Visitors Use Management – Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest
 coastal zone Visitor Use Management strategy
Los Padres National Forest officials, Monterey Ranger District, hosted a public workshop on June 8th as part of its development of a Visitor Use Management strategy to address recreation trends and visitor use of coastal areas managed by the Forest Service along the Big Sur coast and California State Highway One.

The visitor use management project is focused on National Forest System lands that are accessed from Highway One from Andrew Molera State Park in the north to San Carpoforo beach in the south and stretching inland to approximately the Nacimiento Summit. This includes portions of the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness areas and the Big Sur Wild and Scenic River that are accessed from the coast.

Big Sur is a national and international travel destination that is experiencing unprecedented visitation resulting in traffic congestion, expanded levels of dispersed/concentrated camping on previously undisturbed areas, and an increased potential for an accidental wildfire ignition.

There are the 4 Elements of the Visitor Use Management project underway in Big Sur:

  1.  Define Existing Conditions.                                 
  2.  Define Desired Conditions.
  3.  Identify Management Strategies to achieve the desired conditions.
  4.  Implementation of management strategies.

The first Element was completed successfully at the June 8th meeting.  Next up is Element 2, defining the “Desired Conditions”.  Please participate by following the link below.  Comments must be submitted by October 5th.

You may use the “Get Involved” tab to comment on a specific point on the map.  Note, you may need to click on the “right arrow” above the map to see the “Get Involved” tab. 

Coastal Zone Visitor Use Management – ArcGIS StoryMaps

or comment by e-mail to
Questions may be directed to Monterey Ranger District Resource Officer Fin Eifert by e-mail to or by calling (831) 385-5434.

Prescribed Burn by State Park

Ignition has been postposed to Thursday from the original Press release, but also covers a broader time frame. Here is the updated press release. If you, like I, think this is ill-advised, consider sending an email to

Letter to State Parks from Richard Wangoe:

Dear Ms. Palkovic

I am a Big Sur local and a strong believer in and supporter of prescribed burns.  I recognize and understand very well that we live in a fire-adapted and evolved ecosystem.   

I must state here my emphatic disapproval of the scheduled prescribed burn for Andrew Molera State Park.  September is ABSOLUTELY NOT the time to safely do a prescribed burn in that location.   The danger of our steady seasonal trade-winds blowing from the Northwest with great regularity and inescapable action blowing any embers or sparks flowing from the scheduled fire is astronomically out of balance to the benefit.   Any escaping fire will be naturally blown into the Big Sur valley and if bad comes to worse even beyond that !  The wind would push any escaping fire inevitably into another area that yes, desperately needs to be transitioned back to a fire-balanced state, but NOT at this time of year.   The potential for chaotic damage by fire escape is not worth stepping into that burn now.

March/April/May and such early-season time-frames are far safer to engage in such worthy work, hopefully when the general fuels-moisture is high enough to slow any unintended directional variations in the fire.

Presently the fuels moisture of the entire coastline downwind of the scheduled fire is dangerously low, well below 10% everywhere.   This situation presents an intolerable risk to the entire community south of Andrew Molera.

Please, PLEASE reconsider the schedule of your burning.   Yes, please DO burn the park and heck, everywhere else, frequently !  Just NOT NOW !   It’s way too dry.

With great intent and hope

Richard Wangoe


I concur with Richard. I am also a proponent of prescribed burning, but I also agree this is ill advised. Campfires are banned on USFS property right now. I can already hear the gasps of horror from so many of you and the PTSD from others.

Sunday Photo, 9/11/22

As I was typing the date for today’s photo, I realized I could not post what I had planned. This is a day none of us will forget. So much about that day is so clear and vivid. I had analog tv back in that time via an antenna. I watched the news and cried all day.

So this is the California State Memorial in Clovis. This is my photo for this Sunday. Remember.

The plane struck the tower at 5:46 am PDT, so that is when I put this post up.

Visitor’s Use Management

“I am happy to share the Draft Desired Condition Statements that have been added to the Story Map and are are available for review and comment.  If you have opened this site recently on your computer, you may want to hit refresh. There is now a tab at the top of the page for “Desired Conditions” (third item in from the left) that has the draft desired conditions that apply to the entire project area, below that are links to each of the zones with the draft desired conditions specific to each zone.

Please e-mail your comments to the project e-mail address:

You may also use the “Get Involved” tab to comment on a specific point on the map if you would prefer.

Coastal Zone Visitor Use Management (

Coastal Zone Visitor Use Management – ArcGIS StoryMapsWilderness areas are designated by Congress. According to the Wilderness Act, a Wilderness is “an area of federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation,” where natural ecological processes are supposed to dominate and “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Thank you for your interest and dedication to this important work. Please feel free to share with your networks.


BTW this important work has been in the planning stages for some time, thanks to Tom Collins and John Eifert (Fin) in particular. Other partners have been involved, in both the public and private sector, but these two are the ones who have been pushing it forward out of the “talking” stage and into the “doing” stages. Thank you both. The USFS has seen the video I posted below, taken by Brendon Shave.