Here is an eye-opening chart, thanks to Tom Collins who provided the counters and checks them, and to CABS for reimbursing Tom for the costs. For the month of April, the total vehicle trips counted for Plaskett were over 6000, that is an average of 200 a day for less than 20 legal campsites, on a USFS road designed to carry no more than 100 4×4 vehicles. On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, in 24 hours, there were over 700 vehicle trips recorded, Tom thinks that is roughly 350 cars, allowing for roud trips.
This is just SOME of what the South Coast will be presenting to the Council.
Emailed 2 am, May 29, 2022
Greetings Supervisor Adams,
I returned to my home on Los Burros tonight at 10:45 after a patrol with my fellow South Coast Data CollectionTeam member Lindsay Romanow.
On our regular patrol of Los Burros Road we start at a location called Suicide Point. Making stops along the way we head up about 4 miles to what we call “the crossroads,” then continue 2 miles west past San Martín Top to the road’s end.
Yesterday afternoon, in anticipation of the three day weekend and new campfire prohibition, we dismantled over 30 campfire rings on this route, knowing their presence would encourage campfires. At sunset, we patrolled this same area performing the duties that should be carried out by Forestry personnel, none of which were present. We located, greeted, counseled, answered questions, and advised campers of the regulations and consequences of violations. At San Martín Top we saw that campers had barricaded the entrance with a log, and beyond it, were about to light off a pile of gathered brush. We informed them of the prohibition, photographed their license plate and insisted they remove the log. Later, a camper we advised against roadside camping brutally verbally assaulted us.
This evening the holiday was in full swing–we counted at least 35 vehicles and scores of campers just in the one mile beyond San Martín Top. Once again, no Forestry personnel. All the legitimate camping sites were occupied, with overflow traffic camped in violation alongside the road. Most campers did not have permits. We found two lit propane stoves nestled against low-growing brush. A campfire blazed beside the road. We sighted a large campfire far below in a brushy area. Our shouted threats caught the perpetrators’ attention and caused them to extinguish the fire. Conditions were windy. Any fires could have easily gotten out of control with vehicles obstructing each other in escaping.
Our weekend experience was an eye-opener. Why is it I get the sneaking suspicion that the administrators of the LPNF don’t care about what really goes on, not acknowledging, let alone addressing conditions, using the excuse of lack of funds for lack of vision and thoughtful allocation.
It shouldn’t be on us to patrol. Lindsay is a 77-year-old great-grandfather and I am a great-grandmother driving a 25-year-old, 4-wheel-drive rig that negotiates gut-wrenching backroads in patrolling. As a 46 year resident of Big Sur, I am a member of CERT, SCLUAC, CABS and Keep Big Sur Wild. My children and grandchildren were born and raised here. Their legacy goes back to the arrival of the Danis in the 1870’s and later Wilbur Harlan. We care not only about our own homes here in Big Sur, but the homes of all the creatures and plants in our midst. We don’t want them to burn. Connie McCoy