Tourism Tuesday, 2/27/18

As I indicated last week, this week I am going back to the destination center’s website regarding sustainable tourism, or geotourism. Again, this website is here: Destination Center.

One thing they have announced is the list of finalists in the Tourism for Tomorrow Finalists. One such finalist is here in the United States – Yellowstone, our first National Park. Their website is here: Jackson Hole. Under Information Resources, accessed from a tab on the top of that website, one will find a series of subtopics, including a source called Community Conversations. HERE, one will find a relatively short report – 16 page pdf document – outlining the goals, the methods, and the results of this project submitted on October 24, 2017. This seems like a good place to start our conversation, and one which might provide a model for us to follow – a model which is a global finalist in destination stewardship or sustainable tourism.

The Executive Summary’s opening paragraph could have been written about Big Sur.

”Jackson Hole is experiencing unprecedented tourism visitation. While our community and destination benefit from the increased revenue, we suffer from the negative impacts associated with this increased visitation upon our environment and natural resources, infrastructure and services, community character and quality of life, and visitor experience. These phenomena are occurring elsewhere as travel and tourism numbers increase worldwide. Destinations have the ability to proactively address these impacts and challenges through the development of destination management plans. Critical to destination management planning is engaging local stakeholders in a conversation about the impacts of increasing visitation, issues and challenges with managing a significantly increasing number of visitors from diverse cultures, and identifying and prioritizing short- and long- term solutions that prevent, mitigate, and manage these impacts, issues, and challenges.”

Sound like a good place to start? At the next BSMAAC meeting, let’s ask to form a committee to formulate a destination management plan. I won’t be able to attend, due to a seminar in SF I must attend on the same date, but I would love to be a part of that conversation.

It is time. We have a Land Management Plan and now we need a Destination Management Plan if we and this place are to survive the increase in tourism. Let’s continue this discussion between now and the next BSMAAC meeting.


Hello Kate,

I wanted to send you this picture of a dog that was just turned into us at the Big Sur Station. It was picked up after wandering around hwy 1 outside of the Taphouse. It has no collar/tags.

If we don’t find the owner, we will have to take the dog to town and hand her over to animal control. This will likely happen tomorrow afternoon.

If somebody does recognize the dog, we’d appreciate it if they could let us know by contacting us by email at and

We’d love to reunite dog with owner.

Matthew Khalar, State Parks


Highway One Sign, proposed, 2/22/18

As seen on Highway 1 in the South Island of New Zealand this month, we need the same thing placed every mile of our Highway 1 in Big Sur! Please post on your blog for all drivers to see. Thanks, Alan Buchwald, Weston Ridge Road (BTW, NZ’s Highway One on the South Island is a lot like ours, including slides that close it off for a year at a time.)


Highway One Closure Update, 2/20/18

State Route 1 in Monterey County remains closed from north of Salmon Creek, just south of the Ranger Station (PM 3) to just south of Gorda (PM 10) due to the Mud Creek slide. State Route 1 south of Salmon Creek is accessible via State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo County near Ragged Point.

REMINDER: Travelers still CANNOT access the entire length of Highway 1 from Carmel to Cambria but local businesses are open on both sides of Mud Creek.

Mud Creek (PM 8.9)
Mud Creek had a major slide on Saturday, May 20, 2017, losing over 5 million cubic yards of material. Caltrans continues with its plan to realign the existing terrain with the projected timeline to safely open to public traffic is late-summer 2018 at an estimated cost of $40 million.

This week: The same ongoing operations continued: placing rock at the toe, building up the north fill, and excavating material below the new alignment to finished grade.

There is currently no public/local access through the Mud Creek area since this remains an active, emergency construction zone.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)
Paul’s Slide is still active but the 24/7 traffic signal remains in place and temporary guardrail (k-rail) in the centerline.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge [PCB] (PM 45.52)
1.) Final work continues. Roadwork at Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge consists of alternating lane closures from 7 am to 4 pm Mondays through Thursdays and 7 am to 2 pm on Fridays until work is complete. Project is completed with only a few final items remaining including: completing seismic monitoring system and test; installing additional fence panels, installing flange protection devices and striping (by Caltrans).

Final items continue taking place in the next one to two weeks. Metal Beam Guardrail (MBGR) end treatment work at Castro Canyon (PM 43.12) is scheduled to take place at the end of the month.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway work zones.

The next update will be on Monday, February 26 ☺

Mud Creek, Sat. 2/17/18

Tourist Tuesday, 2/20/18

Going back to last week’s article, how will we define the character of this place called Big Sur. Who and what is she? What defines her? Those questions and more we need to ask ourselves so that we can come up with a plan for sustainable tourism.

This is the path that the Galapagos is also taking – sustainable tourism. They figure they are at the limit, at a little under a 1/4 of a million visitors a year. As islands, it is easier to limit the number of tourists they allow to go there. And that is what they are doing, in order to protect a fragile and unique environment, where Darwin developed his theory of Natural Selection.

Galapagos fights temptation of lucrative mass tourism

“Keeping a tight lid on tourism is the way the South American country has preserved this volcanic string of 19 large islands, dozens of islets and rocky outcroppings.
Authorities wage this fight as world tourism grows and grows—it was up seven percent last year—and they must resist the temptation to let in hordes of visitors, their pockets bulging with dollars.
‘The Galapagos are the crown jewel, and as such, we have to protect them,’ Tourism Minister Enrique Ponce de Leon told AFP. ‘We must be drastic in caring for the environment.’”

The 26,000 residents and stewards of the Galapagos (and you can’t become a resident until you have been married to one for 10 years) have defined the character of this special place thusly:

The environmental, social and biological features of this place—which is like no other—forces us to set a limit, to manage tourism in terms of supply, rather than demand,” said Walter Bustos, director of the Galapagos National Park.

The character rests on the uniqueness of the environmental, social, and biological features which are not found anywhere else. Could the same could be said of Big Sur? although the South Island of New Zealand does share some of our environmental features, our biological and social features are different.

How do you define the “character of place” that is Big Sur??

Read more at:

(Next week we go back to the Destination Stewardship model and explore areas that might work here.)



Snow on the North Coast, 2/19/18

Not so much here. I have a photo of some on my deck, but no Cone Peak covered with it.

These are Coast Ridge Rd. from Soaring:



Soaring’s back yard:


And here is my front deck & critter dish:



Sorry, no beautiful photos of Cone Peak this am. The North Coast got most of it. Still it is cold enough to build a fire this am.