Jade Festival 2016 Permit denied due to Soberanes Fire

I will keep all informed as to the decision of the Jade Festival Committee, which is meeting on the 8th. It has been suggested that the Festival be postponed until Spring. I don’t know what they will decide, but will let everyone know when I do. I know this is a disappoitment to many, but given the circumstances, I concur with the USFS decision in this matter. Generally, campers are all up and down Plaskett, Willow, and Nacimiento, which cannot be allowed this year. While the Soberanes is predicted to be contained by 9/30, I think we all know better. It has remained at 60% containment for over 3 weeks now, and is steadily moving south, closer and closer to the South Coast of Big Sur.

From Monterey District Ranger Tim Short addressed to me, the SCCLT, and Gordon Pfiffero, the Superintendent of Pacific Valley School:

“1. The active Sobranes Fire continues to expand in a southerly direction within the big box containment line. Although current containment projections are for September 30, this incident could burn well past this date depending on conditions. In either case it will continue to require full commitment of local USFS resources.
2. A district wide closure order was implemented to help reduce the risk of another human caused fire start given our extreme fire conditions that is a result of multi-year drought, low fuel moistures, significant fuel loading etc. We must continue to do what we can to avoid another human caused fire in addition to the current incident.
3. Given the existing district closure and assuming existing conditions continue into October, there will be no camping available for the public outside of the existing concessionaire operated developed campgrounds.
4. Managing the Jade festival does require a level of agency cooperator support such as law enforcement and fire patrols. Given the current emergency fire situation for which USFS and cooperator resources are stretched, this effort would further strain that limited capacity.

The USFS annually supports this important event and assists through the permitting process. However, at this time, based on current conditions and due to reasons described above, we unfortunately cannot issue a permit. Thanks for everyone’s cooperation and understanding through this challenging period. We all are looking forward to a return to some level of post fire normalcy.”

10 thoughts on “Jade Festival 2016 Permit denied due to Soberanes Fire

  1. well it’s the only thing that can be done and by next Spring, lots to celebrate. In honor of the Jade Festival, I bought myself some jade to remember the festival this year.

  2. Wow, disappointing news for the South Coast and jade community. Maybe we can get the Lucia Lodge or Treebones Resort to host it. For some local artisans this event is critical.

  3. I understand Kirk Brock is looking for another venue, as he has a lot invested in this event himself. Lucia Lodge isn’t nearly big enough, nor is Treebones, but perhaps somewhere in town.


  4. Kate-
    Your post does not make it very clear that the first paragraph is your voice and that, starting with #1, the writer is a USFS official replying to your e-mail that was also addressed to SCCLT and the Pacific Valley School administrator. When I first read this post I was confused until I was informed by my co-worker of the source of the communication.

    In response to the suggestions by others to relocate the event to another location on the Big Sur Coast, I would think that Monterey County agencies would heed the concern expressed by USFS and oppose the event taking place at another location within the Los Padres National Forest boundaries in Monterey County. Ragged Point, which is in San Luis Obispo County, would not be subject to the same restriction and would probably be the only alternative option on the Big Sur coast. Unfortunately, parking at that venue is even more limited than at PV School, and Highway 1 in that area has even less shoulder space for parking than along the Jade Cove/Sanddollar Beach stretch of highway.

    PV School

  5. I have been to the festival for a few years now. I come over to the coast on the N-F road. There are campers in every turnout or any other place they can fit a car or tent. The majority had campfires- illegal for the last two years. No water or shovels and in the windy conditions common on the ridge! Folks were asleep with their fires smoldering. The lack of awareness for the fire danger they were creating was breathtaking. It was truly a miracle they did not create a wildfire.

    So, no matter where in Big Sur the festival might be moved, the throngs of people who come to enjoy it, will be camping with their fires wherever they can find a spot.

    I was looking forward to coming again this year, but I understand the need to postpone this great event.

  6. Suzi, thanks for the clarification. It is a difficult situation, and I am waiting for the SCCLT meeting Thursday night to see what they come up with before I respond.


  7. Thanks for the info and clarification, personally I am surprise and concerned that anyone who is on the SCCLT board would be seriously considering finding another venue in Big Sur for the Jade festival. WTF!!
    No amount of money is worth risking more fires this year, please be responsible and just reschedule it for sometime in the spring, thanks

  8. Robin-
    I have no idea what the SCCLT is thinking, however, the logical alternative in my mind would be to postpone holding the Jade Fest here until next spring or early summer. The SCCLT will probably not even discuss the possibility of trying to put it on this October at another venue in Big Sur, but if they do discuss that possibility, I agree that it should not happen anywhere in Big Sur until after we receive a good amount of rain and the Los Padres National Forest is re-opened.
    PV School

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