feels like July, but it’s late March.


If there was any doubt, it’s official now. The world is hip to Big Sur. The genie’s out of the bottle.

And this increased popularity, as we all know, brings with it a whole host of challenges affecting the land the visitors and the residents.

Workers’ housing. Short-term rentals. Traffic congestion. Public access curtailed. Clogged up vistor’s parking. Garbage in the wilderness. The commercialization of neighborhoods. Drones. (Yes, drones.)…

If you are concerned about these issues and what Big Sur will look in five, 10, 25 years, we encourage you to come to the Henry Miller Library on April 3rd at 4 pm.

We’ll be launching our new speaking series,
Nowhere Is Our Real Home:
Community and Identity in the New West.

Across the summer, some of the country’s most thoughtful conservationists, historians, and naturalists will talk about how developing areas can maintain their wild character in our “virtual age.”

Our inaugural speaker will be David Gessner, award-winning author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West and nine other books.
David will discuss his own “post-regionalist philosophy” about what home and its relationship to the wild might mean now, using Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, and Wendell Berry as touchstones.


Future speakers include Kenneth Brower (above; June 5th, Not Man Apart), Malcolm Margolin (July 31st, Life in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786), and Don Usner (Aug. 7th The Natural History of Big Sur).

More speakers will be added as the spring turns into summer. To learn more about this series, click here.

To RSVP for David’s talk on April 3rd please visit the library website. This talk is by donation.

Henry Miller Memorial Library | | 831-667-2574

Highway One Temporarily Closed

12:15 pm – Highway open in both directions. Traffic will a nightmare, though for an hour or two.

11:45 am – Cal Trans had put road closed signs up in Carmel and Cambria. Fire and PGE stuck in traffic.


Word from Big Sur Valley is highway backed up from MAF to Fernwood on the South bound lane. Reports of no power in the Big Sur Valley Area

Date/Time: 3-28-16 @ 11 am

Location: State Route 1 in Big Sur is closed in both directions 1/8 mile south of the Big Sur Maintenance Station (PM 46) in Monterey County

Description of Incident:
small redwood trees fell on wires, struck an unoccupied vehicle and is blocking the lanes in both directions of State Route 1.

Estimated Time of Opening

PG&E and Fire Department are enroute. No ETO at this time.

CHP Traffic Incident Information Page:

Susana Z. Cruz
Caltrans District 5
Public Information Officer/
Portavoz de Relaciones Públicas
para Caltrans en el Distrito 5
805. 549.3138
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Planning Commission Agenda & Reports

Hi all,

This week’s Monterey County Planning Commission agenda for the meeting Wednesday 3/30 includes a workshop on the medical marijuana ordinance and a status report on efforts to create short term rental and event ordinances. Here is a link to a page on the County website for the Planning Department of the Resource Management Agency (boy that’s a mouthful) where you can download the agenda:

Monterey County Planning Agenda

or copy and paste the info below into your browser.

The agenda has active links to the staff reports for these items, and the page should provide those interested in following along and able to access video with instructions about how to watch online if you would like to do that. If you would like to attend that is fine too as these hearings are open to anyone. The public will have a chance to speak on each item (usually limited to 3 minutes though). Letters and emails are always a good way to provide your thoughts as well: I know I read them carefully, and I believe other Commissioners do too.


Martha Diehl
Garrapata Trout Farm

In Preparation for Fire Season

A neighbor asked me a question, which I thought I knew the answer to, but I questioned what I knew when informed a USFS personnel disagreed with me. Hmm…nothing I like better than to prove ANY governmental agency misinformed, particularly if I can do it with their own codes, regulations, ordinances – their laws – comes from almost 30 years of fighting the government oppression for my indigent clients.

So, I have found I was correct. I found the CFR and US Codes which govern campfires in the national forests, what is legal, what is not, what the fines are if permitted but not done properly, and what the fines are if campfires have been prohibited by the Forest Supervisor.

Rather than have to research this again in a few years, I decided I would put together a hand-out, if you will, that each of my neighbors and any other interested parties can print out and carry with them (maybe carry multiple copies?) with which to educate the USFS personnel, particularly seasonal workers, F&G wardens, MCSO, AND more importantly, the visiting uninformed. I will post it here next week, after Easter. So look for a little something with which to inform yourself, your neighbors, our enforcers, and more importantly, potential violators. I’m just going to quote the laws and where they can be found. I will not be providing advice, legal or otherwise. Just the law. Arm yourself with the law and you will learn all sorts of things. One way to fight ignorance and hopefully even uncaring individuals.

I saw on a free campsites web page a person who admitted that while she KNEW campfires were prohibited, she had a “little” one anyway to keep the bugs away. We’ve got to get the word out. We can get their information and call it in. Just a few $5,000 fines would pay for all the enforcement we could tolerate.

BSMAAC to address South Coast issues

South Coast Residents are having a discussion about the overuse of the back country via camping, vehicles, hikers, etc. which we want to carry into the next BSMAAC Meeting on April 15 and actually have it as an agendized matter. Perhaps the CPOA can help and also send the agenda out to its members. Kathleen Lee of Supervisor Potter’s Office agreed to put the matter on the agenda and contact agencies who need to be involved in the discussion. We are all proposing to try to bring ideas for solutions to the table, not just complaints, and so far, each person who has emailed me has offered a suggestion. I think it is imperative to keep the discussion flowing that we keep open minds and brainstorm ideas without judgment so that creative, “out-of-the-box” solutions have a medium for growth.

The current road use on the South Coast is unsupportable, particularly with the minimal maintenance and patrolling provided. Since Willow Creek and Nacimiento are both County Roads, and the first 1 and 1/2 miles of Plaskett are, I looked at County Ordinances, and found one that might be of assistance:

· Sections:

· 14.18.010 – Definitions.

“Camping” as used in this Chapter is defined as one or more of the following: erecting a tent or shelter for the purpose of sleeping; arranging bedding for the purpose of sleeping; or use of a standing or parked vehicle for the purpose of sleeping.

(Ord. 3162, 1986; Ord. 3953, 1998)

· 14.18.020 – Camping prohibited on public property.

A. No person shall camp in the right-of-way of State Highway One between the Carmel River and the Monterey-San Luis Obispo County Line at any time.

B. No person shall camp between the hours of six p.m. and six a.m. on any:

1. Public road, or

2. Public property, except when the public property is expressly designated and posted for overnight camping.

(Ord. 3162, 1986; Ord. 3953, 1998

I also would like to determine whether camping on other county roads is an issue, and if so where, and if so, what is being done? I do know the county set up a place on a (county?) road over by the dump to allow people who live in their vehicles to camp for the night. This is a specifically designated spot. I can think of many, many ways we might look at this camping issue

Let us see how we can solve the issues of too many tourists and not enough resources to support them. Together. As a community. Feel free to forward this to any people you feel would be interested.