Big Sur Road Closures & Prewitt Overdoses on Sat.

I found myself breathing in and out more easily tonight, Sunday night, than I have in a long time. I am relaxing. My shoulders are coming down from my ears to their more natural position. The USFS closed the four most popular roads in Big Sur on the South Coast. And we breathe a breath of relief.

I live on one of those roads — the one that had 2 fires in June. COVID has changed things everywhere, and here is no exception. There are those who are angry. They feel entitled to camp and party and off-road in what was once a pristine area of Big Sur.  Since COVID, it has been much more like downtown LA or SF — before the COVID. I understand humanity has thinned out in these metropolitan areas. I think they all came here.

The road closure is for safety and road preservation. Three of the four roads have been destroyed by more traffic than the roads were designed to support, and by people trying to drive on a 4×4 road in a two-wheeled drive car. The roads can’t take that. They dig holes, trying to get unstuck. They block the roads for emergency vehicles and residents trying to get to work or just to town for supplies.

What this news story linked below does not talk about is the silent disco with hundreds of people present on one ridge, with no toilet facilities and no trash facilities held on Prewitt only two weeks earlier. This one blocked roads to residences and to places where illegal campfires are created on the weekend.

Our Fire Captain, Marcus Foster, and the USFS Public Information Officer. Andrew Marsden, explain the problems well in this news story. The two overdoses on Prewitt Ridge this past Saturday night demonstrated so clearly how dangerous it is for both residents and visitors as well as to Big Sur herself.

And in the good news department, I got this this morning in response to my email to the USFS:

“We will be amending the order from a “road closure” to an “area closure” to assist with enforcement. We’re also in the process of purchasing gates that can be installed on each of the four roads.”

8 thoughts on “Big Sur Road Closures & Prewitt Overdoses on Sat.

  1. I am so grateful this decision was made. There seems to be a collective frame of mind and action that has no regard for the sanctity of nature. Leave no trace is definitely not ingrained in their mindset. I just don’t get it. Linda Parker
    recently mentioned an encounter on Pfeiffer beach and her interactions with tourists leaving trash.
    Hopefully, you will get those gates up soon. Some will ignore it and walk in but, thankfully, this should keep out many.

  2. This is really good news. I hope that the gates are left up for between 6 months to a year. Not sure of the suggested duration. While most people visiting the coast are respectful, it is clear that there are more than we can manage who don’t give a rats behind about the area, the people who live there or the pristine beauty of the Coast.

  3. Solve all the problems and install the gates across the highway at carmel and san simeon then there will be an actual 90 miles of protected coastline.

    Asked for less traffic and we got a new paved road…

  4. The demographics of disrespect demanded this action. Good team building for the land and people of Big Sur.

  5. A big round of applause for gate karma👏. If you can’t convince these idiots at least we can do is confuse them.

  6. A big round of applause for gate karma👏. If we can’t convince these idiots at least we can do is confuse them.

  7. I’d be happy to see a gate closure between May and November for those roads – i’d like to see a balance between preserving the area and respecting the locals without having the only options to sleep nearby be buying a $1.5M home, spending $250 a night on a hotel that doesn’t allow dogs, or trying to get a campsite reservation months in advance in the 5 minute window between dates being released and selling out.

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