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.

8 thoughts on “BSMAAC to address South Coast issues

  1. When I passed all those cars parked along the trail heads on my way to the Southcoast the other day, my thoughts were; ‘Wow, that’s a lot of poopoo for the back country.’

  2. There are frequent campers along the first 1/2 mile or so of Coast Rd by Bixby Bride. Not sure if this a county or state road.

  3. Hi Kate,

    I am hoping for ­ and have asked for – a discussion of the overall traffic increase and all its impacts. Right now it is worse than it was before the climbing lane went in, with regular backups all the way thru the Highlands and not infrequent episodes that back up past the Rocky Point Restaurant. It¹s been a long time since I saw any space at a turnout on a weekend, and the mess at Bixby (OCRxHwy1) is unbelievable. I do not plan any trips in to town after 3PM or before 7:30PB if I can help it. I am pushing hard for some serious data collection as anecdotal complaints are not very effective in making the point that this is a priority issue esp with CalTrans. We may need to collect our pennies (and enlist civic organizations) to do our own traffic counts. I don¹t know what the solution might be, but I think we need to use technology to help!


  4. Any I don’t even go that way unless I am spending the night in town, Martha. Yes, anecdotal stories can never replace actual data, but photos are effective. I’ll be taking quite a few today going down, I think.


  5. This topic has been under discussion by the public land conservation community and deep ecologists for decades and it is great to hear your call for dialog. Here are a few related thoughts to ponder:

    First, for decades a significant portion of our society has advocated shrinking the federal government to the point that it can be “drowned in a bath tub.” While they haven’t had much success in drowning the American war machine they have succeeded in shrinking the Forest Service budget. The organizational chart for the Monterey Ranger District looks like a slice of Swiss cheese compared to what it was 30-40 years ago. There haven’t been FS backcountry rangers for almost two decades and the MRD shares its one law enforcement officer with the Santa Lucia District. And there’s more, the Los Padres National Forest is currently planning to consolidate ranger districts to cut costs and the Monterey District is on the chopping block. So the next time you go to vote, and want to vote (R) to cut your taxes, remember that you are also voting to further reduce the local Forest Service.

    Second is the unprecedented phenomena of social media. Long gone are the days when folks had to read books or magazines or look at maps or even talk to other people to decide where to visit or vacation. Now, an avalanche of information is crawling out of every smart phone encouraging the multitudes to go visit Big Sur. Sykes even has its own Yelp page. The social media onslaught is not going to go away but we can use it to educate visitors about Leave No Trace ethics including fire safety, sanitation, respect for private property, the rule of law, pack it in pack it out, and,if the place you are going is too crowded, just go somewhere else.

    Last is population. We and our children ARE the population explosion, and folks have to go somewhere. The same (R) politicians who love capitalism and its addiction to more and more customers also hate contraception and women’s reproductive choice. Remember when Zero Population Growth was considered a good idea? Think about that the next time you have a ballot in your hand.

    And while human kind has, so far, avoided nuclear winter, we haven’t avoided human caused climate change. And with all those (R) folks denying its very existence, it is likely to be with us a lot longer, perhaps even longer than we will be.

  6. We are well aware of ALL those issues, but appreciate the succinct and articulate expression. As I’ve always said, we can’t regulate morality, respect, and thoughtfulness, although we try. Education is the only key, and people won’t listen if they are addressed in anger. I know that, I practice that when I can and am working on minimizing the times when I can’t. Always seeking suggestions, solutions, etc. Yes, voting is absolutely necessary, but when trying to minimize the damage and destruction to our sacred places, voting ain’t cutting it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.